Saturday, December 31, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 31!

Weekend Free-Write:

Finally made it to the end of the month!  I can't believe we are less than 24 hours away from a new year.  Looking back now, the year seems to have flown by with crazy speed.  There were a LOT of "downs" for me this year, and I'm hoping that by surviving through those, it means there are lots of "ups" for me this year.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I finally managed to sleep in until 11:30 today.  I woke up with the same headache I've had for over a week, and feeling like I didn't sleep a lick.  I know it's all stress related, but I really could use a break here!  I guess it's time to get that cup of coffee that is screaming my name.  I am LOVING my new Keurig coffee pot!  It came with a bunch of samples, so I am working my way through those before I go out and buy more coffee.  I want to be sure which ones I like the best before spending the money on it.  So far, there is only one that I LOVE!  But I am enjoying them all, and the ease of the machine!

I also made ice cream in my new ice cream maker last night.  I haven't tried it yet.  I went with simple vanilla, because I really like vanilla ice cream, and I figured I better go with the easy recipe until I am familiar with the machine.  Looking forward to trying that out.

I volunteered to take on another shift tonight.  We had another lady working Saturday nights, and she is no longer there.  Instead of filling her position, my boss has been working her Saturday shifts.  I take them whenever I can, because I really need the hours badly.  I don't want to "commit" to working all Saturdays, because it's really my only day to spend with the kids.  We spent so much time together this week, that I figured it was safe to take this one.  That, and the money is screaming my name.

We really had a wonderful time in Angola this week.  The kids had lots of Christmas money left over, so we got to do some shopping.  Seth bought Legos, of course.  Kylie got a TON of super cute clothes, and a homecoming dress that we found on clearance for $27!  Kensie got some Littlest Pet Shop stuff, a few other toys, and a really cute outfit from Kohls.  They have a dollar store over there that is just incredible!  I make sure I stop in every time we are in town.  The kids and I spent quite awhile in there, grabbing different things. I got some new pot holders, that I DESPERATELY needed.  Found a few things that will be handy for camping.  Kensie got a few things for a friends new baby.
The highlights of the week, though, were visiting with family and meeting up with Katie, Fred and Jeremiah for lunch.  They drove up from Ft. Wayne and met us at Applebees.  We had a great time catching up, and before I knew it, we'd been in the restaurant for 2 hours.  That happens to us a  They are coming up at the end of the month for a geocaching event here, so it won't be too long before I get to see them again.

I hope everyone has a fun, and safe, New Years Eve.  I also hope you all have an incredible New Year!  See you in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 30!

Friday, December 30, 2011
What are your resolutions this year?

Along with most other people, I'd like to lose weight.  Until my gall bladder issues are taken care of, though, I don't know that that is a possibility.  So one of my top resolutions should probably be to get my gall bladder out.  Find a way to get insurance, and get it removed....asap.  Also, to spend more time with the kids, and friends, and our families.  I want to spend more time camping, and enjoying nature with everyone.

Everyone on the house managed to sleep in today, except me.  Mackensie was the first up, at noon, followed by Brad.  I finally woke the rest up at 1PM.  I made brunch for everyone in the new electric skillet I got for Christmas.  Scrambled eggs and bacon, cooked in the same pan=YUM!  Then it was back to work after a few days off.  Was nice and busy, so it helped me build some hours.  Had another death row rescue at work today, and managed to find it a home right away, so I felt pretty good about that.  Then it was back home to cook myself dinner, and now I am waiting on my very first batch of homemade ice cream in my new ice cream maker!!!  Hoping it turns out good, cuz I'm really craving some!

I picked up an extra shift at work tomorrow.  Trying to get as many hours as possible.  Luckily, it's an evening shift, so I may just get to sleep in tomorrow!  I'm certainly not going to hold my breath though.  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 27, 28 AND 29!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
What was the best gift you gave this year?
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
What is more uncomfortable - regifting or returning a gift?
Thursday, December 29, 2011
What are you looking forward to in the new year?

Well, it turns out that I am not very good at blogging while on "vacation".  This week was our last "family" Christmas of the season, and it is out of town, so we were gone for 3 days.  The kids and I made a mini-vacation out of it, and needless to say, by the time we got back to the hotel each night, I was too pooped to blog.

So, the best gift I gave this year...I guess I'm not really the person to answer this.  But I think it would be one of two gifts.   1) the bracelets Kensie and I made for Brads mom and sister out of clay, or 2) the no-bake cookies we made my brother.  He used to LOVE them when we were kids, and would make me make them for him all the time.  So this year, he got several dozen for his present.

What is more uncomfortable, re-gifting or returning?  I don't usually re-gift, or return, so I can't really answer this one either.  I guess if I had to though, I would say re-gifting.  

What are you looking forward to in the New Year?  Hopefully, a new/better paying job.  I LOVELOVELOVE the job I have now, but it doesn't pay enough to cover the gas to get there, let alone survive.  

So as I look around my room while typing this out, I realize that I am not even all the way unpacked yet.  Guess I need to get busy on that.  Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to get the tree down and get our house back in order.  Hope everyone had a great holiday season.

Monday, December 26, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 26!

Monday, December 26, 2011
What was your favorite gift you got this year?

My Christmas isn't over yet, so I can't answer this question today.

That being said...I've had a REALLY long day.  Took my boss' shift today, so I was at work from 7:30AM to after 8PM, and I am exhausted, to say the least.  Still have a long day ahead of me tomorrow, but after the drive, we will be visiting family in Angola, so it will be worth it.  Looking forward to spending some time with the kids, since I didn't really get to Christmas...or the day after.  I believe the hotel has WiFi, so I should be able to still blog...if I don't pass out from exhaustion first.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 25 & 26!

Weekend Free Write

Well, this weekend was Christmas.  We started it out going to my moms on Christmas Eve and spending some time with her, my dad, my brother and his family.  We had a great visit, but it always goes way too fast.  Here is this years family photo.  It's minus a few people, but they were in our hearts.

We have a tradition in our house that we get to open one present on Christmas Eve.  It's always pajamas.  I have so much fun finding the pajamas for the kids each year.  Here is this years:
Mackensie, Kylie, Seth
Tennyson and Caiden
After leaving my moms, we started the 2.5 hour drive back to Indiana, and straight into my work, so we could feed the animals, and let them outside to do their business.  While we weren't paying attention, it appears that Santa Paws snuck in and left little stockings for all the fur-friends!  It looked SO incredible, and I can't wait for their humans to see them!

We woke up this morning to find that Santa Claus had visited our home as well.  Spent a little bit with the kids, watching them open their presents, and then I headed into work.  What I had hoped would be a 2 hour shift, turned into much, much, longer.  When I finally got home, the kids and I spent some time playing with the sculpting clay that Santa brought them, watched a few movies, and are finally turning in for the night.  It's been a long day, and we still have a long week ahead of us.  Double shifts at work tomorrow, and Tuesday we head back to Angola for our last "family" Christmas of the season.  Donna always gets us a hotel room, and we are looking forward to not only spending some time with the family, which is the best part, but also swimming, and a few runs down the toboggan slide at Pokagon.  I love that State Park, and it feels like a second home to us, so we are always excited to head back.

I will leave you with one last Family Christmas photo, just because it has us all cracking up.  This about sums up our family.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 23!

Friday, December 23, 2011
What will you be doing over the weekend?

I've already talked about this in a previous blog, but I will do it again in this one, just because that is what the prompt is asking me to do today.
So, Friday, I am working an 8 hour shift, minimum.  The kennels are going to be PACKED full this weekend, so I am going in early to be able to take them back as they arrive, and that way the Vet. Techs can concentrate on their work.  After I get home that evening, (this job is 2nd shift), I have to finish wrapping some stuff because Saturday morning we take off to Michigan to my moms.  After all day and evening there, I go straight from there back to work.  I will be there a few hours, kids in tow, letting the animals out and feeding them.  Then it will be back home, while I wait for the kids to fall asleep so Santa can come.  We will wake up early Christmas day and do presents, and then I get to go BACK to work, again.  Then I will come home, and probably collapse.

Tonight, my daughter Kylie was a HUGE help.  We managed to get the most tedious part of the home-made Christmas gifts done, with the help of Mackensie and Seth.  Then Kylie helped me in the kitchen with baking what felt like a bazillion and 6 batches of cookies.  Also made some of my seasoned oyster crackers, because I was beginning to get threats at work for letting the supply run low.  It is 12:48PM, and we are just now getting off of our feet and out of the kitchen.  But, it's done, and it's one less thing I have to worry about before going to my moms.  I'm not sure how I'm gonna manage to find time to blog this weekend, but for the few of you that actually read this, I will try my best.  If for some reason I am unable to, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!  I  hope you get everything you asked for, and more!

NaBloPoMo Day 22!

Thursday, December 22, 2011
What are your favorite holiday traditions?

When I first read this theme, I thought "well, we don't really have any 'traditions' in our family".  But then I realized we sort of do.  

The kids are allowed to open ONE present on Christmas Eve.  It is ALWAYS pajamas.  They never know what kind of pajamas they are going to get, but I always have a riot picking them out.  I am SUPER excited for Seth to see his this year!  

Christmas 2009

The other tradition that we have is that we ALWAYS go to my moms on Christmas morning.  It's something I've done for 35 years.  This year is going to be different, as we have to do it on Christmas Eve due to some scheduling conflicts within the family.  It will seem different on Christmas, not being with my mom, but at least the kids will be able to stay home and play with their gifts, etc.

Christmas at Grandma and Grandpas 2009

In other news, I got ALL my Christmas shopping done.  Half of the stuff wrapped, and a LOT of cookies I need to bake.  So tonight, and tomorrow morning, are gonna be super busy!  Hopefully it will make time fly, and Christmas come quickly!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 21!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Pick 5 bloggers and say what you would give them if you could.

Well, I only follow one blogger, *gasp*, so this is pretty easy for me!  If I could get Jeremiahs Mom a trip for the two of us to spend a week at the ocean.  She has done this several times, but with family.  This would be just a girls weekend, us two, relaxing, forgetting life, chugging sipping drinks, shopping, but most importantly, swimming with the dolphins.  I've always wanted to do that, and I think she would be a riot to do it with!

Today I get to Christmas shop.  FINALLY.  4 days before Christmas.  This is last minute, even for me.  It's going to be a nightmare.  But, last night I managed to get TWO homemade gifts done, and several others into "stage 2".  I'm so excited to show you all pictures, when I finally can!  I also got what presents I had already wrapped.  I absolutely HATE wrapping presents, and the only place I really have to do it here at the house is on my bed, which is HORRIBLY uncomfortable after a few hours of sitting up on.  It's also a pain to try to cut a straight line.  Normally we take everything to the Nature Center and use their big banquet tables to do it.  I say "we", I mean "me".  I swear, next year I'm starting my shopping in January, and I am gonna wrap each thing as it's bought, so I'm not stuck doing it all at once!  

And my shopping tops off with work later this afternoon.  I'm pretty sure I will be ready for a nap by the time I get there.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 20!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
What was the most important gift you ever received?

I'd have to say that the most important gift I have received is my GPS unit.  Such a small piece of technology has brought me so many incredible memories, and more important, friendships, through it's use in geocaching.  

Another boring day around the house today.  Had a MONSTER headache that kept me in bed most of the day. About 1PM I finally started to feel better, and by 3PM, it was gone.  Was looking forward to doing some things this evening, but as always, that didn't work out.  So, Brad is off with the kids, doing their thing, with my van, and here I am at home still.  Did I mention this was my ONLY night to Christmas shop for the kids?  I haven't been able to get them a single gift until today, and now I can't go.  This is gonna make for a VERY bad Christmas season.  I am off Thursday, but our attempt at the first and second round of the homemade gifts failed miserably.  We think we have it figured out now, but that means the only time that I am going to be able to get together with the kids to do it again is Thursday, due to my work schedule.  I'm screwed.  
So, like has been the norm lately, I blew up.  I guess I've just been pushed and pushed and pushed so much that all this tension inside me builds up, and eventually comes out in the form of a temper tantrum.  I'm just tired of it all, being stressed about money, not having money for gas to even get to work to make money, not having money for Christmas, constantly being nagged from the homefront, inability to find a better paying job...I'm just exhausted and ready for Christmas to be over.  
This is also the first year in my entire life that I won't be at my moms on Christmas.  We have to do it Christmas Eve this year, due to my brothers girlfriends schedule.  This also means my oldest daughter and my grandson won't be able to attend.  I'm crushed.  For the second year in a row, I don't get to spend Christmas with my daughter.  I realize compromises need to be made, but it's hard when you've done things 1 way for 35 years, and all of a sudden they get changed.  The one norm in my holiday season is that I got to go to my moms on Christmas.  
This also means that I get to wake up Christmas Eve, drive 2 hours to my moms, stay all day and most the evening, drive 2 hours home, plus an additional 20 minutes because I have to go straight into work.  I get to spend a few hours there, dragging the tired, worn out, kids along, then go home.  At this point, probably around midnight, I have to get the kids in bed, and then wait for them to fall asleep.  Then I get to play santa.  Eventually, probably around 3AM, I will finally get to go to bed.  I'm sure the kids will wake me up nice and early, for presents.  I get to rush them through that, because I have to turn around and be back at work, again, by 8AM.  

So you can see why my holiday season isn't being very "merry" at all.

shortly after starting this rant, it came to me that I can just shop for them before work tomorrow.  BUT...I still have to find time to WRAP everything.  Add that to my list of stresses.

Monday, December 19, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 19!

Monday, December 19, 2011
Do you give a gift when you buy it for someone or do you wait for a holiday/birthday?

Well, I guess that depends on if I bought it to give them for a holiday, or for "just because".  I generally don't like to wait, but if it was purchased for a specific holiday, then yes I do wait.

Made the cookies yesterday.  Didn't get to the chocolate chunk ones that I wanted to, but the sugar are done.  Also, the kids and I worked on the gifts we are making everyone.  We thought of a little "personal touch" to add to each one, so I am pretty excited to pass them out.  Even Seth had fun getting in on the action.  Can't wait to see how they turn out after we finish them.

It's Monday, so I work tonight.  I'm not feeling the best, horrible migraine.  To be honest, I'd rather stay in bed.  I'm getting a little panicked over a financial situation and Christmas.  Lets just say I am nowhere near done shopping for the kids, and there are only a few days left.  I need a miracle right now.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 18!

Sunday, December 18, 2011
Weekend Free-write

Again, not much to post about today.  Got far too little sleep last night, and had to work this morning.  Took Kota with me, and the doctor put her on a medication to hopefully help her diarrhea.  If that doesn't help, we will try something else in a week.  She has lost just over a pound, which in a dog is something we need to monitor as well.  Her and I came home and both desperately needed a nap.   I'm not one to argue with a pup, so here we are:

Later this afternoon, I'm going to make some Christmas cookies.  I got stuff to make goulash for dinner.  I LOVE goulash.  Then, because I took a nap today, I will probably be up all night again.  Someday, perhaps when I am 90, my sleep schedule will figure out it's doing it wrong.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 17!

Saturday December 17, 2011
Weekend Free-write

Not much happened today.  I was up most of the night, and morning, and back up at 6AM unable to fall asleep.  Dakota is sick, and I'm beginning to worry about her, so I am going to have to take her to work with me and have a vet look her over.  It's not like her to be sick, and it's been going on for about a week, so it's more than past time.

Kylie and I went to Michaels today and picked up a few things we needed for our homemade Christmas gift project.  I know I said I'm not crafty, and I'm not, but I got the idea from my boss.  So I figured we would try it.  Will know in about an hour if we were successful or not.  I can't post pictures yet, because some of the people getting these follow my blog and that will ruin things.  BUT...while in the process of doing that, I decided to do something else...

So my work took up a collection of $10 from each employee to buy the Dr's a present.  I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I don't have $10 to donate.  $10 is a whole present for one of my kids, and since we are already scraping the bottom of the barrel, I decided I wouldn't participate this year.  Needless to say, that didn't go over too well.  But as it turns out, none of the kennel workers are doing it, so now I know I am not alone.  Then I got to thinking, even though I SUCK at crafts, there is no reason I couldn't MAKE something for the doctors!  Here is the result of that endeavor.  It's a tealight candle holder.
Corney, I know, but this is the extent of my craftiness.

 Working again tomorrow, and Sundays are my early shift.  So, I need to get off here and pretend like I'm falling asleep.  Tomorrow after work is Christmas cookie time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 16!

Friday, December 16, 2011
What was the last handmade gift you gave?

When it comes to "craftiness", I have NONE.  I can't draw, I can't crochet, I can't paint, I can't...nothing.  I SUCK at things like that.  So in trying to come up with what the last "handmade" gift I made was, well, let's just say this one is a bit of a struggle.  The last thing I actually made was the stockings for the pets at work, but they haven't gotten them yet, and they aren't "human", so I'm not going to count that.  I guess I need to go much further back...

When I was a little girl...I don't even know how old, to be honest, but my parents were still married, so sometime before the age of, say, 3, my brother and I, along with the help of my mother, made a garland for the Christmas tree.  She took cut up pieces of straw, about an inch long, and pieces of construction paper cut into 1 inch squares.  She hole punched the center of the squares, and then we alternated between the two onto string.  I don't remember doing it, but I remember it always being on our tree.  To this day, it is on the tree at my mothers house, it's over 30 years old, and slightly beat up and a lot faded, but it's still on that tree.

Several years ago, I was really hurting for money at Christmas.  (seems to be a pattern) I wasn't going to be able to get my mother any gifts, and it was killing me.  Then it hit me...we need to make a new garland.  One from the grandkids.  So my kids and I set out to cutting thousands of 1 inch squares of construction paper, hole punching them, and cutting straws.  Turns out, not any straw will do, because they go right through the hole you punched.  We needed McDonalds straws, they were the only ones that I could think of that would be big enough.

So my oldest daughter, Tennyson, and I headed out to town to get McDonalds straws.  We went in, and go figure, someone was working on the drink machine.  We tried Arbys, too small.  Taco Bell, too small.  Burger King...that was an adventure.  We sat in the parking lot, binoculars in hand, and scoped out the drink station.  It was right next to the registers, so we passed.  We finally ended up taking a bunch from Subway.  Here we were, acting like we were trying to rob a bank, all for straws.  I still wonder how we would have explained that to the cops, had we gotten caught.

So Christmas came, and we presented my mother with her gift.  I guess I didn't realize how  important the garland my brother and I made was to her, because she cried when she opened the new one.  I knew right then that even without money, we had managed to figure out what THE perfect gift was.  

What I DIDN'T realize is that we probably should have measured my mothers tree before making our version.  Needless to say, my mom can now garnish her entire house in our garland, and we even had some left over to put on my brothers new artificial Charlie Brown tree.

That was a good year.

Picture this with white straws, and little squares, not butterflies.  Sorry, it's the closest I could find online.

Because I am writing this one at 3AM, before I have gone to bed, and before the day has even started, I don't really have much to update.  It's Friday, I think, so I have to work this evening.  I made some amazing seasoned oyster crackers and took to work last week, that turned out to be a big hit.  So I am going to spend some time this afternoon making a few batches of those to share again.  I also have some presents to wrap.  Now that all the kids know Santa isn't real, (mackensie was actually told by her TEACHER!  I was sad about that) Christmas just doesn't feel the same.  In addition to that, all the arguing and such going on in this house, it's just hard to get into the spirit.  I just want Christmas over.  I really am just hoping that a new year brings a new lifestyle, or at least a bunch of surprises.  I'm ready.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 15!

What was a gift that wasn't well-received?

I guess I will need to limit this to one that wasn't well-received by me, because I think I'm a pretty good gift giver...

I got married young, at the age of 20.  My mother-in-law HATED me.  I never did anything to her, it's just that her son, my husband, was a mothers none you've ever seen.  One year for Christmas, I really needed a winter coat.  I asked her for one for Christmas.  I remember Christmas Day coming and her giving me my gift.  Please remember that I was 20...a young woman, full of life, and energy, and fun, and whimsy....

and it was a coat.  A shit brown full length ugly ass coat, 2 sizes too big.  I never wore got donated, and I went the entire winter without a winter coat.

picture this in shit brown

So today was better than yesterday.  Did a little Christmas shopping...managed to get 3 people off the list done.  I know I'm doing all this last minute, I just really hate shopping alone.  It's times like this, and all other times, that I wish my best friend lived closer.  This is the stuff we should be doing together.  :o(

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 14!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
What is your favorite gift you ever gave someone?

I have 3 daughters, two of whom are over the age of 16.  When my oldest turned 16, I started a tradition of giving them charm bracelets for their birthday.  I'll never be able to afford a car for them, so I really put some thought into a gift that they would always remember.  They aren't just normal charm bracelets though.  I have everyone of our friends and family members send my daughters a charm.  They include a note about why they chose that charm for her.  The bracelets have turned out pretty incredible, and we all love to look back at them and think about each person that is so important to us.  I can't wait for my youngest to turn 16, so we  can create another one too!

And, it's been another incredibly tough day.  It's got to start looking up soon, right?  I'm beginning to wonder.  Sorry there isn't more to blog, I'm just not in the mood.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 13!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Which do you enjoy more: receiving or giving?

I actually prefer to give gifts more than receiving them.  Most of my "gift giving" age, I've struggled with money, so when I am finally able to give someone something, I love the look on their faces when they get to see the thought put behind what I got them.  I don't get to do it often, but I love when I do.

That being said...I have had a REALLY hard day, and am just emotionally drained right now.  I didn't lose anyone, and nothing "happened" to me, it's just been a day full of stress, and getting yelled at and treated like crap...yet again...and I'm just tired. I wish I had the energy to blog more about it, because there isn't anyone I can just call up and cry to at this hour, but I just don't.  

And that reminded me.  Some years back, MANY years back actually, I had a friend who lived in New York.  I remember that not many people even knew he was my friend, and we actually never even met.  It was an accidental phone call that led us to talk.  He helped me through some pretty tough times in my life, from break ups and my divorce, to temporarily losing custody of my kids, to crying through the kids' first days of school.  We shared the heartaches, and the joys.  When Mackensie first learned to walk, when Seth hit his first scoring run in baseball...holidays and birthdays and just everyday joys.  We would talk on the phone for hours, through the day and well through the evening.  We shared gifts, shared local "flare" with each other, and knew everything there was to know about each other...all via phone and mail. We met long before I had access to internet, yet we somehow managed to have daily contact...for years.

 And then 9/11 happened.  I didn't personally know anyone who died in the attacks.  The closest I got was my old dentists son dying in the towers.  But I do know that for months I couldn't get in contact with Frank because the phone systems were down.  It was a horrible time for me, though I know it was nothing like what the people of NY were going through.  About 6 months later, I finally got a phone call from him, and I spent a good hour crying on the phone.  Frank had been in the hospital most of that time, due to inhalation of the debris, and almost lost his life.  He was a different person.  He was very angry, and sad, and just withdrawn.  I never spoke to him again after that.

And it's nights like this that I just really, REALLY, miss my phone-pal.  Laying in bed, 1million and 1 thoughts going through my head, and emotion just getting the best of me, I'd give anything to have him on the other end of the phone, listening to me speak, cry, babble and even my long bouts of silence while I tried to gather myself again.  Often times there would be no reply from him, but hearing his breath was the best comfort he could give me.

While I appreciate all the support my friends give me, sometimes having someone say absolutely nothing, and just breathe, is all the comfort I need.

I spent 3 hours tonight, trying to locate him online.  I was unsuccessful and have almost hit a "mourning" state as I know that we will more than likely never speak again.

I miss you Frank, and I hope that time has healed your anger and pain.

Monday, December 12, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 12!

Monday, December 12, 2011
What gift do you regret losing?

This one is actually pretty easy for me...I know exactly what it is.

My Granny died when I was still pretty young.  I don't have a lot of memories of her, but I have a few.  She had the Shel Silverstein poem, The Loser, hanging from her fridge.  I still remember every single word to that poem, and it's one of my favorites to this day.  Click here to view it: The Loser

I remember that when we would visit Granny, we would sneak down to the neighbors and steal apples from his tree.  While we know now that he knew we were doing it, at the time we felt pretty darn cool.  I remember what Grannys kitchen looked like, and her living room, and her bathroom, but nothing else about the house.

And I remember her being sick.  For all the memories I have of her, I remember her being sick.  And us having to go over and help her with her medications and insulin and bags...and it sucked.  Not because I didn't want to be there, but because I knew that was how I was gonna remember what my Granny looked like.

When she died, all I wanted was this little homemade doll, that slept in a cradle that was made from something like an oatmeal box.  I can remember exactly what it looked like, to the cradle being painted brown, and lined with delicate lace.  I'm pretty sure the doll was made out of something like panty hose stuffed with cotton...not really very "doll" like, but I always played with it when we were over there.  Somehow, I was lucky enough to get it.

And that is the last thing I remember about that doll.  I'm angry that I didn't do more to preserve it, because looking back now, I would give anything to have that doll...or anything from my granny for that matter.  I don't even have a picture.  I sometimes envy families with their closeness and traditions...memories.  I don't have that, with any of my grandparents.  I guess that is why I am so determined not to let that happen with my own grandkids.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 10 & 11!

Saturday and Sunday, December 10th and 11th
Weekend Free-writing!

Weekends are for free-writing, and this time I am choosing to combine the days, as I was gone for the weekend and unable to blog Saturday.  

Anyone who knows me, knows that my biggest "passion" is geocaching.  (if you don't know, feel free to ask) I love every aspect of it, but most of all, the friends I have made since joining it in 2005.  Some of my most important friends have grown from people I have met while geocaching.  So, there is a group of us, we have sort of dubbed ourselves Team Area 51, who have grown to be a "family".  We are all from different areas, including different states.  We try to get together monthly, for geo-events, but that doesn't always happen due to holidays, obligations, etc.  Every few months, we try to have some sort of overnight get-together.  We haven't seen each other since my birthday weekend in October.  This weekend was our "slumber-party" in Michigan.  The slumber parties are incredible.  A bunch of goofy adults, sitting around consuming too much alcohol, making fools of ourselves, but being completely safe while doing it.  It's our chance to just unwind and forget the world for a bit.  Saturday we spent at the geo-event, followed by caching with the group, then heading to Brian and Michelles for the after-party.  After spending the morning recovering, Daryl and I headed back to Indiana.  It's always hard to say good-bye.  But we managed to do so, and cached our way back to Indiana.  Because this wasn't far from where my dad lived while we were kids, I got to show Daryl a few things from my past.  That was neat for me to relive some of those moments.  I even managed to get a few pictures of some of them, that I will be updating a few blog posts with, so look for those!

If you have been following my blog, you know the story of the coloring book.  It was a lesson I learned in life, 20something years after it happened.  You can refer back to NaBloPoMo Day 2 to read the story.  I suggest this, because this weekend my BFF Katie gave me a gift.  It was two coloring books and some colored pencils.  What an incredibly thoughtful thing for her to do, and I was very touched by it.  Thanks again Katie, I love ya!  
Her mother also surprised me with a Pizza Hut gift card, which was awesome, because I LOVE Pizza Hut!  Thanks The Jody!

My Best Friend Katie

My "brother" Fred (Katies Husband)

"Sister" Michelle (one of the hosts)

"Brother" Mark

"Brother" Brandon
"Bestie" Brian (the other host)

"Sister" Sam
"Bestie" Tim

"Brother" Jon

Daryl...the other BFF

Now it's time to try to get some MUCH needed sleep.  Back to reality tomorrow...for another month at least.

One last thing, please keep my best friend Katie in your thoughts.  She lost a family member today, and sure could use the extra support.  I love you Katie, and if you need anything, do NOT hesitate to call!

Friday, December 9, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day NINE!

Friday December 10, 2011
What gift do you regret breaking?

I actually have to say this one is friendship.  Along the way in my life, there are a few, not many, friends that I have lost contact with, for one reason or another.  I just let the friendship break off.  I miss talking to them, I miss getting together for lunch, coffee, karaoke...what-nots.  A few have been rekindled by way of facebook, but some are gone for probably ever.

But also along the way, I've built new friendships, ones that I cherish because I know what it feels like to not have them anymore.  This weekend I get to travel back to Michigan and have another slumber party with my crazy friends.  With winter weather approaching, I fear it might be the last one for a little while.  This group of friends travels from all over Michigan and Indiana to get together every other month or so, and just have fun.  This usually results in us behaving like we are a teenager, but it's always an absolute blast, and something that every one of us looks forward to.  We haven't seen each other since my birthday weekend in October, so it's been awhile, and we are long overdue!

I'd also like to take the chance to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my only son, Seth Adrian.  He turned 15 today.  My goodness, how time has seemed to just fly these past few years. I love ya buddy, and I hope you have an incredible year ahead!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day EIGHT!

What was your favorite thing you received below the age of 10?

Hmm...this is a hard one too!  I guess I am going to go with my first Cabbage Patch Doll.  She was blonde, with pig-tails.  (I say that like I don't still have her...but I do)  We named her Tennyson Desire'.  She went EVERYWHERE with me.  I once was in a wedding, and my mom made me a dress to wear.  Of course I had to have one for the doll too.  It matched perfectly.  My grandfather, who is now passed, even made me a cradle and bunk beds for her.  Who knew it would lead to an obsession of CPKs.  And the name Tennyson.  My first daughter was named after my first cabbage patch doll.

Ok, so I mentioned not long ago that I was working on a little project for work.  Here's the thing...

 I work at an Animal Hospital that offers boarding for any cat or dog, as well as small animals.  I work in the boarding kennels.  I began to think about how busy we were last Christmas, and how bad I felt for the animals that were going to be with us, instead of at home with there people, on Christmas.  So I came up with the clever idea to make them all stockings stuffed with toys and treats.  I painted on their names, and a little design.  I attached little tags.  The dogs say "Happy "HOWL"days From the McAfee Kennel Staff" and the cats say "Happy "MEOW"ldays...."  I got the first batch done...I really hope the dogs, and their people, like them!  I am having to work Christmas Even AND Christmas morning, so I will be playing "kennel Santa" this year.