About Me

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I have spent a great deal of my life battling illness. I suffered from Crohn's Disease and eventually had abdominal surgery, thwarting the Crohn's and budding cancer cells. Since my surgery in 1995 I have been relatively free from Crohns', although I had several subsequent surgeries related to my ileostomy..When my disease was in remission, I don't think my husband realized how bad it could get, but he has stood by me. I also have suffered from various autoimmune disorders and am diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Disease. Fortunately, I am maintaining and do not need dialysis at this point. We adopted our son and later found out he had cerebral palsy, so he became my career. Dan has had two surgeries and tons of therapy and is able to walk because of it. He is a college graduate and is employed as an Information Specialist. We are very proud of his accomplishements. I am now part of the retired generation and still getting used to the idea. I do enjoy crafting, traveling and being with family and friends. I am active in my church and feel that the hardships we endure are there to build our faith. I like to live life in the "now" as we never know how much time is left.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The 25th is Over

They say Christmas is over, but is it?  I never felt the Christmas "sprit" this year.  I think I was too tired.
I didn't feel like writing my blog, or posting pictures.  Tired.

BUT, there are other times when I feel the Christmas spirit, like when I'm  visiting with my Mom and being able to watch TV with her, touching  her arm, and being able to give her a hug and a kiss. 

I feel the Christmas spiirt when I think how blessed I am to have a new job and a new beginning at the ripe age of 59!

I feel the Christmas spirit when I reflect on my family and friends and all the blessings they have brought me.

A baby born in a stable.  BLESSING!  GRACE! PEACE!

That is what I wish for you for the New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

What's Going On

Work has been wonderful!  The new job is so interesting, the people so supportive and friendly!  I already got a gift from the company (hospital), supervisor, and some of my coworkers!  Woweee!  Next year I will remember them.

Went to a party for my "old" business office.  The feeling between my supervisor and myself was a bit wierd, but things went fine.  We all had a good time...good food, good friends and alot of laughter!

Distressing news again.  I woke up Tuesday morning and noticed that I had a bald spot the size of a quarter!
Wednesday I went to the dermatologist.  No, it's not a fungus, not ringworm.  What is it?  So, he took a biopsy and I have to wait.  Lovely.  Couldn't get my hair colored or trimmed.  It's a challenge to cover the bald spot with short hair.  Getting the staples out in ten days.  I actually think it was my stress in October/November that caused this as there is a gray streak near the offensive bald spot.  The story is that my coworkers are filling my head with so much knowledge that it is looking for a way out and pushed my hair right out of my head!

To comfort myself I went to the beauty school and had my nails done.  The student did a wonderful job!  She even included a hand massage.  Tis the season.

Today I must clean as the family is coming over to my house for Christmas Eve.  Mom is quite her old self, asking for specific items of jewelry, money to play cards with, etc.  I am so happy about that!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Busy Week/Bittersweet Good-byes

Sorry if I don't always post a comment on your blog.  It doesn't mean I'm not looking.  I am.  I have been so busy with work and the holidays.  I am just plain tired.

Yesterday was my last day at Clinic "A."  They threw a wonderful "Good Luck/Congrats" party for me.  I was overwhelmed by their generosity and the signatures on my card.  It was a rather teary day for me, getting hugs and saying "see ya" knowing that I wouldn't be a part of that wonderful staff again.  Oh, I will come in and drop off Avon books, get my blood drawn, etc., but it won't be the same.  13 years with the corporation.  I had an exit interview that really falls on deaf ears.   They want to know why you are leaving, but then again, they don't care.

I got a plant from Pediatrics and a very generous gift card from the clinic as a whole.  It is to one of the local department stores and I plan on shopping the after Christmas sales! 

Last night I went to the Pediatrics Christmas party.  It was not for me.  I enjoyed myself but was the first to leave as it was a long day and I was so tired.

Today is a baby shower for a niece-in-law.  It is a good chance to see the family as men are invited as well.  Best to get going then.!

Monday, December 5, 2011

One Day at a Time

Nothing like the holidays to make you get off your rear and get in gear!  I am having the family get together this year, since we still have Mom with us and my house is the most accessible.  So, yesterday I started to attack the basement!  My pool table was full of crafting stuff.  Now, I must mention, my craft area is still not organized the way I  would like, but it's getting there. I do have boxes of stuff shoved under and around the pool table, but at least it is off the surface.  (Now I have a gift wrapping station!)  I have stuff  on the floor by my craft area, waiting to be put away when I figure out where I'm putting things.  It is getting there, slow but sure.  I can see my craft table!

Today is a busy day.  I have a chiropractic appointment, then meet Mom at the orthopedic doctor.  I then must take my glasses into the optician, stop and buy a Christmas gift, yada yada yada!  When I get home, decorating the Christmas tree is on the agenda. 

Tomorrow I have orientation for my new job.  The rest of the week I work at my old job.  Friday night I have a Christmas party  for Pediatrics.  Saturday I have a baby shower!

Calgon, take me away.  Pray I survive.....one day at a time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

No Sweat

Writer's block.  Maybe it's a good thing as all is well.  I am working the remainder of my days.  My supervisors had some very kind things to say about me, and one even gave me a hug.  Next Friday is my last day.  Do I have waterproof mascara?

I am excited about the new job.  Today I will get out my fall/winter clothes.  With all that was going on with Mom, didn't have much time for that.  Her apartment is emptied, Mom is all settled.  She has her TV, her DVD player and her phone.  She is content and even liking the food better.  The best thing is that her pneumonia is gone (but she's still on oxygen), she is independent and walks with a walker and dresses herself.  Yeah, Mom!

Thanksgiving was nice.  The food was good, Mom enjoyed being here, but the movie we watched was boring...."Love Happens" with Jennifer Aniston.  Guess all her movies aren't 10's.

Have almost all my shopping done.  Hope to finish it this weekend.  Not at all ready for Christmas.  Will decorate the porch this morning.  I will, I will, I will!  Oh, and take off that Thanksgiving tablecloth!  Slowly it will all come together and Christmas will be here.  I am not going to sweat the small stuff.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

50 Years Ago

I was discussing with a friend how spoiled we are now a days.  Thanksgiving fifty years ago was so different.  EVERYTHING was  cooked on the stove or in the oven.  We didn't have microwaves.  Later we heated our leftovers by putting everything back into kettles and making more dirty dishes.  We certainly didn't have dishwashers.  We used meat grinders, not food processors.  Coffee came out of a percolator.  Mom did laundry in a wringer washer and hung it on a line outdoors no matter how cold out it was.

We didn't go Christmas shopping online, or have stores open at midnight for Black Friday.  The bell ringers were downtown (no malls).  We shopped from store to store.  We visited Santa and put money in the kettles.  Christmas music was in the air, but not in November.  We didn't use credit cards, but Thank God for Lay-away!

What are your memories of this time of year?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Life Feels Surreal

Life feels surreal.  A month ago, Mom almost died.  Now she is doing so well in the health care center (nursing home).  I am happy for this.  I wonder if Mom will decide to stay there or with my brother.

I got a new job out of the blue.  Oh sure, I had been applying for different jobs for some time, but why, when life was at it's worst, did I get called to interview.  Well, I got the job!  Yesterday I gave my notice and my resignation.  December 9th is my last day at clinic "A" and December 12th I start at clinic "B."
I am scared, excited, sad to be leaving my friends but feel thankful that at my age I can still start a new chapter in my life!

Everything is happening so fast.  I have to get things out of my Mom's apartment yet.  I have to clean my house for Thanksgiving.  Before you know it, it will be January!

Exhausted but happy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sometimes You're the Windshield, Sometimes You're the Bug!

It's laughable, really,....the kind of week I've had.  Tuesday I had a car accident.  My fault...failure to yield.  It was inattentive driving to me, but in my defense, it was a dark, gloomy day and raining.  The other car came out of nowhere and didn't have their headlights on.  No matter, I got a citation.  No one was hurt, the cars slightly damaged, but still my insurance will have to pay to repair the other person's car.  I am keeping my war wounds on my old car.

Tuesday night I soiled my bed sheets...my ostomy acting up again.

Wednesday we had a work meeting at lunchtime.  I spilled my soda.  I also laughed and doing that, my ostomy appliance came loose, and yikes, I was a mess!  Good thing for change of clothes and for coworkers who can cover for me.

Thursday night the ostomy appliance sprung another leak.  This IS getting bothersome.  Thank God for washers and dryers and an understanding husband who helps me change bedding in the middle of the night.

I called to inquire about the "job."  I was told human resources would let me know by the end of the week.  I didn't hear anything....guess that's my answer!

It's been a strange week.  We have a beautiful harvest moon!  My mother is improving.  Her oxygen has been decreased markedly,   She is walking with a walker (and an aide to shadow).  She will also walk without anyone there!  She is so determined!  I plan on visiting her again tomorrow.  Sunday I will go with bff to her grandaughter's birthday party.

I am content, all in all.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Happier Place

Yesterday was a long day, but certainly worth it!

I job shadowed.  I guess I am the second person to shadow for the job.  They will discuss it on Monday and I should know by the end of the week if the job is mine or not.  The morale there is great and they have great teamwork!  It looks quite challenging too.

In the afternoon, I met my Mom at the clinic.  She saw her doctor, had xrays twice cause the first couple didn't turn out.  Her blood work came back good...no infections.  Her pneumonia is better than it was and she is going on an antibiotic.

Thursday was a day for her too in that they moved her to a unit where the people were a little more with it.
She likes that and likes her room too.

Today I am going to do her nails.

I am in a happier place.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Plan

We met with Hospice yesterday to discuss Mom's plan.  She is going off of Hospice so she can go to the doctor and get a second opinion and chest x-ray.  This way we will know for certain whether she should go back on antibiotics or it is useless.  It will clear up any "what ifs."  Mom agreed that if she does need an antibiotic they can give her something for nausea.  My brother and son are in huge denial, so this will be good for them as well.  It is hard to accept the fact that Mom is where she is and that we will lose her one day.

We discussed the nursing home.  She is always cold.  We don't know that we can do anything about that other than bring her a nice throw.  She is still on a waiting list for a room where most of the residents have their faculties.  She is sick of Halloween and I left my "damn" pumpkin there.  (Think Maxine).

Picked up Hubby's car.  It needed new brakes to the tune of another $500.  Yikes!

Had 75 Trick or Treaters.  Love the little ones!  Was fun to see my great nephews!

Today I am going to the beauty school.  I have a coupon for a free haircut.  Then I am getting my nails shellacked (on sale for $5).  Shellac lasts longer than nail enamel.  It is something I need to do for myself.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
This is from my Red Hat Halloween Party.  I am the pirate with the red striped shirt.  We had a good time.
I love dressing up for Halloween.  It is fun to play a character! 

We used to have great Halloweens where I work.  Each department had a theme and would dress accordingly.  That sort of fell with the morale.  Then we at least decorated our department, then, nothing.
Last time I was the only one in our department in costume. I don't work this year, so who knows if anyone will dress up?

When I was a kid we used to go door to door at night.  Our Mom's took us and we even stopped at the neighborhood taverns where many patrons would buy us a full size candy bar!  Couldn't do that now!
We filled grocery bags!  One house always invited us in for hot chocolate and a rice crispy bar.
Then came the razor blade era and anything that wasn't wrapped was a no no.  They also started x-raying the candy.  No fun!

When my son was small, we had to push him in his special stroller as he couldn't walk because of the CP.  Do you know how many houses have steps?  If you don't go to the door, you don't get any candy.
He loved dressing in costume too.  I think his favorite to this day was his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bodycast that wasn't even Halloween! I don't decorate for Halloween.  It was fun when Danny was small.

  We will hand out candy, after our trip to the nursing home, the bank and the car repair shop. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

On a Positive Note

For today, I will think of the positive. 

My mom looked fabulous last night.  She had her hair done and wanted to go for a spin today in her wheelchair.  The oxygen is attached so she has freedom from her four walls.

I will be job shadowing on Friday.  How can that not be a good thing?

It is the weekend and the sun is shining.  I will go to my mom's apartment and take the things she wanted me to have.  I will pack some things up, and give some other things away.

I am going to go for counseling to get me past this phase in my life.  I am thankful for friends who pull me out of the darkness.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Waiting for the Shoe to Drop

Hospice:  Medicine/Medical. a.a health-care facility for the terminally ill that emphasizes pain control and emotional support for the patient and family, typically refraining from taking extraordinary measures to prolong life.

Does this mean my Mom can't try to be well?  Aren't we all terminal?  I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Usually when Hospice is suggested, it means the patient has less than six months to live.  But, how can I live like this?  I can't make plans.  I am afraid to move forward.

Yesterday I had the blues, because I miss my lunches over by Mom next to my workplace.  It's not the food, although Mom was an awesome cook, but just being there and watching "Days of Our Lives" together.
I miss the kiss goodbye and the dog barking at me. 

I can no longer park facing Mom's apartment building.

I work with her doctor and want him to make her better.

It's 4am and I can't sleep again.  I have to work today.

Mom can accept her impending fate, why can't I?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Job Interview and More

Yesterday I had a job interview.  I decided to wear my navy pants with a flowered cardigan as I feel comfortable in that, and if I wanted to be confident, I had to be comfortable. 

Was I confident?  Somewhat, and somewhat nervous.  I interviewed for an hour with Human Resources and then was sent to the clinic for a second interview.  The good news is that the interviewer was a RN that I worked with back in the days.  So, at least there is no prejudice against age, as we are about the same age.  The position includes registration, scheduling, and the switchboard.  They mix it up and I would work one station one day, another the next.  I am scheduled to job shadow on 11/4.  I imagine I will hear the results some time around then.

I went to seem Mom.  She is wanting to get better, although in her words, will never be A-OK again.  She wants to get her hair done, get her meds back and get rid of the catheter!  She wants to walk and join in the dining room.  We are very pleased with Mom's change of attitude.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just a Normal Day

I went to church and and after picked up my flowers from last week which still looked good.  They were in honor of my anniversary, but I wasn't up to attending services last week with Mom in the hospital and all.

When I got home, Hubby and I went for a ride to take some items back that I had purchased.  It is good to have some extra money in my checking account, but was so difficult to leave the store when they had a 50% off sale.  I did though.

We had a lovely lunch in a Mexican restaurant.  We both love Mexican/American food. 

On the drive home, I fell asleep in the car.  When I got home, I took a good nap on top of that!

I called my sister, and Mom had a good day.  She is showing signs of wanting to get better.

I watched the rest of the football game (our home team won), watched TV till 9pm and went to bed.  I slept through the night till 5am, which is an improvement for me this week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Life is a Little Better

Yesterday we packed some things up for Mom.  It was sad.  I know I will never be able to go over there for lunch again. 

We bought Mom a new comforter and she liked that.  Put some more things in her room to make it "homey."

I washed Mom's face, put a little makeup on her, then we managed to talk her into seeing the place.  She said all the people there are loony.  Unfortunately they are more so in her unit as they require more care like she does.  We took her to see the aviary and then the "town square" and chapel.  The facility is quite pretty, but I am wondering about the care.

She doesn't like the food, and if they don't offer an option, she doesn't suggest it.  I told her to go ahead and bitch if she needs something.  The room they show you is perfect, then you get this
mattress that is awful, crummy food, unruly patients, etc.  Things are never what they seem.  Now she is saying the other nursing home had people in it that she knows.

Baby steps, ha!  I am calling Hospice today.  Mom has her good hearing aide and still can't hear.  I don't know if it's the sound of the oxygen machine or if she needs her ears cleaned.

I slept a little better last night.  Actually slept until 4am!  That is almost 8 hours.  I will take a nap sometime today, do my own laundry, put my summer sandals and shoes away.  I will take baby steps too.

The good news or is it?  I have a job interview on Monday.  It would be for the same thing I am doing now only at the competitor's clinic.  I wouldn't be parking my car next to Mom's apartment, I would be working three days a week and get benefits too.  I just put it all in God's hands.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Life is a Series of Baby Steps

Life is a series of baby steps right now.  I am still awake at 3am, but I'm not crying.  The nursing home staff dressed Mom yesterday and she went to the dining room for breakfast.   Baby steps.  She is getting used to her surroundings. 

I am sure things will improve once she has her hearing aide.  She can hardly hear right now so that must be scary.  She will feel more social when she can hear.

I am slowly going to let go and learn to trust the staff at the nursing home.  Baby steps

A week ago, we thought Mom was going to die.    Now we have a new reality.
Plan for today:  Buy her some "nursing home" clothes and  a new comforter for her bed.  We are working on making her room prettier, although it is decorated quite nicely with paint and wallpaper border, etc.

Yesterday we paid for the funeral trust.  Today is a fun day to make Mom happy!.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Warning: Depressing Post

It is not quite 3am.  I can't sleep, so here I am.

I can't seem to post on other's blogs, less I say something depressing.  I am depressed.  Mom moved to the nursing home yesterday.  It is not a good transistion.  She doesn't get half the care she got in the hospital.  The food is lukewarm at best and not all edible.  She is feeling down, I can tell, and that is what bothers me.  It is difficult for me to leave her there.

Her hearing aide is in for repairs, so she has her TV on full blast, which makes it difficult to visit.  I think she is escaping into her TV.

My sister is always cross, and I can't take that anymore either.  Today we have to go to the funeral home to pay for Mom's  arrangements.  I want to go a month back into time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Halfway Good Day!

It's 4am and I can't sleep again.  More like sinuses than anything....plus I am off kilter now.  Will go to bed later.

We had to tell Mom she has to go to a nursing home.  This is one of the hardest things we have done, but Mom took it better than us.  The facility is like the Cadillac of nursing homes.  It is just beautiful and highly recommended.  The hallway has the facade of a little town, with a high ceiling that looks like the sky.  The rooms are small, but private and clean and modern.  We felt good about our choice.

Yesterday Mom sat up in her chair and ate by herself.  She sat up in bed last night to eat.  I am so happy she had a good day.  She still is not on any meds but on the nebulizer for her cough and has a Foley catheter so she can go potty.

I have decided not to work the rest of this week, but spend my time with Mom and get my rest.  Tonight is our wedding anniversary.   We will go out for dinner.  We have been married 31 years.  Love that man!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some Kind of Normalcy

My bff took me to Hobby Lobby yesterday.  It was good to go somewhere other than the hospital.  I needed some sleeves for my scrapbook pages and they were on sale.  I also managed to find a photo book at 40% off for my sister's birthday .

We then went up to the hospital.  Mom is sleeping quite a bit now.  We went to the cafeteria, came back upstairs and my brother and sister were there.  I have not been sleeping and fell asleep in the chair in my Mom's room.  We  met with the hospice nurse.  We had questions as to whether or not she shouldn't be back on antibiotics.  In the end, it is Mom's decision.  She doesn't want to live out the rest of her life feeling nauseous.  The nurse said no doubt that Mom will be transferred to a nursing home.  I hate to do it but she will get care 24/7 and I don't think any of us could provide that for her.

Our children are having a difficult time accepting this.  In this time of modern miracles, why can't Grandma be saved?  It is difficult to explain to them that if it isn't the pneumonia, it will be something else, like the septicemia.

We stopped by her last night and she was resting comfortably.  We went on with our lives.  Hubby and I went out.  It was a nice diversion, but then I came home realizing that life goes on amongst the pain.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vigil: Day 3

Mom was doing allot better today since they took away the antibiotics.  Her color was better, she was more talkative, watched TV, and ate a little more.  She even took a phone call from her granddaughter.

Still, she is on hospice.  She doesn't want antibiotics for the pneumonia.  She doesn't want life saving measures.  Is this the calm before the storm?  I don't know.  Could the outcome be reversed?

I still cry.  It wasn't as bad today, but it is still hard.  Work has been very understanding which helps if I don't have to worry about my job.

It is the middle of the night, and I need to talk to you dear friends.  I have to unburden my soul.  How do I do that?  I have prayed and prayed.  This is worse than any operation or anything I have gone through before.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Take her Home

Nothing can prepare me for the pain of losing my mother.
I watch her sleep.  I don't want to let go, but I don't want her to suffer any longer.
God, just keep her comfortable.  Take her home.

Reality has set in and I don't like it.  I want my mamma.
I want to go back in time and relive some years with her. They were such a gift.
She was such a gift!

My tears fall down. I am not ready to let go.  I will never be ready.
My heart is breaking.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No matter what, they are always your Mamma!

I cannot help worry about my Mom.  I am not ready to lose her.  Just a couple of weeks ago she was here for dinner.  Now she is lying in a hospital bed with septicemia and pneumonia.  So frail.  The doctor has put her on stronger antibiotics and they are giving her some protein supplement shakes too.
She was doing better in the morning and noon, but by evening she starts feeling awful again and gets nauseaus and feverish.

My brother and sister and I met to discuss what to do with Mom.  We agreed she can no longer live alone without someone coming in to look after her besides us.  First my brother said my sister and I could take turns cleaning Mom's place, but I said, we have our lives too.  Is that selfish?  I don't know.  I don't even like cleaning up my own messes let alone someone elses.  We decided that if she is on her own again she will have someone come in to clean...tough love.  Another option is assisted living.  Anyway, when she is discharged, she will end up going to a nursing home for rehab or stay with my brother and have home health care come in.

Nothing prepares you for their imminent death.  They are your Mom.  Mom's are supposed to take care of you and not get old and have to be taken care of.  I love my Mom.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Look, Mom! I'm a Scrapbooker!

Who would have thunk it?  I have become a scrapbooker.  I have tried to resist, but my trip to Washington DC demanded it.  So, I gave in and went to a scrapbooking retreat.  I have managed to get all my pictures in.  I do need to journal and maybe embellish some of the pages.  When I knew I was going to DC, I went a bit crazy with the DC stickers, etc., more than I need! 

Some people bring a lot of craft stuff!

This is the way to scrapbook!  We had our own 4'x8' table to spread out our stuff, could work in our pj's at our leisure, be that 6 am or 2 am.

The retreat center was beautiful!  It was in a remote area by a lake so we took many turns to get there, even though we later found out we could get there an easier way!

view from the deck

We didn't have to cook!  We didn't have to clean!  Just scrapbook, go for a walk in the woods, enjoy the scenery! 

Now for some sad news.   My Mom is in the hospital with pneumonia. She was admitted while I was off having fun.  Glad that I have my sister and brother to look after her too.
I think she will be okay, but she has to get her appetite back!  I would appreciate your prayers.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sleepless in Blog Land

Whenever I have a trip planned, large or small, I can't sleep!  It's a curse!  This weekend I am going away on retreat to both scrapbook and get a spiritual recharge!  The colors are at their peak so hope to get some awesome pictures.

This week has been profound.Tthe acquittal of Amanda Knox: the Lord knows the truth and I trust that His will was done.  I would think it has to be the worst thing to be in prison in a foreign country.  She is fortunate her family supported her by flying back and forth to see her.

I am sorry to hear about the passing of Steve Jobs.  Even though I don't have an Apple or an Ipad, he was a true innovator in his field and an Edison of our time!  Every brilliant mind contributes to the competition in the marketplace and where would we bloggers be without our PCs, laptops, tablets, etc.?

I lifted this quote from him:  "Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

I like that statement.  I am still connecting the dots.  Some are not connected as of yet, but I trust they will be.  How about you?  What dots have had a profound effect on your life?  Mine has got to be my illnesses, but I just keep trusting that all will be as it should be.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Last night I went to the Pretty in Pink event at a local salon to raise money for breast cancer patients. All the money raised stays local and goes to paying for a cancer victim's new wig. It's a good thing when life gives you a blow and then someone else gives you a gift! It only cost a $10 donation and there were raffle tickets for sale. Although I was in it to win it, my money was a donation. My bff did win a prize though.

There were at least ten groups of six. We were in group #2. There were ten stations.

1. Eyes:  She used a darker eyeshadow on me than what I am used to, but maybe I should try it sometime.

2.  Lips: "What color lipstick do you usually use?" Well, these girls went for the opposite shade on all but one. I do not do nude!

3. Nails: We got to choose from four shades what nail polish we could have. I went for the darker shade of pink.

4. Facial: No, we didn't get a facial, but the types and products used were explained to each of us.

5. Body Wraps: The types of body wraps and their benefits were explained to us.

6. Aromatherapy: I discovered that Tea Tree Oil helps my sinuses! I smelled like a musky basement the rest of the evening, but I finally had a good night's sleep!

7. Massage. We each got a back and shoulder massage as well as a hand massage. I had a huge knot in my shoulder, so it was great. Can you take home the massage therapist?

8. Yoga: We learned some yoga moves to expand our chest and breathing. We are all natural slouchers. It felt pretty good!

9. Mammography: Discussed the importance of annual mammograms!

10. Hair: Got a choice of hair tinsel, feather, or pink extension. Since my hair is so short, I went for the pink tinsel! Just a little glimmer for my life!

Added benefits to the evening: 25% off all retail merchandise, jewelry, nail polish, hair care, purses,etc. Horsdoeurves and Punch was available!   What a fabulous evening for a wonderful cause.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meet me on Monday

Here are the questions:  You must copy and paste and then answer the questions so we can all get to know each other better.


1. I can't stand when someone ________?

2. Do you do daily, weekly or monthly grocery shopping?

3. What kind of car do you drive?

4. Crunchy or soft tacos?

5. What's the habit you are proudest of breaking?

My answers:

1.  I can't stand when someone betrays me.

2.  We usually do weekly grocery shopping, but sometimes, it becomes daily.

3.  I drive an old Dodge Intrepid 2000

4.  I like cruncy tacos...if they break, I have taco salad!

5.  I am proudest of quitting smoking 12 years ago.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More than Monuments

This is the old Executive Building near the White House.  They were going to tear it down in favor of the new Executive Building...a plain red brick, downright ugly building!  Jackie Kennedy Onassis persevered to save history!

How could I not sneak a picture of this "rasti man?"  He is such a contrast in a city filled with "suits" and tourists!

 I love this curly old tree, but what is it?

It produces some kind of nut or fruit.

Okay, bend your neck to the left.  We went to an all you can eat Seafood Buffet!  I see food, I eat!
There was all kinds of seafood, so I didnt' even make it to the prime rib.  Did I mention the desert buffet?
No wonder I gained four pounds on vacation!

So much more than monuments in Washington D.C.!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First day of touring!

We got back from our bus trip to DC on Tuesday night.  Yesterday was spent with a sore throat and sinus, catching up on laundry and emails.   Although the trip had it's highlights, it is good to be home!

We would change seats every day of our trip to DC.  The first day of actual touring I was on the left back seat.  Most of the things were on the right side, and the bar in the window kept getting in my way.  Finally I resigned to seeing the back of the passenger in front of me.  

Things improved in the afternoon, when our step on guide suggested we tour the Capitol.  That had to be the best part of the trip!  To think it was 20 minutes away from being bombed by the Al queda hijackers of Flight 93!

As you can see, I loved the dome!  The artistry is astounding and probably one of the older buildings in our young country.
George is a little off center to the right on the bottom with the purple robe on.  That would be George Washington to you Brits.
Love the paintings around the rotunda with the 24kt gold leaf on the frames.  So cool to see paintings that one has only seen in magazines or books.  I think this is the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Here is the Declaration of Independence.  It was awe inspiring to see this on display!
My bff Linda, sister Connie, myself, Jan and Darlene from our Red Hat group posing in front of the White House!  Previous to 9/11, one could go INTO the White House. No more! Thanks allot terrorists!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hold On, It's Going to be a Bumpy Ride!

Two days of bus riding.  The Alleghenies are beautiful, but not conducive to my stomach.  Can you say bus sick?  Didn't feel better till this morning, although the ginger ale last night helped.

Things I learned so far:

Always bring a lap blanket...it's cold on the bus.
Wear a warmer jacket and jeans...again, it's cold on the bus!

Bring some soda pop for the carbonation and don't forget the Dramamine.

The Total Pillow is not that great.

Looking forward to a day full of touring.  Hope it doesn't rain all day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Today I am off on the bus to Washingtong DC.  I am still not excited.  I am apprehensive about the long bus ride and whether my ostomy will behave or not.  I hope I am sitting my a nice person who lets me sleep if I want to sleep, talk if I want to talk.  It is chilly here this morning, but I am dressing comfortable and wearing knit capris and sandals.  I will also have my light hoodie.  Wish me luck.  Wish that I don't have a migraine, allergies, or bag  blowouts.

I will take plenty of pics. This will be fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Last Nap?

Yesterday I had a meeting at 7 am before work!  I said I had optical proctitis....I just couldn't see dragging my butt in this early!  (okay, old joke).

Truth be told, my sleep schedule is way off.  I wake up at 5 am, hit a wall in the afternoon, but if a nap is not available, manage to get over the wall. Then at night, I am lucky to stay awake till 8pm!  Maybe this schedule will serve me well through my vacation to DC.  After all, we have to be ready (three of us in a room) early in the morning, eat breakfast and be on the bus by 8 am!  Then we're off again.  Probably better for me than for those who are used to sleeping in.

Today I am working a half day.  I have laundry to do, suitcase to pack, time to spend with my family.  Maybe I'll take in one last nap?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Smart Start Packing, the Tough Go Shopping!

These are the pj's I told you about.  They are ME!  My bff is busy packing, but I shop. I shop too much, but I love to shop.  It makes me feel good.  It's a sickness, I know.  I am overcompensating for something, but without Oprah, I don't know what anymore.

Last night we had Mom's birthday party.  She will be 92 on Thursday,Can you believe it?

This is my brother in law and wife and their newest grandson.  You can't help but love him....the grandson that is!

There were seventeen of us at the table.  Baby's mom waited on us, so she was still part of the festivities.  My mom always gets lobster.  It's her favorite and a treat from my son who is always at a lost as to what to buy her.  What do you buy a lady that age?  Gift certificates always work.

I might go shopping today to get those things that are on my list to bring to DC.  I need some licorice, some snack mix, some Kashi bars.  What else????

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Brief Visit

I have vivid dreams.  Do they make sense?  Most times not.  Last night I had a dream about my younger sister, Wendy.  Wendy died of cancer at the age of thirty-two, twenty three years ago.  Well, in my dream she looked as she did before she got the cancer.  She was young, healthy, with her long hair.  She was happy and at peace.  She said it didn't matter what anyone did that was hurtful, as she understood everything, and all was well. Things that happens in this world are not important.  It was really nice to have this "visit" with my sister, although it was brief.

Yesterday we had a small party for one of our doctors in our department.  He turned 60.  I always say, "it beats the alternative!"  Maybe that is what brought on my dream.  More than half of my life is over.  I can only live it to the best, but it really is inconsequential in the long run.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's New Pussycat?

I leave for Washington DC in one week.  I have an idea on what to pack, I bought some mascara, and need some munchies for the long bus ride there.  I am not overly excited but wondering what the journey will bring.

I had strange dreams last night.  I have strange dreams every night but these were disturbing, so I got up.  It's my meds...they cause strange dreams as well as weight gain.  Well, at least I found out my thyroid is normal (thanks, Dr. Q) and my kidney function is remaining level.  Keep drinking that water!

Not much else is new.  I haven't felt like posting or commenting, although I do lurk, so watch what you say...LOL

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why Didn't I Wear This?

Blouse: Avon; Capris: Bonworth, Shoes: Beal's Outlet
This is my favorite outfit.  The blouse is flowey (is that a word) and comes to V as does the necklace to elongate my look.  I have my favorite jewelry on and my favorite shoes.  My son hates to take my picture.  I don't have any photographers here, so I do my best.  I should have worn this when I got my church portrait taken.  Instead, I wore a white blouse, the collar was crooked, and I looked like the Stay Puff Marshmallow!  These are my "cruise shoes"  when hubby and I were planning on a cruise...which didn't happen.

Now you know why I'm not a hand model...LOL

These are the shoes I bought the other day for $10

Bear Traps 85% off from Younkers!
I love to shop!  Yesterday, I went to get my Halloween Costume or parts of it.  Should be fun!  Then I found some PJ's at Tuesday's that say "I Love to Shop."  Had to get them!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pleasant surprise

I had bought a black knit jacket from my favorite store, Christopher & Banks.  Unfortunately, it didn't come in a petite.  The large was too small  and when I went to return it, the extra large was too big.  The other day my sister and I went shopping at a department store and I found a navy knit military jacket.  It zips up and it fits.  Better yet, it was half the price of the black jacket!  It will be great for my trip.

I also found some sandals...Okay, they are not like the $96 ones, but they were on sale for $10 (marked down 85%) and they are comfy!  Now, I just have to model my new purchases and take some pics!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Quiet but Productive Holiday

Hubby had a birthday so we went out to dinner.  His call.  He had steak and enjoyed it.  My meal was not so great, but edible.

I spent the weekend doing laundry.  We skipped the crowds at Kite Fest down by the shores of Lake Michigan to enjoy the quietness of home.  I made chicken enchiladas for dinner on Sunday.

Monday I got a surge of energy.  I really wanted to go to a flea market, one of the best in Wisconsin, but hubby said it was too cold.  50's to low 60's.  ....  I figured so we wear long pants.  I gave him a choice:  clean in the basement or the flea market.  He chose plan C.  He spent most of Labor Day Monday on the computer or watching TV.  In his defense, he did do some cleaning, and hung some shelves etc, in my craft area.  I was busy cleaning/organizing my craft area.  I spent most of the morning and afternoon cleaning till my back couldn't take it anymore.  Now that I've made a dent, I would like to get more done.

Today I have off and have my Red Hat's Queens meeting to plan our October Halloween Party.  Tonight is another meeting but this one is about our Washington DC trip and then bff and sister will join me for dinner and planning.  I am so excited about the trip!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Decision

I got my paycheck and it was awsome!  So, what did I do?  I tithed, I paid some bills, and.....drum roll please....I didn't buy the sandals and still not sure about the camera, but I do know that I want to go on a retreat this Fall.  So I am calling today to see about the Scrapbooking/Spiritual Retreat  in October.

I will make do with my old sandals, my old bulky camera (still works and takes good pics) and my old purse.  I will take my old body around Washington DC and none will be the wiser.  No one will say, "oh look at that woman's sandals or camera!"...LOL

If I decide to get a camera, I won't break the bank on it. There will be other sales, I'm sure.  Nothing beats a good retreat in the Fall!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Dilemma

The picture doesn't do the pewter color justice, how it reflects other colors or the zipper embellishements!
Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I have a dilemma.  I have tons of bills to be paid (as always).  I worked soooo many hours the last two weeks and am sure to have a good paycheck.  Part of me wants to reward myself.  What to do?  On the one hand, I want a high end pair of sandals ($96 at Zappos on sale) for my trip to Washington DC.  Will they be worth it?  They are the coolest I have seen and are comfortable to stand in, but how will they be after a day of walking?  If only I could borrow them for a week. 

My other choice is a new camera.  Now, there is nothing wrong with my camera.  It works.  It is just bulky and weighs alot and I've wanted a slimmer camera as much as I've wanted a slimmer body.

Third choice.  Put the extra money toward bills. Yuck!  What would YOU do?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day at the Fair

Yesterday my sister and I went to the County Fair to man the Comfort Station (where parents can change their baby's diaper).  Sitting outside we chatted and played "what if we were looking for a man?"  I told my hubby he can't be replaced because there are no single men out there my age.  There were fat ones, old ones, young ones, and the ones who were decent looking were with wives!  It was fun to look though.  A man doesn't need to be in perfect physical condition...Lord knows we are not, but you would think they could be well groomed and such.  Anyway, it was a way to pass the time.

Next, we looked at the animals.  For us city slickers, all cows look alike, horses are big, especially the Belgian horses.  The miniature horse was cute.  We learned something new about sheep that they were not originally white with black faces as most are, but were brown and looked more like a little deer.  Interesting!  That 4-H boy knew his sheep!  He was so young, but he had the cutest smile....what a little flirt! 

I also learned I don't want to look at an animal who is off to be butchered!  Yikes!  My bacon and ham shall remain faceless and nameless!

We looked at rides to see which sick machines were the ones my sister's grandsons were crazy about.  We looked at the new treats being offered:  the deep fried Twinkie, the deep fried candy bar (intriguing...wonder how many calories in that!), chocolate covered cheese cake on a stick....yum!  We resisted all and settled for a single scoop ice cream cone.

The sun was out and I was exhausted when I got home from all the fresh air.  It was well worth it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Survived!

Somehow I survived.  This week was the busiest I have experienced in a long time!  Monday I got my teeth cleaned and did pretty much nothing...good thing.  It was my only day to relax.  Tuesday and Wednesday I worked in Peds.  That was fun but is a different type of work.  Wednesday night after work I had a patient advisory committee meeting at the hospital with a good meal. (Chicken marinara and salad). Thursday and Friday I worked in Internal Medicine.  Thursday night I went to my bff's Stampin-Up party.  We made three cards and I was exhausted.  (The third card I saved for parts as I don't need a wedding card.)  Did manage to mow down some of the snacks she provided! 

Last night I got home and we had our church pictures taken later.  Did I look like a tired old hag?  No, but I did look old and overweight!  Ugggh!  Where did that lady come from?  I will scan the picture when I get it.
Monday this fat old lady is going back to Jazzercise Lite.  I figure that is a good place to start.  Maybe I won't feel like such a slug if I start exercising and I'm going to put my church picture somewhere to motivate me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Consolation Prize

The good news:  I will be working more in Pediatrics.  The bad news:  The physicians requested our float NOT work there anymore....which leaves me to cover.  I will be working more hours this month as someone is off on medical leave, which means we all move around to different departments.  The money will be good but I will be exhausted.  Next week I have something every day and some evenings.  I hope I survive!

I will not have any extra hours so still no insurance benefits, but will be working half time in Peds.  I like this.  It's a step.  I enjoy the change.  The other day I made a crying baby stop crying and smile....that felt so good!  It is a challenge to work in a different department.  Everything is different but I'll learn.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Saturday at Shanty Days

It was overcast and rain was possible, but bff and I ventured up north to Algoma Shanty Days anyway.  Algoma Shanty Days is a three day event which draws many people from Northeast Wisconsin.  It includes music, food, and carnival rides (if you choose to pay to get into that).  Downtown is home to many craft booths and on Saturday, a parade.  I think I saw every fire truck from the area!  The kids loved it and there were some cute floats.

Algoma Red Hatters are Picture Perfect!

The Old Time Fire Truck

Steam Engine complete with stinky smoke stack!

Kewaunee Chamber Maids

Driving home we had to take this picture of the sunflower fields.

Sometimes weeds are pretty.

These are the treasures I came home with....some glass pendants which were very inexpensive!

A fish, a whimsical elephant, and just somethiing artsy.