Monday, March 20, 2017

When life gets hard

Hey everyone ( those that are even still around and didnt give  up on me), i cant believe its been over a month since my last post.  These last few weeks , life has been really hard.  There's always good to mix with it but combined its just been a lot! My mom flew in from Montana on February 16 to stay the month with us. During her long stay, she normally is passed around and stays with other family members  to visit. My grandma ( Nanny) went into the hospital on Saturday morning the 18th and has been there ever since. It began being just routine stay at hospital due to inflammation and swelling in her leg.  Nanny has diabetes and has a bad leg wound that wont heal. Its something we monitor very closely and its no big deal to go for a week once or twice a year to have IV's of antibiotic flow through for the infection and then have a wound nurse treat her leg when shes home.  She went in for that but then other things were found while having tests that werent good.  Things have been very touch and go and there was a few tense days and nights that we weren't sure she was going to make it through the night.   Having Mom here during all this has been a blessing because we've been driving to east Texas every weekend to see Nanny in the hospital and i know it would be even harder if Mom was still in Montana.  Its also been very emotional because for the first few weeks we were told that Nanny would be released so the plan was for Mom to go stay the week with her and take care of her but of course that never happened. Nanny continued to get worse and even had to be transported by ambulance to another hospital that was better equipped to take care of things such as dialysis that the other previous hospital didnt have.  She was in and out in daze and didnt recognize anyone or know why she was there. It was so hard to see her that way. She was swollen and in pain and it was heartbreaking. They got her started on dialysis and it made huge improvements! Nanny is now awake and can talk and recognizes everyone.  She just needs her kidneys to function.  We dont know whats next. Either she will be released to go home and have home healthcare assist and she will continue to get dialysis in nearby town a few times a week  or she may have to go straight to an assisted living center.
Mom has chronic Lupus as i think most of yall are aware of.  Stress makes lupus flare up and she's had some painful Lupus breakouts on her face, in her nose, on her head, etc.  She barely weighs 100 pounds and its been very hard to see Mom break down for fear of losing Nanny.  Emotions have been very high.  She also has very weak immune system due to Lupus which means its not good for her to hang out night and day at a hospital with all the other germs.  She feels bad that she cant be there everyday like her brother ( my uncle).  We 're doing what we can though because the hospital she's in is 3 hours away one way.  A lot of time in the car and that also wears Mom out.
The last 3 weeks i was also in a huge point of my job where i was training classes every day monday thru Friday for 4 hours a day.  That was 2 weeks straight.  There's been a lot of pressure and its still regarding our merge conversion so these people are just not happy at all to switch new systems that i'm training.  I finally was able to take one day off last week so that i could spend the day with Mom and i drove her to the hospital.   We have still managed to do some things that are fun and not stay completely in the house or go to hospital. We've had some visits with my friends that are also friends with Mom.  Mom and i went to see The Shack last Sunday and we've eaten out a lot. Todd has been traveling quite a bit too.
I also have a very very special dear friend that was diagnosed positively with prostrate cancer last week. Dr's said its not growing aggressively but its at medium speed. He goes in for consultation in a few weeks to determine which treatments he'll be doing , etc.   Makes me sad and scared but i know they can beat this since its been found early on.
I know i have also mentioned a few times about my friends grandson in Boston. Ari was on a heart transplant list and was also getting worse every week. Just before Christmas, the Dr's said that Ari couldnt go home until he leaves with a new heart.  By Gods Grace he got his transplant a few weeks ago too.  Just found out today that his little body is rejecting it. THEN their home has black mold and they have to completely demolish the home and rebuild and insurance isnt paying a dime. My poor friends are really dealt with some hard things right now.
I have missed blogging. Usually when i get so super stressed, i blog because it helps and its an emotional outlet. I literally didnt have time or the energy to post until today.  I feel like Debbie Downer and Doom and Gloom but i cant help it.   I am also so thankful and blessed to what i Do have and things going right.
I have missed my blogging friends and i hope 6 weeks dont go by again unless its something wonderful.  Oh and this Friday i am having gallbladder surgery. I've been in lots of pain and looking forward to hoping it eases up.
Life is hard but we just have to keep plugging along and take advantage of all windows of opportunity to do what you can .
Mom and i were in traffic and not even moving for 12 minutes so we took selfie
This is the day that Mom arrived
Quick selfie of brother and me with Mom
Had dinner with inlaws one night

Took Mom for yummy BBQ and fried okra
Lunch with friend Wendy and mom after church
My cousin Monya and myself with our sweet Nanny
Mom and Nanny
When the kids came we got into hot tub later that evening. So fun!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My FB garage sale find

Good morning! Have yall bought anything from the Facebook marketplace?  On my phone app. its the 3rd icon in the middle .  It shows you all the many things that people are selling.
Last Thursday, I came across a chair that i couldnt live without!!
It ended up being a huge pain in the neck to get the dang thing but i am happy with my purchase! I was supposed to meet the lady at a mcdonalds a few miles up the road off the highway after work. She conveniently forgot to meet me and said something came up after i was already there. So of course she tells me to come out to her house which is another 12 miles.  As i start in that direction, she finally messages me the address but it was too late because i had already missed the main turn for her road. She was out in the country and some roads didnt even have signs.  My GPS was even lost because it told me to turn right on a street that didnt even exist before it recalculated.  Once i finally got there, i noticed there was large tear or hole where the back was coming apart from the frame.
The lady asked me if i was just going to use for decorative purposes and put a plant on it?  I replied that i really wanted to use the chair as a chair and have people sit in it.  LOL!  So then she said that she had not noticed the hole until then but that her husband could fix it.
I ended up just leaving the chair so that he could repair it since he was a welder. She had volunteered him to come by my house but i really didnt want to bother so it was easier to leave. Then i was also supposed to meet her husband off the highway the following day but she didnt message me all day so i had no idea and had plans to see my stepdaughters soccer game an hour away.
Saturday morning, i drove back out there ( the direct way) and picked up the chair.  He fixed it as much as he could i guess but i'm happy! I have a bohemian theme in my backyard and patio and its perfect for that!!    The transaction was not easy but worth it.

So later on that day , i decided to sell our microwave that was sitting in the garage. I bought a brand new one for us during Christmas and its bigger and nicer.  I posted on the FB sites and got a few bites instantly. This one lady was pretty pushy and she said she would meet me the following morning at 9am .  That really wasnt a good time for me because i'm getting ready for church that day but whatever i was trying to be flexible.  I leave the house and get there a few minutes before 9 at the Aldi parking lot and i message her that i'm in a red toyota pickup.  Guess what- she was still in bed and was sick.   NOOOOO!!! I was so irritated that TWICE i was stood up in the last 3 days doing these stupid exchanges.  I ended up putting the microwave on my porch and messaged the next lady in line and told her my address and to leave money under the mat. 
It was 48 degrees and windy at outdoor soccer game

From now on, i am not meeting others again. If they want it- come and get it but you're coming to me!  Anyone else have any crazy exchanges ? I will say that its convenient to sell to an online audience and i've been buying a few things i didnt plan on. Its a little addicting.
Have a great day!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

The special gifts for Christmas- Shirt aprons

Yep, still talking about Christmas.   I saw an idea on Pinterest that i really liked and wanted to do for Christmas gifts for my stepmom Deb, My grandma Mimi and my 2 aunts Brenda and Tammy.
The idea is to take a mens shirt and have them made into aprons.   I told Deb that i had a special idea in mind and if i could have 6 of Daddy's shirts.  She still has his full closet of stuff.  She let me pick out some and i picked 2 that i actually had bought for Dad and seen him wear them often.
I asked a lady at work Penny if she could make them for me because i knew she knows how to sew.  I have a sewing machine but dont know how to sew.  I got to change that!!  Anyway, this was in November when i asked my coworker because i wanted there to be plenty of time before Christmas.  Her husband happens to be a pastor and so Christmas season is very busy for them. However, she volunteered her sister Michelle , who also could sew and definitely could use extra money.  YAY!
I printed out the ideas from Pinterest and wrote on the pages what i wanted.  I asked for the 6 shirts to be intermingled such as part of one shirt being used as the pocket on another apron, etc.  Michelle looked at them and said they would be no problem and that she only wanted 15$ per apron.
The day i brought the shirts to work to pass off to Penny , i explained my comments written on the pages and then i held one of dad's shirts and hugged it. Immediately i started crying.  I guessed it was like hugging him.
A few weeks later, i sent an email to Penny and asked her if she would tell Michelle to save any of the scraps.  I just didnt want any part of his shirts being thrown away.  I'm still just wanting to hold onto every little thing i have of his.  Penny never replied back.  She is super super busy at work so i didnt think too much about it.
The week before Christmas,  Penny brought the bag in with the finished aprons.  All of them were so cute!  I discovered the reason that she didnt reply back to my previous email asking for the scraps. She had already asked Michelle to make me a small lap quilt with the leftover fabric from the shirts. I cried and cried happy tears!! I dont have a picture of it but its so cute. Its at home on my quilt ladder.  Penny said that when she saw me crying while holding daddy's shirt, she knew then what she wanted to do.   I wrote the check for Michelle and tipped her on top of the fee because she did such a great job.   A cool thing is that Michelle brought the aprons to church to hand off to Penny to bring to me and when doing so, a few ladies from church saw them and now they are going to make some for fundraisers.
The week of Christmas i had lunch with Mimi and Aunt Brenda and gave them their aprons, i mailed Aunt Tammy's to her house in California, i gave Deb's to her on Christmas Eve and then i kept the last one for myself.  They all really loved them and i am so glad they do because i love mine. I've been using if too!

Friday, January 27, 2017

My height ruined my Christmas gift

I know  I know, Christmas was a month ago.  I'm kinda behind on things so bear with me.
When Todd asked me what i wanted for Christmas, i only had one thing that i really wanted.  I asked for a pair of Hunter glossy black rain boots.    They are stupid expensive and probably a little impractical because they're not something i'd wear too often except rainy days.   BUT- its what i wanted and when else can you ask for something you'd normally not buy for yourself but really wanted?
On Christmas morning, i was SOOO excited to open my box with boots on them. The official logo on the box, the printed wax paper that goes inside the box that covers the boots- the carry bag that comes with the boots. The smell of new fancy boots.  AHHH i was in love.

I had intended to wear them that day for Christmas lunch with Todd's family and i had my outfit already planned in my head.  I put them on and when standing, they seemed good. They went a tad over my knee but didnt think anything about it.  Yay- they were beautiful and looked good. Then i sat down.  The boots went directly under my knee in the back and it felt like razor blades cutting my leg off at the crease.   I happened to be wearing my sleep shorts so i had bare legs when i put them on.  That seemed logical still because i might wear them in a summer storm with shorts or skirt.  Oh well, i put some jeans on and tried again.  When i sat certain low chairs, the boots dug deep behind my knees again.   I sat in the recliner and pulled the bottom rest up and said as long as i dont have to bend my legs, they're great!!!  Todd laughed and said that is So something a woman would say to justify a purchase. 
My leg is at angle and i'm not standing straight up. The top of boot went behind knee. 

I really really did not want to give them up.  A few days later, i went to the department store and tried on a few other pairs but didnt like them as much.  You know when you have your heart set up something specific its hard to let go.  I asked if they had another pair of the same and the guy looked at me funny but he brought me a pair of the same boots same size. When i put one next to mine, it was a tiny hair shorter . I was so excited thinking for sure it would be the answer. I exchanged them and brought them home.
Sadly, i went to put them on again one morning when it was pouring rain and we were heading to church. They were so uncomfortable when i sat down at home. I knew i couldnt sit for an hour at church with them cutting my legs off behind my knees.  I had to return them and get a refund.  I havent given up though.  I went to the official website ( link above) and discovered that there are different styles and sizes. There is an original tall and an original short. Then there are original and adjustable.   Todd got me a gift card so that i can go to different department stores and see if there is a style i like better.
I never thought that my height would ruin my one prized gift i had been looking so forward to! I never considered that my legs would be too short to wear a rain boot.  Its bad enough i couldnt be a Radio City Rockette because i was too short.  Stay tuned for what i end up with . I am going to go explore this weekend.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Family gals and new places

Last night, we had a girls only family dinner. My aunt Tammy lives out of state in California and Idaho ( yes both). She is in town because we had my great aunts funeral this past Saturday. Aunt Edith was my grandma Mimi's older sister.  I suggested us all getting together one night this week so that we could hang out, have a glass of wine, and have fun outside of a funeral.  Last night was best for everyone so we met in Addison which is suburb of Dallas that was in between where we all live.

We had dinner at a great new place that i had never been to before. It was called Ida Claire's.
 On the website, its introduced as  Ida Claire- South of Ordinary... an intriguing, southern inspired destination for relaxing suppers, slow weekend brunching or a meeting hub for business lunches and happy hour.
Instead of happy hour  they have a Vinyl hour. They select a vinyl record and play it in its entirety from 3 to 6 with drink specials and appetizers only available then.  We had vinyl red  ( only 5$) which was their house blend and it was so good!  We asked our waiter to tell us what the label was called and he said Haze.  I'll be on the lookout for that!
The menu was very unique. Everything on it had its own twist of something different . They're most sold item is their homemade  fried chicken that is battered and fried at time of order. They also have chicken and waffles that came with egg sunny side up. Thats what scared me,  LOL- i hate runny eggs.  I had the shrimp and grits with the piquant sauce on the side and i never added it.  The grits were parmesan grits and they were wonderful!
This is just the Supper plate menu: I recommend you clicking on my link above and checking out their appetizers, drinks, and site items.  So good!
Wood Grilled Chicken
AFRICAN SPICED HALF CHICKEN,
COLLARD GREENS, GOLDEN
RAISINS, DELICATA SQUASH,
MASALA TOMATO SAUCE
• 18 •
Shrimp & Grits
TEXAS GULF PRAWNS,
BACON, PARMESAN GRITS,
SAUCE PIQUANT
• 19 •
Wood Grilled Snapper
CAST IRON SEARED OKRA,
CAMPARI TOMATOES, ALMONDS,
MINT, BASIL CHIMMICHURRI
• 19 •
WILD ISLES
SEA TROUT
MOROCCAN SPICED,
ROASTED BEETS, PICKLED
GRAPES, PRALINE PECANS,
FENNEL, LEMON YOGURT
• 22 •
Nashville Hot Fried
Chicken
SPICY CRISP HALF CHICKEN,
PIMENTO CHEESE TOAST, PICKLED
CUCUMBERS AND ONIONS
COOKED TO ORDER. FRESH TAKES TIME.
• 17 •
Pecan Smoked
Pork Chop
ASIAGO GREEN BEANS, FIGS,
BASIL, TASSO BUTTER
• 19 •
Chicken & Waffles
BACON LACED BELGIAN WAFFLE,
SUNNY SIDE UP EGGS, CRISPY
TENDERS, COFFEE MAPLE SYRUP,
BLACK PEPPER GRAVY
• 15 •
Wood Grilled Redfish
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER,
SPICED HAZELNUTS, GOLDEN
RAISINS, SAFFRON AIOLI
• 26 •
Braised Beef Short
Rib
GRILLED BROCCOLINI,
TOMATOES, OYSTER MUSHROOMS,
CORNBREAD CROUTONS


We ordered a slice of their pie of the day which was coconut creme and a slice of their Vice cake ( chocolate cake with bacon in the ganache icing).  All it was so good!!
The decorations were awesome. Yall know that i collect bird cages right? Well i was in Heaven because in one corner of the restuarant, they had at least a dozen of cool vintage birdcages hanging from the ceiling with lights in the them.  I'm already thinking of doing that at my house somewhere!
On the back patio is an airstream decorated so cool. You can actually dine in the car and of course it was always reserved. They had old vintage metal patio chairs outside.  On one of the walls inside they had old plates like hundreds of them hung.  I didnt get pics of everything.

Its always fun to try new places and especially when its good and yummy! I'll definitely be back.

It was nice to visit with my cousins that i really dont get to see very often unless its a funeral or family event.  We all said we would try to do better and get together more often. I hope so!! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Celebration of Life for Dad and a Regift

Good morning yall!  Last week was a tough week. I cried everyday and my eyes stayed swollen until this past Monday.  Last Thursday was the day my dad passed away a year ago.  I worked from home so that i didnt have to put on makeup and see anyone.  I cried pretty hard at moments.  I have to share something special with you though.
I sometimes hide precious things that mean a lot to me. My fear is if my house is ever robbed, i dont want them to find everything in my main jewelry box. Does anyone else have irrational thoughts and behaviors like that? ( I was robbed back in high school so there's a story behind my thoughts. I'll save that for another post).  I thought I had lost an amethyst pendant along with my senior class ring from high school. Its been at least 2 years since i had thought i lost them.   While working in my home office ( it's messy) on Thursday , I came across an old wooden jewelry box and of all things to found was that pendant ( along with class ring) Daddy had bought that necklace and matching earrings for me when I was in high school or early college. It was my very first set of "real grown up stones". It was funny because he got my birthstone mixed up with my grandmas. Mimi's birthday is February 17 and mine is May 17.  I can still remember the look on his face as i was opening my gift. He had his big goofy smile and his eyes were twinkling. He was as excited to give me the gift as i was receiving it. Daddy said to me " its your birthstone right? and i replied No Daddy, its even better, its Purple"!  My birthstone is emerald but i think all girls love pink and purple when they're young.   I still have the earrings and i had lost the pendant a few years ago or so i thought.  I can't help but think that was a sign from Daddy for me to find something so special that came from him on the very day i was grieving for him on his death anniversary.   I had shared this story on Facebook that day and one of my friends mentioned that he Regifted it to me. It made me smile and i needed that!  Oh and  I'm wearing my necklace right now with the pendant.

Saturday was the day of dad's party that i was not looking forward to. Quite honestly, i just wanted to put it behind me.  Funny thing is that so many of my family members and friends felt the same way. I ended up having a really nice day. It was emotional yes but it was shared with loved ones. We released 66 balloons ( Mimi had a special larger white one) and we  all read a prayer that Deb had printed out on little cards.  Then we just relaxed and shared stories about Daddy.  There are soooo many stories! Dad was one of a kind and so funny.  My stepbrother got a huge fire going outside in the fire pit and had tons of food and drink. Some of my closest friends came which meant so much to me.  My grandma Mimi was very emotional when she first arrived. She couldnt stop crying and even said she shouldnt have come.  I hugged her and told her that its good to cry on each other's shoulders. She also had a good time and was glad she came after all.   Mimi lost her only sister (aunt Edith) last month a few days after Christmas. In fact her funeral is this weekend.  I was not very close to my great aunt but i'm going for support to Mimi.

I think i've mentioned before how much i hate January right!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fly away sweet Queen Bee

Saturday was an emotional day. It was the same day we had Daddy's funeral a year ago. My stepmom Deb wanted to host a Celebration of Life party for Dad.  I was dreading it but it ended up better than anticipated.  I was going to fill you in on the party today but that post has to wait. When we got home that evening and was settling on the couch, i went on Facebook on my phone. One of the first posts i saw was someone saying goodbye to one of my friends Brittany. I couldnt believe it. I said out-loud to Todd " Oh No ! Little Brittany is gone".   Earlier that morning, i had posted a Happy Birthday post on her page.  I later read that she had gone into the hospital late Friday night and passed away early Saturday morning on her birthday.
I met Brittany around 5 years ago through blogging.  Her blog was BeeLittleQueen and then changed the name to Sunny Tales and Happy Mail.  Pretty much very soon after i started blogging. She was one of my first blogging friends where we always commented on each others posts.  We eventually became friends on Facebook and Instagram which was great. I never got to meet her face to face in person because she lived in Arizona. Brittany was in a wheelchair and lived on a ventilator since she was 23.  She had Spinal Muscular Dystrophy and had to start on wheelchair when she was 11 years old. She had to live in a special home for those who needed 24 care with her ventilator, etc.
We would text each other periodically and we always sent little packages to each other.  We even switched maxi skirts one summer.  She loved fashion and makeup and we would talk about her favorite brands, etc.
The last few years , Brittany struggled with her health more and more. She went into the hospital a few time due to infection around her trach, air leaking, etc.  From there it was domino effect with other parts of her body.  She didnt post the whole year of 2016 on her blog. Luckily she would post on IG or FB so i could see some activity from her.
A few years ago, she started going to the Church of Latter Day Saints and met some new friends. Brittany eventually got baptized and joined the church. She loved it and i was happy for her to have a new community of friends to hang out with and look after her.  She came from a hispanic Catholic family and had posted that she knew many of her family didnt agree with the Mormon church but they also encouraged her to make her own decisions.
Brittany was always the most positive person i ever knew. She had the most beautiful outlook of life and the sweetest biggest smile.  She so badly wanted to have a boyfriend and to marry one day.  Brittany wanted what all young women want. She was no different .
I will miss my sweet little friend but she is soaring high with the angels. Had i known just a few hours earlier, i would have dedicated a balloon just for her.  In fact, i actually grabbed 2 balloons to release for Dad which was funny.
I normally dont pick a word for my year like so many do.  I've tried once or twice and never carried through.  I am choosing Brittany's word Mindful .  I feel the need and it came to me last night while i was wide awake until 2am to carry on her word this year. The word is a good one and it applies to me as well.  I want to have a mindful year of what i am grateful for and pull my head out of the dark grieving hole i've been in.
Definition from dictionary (online) mind·ful
ˈmīn(d)fəl/
adjective
  1. conscious or aware of something.
    "we can be more mindful of the energy we use to heat our homes"