Friday, September 19, 2014

Resisting the urge to name every blog post "Hanging in there."

That is truly what I am doing.  Going to the pain clinic exhausted me the other day.  I'm working, my son is homeschooling himself with my daughter's help and I spent a lot of time yesterday cooking, doing laundry and dishes, art journaling, crocheting and generally trying to retreat and rejuvenate myself for a big effort today - I am finally going to see that other assisted living facility I have been saying I was going to go see for 3 weeks and I'm taking a friend with me for moral support.  Then, we are going to go to see mom.  I could use the moral support there too.  This weekend will probably be involved with some very intense cleaning out of mom's house.  We've been going pretty slowly so far and we need to up the pace and get it done so we can sell it ASAP.

The weather is cool and beautiful and I have a very, very good friend who will go with me so that I don't have to be alone.  I'm thankful.

This one is actually not quite done ... 

Playing around with painting a chevron pattern in the background.

It's crooked.  Oh well.

The scrap-ghan is going well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Up and down, lots of stuff.

It's just kind of crazy here all the time, it seems like.  Yesterday was a pretty bad day and a pretty good day, all in one.  It started out bad.  I woke up in pain, in my side and in my head with a very bad headache.  I'm still newish at this company and I don't like to take off work so I took some Tylenol and worked anyway.  While trying to get my work done, I had seemingly endless problems with the internet and the computer system that my company provides for me to work on.  Also, during the morning, I was trying to make soup that my family had requested I make and realized that I had bought the wrong supplies, I spilled coffee on some important papers, a pen exploded on my hand and the toilet overflowed.  I persevered though and then after work and all of this other stuff, it was time to go get my mom and take her to the pain clinic.  I had to go get her, drive her to the pain clinic and then take her back, which took several hours.  I was gone from 2-8 p.m. Thankfully, the pain clinic was running on schedule so that was very helpful.  Mom was not in a good mood, was not happy with the situation, and was certainly not happy about going back to her assisted living.  It was a very, very, very emotionally difficult journey.  I came home drained and discouraged.

When I got home, there were cupcakes (gluten free ones from Whole Foods!) and my family had finished making the soup that I had started that morning.  Then I got a couple of messages from my friend whose sister runs an art gallery.  My friend had shown her sister some of my work and she said that her sister thought my art work was beautiful, wants to have more of it, wants to sell it in her gallery and instead of having a show of my work in November as she had already promised (due to her sister's recommendation, without seeing my art) she wants to do it now.  I'm excited.  

So, you know, up, down, up, down.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Exciting day.

Yesterday didn't start off exciting, just a regular work day, but then last night we went to a "reveal party" for my brother and sister in law's fourth baby.  We all found out at the same time that it was a boy when the cake we cut into was blue.  It was fun.  They already have 2 girls and 1 boy so this one will even things out.  Then we played some games, introducing the group to Mille-Bornes the classic car racing card game.  It was fun.  After a while I sat out because of uneven numbers and had even more fun playing Headbanz with my niece and nephew.

While we were there, my brother-in-law checked his phone and found that my son had changed his status on Facebook to "In a relationship."  Very exciting.  I can't wait to meet this young lady.  Unfortunately, she lives in Mississippi, so it will probably be a while.  :-)

Day off today ... will probably spend cleaning my mom's house, not fun, but at least I will have 2 new things to smile about while I'm doing it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Checking off a few things.

I'm not getting as much as I would like done, but my daughter and I did go over to mom's house and clean for a couple of hours yesterday.  I'm going to try and do that every day that I don't go and see mom.  Starting tomorrow, I want to get some pictures of things that we will be selling.  :-(  Again, nothing I actually want to do but it has to be done.  At this point, we are talking to a lawyer about the best way to proceed with selling the house.  I think we got some bad advice from the people who are doing the VA benefits and we almost made a very costly mistake, but fortunately, we talked to the lawyer first.  I hope from this point on things will go smoothly.  That's too much to ask isn't it?  I am actually hoping and praying that the next door neighbors will purchase it in order to keep their wonderful peace and quiet there.  It's one of those situations where there are only 2 houses and they are pretty close together and all of the other neighbors are pretty distant, so it's kind of a weird forced intimacy (not really, but you know what I mean) with the one neighbor who is right there.

My son is doing well with school.  When my daughter and I came home from working on mom's house, he was cleaning the bathroom.  He's re-instated (on his own) the chores that are linked to when you get up in the morning (more chores the later you sleep).  He's making a concerted effort to try and get up when his alarm goes off, but hasn't done all that well with it yet.  Consequently though, he's been doing a lot of chores without being told, which is awesome.  The little anti-helper as we used to call him when he was a toddler, is growing up.

Instead of cleaning mom's house, I will go see mom today.  I dread it because I am driving a HORRIBLE CAR that puts me in a really bad mood every time I have to get in it and  because there is road construction that I will run into all the way up there and all the way back.  Last week, the 45 minute trip took an hour and a half.  Not fun. Part of me wants to post a picture of the vehicle I am driving and explain in detail why I hate it and psychoanalyze myself for feeling this way and another part of me just doesn't want to go there, so I won't go there, but let me tell you, it's not pretty and it brings up some aspects of my personality that I'm not proud of, for example, my pride .. I'm not proud of my pride .. that sounds funny.

Anyway, that's what's going on with us today.  There's a feel of fall in the air, there are reports of As and Bs from our son in college, school is going well here and I am feeling very grumpy and angry.  Not pretty, but true.

Keeping it real folks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September zipping by.

It's already the 10th!  I've got my third IV iron infusion today.  I feel better, that is for sure and I am very thankful.  We got together with our peoples on Monday, then yesterday I went to see mom.  I also tried to go to a different assisted living facility to take a tour because they emailed me out of the blue (had my email from my searches in April) and their facility is 800 dollars a month less.  I don't want to move mom but that is a substantial amount of money, so I feel that I should at least take a look.  I couldn't find the place though.  I didn't print the driving directions that I looked up because there were only a couple of turns, but then it turned out that I couldn't find the first street to turn on, so I just went on down to see mom.  She's doing okay.  Her memory is just awful, which is the point of alzheimer's disease, I know, but it sure is hard to watch.  I have been reading a lot about Alzheimer's prevention and I am now trying to get some sun/vitamin D (also taking a supplement), exercise, drink wine and take an aspirin once a day.  I'm not a fan of wine so that is very much like swallowing a bad tasting medicine to me, but I read yesterday that people who drink in moderation do better, so I am going to do it.  :-)  I will probably develop a taste for it eventually.

The drawings, above are some experiments that I have been doing with some daisy - like flowers. The top one I did first and loved it before I colored it, and hated it after I colored it, so I then experimented with leaving the flowers white and coloring around them, which is what I did on the bottom one.  I like it so much better.

In homeschool news, its going well, with my daughter's help.  I have asked our library to get a book on spelling rules that may help  because I'd like to take a look at it before purchasing it.  If the library can't get it, I will contact the owner of a local homeschool consignment store and see if she can get it for me. If not, I may purchase it.  I have found over the years that I have been disappointed with some of my book purchases because it is really hard to judge a book by a thumbnail photo and sometimes even other peoples reviews are not helpful (although it's better with reviews than just buying blind).  Anyway, that's today, September 10th, 2014.  :-)

Monday, September 08, 2014


Now that Mondays are my day off, I like them.  I know a lot of people are heading off to work and school and I sympathize.  I'll be right there with you tomorrow.  But today is full of promise.  Yesterday I had a day where I felt good.  This may be the first time this entire year.  Seriously.  I have been plagued by symptoms of pain and aching all year.  So anyway, yesterday I went to church, then went and cleaned my mom's house for a couple of hours, then went to the grocery.  I then spent the evening art journaling and playing Words with Friends, for once out of habit and not because that was the only thing I felt like doing.  I felt pretty good all day.   It was fabulous.

Then this morning, the pain woke me up again.


So we will see what today brings.  My plan is to go to the library, work on mom's house, call a realtor to come and look at mom's house and then we are getting together with our homeschool group tonight, so I hope that I will perk up soon and feel better.  Oh how I hope that.

Last week sometime I came and sat down at my computer to find that my blog was open and it looked as if someone had searched it.  My blog is not private from anyone so I was not concerned.  It turns out that my youngest son had been curious about when something had happened and had searched my blog to find it and had found a hilarious conversation between he and his sister.  The Human Bean Conversation.  So then, trying to find it again, I did a search on conversations and found a bunch of fun ones, mostly between the younger 2 kids.  The older son was already in middle school when I started this blog and therefore less prone to say hilarious things not on purpose, if you know what I mean.  I have a bunch of his funniness preserved in old handwritten journals that I need to dig out and look through.

Speaking of digging things out ... (I am rambling this morning), while digging through mom's spare room yesterday I found a lot of things that made me smile, old pictures, drawings that the kids had made and other things.  It was a happier than usual time in the house and I am really glad that mom is still alive and kicking while we are doing this in a way.  It's never easy, but with mom okay and dad having been gone almost 5 years, I think I am in a pretty good place to do it.  I hope this remains true and I don't end up bawling over there this afternoon.  Anyway, while I was digging the kids found the old stereo/record player and a bunch of records, which must be my brothers, so last evening, we spent listening to Man of La Mancha (actually that one is mine, I was in MOLM in high school) and The Beatles and then some of Paul McCartney's later stuff.  The kids are facinated by the old tech.  It's funny.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Life happens.

Life has been busy lately.  I have been trying to get some things settled for mom.  Yesterday afternoon was involved with talking with the attorney, trying to decide what to do about mom's house and car and talking to the advisers who are helping us get VA benefits.  We want to do everything right, legal and above board.  We don't want to make costly mistakes.  It's hard when you don't have any experience at any of this, being thrown in, kind of in the deep end, trying to figure out how to pay mom's expenses.  Then, of course, there is the emotional difficulty of packing up my childhood home, getting rid of things.  Since it's been so hot and the air conditioning in her house doesn't really have time to kick in while I'm there usually, there has been a lot of packing, sweating and crying.  It's not fun which is why I am not doing nearly enough of it.  I really, really, really need to get on it.  If I have time today, after taking mom to the pain clinic and working, I am going to try to go over there and work on it at least a little.  Tomorrow is garbage pickup day here and I want to have at least a few bags of garbage out of her house and ready to go.  Mom didn't live in garbage but did keep things like church bulletins and calendars and every Christmas card that she ever received and the taxes from the 70s .... so there's a lot of stuff there.  I do not feel up to the task either physically or emotionally, but it has got to be done.

One thing at a time though, today is the pain clinic, fingers crossed for a good outcome there.  My son will homeschool himself while I am gone.

I might crochet a little while I'm there ...

Monday, September 01, 2014

I have felt really bad the last couple of weeks.

 So I have been busy doing things that I can do from a comfortable chair; the scrapghan (most of this has been done by my daughter, but my son even did a few stitches) and a bunch of art journal pages.  I think this is about 3 week's worth.  I really need to be selling these.  I may have to go to the local flea market if it ever stops raining.  :-/  I did sell 3 of my artsy designs on Cafepress this week so I'm very happy about that.

In weird news, my oldest son went to the beach to celebrate a friend's birthday and got stung by a jellyfish.  Now for us landlubbers, that is a family first.  :-)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Positive encouragement.

Hope all is wonderful with you guys! I love keeping up with your kiddos adventures through Facebook! Wondering if you have any advice/wisdom/websites/helpful hints for me and Scott as we embark on the adventures of home school? We've decided it's what we want to do at least until middle school. If not for your children turning out so well!

I got this note on Facebook today from a family friend with a 2-year-old. How cool is that?

Then today I got another message from her that said 
thank you so much for your encouraging words and helpful information! The last part of the message was supposed to say "if it weren't for your kiddos turning out so well we wouldn't feel so confident and strongly about our decision." I'm super excited and so thankful and blessed to have someone like you to help and guide me.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hanging in here.

This is me when we recently went out for dinner.   I'm hanging in there.  I got up this morning and instead of working, went straight to the doctor's office because I was in a lot of pain.  Turns out, it is a kidney infection.  Oh well, at least that's something curable.  Until the next one.

We did start homeschooling this week. My son seems to be actually enjoying it.  I found some on-line German lessons - he wants to learn German because he thinks it will be easiest foreign language.  I ordered him a writing book, my husband is planning his math, he's doing World History.   The only thing that I am truly worrying about/struggling with is his spelling.  I am not sure how to approach this because he truly has a disability in this area.  I have been looking at software and apps and programs on line, but I am thinking that I will do a couple of things with flash cards.  One is maybe this set of Greek and Latin roots and the other is the other is the method we were using last year - the Dianne Craft method of teaching him how to spell by writing the words on cards and holding them up and having him move his eyes up and to the left, then close his eyes and spell the word.  It's taking a mental picture of it, which is what he seems to have difficulty with.

This week also, I started crocheting.  My friend Amy (Hi Amy!) posted a picture of a scrap afgan and I said that I thought those were neat and I might have to learn to crochet (again) and make one.  My daughter was so excited by this, that I would learn to crochet and also she liked the look of the scrapghan and she has a lot of leftover yarn ... so anyway, I mentioned this one evening, and by the next morning, my scrapghan had been started and 5 rows had been done.  Then, my daughter taught me to crochet again and I did about 25 or 30 stitches, then she took over and did a couple more rows.  It's funny.  My husband and I have been joking about what a good job I am doing and how sometimes I do a few rows in my sleep.  I am pretty amazing.  :-)


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