Monday, May 23, 2016

The Newsiest News of the Year...

Guess where we are going for our summer vacation!
South Dakota! You got that one right didn't you?
Guess what we're going to drive on our roadtrip?
A big U-Haul!  You probably didn't get that one!

The time has come to begin a return to our South Dakota roots.  We are MOVING this summer...well-- sort of.  We are going to occupy  both of our houses for a while. Keith, Lexie, and Charlie are going to reside in the California house for one more year before we sell it, while Mary, Gracie, and Libby take over the South Dakota house.  The separate homes for a year is inspired by Katie and Andrew, and the way they handled things when Andrew deployed to sea. 
In California, Keith will work another year at his middle school and University jobs, and work on a big fix-it list to get the house updated and sold. Oh yeah-- he also will write his doctoral dissertation. Writing will be easier with fewer people around, and making home repairs and updates will be easier with a mostly-empty California house.   

Moving back has been our long term goal for years. I'm looking forward to returning to the working world and spending a bit more time with adults! Gracie and Libby will get to attend the same elementary school-- which is brand new in our neighborhood in Pierre, having just opened this school year.  That's a really good thing, since the following year Gracie goes to MIDDLE SCHOOL already!! Gaaaahhh!!  Keith is excited about eventually hunting again with friends and family, as well as enjoying all of the fun available each season in Pierre.  Between our homes, we'll call, text, Facebook, Skype and all of that sort of thing, and we will have holidays together too. 

Roadtripping in a U-Haul, it's happening soon! We are planning to hit the road in a big truck crammed full of beds, bookshelves, boxes, and stuff by July 1.  The 4th of July will be in Pierre this year, and we are all really excited!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Test post

This is a test.

I  downloaded an app on my phone to write blog posts! How cool is that! We're about to find out I suppose.

I  might be typing in Italics, oooooo, I  am!

Let's test the bold font.

Wonder how publishing will work?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Welcome to 2016

Oh my, this poor neglected blog. I have no idea why I quit writing, but I did. It felt like the thing to do, or undo. Simply put, I didn't feel like writing.  Very odd for me, but I went with it.

I poured my heart and soul into sewing and embroidery. I am glad I did too because 2015 was a growing year for me in textile creativity. I loved almost everything I made! Most things, I made two or three.  I participated in a couple of craft fairs, both went poorly as far as profits, but they were a lot of fun and good experiences. I sold a few things via Etsy and Facebook too, just enough to keep me in thread, which works out just fine! I made loads of gifts for friends and family. And I made lots of tote bags for shopping and toting things around. Those were fun, luckily, I saved a few for myself.

The kids are doing well. They have all grown so much that I have recently cleared out their closets and dresser drawers. Nearly everything went in the "Too Small" bin. I hate to toss out nice clothes that my daughter has been wearing for three years, but in reality, three years is an awfully long time for a child to keep anything. Good thing Santa brought longer pants for everyone!

Grace has decided to give up the i in her name, she's growing up and it sounds too cute. Dear me. She started going to public school for 4th grade after graduating from Lower Elementary in the Montessori school. She loves it! She is doing very well too! She does her homework without complaint and she works hard.  We didn't see this in Lower El, so it's very refreshing! Libby is growing bored of Montessori. I'm sad about that because I always thought it was her style. I might send her to public next year for 3rd grade, but she needs to finish 2nd and then we'll see. She's doing really well and loves Math the most. Charlie is doing too well in Kindy. He's bored and not enjoying it. He is reading books that are marked 3rd grade reading level at home, so it's no wonder that he is bored at school. It's sure nice to have intelligent kiddos, their problems are the kind every parent hopes to have.

Keith is succeeding in his doctoral program! He is earning almost every point in the entire program of coursework. I'm very proud! His accomplishments aren't easy; he works two jobs and overloads on classes so that he can finish earlier (thus saving tuition). He'll be finished with the coursework soon, then he has comprehensive exams, then he'll start his dissertation. The dissertation phase should begin in May or June, and then he'll probably take a year to write it.  Which is astonishing!  Pretty soon, I'll be "Mrs. Doctor".

We have been discussing our future a lot lately. It's been fun to think about the kids being teens. These things tend to creep up on a mom and I really love their ages that they are now, but it's good to think ahead and I imagine them all growing into smart, healthy, responsible teens (mostly). And tall, I imagine that I will be the shortest one in the family again. I've also been thinking about getting a resume written and jumping back into the world of working adults. It'll feel like a foreign land after 14 years of being a stay-home-mom, but I'm the adventurous type.

My favorite thing about 2015 was camping. We bought a pop up camper and took it halfway across America and back. I didn't sleep good in it, not even once, but I sure loved going camping with my family. I have to remember to bring my own pillow.  I am looking forward to another summer of camping in '16.

My health is good. I have been cancer free all year. I finished Herceptin in May, had a heart health scare in June, and I got my port out in September. I'm on Tamoxifen now, which has side effects that are annoying, but nothing too terrible. I have to have a scar revision and I have to have a total hysterectomy. I tested positive for Brca2, which increases my chances of ovarian cancer. So, still battling the battle, but if we can keep cancer out of the equation, it's all good. Along with that, I need to get into the dentist. Ugh. The thought of going to the dentist makes me groan and slump.

That's pretty much the 2015 wrap up, with the 2016 forecast. Nothing too exciting, just living the life with sprinkles of this and that thrown in. This is good! Hopefully, we will have a boring year. Boring is a good thing! Boring is peaceful. I don't know how much I will write, if at all, but I am pretty sure that I will be sewing miles and miles of stitches. I did start up a sewing Instagram account to document my projects. I don't really say anything about them, I just post up a picture once in a while.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Sorry for the Severe Blog Neglect!

Sorry!  I haven't been blogging at all!  Bad, bad, blogger.

I've been sewing a lot rather than blogging. It's very therapeutic. Well, blogging is too but sewing is in a different way. The creative side of me needed to come forward and well, it sort of took over.

Let's see... where did I leave off?

January I posted something about getting new slippers in an after Christmas sale, and that was pretty much the excitement for January.

February was a bit of a rough month for me because I felt badly about hitting the one year mark of my breast cancer battle and it's not even over yet. But as I was having my little pity party, I met two people that put things into perspective for me (although I didn't tell them that they helped me quit feeling sorry for myself).  While dropping the kids off at Michelle's Place to the kids' counseling group for kids whose parents have/had cancer, I met a man and after a little hello and small talk, he shared that his wife died of breast cancer less than a year earlier, and his 6 year old son was dying of another illness and had already lived longer than his life expectancy. Suddenly, surviving breast cancer didn't seem like all that much of a sorrowful thing. Then I met a homeless family, they are happy and healthy and having fun living life without a home. They're awesome. They don't complain about their life, they brag about how awesome it is. And, no, they weren't religious freaks or cult members or anything, just normal people who made my little messy house feel like the Ritz. They are living in a tent and I was commiserating about needing to repaint the interior of my house again. So, Febrary was a roller coaster of emotions for me and it ended on a good note.

March came along and my little girl turned 9 years old. Hard to believe! (I say that every year.)  Also in March, my daughter Katie asked me if I wanted to host a vendor table with some of my sewing wares at a Natural Parenting event she was organizing. She got a little part time job at a baby boutique, and part of her job was to organize this event.  I agreed to be a vendor, which actually, I know I wouldn't have done that if anyone else had asked me.  I spent most of the month sewing up baby items and things for the vendor booth.  I sewed like a maniac!

In April, I went to the craft fair and had my vendor booth. It was awesome!  I did great!  The crowd was smaller than they expected, and many vendors didn't do well at all. I made $100. That isn't much by any means and only covered my expenses a tad. I'm totally in the red, but it was a great boost of confidence and a good experience. Now, I think I could actually be a vendor at a larger craft fair event or farmer's market.  I put all of my leftover inventory on Etsy and we'll see if it sells. In the meantime, I'm sewing other things. I have been taking a few orders.

I had a crazy experience this month that I'm sure I'll never forget: I had an anxiety attack at my last Herceptin treatment and so the nurse gave me a second dose of Ativan to calm me down, which was great and it worked well, maybe too well.  On the way home from the chemo clinic, I was driving in the left lane (not the turning lane, the left driving lane) and I blacked out behind the wheel.  I have a dashcam and the video shows that I accelerated as I drifted across the right lane of traffic and hit the curb against the sidewalk. Amazingly, I didn't hit anyone or hurt myself or my car! But when I smacked the curb, I came to again and immediately realized what happened. Good thing I didn't drift to the left into oncoming traffic. I put the car in park and turned on my hazard lights and called my husband. I managed to drive it the rest of the way home, aprox 2 miles, and then I went to bed. The girls hitched a ride home from school with a friend because there was no way I could pick them up in the shape I was in. Thankfully, I didn't get arrested for a DUI.  Dumb luck that nobody was hurt, it was really crazy!

Now, it's May.  Usually the busiest month of the year (at least it ties with December).  Gracie and Charlie are in soccer, Libby is in ballet, The kids are all winding up their school years, and I'm still sewing away.  Why not! Some excitement coming up: I have my last Herceptin infusion on May 8th. Keith is taking the day off to drive me. I'll be so glad to be done!  The other exciting news is that our exchange student from Germany, Anna, is coming for a visit at the end of the month. Yay!  That should be fun.

I guess that's the update. We're busy and doing well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Eye Exam

I went and had my eyes checked today. I have to blog about it even though it's a boring subject because I need to remember when I did this. I can't remember when the last time was that I got my eyes checked, but I know it was at Super Target and the girls had their eyes checked too. I think Gracie was in kindergarten, but I can't remember exactly. So, for my own memory (or lack of), I got my eyes checked today: Jan 28, 2015. Now, in two or three years, I just have to remember where my reminder is.

Again, I had my eyes checked at Super Target. It was a weird appointment.

First of all, I had to take my 4 year old grandson with me. His mom was sick, so he became my eye exam helper. Luckily for him, it didn't take long.

My appointment was for 10:00 am and I was called back to the exam room at 10:15. I was in my car in the parking lot at 10:30.  Not even kidding.

The doctor had me look in one machine and look at a picture. I'm pretty sure this is the machine that measures the eye. I looked at the picture. It was a highway with a hot air balloon on the horizon. Then I had to look in the machine that puffs air onto your eye. I hate that one! I jump so high every time, even though I know what's going to happen.

I moved up to the big chair and looked through the giant thing that hangs from the ceiling. He said "Can you see that row of letters?" Then he said things like, "which one is better A or B? A or B? 1 or 2?"  We did a few rounds of that game and then he wrote out a prescription.

He wrote it for almost the same Rx that I had last time, and I know for a fact that my eyes are worse. This Rx is not worse, it's better. Plus, he added a bifocal Rx to it. He didn't even test me for up close reading. I'm so confused.

Now I am wondering if I should get my eyes checked again, use my old Rx to order glasses, or what. I guess I'll go to Walmart and try out all the reading glasses and see which one works best for me. I really don't trust the prescription since it was a total guess. I'm sure my insurance won't cover two eye exams in one year, so I think I'm kind of screwed.

{Insert sounds of me growling in grumpiness}

By the way, Charlie was very good while I got my eyes checked. I bought him a stuffed pink pig and he was a happy little boy with his new pink pig, which he promptly named Pinky. It's a boy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Slippers

First I got a new purse, now I went and bought new slippers. I'm so spoiled!

I just got a new pair of slippers in December and I liked them. They were just fine, nice and fuzzy on the inside, black suede on the outside. Very cozy.  I wore them last night to take the trash out to the curb. That's where my Christmas slippers met their demise.

My neighbor was doing the same. Her name is Julie. She got her trash to the curb and walked over to where I was placing mine on the curb and said hello. She thanked me for giving her grandchildren some hand-me-downs and she was commenting about how they loved the little girl clothes, especially the things I made. We were chit chatting like that and along comes my other neighbor from the house on the other side of me.

Jessica came out of her house with her two stupid dogs on a leash. She was obviously going to take them for an evening stroll. She was saying hello to me and Julie. The dogs lead her right up to me and Buddy put his front paws on my knee. I bent down to pat his head and nicely get him off my knee and then it happened.

Buddy peed on my feet.

With his paws up on my knee,  his wiener was poised in just the right position to pee on my feet. That's just what he did. He let loose with his stream and it began on my feet and created a stream that ran down the edge of the driveway to the gutter.

Jessica said, "Oh, Buddy. I thought you were able to control yourself. Sorry!" She flashed a big smile and off she went on her walk.

Seriously? Did that just happen?

Julie was flabbergasted! Her jaw was nearly on the driveway. Good thing it was attached to her face or it would have fallen in the pee puddle. She was completely disgusted. I was too.  I just got peed on by a dog!  I've been peed on many many times, but never by a dog!  So gross!

The pee didn't actually touch me because he peed on the top of my slippers. My feet were inside, but protected by the slipper upper. My bare ankles didn't feel a drop, so I think that I was spared any actual pee to skin contact. But, still, horribly disgusting!

I slid out of my slippers and stooped over and picked them up by the heels.  I placed them right on top of the trash bin and walked inside barefooted. I didn't even say goodnight to the neighbors. I'm sure that type of event trumps any social graces and excuses all manners though.

I came in and washed my hands, then sat on the edge of the tub and scrubbed my feet from my toes to my knees.  I woke up this morning and did it again. I was just feeling yucky from the idea of it!

I was able to sneak in a trip to Target today and I grabbed up a new pair of slippers.  Look, they have no dog pee on them!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Purse

I got a new purse.

I love to get new purses! That's why I try not to buy expensive purses, because I just can't commit. I like getting a new one and I'm always keeping my eye out.

We were at Costco, of all places to spot an awesome new purse. They had a huge stack of these purses in various colors and designs and they were $15.  That's so cheap! And I liked it right away! It has a zippered closure and a water bottle holder on the side. Score! Those are very cool features!

The zippers on top were secured with a plastic tie, so I couldn't peek inside, but really what more do I need to see. There are two zippers on the top, that means two big sections. And I love the zippers because I tend to tip my purse over in the car. Not sure why that is such a huge problem for me, but it is. I've come to realize it and live with it.

Got the purse home, yanked off the tags and opened it up. Weird. It had a plastic food container inside. Well, whatever.

I took the container out and what is this? It had a really weird looking lining. Like padded foil. Guess I'll be able to find things that get lost in the bottom of my purse, unlike a purse lined in black fabric. That'll work!

I moved everything over from my current purse to the new one. I like it!

Then, I looked at the tags. I've been fooled! It's a lunch box! This purse is a lunch tote! It's for food! Check it out! It's such a pretty purse, darn my luck! Oh, I had a good laugh!  But I still like it. I decided to give it a trial run. Maybe since it's a lunch box it won't really work out, but there's hope, right?  It might be too dorky.  I might be too dorky for thinking it might work out.

I took it out and about.  Nobody commented. Nobody said, "Hey, nice lunch tote! Are you having a picnic?"  Nobody. I took it out for a beer. Seems ok. Not too lunchboxy. I even took it to the park with my kids and my friend said, "I like your new purse." Dude. She called it a purse! Trial is over, it passed the test! I'm rocking the lunch tote purse!