Off to Tahoe to Ice Skate & Edit, Perhaps Simultanously…


Squaw Valley, California

December 2012

In 2012, my family made our annual winter visit to Alpine Meadows located near Squaw Valley, California, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics. When we visited Squaw Valley, I wore a Santa hat proclaiming I was “Nice,” but in all honesty, it should’ve read “Hopeless.”

Craig, the girls and I rode the Squaw Valley Aerial Tram up to High Camp. I was severely depressed, extremely anxious (especially in social situations) and thirty-five pounds overweight. Although we were in a spectacular setting, I couldn’t appreciate the beauty that surrounded us.

To top it off, I was terrified of being in a metal box a whopping 2000 feet above the snowy ground, suspended by a cable which I thought might snap apart any second. I forced myself to go on the tram because my daughters loved it. When we reached our destination at the top of the mountain, I felt flat and Scrooge-like.

I hadn’t yet found the two meds that would lift my treatment-resistant bipolar depression: lithium & the MAOI tranylcypromine (Parnate). It wouldn’t happen for another year. (I write about how these meds helped me here and here.)

We’re heading to Alpine Meadows today, and I’m excited about it! Our Scotch collie Lucy is coming with us, and we’ll take daily walks in the snow. I’ll be wearing spikes on the soles of my boots; they’re a miraculous device so I won’t slip on the icy roads. Lucy’s thick, furry coat will come in handy in the cold. She loves the snow, and it’s so much fun to watch her romp around.

In book news, yesterday I received the edited file of my Birth of a New Brain manuscript from my publisher! I’ll be bringing my laptop so I can review the editor’s feedback and make the necessary changes. Lucy will sit in her usual place while I write: on my foot.

Apart from that, I’ll go ice skating with the girls. Skating is something I would never would’ve contemplated doing in 2012. I skated last year, and I had a blast until it started snowing hard. The skating rink’s ice plow machine broke, so the powder snow grew thick upon on the ice, yet we were allowed to keep skating. Let me tell you, skating through more than an inch of snow is not the ideal way to do it!

I want to thank each of you for making the blogosphere such a supportive place. I see it as full of virtual kindred spirits! Back in 2012 before I blogged regularly, I didn’t imagine I’d discover amazing bloggers who would add so much joy, inspiration, and illumination to my life. I’m so glad that happened – I’m so glad you all are not only “out there” (along with the truth – sorry, that’s what happens when you watch too many X-Files episodes) but in my heart too. Have a good holiday and see you late next week.

Lots of love,



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.

34 thoughts on “Off to Tahoe to Ice Skate & Edit, Perhaps Simultanously…

    • Thanks sweet Marie, you super star!!!!!! Maybe I’ll have the girls video me while I skate & share it next week – I’m a speedy gal on the ice! 😉

      I wish Lucy could skate by my side – that would be hilarious, and she’d go twice as fast as yours truly! XoXo

    • Thanks a million for reblogging my post, Jan! I’m honored! 😌

      Yes, it takes tremendous courage to welcome healing and growth, especially on days when all I want to do is hide. As you know, no one else can do the work for me, but surrounding myself with positive, loving people (and encountering bright lights such as yourself in the virtual world ✨) give me hope and strength as I face each day.

      Have a wonderful holiday, Jan, and thanks again for your kindness!

      take care,

  1. Happy Hannukah! Happy Holidays! Happy bipolar recovery thanks to the right medication combination! So happy that you, too, are enjoying a reprieve from bipolar symptoms. So happy to count you as a friend. Enjoy the snow and ice.

    • Thank you Kitt! I hope you had a great Christmas!
      I’m writing this from the snowy slopes of Tahoe to let you kow how much I value our friendship – it is one of the biggest gifts the blogosphere has given me. I wish you and your family a wonderful 2017 love, Dy

  2. There are so many good things about this post. I’m most impressed with how you are handling the list of edits your publisher sent you. I remember when you worried about that. Enjoy your vacation!

    • Thank you, Bradley – sorry it took me forever to reply. We’ve been here in Tahoe since Friday without internet at the cabin. My cell works, but I don’t like using my cell phone to reply to comments here & at your blog. (That’s why my comment on your new post was so brief – you know me….I usually write a novella! Cell phones don’t cut it!)

      Anyway, I’m so glad you got an “A” for last week and I hope you get another A this week!!

      Thanks for the kind words you wrote here. I’m still really worried about the edits, but in my rush to get the blog post done in time, I didn’t go into those fears. Maybe I’ll do it this week – there are some brand-new freak-outs I’d like to share and receive feedback about. Anyway, merry belated Christma, my friend. Sending you huge hugs and lots of love!!!!!

      The Captain

  3. This is a sweet post. It started in this negative space and blossomed into something so hopeful and promising. Love it. Best of luck to you! Remember that everywhere you travel is an experience that you were born for. We have this one world and one chance to live on it. Have the best time with your family!

    • Thanks so much for writing, Eric and I apologize for my late reply. I’ve been without internet since last week and that really cramps my blogging style.;) Your comment brought a smile to my face. I will remember your wise, inspiring words while I’m up here and when I return to regular life. One of my favorite songs is by Crowded House and it’s called “Love This Life” – I think you’d like the lyrics:

      “Love this life – don’t wait ’til the next one comes…
      And maybe the day will come
      When you’ll never have to feel no pain
      After all my complaining
      Gonna love this life.”

      I wish you a wonderful 2017 – your best year yet!!!!
      Take good care!

      warmly, Dyane

  4. Wishing you and your family a holiday full of joy and delight along with success and happiness in the coming year! Enjoy your white Christmas adventure my friend!

    • Thanks, dear Martha! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! We’re up in Tahoe another week without internet at the cabin, but they have many great internet cafes with housemade muffins & other treats galore.

      Did you see that my friend Marie Abanga posted a review about your book on her blog and tweeted it? I re-tweeted it and I’ll read her review as soon as I can. I’m so happy she found you and your memoir!!!!

      In the meantime, I’m sending you (((big hugs))) from snowy Alpine Meadows,

      Dyane :))))

  5. This all sounds absolutely wonderful, SpyDy! And that’s excellent news about the edits. Don’t get stuck behind that computer too often, now–especially when there’s skating to do! Will you listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas skating music as you go? 😛

    While I have to spend Christmas Day with my inlaws (sigh) I have a Christmas Eve to spend with my family. Just my kids and my husband. Just at home. No running around or insane plans. For the first time in years, I get to have a quiet Christmas Eve at home.
    And after all that’s happened these past few months, I can hardly wait. 🙂

    A blessed Christmas to you and your family on two legs and four. The connections I’ve made here have been such a blessing in my life. May the coming year be filled with just as much love and excitement…and God-willing, a little less heartache. xxxxxxx

    • My dear friend,

      I write this to you from the Crest Cafe in snowy Lake Tahoe. I’m using Avonlea’s Chromebook and let’s just say the Chromebook keyboard and I do *not* get along! She needed to use my laptop for some reason and I caved. I’m such a softy!

      I hope you got through Christmas as well as possible given all the sorrow you’ve been through lately.:0 At least you had that quiet Christmas Eve, yes? (I really hope you did!)
      When we visit the ice skating venue I’ll suggest to their staff that they play Charlie Brown Christmas skating music – hey, you never know unless you ask!

      I wonder what you’re up to today – I’ll pop over to Twitter and see what you’ve been checking out. In the meantime, please know I’m thinking of you often, sending you LOTS of love, and I’m incredibly grateful to call you a kindred spirit friend of the highest degree!

      Your devoted Java Queen,
      The one…the only….SpyDy 😉

      • And I’m so grateful to you, too, one and only SpyDy! I do hope they play the music while you skate. There is no way in Whispering Woods that they don’t have such a skating classic! (sorry, Thomas and Friends is on here. The words rather spill on as I go)
        I’m doing okay. I’m focusing myself on what needs to be done, what I can do with my kids and for my family. Christmas Eve was quiet, thankfully, Christmas Day with the in-laws was…well it wasn’t horrible so much as just really dull. Yesterday we saw my godmother, though, which was really sweet, and today I saw an old church friend for the first time in a year. Now tomorrow I’m going to let myself write and use my brain for something other than grief. I’m thinking I might also look into a local Suicide Awareness organization just to see if our church could maybe get involved somehow…
        So that’s me.
        Hope you get your computer back in one piece! 🙂 Ever your kindred spirit xxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Have a great trip, take lots of great photos so you can blog about it later and I can be jealous as I have an 80 degree Christmas (which stinks, BTW)!


  7. Hope you and your family have lots of fun. It’s so great that with your meds, you can finally actually embrace and enjoy this time. And thank you for being here too! You are truly an inspiration!

    • Oh, Supermommy – I appreciate your support on this blog SOOOOOOO much – any time I read your comment I feel a burst of positive energy. Just now, I re-read this comment of yours (Now that I can use the cafe internet & reply!) and it really helped me because as I read it, I got a text from my Mom reminding me that my Dad passed away on Jan. 6, which is tomorrow. I forgot that tomorrow is The Day and it really upset me, but then I read the rest of your comment – YOU, who truly understands my sadness, and your comment lifted me up. So bless you, beautiful mommy, for all sorts of reasons!!!!!!! Lots of love to you and yours! DyDy

  8. Have a nice time @ the cabin! I know it’s so restorative for you! Glad you got your edited manuscript back..I’m sure you don’t have many changes to make. Just git er done so u can have fun! I wouldn’t let it ruin your vacay! (This coming from the girl who is contemplating bring my 1st draft of DinerGirl on her vacation!!!) aaargh! Have fun babe! You deserve it! 😉

    • Wendyyyyyyyyy!!!!! I’m still at the cabin – we couldn’t resist staying here so long since the owner rents it to us for almost nothing. She treats Craig like a friend, almost like a son, really, more than a tenant.

      Thanks to the huge snowstorm I’ve been very motivated to sit my butt down every day and work on edits. There aren’t that many notes, but when I review every page I see plenty of little things I want to fix or cut (I prefer to cut because the thing is TOO long!!!!) and I’m going for it.

      Anyway, I think you’re on a cruise while I’m writing this, and if so I hope you are having a FABULOUS time! Lots of love, and let’s connect when you return & get settled – I miss you!!!! XOXOOXOXXOOOXXOXOXOOXXOXOXOXOXXOXOXOOX

  9. Thanks for the like. Your posts are a great personal insight and very conversational in structure.
    My bipolar started in full in college. I am sure that I struggled with depression and bipolar in high school, but at the time there wasn’t much known I suppose about it in Rural plains college, After near suicidal attempts, fights and sleepless nights of drinking and women I had enough clarity to see that I wasn’t ” normal”.
    Without wellbutrin, Lamictal and adderall I wouldn’t have the sobriety now that I’ve had for 10 years or the successful business life and personal relationships. As you can see by my blog, I have some very real struggles. But I am hoping the blog will help with the resolution.
    Thank you, great blog!

    • Please forgive my late reply – I’ve been without the internet for a while, but I finally got to a cafe, hurrah! Thanks for your kind & lovely comment! I’m so glad you’re doing well and that you don’t see meds as the “enemy” – they don’t need to be, as you know. I hope you had a nice New Year’s and I wish you the very best for 2017!!!!!

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