Monday, November 30, 2009

Five Days Off!!!

And what did I do?  Here's a brief rundown.  It started Tuesday night with my birthday.  (Thanks to everyone for the good wished!)  After dinner, Michelle and I went out to see New Moon.  Loved it!
Wednesday it was just me and Bella.  We got a manicure, cleaned the house, set the table for turkey day, ironed and got my hair cut.  She was terrific and ever so patient!  We had a great day. 
Thursday, I got up and started the preparations for Thanksgiving dinner.  I cut, peeled, chopped, sauteed, baked, boiled, pureed, and whipped.  We had my BIL Bill, my SIL Linda and my Nephew Ben.  It was a wonderful day and a delicious meal-if I do say so myself!  We don't get to see Jim's side of the family too ofter and it was so nice and relaxed, and fun.  And Jim and Tim cleaned up the kitchen!

Friday dawned early!  Actually, Michelle and I beat the dawn.  We got up to go shopping at 1:30 AM!  We hit all the hot spots and found lots of good deals and waited on a few lines.  Gymboree was the worst line-2.5 hours!  All for $5.99 pj's.  While I waited in line, Michelle made good use of the time and hit 3 other stores and the food court for a drink.  We had a blast and got home at 12:30PM.  Jim had taken Bella to have breakfast w/the Grinch in Downtown and they walked around the town afterwards taking part in 'Frosty Friday' in Frederick.  They made plans to be back to greet Santa as he came to town later that evening.  After he got home he informed me that we had no turkey left over (Read: no WHITE meat) and asked me to cook another turkey so we'd have leftovers.  I must  have been deleriously tired, because I agreed!  Later we all went to greet Santa in the cold, windy night.  Brrrrr!
See those smiles?  Well worth a little cold weather! 
We also got a little decorating done.  If you are not already aware of this, we are nuts!  Jim particularly.  We put up MANY trees!  One in the living room, one in the family room, one in Michelle's room, Bella's room, Timmy's room, the front porch, my Scrapatorium and the Dining Room.  The family room tree is the 'family tree' with colored lights, whimsical ornaments and red berry beads on it.  The living room tree is more formal; white lights, white angel on top, decorations in white, red, green and pink.  My tree in the scrapatorium is pink with fun, crafty ornaments on it and the dining room tree is my wine tree.  On the front porch we have a small tree with birds and bird houses on it, also with white lights, and the kids decorate their own with ornaments that they have been given over the years.  It's a lot of work, but we love it!  So far we have 5 up and decorated.
(living room)
We also got out our Santa collection.  We began collecting these after Jim's mother died.  She has a collection of them and each of the kids and grandkids  choose one as their own after her passing.  Since then we have each gotten one a year and Jim just doesn't know when to stop!  I have begged him to stop buying more, but he takes such joy in them he doesn't want to.  So, I find places to showcase them all-like this:

This picture shows eight, so you can imagine! 
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why do I blog?

I sometimes wonder.  I don't really know how many people read this, but I have decided that I don't really care.  Blogging for me is an outlet, a place where I can express myself, a place to share with others, a place to be brutally honest.  For those of you that know me, you may be asking yourself when haven't I been brutally honest?  But if I am to be honest, my lies are mostly of omission.  I tend to paint a picture of my life that is about that happy things, the nicer side of life.  Which isn't to say that those things are lies, but it does mean that I do try to temper what I say at times.  Especially to those closest to me. 

That may not make sense to you and even writing it, I can see the why that might not make sense.  Sometimes, not always but sometimes, it is difficult to tell those who I love and who love me how I am really feeling.  Whether it be emotionally or physically, it can be difficult.  I can do that there though.  I feel a sense of freedom to write whatever I feel.  Maybe because I have no one looking back at me with sympathy, horror, sadness, anger or whatever they might be feeling.  My audience is mostly unknown, allowing me the chance to speak/write without repercussions.  (For the most part.)

Now having said that, I will tell you-my unknown readers-how I feel today.  So, here goes.
Today is my birthday.  I am 48 years old today and I feel it.  In some ways, when I think back on my life thus far I see snapshots.  Clinging to my Mother, afraid to go to school, school days of play practice, color guard, chorus, classes, friends, family trips to the beach, my SISTERS (and if you are one of them you will know what I mean), Christmases, my wedding, the birth of my children.  In snapshots, life has a tendency to fly by, as in real life.  I have  had so many memorable moments that I think of with a 'happy heart' that it can often, and miraculously, outweigh those times that I might choose to forget.  I haven't forgotten those things, they have helped to shape me and to make me the person that I am today.  I think that we can all say that.  I've been fortunate because the happy times have been far more frequent than the more difficult times. 
And, I am feeling a bit reflective today.  A bit nostalgic. 

Remember when you were young and one summer day seemed to stretch on forever, when you didn't worry about grown-up things.  It was simpler.  For us.  For me.  Now those grown-up worries are part of my daily life.  Things like the mortgage payment, the safety and well being of my children, my parents, the economy, the President, my health.  I never imagined that I would have to worry about my own health, nor did I ever imagine that I would be classified as 'handicapped', but I am.  And I do.  And sometimes, those words are difficult to think of when referring to yourself, much less to say.  Today, my health is an issue.  Not much has changed so dramatically from yesterday or the day before or the day before that.  But there is a shift.  I can sense it, I can feel it.  It is difficult to say what that is, whether it is real or imagined and wheter it has anything to do with celebrating another birthday.  But it is there none the less.  And at times, it hangs over my head like a pendulum,  swinging back and forth between a healthy me and the me with the knowledge that I am forever changed.  Forever different.  Not changed for the worse, but changed.  Does that make sense?

I work hard to put a smile on my face and to act like I am not bothered by Muscular Dystrophy.  But I am, I think anyone would be.  It was and is a diagnosis that I never thought I would hear when referring to myself.   So much else before that-but MD?  Me?  No!  But for a long time, longer than I care to admit, I knew there was something amiss.  Something not quite right.  And as the years passed and my experiences with the medical world became more familiar, I pushed it back.  I blamed myself, my overactive imagination...anything but what I couldn't find an answer for.  I was scared to find out that what I thought to be the truth, that there really was nothing wrong with me physically.  My problem had more to do with mental status.

And now?  How do I feel now, after three years of knowing?  Of living my reality?  I can honestly say that I am in a good place.  The adjustment to the news was swift and seemingly effortless.  Living with the reality of that news can be more difficult, but I am okay with that.  I really am.  I find that I take less for granted.  I don't worry about the future too much.  There's no point.  Not because I fear for it, but because there is no way to know with any degree of certainty what that future may bring.  But then, no one really can.  Sometimes, I feel the need for an escape and would love a reprive from this reality.  My body aches, my muscles are slow and sluggish to respond to the commands that my brain is sending.  I don't sleep well, I tire easily and constantly fight fatigue.  I feel older than my years.  I worry about my loved ones.  I wish that they didn't have to be so aware of the war that my body is waging against me.  I don't always tell them, I try to protect them.  But they know.  They see it in me and I can see the knowledge in their eyes.  Especially my Mother.  I hate to see that worry in her eyes, a worry that I know is for me.  I can do nothing to change that. 
What I can change though, is the way that I  deal wiht my disease.  And if I can show the world that I am okay, better than okay really, their worry will decrease.  Make sense?  I''m not sure, but I hope so.

And I know that some of you may find what I am about to speak of next even more difficult to hear or believe, I will say it anyway.  I have God on my side.  His Love gives me strength, it gives me hope.  For without it I would be nothing.  It is often difficult for people to speak openly of their personal relationship with God, and I am no different.  But I know that I am not alone.  I know that He is with me, helping me, giving me strength and  hope and lifting me up when I am down.  And that knowledge, that faith is worth more to me than healing.  More than gold.  Because it is with Him and through Him that I will be healed.  That we all will be.  The struggles that create my present are what will help me to gain freedom from the bindings of my worldly home.  It makes any difficulty I have here on earth, easier to bear.  And today, on my birthday, that is my wish for all of you too.  To know the Love of God.   And if just one of you can grow in your  faith, if just one person is changed, then I would gladly take it on again.

Happy Birthday! 

Monday, November 23, 2009


And I am, thankful!  So much to be thankful for and what a wonderful time of year to remember all that we have.  So what am I thankful for in particular this year?  Number one on my list is my family.  They are my rock, my foundation, my strength, my hope, my life.  And I am forever grateful for what they have given to me, the life that they have created for me and the love that they give to me each and every day.  I am, one lucky woman. 
I'll be back tomorrow with more thanksgivings.  For now, remember to count your blessings! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finally Friday!

And ya'll know that's my favorite day of the week!  First let me say that I have no idea why Isabella is sideways in the last post.  She shows up right until I hit okay and then she goes on sideways!  I give up. 
Anyway, it has been a heck of a week.  Busy?  Like you wouldn't believe.  First, I have worked 41  hours so far and that is before I start the workday on Friday.  When I get home I've been so tired that I do what absolutely has to get done and once I sit down, I'm out!  So, I feel like it has not been a very productive week at all.  Now I have so much on my plate I don't know where to start.  You ever feel like that?  It can be very frustrating! 
And (now this is where you have to be careful.  Don't read any further if you don't want to hear me whine!) I hurt.  Everywhere.  And it makes me more tired.  It makes me want to do nothing but curl up in some comfy pj's, climb into bed and sleep-for a very long time!  But, I can't do that.  Even if I could do that I don't know if I would, but it would be nice to have that option sometimes.  I won't enumerate all of the places in which I hurt, but trust me when I say it is a lot!  I was telling Jim that sometimes I think that the meds that they give me work, but only for about 8-9 months tops.  Then it's like I'm not taking anything anymore judging by the way I feel.  Though I don't dare stop taking the meds-that is just something I'm not willing to risk at this point.  Something that I have to bring up with the doc when next we meet.
I can't believe that next Thursday is Thanksgiving!  It seemed to just happen without warning.  Next thing you know it'll be Christmas!  Oh my!  Not ready for that at all!  I try to do my shopping in advance, but it just never seems to work out.  When I mean advance, I mean before November.  Oh well, you know what they say about good intentions.  So, I have lots of shopping to do.  Michelle and I have started doing some here and there, mostly for Bella though.  She is so easy to buy for!  She likes everything and when you give her a gift she opens it like she's never been given a gift before and she gets all excited and no matter what it is she says that she loves it!  "It's just what I always wanted!"  Last year she got something that was not on her list and she said that she loved it and it was just what she always wanted but didn't know she wanted!  Consequently, she gets lots of stuff!  Hardest people on my shopping list?  Dad and Marlena, hands down!!!  They have 2 houses and probably 3 of everything.  They are grateful for whatever we give them, but it is just hard to pick something out for them.  They like wine and last year I scored and got them a wine cooler.  This year-no ideas.  Yet.  I am still hoping that inspiration will zap me like a bolt of lightening.  Though frankly, I don't hold out much hope of that.  And I haven't even picked out my wrapping theme yet.  I know,  I am a total dork.  Every year I have to have a wrapping theme.  My sister Jenn does it too, Laura and Susan-no.  Last year I did pink and green.  I loved it!  You know how hard it was to find wrap in those colors though?  It'll probably be the number one combination this year! Ha!  My mind is kindof on overload right now, can you tell?!
No pictures for you.  Sorry!  I'll try to take some of the open house.  Definetely let you know how that goes.  Remember if you are in the area, stop by!  I'd love to see you!   Bella has told me that if you bring kids, she will play with them.  How can you refuse such an offer?
Gotta run.  More likely walk very slowly, but I'll get there!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, already!

Sorry, I haven't forgotten about you-just been busy!  We went to Williamsburg over the weekend to see a William & Mary game and to spend some time with our friends Andy & Durinda.  We had a wonderful time!  Drank some wine, ate some great food, did some shopping, just had fun!  

Also been working hard at preparing for Saturday's open house.  It's nuts!!  Anyway, didn't want to make you go without a picture and a little story.  Bella was asked to tell what she was thankful for and her response was 'to give food to the hungry'.  Her teacher asked why and she said that she was thankful to be able to give food to the hungry because that meant that she had enough to eat and enough to share.  Five years old!  She's quite a kid! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Less Words Wednesday

Just a few here-GO STEELERS!

Also, just an update.  Chester is feeling MUCH better.  The drain was removed yesterday and Jim was having to keep him from running in the yard.  He did manage to dig a hole to lay in though! Ha!  He is definitely on the upswing.

Monday, November 9, 2009


That was my weekend!  First up-Friday.  Friday was a very rough night!  Chester was in a tremendous amount of pain and wimpered and cried all night long.  He came home with a bandage on his leg from the IV, a cone around his neck to prevent him from pulling out his stitches or drain and of course the stitches and drain.  He has to wear a T shirt to try and keep the stuff that is draining from just dripping all over our house!  Bella was a mess-just extremely emotional about her dog. 

Saturday he was feeling much better and was able to move around a lot more and by yesterday the wimpering only came when the pain medication was wearing off.  Tomorrow he will have the drain removed.
I had big plans for Saturday which didn't work out exactly as planned.  Michelle took Bella to dance and I immersed myself in crafting.  She stopped at CVS and when she returned to the car it wouldn't start.  So I drove down to pick her and Bella up, left the car there and called AAA.  Which was when I found out that our membership had lapsed, but I was able to renew that by phone and have someone come out and meet me at the car.  It was the battery, so I had to wait to have that replaced.  All tolled, it took about 2 hours!  Michelle in the meantime had to get Bella to a Birthday Party, so when I got back with the car I was able to get some work done.  I completed 2 sets of cards, a gift container, ten candy bags, 7 notebooks and then 3 sets of thank you cards for kids.  Here's a sample!

Sunday, Jim kept Bella home with him and Michelle and I hit the outlets for some retail therapy.  Oh, how I love that!  It was very productive!  Got several Christmas gifts, Bella's Christmas p.j's and furniture for my family room.  That's right-I ordered a sofa & a tilt back chair with a matching ottoman.  Should have it before Christmas!  So that was my weekend, how was yours?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hooray for Friday!

*Update-Chester is out of surgery and recovering nicely at the vets office.  The cyst that they removed was not just large on the outside, it was large inside as well.  Chester will come home this evening and will have a tube to allow for drainage.  She suggested that we keep a T-shirt on him until the tube is removed on Monday or Tuesday.  (That should be fun!)

So, it is finally Friday!  This week seems to have been a long one.  I have been busy at work and it looks like things may be getting busier for me soon.  There are some possible changes in the future for me at work, and I have been helping to work out the details.  More to follow on that at a later date. 
Bella has had a rough week.  She is coming down with something-probably a cold.  She coughs a lot at night and consequently, she is not sleeping well.  Yesterday in the early hours of the morning, Jim got up because he heard her calling for a drink, her throat hurt and she wanted someting to soothe it.  Neither Michelle nor I heard her, so Grand Daddy helped her out.  Michelle called the dr. yesterday to see what she could give her for the cough and was told that cough syrup is NOT recommended for children under the age of eight.  She was told to give her a hot shower, put a humidifier in her room, and give her a teaspoon of honey prior to going to bed..  It did seem to help some.  Anyway, as she was about to leave for school yesterday she looked at Michelle with a look that said "I'm hurting".  Michelle asked her what was wrong and she said that it was Todd's last day at school.  (TOdd is a good friend from her class.)  She said that she was really, really going to miss  him and sobbed all the way to school.  :(  Poor kid.  Last night she  hung a picture on the refrigerator that shows her in one corner of the page and Todd in the opposite corner and in between the two she wrote 'I love you Todd'.  She told us that at school they each made a page for a book for him and the teacher put it together so that he won't forget his friends here when he is far away in Texas. 
I have big plans to lock myself into my Scrapatorium tonight and not come out until Saturday night!  We'll see how that works!  I want to build up my stock before my show.  I love spending time in my room, it gives me a sense of peace. 
Sunday, Michelle and I have plans to go to the outlets in Hagerstown.  I want to go to the furniture store and she would like to look at Petite Sophisticate.  It is closing-again.  Maybe we can scoop up some great bargains, we'll see.
And finally, I ask you to keep this boy in your prayers today. 

My buddy Chester.  He is right now at the vets office and will be undergoing surgery today.  He has a yucky growth on his side that will have to be removed as well as a bad tooth.  He'll be under for about 2 1/2 hours.  That's a long time under anesthesia.  Chester is 10 years old which is getting up there for a large dog.  So just pray that he will be okay if you wouldn't mind. 
Have a great weekend and I'll update you all on Monday with my progress and Chester's status!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In Case You Missed It

My Craft Open House is scheduled for November 21st between 1-5.  If you are in the area I urge you to stop in and visit.  Here are some of the gifts I'll be offering.

There is lots more too!  I'll be working to add to the stock on hand and of couse, I'll be taking special orders as well.  Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Enough of the pity party...

On to some fun!  Just wanted to recap our weekend for you.  It went by way too fast, but we had a great one.  Saturday after Bella's dance class we ran a few errands.  I was on the search for 2 very specific Christmas Gifts.   I knew what I wanted to get, it was just a matter of finding them, easy ritht?  Wrong!  Couldn't find either.  Oh well, move on to something else.  Michelle and I did find our Black Friday shirts, so that was good and they were on sale-even better.  Next, we headed up to the Catoctin Zoo.  (One of Miss Bella's favorite places.)  They were going to get all the alligators out of the bog and move them inside for the winter.  When we got there most of the water had already been removed from the bog and the zookeeper was standing in amongst the alligators.  He told the crowd what they were doing and how they would do it and then went about grabbing the alligators by the tail, covering their eyes and then taping their mouths shut with duck tape.  It was really neat to see!  The alligators would his and move, but they would submit rather quickly.  Except for one guy.  He was not going to give it up without a fight and actually grabbed the guys pant leg and then did a death roll.  Here are the pictures: 

Bella also got to hold a 2 year old alligator.  (With a little help)  She thought that was pretty cool!

Next we went on the Safari Ride and got to feed the Bison, Camels, Deer, donkeys, Zebras, etc.  There were only six of us on the ride, so we had plenty of food for them.

This is Sultan.

Meet Malachi.
See the red mark right in
the middle of Bella's forehead?  That is where Malachi bumped her in the head! 
He is not a patient one!
Then we finished off the day Trick or Treating.  Bella and Michelle went TOT and I passed out the candy.  (Jim watched TV)  Here are my Batgirls:

Bella lasted for about an hour and after she got home had to count her treats before heading off to bed.  The grand total?  105!  Not a bad  haul for one hour. 
Sunday after church I worked on some little notebooks for my show.  I think that they came out rather cute!

Great for list making!  If you can't read it, the stamp says Holiday Planner.  Got the stamp set from Papertrey Ink.  The set is designed specifically for these little notebooks, so cute.
That's about all for now.  Working like crazy and living life to the fullest!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rough few days

Sorry about my lack of posts last week, but it has been a rough couple of days.  I have had a killer backache that began mid-week and has continued throughout the weekend.  I have been noticing that my pain level has increased as of late and my mobility issues are becomming more pronounced.  My ability to move 'at will' is not always there and I have noticed more 'ticks' and 'shakes' than has been the normal for me.  Yesterday I was sitting on the couch and went to get up to go to another room and though the upper part of my body was raring to go, the legs were somewhat frozen in place.  The momentum caused me to fall, luckily the chair in the family room caught my fall and kept me off the ground for the most part.  This morning I emailed my doctor letting her know of these most recent developments and she responded that it sounds like the disease is progressing. 
Progression is to be expected and I had come to that conclusion on my own, so the doctor's words were merely confirmation.  She may choose to do some additional tests when I see her in January, but it is not likely.  Either way, I am fine with her decision and trust in her to do what she thinks is best for me.  I do have quite a bit of input into my care and I like it that way.  I keep myself informed and feel free to ask questions and speak my mind, but all in all I take my cues from the doctor regarding treatment. 
On a lighter note, I got a new computer at home on Saturday!  Yeah!  Now I just have to get it connected to the internet and I'll be all set, everything else has been added on already.