Wherever You Go, There You Are…



Lucy & I chillin’ at Where We Met gelateria in Tahoma, California


The girls got pomegranate, sweet cream and pink grapefruit gelati. Yum! Where We Met makes gelato daily using a base imported from Italy. It’s hard to believe this chocoholic mom gave birth to these two creatures, for they could’ve ordered milk chocolate! It pains me to write this, but they don’t like chocolate! (I try not to hold that against them.)


Tahoma, a town on the shores of Lake Tahoe, California, is beautiful.

While being surrounded by such beauty won’t erase my bipolar disorder and anxiety, it’s exhilarating to spend time in a place where I’m anonymous. I live in a small mountain community where I’ve burned many a friendship due to my bipolar disorder over the past decade.

Back home I’ve been profiled in the local paper a couple times about creating a DBSA chapter and leading free women’s bipolar support groups. My picture accompanied those articles, so I was “out”with bipolar. Don’t get me wrong – I wanted to be out; I thought it was important to personalize the mood disorder. However, I knew some people, mainly other moms, would steer clear of me as a result. I don’t regret what I did, but it was a bittersweet choice. 

Anyway, during our Tahoma walks with Lucy, the girls and I noticed that most of the people we’ve encountered are very friendly compared to where we live. It’s refreshing to observe my daughters experiencing this rather archaic behavior. 

I apologize for sounding like Debbie Downer, but don’t you think that waving or saying hello to strangers has become a lost art in many places? (Since my Mom reads this, I’d like to add that the girls are well aware about being careful around strangers thanks, in part, to this neurotic, Jewish-born mother!)


When I stood up to move my purse, Lucy climbed up on my chair, plonking herself down as if she was a regular planning to order an americano. 


I’ve been taking Lucy out for long walks every day by myself. I never know what to expect when we head out the door. After having my very own bear encounter a few years ago in Tahoe, I’m fairly bear savvy. (Mom, please…don’t worry – I’m forty-six.)

I love how walks can foster brainstorming. During yesterday’s walk I was inspired when we passed by the Golden Retriever house, my moniker for it. The homeowners had a large flag of two goldens waving above their front door, and no less than three large Golden Retriever posters displayed in their windows. What an awesome example of canine love.

When I walked past two handmade “Thanks for Driving 25” signs across the street from their home, it was obvious the Golden Retriever homeowners made them. 

I began thinking about doing exactly what they did. Why not? I’m sooooo tired of drivers racing past our home at 40-60 M.P.H. I’m already anxious, as some of you know, and these wanna-be Evel Knievels do nothing to help ease my anxety. 

We live on a steep, narrow mountain road situated ten feet past a blind curve. Whenever I leave our driveway, I pray I won’t get hit.

I know what you’re thinking: 

Why did you buy such a place, Dyane? 

Well, the short story is that it was cheap and I was dumb about realty…I mean ignorant!

We have a long wooden fence in front of our house that Craig built on our property. So, I’m going to make and post my own neon signs – maybe throw some eye-catching nude pictures on them. Any suggestions of models? (I’m kidding, Mom. Maybe.) If those signs help some folks slow down even a little bit, it’s completely worth the effort.


I snapped this pic while exploring a mountain trail with Lucy – there have been no bear sightings yet! 😉


Cabin Fever = when your girls turn into dogs and bark all afternoon!

Meanwhile my book deal with Post Hill Press looms ahead,causing many white nights. Luckily I’ve spent some afternoons in the cabin editing the MS. My husband, the published and acclaimed author Craig, has been helping me out by taking the girls to groovy state parks like Vikingsholm because I can’t write unless I’m alone with Lucy.

How I wish I could write anywhere just like Madeleine L’Engle, one of my favorite authors, was able to do. She wrote on trains, hotel lobbies, backstage when she acted on Broadway, you-name-it, but I simply can’t do it.

If you can write virtually anywhere without ear buds, consider yourself highly gifted!


I’ll be up here a few more days, and I’ll share any adventure that comes my way in next week’s post.

In the meantime, I wish you a great week, as always!



p.s. The Lose It! quest continues with my blog buddy Bradley, author of the excellent Insights of A Bipolar Bear. We encourage one other through Lose It!’s website. Pairing up with him helped me not just attain my weight loss goal but with maintenance. I’ve lost almost 40 pounds, almost the equivalent of a Lucy, and my knee pain has improved. Thank you Bradley!

If you’d like to join us, leave a message in the comment section or sign up for free at www.loseit.com. Search for the Wondrous Writers group. We’d love to have you join us.


Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

46 thoughts on “Wherever You Go, There You Are…

  1. I agree with the “lost art” of waving and saying hello. When I relocated back to KS for a while, I was amazed at the friendliness there in small-town Kansas. Even just the waiter at Taco Bell drive-through, shared moments of his day – I felt like I knew him by the 3rd visit. I miss that, but we can also drive that. in lak’ech, Debra

    • Hi Deborah, please forgive my tardy reply! I loooove that even the Taco Bell drive-thru staff person was friendly in Kansas! The bottom line is that I like that vibe so much; even if I’m hit with social anxiety I can, at the very least, do a small “princess wave”and smile. I forgot who said it, but I’ve always loved the famous quote “Only connect!” I thought you’d like that quote too. I’m wishing you a great weekend from the top of Tahoe, 🙂 Dyane

  2. When I moved to the South I was stunned on a daily basis by how many people nodded at me, waved from their cars or said hi in the grocery store. When you have lived outside Philly all your life, this is certainly NOT the behavior you expect!

    • Hey Leslie,

      So the South is where it’s at for friendliness? Cool! And yes, very different from Big City Philly! I like it because it’s good energy. (and yes, I sound like a hippie!) Hope this finds you doing well! I apologize for taking so long to reply, and I’m sending you good Tahoe juju, where you’d love all the wildflowers blooming! Xoxo

  3. Nice post, glad I could catch up with what is happening in “Dyane-Land.”

    • Yo Vic !!!
      We’re still here in Tahoe, but it has become much more of a working vacation for my poor husband. He has worked in the cabin for hours every day. He also had to drive to San Jose and back twice while we’ve been here. San Jose is about 4-5 hours each way. He had to do that to check a landslide repair, but it was worth it for him to do it. It helps that he has a far more positive attitude than I do about those kinds of things! :0

      Take care, and I hope this Friday finds you doing well! 🙂

      p.s. hopefully you aren’t going to have any teen rager parties this weekend

  4. It personally freaks me out when people say hi to me and don’t know me. I’m always flabbergasted and have no idea what to do. Oh well. So yeah, I’m so glad to hear that things are going well. And I agree, WHO DOESN’T CHOCOLATE???? That confuses me. I couldn’t live life like that.

    Take care my friend and good luck with the book deal!! Hugs!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

    • Hey Jess,

      I forgot to add in my post that I need to feel “together” to say hi back to strangers, i.e. not be all grungy and wearing ugly clothes (I have a few) – in that case I want to hide! 😉 When people say hi to me and I’m scummy, I give them what I call my “fake, tight, litttle smile”, which I hate doing – I feel like such a phony. Sometimes I”ll utter a sharp hi.

      I realized that my girls must have inherited a gene from Craig because he’s not a big chocolate fan – he likes pie!
      Hope this finds you doing well, and forgive the lengthy time it took to reply – I haven’t had internet while we’ve up here.I know it’s silly but I have a hard time using my cell phone to write blog comments that are longer than a sentence. Those who can do that are gifted!
      Sending you big hugs, and my love, Dy XOXOXO

  5. Like you Dyane – I can only think & write in peace and quiet. I am just finishing off dealing with the reviewer’s comments on the 2nd Edition of our ‘Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatric Disorder’. Next thing will be the proofreading queries. Carol x

    • Dear Carol, I’ve been without internet for over a week. I can’t write much on my tiny cell phone because it drives me bonkers! I finally got to a location where I can use their free WiFi ,and I know you’d appreciate the grandeur of this place – I’m at the top of Squaw Valley, which has some of the most beautiful, varied Sierra wildflowers you could imagine. They’re all blooming like mad! You’d get some great photos. As you know, I cut back on reading 99% of my favorite blogs because I was doing that instead of working on my MS, but I shall return this fall! Anyway, I brought headphones today for I’ll be here while the girls swim in their mountaintop pool – what a life, eh? Anyway, I hope that your work has been going smoothly on your 2nd Edition of “Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatric Disorder”, and I know it will be another fantastic work. Would be honored if you could consider “blurbing” my book when the time comes…I’ll be in touch!

      (((Hugs))) from across the pond, Dyane

  6. You sound great, like you are doing really well, which warms my heart. I love Lake Tahoe and envy you. Gorgeous surroundings. Congratulations on your progress on your MS. I’m so proud. You inspire me. Maybe one day I’ll get around to writing a book, too…

    • Kitt my sweet friend, I know Tahoe is such a special place for you since you had your beautiful ceremony here, and each time we visit this areaI think of you!. I hope you get a chance to come here soon. Thanks for the congrats – I’m beyond ready to move to the next stage of the process. Sending you my love as always, Dy

      p.s. I know you have a valuable, powerful story to share the world if you ever wish to go for it!

    • HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kitt!! I’m sorry that you had to get up so early, ugh, and I hope that his surgery went smoothly! Marilla’s 9th birthday is exactly a week from today, so I wonder if this makes you a Virgo? You’re both extraordinary cool so that would make sense. 😉 I’m sorry I’m not on Facebook only because it would have reminded me it’s your birthday today! have fun tonight! love you!!!

  7. I love so many things about this post! It truly brings me loads of joy seeing you and Lucy and those adorable girls. Your vacation sounds amazing, and I relate to numerous parts of your post. I, too, crave a degree of anonymity, which is big part of why I love Savannah so much — I haven’t lived here long enough to make more than a few acquaintances and that is fine by me. Before moving here, I lived in a pleasant but more intimate, smaller community. While there’s an element of comfort with familiarity, I often find it more stifling than freeing. The getting-to-know people phase is lasting longer here, but it’s intentional, AND Savannah is a remarkably friendly place with a genuine welcoming vibe. I suppose many places in the south are that way, but I never saw it as the norm growing up in Atlanta suburbia. Everyone was more detached. It’s refreshing and a bit startling all at once.

    I’m a mixed-bag writer, I suppose. Sometimes I can write anywhere, but I prefer a quiet space and feel I do my best work when I carve out my own calm sanctuary. My biggest struggle is pinning down the creative bursts and ideas that come to me when I’m not able to write — for me these often happen while I’m driving or showering or navigating school-related stuff with the kids.I definitely think a quiet consistent place is a necessity when writing and editing a book.

    Enjoy your trip. Sylvia is my beloved golden retriever, so I loved reading about the “Golden Retriever” couple. Golden owners are quite the spirited bunch and seem to love showing off their love for the breed. It cracks me up a bit. I’m not partial to any particular breed of dog and have loved all my canines, but I have to admit that Goldens tend to be a consistently pleasant-tempered breed. I honestly just think that dogs are angels walking around on four legs. I can’t imagine doing life without my sweet girls — even when they wear me out with their antics. Your Lucy stories ALWAYS bring a smile to my face.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip, dear friend!

    • Dearest Grief Happens,

      ***Thank you*** for loving anything about this post! That was such a nice first line of yours to read and really cheered me up. You sound like a true dog lover, and anyone who appreciates and adores dogs the way you do is super-cool in my humble (but 100% correct!) opinion! 😉 my Dad always dreamed of getting Golden Retrievers, yet for some reason that I’ll never know until I see him on the other side, he kept bringing home Irish Setters. I shall chalk that up to his quirky bipolar brain! Savannah sounds so cool. I’m a dork, but I always think of Kevin Spacey when I see the word “Savannah”ever since I watched him act in the film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. Ah, the associations we make, eh? Once again I want to thank you for always sharing such beautifully written comments that lifts my spirits! I’ll keep on with the Lucy stories because (as you know) I can’t help it, although today’s post recalls a time before Lucy came into our lives. If she was with us when my tale occurred, the incident most likely would have been quite different, and potentially scary! Anyway, I hope you’re having a non-freaky Friday. I will “see” you at your exquisitely written blog soon! Xoxo Dy

      • Your comments ALWAYS bring a smile to my face. I adore all things Kevin Spacey including his portrayal in Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil. I find him sexy and mysterious (and in true fashion, mysterious typically equates sexy in my book). I hope the week is treating you well and I look forward to catching up on your most recent post.

  8. I posted on Facebook the other day that of all the places I’ve lived around the country (North, South, Midwest, Southwest, Northern California,) that I have found the people in Southern California the friendliest. That’s especially true here in the Los Angeles South Bay, where I live.

    I tried to start a DBSA group a few years back. I really struggled to find a place to meet and finally chose my church as a last resort. My church is fairly remote, so it never took off as I had hoped. I think I may try again someday.

    Regarding Lose It! Please join, Dyane and I. Her support has been invaluable as I strive to reach my weight loss goal.

    • Hey Bradley, my Lose It! Partner in Crime,
      Well, you know I’m up here without internet until Saturday, so I’m tapping into the Village at Squaw Valley’s free WifFi. That’s interesting that you found SoCal to be the most friendliest spot compared to all the other places you’ve lived– my Mom lives down there. I know she’d love you and take you out to lunch if you’re near Pac Pal. I kid you not! I think you’d hit it off – she’s a former professional actress like your dear friend was, and Mom would very well know who your friend was, since Mom is 80. So let me know if you ever plan to be there! ☺

      Re: DBSA – ironically finding a location has been the easiest part of the entire process for me. I’ve gotten three churches, one community center, two yoga studios and a library to offer free locations. It’s facilitating the groups that’s the challenge….well, to be honest, it’s showing up and walking through the door that’s the true challenge! Good for you for making the effort to start a group!

      That would be very cool you might try to start a group gain someday. What about asking your library t provide a free spot if they have a community room?

      Re: Lose It! I’m still tracking religiously despite overeating every night (nothing too exciting – just cereal…..talk about Snoozeville! But it’s a bummer because I was not eating for hunger’s sake.) I’ll start again today – that’s all I can do, right? Tracking with Lose it! helps me feel like all is not lost when it comes to our hard work, and that’s a major blessing! It’s when I go “all or nothing” that I fall apart and uh, lose it when it comes to my motivation! (bad pun. I know) Thanks for writing, thanks for being mega-awesome, and after I finish writing this comment I’ll be sending you (((big bear hugs))))))) down south! p.s. I can’t wait to read that sermon!!!

      • I have no idea where or what Pac Pal is. LOL. Yeah, I tried so many routes to find a location. Our libraries around here only accept returning meetings once a month, rather than every week or every other week. The churches are booked to capacity from AA meetings. We have ALOT of AA meetings in Socal.

        I haven’t been on Lose It! for days. I’ve had a pretty severe stomach virus so I’ve eaten very little anyway. The virus is finally gone, but I’m still pretty weak today. I hope I’ll be back in action before the weekend.

        Glad you are having such a great time. I look forward to your feedback on the sermon.

      • Pac Pal is Pacific Palisades, sorry for that! 😉 So sorry about your awful-sounding virus – I noticed you were off Lose It!; please forgive me for not checking in…..try to get back into it today or this weekend, will ya? I’m counting on you! :))))) I’ll be better at checking in too; this long trip has gotten me off track in lots of ways. Thinking of you! Hope you’re feeling MUCH better today!

      • LOL I’ve never heard it Pac Pal. The virus is gone for the most part. I’m just left weak and listless. Going to take it easy as best I can (I have a therapist appointment) I’ll be back posting on Lose It! tomorrow

      • Glad the virus is gone for the most part, and I hope that your better-half Maurice’s doing absolutely fine. 😉 be sure to rest today, and I’ll look for you tomorrow or Sunday!

  9. I get the best ideas when I’m out in public, walking, driving, etc. I don’t stop to write, but maybe I should. By the time I get home, I’ve lost some of the thoughts. ☺ How did you have children who resist chocolate 🍫 ??

    Your arms…looking good, Dyane.🏆 Just don’t go too far, or I’ll have to mail you a sandwich. 🍔 or some pie. 🍰

    • Dear Super-Cool Van, Queen of the Emoji,

      First off, please forgive me for taking a week to reply! I don’t have internet at the Munchkin Cabin (which is technically a good thing) and I’m sending this to you from the top of Squaw Valley where they not only have free WiFi, but a magnificent view! ☺ I know you’d love it. As far as your getting the best ideas when you’re out and abut – I discovered the “record” featur eon my Memo app on my cell phone. Do you have one of those apps? You could talk into it for a minute and not lose those gems that pop up in your brain!

      I’m still baffled over why the girls aren’t chocolate fans like me. They are more like their father in that regard (he’s more of a berry pie kind of person) so it must be genetic! Re: the health/weight/yadda yadda yadda regime…it’s very strange. When I lose weight the adipose tissue disappears from my face and arms first – not from the stomach, of course! But I’m at maintenance now, and being on vacation has made me gain, not lose ###, despite hiking or walking every day. I still would take you up on that pie! 😉

      Hope things are going well in your neck of the woods….I mean down by the river! Xo

      • No worries on the delayed response…I love the response no matter when . Squaw Valley sounds great to me. Enjoy your stay, before school craziness begins. All is well down by the river. Just a tad warm/hot/sweltering. ☺

      • Thanks, my dear! Yes, school begins Monday and I’m treasuring the mornings before the rush begins once again! Hope it cools off down by the river! 😉

  10. I’m proud of you for being so “out” with your bipolar, my friend. You are so courageous. And kudos for working and working on the book!! Although I have to say (broken record here) that I MISS YOU on le Twitter!! No pressure there. Ok, a little. But I know you’re doing what’s right for you. What discipline you have!! I am very impressed with your accomplishments. And inspired. Keep it up!! Love ya…

    • Lovely BOF,

      I miss you on Twitter too, LOL! I’ll be back! I’m not sure about returning to Facebook, however – I get too sucked in there, but Twitter is “do-able”! In the meantime, I’m sending you lots of love – your comments always make me smile and feel good; you crack me up (in a good way) and YOU, my dear, inspire ME to no end! I’ll be praying to every God that exists that you get good news on that appeal! ((((hugs)))) my friend!

  11. Such a beautiful place in which to write! I’ve tried being the “write anywhere” type too, but so often my Mommy sensors pick up other kids whining, or my Old Fogie sensors pick up an elderly couple to see how they’re treated…ugh, I’m distracted WAY too easily. Still, it sounds like you and Craig have managed a good balance of time with your girls and time for you to work. You’re going to kick that MS’s butt, I just know it!

    I’ve noticed that about towns, stranger or not. The town we currently live in, where we hope to finally put some roots down, has had all but four genuinely friendly people in it: our old neighbors, and now our new neighbors. Everyone else pretty much keeps to themselves, which…okay, I have, too, but it becomes pretty noticeable after living in a town of 2000 for four years. Other places–well, take, Watertown, which I never shut up about. Plenty of friendly people to wave to, chat with if you’re in the mood. So maybe it’s the independent towns which have more of the friendliness vs. the suburbs, where people go to just sleep and drive into the “proper” city to work? Dunno….hmmm…makes me wonder about Milwaukee itself vs. the Milwaukee suburbs…
    GAH, anyway, that gelato place looks FANTASTIC, and for the record, my son Biff isn’t much of a sweets person, either. Oh he loves chocolate chips, but not any form of candied chocolate. Nope, not even M&Ms. He’ll even pick them out of cookies, the little loveable weirdo. 🙂

    Okay, you go back to writing. So glad you’re getting out, letting your mind reboot with all sorts of fun ideas. Have fun in those mountains–here’s to no bear encounters in your last days up there! Xxxxxxxx

    • Jean, Jean, my coffee queen! I’m including the following sentence because I loathe taking so long to write back: “Please forgive me for taking a week to reply! I don’t have internet at the Munchkin Cabin. “ Okay, now that I got that feeble excuse out of the way, I’ve been able to balance the family time and writing time here more than I thought I would.

      Since I last wrote, we moved over from Tahoma over to Alpine Meadows/Bear Valley, and people aren’t quite as friendly here. Boo! This will sound judgmental, but it seems there’s a lot more nouveau riche folks in this part of Tahoe. I wonder if that has something to do with it. Another boo is that this neighborhood has the lamest dog owners I’ve ever encountered, but that’s another post for another day.
      Biff sounds like a very cool weirdo to me, by the way! 😉 Candied chocolate is kind of gross. I’m such a snob!!!! But a lavable snob, right? XOOXOXOXOX

      • Oh yes, the most lavable snob ever! 😛
        Oh I get the whole “nouveau riche” thing–Wisconsin’s got these little hamlets of the lot scattered along the coast and then up in Door County (If you hold up your hand, it’s shaped like Wisconsin. Door County’s the thumb. :). Door County has all these wineries and uber-pricey stores, and it is also one of the snobbiest places in the state. Who’s got ten bucks for a pastry? NOT this gal!
        But but but, I AM glad you’ve got a good balance of writing and family time. That’s the most importantestestest thing right now. I’m wondering if I’ll ever do a hiatus from online realms now, but then, I wouldn’t get to chat with all you wonderful lovelies…hmm. Maybe if I do National Novel Writing Month again this year, I will. We shall see…
        All right, time for one more cup of coffee, and *shudders* grading essays. uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.
        xxxxxx 🙂

      • Could I please borrow you from your family for a month or two? I’d like to hire you as my coffee & tea drinking buddy and I want you to edit my book!!!!!!!!!! You think I’m kidding, but I do not jest. C’mon, think of it as a….hmmmmm…not sure how to put a spin on it! :)))

        Hope that grading essays went as well as humanly possible.

        Re: Virtual leave: You could consider partial break from social media – as you can tell, I stay on WordPress, and I take a Twitter and Facebook break.

        Oh, I must admit I also started using Instagram on my cell phone, which I’d like you to consider doing too. I haven’t seen you on it…I hardly follow anyone, so I don’t feel all that guilty!

      • No, I don’t do Instagram, though you’re not the first to say I should. I still need to get used to what I DO have on this ol’ laptop of mine! 😛 Maybe that’ll be a new thing I do for 2017. I’ve already told Bo I’d like to get that professional photographer friend of mine back for a photoshoot of our family, and then maybe some new shots of me (cuz, selfish) and maybe some nice springtime nature shots. So adding Instagram sounds a little less scary when I think of it as a natural addition to this whole platform-building thing…

        Sadly, I can’t leave the family for a month or two, though that is very, very, very, VERY tempting. 🙂 I wouldn’t mind a caffeinated bev buddy m’self! But seriously, if I’m not teaching next term (I’ll know by mid-September) I’d be happy to help edit if I can! 🙂 xxxx

  12. I’m so glad you are having a good vacation. I understand there’s a deadline involved, but I find it virtually impossible to write (or do anything productive) when I’m in a beautiful place surrounded by people I love. Good luck…I wish you much better success than I’d be having. I know you’ll get it done and look forward to reading it!

    • Please forgive me for taking a week to reply! I don’t have internet at the Munchkin Cabin,and it really cramps my blogging style!

      Hi Sharon! Since you wrote this comment, Lucy has woken me up at 5:00 a.m. every day here in Tahoe. Our routine: I take her outside to do her thing while I look up at the stars (!) and after that I feed her and make my coffee in the rental’s awesome Bodum coffee maker, which I’ve been tempted to “accidentally” pack to take home. Next Lucy sits on the balcony next to me whilst I edit & write (and take a break to watch the magnificent sunrise) for one-two hours. Everyone else sleeps, so I’m able to focus. What I’m trying to explain in a longwinded way is that the good luck you sent me worked, hallelujah! Thank you! I most definitely owe you one, make that two! :)))

    • Hi there Jennifer! The DBSA stands for Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance – they are one of the largest non-profit organizations that offer tools and support groups (online and in-person) to those with depression & bipolar. If you want to check them out they’re at http://www.dbsalliance.org

      Thanks so much for reading my post & for the kind words! :))))

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