Since losing our beloved Otis- I have thrown myself into conquering my never ending ‘To-Do’ list. I am so determined to get things done, it is like I’m competing on an episode of Amazing Race- except I don’t really think there is money at the end of it all (though that would be nice) just the satisfaction of completing something and being able to say:

“I did it!”

They say it’s good to keep busy when you are grieving. There is less time to think, and for me, a chronic over-thinker who suffers from depression and anxiety…. keeping myself occupied in a productive manner is what I need.

(Keep in mind that this is how I cope and this strategy may not work for everyone) 

Not everyone realizes or understands just how hard it is to deal with losing a pet. To some (cold heart’d bastards…) a pet is just a replaceable animal- but to regular folk, our pets are part of the family.

Our loss has been immense.

My teenager tells me it hits her hardest when she comes home from school. She usually catches herself yelling ‘Hey Otis!’ – and when she is having a bad day, it becomes extra hard when she realizes that she doesn’t have her dog to cuddle with.

My youngest is struggling with no longer having him to play with or talk about on the school ground with her friends. She was crying for him the other night, and when I asked what triggered it, she said that all of her friends have their dogs but she doesn’t have her puppy anymore. She didn’t elaborate.. but a few days later, her school work came home and in it was a paper from one of the lessons. She was asked to give the number of how many pets she has… this was the first time she had to write ‘0’.


I felt bad that even a simple question on an assignment had hurt her, but it was a teachable moment. 

My husband doesn’t seem to like to talk about it. He wants to avoid the conversation and mentioned to me today that it is time to really go through Otis’s things and figure out what to donate, trash or keep for a future dog. He did tell me that he is trying hard to get our backyard renovation complete so we can eventually bring a new dog home when we are ready and he/she will have a brand new space to play in that doesn’t include dust and mud (Oh how Otis loved how our backyard had no real grass and he could dig… and dig… than run around my house leaving muddy paw prints….)  IMG_3779

As for myself….

I am doing everything that I can to keep myself occupied.

I feel like I am constantly ‘Go Go Go’ lately- my mind distracted with housework, purging and deep cleaning the house. Other days I am up to my eyeballs in all things writing – Concentrating on my written work, connecting with other writers and participating in online writing groups and watching online seminars.

I have multiple projects on the go and every day I pick and choose which I am going to work on.

My Little Free Library


It is painted, registered with the Little Free Library Organization and STILL sitting on a table in my basement waiting to be weather coated and reassembled.

We have hit a snafu with installing it. My husband is currently working very hard on our backyard renovation project, and since we need to lay grass in the backyard- he made an executive decision to get the landscapers to do our entire property in one swoop… (Our front lawn has been a hot mess since we moved in) so they need to come and rip up the front lawn and lay new sod down. Needless to say…My Little Free Library project is currently at their mercy. So until we know the post is ready to go into the ground… the Library sits and waits….

In the meantime Family and Friends have made book donations, I have spent time cataloging and stamping the books and planning out the social media aspect of the project.


The next step is to make special bookmarks! I hope to get to this art project in the next week or two- I just have to cross a few other things off my list before I get to that.

Short Story Contest

CBC Books hosts three writing contests a year for Canadian Writers. I love to participate in these and a lot of my writing time at the moment is dedicated to reworking a piece of mine that I feel is perfect for the Short Fiction prize.

My friend Val went above and beyond for me and took a shot at winning us both an entry fee to the Short Story Contest- and guess what? WE WON!!! She did this to help cheer me up when I needed it most – and it really did work! I was so surprised when I got the notification that we won! I am looking forward to reading her entry as well- I love that all of this inspired her inner writer!

I hope to submit my entry this week.

Fingers crossed!

My Health

I have also been spending extra time in the gym trying to get myself into shape. I have one month until I am back in the operating room for what seems like the millionth surgery…. (Third ‘corrective’ surgery but I’m in the double digits when it comes to surgery for this stupid problem now… ) – I am hoping that by having lost weight, reworking my eating habits and bringing my health back in other ways- that ‘maybe’ (Hope and Pray) I will come out of this next surgery healthier and maybe my body will actually heal?  I’m not where I would like to be, but I feel like I have come leaps and bounds since I started the program that I am on. There will eventually be a blog where I tell you all of that…. it is already half written… but let’s wait a bit longer shall we?

This Blog

I have been quieter than I prefer on here- but that seems to be a trend of mine in 2018. I feel overwhelmed and when I sit to blog- my mind goes blank or I end up with this huge pressure on my shoulders to write something, so I do… and nothing meets my standards enough to hit ‘Publish’ -Which is why so many blogs are currently sitting in drafts- just waiting for that button to be hit.

(I am actually going to force myself to publish this piece even though I am already second guessing it…) 

To help get me a bit more ‘blog motivated’ –  I have also spent time coming up with an idea that I have been toying with for quite a while now- I am hoping that it will also motivate other bloggers/writers- all creative types really….  I am aiming to announce that this week and I truly hope that you will participate.

Stay tuned for that. 


I am happy to announce that I also won a prize in that BINGO challenge hosted by my local library! I won a gift card to our favorite local pizza place! All my reading earned me a night out of the kitchen and I love it. (See kids- Reading reaps rewards! 😉  )

I have managed to polish of 85 books so far in 2018!!! I am currently working on reading book 86.

(Speed reading super powers are awesome!) 

Yeah- it is good to stay busy…

I will admit that there were a few other projects that I have reluctantly set aside- like magazine writing and my Wattpad novel…. I need to check a few bigger things off the list (Like my LFL and Short Story Contest) before I continue with other adventures.

My creative side just doesn’t want to write… I have painting projects that I have lined up. I have been stealing scrap wood from the backyard renovations and hope to put my painting skills to work on some little snowmen characters that I saw on Pinterest… I have an idea for a watercolor…

The ideas are never ending with me.

What about YOU?

What is on YOUR To-Do List?

Any fun projects that you are working on?

Let us know in the comments!

(And don’t forget to watch out on here and on my Twitter & Instagram for the announcement about my new blog feature! I hope you all like it and will participate!) 

All Images ©TheyOnceCalledHerPumpkin