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Knock, Knock?

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately.

I can’t promise I’ll be any more consistent through the holidays.

But, I wanted to pop in and give you a little update and let you know …

I’m thinking about you even if I haven’t been writing.

I’ve learned I will need to have Surgery #12 on my arm.

I’m trying to come to terms with this news, but I’m not there yet.

I’ve kind of been walking around in a fog.

(I’m pretty sure the hysterics will hit me any minute?)

It has been one year (this week!) since the tendon in my elbow tore.

I’ve had two surgeries in 2016 – a “huge” surgery on my upper arm and shoulder …

And a smaller, less invasive, surgery on my elbow.

Because of my arm, I haven’t taken any big photography jobs since I returned from New Zealand.

And now … I’m looking at yet another surgery.

Why?

Well, a big portion of my elbow tendon has healed, but there’s still a significant area torn where it connects to the bone that has NOT healed.

And, in fact, that particular area hasn’t improved at all in the last four months.

(My doctor looks at it fairly frequently via ultrasound.)

So, this Friday I will be meeting with Dr. Itamura (the orthopedic trauma doctor who specializes in arms and performed my “big” surgery this year.)

Dr. Itamura and I will look at schedules and he will be performing an “open” surgery to reassemble my elbow.

I think I’ll be getting some more metal in my arm, among other things.

I LOVE Dr. Itamura because after ten years (and zillions of orthopedists) he’s the genius that figured out how to remove the vast majority of pain I’ve lived with since the car accident.

I know he’ll do a fantastic job on my elbow also.

The doctors have explained to me, this surgery is the only way to get me “to the finish line” where I will (hopefully) be able to begin using my arm again.

(Will I even know how after ten-plus years of not using it??)

I don’t know when the surgery will be.

I’m hoping I can get it over with as soon as possible so I can begin healing.

My life has been on hold for a year AND I’M LOSING MY MIND not working!!

Dr. Itamura tends to book up a long way in advance.

I’m hoping he can pull some strings and help expedite my surgery.

He’s been very invested in my “case,” but I don’t know what is, and isn’t, possible.

I’ll let you know more when I know more.

In the meantime, I’ll get posts up when I can.

P.S.  2016 sucks!!

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A Birthday Fit For 2016

This year, 2016, has been the worst year of my life for a multitude of reasons.

You would think the year of the car accident would be the worst year.

Or, perhaps, one of the Pain-Off-the-Charts years that followed.

But, even when all of that accident/pain stuff was at its worst, there were still many good things in my life.

But …?

This year has just sucked in nearly every possible way.

So, of course, it’s only fitting I had the worst birthday of my life last week – right?

Why not just finish off the year in a pile of YUCK like the entire rest of the year?

My kids called on my birthday night to chat and that was truly the only positive in the entire day.

Every other person I’d expect to think of me that day, celebrate with me, or reach out to me – forgot or didn’t bother.

I spent the day alone and/or doing errands and chores.

I cried a zillion times because I’ve never felt so unloved.

(A feeling I’m not over still.)

And, eventually, I made the decision I will plan all my future birthdays myself.

Speaking of negative sh*t …

Tomorrow is election day here in the United States.

I think we’ll all be glad when the election is over since this has been the most negative, hate-filled, campaign in our country’s history.

I, honestly, wonder if our country can heal from how badly it’s divided right now.

The other day I heard someone spouting off all sorts of nonsense about the candidates and I was left shaking my head.

Where did this person get their information?

Did they fact check any of it?

It is 2017 and you can google “fact check” after every debate, campaign speech, etc and discover what the ACTUAL facts are.

Guess what?

They often are NOT what you’re reading on Facebook, hearing from a candidate, or hearing in ads and/or the media.

Also?

I would encourage EVERYONE to not only fact check, but to listen to news/read publications from whatever they consider the “enemy camp.”

Yes, that’s right – if you think a network or newspaper/magazine is too liberal/too conservative for your belief system –

I encourage you to read/listen to what is being said with an open mind.

Making an educated decision on a candidate, or proposition, means truly understanding both points of view.

If you only read/listen to things that support your preconceived ideas then you aren’t fully educated on the issues.

Lastly, regardless of the outcome of the election, I hope you will do your part afterward to help heal our country and not further divide it.

We don’t need more hate.

We don’t need more name calling and divisiveness.

Most human beings are good people hoping for a positive future.

Our political system may be flawed, but constantly attacking it (or each other!) won’t solve any problems.

Wouldn’t it be a nice change if people worked WITH the system,

And made changes to it in a nice, pleasant, manner within the laws and structures we have to do so?

I am so ready for 2017!

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10 Facts For My 24th Birthday

Happy 24th birthday to me!

In honor of my (bazillionth) 24th birthday,

I thought I’d share ten things you might not know about me.

  1.  I have a “Twenty Four at Heart” tattoo above my left ankle.
  2. I have 24 AT ❤️ license plates on my car.  fullsizerender-183
  3. I’ve really gotten into painting abstract faces lately.  I’m having lots of fun!  abstract-face-suzanne-haggerty-2016-w
  4. I’m making slow, but steady, progress on losing my “surgery weight,” as I call it.  The non-dieting approach to dieting seems more long-term-realistic than a diet-diet.  (Excuse the exposed bra strap … iPhone photo and I suck at taking photos of myself.)me-suzanne-haggerty-2016-w
  5. I don’t have a favorite TV show, movie, book and/or song.  I guess I’ve never felt strongly enough about entertainment type things to proclaim “favorite.”
  6. The alarm on my phone is the song Suzanne by Journey.  Years ago, an old boyfriend “dedicated” this song to me when I broke up with him and moved out of town.  Prior to that, I didn’t even know Journey had a song titled Suzanne.  It makes me smile when I hear it because everyday I hear my phone yelling “Suzanne!” at me.  And no, it doesn’t make me think about Old Boyfriend.  
  7. I LOVE getting old fashioned snail mail.  It’s especially fun to get packages. (!!)
  8. The scars I have from my car accident don’t faze me at all.  Someone told me I should cover them up because they’re “nasty.”  Why would I do that?  They’re a reflection of my life journey.
  9. I’m more attracted to average looking men who make me laugh than I am towards good looking men who don’t.
  10. So far, my life hasn’t turned out at all how I expected it to.  (That has been both a positive and a negative.)
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Happy Halloween!

I can’t believe October is already over!

Yesterday was Fred’s second birthday.

Happy 2nd Birthday to Fred The Newf!

He’s the happiest, easiest, most gentle, and most loving dog imaginable.

I’m so lucky to have him in my life.

I’m finally back from my travels.

I was in Hawaii and it was, as it always is, just beautiful.

Morning walks on Maui.

It was hotter than normal in Hawaii during my visit.

I was told they also had an exceptionally hot summer.

Palm trees and beautiful beaches – Maui, Hawaii.

While I was on my trip, I walked, and hiked, and swam a LOT.

I was trying to work off the fancy dinners and drinks even before I consumed them.

I love to swim and the ocean water temperature was absolutely perfect.

(Swimming is so much less painful since my last two surgeries – yay!!  I’m THRILLED!)

A sea turtle smiles for my camera!

I love the sea turtles.

I never tire of watching them and/or swimming with them.

Sunset photos – Maui, Hawaii

I’ve already been back to see Paul Newman.

I’m so grateful he takes such good care of me.

What would I do without him?

My husband has begun his new job – yay!

And, I’m still trying to get caught up on a lot of things that happened while I was gone.

Tomorrow November begins.

I’m always insanely busy with family, and holidays, and year-end madness, during November and December.

I know it will get hectic, but I won’t be sorry to see the end of 2016!

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Friday, October 14th

I’ve got some travel coming up soon.

I’ve been running around trying to get my life in order because I tend to do that before trips.

Sometimes, it feels like I’m preparing for a trip for more days than I’m actually ON the trip.

But, I’m looking forward to getting away.

I’m going to try to unplug as much as possible.

(I can’t take anymore of the political stuff right now – such an ugly election!)

Today, I’m busy with window washers at my house.

I also have multiple appointments (including a visit with Paul Newman),

And, a lot of pre-travel chores.

I don’t know if I’ll have an opportunity to post next week prior to my departure or not.

I’ll try to get a few photos up on social media, regardless.

I always hate leaving my Newfies even when I know they’re in great hands with house sitter friends.

I’ll have to spoil them with a lot of extra attention this weekend.

Fred and I both get terrible separation anxiety when we’re apart.

(Frank has a much more carefree spirit than Fred.)

In any case, I just wanted to pop in and let you know what I’m up to.

I know sometimes people become concerned when I disappear for a bit.

I’m okay, and I’ll be back after my trip for sure ….

And, if possible, I might get a post up prior to leaving.

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October 12, 2016

My son returned to Texas last night.

It’s so hard to say good-bye.

I hate it.

Of course, I fell behind on lots of (boring) stuff while he was here.

It will probably take me a few days to get caught up.

We had fun, but I think Frank (the puppy) had the most fun.

We spent a lot of last weekend in the pool.

frank-lifeguard-dog-suzanne-haggerty-2016-w

Frank, my Newfoundland puppy, never let up on lifeguard duty.

Fred likes to go in the pool to cool off, but puppy Frank is obsessed with swimming every possible second.

He’s a committed water dog and loves to “rescue” people.

For instance, when he sees someone on a float he swims to them, waits for them to grab onto his fur and brings them back to the beach/ramp/entry of the pool.

He does this over and over, and over again.

frank-fred-newfies-suzanne-haggerty-2016-w

Frank and Fred are the best Newfie pool supervisors!

It was the first time I’ve attempted to swim since my surgeries.

I swam laps for about a half hour, taking my time and not pushing it, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well my arm did.

I was sore which is to be expected after all this time,

But not in pain – !!

Yay!!

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Finally Friday!

I put SO MANY MILES on my car the last several days!

I’m glad the week is coming to a close.

Wednesday’s ultrasound on my elbow was somewhat inconclusive.

Most of my tendon is healing which is good news.

But, the area where the tendon attaches to the bone is not.

The doctor doesn’t know if it ever will heal without further surgical intervention.

He’d like to “watch it” for another few months before deciding on surgery.

That sounds wise, but I’ve had an injured elbow for a year already.

If I wait until January, and he says it still hasn’t healed,

I’ll have to have surgery in February and lose another entire year of my life to the recovery.

I’M TIRED OF BEING PATIENT I JUST WANT MY ARM TO STOP HURTING AND TO GET MY LIFE BACK!

(Stomps foot like an angry three year old!)

He’s going to do another ultrasound in six weeks.

I think, if at that time, it looks exactly like it does now – with NO improvement,

I’ll probably start the pre-surgical process.

If I do have another surgery, the same doctor who did my shoulder will be doing it.

He’s the surgeon who specializes in arm trauma injuries and if “normal” surgery didn’t work, then he’s the miracle worker to get it done.

He’s already told me he could take care of this for me if need be.

(The surgery I already had on my elbow was less invasive than a second surgery would be.  If I need another elbow surgery, it will be an “open” surgery which is a bigger deal.)

UGH!

Anyway, life moves on.

My youngest son is home for a few days due to college “fall break.”

We’ve got some fun things planned for the next few days.

I know he’s looking forward to swimming with the Newfies,

Getting a little beach time,

And visiting with his sister.

I’m looking forward to it, also.

I hope you have a wonderful, safe, weekend!

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October 5, 2016 and Apple Watch 2

Hello, hello!

Whew – my life is crazy-chaotic right now.

I saw my shoulder surgeon on Monday.

He’s very happy (!!!!) with how my shoulder is progressing seven months out.

(I am too – have I mentioned how much less pain I live with now?)

The “full recovery” for the surgery I had is 18-24 months, but I’m doing GREAT.

Unfortunately, he’s also very concerned about my elbow NOT progressing.

He called his colleague, the elbow surgeon, while I was there.

And, today I am BACK in L.A. having an “emergency” ultrasound on my elbow to determine whether or not I’ll need (yet another!) surgery.

I would be freaking out about all of this, but I’m holding tight to the belief I won’t need surgical intervention.

(Is this denial or confidence on my part??)

Anyway, I’ll know more by the time today is over.

In the meantime, I’m making some feeble attempts at getting my house presentable.

My house is a mess due to massive neglect over the last year of surgeries and family crises.

Yesterday, I had all my carpets and floors professionally cleaned.

Fred and Frank visited the groomer while this was taking place.

frank-7-5-months-suzanne-haggerty-2016-w

Frank The Newf is now seven and a half months old – still a puppy!

I now have clean dogs AND clean floors.

(Both will only last for two minutes, tops.)

fred-23-5-months-suzanne-haggerty-2016-w

Fred (23 and a half months old) didn’t want to pose for me yesterday.

I have a list of other home chores I’m tackling – window cleaning, astro turf cleaning/refreshing.

It’s like spring cleaning, but in the fall.

Hopefully, my house will be slightly improved for the holidays?

I hope to take on some bigger home improvement projects in 2018 assuming it’s a surgery-free year.

On a lighter note, I just received an Apple Watch, Series 2.

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Apple Watch 2

The watch is actually a birthday present and wasn’t due to arrive until the beginning of November – which is when my birthday is.

But, it arrived two days ago, so I have a new toy a month early.

I had no interest in the first Apple Watch, but now that they have GPS and are waterproof, I think it’s perfect for me.

I can leave my phone at home and keep track of walks/hikes/runs.

I can shoot photos waist deep in the ocean for hours, and receive messages while I’m out there.

Perhaps more importantly, it will help me keep track of ocean tides.

I have a tide app on my phone, and I always check it before shooting.

But, this will keep me aware of changes while I’m shooting – much safer.

(As I’ve been writing this post, my watch buzzed to remind me to stand up.  It isn’t healthy to sit for too long.  I jumped up and walked up and down the stairs at my house twice, and then returned to finish writing this.)

I can even put one of my own photos on the “face” of the phone ….

I haven’t had a chance to do this yet, but I will.

For now, Minnie Mouse taps her foot with each passing second.

You can’t imagine my delight when I realized I can change the color of Minnie’s clothes to match whichever watch band I have on and/or what I’m wearing.

Such a fun toy for adults!

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October 3, 2016

October is my favorite month.

This year, my October is also crazy, overbooked, and (hopefully) full of adventures.

We’ll see how I do on the blogging front ….

Today, I’ll be in L.A. with my shoulder surgeon most of the day … and, as always, Paul Newman too.

I wish I could see the elbow surgeon and the shoulder surgeon on the same day, but (even though they work for the same company) they’re in completely different Los Angeles locations.

It’s such a pain, but they’re great doctors and worth the drive days.

I had a nice weekend and I hope you did too.

I’ve been using my new Canon 5D Mark IV since I first received it, but prior to the weekend I hadn’t had time to dig deep into some of the new settings/features.

I finally have everything set up how I want.

Saturday evening I took it to the beach for the first time.

(My cameras are never the same once they’ve made a beach trip with me!)

The surf was pounding which is always FUN!!

I was super happy with the results I got.

You’re A Little Dangerous – Sunset photo Laguna Beach, Canon 5D Mark IV

There’s something so refreshing about sea air, the sound of crashing waves, and the beauty of the ocean.

I also spent a few hours on some art-play and LOTS of time snuggling Fred and Frank.

I might have the two dirtiest dogs in the world right now?

They’re getting groomed tomorrow – thank goodness!

(I’ll take some photos of them for you once they’re all cleaned up!)

My youngest son will be home from college for a few days later this week.

There will be two very happy Newfies when he arrives.

(Lots of slobbery kisses!)

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September 29, 2016

I don’t know where this year has gone, but I’ll be SO glad to see it go.

Ha!

•  On a positive note, my husband has signed a contract to begin working full time again.

(Hallelujah!!!!)

He’s been doing part-time consulting since last February.

His new job will begin towards the end of October.

In the meantime, he has consulting gigs for a few different companies.

I’m planning to join him for one or two of his consulting trips because of the locations he’ll be in.

(I want to shoot while he works.)

I love to go places, so I’m happy about the opportunity to tag along.

•  In other news, my arm had a sudden setback this week.

I’m hoping that’s all it is … a setback.

I’m not very happy about it, and neither is Paul Newman.

I tell myself setbacks are a normal part of the recovery process, right?

•  I decided to be brave and weigh myself, yesterday, after my first full week of my Non-Diet Diet.

I lost five pounds.

I was pretty happy about that considering I was out of town “playing” last weekend.

And, I attended a celebratory dinner at Mastro’s Ocean Club (so yummy!) this week also.

However, if you’ve ever gone on a diet you know the first week is “water weight” and doesn’t really count.

In my case, it was four pounds of water weight and one pound of popcorn kernels that are no longer in my cleavage and/or bra.

Regardless, I’ll take it.

My goal is to lose ten pounds by Christmas.

It seems very achievable since I now only have five more pounds to reach it.

I might need to make a more difficult goal … 15 pounds by Christmas?

•  It’s been scorching hot here lately.

Taken in my backyard yesterday – Monsoon clouds over the mountains.

We don’t get clouds very often in Orange County.

I get so excited when we do have them …

Especially the monsoon clouds like the ones in the above photo.

This is what it looked like at the beach (Newport Beach)  the evening prior:

Monsoon clouds make for awesome beach sunsets!

The road you see in the above photo is PCH (the famous Pacific Coast Highway).

You can also see Catalina Island out on the horizon.

Hopefully, next week will be a little cooler/comfortable.

I sure hope so!

(I know Fred and Frank are hoping so, too.  They hate heatwaves even more than I do!)