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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SELF CARE is a pause button.

SELF CARE is not selfish!  Self Care is important. SELF CARE may throw all those other people in your life into a tissy!  Yes, a tissy!

As a mother, wife and woman, I take SELF CARE seriously. And I take SELF CARE whenever I can get it!

SELF CARE is when you conscientiously take time for your own needs. SELF CARE is a pause.

SELF CARE is an absolute MUST. Especially if you’re a parent or a caretaker. Taking a moment out of your day to relax, let go, and do something that is just for you is absolutely necessary for maintaining your mental health.

What do I do?  Why thank you for asking.  I power watch Netflix.  Right now, I am watching season 2 of Stranger Things.  I have been power watching Netflix for  3 years.  My first was Downtown Abby.   In the 80's when my kids were little, I watched soap operas daily.  ALL OF THEM.  I haven't watched any since the 80's but when I get a glimpse, I see that Sonny is still on General Hospital.  Does he never age?
I could watch Wizard of OZ a million times, pause, rewind, and never fast forward!

I must admit that this sort of SELF CARE( power watching tv) does leave me somewhat lethargic.  I can sit for hours and  the house could colaspe around me. One time, the ADT monitor needed a new battery and screamed out BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. I didn't get up to change it, I just kept watching TV, pretending it was part of the show. The dishes can sit in the sink, dirty.  The toilet can sit unflushed.  The pile of clean laundry can sit next to me unfolded. I can sit, stare, watch or not watch, rewind or pause the shows.  I am taking time for myself by watching mindless dribble. And I am OK with that! Did I forget to mention that there is usually a glass of wine involved?????

I am jolted back to reality when Hope starts whining about needing dessert or some other non-essential thing.  I try to ignore her. She can get very loud and demanding, I remedy it by cranking up the TV volumn to 97.  If she finally pushes the BIG Button that gets me off the couch, I am immediately thrust into my RAGING MANIAC MODE. Lethargic is gone, reality is back.

" WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW???'' I soon find out that she has made a blown out mess in the kitchen with a concoction of ice cream, cereal, syrup, pecans, whip cream and popcorn, pickles and various spices. 

Where is the pause button in the kitchen? Thank goodness for the pause button on the TV.  My show is totally suspended until I return, unlike the mess in the kitchen.   The SELF CARE pause button is off and life is back to LIFE.

Most times, my power watching has to resume a day or two later.  By then, I have to rewind to the beginning of the show.  I love it when I get to sit back down on that couch with the remote in one hand pausing scenes, rewinding scenes,and watching whatever I want.  That is just one way I exercise my SELF CARE.

SELF CARE is my pause button.

Have you paused today?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hope is on a Billboard


Hope loves to dance and dress up, sing and be goofy.  The photographer caught her in her prime at our Special Prom Night in February 2017.  She lasted a whole 45 minutes at the dance, but this billboard is a reminder for the entire month of October that she did enjoy the prom, even for 45 minutes.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

For the past 16 years we as a family have participated in a "walk" for awareness.  Our local group is called SMILE and we went to the very first Buddy Walk when Hope was 3.  Held at the 4-H Fair grounds on a very cold October Saturday, I arrived somewhat late.....as usual.  When I drove up to the area where other families were gathered, I was overcome....NO...OVERWHELMED!  I could not believe how many people were there.  They were there to support my little 3 year old.  WOW.  I cried!
Hope loves clowns!

Now in our 16th year, we have grown.  Grown incredibly! We no longer have 150 people celebrating our kids, we have thousands!  Our walk is now called the SMILE MILE.  It's just a mile....come on...let's walk it!

I say Let's walk it, but I can count on one hand how many times we have actually walked it.  When she was little in the stroller....yes.   As a grown kid....not so much.  Do you know how long a mile is??? Ya, a long way from the Hot Dogs, the clowns, the stickers, the train rides, the ponies, the silent auction, and the bathroom.   I can't remember when I walked the Mile with HOPE!  Walking verses hanging out in the "building" scoping out all the silent auction items is Hopes idea of the SMILE MILE!  One year, we bid on so many items and WON them, that it looked like a Christmas Sleigh Ride to Grannies in our trunk going home!
Dressed in Christmas theme

The SMILE MILE has a talent show after the walk, usually at 11. This year her dance troupe will perform first thing.   Hope tend to last 45 minutes at all of her events.  She may come late to the party, so that participating in the talent show will be pleasant!  Pleasant for me that is.  I'm hoping to avoid the Silent Auction all together,  if she sees that, she will have a hard time leaving that area to dance.  She will think someone else will take the stuff she wants.....and believe me....she will want stuff.   So wish me luck on working this all out!! 
Hope at the Talent Show, singing and dancing

October is a great time for Down Syndrome Awareness.  It is my favorite month of the year.  And Hope is my favorite teenager who just happens to have Down syndrome.
Cinda and Hope prom night

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Women at the Fire Hydrant

Every morning I fall out of bed, reach for my glasses, stumble down the steps, and head for the mailbox.  The trip to the mailbox sometimes involves putting shoes on or tossing an old coat over my jammies.  Every morning, I go outside and "get" the newspaper.

It is nice to feel the newspaper and scan through the articles , rereading a paragraph by touching the words.  I always get my chuckles from Family Circus, Dennis the Menace and Real Life Adventures because they remind me of my family.  Especially Real Life Adventures, today was...Wife," Where's your Wedding Ring?  Are you fooling around?"  Husband, " Um, I've gained weight and my my finger is too fat to put it on.  But I like your Theory.  It sounds way more...exotic."

This week, the USA section had a huge picture with the caption, "Residents of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, line up Saturday to siphon drinking water from a fire hydrant hose."  The photo had 3 women holding milk jugs waiting a turn to fill them with water.  This struck me in a place in my heart that began to hurt.  The article told of the hurricane, the lack of water, power and news.  I couldn't take my eyes off the photo of those women, by the hydrant.  They morphed in my mind into the Biblical women by the WELL. Women dressed in clothing that covered they bodies, carrying heavy clay jugs, and filling them at  the well for their daily needs.  The image hung with me all day, all week, and today as I blog.

I googled Women at the Well.

I wanted a story about a bunch of women by the well.  I came up with more hits about the Woman at the Well.  She was the Samaritan women that Jesus spoke to.  He was a Jew, and well known that Jews did not speak to Samaritans.  And to be alone at a well with a woman, a Samaritan woman at that. Jesus spoke to her anyway.

As they talked, she noticed he had no vessel for water.  He told her that if she knew who He was, she would ask Him for the Living Water.  She liked the idea of Living Water.  She thought it was an endless water supply and she would no longer have the drudgery of  hauling a jug to the well each day.  She asked Jesus for the Living Water.  We, as Christians, now know that the Living Water is Divine Grace.
If you know the story, she is found out to be adulterous and had other problems that were frowned upon in that time period.   Jesus knew all about her and told her what he knew.  The women eventually went to town and told all the towns folks about Jesus at the Well and they all came to see him.  He stayed in that town for 2 days preaching to the people.  He taught lessons on doing the will of God.  After they heard him speak, they said to the woman," We now believe, not for thy saying for we ourselves have heard him, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world."

The women in Puerto Rico have milk jugs in their arms.  How far did they walk to fill them?  With whom were they sharing the water? What were their thoughts about the devastation they just witnesses on their tiny island?  Do they believe in God?  Do they believe in Jesus?

Jesus is at that fire hydrant in Puerto Rico,  his arms are wide open and loving them.  He is there with the Living Water.  He is there with them in Divine Grace.  And, WE, need to be Christ to the women at the fire hydrant.

“Christ has no body now but yours.

 No hands, no feet on earth but yours. 

Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. 

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. 

Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. 

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.

 Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” 

Terese of Avila 

Have you been Christ to someone today?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It sucks to get old!

 This is a journal on my adventure with a medical problem. I will not alter it, and I will date the entries.  I have never done this, so I hope and pray that the problem is really just old age and I can get over it!

6/6/17
It all began with my 3 month recheck for type 2 diabetes.  I have controlled it very well with one little pill and a constant reminder to "NOT EAT THAT SUGARY BLAH BLAH BLAH"  It is a real struggle but I am keeping my A1C at 5.8.   And that is good!  Normal A1C is 5.  If you are lucky enough to have 5, my hat goes out to you!

Back to the first paragraph...It all began with my 3 month recheck....  Anna, my nurse practitioner, listened to my heart, felt my pulse, chit chatted with me about life and while she was feeling my neck, she said, "  Your Thyroid is enlarged!"  REALLY!!!????  After going through some of the reasoning, she suggested having my T levels checked and wanted me to have an ultra sound done on my thyroid.

Back on December 31, I was scheduled for and MRI on my neck due to pain in my left arm.  I told my friend Dee about it and she reassured me that it was piece of cake and I could have headphones to listen to any music I wanted.  I was ready, I had my genre chosen and when I finally entered the MRI room and received all the instructions, I said, "Wait, My friend said that I could listen to music."  And the techs reply was, " Not when we are scanning the upper body."  They put me in the tube, gave me the panic button to push and I PUSHED THE HELL OUT OF IT!  Not doing this!  As I left, I told the tech that I would be back ONLY if I had cancer. That was a dumb thing to say.

I have been fretting about my reaction since.  And I felt that I was miraculously cured of any neck, arm or  minor pain, until Anna said that I had an enlarged Thyroid.  We discussed how I reacted to the MRI.  Today, I hope to heck I will not have one after I have the Ultrasound.

6/7/17
My T3 and T4 test came back normal.  As well as my cholesterol, A1C and other tests.   The fret is getting real.  And thank goodness, or NOT, for Google.   I'm not finding much and I am putting in other ailments to see if they pertain to an enlarged thyroid.  One of the symptoms that I had 3 months ago, at the last check up, was dehydration.  Believe it or not, I never sweat and I was tasting very salty when I licked my lips.  It got to the point that I even licked my arm just to see.  And it was salty too.  If I were flexible I would have even licked my toes! At that check up, I was told to drink more water.  Did you know that coffee, tea or wine doesn't count as water???? Three months later, I'm still dehydrated!

6/14/17
I talked to my friend Lori and she told me to quit googling!  So, I won't!

6/15/17
Had my ultrasound at 9 AM. Life with  a retiree volunteer husband and a teen with Down syndrome created some time schedule juggling.  Hope went to Wesselman's Woods with Tom where he volunteers at the front desk and I asked my mom to accompany me at my appointment.   Hope had summer school to attend but we decided that she was better off with Tom just in case the school would call for someone to get her.  I ALWAYS get called for SOMETHING when I am at the doctor.  It is almost a given.  Seriously, when I was at the doctor  at the 6/6/17 appointment, the school called to let me know that I HAD to come get her, she had diarrhea and wouldn't get off the toilet.  I was 15 miles away and in the waiting area for blood work.  By the time I got there, she was sitting at a table with a tablet watching those stupid Play Dough Videos.  I guess she got off the toilet! And as far as diarrhea, that is just the way she poops!

My ultra sound lasted about 13 minutes and I should have the results on MY CHART by tomorrow morning.  The tech told me before we started that most people have something in their thyroid.  I told her that I sure hope that the ultrasound of my thyroid didn't show a baby girl.  I'm totally over having kids!!!   Now to wait!

6/15/17
I got a call from my Doctors office at 5:15. WOW....that was fast results.  I have two nodules on my thyroid and I am being referred to an endocrinologist.  So, I have determined that I am having twins! Keeping it real.

Well, I just read MY CHART at 9 pm and it said there were 4 nodules.  I guess I will have more babies than I thought!
6/16/17
I have an appointment with my endocrinologist in September.  We will play the wait game!
9/6/17
Wow, who would have thought that I would meet with a Orthopedic surgeon before I even had my thyroid looked at.  This will be interesting.  I have a carpal tunnel release surgery scheduled for October 9th.  In the meantime....I wonder what my thyroid is up too!!!
9/14/17
I finally saw the endocrinologist!  Anti Climatic discovery!  I don't have relatives that have had Thyroid Cancer so that leaves me in good shape as far as these blasted nodules.  I saw them, they look like little empty sacs of nothing!  We will continue to watch them and I have an ultrasound and an appointment scheduled for next year.  Whew!   

It really does SUCK to  get old.  All these body parts that need to sync up so our WHOLE person runs like fine oiled machine!

Like the kids song goes;
My knee bones connected to my ankle bone. ETC
We can add....my new knee is working just fine...it's time to get the other one replaced.

So far, knock on wood, I'm not singing about by knees and hips....but wait...I am having Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery in October. 
My wrist bones connected to my elbow bone.....  It Sucks to get old!  Not really...I'm Happy to be alive!!!!


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hate is a dirty word!

When I was growing up, HATE, was a dirty word.  "You never say HATE." said my parents. And I didn't.  I listened to my mom and dad.  Well, to the best of my knowledge, my brother and I were perfect kids.  After all our last name was Nelson.  And Ozzie and Harriet were the perfect parents with the perfect kids.  All Nelson's were good and hate was a dirty word.  You could taste a bar of soap by just muttering the word.

What happened to that "dirty word"?  It is so common place in my household, I feel like it is used as a revolving door.  Hope hates me.  Then she hates Dad, Gramma, and Feezlee the cat.  In about 15 minutes she loves us just as much.

I will either ignore her or fly of the wall.  I believe it is called passive aggressive.  The struggle is real.

Raising a child, like Hope, is a real challenge.  And our challenges are getting bigger as she ages.  Some friends say, " Oh she is just acting like a teenager."  Maybe so.  She does have the attitude, and the flip of the hair, and the shrug of the shoulder thing down.  But then comes the HATE.

There is a little rhyme that my mom taught me.

There was a little girl,
Who had a little Curl.
When she was Good,
She was very very good.
When she was bad,
She was Horrible.

A poem written many years ago by a very wise person. Hope is defiant, self centered, hateful, mean and nasty when she isn't sweet, charming and delightful.

I was called to pick her up from school this week.  My hair stylist was just getting ready to add my color to the developer.  I had to leave and it took me 30 minutes to get to her school. As a mom who was really needing gray roots covered up, I was not in a very pleasant frame of mind.  The scenario's that went through my head on that 30 minute drive would probably shock you!  Seriously, I came up with many ways to discipline her.   Some of the ways involved me going to jail where I would consider it a vacation.  By the time I arrived, she was done with whatever pissed her off in the first place. She broke her glasses and wasn't nice to anyone.  Her mantra is..." I want attention and I want it now!" 

Today Hope hated Mr. Smith.

 Hope told him," I hate you and I hate Bosse High School. I'm done with you and I want out of here!"  He replied perfectly, " Well Hope, I don't hate you, but I don't care how you are acting right now, when you come to school you need to work and learn." ( why can't I be that nice??) He and I talked for 15 minutes and really didn't solve any problems.  Before we left, he said that she could come back the next day.  And then he ended it with, tomorrow will be another day. 

Of course, Hope was remorseful all the way home and didn't even ask for her Ipad, a coke or a trip to the Dollar Tree.  She knew she was wrong. And she told me that she loved me.  So much for all my the  imaginary scenario's that sent me to jail!

Hate!  It is just a word to her.  It causes a rise.  So, let's all just take a breath and repeat," I don't hate you, I love you no matter what."  And breathe!!!
WHEN THE HATE IS DONE...WAIT FOR IT...LOVE!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I.Traveled. All.By. Myself.

I went away this past weekend on a Jet Plane.  All. By. Myself.  I know what you are thinking, Big DEAL!!!  Yes, it was a big deal.  Leaving alone meant Tom was in charge of Hope.  Friday morning, I woke her up as usual and she went to the bathroom as usual.  She told me her tummy hurt and we found out why.   She fondly refers to her "monthly visitor" as  "I got My Pyramid".   I was still going to fly away on that Jet Plane.  No Dang Pyramid was going to stop me. Nor should it.

Being Hope's mom is a full time job.  It is my job to help her care for her hygiene as well.  If you are a male reading this, I think you can possibly appreciate that.  What would you do if, someone left you in charge of this task?  Beg that the care giver stay home? Make the care giver give up a weekend away because of someones hygiene problem?  Privately vomit at the thought of the task at hand?????

I texted Bissy and said, "No matter what dad says, tell him that you will take her for the weekend.  And I will pay you big time when I get home!" 

All went well while I was gone.  I even took this Girls Weekend on my husbands birthday.
Who does that????? My mom and aunt bought him a red velvet cake.  Not that he likes it or they like it. They bought Red Velvet because the grocery store was out of Carrot Cake.  They may or may not have sang Happy Birthday......I. Wasn't. There.

Since I played the cheap card about parking at the airport, I was given a ride to and from the airport. Tom picked me up on Sunday evening.  This is not a normal experience for him.  He really doesn't know MY rules about airport pickup.  Here they are.
1. You park out in front of the terminal by the baggage claim and wait for me.
2. You do not bring children.
3. If you bring Children, you do not take them into the terminal.

You may think that this is trite and I shouldn't have rules.  But I know what happens when one adult is in charge of Hope and any number of grandchildren ( Harper this time)
1. No one listens to you.
2. They run around.
3. They want to buy everything in the gift shop.

My flight was 15 minutes early.  I called Tom, no answer.  I always take carry on because I like to just get to where I need to get!  I went to my designated pickup spot and waited and waited and waited.  With 1% power left on my phone, I called him again, no answer.  I called Bissy.  She said that he was at the airport with Harper and Hope. Good Lord!!! What about my Rules!!!

Before going back into the airport, I peered down the front parking area.  At our small airport you can actually park in front.  I saw my car WAAAAAYYYY down there.  First rule broken.

Then I saw Harper and Hope bolting out of the Delta entrance door with Tom at a slow clip behind.
"MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY!"   It is fun to have a greeting like that!  Harper was all about wanting a present, and Hope was just plain happy to see me.

I stood there for a moment, with my  broken rules flashing through my head.  They are just rules.  No one died.  Yes it was stressful for Tom when he was trying to get the girls off of the Jungle Gym that is set up in the airport and neither would listen.  Hope was wearing MY dress, which meant she was showing her underwear while on it and remember the whole pyramid thang.  Wearing my Dress was another Broken Rule.  That is a house rule...stay out of my closet.  She even had my purse.  She looked darling.   Hope did run to the gift shop and Tom got her out before she saw the purses and hats. He was glad I was home. His first question, " Did you have a good time?"  Sweet, and Yes.

This trip was very impromtu.  I have joined a company called Color Street.  I sell, finger nail polish strips.  Crazy easy to put on.  It is a product that is afforable and all women love to have beautiful nails.  Check it out  click here Cinda's Color Street Website

I would love to send you a sample or get together with you.  I promise, I have no rules for this!
I traveled to Detroit, MI for the first Color Street Conference


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summertime with HOPE

Hangery?  Hungry and Angry at the same time.  Nope....that's not my problem.  My problem stems from 3 Tablets that are at 0% charged.  This causes anger and frustration with Hope  and ME.

Addiction?  Yes, there is an addiction to these tablets.  My fault and now I am trying to figure out how to get it under control.  I have been to enough self help and anonymous  meetings and read plenty of how to books that I should really be an expert.  But I am NOT!  I'm just your classic Co-dependent.

Summer is hard on both of us.  During the month of June, Hope had 4 weeks with 3 days of summer school so it kept her in a routine.  July came and wow.... she and I are totally out of control!  It's too hot to spend time outdoors because she over heats.  I put a plea out for friends with pools to let us swim and I haven't taken any of them up on their offers.  I. AM. OUT.OF. CONTROL.

Hope has the attention span of a Nat.  BUT when it comes to an Ipad, a Cell phone or a Tablet, she can spend hours staring at the screen.  She considers the characters on the screen her best friends.  And if I don't have 2 tablets charging so when the one she is using dies.....all hell can break loose!  And it is not pretty. On the other hand, when she has these electronics, she is perfectly happy.  THUS....The ADDICTION.

Routine,  that goes completely out the window in the summer.  It is going to be hard when school starts.  My main concern for her teachers after this summer break is how is she going to handle routine again.  She seems to have an increased impatience level.  It is a demanding presence and not easy to cope with.  Last night, I was trying hard to teach patience.  We use, First this, Then that.  It's hard....real hard.  And I use this technique all the time.

What is First this, Then that?   I'm glad you asked!!

When she gets a hair in her butt about wanting to do something or eat something or wear something and it also requires my assistance, I stall the activity with  First this, Then That.

Example 1:
She wanted dessert, and we weren't even done eating.  I say, "First we finish supper and  I clean up the dishes, then we will have dessert." Sounds reasonable doesn't it.  It's not!  The struggle to get the dishes done sometimes last longer than if I would have just given in. She will add more demands to the list and the the idea of dessert if over and she is demanding a new demand!  Patience, please.....where are you!  Once things are settled and I am exhausted from sticking to my guns, she is usually off with the electronic device and forgotten about the blasted dessert.  Dessert is usually ice cream.  Not just Ice Cream...It has to have this and that on it.  I have a rule, don't buy fancy Ice Cream for Hope, she just loads it up with nuts, and chocolate, and whipped cream and fruit and cereal and and and.....Oh and she eats it with a fork!!!



Example 2:
And it is happening right now as I type.   She wants to go in my room and get some clothes.  Background, she already has a pile of clothes that she put in her room 15 minutes ago, I have locked my room so she can't get in but she WANTS more.   I am suppose to say, "First I finish typing then we will get some clothes."   However, I don't say that...I get a TONE..." HUMMM you already have clothes, STAY OUT of here, I'm Blogging!" That gets you nowhere...then the whining and the name calling and the slamming of doors occurs.  And I just sit here blogging away, talking to you....I hope you are listening!
This room does not need any more clothes on the floor!

The ranting is done, I never left the computer and I hear her humming in her room.  Unpredictable.  And I used a TONE!  Go figure!

What I'm trying to communicate  with you is, there are times when I feel like I really SUCK as a parent to a child with special needs.   And when she finally gets her way, she loves me again and I hear it over and over...." I love you, mom. You're so Pretty!"  The struggle is real!

 Well bye for now. I have to see that the tablets are fully charged to alleviate a future meltdown. And, she is probably sitting in the car in the hot garage thinking that I will be there to drive to the Dollar Tree!  Not happening!  Great motto for this ALL of this First Things First, after all I am a co-dependent!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Secrets to successful 40 year marriage

It is really funny how I am now considered a professional in marriage.  It's my own doing, I guess, I just love telling people that we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this weekend.  It is a big deal, considering that couples younger than us have already broken up.  We made it because we compromise well.  If you can't compromise....WELL then, things just don't work!  Amen end of sentence.

The other day, while at the bank, I told the young teller that we were going on 40 years.  She just got married and asked me to tell her ONE bit of advice.  Here is what I told her.
Make sure he know how to run the vacuum cleaner.  I'm not saying that he should be the one to clean the house from top to bottom, but he needs to know that most vacuum cleaners don't suck up spilled milk.   And once he knows how to run the vacuum and not suck up spilled milk, you need to teach him how to change the bag ( if your vacuum has one)  There is nothing worse than milk inside a bag, on the beaters and in the tube.  Just say'n.  And there is really a problem when nothing is said about vacuuming up milk with the BRAND NEW vacuum that you got as a wedding gift.

I have more advice.  Make sure that your new home is stocked with OLD towels and rags.  As gifts you received the matching sets for your bath and some great towels for your kitchen.  Guys just don't get that those towels are not for changing oil on a car, or mopping up spilled milk on a floor if the vacuuming didn't get it all.

I love being a professional at marriage.  Forty years!  YIKES!  I have lived longer with my husband than any other relationship I have had.

Advice on having kids.  Well, that was a no brainer.  If you do the math, our oldest turned 39 before we celebrated our 40th anniversary.  We didn't have time to discuss, argue or complain about getting pregnant.  There was no compromise either.  I was either pregnant or not.  No saying "I'm  kind of pregnant."  Just pregnant. SHOCKED, YES! Ten months after our wedding, we were parents.  I really have no advice.  I didn't have enough time to form an opinion.  Bing Bang Bong...PREGO!

Advice on choosing a home. In our first 5 years of marriage, we moved 6 times.  In the last 30 years we moved 3 times.  We have been in our present home 21 years.  We lived in 4 states and in one state twice!  I can tell you right now, I wouldn't change a thing about the moves. We made lasting friendships at each stop.  Tom's career evolved into something he never imagined.  And we added more little girls to our family!  I always abide by the saying, " No matter where you go, there you are!"  Ain't that the truth?????

Advice on decision making.  Tom and I can make decisions and live with them.  That is not always an easy feat.  If you spend too much time contemplating, then maybe the decision is to change course.
We don't dwell on things.  For this advice, the slogan is "Get 'er Done!"  I do need to add, that we don't make flippant decisions.  We research everything.  In fact, Consumer Report is Tom's favorite go too.  Always has a subscription to it.  Do we abide by their recommendations? Not always, but we consider the feedback.  And thank goodness for GOOGLE....where would any of us be?????

Here we are, senior citizens, married 40 years, starting a BEE RANCH, driving a RAM truck and watching the sunrise from a cabin porch.  Who would of thought forty years ago that two 22 year old college kids with $2000 in savings  and still paying college tuition would share so much?  Compromise.  Compromise, trust and love.
On our 38th anniversary in Fairhope, Al.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hungry Enough!

I am really trying to shake up the meal prep around here.  Last week, I purchased 3 kinds of fish at my new favorite grocery store, Meijer's...Halibut, tuna and Copper Creek salmon.  Ever since we tasted the Halibut steaks that Tom's dad brought back from Alaska, I knew that I could like fish.  I just don't like the price of the fish that I like.  Take for instance, catfish.  I hate it and it is cheap!  Perch, I hate it and I don't care how much it costs. Halibut, I love it, it cost the same as gold, so I must savor it!

In the last century around the 60's and 70's our summers were spent going camping at Spirit Lake, Iowa.  Sometimes we would venture up to  one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota  The lakes seemed to have muddy bottoms, a floating system was always a must. My brother and I would sunburn to a crisp while floating around on our inter tubes.  Yes, the kind that came out of a car.  After we were flaming red and hot to the touch, we would head back to the tent, load up in the sedan and head to the fishing area.  Sunscreen wasn't invented, we would just put a t-shirt on to keep the sun off while fishing.  With bamboo poles and slimy worms on hooks, we would swing and plop the line in the water.  Where we fished, you could just say the word FISH and the bullheads would jump on the hook.  Bullheads were my introduction to the culinary world of eating fish. My dad would say after they were cleaned and ready to fry up...."If you are hungry enough, you will eat it!"
If you are hungry enough, you will eat it!


Why in the world would God create a Bullhead?  He surely had a sense of humor.  That fish is black and slimy with tentacles that barb you.  My dad would use a pliers to skin it with bleeding hands from touching the "whiskers".  As an observer, I did not lick my lips and shout," Oh goody, let's eat Bullheads!"

There was something about frying them in beer batter over the camp stove that made it tolerable.  I was hungry enough, I ate it.  We even ate them for breakfast!

Halibut.  Now that is a great tasting fish.  I wouldn't even think of cooking it in beer batter.  Oh, and let's pair it with a fantastic Pinot Grigio.  I can't wait until I can go fishing in Alaska. I promise to wear sunscreen and a hat.  I hope I do get to blog about a trip to Alaska, however, it would be hard to be away from Hope for 10 days.  Stay tuned!!!

Do you like fish????

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bee's are here

The bee's are here.  Here, as in at the cabin.  Tom spend 4 months in preparation for the Bee Day.  He joined two Bee clubs and watched countless YouTube videos, as well as participating in endless hours  of video-conferences.  Just by being present within earshot of his computer speakers, I heard more about bee's than the common man knows.  Heck, if I remembered everything I absorbed, I could possibly answer Bee Categories on Jeopardy.
 Their front door. I need a little "welcome" sign made.



I feel that our fashion statements during our introductions to more than 40,000 bees says it all.  Tom was dressed in a white, hooded, zippered jacket with duct tape securing every nuke and cranny on his pant legs and gloves.  And me,with my bee motif boots sitting as far away within ear shot of the bees and Tom with epipen ready and making a fire to create the calming smoke. ( that almost sounds illegal in Indiana!)
This outfit is way to claustrophobic for me!
My job was keeper of the "smoke" maker and Epipen.



I believe that bee-keeping is artsy, sciencey and earth huggy.  I don't know if we will get a table spoon of honey out of this deal, but I sure know that we spent a chunk of change to have an adventure. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Looking for a Unicorn????


  I always liked Unicorns, Pegasuses, Fairies and Mermaids.  It is the magical dreamy side of my personality.  They just seem all pink and purple, light blue and rainbowy.  Oh ya, I like rainbows too.

Unicorns used to just be that....A UNICORN.  You know the rare horse with the horn and fluffy tail that would graze in a perfect field on a perfect planet by just being the perfect Unicorn with no purpose but being a Unicorn.  ZIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP  fast forward to now! Our Unicorn has become a commercialized icon no longer a rarity.  That poor thing is known for pooping rainbows and crying rainbow tears.  Just this week, a Nationally know coffee shop capitalized on the tears by making a drink called Unicorn Tears.  No one liked it, everyone bought it and that coffee company laughed all the way to the bank.

I heard someone say, " I'm looking for a Unicorn."  My answer was, " Good luck with that!"  Come to find out, saying  ' I'm looking for a Unicorn' actually means, 'I'm looking for something rare.'  Who would of thought.  There is a clothing company that is using that saying for finding a particular print of fabric for their fashion leggings.  Sometimes, the print of the fabric is actually a unicorn print.  Please, please, give our Unicorn a day off!

Pegasuses are horses with wings.  Sometimes the artists rendition puts a horn on it.  That is so confusing, but then again poodles are mated with Cocker Spaniels to become Cockapoos so why not Unipegacorns.

I always thought it would be fun to fly on a Pegasus.  I would love to soar through the night sky passing up flying carpets with my hair blowing and flowing in the wind.  I would wave to people at the top of the Empire State Building and blow kisses to the faces on Mt Rushmore! The dissent would be gentle.We would land in the perfect field, on the perfect planet, next to the rare Unicorn who would be pooping rainbows!

Fairies are just miniature people who happen to have wings.  They are way too small to ride on a Pegasus like me, but I am sure that they could snuggle into the mane and save their Itty Bitty wings the trouble of flying a great distance.  I always thought that fairies were cute until the modern Peter Pan Movies changed them into slightly creepy creatures with glowing eyes and sharp teeth! When did Cute become over rated?

Mermaids are my absolute favorite. A Mermaid is half human and half fish.  The female mermaids are the most beautiful women in the universe with long flowing hair and fish fins.  Can you imagine if the top half was a fish head and the bottom half human legs?  That would be one ugly Mermaid!! I wanted to be a Mermaid when I was 5.  My family took a vacation to California and I knew that it was my chance to have my dream come true.  I threw pennies in every wishing well from Sioux City, Iowa to San Francisco, California wishing to become a Mermaid once I set foot in the ocean. It was cold and rainy the day we visited the ocean.  We didn't get out of the car.  There went my dream.  It was a good thing that I didn't become a Mermaid.  I didn't know how to swim.  Years later, Tom and I took a trip to San Francisco.  I wonder how long a wish lasts?  I didn't take my chances and kept my feet dry!  Wouldn't that be something if I DID turn into a mermaid 50 years later!!!


Rainbows are every color on this earth.  We often times refer to something gawdy as, " it was the color of the Rainbow."  When we got married, in the last century, I chose the color of the rainbow for our wedding colors.  Now when I think about it, I was the  Rainbow Color Bridezilla.  I had to have every color of napkin.  I had to have every color of flowers.  I had to have every color of frosting on the cake.  It drove the cake decorator nuts.  My bridesmaids had to have tie dye fabric dresses.  I had to have HAD TO HAVE!!!! And then, I had to have butterflies!

I  love rainbows!  In 2001, I pulled into the daycare parking lot next to Rachel's mom's van.  I told Rachel's mom that I loved her Rainbow bumper sticker and would like to know where she purchased it.  I was educated that day.  I still would like that bumper sticker. I love rainbows that much!

Ride a Pegasus, turn into a Mermaid, find your Unicorn and Sprinkle some Pixie dust on your loved ones.  Being dreamy and magical is never out of fashion!




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Easter Bunny


2007
I love the Easter Season.  I love Spring.  I love spring flowers. And I love the Easter Bunny.  As creepy as he is depicted in the the shopping malls where he doesn't say a word to the kids, I still love him or her.

When I was young, there were no Easter Bunnies in suits to scare the dickens out of kids.  The Easter Bunny was imaginary, but somehow he left kids baskets on Easter morning!  We didn't have Easter egg hunts either.  Was I deprived?  NO....There wasn't pinterest, internet, fake news or massive advertising about what to put in a basket.  It just happened!  Our parents figured it out on their own.  And they did a great job.

Hope met the Easter Bunny one spring in a NC mall.  Melida lived in Chapel Hill and we took a jet plane to see her.  Melida is a planner, so meeting the Easter Bunny was on the list.  This Bunny danced around it's own gazebo in the middle of the mall.  There were no children around, like you see when you visit Santa. The mall was dead and  Hope had Bunny's full attention.  This bunny did not talk.  I figured that was a good thing.  What are you suppose to do with the Mall Easter Bunny, tell it what you want in your basket?  That just doesn't seem right!

Hope started out timid and then she warmed up to the bunny.  She was 3 at the time, walking, running and hitting was part of her skill set.  She never needed sugar to get her to the escalated excitement level, she could get there with whirling, twirling and squealing! When she was at the height of twirling and dancing on the gazebo with the bunny, some other children approached out of nowhere. They were there to see the bunny.    At this point, Hope owned the Bunny.  No one else was going to have access to the bunny.  This short and skinny child had the strength of Goliath, she was shoving kids off the gazebo and I was trying to be the mother who was in control. This was not my first episode with my non-sugar crazed child nor would it be the last.

I don't like the idea of being in control when havoc breaks out, especially when it involve Hope.  I just want to hide sometimes.  But this time, I stepped up, grabbed the 25lb wiggle worm from behind and pulled her off the bunny's leg with her kicking and screaming, " My Bunny!"  And at the same time apologized to kids, parents, grandparents, police officers and the poor Bunny.  By the time we got to the car, I don't know who was crying more.  If it would have been 2017, the whole ordeal would have gone viral thanks to cell phones.

Bissy was young and horrified.  Melida just laughed because she thinks everything is funny. I just sat there thinking, " Do I go back in and pay for damages?"  We left,never to return!

This incident didn't stop us from getting in contact with another Easter Bunny.  No siree, we put ourselves through the horror again and again.  Year after Year.  She still owns the BUNNY!  Now, she will shop at Dollar Tree for plastic eggs and hide them in the yard, for herself!  Then she finds them. 

She loves the Easter Bunny, the eggs, the baskets and the chocolate.  She loves them 24/7 365.  She loves them as much as she loves Christmas, Valentines and Birthdays. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hope Goes To Court!!!


Yeah! I am now going to hang with my MOM and DAD forever!!!
Our grand dog wanted to come home with me.  Poor Ruby wanted to be with Papa!  I explained to the dog, within the earshot of Harper Rose, " You can't stay the night because Papa and I are going to court tomorrow.  We are filing for Guardianship of Hope.  And in the afternoon, Hope has a doctor appointment and a blood test!" Ruby, the smart miniature poodle, understood and retreated to the house.  Harper, on the other hand, listened intently and filed it in her inquisitive brain. And probably dreamt about it!

Harper's teacher was concerned about Hope's health. Harper told her teacher that she was worried about Hope.  She told her, " Mumma and Papa had to go to court because there is something wrong with Hope's head and they need to get a guardian!"

Harper knows that Hope has Down syndrome and knows that she needs us to take care of her.  Bless Harper's heart in putting this all together!  Bissy straightened it all out at preschool.

Guardianship is a real thing.  We feel it is an important step in keeping Hope safe for the rest of her life.  I have an author friend that wrote about her daughter who has Autism.  There were some very scary things that happened and my friend could do nothing about it because she did not have guardianship at the time.  The book is called Not Different Enough by Gloria Doty. She has other great books too.
Check out my friends website.

What is Legal Guardianship?  Well, Hope turned 18, became an adult and had the right to do ANYTHING without our permission, knowledge, blessing, or control.  Pretty scary for a kid who once drove a car in the forest! With Tom and I as her legal guardian, we now are able to speak to the doctors about her ailments, control how she spends her money and demand to know where she is after 5pm every evening!  Without legal guardianship,we are shit out of luck and she could be in a shit load of trouble. Can you imagine the financial fiasco of letting her shop at Dollar Tree and Goodwill alone!  Can you imagine the amount a crap that would enter her apartment that she could legally rent if she had money!

How do you obtain Legal Guardianship?  Get a lawyer and let him do it!  It took exactly 3 months.
It involves medical documentation that Hope, in deed, needed legal guardians.  This cost $15 and took 1 and 1/2 months for the doctor to request records from their legal department and then back to the doctor to sign, then back to the lawyer and then back to us! ONE AND A HALF MONTHS!!!! Excuse me, look at her...she has Down syndrome!!!!!!The doctors office is 3/4 miles from my home!  I could have ridden a bike and delivered everything in a week. But, I was not in charge!!!! The medical records were impressive.  It said, Hope's diagnosis is Down syndrome with borderline intellectual function, maladaptive behavior and gastroesophageal reflux disease. And it said that she belonged either with her family or a group home with close supervision.  BINGO...that was the golden ticket for Legal Guardianship.

Since she was already 18, the process also required Hope to receive a certified letter stating that we are seeking guardianship and in this letter the court date was set as April 6, 2017.  The date was set but we had one more hurdle to jump.  She had a state appointed guardian that had to visit our home and write a report. This was called Guardian Ad Litem Report-Adult. That was the last part of the three month wait. 

You can imagine how I felt about someone coming to my home to deem us worthy of being her guardian, after we had already raised her for 18 years.  It wasn't stressful. It wasn't invasive.  It was just a plain weird feeling.  It was like, ok, we did this for 18 years what if we don't pass the test.  It wasn't a test, thank goodness!  It was a 45 minute visit and she wrote a glowing report that cost $225.

What is like going to court for Legal Guardianship? We aren't real court savvy.  I reported to jury duty once and figured that all court rooms were located in the same area.  NOT!  We were waiting in the wrong building with some pretty scary folks.  According to the creepy man yelling at the lady next to him, she was staring at people and she better stop.  Add your own profanity.   I finally asked a passing attorney where the Guardianship courts were, and we got the hell out of Dodge!

So there you have it.  We don't have the final bill, but I believe the entire process is $1000 and some change.  It is the price that you pay for peace of mind when it comes to our loved ones with special needs.  Please encourage anyone who has a child turning into adult real soon to seek the help of an attorney in filing for legal guardianship.  I will sleep better tonight knowing that Hope won't be at the Dollar Tree spending all her money, driving her souped up car and taking it back to her fancy apartment!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Empathy



I have been thinking about poor Brad.  You know the guy who's wife was fired on his birthday after 11 year with a company.  He just wants to know why.  Social media really isn't a very nice form of communication sometimes, it creates false empathy.  I shouldn't give a flip about Brad. Yet, here I am! And why am I so wrapped up with April?  Her video will replay over and over again once she has that baby!!! And I will probably watch it....over and over AND over and over!

In the last century, no one cared that I was fired from my first job.  No one wanted to watch me give birth to my children. So why are we consumed with other people's business now?

Poor Brad!  No one can eat at the restaurant that his wife worked at  without wondering "why was she fired?"  Poor me.  I was fired from my job of 3 days, husking baby corn for a pickle factory.  I wasn't fast enough, imagine that.  Yes, poor me, I was making $.39 an hour.  I needed that job!  No one eats pickled baby corn and feels sorry for me!

Poor April.  She will be pregnant for 15 months.  Good lord! I thought 9 months was torture.  And then I experienced it several time over.  If there was any sort of video camera on me while living the hell of pregnancy, I would have been jailed for killing the photographer.  Maybe it is a good thing that April is a giraffe!  But still, poor April.

I cannot un-think any of this.  I cannot un-see what I have seen.

I could learn a lesson from Harper, almost 5.  She and  her preschool classmates were attentively listening to their teacher. Mrs. C was questioning the children about words that begin with the letter N.  The kids weren't coming up with anything but the teacher noticed that Harper's little brain was working on a word.
Her teacher asked, " Harper, do you have a word that begins with the letter N?"
Harper softly replied in a questioning tone, "Noneofyourbusiness?"

I guess the best thing to do is don't listen and don't look! All of this is "none of your business." NA! Poor Brad and Poor April!  Who's next? I have an abundance of empathy that I need to use.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hope, the model

Last year Style to Shine
 Today is World Down syndrome Day.  This is the day we can really celebrate our friends that possess and extra 21st chromosome!  Today is 3/21!  And tonight after her SMILE dance class,we are going to have an ice cream social...just because we can!

 We are so fortunate to belong to a support group for families that have loved ones with Down syndrome.  Our group is called SMILE. We have wonderful financial support through the help our our leaders who know how to write grants.  We also have annual fundraiser, and the one Hope loves is the FASHION SHOW.  Surprise Surprise!!!!

Last week we had our fashion show! This has become an annual fundraiser for us with the help of many volunteers.  Our kids shine and rock the runway with a local celebrity! Of course, our kids are the real celebrities!  The big perk for Hope is that she gets to keep the clothes and accessories. ( that I get to purchase at a discount from Dillards!)  Last Sunday, Hope modeled a dress, hat and purse.  If there isn't a hat and purse involved, Modeling is  a no go.  Her hat was a floppy straw hat with sparkly words that read " Loves Life".  "Loves Life"is a complete sentence in Hope's world.

This year was tough in chosing her dress.  I have learned that I am better off leaving her home while I shop.  Why?  You know Why!   She wants it all!  I have always worked retail and Hope is no different that any women in a clothing store. I will let her shop til she drops at Goodwill since everything there is under $5!

Since today is 3/21 we are all about celebrating the uniqueness of Hope!
When she couldn't decide on a fashion.  She fell asleep!

When she decided to cut her own bangs

Dolls are always naked!!







Thursday, March 9, 2017

Algorithm and Super Powers!



I sure wish that I would have paid attention in math class.  I never understood Algebra.  Don't lie, you didn't either. Look at what is happening today, as in right this very moment, in our universe.  Everything...EVERYTHING is calculated by algorithm.  Algorithm is a word that really snuck into our lives.  I never heard it mentioned out loud until recent years. It's like a catchall word that rules our every being.

 Algorithm is used for calculating results for many things but most noticeably for politics, Facebook, Twitter, and advertising.   Almost all TV shows, especially the high crime shows like Blind Spot, have specialist in the area of using algorithm. I wonder how much the actress really knows about it.  She has this big screen in her lab, that has 3D photo's of Jane's Tattoos. On the screen are scribblings of formula's that help her "crack" the case using algorithm. They are so busy working the algorithm and saying the word algorithm that it causes me to almost hyperventilate.  I have to pause and breath.  Algorithm makes me sad!  It makes me wish that I were in High School again so I could know exactly what the heck they are talking about on these shows.  There is so much in life to think about and I chose worrying about algorithm!  Cray Cray!!

We never talked out loud about algorithm 5 years ago.  Eight years ago we were introduced to another term, transparency. EVERYTHING had to be transparent!
And look where transparency got us.  I guess using algorithm made everything transparent, therefore we had to be transparent on how we became transparent and that was through algorithm.

Anyone who can use algorithm has super powers.

Super powers!  That's another term that is used daily.  I see it on marquise. I see it on bumper stickers.  The big question is:  What is your super power?  I see the answers on marquise and bumper stickers too.

So what is your super power? Hair Stylist? Rocket Scientist? School Teacher? Lover of nature? I don't know?

I do know one thing.  If I knew how to calculate the algorithm for finding out super powers, I could possible have my own TV show. There would be transparency or maybe not!

Thanks for stopping by and letting me vent!


Friday, March 3, 2017

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

I loved the  Art Linkletter Show when I was growing up.  He would have 3 or 4 kids sitting on stools and would ask each of them the same question.  We would howl at the answers.  I am so blessed to have my very own question answer show right here in my home.  If you listen to little children very closely you will learn a great deal about life.  Stick with me here....

Sitting at the dinner table usually brings on the same question...WHAT IS THIS?

Hope,"What is this?"
Tom, " It is Turkey."
Hope, " HUMMMM, Tastes like chicken."
Hope, "Did you add Fish?"

Melida, "What are you eating?"
Hope, "Chicken Gub Gubs."
Melida, "Are they good?"
Hope, "Taste like fish."

When Hope really likes the taste of her Chicken Nuggets,she used to squeal, " Corn Cob Fish! " Ya, I have no clue where that came from.

 I picked Harper up from preschool early and she delighted in NOT going to after school daycare. It is a real punishment in her mind! She was with me when we picked Hope up from school and Hope had had a bad day.
Harper, in all of her 4 year old wisdom had the answer, " You know, Mumma, I have a solution, just put her in after school daycare."  I wish I could some days.

Graham was over at my house after we ate supper and he wanted an ice cream cone with all the fix'ns.
I asked him if he had supper and the resounding answer was "YES."
His mom came in and said, "Time to go home, Dad made us supper!"
At age six, with a twinkle in his eye he said, " Seriously, You should never believe a word that I say!"

Vinnie, age 4, was playing in my closet while I was making my bed.  I asked him what he was doing and he said, " Oh, I'm just shopping in the shoe store!"

This one is X rated...
Graham and Harper were sitting at the Kitchen Bar drinking Hot Chocolate, when Graham spilled it on his lap.  He jumped up and started screaming about his balls being burned.

Harper went into a sing song about balls and then started to sing " Graham has balls and I have a vagina." Over and over again.

After he quit jumping around and Harper's song ended, I asked, " If Graham has balls and Harper has a vagina, what do I have?"

Without missing a beat he said, " A vagina, a very very old vagina!"
I spit out my hot chocolate.

I love little kids,they teach me about life!



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WHY?

What is your  WHY?  What a crazy question.  I have been in Direct Sales for 16 years.  Right now, I am just dabbling in it.  But my first rodeo,I went full blast. I even earned several trips.  The main question in this line of business is,  "What is your WHY?"  When you know your "WHY" you are ready to give it your all and do what it takes to make the business fly!

I really had my "WHY" years ago. Having a WHY was rewarding!

Now that I am less GUN HO on building an empire...cough cough.  I find that my WHY is gone.  Yes, gone, no longer there, zip and nadda!  And that is too bad because there are some great direct marketing businesses out there that need the passionate sales person.

My WHY has changed. Why does Hope do what she does?  Why? Why? Why?  And there is no answer.  The business WHY was so much more predictable! WHY is like a cuss word to me now!

Tom asks WHY all the time.  He says it's because of  his profession, he always had to question everything.  I personally hate the word WHY when it comes to just a conversation. ( Hate is such a strong word)  I am naturally curious, so when I am asked WHY, I answer BECAUSE.  These one line conversations can get you in a heap of trouble.  After 2 months of retirement under his belt, I have almost broken him of his WHY.  Today, in a passing conversation, I asked him, " Are you going to the fitness center this morning?"  He caught his WHY mid sentence and replied, " You are just wondering, right?"  YAY me!  It like breaking a horse!

I don't know WHY I can't stand the word WHY.  It is in the Bible. Everyone says it.  I just don't like it! True confession....I use it and I cringe.

 Thanks for letting me vent!

Why? Because! And You're Welcome!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hope went to Prom!

Memories of my first and only prom swept over me last week as I shopped for  accessories required for Hope's first prom.  My mom made my dress and I still have it in the closet.  I loved the fabric, it was colorful and fun!  I wore my hair down and carried a bouquet.  My date and I matched, this was the '70's and such a magical time. Back then, we had Senior Prom.  No Junior/Senior Prom. No prom for the sake of prom.  One prom, your Senior year unless, of course, you had a date to every other HS in town.

I have 3 older daughters and they each have their prom experiences of riding in a limo, dining at a fine restaurant, dancing the night way and coming home at 10 am the next morning!  I knew with Hope, that we had a window of opportunity to make this the best Prom ever!  Hope does not last long in any social situation.  If she had the prom of her sisters, she would have been DONE after the limo ride.  She can only handle one experience at a time.

Hope's Prom was for Special Kids.

With Hope's wardrobe, I knew that I would have to go for comfort.  First up was the shoes!  Sparkly and high top with pink shoe laces.  She wore them every night after school so I knew it was a winner.  Her dress was black lace, stretchy and comfy!  I didn't let her see the other accessories until we were ready to go to the prom.
We took pictures at home and she was excited.


The prom began at 7 pm. We arrived at 6:55.

Hope danced to the songs she loved and hugged on all of her friends.  She didn't hang close to me and I was able to enjoy a conversation with the other mom's. One mom, who's son LOVES girls, told me that  she HAD to stay close by her son or else he would pat all the girls butts. HA  I guess she had to be the Butt Police!  Another mom cried all night at home because her daughter was so beautiful and grown up, her daughter took her grandpa to the dance.  Some of the kids had dates.  One couple got engaged at the dance.  Another friend claimed the dance as her birthday party!  Lucky!  Our kids are special.

The prom ended at 9pm.

But we weren't there to see everyone get crowned king and queen.

At 7:45, Hope was done.  She danced, had a snack and was done.  DONE DONE DONE! As she headed toward the door to leave (without telling me) I caught her and asked if she wanted to dance with me.  She said, " I need to get out of here!" Ok then...I convinced her to say goodbye to her friends and dance teacher before we made our exit.

She did it!  She went to a prom.  She stayed 45 minutes.

I have had all weekend to reflect on this night. 

Reflection:
As I drove home from the Prom with Hope at my side, I had mixed emotions.  The whata, shoulda, coulda kind.  My feelings flowed from "YAY, she stayed 45 minutes" to " Why couldn't she hang in there longer?"  Is is always an emotional roller coaster for me.  That is selfish and I know it.

Every kid there had a parent somewhere, hoping and praying for a great night.  There were so many prayers lifted for each and every one present.  Prayers for Hope were answered....She went. Period.  So why do I always feel defeated? Because I allow myself to feel that way.  Eventually, I put my big girl panties on and dealt with the feelings.  Hope had fun and it wasn't suppose to be about me!!!!!

Her prom for me was getting all the "stuff".  When we got home that evening, she did NOT take off her prom dress, nor did she remove her accessories!  She wore them until she went to bed.  I could hear her talking to all those imaginary friends, in her room, telling them all about the prom.

I am truly blessed.  Sometimes, I just need to reflect on it.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

We have added Bees!


harvesting pumpkins
New chapter in my life of cooking.  We have strawberries planted and many fruit trees.  Last fall it was all about pumpkins! Experimentation time!  Oh how I love the science of cooking!  Through this blog, I am hoping to test some recipes and share them with you!

Did I mention that we are also going to have bee hives?  The whole idea of bees is really not very pleasant to me. Fruits and vegetables don't sting!  Tom has been talking about raising bees for the last 5 years.  Before we had land, he was going to put them in the backyard.  YIKES!!  NO WAY! Now that he is retired and has land, I am not fighting it.   Hope doesn't like bees.  She was stung in the eye by a wasp this past summer.  You should have seen her "look" when Tom told her that she will be the Bee Queen at the fair.  She wants nothing to do with that.  I, on the other hand, would love to market items with a bee motif.  I think that bees look cute on fabric, hair ties, bow ties and stone carvings. Our honey jars could have a catchy label!  That excites me!  Maybe I could be Bee Queen at the fair!

I remember when his distant cousin, Tommy Thompson, a past governor of Wisconsin, made the statement that honey was "bee poop".  I can't get that out of my mind.  The bee producers of Wisconsin weren't too happy!  Honey has never been my go-to sweetener.  But.....things are going to change!  Oh....this retirement....how sweet....I have a new chapter in my life of cooking and it will involve bee poop, strawberries, apples, peaches, numerous vegetables and possibly a partridge in a pear tree.

A partridge?  I am sure that fowl will be part of this retirement!  He is already talking about what kind of hen house he wants and the type a fence to build.  We may as well have chickens, I will need eggs for my recipes....and a cow for milk and butter.  What's left?  Oh ya, a goat for the soap I plan to make with it's milk!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

We Got This!

Retirement has thrown a loop into Hope's day.  Her DADA is home.  I don't know who is more thrown by the morning routine, Hope or me.

Imagine having only one person help you in the morning for 18 years and all of a sudden there is a "time master" involved.  "Time master"!  Ya, I made that name up.  I also am making up the definition.  A "time master" is a person that infringes their idea of a schedule on others.   This "time master" messes with the balance of Hope and my universe.

Getting Hope ready in the morning is like an orchestrated Ballet with a demanding Prima Donna.  She barks out the same orders every morning, and I ignore her. I am already doing what it is she wants because it is part of the routine.  I think she just like to ask me to....get a drink, make an egg, get medicine, comb hair as part of her comfort.  When the "time master" entered the equation, he wanted to answer her demands.
 JUST STOP...WE GOT THIS!

The other day, he sat in the dining chair that is directly in my path.  I snapped at him! He was shocked! Hope snapped too!  It was a flipp'n circus!  The whole morning rhythm was off! She got to school 10 minutes early.  And it went down hill from there!
WE GOTTA GET THIS!

There have been painters in the house since Monday.  We are really off our game.  The kitchen and TV room are off limits and there is a tight squeeze at the breakfast table.  Breakfast was not the same since the stove was off limits for cooking.  We just couldn't get the proper rhythm of the morning. Fact: from my house to school it takes 12 minutes.  If you leave by 8:15, you can still be early. Yesterday, the "time master" took her, she was 20 minutes early.  That is 20 minutes of sitting in the car, staring at the school gym door for the teacher.   Hope was thrown for the rest of the day.  Her behavior has been "not the best" and has been sent home early quite a bit this past month.  Tom picked her up early yesterday and was asked, " She has a change in behavior, has something changed at home?" Tom's reply, " I'm home now, I guess I better go get a job!"
 NO ONE GOT THIS!

This is the beginning of the second month of retirement. I wonder if we will ever GET IT.  Time will tell and the "Time Master" will do the telling!  Our morning routine has got to get better!

Great news, Hope had Three great days this week!  And tomorrow is another day! WE GOT THIS!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Reading and Hope




Every time we go to the Dollar Tree, Hope buys a novel  or two or three.  They are a dollar so I don't care what she buys.  I can't figure out what the attraction is. She picks up a  book, examines the cover, feels for the weight, flips through the pages and either accepts or rejects it.  So many times, I have tried to steer her to a book that I would like.  She doesn't fall for it!


When we get home, she takes them to her room.  Here she will place them in a bag or put a bag in them as a bookmark.  She does not read the books.


If we go to Target, I won’t let her buy books.  They are full price at Target!!!  She has purchased from the Goodwill but the Goodwill has purses and hats and that usually supersedes a book.


She has taken the newspaper right from under my nose.


 “ Get back here, I’m still reading this!” I will shout!  ( yes I am a shouter)


“But I need it!” she shouts back.  It is the same with magazines and mail.  If I don’t watch my stuff, it goes to her room.


Hope doesn’t read.  We are going to change that.


For eight weeks this year, we are in a group of like minded students. The program is Special Reads for Special Needs.  It teaches reading through the HEART.  We are writing easy stories about Birthday’s, Shopping and Fashion.  This is very exciting.


I have tried this approach with my “typical grandchild” Harper, age 4.  She is whizzing right through.  There is a book called I See and the first story is about a bird, a red bird.  After Harper read it through several times, I asked her what the story was about.  She said, “It’s about a red bird, but actually, it is about a cardinal.”  Smarty pants!


If you are interested in checking out this program go to www.specialreads.com/blog/

Stay tuned….Reading is in our future!