Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ugh, seriously? And then a miracle....

Lately I have found myself in this serious "funk".  It seems nothing is going right, I have no motivation, I'm ready for a different life, I miss people, I want people gone, I just......ugh.

And it's Christmas.  And this holiday season I have found myself without a job, because I was forced to relocate much sooner than I anticipated.  And the job market sucks, and...a lot of stuff....

And as much as that SUCKS, and as much as I miss a LOT of things about my "old" life, I know a lot of things are for the better.  And because it is the Christmas season, I have learned something else too.

I am depressed.  I can't seem to get out of this weird state I'm in.  I'm so super happy one second, but the moment I feel someone is disappointed in something I do, I lose all self esteem.  I vanish into another room, and I cry.  I'm broken.  I am sad, I hurt, I'm lonely....I'm broken.

And then something like today happens.  I have had incredible support through the holidays.  From my friend  Mark surprising me with a gift card, my BFFs mom surprising me with Pizza Hut gift cards, my mom giving me a little bit of money to buy presents for the kids, my Ex-Boss calling out to "secret santas" to help me out, even simple little emails of encouragement.  They have all helped beyond words.

And as if that wasn't enough, the past few days I've just been overwhelmed with kind acts.  My ex-boyfriends family sent gifts for the kids, his mom and dad...even his sister.  I've realized that when you are with someone for almost 8 years, it's very hard to just "let go".  You are breaking up with the family too.  A family that was a HUGE part of my children's lives, for a very long time.  This is our first Christmas since 2005, not celebrating with them.  Perhaps this is part of my depression.  I miss them, terribly.  And I am not sure what the correct way to handle those emotions are, because Brad and I are done, but I would give just about anything to spend just one more holiday with his family.

Today I got a few Christmas cards in the mail.  I've been hanging every one of them up.  Not something I normally do.  But they have served as a daily reminder of just how many people care.  And as I sit typing this, I am brought to tears by the kindness of others, to simply take time out of their day to send me a card.  And so many of them are filled with such encouraging words, from people that know my current struggles.

So today when I got a few more, I was even more excited.  Because it meant 2 more people cared about me.  Something I seem to be losing sight of more and more lately.  The first card I opened was simply signed "Santa Claus".  Tucked into the card was $200, and a note that said "get your kids, and yourself, something for Christmas".  I stood in the kitchen, frozen.  Completely frozen.  I had no words.  $200 may not seem like a lot to some, but to me, it meant Christmas, and a lifetime of traditions.  See, our stockings are locked up in storage in Indiana.  I didn't have the money to buy new ones, nor the things that go into them.  I realize it's "just a stocking", but it was really bothering me that we didn't have them.  The first thing I did was charge out to the dollar store for stockings, and stuffers.  I was SO excited that a tradition that seems so small, was brought right back into our lives.  I was also able to pick up some gifts for the kids, and a few things I've needed that I haven't been able to afford.

I am simply amazed at the generosity of others, and I think I may just be the most lucky person in the world, to have the kinds of friends that I do. I'm not one that can reach out to others when I need something, simply out of pure embarrassment   But it was almost like someone had heard me crying myself to sleep at night, and answered my prayers.  It may not be the type of Christmas the kids are used to, but because I have the most amazing friends in the entire world, it will be the most memorable Christmas of my life.

To EVERYONE that has helped me this Christmas, even if it was just to say a prayer for me, thank you....from the deepest depths of my heart....thank you.  You are all incredible people, and I don't know that I will ever be able to repay you, especially because so many of you are "anonymous", but know that your acts of kindness and love have not gone unnoticed.  And when the time, and situation are right, you can be assured that I most definitely WILL be paying it forward.

Despite all of the depression surrounding me lately, I do realize that I am one incredibly lucky person, and I love all of you....even my "Secret Santas!"

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Eve will soon be here....♫

Ahh, it's that time of year again.  Unfortunately, it's one I am beginning to dread more and more.  Mostly because I'm poor, and I don't have ANY money to buy presents each year, and that in turn leads to me having to make stuff, which I rather enjoy doing, but never have enough time to do.  (Ms. Rucker would KILL me for that run-on sentence!)
I'm SUPER excited about the way this years presents turned out.  Unfortunately I can't post pictures yet, as some family may spy this blog, and I don't want to ruin it for them.

So on the top of everyone's minds lately has been the mass-shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  I will admit, when it first happened, I couldn't take my eyes off of the news.  I was sad, I cried for days, I mourned children that were not my own, my heart broke.  But then I heard a family member of one of the victims say "don't let this tragedy shape America", and I decided that I was done with mourning.  I will just say, rest in peace, all victims, rest in peace.

That having been said...This tragedy has led to a HUGE amount of "threats" on schools.  I wonder how much of that is kids just trying to get an extra day off for Christmas break, and that is sad.  I hope that all who have played some role in the pranks is prosecuted and an example is made of them.  America should not have to live in fear.  I refuse to do so, and I refuse to let my kids live in that fear as well.  So, I was fully prepared to send them to school today, despite threats.  And exactly one minute before we walked out the door, I decided to check the school website, just because some school districts around us had decided to close.  Shoes and coats on, I pulled up the site, and sure enough, no school.  UGH.  Kensie was rather bummed, as she had a new friend at school, and today was his last day.  Now she can't tell him goodbye.  As you can see from the photo, she spent the day miserably sad from it.

A few hours ago, the local news released an update as to why schools were shut down.  Turns out, it wasn't about threats to the school.  It was due to the hysteria surrounding the "end of the world" Mayan prediction.

I'm quickly losing faith in humanity.  I almost laugh every time I think about it.  Some day, my kids will be able to sit and tell their grandkids, "oh yeah, well this ONE time, we had school cancelled because the whole world thought that the end of the earth was coming....."

And so with that, I am reminded to keep humor.  Times are tough right now, but we must remember to keep some humor about us.  I know it's what gets me through most days, and I can't allow myself to forget that.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, whatever it is you celebrate......and here is to another 2012 years....

Sunday, November 11, 2012


When I placed my first geocache in 2005, I placed a print out of this in it.  I had received it in a cache that had many in it, and asked the geocache finders to take one, read it, and share it.  So, in my cache it went.  7.5 years later, when taking friends to the cache, I noticed right away that the print out was still in the cache.  Well preserved, but definatley read many times.  Today it occured to me that it would be the perfect thing to post honor of our Veterans.  


The average age of the military man is 19 years 
He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, 
under normal circumstances is considered by 
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind 
the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old 
enough to die for his country. He never really 
cared much for work and he would rather wax 
his own car than wash his father's, but he has
never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an
average student, pursued some form of sport activities,
drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend

that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be
waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens
to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a
155mm howitzer. 

trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for

him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and
reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you
the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and
use either one effectively if he must.. 

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid

like a professional. 
He can march until he is told to stop, 
or stop until he is told to march. 
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but
he is not without spirit or individual dignity. 

He is self-sufficient. 
He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears
the other.  He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. 
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to
clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own
clothes, and fix his own hurts.
you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if

you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition
with you in the midst of battle when you run low.. 
He has learned to use his hands like weapons 
and weapons like they were his hands. 

He has asked nothing in return, except years..  he defends their right to be disrespectful.  have fallen in combat and is unashamed..  his job. 

our friendship and understanding 
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect
and admiration with his blood. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ahh...some fresh air!

Yesterday we headed to Sky King.  It's a 5/5 cache, which is the most difficult rating they can have.  The Grateful Cacher had been sitting at 1499 finds for a week, waiting to make this one his 1500th find.  The cache is a small pill container, hidden about 32 feet up in a pine tree.  We met up with Team Geochef (Brian and Michelle) and started our hike in.  The forecast was calling for cold temps, but the sun was shining so bright that it didn't feel cold at all, and I soon figured out that I was a little overdressed.  We soon located the tree we needed, and the guys headed up to find the cache.  After a bit of searching, it was in hand.  It was a great cache and it was nice to be out with friends for the find on such a beautiful day.

Shortly after the event, we decided to make our way to Niles, Michigan to attend an event at a beautiful Botanical Garden in the area.  We met up with many more caching friends and spent the day exploring the grounds, finding caches and just enjoying the fabulous weather.  We, in usual form, couldn't bring ourselves to say goodbye, so went to dinner together before heading home.  We ate at Zekes, which is the same place we ate at after our kayak run.  Food is fantastic, however the waitress messed everyones credit cards up so bad, that some swore  never to come back again.  It was a total mess, and took over 30 minutes to straighten out.  Truth is, it never really was straightened out, I think everyone just sort of gave up.  We hit up one more cache and headed home.

We got back WAY later than I intended but it was a fantastic day and I enjoyed getting out into nature again.  I'm SO excited, as next weekend is our "regular" slumber party with all the friends.  I NEED THIS!!! I've been so down in the dumps the last month, and am tired of swimming in the swamps of life.  It's going to be good to be surrounded by people that love me, don't judge me and just care about my happiness!  COME ON SATURDAY!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The return of a mad woman...

I haven't blogged in what turns out to be over 3 months after a quick research.  Ugh.  I LOVE to blog, and had actually really been enjoying it.  But I was in a housing situation that wasn't ideal, and the person who was in charge of a roof being over my head was accessing my blog.  Eventually, things I was saying were going to be held against me in one way or another.  I just felt it safest and in my families best interest, not to blog for awhile.  I'm now out of the situation, and quite frankly just don't care anymore.
  So, to put it simply, life has changed, HUGELY, since my last update.  A lot of things still need to be sorted out, but I will say this...while some aspects of my life are currently VERY screwed up, other aspects of it have me happier than I have been in a very long time.  I have a lot of figuring out to do, and I'm lucky that I have a big enough support system that I can call on a friend anytime I need to vent, cry, laugh, forget....whatever.

So, my goal is to start blogging again.  The trick is going to be finding the time to do it.  Hopefully the next few weeks/months bring on some fantastic changes our lives.  Time will tell.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Week One...done.

Whoever said dieting was just as cheap as not dieting can kiss my ass.

Went to the grocery store today.  Up until now, I hadn't been purchasing any special foods, and was just living off of what was available.  I was relying only on the training to help me lose weight, until I could go grocery shopping.  So this morning I set out to just grab a few things to get me through today until I could do my big grocery haul tomorrow.  That didn't happen.  $200 later I walked out with an entire cart of food.  BUT...not one SINGLE junk food item was in my cart.  About the unhealthiest thing I had was sour cream, for my chicken taco, and that was only because I can not stand the taste of low-fat sour cream.

I got almost every fruit they had.  I got tons of vegetables, healthy snacks like popcorn, low fat string cheese, etc.  I felt very good about my shopping trip, and am looking forward to trying some new foods.

When I started out on this training I just had a blanket goal.  I want to lose around 100lbs.  I didn't put any thought into when I wanted to lose it by, or at what rate.  Then I got to thinking, if I lose 2lbs a week, that puts me at one year to lose 100lbs...roughly.  I should be able to do 2lbs a week, if I am very careful and stick to the training....I think.  So tonight I got on the scale, because this is the one week mark of when I started training, and I am down 4.5lbs!!!!!!!  I more than doubled my goal, and that feels fantastic!  I really think I can do this!

That being said.  I have been doing this training with a co-worker, and we have really been helping each other out as far as motivation and encouragement.  The thing is, she only lives over here during the week.  So last weekend I had to train alone, and I will admit, it was REALLY hard.  I did it, but it's just SO much easier when you have someone suffering right along with you.

Tonight is 4th of July Eve.  I had to work, and I knew I wouldn't be out in time to fight off the traffic for fireworks, as our town is having them tonight.  The kids went to the park to watch them and after work I just came home.  And that is when I realized nobody had drugged the beagle.  Beagle + fireworks = migraine.  By the time I had realized it, it was far too late to "prevent" her reaction, but I could do my best to drug her and try to stop it half way through.  So I did.  Keeping in mind that I still had to run tonight.  3 hours passed, constant barking still.  At this point, I'm waiting for either A) her meds to kick in, or B) the fireworks to stop...whichever came first.  They both came at the same time.  So at 10:30pm, I finally head out for my run.

We are in the middle of a very ridiculous heat wave.  Heat index has been over 100* all week.  So running at night SHOULD be a blessing, but it is not.  It was still somewhere around 90* when I went.  I'm not going to lie, it was hard to keep up, because of the heat, and because my training buddy again went home for the holiday.  I really felt myself losing motivation tonight, but I struggled through it.  I will have to do it again alone tomorrow.  I hope I can find the drive to get back into the swing of things.

My blisters are now just slightly painful callouses.  My legs only throb when I run, not all of the time anymore.  I find I'm exhausted much earlier in the evening, which for me is a good thing, since I am usually up  till 3 or 4 in the morning.  I'm also getting up earlier in the mornings.  Overall, I actually feel pretty darn good, and that may be what I need to remind myself of when I get "down" about this.  I have proven to myself the last week that I can do this, if I try hard enough...and I need to remember just how strong I am when I need to be.  So, here is to a week of success, in my eyes, and I hope the next week does the same!

Day 7, post run

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blister Hell

Today it occurred to me that I had some free passes to our local water park that were going to be expiring soon.  I checked the date, and sure enough, today was the last day.  So I loaded up the boy spawn and we headed out.  And a lot of bare concrete.  The bare concrete KILLED my blisters....omg ow.  The stairs KILLED my legs.  I was exhausted by the time we left.  I really was feeling the last 3 days of this training.  

When I got home, I just wanted to go to bed.  My work out buddy is back home for the weekend, so I didn't have her to go with me for motivation.  So, again I headed out with the boy spawn.  We only did 25 minutes of training, due to how sore I was from all the walking/stairs today.  But we did it, and I survived, and I'm beat.

Tomorrow I think I may switch over to riding my bike for awhile, just to give my feet a chance to heal the blisters a little bit.  I'm so incredibly proud of myself for sticking with this....and can't wait to begin to see some results for all this hard work!  Keep the positive vibes coming, I'm still needing them!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Death Mission Day 3a

Today was day 3 of the 5K training.  Temps were nearly 25 degrees cooler than when we ran last night, so we were pretty excited about that.  We, Erica and I, had both agreed just to walk tonight, afraid we would over-do ourselves.

So, we met for a quick dinner, and soon hit the pavement.  But the strangest thing happened.  Though we had both agreed to just "walk" tonight, we both found ourselves totally motivated to run.  And so we did.  However, we decided to just repeat Day 1s training, which consisted of walking for 1.5 minutes, running for 1 minute, walking for 1.5, running for 1...repeating this for 25 minutes.  The first night we tried this, it about killed us both.  We were gasping for breathe, wanting to puke, keel over....something.  Tonight, after the first run portion, we both looked at each other and said "thats it?"  It was SO super simple.  I'm not saying ALL reps were that easy, but we were so much better at it than the first night, it shocked us both.  We continued on for the whole 25 minutes, and felt INCREDIBLE after!

I'm not going to lie.  My ass still hurts.  My blisters still hurt, my tendons are tensed....I just hurt.  But, I also feel AMAZING!  It is taking all I have not to head outside and run some more, except that it is lightning out, and it's almost 2AM.

And while at work tonight, I talked to Dr. Steve again, about him running a 5K with us, if we both made it to that point.  His response was simply "how could I not?"  And that made me feel pretty incredible.  Because if my boss, who runs, a lot, is willing to run with us, he must be pretty proud of the choices we are making, and that is a darn good feeling.  I'm trying to use that promise to us as my motivation to do this thing!  So after my conversation with him, I went and got on the scale.  I realize they say you are only supposed to do this like once a month, so you don't get discouraged, but I really was curious.  I about hit the floor when I saw that I had dropped 2.5lbs in the first 3 days!  Healthier food choices, combined with the running, really is making a difference, and that feels pretty darn good.

So with this blog comes the good, but also must come the ugly.  Unfortunately, we didn't think to get a picture of ourselves on Day 1.  I imagine it to look a LOT like our photo from Day 2, as that day was in 108* heat index weather.  I hope to someday be one of those people that posts an "after photo" that looks NOTHING like what these photos do, which is the ONLY reason I am posting them.  Keep rooting us on, everyone, we need the support!

Day 2, 108* heat index, 35 minutes of training.  
Day 3a.  Converted back to 25 minutes of training,
but we KILLED that 25 minutes!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Couch-5K= death of me!

About 9 months ago, I started having the recurring dream that I was running in a marathon.  I didn't think much of it until about the 5th time it happened.  I took it to be some sign that I needed to do something about my health.  The problem is, I HATE doing things alone, ESPECIALLY when it's something like working out.

I talked to my friend from work several times.  We've both wanted to become healthier, but just lacked some of the motivation needed.  She told me about this "Couch to 5K" program she had heard of, so I did a bit of research on it.  There are several variations, so not all will be the same.  But they all have the same principal...get you off of the couch, and in good enough condition to run a 5K.  i.was.interested.!!!!!!  We agreed to try the program together.  The one we are using is supposed to have us ready in 10 weeks.

And so began day 1.  I must remind you that I am almost 36, and I am over 100lbs over-weight.  I haven't done anything faster than a walk pace in close to 20 years.  I'm as out of shape as they come, and now I'm supposed to RUN?  So we set off.  I'm not going to lie, it hurt.  It hurt a lot.  Basically, you walk for 90 seconds, run for 60, walk for 90, run for 60.  And you repeat this for 25 minutes.  They don't even start you out small.  We both completed it though, and continued to walk for well over an additional hour after.

Day 2.  It's 99* outside, with a heat index upwards of 110*.  It's sick hot.  But I know that if we lose a day, we will lose all motivation.  So after working a double, we met up and took off running.  Despite the heat, today went much better on my body that the first day, though I did get a really bad cramp.  But we both succeeded, and I am pretty damn proud of us.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be warm again, and I'm not even going to lie, I'm pretty sore.  So, we have agreed to just meet up after work and walk.  Im afraid that if we go a single day without some sort of work-out, we will fall right into our old habits!

And so I'm now home and showered.  I stopped by the store for some fruits to snack on, and I am now ready for bed.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Where do I go from here....

As I chose the title for this blog, I was reminded of a song that I used to LOVE.  It  has nothing to do with what I am about to post, but now it's stuck in my head, and so I shall share it with you all..........
.Song stuck in my head....

Moving on...

My life is about to change.  I don't know what is ahead of me tomorrow, let alone next week, but I do know that the roof over our heads is being stripped away, and I can't afford things on my own, and I don't know what I am going to be able to do about it.  Brad and I's relationship has been over for several years now, and we've just stayed here, living separate lives, under the same roof.  It's been dysfunctional, but it's worked, and that is now over.  I won't get into any of the details, for my own reasons, and I don't really have anymore on the issue...but if I vanish for awhile, you know why.

Uncle Perry, Aunt Connie, Aunt Barb, Uncle Mark, Mom and Uncle Toad
Me, my brother Cameron, and my Mother

On to the better updates...This past weekend was my family reunion at my parents house.  I had the most incredible weekend.  I stopped and visited my bestie, Tim, on the way up.  After spending a few minutes with him, we headed to my moms and got to spend the day with her, just catching up.  We haven't done that in years.  After the temps cooled down, we set up our tents (they live practically in the woods, so perfect camping spot).  We awoke Saturday and did a few last minute things to get ready for the party, decorated some cupcakes together, and the extended family soon arrived.  My sister and her family couldn't attend, and I REALLY missed them.  My brother was running late, but eventually was able to make it.  However, he couldn't stay the night.  Last years reunion was fantastic because all of us siblings camped in the yard, and that evening, we all just spent time around the bon fire, being siblings.  I was really looking forward to that this year, but understand that others couldn't stick around.  Perhaps next year.

I did, however, invite an old friend over that I hadn't seen in over 8 years.  We spent the evening around the fire catching up a little, and just enjoying each others company.  It was nice to laugh and just have a good time.

Kylie picking purple paint off of her thigh from an earlier seating choice, Caiden going after my camera strap, and the elusive Little Jason.
Sunday, I was contacted by my "little" brother, Jason.  Jason is a kid that I met when I was maybe 12 years old.  He was about 7 or so.  He just became a part of my life, our family.  He was such an adorable kid, and became super important to me over the years.  We have continuously lost contact for one reason or the other, but always manage to "stalk" each other back out every few years.  It had been about 7 years since we last saw each other, about 1 since we had talked.  We made arrangements for him to come visit the family that afternoon, and I can't begin to describe how awesome it was to see him again.  In my mind, he will always be "little Jason", but in reality, he is now a grown man.  It's just another reminder that we are aging.  We spent the entire afternoon, and evening, just reminiscing, talking about our lives, playing the standard "50 questions" and discussing ways to make sure this separation never happens again.  I didn't think to get a picture of the 2 of us together, or even one with him and my parents.....or even one of just him, while he was there.  However, while uploading pics of the weekend, I did manage to find this one of him in the background!

And then Monday became my slap back to reality....back to work, and now packing, and trying like hell to figure out how I am suppose to be able to move out on my own......stay tuned, this could get ugly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm tired, and I hurt, and I'm not 22 anymore.

My body aches.  My ankles are killing me, by legs are screaming, my shoulders are biting into my bones from agony, and...I am tired.  And I've also given up soda in the last 2 weeks, so I'm sure the lack of caffeine is of no help.

We have yet to hire a replacement at work for the person who was let go.  This means my boss and I are the only ones doing the job, and it means working lots of hours.  And the money will help, I'm tired.  I've lost count of how many days in a row I have worked, and the number is going to continue to go up, because I am not going to have a day off for at least 2 more weeks.  Sigh.

It's a good thing I love my job.

That being said.  Tuesdays and Thursdays should be "early out" days for me.  Somehow I found myself not getting home until 4 hours after I normally do.  I don't know where the time went, and I'm pissed that I didn't get to spend any of it with my kids, and I'm just, ugh.

But I know that it will get better soon, and I know that someday we are going to have the perfect person walk in the door and fill out an application, and my boss and I will live MUCH easier lives, and it will all have been worth it.

Until then........I need a nap.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Unwelcomed change at the hands of others, mainly me.

It's a very difficult realization that someone important to you has changed.  It's an even more difficult realization when that change is because of something you have done.

I'm not the person I was when I was in my early 20s.  I'm not even close to that person.  My life has gone through so many ups and downs, and spins and turns, and,'s just not the same.

There are very few people left in my life that were in my life at that time.  Even the ones that were, I don't speak to very often.  In my early 20s, I was a  mother of four, married, and still trying to figure out what my mission in life was.  I can honestly say, I still don't know what that mission was.

Somewhere in my mid-20s, my marriage was over, my friends started to stray away, I struggled even more to find myself.  Bad decision after bad decision came next.  I've since found myself living in a completely different state, hours away from family, and still struggling.  But, I've got a job I love, though the pay sucks, and I struggle financially.  I've since met so many new friends, whose relationships are stronger and more supportive than most all of those in my past, and I am just...happy.  But there is still something missing.  I don't feel complete.  I don't feel like I've figured out what my life mission is yet.  I have no idea why I am me.

So in reconnecting with people from my past, I've come to realize that I am not the only one who has changed. People in my life have changed.  People my age are just now starting to settle into families (something I still long for) and have their "happily ever afters"(also something I still long for).  And in these reconnections, I've realized that some of these changes are because of things I've done, directly or indirectly, to these people.  And that hurts.

When you are young, you are told that your actions will effect others, and you listen to it, and you contemplate it, and then you forget it.  And that is exactly what I did.  And now I am seeing that this was true, and I should have listened, and I should have realized that I should have worked harder at these relationships, and I should not have taken for granted what was right in front of me, and I should have listened to my heart, not my head, and I should have....a lot of things that I didn't.  And my heart aches.  Because somewhere, not far from my past, is someone who is just a little bit colder, a little bit less likely to trust, and a little bit less likely to ever love, believe in, and adore someone...because of something I did to them...and I can never take back my own actions.

I hope that from this moment forward, when I am faced with a decision, I am a little better at remembering that my actions will indeed, have an impact on other people.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Brrrrrr......teeth chattering....amazing weekend!

This weekend was our first camping trip of the year.  We were joined by many of our friends.  As the weekend got closer the weather forecast got worse and worse.  I don't think a single one of us (who were all in tents, except for one in a pop up) ever considered cancelling the trip.

We arrived on Friday in beautiful weather.  It was slightly chilly, but perfect camping weather.  Not too hot to sit around a fire, but not so cold that you needed a million layers.  We got camp all set up, had dinner together, and gathered around the fire ring for some social time.  Somewhere around midnight we all went to bed.  Then 4AM hit.  Sleet.  Heavy sleet/ice pellets, temperature dropping.  We awoke in the morning to a break in the rain, so hurried up and had breakfast before the downpours started.  A group of us went out and did some local geocaching before coming back.  It got COLD.  Very cold.  We were still able to enjoy dinner, and managed to huddle ourselves around the fire.  The kids' tent had been leaking, and a few in our group were kind enough to run to town and grab a tarp.  By the time I had gotten back, the entire tent was shrouded in a tarp.  The kids said it not only kept it super dry inside, but also very warm.  I was so grateful that they had done that for us.

Somewhere after midnight, everyone went to bed.  I went up and took a shower, and finally laid down about 1:30AM.  I was out by 2.  We were greeted in the morning to sunshine and warmer temperatures.  We had our breakfast and began to pack up.  That's always the sad part, knowing that the time to say goodbye is approaching.  After everyone got everything loaded, Pokagon State Park decided it didn't want us to leave, via a series of car issues.  Fred and Katie had a blown brake line on their truck, No-H backed into a pole with his nice SUV, and my batter died.  Used my AAA to get Fred and Katies truck and trailer home, wasn't much we could do about No-H's bumper, and he jumped my van.  Then we headed off for a few more caches before leaving town.  The kids and I cached our way back home, and it was nice to get to spend those last few hours with them before the chaos of home returned to us.

All in all it was horrible weather, but we had a fantastic time!  I'd do it all over again if I could...and I hope that the group starts planning more "family" trips like this!  Already looking forward to the next one.

In other news, we have yet to hire another person at work, so I am going to be working crazy hours the next few weeks.  The pay check will be awesome!  My home life...nonexistent.  :o(  It's all going to be worth it in the end though.

Also, my 16 year old daughter, Kylie has her very first job interview this Saturday!  Wish her luck!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Break out the feather duster...

Been awhile since I've been to this place!  Had to dust off the password, and get the cobwebs off the sign-in screen.

It's been an emotional roller coaster couple of weeks, and honestly, blogging has been the furthest thing from my mind.  But as I sit in an absolutely silent house, trying not to fall asleep, I figured I should hop on here and let it be known that I was still alive.

A week ago, I traveled with 2 friends, to Michigan, to attend the funeral of a very dear friends 9 year old daughter.  She passed 2 days before her 10th birthday, in a terrible accident.  I can't begin to fathom the pain her parents are feeling, but as a mother, and their friend, my heart breaks for them.  I hate to attend funerals as it is, but to have it be one of a child who has had her life taken far too soon, is just unfair.  I will never know the reason why she was taken, but must find peace that she was needed somewhere else even more than here.  I was glad to be able to be there with her parents, and to spend quite a bit of time with them after the funeral.  Being able to laugh, and talk about other things later in the day, certainly helped ease some of the pain we were all feeling.

The following day, we did an "all girls geocache run".  It was an INCREDIBLY therapeutic trip, and I am SO glad we decided not to cancel it, despite everything going on in everyones lives recently.  (I have several friends dealing with difficult situations right now)  I didn't get home until 2AM, and had to be back up for work at 6AM.  Needless to say, I got about 1.5 hours of sleep.  It was a rough day, but it was worth it for the amount of fun we had.  It was great to be able to laugh that hard, all day long!

Next weekend is our first camping trip of the year.  We are going to Pokagon State Park, which is my favorite Indiana State Park.  When I first moved to Indiana to be with Brad, he worked there, and we spent a LOT of time there.  The kids and I are going with several of our friends, and their families.  I am SO looking forward to it, AND...I get to try out the new tent!  It's supposed to get REALLY cold at night, one night below freezing.  We will pack extra heaters, and pray we don't blow out the electric boxes!   My friend Katies step-mom is doing most of the cooking, so that will certainly make camping more enjoyable for the rest of  ;o) But the kids and I will be providing stuff for Mexican Smores one night.  They are delicious, and I am craving them as I write this!

One of the people I work with (there are only 3 of us in kennels) is leaving the clinic.  So that means my boss and I both have to pick up all of his shifts until a new person can be hired and trained.  It's going to be a crazy busy couple of weeks, so again, blogging will probably be scarce.  However, I will *try* to be a bit better about it.  Hope everyone is doing well...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

how much more?

This weekend, and even into today, have been some of the hardest days of my life.  I have several friends and family members who are struggling through very difficult situations right now.  Nothing that is going on in my life compares, but when I combine them all together onto my shoulders, I've become to feel a bit overwhelmed.  I keep reminding myself that it could always be worse for me, and that I need to continue to be strong for those that need me.  But I honestly just want to break down.  I'm sure my time will come.

What is hurting me the most is that my group of friends is fairly spread out.  I want so bad to be able to run to them and just sit up all night and talk through the situations, but I can't.  I feel like this is a time that our "family of friends" really needs to be together, and draw from each others strength.  I know it will happen with time.

What I am struggling with the most is that a couple in our "group" has suffered the loss of their daughter.  We have all gotten so close over the past few years, that it feels like we have all lost a child.  Someone in our group is hurting and that hurts us all.  We have all experienced a wave of emotions the last few days, and I am so glad that we have been able to draw from each other, and talk our ways through this.

In addition to this tragedy, there are several other things going on.  I won't even get into those right now. I'm lost in emotions that I don't understand right now, and so  I really just needed something to make me smile tonight.  So I pulled out my "Jingle Bells" cross stitch pattern and worked on it a bit.  It dawned on me that my snowman needed a face, and so I finished out the night with giving him a smile.  He's just so darn cute that it was the little extra "warm fuzzy" that I needed tonight.  Here is a picture of his grin:

R.I.P. Violet Rose.  And may your mom and dad find strength in their wonderful memories of you.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

If I've learned anything from this weekend, it's that I'm not 25 anymore!

I had an incredible weekend!  Fred and Katie came up from Ft. Wayne for our monthly get together.  Daryl came over from Michigan City and we headed out for some caching.  The predicted rain didn't come, and we had perfect weather to be outdoors!  It was a great time, and I really enjoyed spending time with everyone.  

John, Gisela and baby Alex met us for dinner and then back to the hotel for some party games and some drinking.  The last several times we have all gotten together, I haven't really drank I was determined to be successful in it this time!  And I was.  And I paid for it all day today.  I've never been one to get a hangover, but I had one this time.  I'm not sure if it was the Liquid Cocaine shots, the Amaretto Sours, the Strawberry Daiquiris or the Chocolate Patron.  I suppose it was a combination of all.  After sadly saying our goodbyes, I came home and took a 2 hour nap.  I still felt like death.

But, I did manage to get out of bed and clean up the house a little, work on some laundry, and cook dinner.  I am starting to feel like "me" again, though it took until bedtime to get that way.

The kids are on Spring Break now.  Unfortunately, I have to work all week, including some double shifts.  My boss has chosen to take her vacation this week so she can spend Spring Break with her kids.  I agreed to cover her shifts, because the other person that works with us wouldn't take any of them.  I'm excited about the extra hours, but the more I think about it, the worse I feel, because I feel like I really robbed my kids of being able to enjoy their time off.  We can't go anywhere, and I'm gonna be working a lot of hours, so I won't hardly see them.  We are just going to have to get creative with what little time I am gonna be home.

Our next outing is April 27th, when we head back to Pokagon for a camping weekend with our friends and their families.  It's time to start counting down the days, because we are all pretty excited about this one!
Hope everyone had a good weekend, and good luck with the upcoming week!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I can breathe clearly nose is clear...

Finally....finally I feel better.  I am SO not 100%, but I am so much better than I was.  I honestly can say that I have never been that sick in all of my life.  I don't wish that on ANYONE!

Now, lets move past the "Amber is sick" crap!

The weather is GORGEOUS!  It is ridiculously hot for Indiana in March, but if it could stay like this year round, I think a whole lot of people would be in a LOT better mood.  I had an appointment at the school today, and after that I took my grandson to the park.  He is almost 14 months, and is a complete daredevil.  He LOVES to be outdoors, and loves to explore.  And we learned today, that he LOVES to slide.  It didn't take him long to figure out how to do it, and soon he was zooming himself down the tallest slide there...sometimes scaring the snot out of me!
Caidens first time all by himself!

 I am just so glad that the weather is so wonderful.  I really hope that doesn't mean this summer is going to be miserable though.
  That being said, I am ready to go camping!  Sadly, my first camping trip isn't planned until the end of April, but I may just have to try and sneak a night somewhere before that.  Besides, I have this new tent that is dying to be broken in!  Even the kids were asking to go camping today.  I love that they enjoy doing that.  I guess we are all itching to sleep under the stars!  While we had a very mild winter, I think we all have a bit of cabin fever.
New Tent

So my friends Katie and Fred are coming up from Ft. Wayne to visit this weekend.  I am pretty excited about that.  I haven't seen them in a month, and I hate that we don't live closer.  But I love that we have really made the efforts to get together regularly.  It gives us all something to look forward to each month, and we count down like little kids waiting for  I know we are planning on doing some Geocaching, and I am excited about that.  It will be our first "group run" of the year.  I'm looking forward to getting some hiking in, and just being goofy for a day!

Because I have been so sick, not much has been happening in my life.  I did finally manage to pick up my cross stitching again tonight, and get a few Xs in.  I wish I was further, but I just couldn't do it when I was ill.
I finally broke down and just took a picture of the model in the book, because I couldn't find a decent one online.

What it will look like done.  It's rather large at 22 1/2 inches long

My current progress.  This should be done by Christmas...of 2025.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My own reality show? Hmm...maybe!

I've quite often been told that I am the type of person that should always have a camera crew following her, because you never know what is going to happen in my life.  I've always chuckled it off, but here lately it really seems to be a good idea.

Thursday, I was finally beginning to feel like I was alive again.  I spent the day picking up the house and shampooing the carpet, again, from the water heater leak.  I did as much as I could before I was simply out of breath and had to sit back down.

My son, Seth, decided to play outside with a friend.  They had been gone some time when his sister came in and informed me that the police were interviewing Seth, and needed me to come over, since he was a minor.  Instant panic set in, but she quickly eased my mind when she continued with "Seth found a car in the pond".  WTF?  How did Seth find a CAR in the pond?  I asked her if she meant toy car, and she assured me that he had, indeed, found a full sized car....IN the pond.

I throw some shoes on and head over.  There was a car in the pond.  A CAR in the POND!?!  How did a CAR get in the POND?!?

You can see the car underwater in this photo.  Look just past the far corner of the dock.  It's about 5 feet under, so it's hard to make out.

Then fear started to set in.  We had no idea how long it had been there, or if there was anybody inside.  The officer asked Seth and I to stay, because depending on the outcome of this, they may need to interview us more.  I told him that if there was a body in that car, my son would not be staying to witness it.  So we waited out the Police Dive Team.  They finally arrived.  When they think that what they are looking for is already dead, they certainly are in no hurry.  But eventually they made it and went in.  He surfaced and announced there was no body, and that the plate matched that of a vehicle reported stolen early Wednesday morning.

Later that night, I went out to walk the dogs.  I noticed an ambulance in the complex where we live.  Shortly after, the gas company arrived, and started walking the grounds for a suspected gas leak.  Seriously?  One event for the day wasn't enough?  They walked the grounds several times, going condo to condo, but I don't know if they ever found anything because I was too tired and just went to bed.  

Last night I finally felt decent enough to go back to work.  I had worked on Wednesday, but it was a horrible experience as I was still pretty sick.  And I still am.  But I am MUCH better than before.  So I made it through my shift, and save for a lot of coughing, I felt pretty darn good about it.  But it had been over a week since I'd really busted my ass at work, and I certainly felt it when I came home.  

Today is St. Patrick's Day, so I'm making Corned Beef and Cabbage.  I've never done it before, but a friend did a great job talking me through it, and it seems very simple to hopefully it turns out.  I'm sure the kids are going to hate it, so I picked up something else for them just in case.  Hell, I may hate it!  Will let you know how it turns out.

I also realized that exactly ONE week from today, my BFF (bestest female friend) Katie and her husband, are heading over for an overnight visit.  A group of us tries to get together once a month for some sort of sleep over, but this month everyone was super scheduled.  Luckily, a few of us are still able to pull it off.  So her, Fred, my BMF Daryl and possibly one other friend, will be renting rooms at a local hotel, and just spending the day geocaching, and making more memories.  I really love these people, and they are family longer "just friends".  I'm glad that we were able to work this out to get together...I REALLY look forward to these weekends!  

Here we are at the last "sleep over":
Left to Right: Katie, Daryl, Me, Fred

I haven't been doing much stitching, as I've been so horribly sick.  I'm hoping to get some time to work on my newest project, "Jingle Bells" tomorrow.  My dad and step-mom will be coming to town, so I'm not sure that I will have time.  And I won't have much time for it tonight, as I have to work, and go to bed early to be back at work at 7AM.  These Sunday shifts are killing me!  I'm SO over it!  It's too hard to work second shift all week, and then have to be back up at 6AM one day a week.  Will post pics of my stitching progress soon...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Light at the end of this tunnel? Oh, I hope so!!

Day 6, for those keeping track, and I'm still sick.  BUT.....

I can breathe without gagging, 24 hours with no fever, my chest only hurts when I cough (which is about every 3 minutes as opposed to every 3 seconds and I actually slept in today!

Symptoms I still have: Sinus headache, wheezing breathing, stomach is still sore from coughing, nose is still a little stuffy, still have diarrhea and still on my period.  As horrible as that all sounds, it's SO much better than I have been the past 5 days.

I called off work on Monday, I just couldn't make it.  Tuesday they came to replace our water heater.  Here is a picture of the old one, I'd say it was due to be replaced:

As grateful as I was that it was getting replaced, I was really frustrated because they showed up at 9:30 AM and were here until 9:30PM.  I was SO sick, and I had to stay on the sofa, not in my comfy bed, while they did their work.  Brad finally got home after 4, and I retreated back to bed.  The kids woke me up a short time later to tell me he was taking them to dinner, so I had to get BACK out of bed and babysit the water heater repairmen.  I appreciated him taking them out, but I honestly would have rather stayed in bed.
They finally leave, and I continued to be miserable the remainder of the night, but I did get to take the most incredible shower I ever have here, thanks to the new hot water!
They were supposed to come finish up a few things with the water heater, and told me they would come back on Wednesday.  They call me 10 minutes before I'm leaving for work to tell me they won't be coming today, and will be back Thursday instead.  Gee...thanks for giving me the advance notice.

So I went into work last night, mostly because I can't afford to lose another days pay.  While clocking in I had 2 different people stop and comment on how horrible I looked.  I thought to myself  "if I look this bad on the outside, they'd hate to see what's going on on the inside!"  For those that don't know, I work in an animal hospital.  I work in the kennel area, so I quickly made my way to the back and hid for most of the night., so as not to infect everyone there.  Shortly after arriving, my daughter calls me to tell me the water heater is spraying water everywhere, the room is completely flooded and the new tile floor they put in is coming up.  I call the repairman, and he heads to the house, while I continue to be miserable at work.
It took every ounce of strength I had, but I managed to make it 6 hours.  I still don't know how I did it.  I was miserable.  I came home and was in bed, asleep, by 9:15PM.  A full 6 hours before I usually manage to fall asleep, and this time I did it with NO NyQuil!!  Unfortunately, I was awoken shortly after 10PM to loud snoring, and was back up until my normal 3AM.  But I did sleep in until well after noon today, and I think that is what really made the difference.

And did I mention that they STILL aren't done in the utility room?  They were supposed to come today and clean out the dryer vent, and seal the floor.  It's 2:30 in the afternoon and I have yet to hear from them.  This is why I get so frustrated when something here needs worked on...because our landlord, and his repairmen, drag their feet so badly.  If you aren't going to come, at least call in the morning and tell me, so I don't waste my entire day sitting around home waiting...ugh.
So I think I'm done waiting.  I finally feel like I can venture out of the house for a few seconds, and probably will run to the store for dinner fixens.  If I feel up to it after the kids get home, maybe I will try and talk them into going on a bike ride.  I'm loving this weather!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What was I thinking?

So I was cruising through my new owl cross-stitch project, rather enjoying myself.  I had asked Brad to stop and get me some masking tape for my fabric edges.  While waiting for him to come home, I decided to take it out of the Q-Snap and try some other tape I had.  I'm several hundred stitched into this project.  The second I took it out, I realized I had my fabric turned sideways.  It wasn't going to fit.  If you have ever wondered what is easier, stitching, or removing's stitching.  Removing them is an S.O.B.!  My body ached too much, so I finally gave up and started on this cute Jingle Bells one I have really been wanting to start on.  The fact that I can't really find any good links for it online scares me a bit, as it is a big piece.  But, it's Christmas themed, and it's only March, so no rush.

Yesterday I felt like I got hit by a Mac Truck.  I managed to get myself up, after VERY little sleep (between coughing and time change along with a knock me on my ass fever at 3AM ) and drag my behind to work.  I usually get there around 7AM, today it was 8.  Luckily I have a little play-room with the time.  I had zero strength, and I work a job that requires some strength.  I did the best I could, and after slamming a super heavy metal grate on my foot...I decided it was best to finish up and go back to bed.  I made it 3 hours.  I stopped on the way home and got a Shamrock Shake, because I think I'm sick enough to deserve it.  Got home to a super chaotic house, what I THOUGHT was dog pee from one end of the living room to the other, turned out to be a major hot water tank leak.  On a Sunday.  And a landlord that will drag his feet on it for months.  Anyway, I only figured this out AFTER shampooing all the carpet...this sick, and weak, and achy.  This was followed by the kids running in and out, over and over.  I finally kicked them all out, as it's a beautiful day, and, well, I'm sick.  This only led to the phone non-stop ringing, and the door bell non-stop da-donging.  I'd had enough.  Turned the phone off, yelled at all who had rung the door bell, curled up on the couch...and proceeded to cough so bad I couldn't even nap.  I didn't even have the strength to go to the other room to get my cough drops.

Eventually Brad came home, and he had stopped and gotten stuff for dinner, so I didn't have to cook again.  thank.freaking.god.  He also got me my cough drops, and then avoided me like I had the plague.  I don't blame him, I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

So here I am, still on the sofa 12 hours later.  The only difference is that now I feel like I was hit by FOUR Mac Trucks, and I'm coughing lungs out.  My throat is on freaking fire!  My head is throbbing..ob my gosh how my body aches.  I just want this OVER.

Oh, and I started my period today.  Thanks for nothing, mother nature...bitch!

I'm supposed to work tomorrow night, but if I feel anything like this, it's just not going to happen.  I REALLY need the money for Brad to put towards bills, but I just can't seem to find the strength to stand, let alone work.  Ugh...I need a miracle tonight!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

yawn...ow ow!

I'm sick. I don't get sick often, but when I do...I do it big time. I'm pretty sure this time is strep throat. Not having insurance SUCKS!!

So, still not sleeping well, not that that is anything new. But tonight I am SUPER tired, and my throat hurts so bad, I can't fall asleep. I've tried all the medications, nothing is helping. Next stop is a visit with my old friend NyQuil. Unfortunately it is now 2:30AM, so I will probably sleep until noon.

The bright side is...yesterday I got to go to LaPorte and stop into the cross-stitching store. I went in for 6 threads and 2 fabrics. Before I even made it to the fabric counter, I found two new patterns that I wanted to work. So, I kitted those up, got the other stuff I needed, and headed home. I now have probably 6 cross-stitching projects started, but I'm having a blast! This is one that I bought yesterday. I love the owl, and I also really like the quote with it. So, I had to get it: Cute new owl project! 
I did a few stitches in it last night, but not many. Tonight Seth and I cuddled on the sofa watching a movie and I worked on it some more. Here is where I am at on it:

In other news, got my campsite booked and paid for this years Midwest Geobash. I'm SUPER excited about this year. Each year has a different "bird mascot" and this years is an Owl. Perfect for me! Also made a few more plans for the upcoming months, and it looks like we have a get together with friends EVERY month through September! How awesome this year is going to be! I can't wait to start sleeping in the tent again too! This month, Fred and Katie are coming over for a cache run with Daryl and I. Next month we are doing a "Girls Gone Wild Freedom Tour", all girls cache run...followed by our first camping trip of the year. A group of us are heading to Pokagon, where most of us met, and camping with our families. I am REALLY looking forward to that trip!

Time to chug the NyQuil...wish me luck!

Monday, February 27, 2012

What in the duck have I gotten myself into??

Ok, so it's actually a Cardinal, not a duck...but STILL! I decided to start on the new cardinal cross-stitch piece last night, since I finished the other and I was itching to begin this one. Oh, my. Not only are there 16million different thread colors, but there are a ton of thread variations....use one thread here, use 4 there, use 3 there. And, when you do this one here, use one of this color, and one of that color, and....oh em gee. I made it through about 100 stitches last night. I haven't had a chance to work on it tonight, but as soon as I finish this post, I will start again.

This is what it will look like when it is done:
It's actually pretty big, at 15x9 inches.

This is how far I got:


Sunday, February 26, 2012

XXX and a pain in the ass O!

Just finished a cross-stitch piece I've been working on for a few weeks now. I had a blast with this one, but I have to admit, the "O" was a HUGE pain in my ass! I'm SUPER happy with the way it turned out, and can't wait to find a rustic looking frame for it! I'm finding that I really enjoy the ones with words...I think it's because I like the way they "pop" off the material when you backstitch them. Anyway, just wanted to share a quick update of it, so here goes:

I'm going to start on a project for the Nature Center next. It's by far the largest piece I've ever done, and I really hope it doesn't turn me off from stitching. I have a few other ones I can pull out if I need to take a break. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Where to go from here...

This week I have really been struggling with some emotional stuff. I touched base in my last blog about the need to sort out some feelings in regards to letting some relationships/friendships go, or finding a way to rekindle them. It's proven to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.
There are some relationships that I just can't seem to move past, even if we haven't seen each other since long before I moved to Indiana. I can't figure out what it is about them that is making me hold on for so long, other than maybe I'm just caught up in the "idea" of what they were. I'm sure with time I will figure it all out, but at this point it's almost like losing a loved one...I'm mourning their losses, and it's hurting more than I thought it would.

That being said...

Yesterday was Valentines Day, and for the first time since I was 15, I didn't have a Valentine. I actually did better with it than most probably do. I've always thought it was important to show those you care about how much you care throughout the year, and not just on one day. I'm not going to lie though, it is always nice to get something small, even if it's a homemade card or a sticky note, on Valentines Day. It was strange this year not to have any of that. I do always get the kids some candy, and a small gift, and this year we went out to dinner together. When we got home, we finished watching Breaking Dawn 1, and worked on a puzzle together. It was a nice way to spend the day, and evening.

So I've recently rediscovered how much I enjoy cross-stitching. It's kept me away from the computer, which is something I was addicted to for a very long time. I am someone who LOVES the outdoors, and hiking/sightseeing, etc. However, I am also someone who hates winter. Therefore I would shut myself inside until May each year, waiting out the snow and cold temperatures. Yesterday I did get out and do a little hiking at our state park, mostly to clear my mind. I had to drop a Snowy Owl off at the Nature Center for when Brad returns from Cuba. So, I just extended my stay a little, and walked a trail. I'll admit, it seemed a bit odd doing that on my own, but I did enjoy it even in the cold.

Today I've managed to do nothing more than some cross-stitching and a little cleaning. I've also done a lot of soul searching. I just need to find me again, and I'm not sure how. The next few months should be an interesting journey for me.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Letting things go...

Kids and I are on our "Mid-Winter Mini-Vacation". I had to work around having to pick up a Snowy Owl for Brad at Pokagon, and visiting my parents. So, we chose to stay in Marshall, Michigan, which is halfway in between. We got a "kids suite" so that there was plenty of room to sprawl out.

So Friday I get word that some friends, Tim and Samantha, are pulling through my town of residence, on their way to purchase a vehicle. We met up for lunch, and in that conversation, discussed the up-coming snow storm. They offered to caravan with me, if their schedule back matched up with my departure schedule. Things just sort of fell into place after that, and the next thing I knew, we were a 3 car caravan, hitting the highway. I was in the lead, Samantha was in her new trailblazer, and Tim was behind her, driving her old car. Things got bad very quickly. We were hitting the highway right as the storm was going through, and we were going to be traveling right along with it. Between the snow, the ice and the insane winds blowing us all over, it was slow moving to say the least. Somewhere just my side of Kalamazoo, I happened to look in the rear view mirror, just in time to see Sams new truck spin...and spin...and spin. I tried my best to pull over right away, the ice putting a bit of a damper on that plan. I finally managed to do so safely. Or as safely as "on the side of the highway in the middle of an ice patch, in the middle of Snowpocolypse 2012, can be. There were angels watching over us, and especially Sam, because she never left the roadway. We decided the safest thing to do is get off at the next exit, and give her time to catch her breathe, slow her heart rate, and decide what to do next. We chose the "stay off the highway" option, and it was a good one, because from news reports later, it only got worse as the highway went on. I carvaned with them all the way to their house, stopped by my parents to de-ice my headlights, and proceeded on to Marshall. What should have been a 2 hour drive, ended with 6 hours on the road. It was a LONG day.

Today the kids and I went to Angola and got the owl. We went to a few of our favorite locations, and then headed over to Battle Creek for dinner. I haven't had Mancinos in several years, and it's something we don't have back home, so I had a craving. The kids really enjoyed it too. After that we did a bit of shopping, and headed back to the hotel to swim, only to find out the pool was too full of chlorine to enjoy. So, we are back in the room, relaxing now.

I was supposed to meet up with a friend that I haven't seen in 7 years tonight. Due to situations out of my control, that didn't happen. I didn't really expect the wave of emotions that came along with these plans falling through. I'm sad, I'm disappointed. I realize there is nothing I can do about it, and I'm certainly not pouting about it, but it's almost like "mourning". I am forced to realize that my life has taken such a different path. Things have changed SO much since I have left. People that I could always count on to "be there" have moved on and developed different lives, no longer putting a second thought into my visiting. Moving to Indiana was a good decision for us, but I never expected to lose so many relationships along the way. I've developed a LOT of new relationships that are incredible, with some incredible people...but there are one or two that are just really hard to let go of, and tonight proved that to me. I guess it's time to do a little soul-searching within myself and figure out how to either A: redevelop these relationships, or B: learn to let them go. I just don't know which one I have the strength to do right now, as they are both going to test me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

ahh, to blog again...

So yesterday, I headed my behind to Michigan City to visit Hobby Lobby. I wanted to get a few more cross stitching items, and our local Michaels SUCKS for supplies. Hobby Lobby was frustrating, because they didn't have a lot of the things I needed. But I got a few super cute kits, and a pattern I kitted myself. It's going to be my biggest piece to date (it really isn't that big), but it's a Fall pattern, so I have half a year to finish it. That should be enough time, right? I also got a few bird ones that I want to make for the Nature Center. I don't know if Brad will even hang them, but perhaps if I have a purpose for them, I will be a little more likely to stick with

Kids and I went to dinner at Noodles & Co last night. I am totally in love with their Steak Stroganoff. We went to Walmart afterwords to get Valentines cards. We had a good time just hanging out. Unfortunately, I have to work tonight. I really am starting to hate my shifts at work, because I never get to see the kids. And I feel really bad now that Brad is in Cuba, because there is nobody here at night with them. I was hoping to escape this weekend with them, but nobody at work is willing to cover my shifts or trade shifts with me. I'm getting really frustrated with it all.

Nothing on the agenda today, other than work. I'm fighting a migraine, so not even in the mood to get out of bed. Hopefully it goes away soon, and I can venture out to the grocery store so the kids don't starve while I am away.

I've made friends with a girl at work who recently moved here from South Bend. I know what it's like to be the "new one" in town, and we just seem to have hit it off. We were talking over dinner the other night about her love for cows, and my love for squeeky cheese. She has never had it...OH EM GEE! So, tomorrow I am picking her up from work and we are heading over to Fair Oaks Farms. I may take Caiden along too, as he has never been. I'm really looking forward to the trip!

Will update after the curd haul!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Not for the weak tummied...

You have been warned. At the end of this blog, there will be photos posted that are NOT for those with weak bellies. You can't get mad at me if you choose to continue...

So at some point yesterday, while I was getting ready for work, my Geo got into a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I can only guess that one of the kids snuck into them, and in an attempt to not get caught, hid them where the dog could get to them. And get into them she did. So much so that she turned the bag inside out.

My first thought was "great, diarrhea". And I didn't want that on the floor, I took the dogs to work with me. (At this point, I wasn't certain which dog had done it, so took both) My fear wasn't that they would get super sick from it, just that it would be MUCH easier to clean up at work, since I work at an animal hospital, and the facility is designed for just such this thing. (hose, metal grates, and troughs underneath = much easier to clean than carpet)

Geo is a window dog. She LOVES to ride in the car, and even when it is 10 below, she likes to hang her head out the window. This time, she curled up on the seat and didn't move. I knew right away it was her who had gotten the chocolate. Dakota has an iron stomach, and can ingest ANYTHING without side effects. I wasn't sure how Geo was going to handle it.

About an hour after we arrived at work, the vomiting started. LOTS of vomiting. Chocolate everywhere. She "dropped" right before my eyes. Her eyes dilated, her skin began to sag, she was drooling, eyes watering...and her fur just didn't look right, which is always an indicator when she doesn't feel good. I went and spoke with Dr. Brooke about it and she offered to look at her.

Turns out, Geo ingested what could be a fatal amount of chocolate. Now I was scared. She is an old girl. Best we can guess is that she is at least 9. She has had a previous back injury that left her paralyzed for several months. She didn't need this too.

One of my co-workers, Erica, offered to ingest Geo with the 250ccs of activated charcoal that the doctor ordered. All I can say is thank God for Erica, and that Geo was a good patient. It ended up not being too messy, and I was thankful Geo didn't make Erica wear it, because I already felt bad enough.

And then the puking started. Lots.and.lots.of.puking. Who knew dog stomachs could hold so much? Not this chick, that's for sure. There was more chocolate in the vomit than charcoal, and if there was any blessing in it at all, it was that the puke smelled just like the chocolate, so the cleanup wasn't near as bad as it could have been. Aside from the staining charcoal.

Geo was now on "seizure" watch. I decided to take her home with me, because then she would have overnight supervision. Once we got home, she kind of went downhill again. She was pacing, whining, hiding (have since found out that this is due to the caffeine in the chocolate). her heart rate got up near 160, but never to the 200bpm the Dr. told me to watch for. I was up at least every hour peeking on her. I had set her up a nice lined bed next to where Brad sleeps, and she stayed there. She threw up a few more times overnight, but nothing like what she did at work. I was terrified, and was certain she wasn't going to make through the night.

This morning, I woke to check on Geo. She had managed to get herself up on the back of the sofa, which was something she couldn't do last night. She was sound asleep, but when I woke her, I noticed right away that her eyes looked a million times better. Her breathing wasn't as fast, and her tummy not as sore. Unfortunately, Chocolate Toxicity can re-present itself for several days after the ingestion point. So, we aren't out of the woods yet. But I am really hoping that this means she is strong enough still, to pull through this.

Our little shelter beagle is turning out to be one hell of a fighter, over and over again.

And now, for the people that are fascinated by medical things like I am....the photos. For those that aren't, look away now.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For when he unto, a nothingness became...

I remember that line, from a poem my mom once wrote. Couldn't tell you how many years it's been since I read it, but for some reason, that one line always stuck with me. I can't remember much else, but that has seemed to discover a way to stay locked in my brain. Weird.

I haven't blogged in FOREVER, and it honestly has been driving me nuts. No internet connection at all at home anymore. One of the kids told me that it was requested of the neighbor to lock their internet so I could no longer use it. Oh well, so be it. I now have no television, no internet...and I've watched every movie in the house at least a dozen times. I'm slowly losing my mind, and to be honest, any will to do anything. I can't job search/apartment hunt, without internet. I can't afford the gas to be driving all around doing it in person. And from the sounds of it, my federal tax returns may be garnished (whatever they call it) for unpaid medical bills. I'm in a funk, and it doesn't look like there is much of a way out of it.

Not much else is going on in my life, to be honest. Still working, still loving my job, still not making enough to survive. Caiden turned one yesterday, and it got me to remembering when he was born. The day he arrived, we got hit with one hell of a blizzard. We were snowed in at the hospital for nearly 4 days. It took us forever to get home, because the snow went higher than the car we were driving. It was insane. Yesterday, on his first birthday, it was nearly 60 degrees out. Beautiful day! We didn't have a party planned for him, it's just too hard with my current living situation, and finances. But will get together soon for cake, presents, etc.

Brad leaves this weekend for Cuba for 2 weeks. While we don't talk, or do anything together, it is going to seem odd without him here. I can't help but worry about him while he travels, mostly given where he is traveling to. I'm sure he will do fine, as he has made this trip before, but I do wish him safe travels, and can't help but be a bit jealous of his getting to go again. Especially because he is going to be traveling to a Sea Turtle nesting site....OMG, I SO want to see that!

Anyway, hope all of you are well, can't wait to be able to blog a bit more often. It certainly helps clear the mind. Not having someone in the home to "release my thoughts" onto, I guess I sort of came to depend on blogging them out!