Friday, April 30, 2010

Mother's Day Sales Pitch!*

Mother’s Day is May, 9th. Just a reminder. Just a hint. Just a request. Yep, if you have a mom, are married to a mom, or just like a mom, then you might want to get that mom a gift.

A gift does not mean a gigantic, huge, expensive something that will take up more room than is available, make her smell good until she realizes she’s allergic, taste so yummy and then adds on pounds and pounds, is really just an excuse to upgrade an appliance she uses to do her housework, nice to look at for a few days and then dies. No a gift is from the heart. It is something that makes her feel appreciated and loved. It need not be expensive, brand new, or the latest style.

So what am I talking about? And not my favorite gift of compost or bark for the yard. Yes Scott has bought both and a load of manure to boot. Got to love a man who knows where my interests lie.

I was reading Brown Thumb Mama’s blog and she suggested magazines. Yay! It’s new every month. Keeps me happy while I pursue the pages for ideas and suggestions. I can recycle it by giving it to a friend, donating to the library, or drop it into the recycle bin. No left-overs there. Just get her one that suits her style!

Of course, I can always dream of the big-a** Kitchenaid mixer! I am saving up towards one with my Amazon gift cards I get from doing on-line surveys and using Swagbucks search engine and toolbar. So far, I have earned $65 towards mine. With $75 in just the past month from the surveys. But, if someone were to buy me one; I would not complain!

How about a new pair of shoes or handbag? Don’t know her size, give her a gift card and shop together. I know Selene loves cute shoes and purses. And I know Nate has paid more for one purse than I have paid in the past 10 years total. She is one spoiled Mama!

See how frugal can be fun! I will earn that mixer by my work on surveys, using Swagbucks, and convincing my readers to buy products I list in and around my blog. Thank you for your support. Does Bartles & James even exist anymore?
*yes this is an ad! If you order any product from Amazon, by going through the portals I have posted here, I will earn a small percentage of your order. Small percentage. And that will go towards that fabulous mixer!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Time for a Change

With the changes going on, I thought I would change the looks of my blogs to something a little different. I hope you like the changes as much as I do. Right now the Olde Timey look suits me. Wait a couple of months and then we’ll see what feels right at the time.

I started looking for housing. Apartments have the best prices; but no room for two active dogs. Houses at our price point are a little on the lame side. Since our goal will be to save $1,000 per month, we are looking hard for a simple house with a nice fenced yard.

My cousin has homes for rent in the area we are looking at; but she prefers tenants without pets. We will continue to look on Craigslist, other websites, newspapers, Scott’s co-workers, and drives around areas we would like to live in.

Tomorrow I will receive my drugs. Yippee! Then, in a couple of days, I will be coping much better.

In the meantime, Selene and Nate have been given a date of July 1 to remove all their junk or I will sell it at the moving sale! I was going to do a sale earlier this month but illness reigned! So, now I am planning the sale for after we move. I’ll just leave the stuff at this place and when we get the stuff we are moving out of the house, then I will have a mother of all moving sales!

Our ten year plan is to purchase a lot on the Oregon Coast for about $50,000. It won’t have an ocean view; but sometimes you get lucky. Then to put a used manufactured home on it for our retirement. With living close to the vest and being more frugal than usual we hope to be able to retire to the life of serenity we dream of.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When a Door is Closed, A Window is Opened

We got notice today that the house will be up for auction on August 26th. So, we are moving into full steam ahead to get ourselves packed up and moved out before then. We will have been in the house for 29 years, 1 month, 26 days.

I am not going to wax poetic on what memories we have of living here. We captured them in photos and our minds. I am looking forward to a new beginning, a new start. I can only hope that this will end some of my ongoing anxiety by forcing me out of this protective, smothering shell and into a new life full of new experiences.

Do not feel sad for us. We tried. We lost. Life is a circle and it is time to start anew.
I think I am really on the mend! My fever broke last night. I woke in the middle of the night covered in sweat and my hair was dripping. If I hadn’t already been through that joy of menopause, I might have put it up to night sweats! So, I had to get up and change my nightshirt; small price to pay for knowing that soon the snare timpani drum will vacate my head!

Selene called to ask a question yesterday (Do I think 17 month old Lennon would like   – certainly, in a year or so.) and put Lennon on. He was so verbal! He just chatted along and said ‘Nana’ twice! Then he said ‘Bye’ and it was all over. Such a cutie!

I am waiting for my prescriptions to arrive. The doctor ordered the increased trazadone and more lorazapam for the anxiety. It has been about 10 days since my last Lexapro; but I am going to start taking them again. I have been having at least two to three anxiety attacks everyday. Scott told me I am waking him up with all my starts, shivers, and talking in my sleep. Guess I am not ready to stop medicating.

I was really hoping to get the pharmaceutical bill down. My scripts cost us $85 a month. Scott’s are $40. Then, there’s the Prilosec, antihistamines, Zantac, and vitamins which end up about $45. Altogether, about $170 per month or $2040 a year. Thank goodness for health insurance!

Today’s Goals:
  • Litter pans, yuck but has to be done. This includes mopping the floor under them with vinegar (mildly disinfecting and helps to kill the ammonia smell.
  • Kitchen, there’s always something to do.
  • Laundry, again, never-ending. How do two people produce so much laundry?
  • Bathrooms.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

April, the Sickest Month in a Long, Long Time!

Hi, I think I am back. The past month has been somewhat strange. Right after Easter Scott and I got sick. He was able to work, but I just rested a lot. Then, there was my birthday. Scott helped me to clean house the day before. And then, Scott got sick again. And then, I got sick again. WTF!

All this month I only remember a handful of days I wasn’t sleeping, nauseous, or totally off kilter. It is time for it all to end!

There is not much for me to write about. Unless you want to read about how much I have been sleeping. And eating.

Yes, there is something to write about. I went to my new doctor. When I was weighed, I yelp, “HOLY SHIT!”

I have never weighed so much in my life! I am grossly, morbidly obese! See picture:

Thanks for the photo Carrie Jo!

I have to do something. I know what to do: Exercise more, eat less. Easier said than done. I am now committed to a new program of walking the dogs every day. Even if it is just around the block, I am promising to do it! Girl Scout and Rainbow Girl PROMISE! And folks that is a real promise, not just a threat!

While I was sick the last week, I stopped taking my Lexapro. Okay, I ran out of the med and was so brain-dead I just didn’t order any more. Anyway, here it is seven days since my last pill. I am not suicidal. I am not freaking angry. I do feel some tension, but it is nothing that a walk and play with the dogs would not cure. I am calm.

I have re-ordered another month’s supply, just in case. I also noticed that my new doctor has reduced my trazadone prescription by half. I have emailed her to let her know why I need the full script. It reduces the tension and anxiety. Tension: Jaw clenches so tight I fear I will break a tooth; my internal organs begin to tense, like my diaphragm and lungs get so tense I remember what it was like when I stuttered (another story for another day); and I get very angry at nothing.

Now I need to clean the kitchen. Scott helped out by running the dishwasher several times this past week. He also did several loads of laundry. I really appreciate his help. It made being sick easier knowing I would not have piles of dirty dishes and laundry to greet me when I felt better.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yeppers, today I am officially 60 years old!  Born April 17, 1950, at 8:28 am, to Pat & Don.

Last night Dad and Dorthy took Scott andI to dinner at McGrath's Fish House.  Oh, it was good food.  And it is not everyday a 60 year old woman is treated to dinner out by her 88 year old father.  We had a great time!

Today, I am going to run some errands and tonight we are having pizza (canadian bacon, pepperoni, pineapple, and sliced tomatoes cooked on the pizza) while watching Stargate Universe and the new Dr Who.  What else would an old couple be doing on a Saturday night?

Tomorrow, we are leaving open.  The hope is to get some yard work done; if the weather cooperates.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Another HUGE K'Nex Give-Away

Over at Bizzi-Mommi' Blog is ANOTHER HUGE K'Nex Give-Away!  This one is slightly different products.  I don't know who would be happier to win, me or Lennon!

A Great Give-Away!

Over on Mommy 2 Two Girls there is one great give-away.  She is giving away a huge assortment of K'NEX.  I have already entered for Lennon.  Wow!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We've Come a Long Way Baby!

Peggy is home sick today.  She couldn't make Easter and we really, really missed her.  She has been e-mailing me some funny things today.  I can't decide if this is funny or just plain too sad for words.

Easter and Lennon

We had a wonderful weekend! There was a family Easter dinner at Debbie and Rob’s house. We were the first to arrive. We got to see Lindsay and Kelsey open their Easter Baskets. It was too funny, them being 25 and 23 respectively. They just wanted the candy.

Dad and Dorthy arrived next; with three pies! Dorthy made two lemon meringue and one cherry. She has the lightest hand with a pie crust and her lemon meringue is totally homemade and delish!

We were all having a good visit, the guys in the living room with the game and the gals in the kitchen with the food.

When Selene and Nate arrived with Lennon, the entire party rushed to the front door to greet them. It’s been five months and they are sorely missed.

When I got there, Lennon was at Debbie’s hutch talking to the rabbits on display. I said, “Hi.”

He turned, held his arms out, and I picked him up. I got the best hugs and kisses from him. I honestly started to cry.

Oh, how I have missed his sweet smell and soft skin. I was surprised that he remembered me. He hasn’t seen me since just after his first birthday. We have talked on the phone at least once a week. Anyway, it was like we had never been parted. After our greeting, I stayed back to allow his great-grandparents and great-aunt and uncle to fuss over him.

Back home there was a real problem. Jip took offense to Lennon’s new puppy, Kukka. He kept barking ferociously at her; we had to keep him leashed. It was not a pleasant evening. Poor Kukka had to be either in her crate or outside; or Jip had to be in the bedroom barking and pawing at the door. It’s my fault, due to the depression and agoraphobia I haven’t socialized Jip enough. Rocky and Kukka made fast friends right away.

Monday, I watched Lennon while Selene, Nate, and Kukka went to the coast. We had so much fun laughing, talking, and snuggling. I thought I had baby-proofed the house, but of course Lennon found everything I forgot about. Like the pot made of Buena Vista clay, family heirloom don’t you know.

They stayed at a friend’s house last night and came by to say goodbye this morning. I can’t wait until next Sunday. We will have Lennon Sunday and Monday while Selene and Nate spend the night at the coast. Oh, happy day! Then there will be Selene’s b-day party Monday night. I will be in Lennon heaven!

Petting a happy Max - the only picture I got this weekend. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Saturday's Review on Monday

The Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl with April Henry is a mystery set in Portland OR. Jim Fate, radio talk show host, is killed by an apparent sarin gas attack. What follows is an investigation by three friends: Nicole Hodges, FBI special agent; Allison Pierce, federal prosecutor; and TV crime reporter, Cassidy Shaw. They call themselves the Triple Threat Club.

The three women interview friends, co-workers, and fans of Fate, a controversial host who has made a great many enemies in his line of work. There is not a lot of action, mostly the story is told through conversation.

I found the book to be a little pedantic. Just a walkthrough of the story. The only part of the book that grabbed me was the panic in the streets of downtown Portland during the apparent sarin gas attack.

The side material on domestic violence, illegal aliens, prescription drug abuse, etc. was so dry I needed a large glass of water to get through it.

I was also dismayed by the lack of local color. As a life-long Oregonian, I was hoping to see some of what makes Portland unique: Saturday Market, the Park Blocks, Pioneer Courthouse Square, MAXX transit. Instead, I felt the location could have been set in Atlanta or Des Moines with just a change of street and place names.

All in all, it was a nice read. I didn’t have to use my brain a lot to figure out the ending.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter, Now and Then

It is raining to beat the band. Grandma Cora used that phrase, ‘to beat the band,’ all the time. I missed not getting to know her better. I know she was smart, thrifty, and had a wicked sense of humor. But we only saw her and Grandpa Jake four or five times a year. I was 18 when she died.

I went to the new doctor today. I am but a cog in the HMO machine. Everything is computerized there. She ordered my prescriptions, blood work, and a referral to a psychiatrist, enrolled me in a class for fibromyalgia, and set up an appointment for a mammogram; all from a terminal in the exam room. I felt a bit rushed through. I really needed to talk to someone about my mental state and she just said I could do that with the psychiatrist. Best part, no big deal when I asked for an injection of Novocain in my hip for bursitis. She just stuck me like a pig! There is still some residual burning on the edges of the bursa; but nowhere near the pain I had been having for the past week.

I did some shopping afterwards. I went to the Rainbow Market (Grocery Outlet) and found a few bargains. Like a planter in the shape of a coffee cup and saucer. I bought one that reminded me of Mexico complete with yellow flowers and a hummingbird. Then I found an Echeveria Metallica, getting ready to bloom, to put into the pot. It will grace the dining room table.

I found some bronze fennel, an Easter lily, some adorable sedums for the strawberry jar. I planted it 12 years ago and it needs some freshening. I’ll just knock out the old potting mix, add new, and replant what’s left and the new plants. I’ll pot up any leftovers for Nate. Some of his hops are growing! For that micro-brewer that is one great happiness!

Selene’s b-day present is now bought and hidden. I found Lennon a card and a goofy ball for Easter. I want to find him a hat to hold his Easter gift from us. (We always tried to give Selene her Easter basket as a hat filled with some goodies.) No going overboard. He will get gifts from a myriad of family and friends. So will be keeping it simple.

We are having an Easter picnic at Debbie’s and Rob’s. We were hoping for nice weather. Not to be found this year. Reminds me of the year we went to Weippe, ID, my dad’s home town, for Spring Break. We stayed with Uncle Harold and Aunt Georgia, before they got indoor plumbing. It was the same house that Great Grandpa David and Great Grandma Mary built when they moved to Idaho around the turn of the century. (The ranch is still in family hands.)

Uncle Harold took us on a drive up the Snake River. There was about five feet of snow on the ground. Best part of the day was having a picnic in the snow and seeing Big Horn Sheep across the river. Dad’s cousin Keith’s wife showed us the little park where her family always had their Easter picnic; she wrote us later that they held the picnic in the park that year; they just shoveled snow out of the way!

I found the missing mop. It had fallen behind the freezer. So, tomorrow my goals will be:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Best April Fool's Joke Ever!

April 1, 1955, 7:30 am

I get up, put on my robe, and go to the kitchen where good smells are congregating. I stop; Grandma Vesta is cooking bacon and eggs. “Where’s Mom?”

“Better go ask your Dad.”

“Where’s Mom?” I demand as I enter the dining room.

Dad puts down the paper and pulls me up onto his lap. “You have a new baby sister.”

“Yeah, April Fools. Where is Mom?”

Dad laughs, frustrating me more. “Honey, you have a new baby sister. Mom is at the hospital.”

Mom wasn’t supposed to have the new baby until after the third, her birthday. She and I had planned an April Fool’s joke for Dad that morning. Dad and I were in cahoots for her joke that evening. And I was working with Grandma for Mom’s Birthday Party on the third.

I was 16 days short of my fifth birthday and I was one angry older sister. Dad reminded me to be quiet until Peggy, age 31 ½ months, and Shelley, age 16 months were awake. “Be a good girl and help Grandma out with the other girls; see you at lunch.”

Of course, back in the day, siblings were not allowed to see Mom and new babies at the hospital. We got to talk with Mom on the phone a couple of times. Dad drove us down to the hospital and Mom showed us the new baby from the third floor window. That was disappointing, why couldn’t she bring the baby down to the front door and let us look through the glass? Hospital rules were very strict.

The day Mom and Dad brought Deborah Jo home from the hospital; I would not budge from our Chesterfield chair. When they brought home Shelley, Mom laid her in the chair so she could change clothes. I watched Shelley to make sure she didn’t roll off the chair. (Yeah, I knew she couldn’t roll, it was a big sister thing.) I was going to do the same thing with Debbie. Only Debbie had other plans. She was hungry and Mom had to nurse her.

I was super furious! I had saved that chair all day and now that little baby wanted to nurse! I was the oldest sister and what I said was law!

From that day forward, Debbie threw a clog into my life. She was stubborn, wanted her own way, and not a push-over for anybody. Still is today.

Stand us next to one another and the resemblance is clear; both physical features and personalities.

Happy Birthday Baby Sister! You are the best April Fool’s joke ever!