A Pie Dough Sculpture’s Worth A Thousand Words


Avonlea’s Thanksgiving Pie Dough “Pig Face” made in a fit of pique


Thanksgiving is a weird time in my head.

I feel the loss of my Dad most deeply on Thanksgiving. He died in 2009, but I think of him often and I miss him. An avid cook, my father loved making all sorts of Thanksgiving dishes. Each year he tried a different exotic stuffing recipe in one of his favorite cookbooks The Silver Palate.

Thanksgiving stopped truly feeling like Thanksgiving when he left us.

There are other holes in this Thanksgiving such as an estrangement with someone I love. Apart from that awful rift, a few weeks ago I decided to no longer spend time with some extended family members who are toxic to my mental health. For the past eight years I was passive about how they acted due to my severe bipolar depression and often feeling suicidal.

Now that I’m doing better, I refuse to be around anyone for more than five minutes who will affect my hard-won stability.

The estrangement feels bad – there’s no way around that at this time. Hopefully that will change someday. But my decision to stop being around those who are detrimental to my mental health feels empowering. My husband fully supports my decision because my mental health is of tantamount importance to him. (I know “tantamount” sounds pretentious, but it truly does describe how important my mental health is to Craig!)

There are wonderful people to focus upon such as my immediate family, Miss Lucy (she’s more human than most humans) and my Mom. My mother joined us for Thanksgiving and in her honor I gave Lucy a bath so that Mom could enjoy the beast when she smelled oh-so-fresh. I used an awesome lavender mint dog shampoo by Cloud Star, a company that donates some of their proceeds to great animal welfare organizations.


“I’m cleaner than you are!”

Lucy Harwood, age 1 & 1/2

We had fun watching some of the 2014 National Dog Show (I don’t get the right channel for the 2015 show.) and I swear Lucy looked just as sleek and glamorous as those fancy hounds! I don’t usually watch dog shows so it was interesting to see all the incredible variety of breeds as well as witness the love and trust between the dog and handler.  I know I could write an entire blog post about the dark side of dog shows, but today it’s about the love. There has been enough dark lately. 

So that’s all the news that’s fit to blog.

I know yesterday was tough for many of you – it’s especially hard for those of us with bipolar disorder. I hope you got through the day relatively unscathed.

I’ll see you next week and in the meantime, I send you my love as always!


Lucy snoozing on her beloved bean bag



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.


24 thoughts on “A Pie Dough Sculpture’s Worth A Thousand Words

  1. I am glad you are focusing on your health and surrounding yourself with individuals that will only contribute to your positive mental health.

    Wishing you the best! *virtual hug*

    • Thanks so much!!! I can’t live in a vacuum, I know, but at least I can be proactive now.

      *Virtual hug* right back at you, Vic!

  2. I completely understand the pain the holidays can bring. My father passed away the day after Christmas. I’m so glad you are focused on the positive and yes, your stability is certainly hard-won and you should do everything necessary to hold onto it!

    • I know you totally understand, and I’m so very sorry he passed away on the day after Christmas, of all days.

      Thanks from the bottom of my heart for your ongoing support!!! I’m truly grateful for bloggers/kindred spirits like you. ❤️

  3. My Darling Daughter,
    It was so wonderful to be with you and Craig and my precious grandaughters for Thanksgiving dinner.
    It was delicious and Chef Craig worked miracles. Loved the pie!! 🎵 I missed Dad too but his music plays on!

    • Thank you for going to so much trouble to get here! We loved having you be with us, and as you noticed, Lovely Lucy is your biggest fan! :))) XOXOX

  4. I always feel like this is a personal email from a friend. I can’t wait for your book. Oddly, I have been thinking about your father and what it must have been like going to Pali with a father who was a great artist rather than a movie producer or car dealer. (do you remember Kramer Motors on Santa Monica Boulevard Volvo-Honda?) My boyfriend of 8 years, fiancée actually, ran that place it belonged to his stepfather, who lived in the Guggenheim Mansion on Copely drive on Beverly Hills. (13 bedrooms, butler, maids and a frickin Grotto in the backyard. Amazing.)

    Ironically, the mansion was backed up against a golf course of a country club that the Kramers weren’t welcome to join. We spent time at Hillcrest Country Club instead and wondered if you’d ever been there. Jane Kramer was a huge patron of the arts so I thought your family might have crossed paths with them.

    I caught up with four episodes of “Madame Secretary” last night. She is such a high quality actress and even at her age, her blonde hair really fits her.

    One of the exec producers of the show is the rarely seen Eric Stoltz, whose most memorable performance as a actor was in the movie “Mask” with Cher. I was delighted to see him playing a priest on an episode of Law and Order SVU. He hardly gets any acting work. In addition to exec producing “Madam Secretary,” he plays Elizabeth’s brother, the surgeon who volunteers in war torn Syria. The medicine they were tracking down, Tetrabenzine, also known as Xenazine, is what I use in combination with other meds for tardive dyskinesia. It costs 3k a month and is paid for by a grant from Caring Voices Coalition. It does not need any special storage. The got that part wrong. They would never know about that med. It would never get to Isis, in my opinion. but it was fun to see that jihadi john get blown up with the courier. I loved the fly fishing scene. It was funny. The show is every bit as good as “The Good Wife.”

    I visited New Life Outlook and your message correcting them on Post Partum Bipolar. Good job.

    I don’t know why you would not accept an award for mental health advocacy. Are you trying to be like Marlon Brando at the Oscars????lol

    • Thanks so much for this comment; I’m late in replying to everyone. I’m worn out from Thanksgiving! Yes, I remember Kramer Motors! I’m so glad you’re enjoying “M Sec” & Eric Stolz’ acting/producing. You have great taste!!!! Thanks for reading my blog and for the super-kind words as always!

      • There is so much indelible memory for faces in film that I wonder what I would be capable of if we wiped out those memory banks and used them for writing…when I write, I have to keep a journal of what I wrote down so I don’t repeat. If only I could use that disc space for something else. Do you watch The Good Wife? It’s just as good as “Madame Secretary”

    • p.s. I never went to that country club; as for the medicine, that’s amazing you knew it, you use it, and you knew they had one of the key “facts” wrong – the producers/writers should have come to you for advising! Especially Eric S.! 😉

  5. That’s great that you can spot toxic people and get rid of them so easily. I’ve had to do the same although there are still some people I have to be around that aren’t the healthiest, but I’m using assertiveness and establishing boundaries to deal with it (in fact I just made a blog about how to handle these people).

    I’m so sorry about your dad. I know how you feel my parents passed away about 25 years ago so our family is scattered at the holiday’s. Plus I moved out of state and all my kids and grandkids are so far away and I miss them terribly.

    This holiday I just kept busy and decided to do something pleasant (no work!) and enjoy the day. I had a couple neighbors bring me food and that was nice. Then later my friend stopped by. I hope Christmas goes as well. Last year I was in tears!!

    • Thanks so much for this beautiful comment and i apologize for taking so long to reply!!! I still will need to be around those who are toxic/semi-toxic – I know I can’t live in a bubble (darn!) but I’m definitely going to be much more cautious about the whole thing. I’m so sorry that your kids/grandkids are far away; I can’t imagine how hard that must be for you. 😦
      I hope that your Christmas goes MUCH better this year & will be rooting for you!
      Sending you big hugs and thanks for your empathy!! Xo

    • Of course!!I completely understand and I even give you permission to skip!!!! Nothing too exciting. Sending you my love and thinking of your mother; just read your latest post. Be sure to take extra-good care of yourself and drink water/tea – it will help keep your energy level up as it’s easy to get dehydrated when crisis occurs…XOXOX

    • Thanks my sweet!I honestly didn’t expect you to read it with all that’s going on, so I’m honored. At least it wasn’t quite the novella my posts usually are, right? Love you always; you’re on my mind often. XO

  6. Good on you for identifying those toxic people and their triggers and finding a way to avoid them. It took some of us too many decades to come to that solution. Happy Holiday weekend to you, Dyane. 💕

    • Thanks so much, my lovely one!!!! And how could I leave this out: 🍪 (I couldn’t find a pumpkin pie one on the character template I use! I need to use that link you gave me! 😉 ❤️💜

  7. Hugs for all of your losses – and I hope the estrangement will be temporary, I’m hoping it proactively and seriously over here. If that particular connection was severed in my life I’d be distraught and so I’m sending you all the good thoughts I can find in my coal black heart.

    • Thanks from the bottom of my fry-ed out heart, my friend. A blahpolar hug is precious to me!
      I get so hopeless about the situation that I feel it’s more likely I’d become a $cientologist rather than be able to repair the relationship (that really gives you an idea about where I’m coming from, doesn’t it???) but hopefully my doomy gloomy ‘dude will shift over time sooner rather than later!
      Thinking of *you* and I speak for many when I write that I’m so glad you’re back posting at blahpolar-land after your short hiatus!

  8. It IS empowering to unhitch from toxic relationships. ‘twould be wonderful if the rift heals, but in the meantime, you are oh so justified in taking care of your heart and sanity.

    We’re all in your corner, Dyane. Much love!

    • Thanks so much, beautiful Merry, for this comment!!!!! It’s great to hear from you & I’m sending you a huge hug and hope your other half’s new job is going well. (I got that right, yes?) XOXOOXOXXOXOXO

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