Family, Heath and fitness, Spirituality

Ice, Snow, Seasonal Depression

This isn’t a happy post so if you want happy and warm read my Isla blog or my blog about Cenotes in Mexico.

I wrote this three days ago but didn’t publish. Why? Because I was venting and blogs are supposed to be about helping people and my venting doesn’t help anyone. I also thought that the weather would improve, that something would remind Mother Nature that it is the end of April. That hasn’t happened. As I write this…it is snowing ice balls outside.  I would say hail, but iceballs sounds far more dramatic. I feel drama is in order. I decided to post because maybe misery can find company? So here it goes. I’m sad. Today, I’m really sad. I deal with seasonal depression and I think I’ve dealt with it quite well this year, until now.  It’s April 15th. It’s 29 degrees outside. It’s the season that seasonal depression ends as the sunshine filters back into our lives, ha! This morning… 5 minutes ago, I went out to scrape the windows of my car and I couldn’t find the scrapper so I’m just patiently waiting for it to heat up enough to melt. Spatula isn’t working on it. The credit card scrape won’t get it this time either….it’s too thick. Like 1/2″ thick ice.

frozen Michigan, seasonal depression, sad
Frozen Michigan

I’m not a baby. I’m a tough Michigander and I know first hand about weather in Michigan in April. My birthday is April 5th. When people find out my birthday is in the spring, and I use that term lightly, their first response is “You’re a Spring Birthday, how nice!”  Because it’s spring, people forget that EVERY year it snows the first week in April. I know this for a fact because it always snows the week of my birthday. I can take it with quite a bit of humor because, one, I’m an Aries and two, it is April.  Previous years we’ve always had a few 60-70 degree days prior and those warm days will come back immediately after. Mother Nature , however reserves this first week in April for her last frozen snow hurrah ….always….every year. Except not this year. This year has been a non-stop ice/snow hurrah. There have been no 50,60 or 70 degree days (actually one 60 degree day in February ). There have been very few in the 40’s. We have been stuck in some zone where the temperature lingers between 10-30. Last night we had a winter advisory and and ice storm. I went to start my car and there is 1/2″ of ice over the whole car. I couldn’t open the doors until I pried it open with my foot. I want to stop at Tim Hortons and get a coffee but I know from past experience that my window will be froze shut. I actually had a dream last night that I was laying on lush green grass. Just laying there with my arms open. Soaking up the earth. Well, maybe tomorrow. My venting is done.  If you live in a cold climate like me know that you are not alone in your angst. If you are fortunate enough to live in a warm place, rejoice in it!

DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this.

Platform Bed, DIY Bedframe, Queen Bed Frame
Diy, Family

Build A Platform Bed in an Hour

If you have teenage girls you know it is not always easy to please them. In their ever-changing lives the one place they love to go and find solace is their bedroom. It might surprise you to know that it is cheaper, easier and quicker than you thought to  build a platform bed.  This less than one day project will make your daughter feel like a princess. I can’t tell you how many compliments my daughters have received and how many requests I get to build them. Even the most inexperienced diy’er ( is that a word? ) can easily accomplish this project.


* TABLE SAW( you don’t need this as Home Depot will make the cuts for you but for those that want to cut their own )


* CONSTRUCTION SCREWS ( click on highlight for link to order ) the screws come with the drill bit you will need.

Wood Needed

* Two 2 x  8 x 96″
* Two 2 x 8 x 79″
* Seven 2 x 6 x 79″
* Fourteen 2 x 6 x 93″


* Use as many screws as you feel are needed. I tend to build like I cook…a little of this and a bit of that
* Use Select Pine, you will not need to sand it
* The lumber I used was stamped at some of the ends, we liked the look of this so we made sure some of it was exposed. It will give your platform a more industrial feel * You will need to build the bed as close to the intended spot that you want to place it. I left about 2 feet between the wall, the frame and myself for room to work. It will be VERY HEAVY when you are done so get someone to gently help you slide it into place.
* Finished frame is 96″x 82″. If this is too big for your space ( or too small ) adjust your sizes accordingly.


1.) Take the Two 2 x 8 x 96″ and the Two 2 x 8 x 79″ and create a rectangle frame with the 8″ side perpendicular to the floor. Set the 79″ piece just inside of the 96″ so it sits flush all the way around your rectangle. see picture below Screw all of the corners to secure them to each other.

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 8.34.08 PM.png

2.) Take the Two of the Seven 2 x 6 x 79″ and set them inside beside the 79″. see diagram belowThey should slide in and fit perfectly. They should be touching the floor so it leaves a ” ledge”. Screw them into place to secure them. This is the “ledge” and support that your Fourteen boards will laid on top of and screwed into. Now take another of the 2 x 6 x 79″ – place it in the middle width wise ( like the last two ) and screw it into place.

Diagram For Platform Bed

3.) Take your last Four 2 x 6 x 79″ and evenly secure them to the width of your frame, they should be touching the floor like the others, leaving a ledge. They should fit perfectly. Screw them into place.

4.) Take your Fourteen 2 x 6 x 93″s and Lay them in to place. Secure them with screws.

If you decide to leave your wood natural YOU ARE DONE!!

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 9.08.07 PM.png

If you decide to white wash it, like we did you’re not done. OOPS! Couldn’t resist!

To white wash you just add some water to some white paint. Paint on the wood in sections and have a rag handy to wipe off as you go. This process is much like staining. We decided to use the white wash for 2 coats. This is where your daughter can make this bed her own. The possibilities are endless! You can paint, stain, white wash with various colors or even stencil the wood work. We did not feel the need to seal our wood but if you have a messy child you might want to take this precaution. I would really like to make another and white wash using a blue or pink paint! Someday….

My daughters both wanted a Mosquito Net to finish it off. They are under 20$ from amazon. click on the link below to order They also added lights around the perimeter of the net. The net was installed to the ceiling and was also very easy to do.

I do not remember the exact cost of the lumber but it was under 100$.

If you decide to build, please come back and leave comments below. I love to hear your experiences and additional tips that you may have!

Next blog will be the desk to match

Desk 2  2018-04-14 at 10.28.35 PM.png


DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this.


Work Out
Beauty tips, Family, Heath and fitness

How to Stay Motivated Working Out in Your 50’s

5 Ways to Stay Motivated in Your Workout

So, maintaining motivation has got to be my biggest struggle so I’m guessing it may be yours too. Hopefully by sharing ideas we can keep each other motivated!                         First, it has helped me immensely to realize and accept that my reasons and motivation for working out could and should change. I would love to tell you that I began all of this madness for my health but that would be a lie. I just feel fortunate that my health has benefited  in spite of my vain intentions.                                                                                        Yes, vanity was my first motivational factor! A little over a year ago I began working out because of a planned three-week family vacation to Mexico. If anything motivates a 51-year-old woman ( or any woman for that matter ) to work out, it would be the thought of having to parade around in public in a bathing suit. I knew something drastic had to be done. At the time I decided an exercise routine needed to be put quickly into place…along with a new eating philosophy.   ( See this link to see my Lifestyle Eating Plan ).  These two changes in my lifestyle catapulted me into losing 20 pounds in 30 days. My husbands success was even greater. He lost 25 pounds! I knew that we would be able to keep it off while on vacation. Even though there was no gym we had outdoor activities daily.  I have to admit that I was a little worried that I would still be motivated to keep up our workout routine once we returned home. After all, the vacation was over, bathing suits need not be worn until our next adventure.                                                                                                      Upon our return, I admit I did not run right back to the gym, I do have to mention that my husband did. He has Type 2 Diabetes and for him working out was not about vanity but about longevity, seeing our children get married and have kids of their own.  Have you ever noticed that it’s often easier to do for someone else than to do for yourself? It’s almost like our subconscious tells us we don’t deserve health as a way to rationalize foregoing a behavior that you know deep inside can only be a benefit for you. My husband became my catalyst, my post vacation inspiration.  He is my hero, my mentor. If he can go to the gym 5-6 times a week,  I need to make sure that I go with him 3-4 times. It’s the least I can do because I know it keeps him encouraged, and his life depends on it.  Working out with him brings me to my third motivating factor. I really look forward to him coming home from work and us driving to the gym together. He’s my workout buddy. If you don’t have one, you should find one. Even though we work out in separate areas, the ride there and back we can actually have conversations about our workouts and we have something that we share in common. Now, our teenage girls have even joined in and go often as well. It has really allowed us to squeeze in family time at an age where parents often feel their children pulling away.                                                             Another factor was before I started working out I started noticing aches and pains. I attributed this to age. Did I mentioned I was 51 but I felt like I was 70? A woman in her fifties should not be in as much pain as I was in. About 7 every evening my knee would start to hurt, my hip would start in as well.  I hurt!  About 2 weeks into my workout routine I noticed the pain subsiding. It was a bonus that I had truly not expected.  I also add  Dr. Axe Collagen Powder  to my coffee every day. It too helps with the aches and pains of my 51 year old crickety bones.  Last, but not least, I live in Michigan. If you live in a northern climate you may understand SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Basically, the lack of sunshine and lack of warmth. Working out by no means supplies my soul with sunshine but it certainly helps to alleviate mild depression.                                                                                                             Does my motivation change a different times? Yes, In fact it helps me that it changes, it allows me to keep going on the days that I would rather just stay home. So, on any given day the five top reasons that keep me going are:

1.) My workout buddy    ( see his before and after )                                                                       2.) Vanity                                                                                                                                              3.) My health                                                                                                                                          4.) Relief from aches and pain                                                                                                          5.) Relieves mild seasonal depression

ADDITIONAL TIPS: I didn’t originally wear a workout belt but found that once I did, my middle section would sweat quite a bit more. I can honestly see a difference when I wear it Workout Belt .

What I love even more than my workout belt are my Zaggora Pants

“>Zaggora Pants

The belt and the pants produce so much sweat, and water weight loss. So it’s especially important to keep hydrated while you work out. I find that when I wear the pants I will burn about 10% more calories. I do the elliptical for 45 minutes and with regular leggings I burn 440-460 calories. When I wear the pants I burn 480-515 calories.

My husbands before and after pictures, he’s cute, right? If WE can do it, YOU can too!  If you have advice on tips that keep you motivated please leave comments below.

Weight Loss Before Picture, Weight Loss, Bahamas, Freeport
Before Weight Loss
Weight Loss, Healthy Lifestyle
After Weight Loss

DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this


How My Dad’s Suicide Affected Me


It is my hope that by sharing my experience of suicide my story may somehow help someone else who is trying to sift through and understand their own grief. If my story helps even one person, my mission will not be in vain.     

It sounds selfish, right? I mean HE was the one who was so sad, so distraught and hopeless that he felt the need to take his own life. What do I have to gripe about? I’m still here, alive and breathing. Yes, breathing – one breath at a time.

Addressing what he was going through and why he did what he did I haven’t written about yet. One day I will, possibly, if I can face my own demons. For now I will write about how his act, his death, affected me. It was three years ago and only now can I bring myself to revisit the hours and days following, but first I must go back to two months prior to his death.

My 14 year old daughter had just lost a close friend to suicide. Her friend was only 14 years old. The hardest thing a mother can go through is to see her child in horrendous pain and not be able to do anything to stop that pain. How could I begin to explain a fourteen year old taking his own life when I was struggling to understand it myself? All I could do was hold her while she cried herself to sleep in exhaustion only to have her wake up hours later and start the same process over again. My dad, her grandfather, saw the pain she was in. The pain this single act had created for her…. his granddaughter. Yet somehow only two months later he would choose the same path.

I remember vividly, like a scene in a movie that you’ve seen 100 times. I was in a meeting at my church. It was a frigid Tuesday morning in January, shortly after 10:00 a.m. My phone rang- I turned the volume down but it began to vibrate only minutes later. Everyone who knew me knew that I was in a meeting. Who would possibly call and text me repeatedly? I excused myself to take a peak to see who had been calling. It was my uncle from California, my brother from Indiana- both numerous times. I felt like someone hit me in the stomach because I instinctively knew that my worst nightmare was about to be confirmed. Part of my world was to be destroyed. I hesitated briefly before dialing my uncle. Would it be news that I would be able to bear? His phone barely rang and he asked “Why haven’t you answered your phone? Have you talked to your dad?”

BACK STORY:  My mother had passed away 21 years prior and my dad now lived alone. It was our routine that he called me everyday, no later than 9:30 a.m. to let me know he was okay.

I explained to my uncle that the day before I had told my dad that I would be in a meeting at my church and I would call and check on him when I got out or by noon. My uncle then asked me if I had read the email from my dad- He sounded so frantic.  Evidently, my dad had written his “good-byes” and sent it out to my uncle, myself and my siblings, via email. I remember running out of the church to get in my car and make the 30 minute trip to my dad’s house. I couldn’t open my car…. my purse, it was still in the church. I had an odd sensation that my brain was floating. I felt confused, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t breath. As I ran back into the church I tried to remember how to get to the home that I grew up in, the house that I had driven to countless times. Why couldn’t I remember?

Ultimately, the 30 minute trip took me almost an hour. I realized that I couldn’t do this on my own.  I remember praying “God, help me find the way.” After 30 minutes I finally found my way to the expressway. Then it dawned on me. What if I walked in to something that I just couldn’t process? I quickly dialed 911. I don’t know exactly what I said but I did ask them to meet me there. The response was that there was already officers “on the scene.” What?? What did that mean?  I called my brother and told him to stay on the phone with me. I felt so alone. I couldn’t do THIS alone.  I pulled into the sub that I had grown up in. I tried to calm my breathing. My brother told me that the police said there had been a note on the door, it said, “Wendy, don’t come in, call 911.”

As I pulled in the drive I saw two officers and a neighbor. Were they waiting for me? I was still in a cloud of confusion, yet I knew. I opened the car door and stumbled out. The officer asked if I am Wendy…I say yes and begin to tell him about the email but he cut me off. He tells me that my father has been shot.  I fell,  to the ground, in the snow. I heard someone screaming No! – and realize that it is me. A voice is telling me that the ambulance just left and that he was still alive when he left. Yet, I could see it in the officers eyes. He knew. We both knew.

He asked if I needed a ride to the hospital, if there was someone he could call for me. Who?? Who could he call for me that could un-do what had been done? Is there a person for that? I suddenly realize that I’m still on the ground, someone had their arms around me. It was the neighbor. All of a sudden I was so thankful to have another woman there. Someone who wasn’t staring down at me, unsure what to do or say. Reality seemed further away than the hospital yet I knew I would drive there alone. I had calls to make. My husband was waiting, my uncle and siblings waiting to find out what I knew. By the time I reached the hospital, two of my grown kids were there waiting for me in a room…THE ROOM where they bring a social worker in to talk to you. I wasn’t sure how my kids found out. Had I called them?  I didn’t want to talk to a social worker. Yet I did and she confirmed what I had known in my heart. My dad was gone. Identification was discouraged.

When my siblings arrived that evening we met at my house. Together, we drove back to our childhood home the next day.  As we pulled into the driveway the first thing I noticed was where my fallen body had left an imprint in the snow.  It was like I was trying to wake up from a reoccurring nightmare. In my dream I could see a lady crying, humped over in the snow. She was in so much pain. Who was that lady? Was it me? I just wanted to wake up.

We needed to focus, to make arrangements. My dad however had been extremely organized in that he had made and paid for all of his final arrangements. We had nothing else to do except ask ourselves why. We all knew that dad had been depressed and on antidepressants since we were kids. His mom- my grandmother, once told my brother that my father was born angry. After my mom passed, his depression escalated. He had just recently had a surgery that he thought would greatly decrease some pain he had been experiencing. When his recovery wasn’t as quick as he had hoped, maybe it was too much and he decided to take his own life. We all could have been there more…should have been there more. Surely we had seen the signs. He told me that his meds made him feel “loopy.”  I took him to his doctor and his medication was modified- but he still wasn’t okay – and now neither are we.

We all know that there are 5 stages of grief. The survivors of suicide loss know that there are more for us. For me, there were 8 stages- in no particular order. 

Confusion, Denial, Anger, Guilt, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance and Feelings of Abandonment.

Confusion: People told me to “take one day at a time.” One day?? I couldn’t even breath- how could I possibly make it through a day?  Then the voice inside me whom I call God said, “I know you can’t take one day at a time so just focus on breathing. One breath at a time.” This made sense. I could focus on a deep breath in and slowly letting it out. I remember just listening to myself breath. One breath turned into two and then minutes had passed, then hours. With practice, I learned to make it through a day.

Denial: There was no denying what he had done.

Anger: I grew up knowing that my dad was the strongest man, my protector and hero. He was the one person who would never do anything to hurt me. Yet, he did and it was the ultimate betrayal. I am also angry that he didn’t just hurt me but he knew how his granddaughter, my daughter was suffering from her friends suicide. How could he?

Guilt: Of course guilt. I still have my moments but deep inside, I know he fought depression his entire life. There was nothing I, or anyone else could do to stop what he had planned for years.

Bargaining: What he had done could not be reversed. I knew that.

Depression: I am still struggling but I won’t be like him. Everyday before I get out of bed I count my blessings. I choose to be happy.

Acceptance: You can’t fill a vessel that is broken. Happiness comes from within. My son pointed out a different perspective.  My dad’s action had nothing to with me but only to do with him. He needed to escape HIS pain.

Feelings of abandonment: I won’t lie. Everyday I still wonder why I wasn’t enough.  Wasn’t I worth it?  When I start to feel like this, I remind myself of my son’s words…It was never about ME.

It was never about me or my siblings. It wasn’t the death of my mother, the loss of his status as a GM employee. It wasn’t about being raised by an alcoholic father. It wasn’t the lengthy recovery after his surgery. Life gives us all roadblocks. It is how we choose to get through these blocks. Will they make us stronger or weaker? His suicide is my roadblock, but I make the choice daily. I will be strong.

If you are having feelings of depression or suicide please know that there are people who can help.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  Hot Line # 1-800-273-8255 or