Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Mood Blanket

I am trying to post this from my phone, so excuse any strange autocorrects that I may miss.  =)

I have always wanted to do some sort of "one-a-day" type of project, but I am afraid I won't follow through an entire year. Well, I think this is going to be the year. I am going to make a mood blanket.

My color pallet is a bit monochromatic, but I want something for my bedroom and I like pale blues and greens.

It took me a while to finally decide on a pattern. At first I didn't want to do granny squares so I thought about making a blanket out of flowers. But when I thought about that, I realized it would end up small and bulky. After racking my brain, I decided to make another Babette blanket. But the pattern only has 126 squares. After doing some math and trying to revise the pattern a million different ways, I finally realized that if I dropped the last section off, there are 90 squares.  I will just duplicate it 4 times to make an afghan that will probably be almost queen size!  Perfect! Add a border 5 rows wide and I have 365! 

I am really excited about this and looking forward to what I hope will be a very light blue and green blanket!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Run-down

I need to stop promising to make blog posts about things. 

I have a lot on my mind with the New Year coming, things I will share, but for now I need to show off all my Christmas crafting...

First, the dresses.  Unfortunately, I do not have any good pictures of my kids wearing their dresses.  I had hoped to get some yesterday, but they got other new clothes that were far more exciting and they passed on wearing their dresses for pictures.  Plus, it's really difficult to get them to pay attention to me long enough to stand still and pose for a picture right now.  Chaos rules.  But here are the dresses on hangers...

Olivia's dress... Lorelei pattern by Lilygiggle

Zoe's dress... Secret Garden pattern by Lilygiggle

Isabelle's dress... Juliet pattern by Lilygiggle 
(this is my favorite of the three, especially once they tried them on)

I made a doll each for the girls.  And Grover Cleveland.  And an elf.

The Prez and our elf Cinnamon

Olivia's Princess Selenia from Arthur and the Invisibles

Isabelle's Bunny

Zoe's Monkey

I need to make Zoe a Bunny for her birthday (tomorrow!) but it's going to be late.  I needed a small break.

And hats... I used my family's Christmas presents as a chance to try out some ideas for hats to make for my shop I plan on opening soon.  The first one probably just seems weird to anyone not from Arkansas...  Razorback college football (and basketball) are huge around here.  I need to make some revisions, but this is what I like to call "The Mo-Hawg"

For my mother, I got inspired by the Stained Glass afghan I made a few years ago, and I turned it into a hat. 

Then, as I was making it, I thought it might make a really nice snowflake if I changed up the colors...  and my sister's hat was born:

And that's about it... I did make a mohawk hat for my brother-in-law, but I didn't get a picture of it.

I have so many ideas running around in my head to work on for my shop.  I'm excited.  =)  It'll probably take me a little bit to get it up and running, but I'll let you know!

I am going to do a mood blanket over the course of 2014.  I will go into it more later (I'm tired, can you tell?) but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at what's to come:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Keeping busy...

I have quite a few things to show off, but I'm too lazy to upload them right now.  I have the next week off of work (WOOO!) so I promise I'll get them up soon.  I've been so busy the past few weeks, and I've loved every minute of it. 

Unfortunately, I haven't been working out, and that's something I need to remedy.  Next week I really have no excuses (although I'm sure I'll try to find a few) and I plan on getting back in the swing of things.  I had to bow out of my half-marathon tomorrow because I just haven't been able to train at all for a while.  First my diabetes made me feel like total poo, then I got sick, then we had an ice storm... I know I could walk 13.1 miles tomorrow, but I'd be in a world of pain for it.  I'm just going to suck it up and focus on my one in March.

As for day-to-day, I've let crochet take back over all my time.  I have to learn to balance it all, but I've been having so much fun.  Making dolls and hats... and decisions.  When I got into making my half-marathon hats, I had that spark ignite again to try to do something to make money with my hobby.  At first I thought about making up patterns, and I may do that some, but I've had people asking me to make them things left and right.  I made 3 hats for one coworker, need to make one for another coworker, and another friend asked me to make her a doll for her granddaughter's birthday after the New Year.  I have another coworker making a list of things she wants. 

So, I'm going to call it official.  I'm going to do custom dolls and hats.  And I also will make a lot of Christmas things and next Christmas do a booth at a craft fair... ornaments, elf dolls, garland, things like that.  I'm super stoked about it.  I don't anticipate making a ton of money or replacing my job (although wouldn't that be awesome?) but I love doing this and even if I'm not making a lot of money, I'll be enjoying it.  I had, a few years ago, tried to give this a bit of a go, but I wasn't very confident about it.  I think now is the time though to revive ZIO Creations.  =)

I have a lot of non-crochet details to work out in the next few weeks, but I'll be sure to let you all know about it.  =)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The project list grows...

I should be heading to bed, but I'm enjoying the fact that I don't have to work tomorrow and taking advantage of it.  =)

Unfortunately, I don't think we're doing anything Thanksgiving-y tomorrow.  Zoe is sick, I'm still a bit under the weather myself, just a cold, but we can't expose my parents to it.  It sucks, but what can you do? 

I will be spending the day cleaning and crocheting.  My project list is spinning out of control.  I have to put a stop to it.  I think I've taken on all I can now.  Here's what I have going on, in addition to my hat-a-week until my half marathon...

I just finished my Week 4 hat, which I'll show off Friday.  It's not all that exciting.  I mean, I think it's cute, but I had more exciting ideas.  I just needed one more blue hat, though and it was all I could make work for that.

A girl at work wants a Gonzo.  I don't have a real specific time frame.... but I spent the weekend making up the basic beanie part of some of my projects, so it's started.  Another girl at work has commissioned me to make a zombie hat for a friend of hers.  This is what I'm aiming for:

I have another hat I'm working on just because it's an idea that really excited me.  It probably won't make much sense to anyone who doesn't live in Arkansas, though.  But I think if - when - I start to sell hats, that it would be a good seller to locals.  I'll show it off when I finish it.

I'm working on a hat for my brother-in-law's Christmas present.  I hope it turns out OK... it's a combination of a few things he loves and pretty funky.... a Chicago Bears themed gecko mohawk hat.  You'll have to see it when it's done.  It's actually from a pattern.

Christmas presents for the girls.  Zoe is getting a topsy turvy Cinderella doll.  The kind where you flip the skirt and it looks different.  One side is the princess, one side is the maid.  I am to the skirt part of it, so it shouldn't be long before it's finished.  I'm using a pattern for this.

Isabelle wants a baby for Mr. and Mrs. Hobbes.  If you don't know, two years ago, I made her a Hobbes... from Calvin and Hobbes.  She loves Hobbes, even though she really doesn't know who he is.  Last Christmas, she asked for a friend for Hobbes.  I wanted to make Calvin, naturally, but she informed me it needed to be a GIRL Hobbes.  So Mrs. Hobbes came to be.  Now they're going to have a baby.  I haven't figured out exactly how I'll do this, but I will.

I had found a doll pattern for Olivia.... just a run-of-the-mill doll.  Then I put the movie Arthur and the Invisibles on the other day and she's been obsessed with it ever since.  She told me what she wanted for Christmas was a Selenia doll.  If you've never seen the movie, this is Selenia....

I've only improvised one human amigurimi type doll before, so this should be an experience.   However, this isn't the only improvised human doll I have on tap.... and not the strangest.

I need to make President Grover Cleveland.  This is for a school project for Olivia.  She has a research project and one of the things she needs, for some bizarre reason, is a doll of her chosen President.  So, I thought, why not just crochet it?  Believe it or not, I actually know someone who has a little boy who would love a stuffed President doll, so when the project is graded, I'll send her the doll for her son.

I think that's it.  I think.  I hope.  =)  I have yarn all over the place.... in-progress projects in bags here and there.  It's nuts.  I go from barely crocheting all year to trying to squeeze in a year's worth of work into a few weeks.  I'm a glutton. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Half Marathon Hats, Week 3

I so love my newest hat.  I love it so much I don't even mind the obvious jokes about it (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, you have a very sparkly, clean mind!)  So without further ado.... I present to you....


The Great Gonzo!

I was really worried about the nose... making sure it curved and all, but it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  I also was concerned about the eyelids, but I think they turned out pretty well, too.


I left it on the lamp like that and Bill was startled by him when he walked in there in the dark.  That just makes the hat all the more awesome!  He wouldn't look at me this morning when I had it on.  =)

I took it to work and even had someone request that I make them one!  Woo hoo!

The girls aren't crazy about it. Zoe said, "I like it a little bit, but not a lot."

I have one more blue-themed hat before November ends.  I also have to finish up my three turkey hats before Thursday.  Make another Gonzo.  And I got the stuff to get started on my brother-in-law's Christmas present (a blue and orange mohawk hat with a twist...).  I've had two really fun ideas for hats the past two days.  I need to write this stuff down so I don't forget.  I love it when the creativity is flowing!

I have been feeling a little under the weather this week, and the cold finally hit full-force last night.  Blah.  I hate being sick.  I need to get it to run its course quickly so I can be well by Thanksgiving.

If I don't make it back here before then, I hope you all have a wonderful Turkey Day!  I am oh, so grateful for each and every one of  you that read this, whether or not you comment! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hooked again...

I totally forgot to come show you last week's hat. 


It's not the best picture, but it's all I have.  It's just a mohawk hat.  It's not the hat I had planned, but the yarn I got for it wasn't working out right.  This is actually one I started - goodness - a year or so ago?  The fuzzy yarn was a pain to work with and I gave up on it, but it worked with my blue color scheme, so I tried again.  It's a little too small for my head.  I think I was making it for the girls.  I didn't actually run in it.  It was raining Sunday and I'm a total lazy bum lately.  Really need to stop that.

My turkey hats for the Go!bbler Run on Thanksgiving with my sister and her friend are coming along.


Those legs kill me, I have to say.  So funny. 

I won't tell you what this week's hat is going to be, but I will tell you that it's probably my most favorite creation to date.  Seriously.  I've wanted to make this hat for a long time and it's turning out better than I had hoped.  I can't wait to show you.  I'll show you the yarn.  Maybe you can guess...


It is a character hat and it has a 3D element to it.  That's all I'm giving you right now.

I have a goal of not using any patterns for any of these hats.  I have a few that will be tricky to make them look just like I want since there is an actual pattern that exists that I like, but we will see how I do.  Today I was browsing Pinterest and Etsy for some ideas for some of my future hats and realized that I really do love this and the old desire to actually do something with this hobby is creeping back up.  Pattern making, custom hats... I'm not exactly sure where I would go with it, but improvising these hats is just too much fun - especially this week's.   We'll see what happens...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Diabetes Awareness Month and Grover

Did you know that October is Diabetes Awareness Month?  Well, now you do.

And it's only fitting that this month I start to become very aware that my diabetes is out of control.  Fun stuff.  I knew my A1C was up last month when I went to the doctor, but I really didn't feel like things were bad.  And, if you never caught this before, I'm a horrible patient and never check my blood sugar.  So how would I know anyway?  Let me tell you how...

I started connecting some dots.  I've been so tired lately.  I have to take a nap every afternoon before the girls get home and still want to go to bed around 8pm... I usually have trouble winding down to get to bed by 10pm, so that's just very unusual.  I got a boil (gross, I know) and discovered in my research on how to get rid of it (it was right before the half marathon and in a very inconvenient place for walking) that it's not uncommon for diabetics to get boils when their blood sugar is too high.  I haven't been sleeping well (I attributed my fatigue to that) and was having night sweats (I attributed that to the new comforter being too heavy).  And this week I just felt ill.  Slightly nauseous off and on.  Yesterday something just clicked in my head.  I feel like crap because my blood sugar must be out of control.  I remember a few  years ago my blood sugar being over 300 and I felt HORRIBLE.... insanely nauseous, couldn't sleep because of the night sweats.  I wasn't feeling quite that bad - yet, but I knew it was coming.

So I went to the drug store and tapped out my health savings account buying test strips.  Damn, those things are expensive!  $75 for 50 strips.  Crazy.  That was a huge factor in why I never checked my blood sugar in the first place.  Anyway... I got home and about an hour after dinner I checked.  266.  Not good.

This morning's fasting... 237... REALLY not good. 

So, yes, it is time to really get myself back on track.  I told my doctor I could control it without medication and my intention is to do just that.  Otherwise, I'm back on Metformin in January and I really don't like the side effects.  But it's better than how I feel right now by a long shot.  I'll be checking my blood sugar like a good girl, my morning fasting and then I'll pick a meal to check each day.  Hopefully those numbers will get better.

I need to watch my carb intake, obviously.  And I'm going to get back into the routine of taking the girls to childcare at the rec center on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  In addition to that, and my long walk/run on Sundays, I will go straight to the rec center on Wednesdays after work.  I won't get to see Bill those days, but I talked it over with him and he's OK with it.  Hopefully that will do the trick.

Oh, and I read a very interesting article today when I was checking to make sure there wasn't a connection between Zoloft and increased blood sugar, and there isn't, but there is a connection between high blood sugar and depression.  So my sudden onset of depression makes sense in that light.  Gives me a little hope that I won't have to be popping pills my whole life.

Bill has a cousin that has LADA (Latent autoimmune diabetes of adults), which is basically adult-onset Type I.  (Usually Type I diabetes is diagnosed early in life, not as an adult)  She's very active in the online diabetes communities and has been posting a lot of stuff about Diabetes Awareness this month on Facebook.  Fridays in October, you are supposed to wear blue to show support of diabetics and diabetes research.  She is compiling a collection of pictures of people wearing blue on Blue Fridays for a blog post.

I knew my first "half-marathon training" hat was going to be Grover, and therefore blue, so I made sure to finish him in time for a Blue Friday picture. 


He's a little bit big... my gauge was off because I can't crochet with just eyelash yarn and have to use it with another yarn so I can find my stitches.  And he's HOT.  I have a feeling he'll be making me sweat tomorrow when I take him out for my run/walk. 

Bill's cousin loved the picture and asked to use it for her Blue Friday post as I was typing a comment to her that she could.  LOL  And I decided that all my half-marathon hats this month will be blue.  I already have my yarn for next week's hat and hope to get it started tomorrow.  I have to sew tonight.  And work on my turkey hats.  And I have an order for two Hello Kitty hats.  Lots to keep me busy!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


It's been a pretty stressful week for me, and it's only partially due to work this time.  I am seriously, like 3 weeks, behind at work and the new girl is kind of not catching on all that quickly.  But I honestly have been trying to focus on leaving work at work.  I can't do anything about it from home, so why fret over it?

My Dad's health is my biggest worry right now.  Last week, my Mom took him to the hospital with chest pains.  They discovered that one of his bypass grafts is 100% blocked and they can't do anything about it.  I'm assuming he's not a good candidate for surgery to repair it, and they can't put a stent in there.  So all they can do is treat it with medication.  They sent him home on Thursday, and he had a heart attack that night.  He was OK enough to be the one to call me about it Friday.  He was still having pain, bad enough to need morphine, as late as Monday night.  My sister went to go see him Tuesday and texted me that they were talking about releasing him.  All of us were just shocked that they would even consider it.  And they did.  About 7pm last night, my Mom went to go ask the nurses if a doctor was going to come see him, and was told he had already left.  So they called the doctor and were told to release him.  He hadn't seen my Dad since Sunday and just released him.  I'm really unhappy about that.  I think it's careless and unprofessional, to say the least.  Dangerous, really.  But he's home now, regardless of what I think.

I went to go see him today.  He's very weak and seems pretty nervous about his condition.  He said his blood pressure has been erratic all day... high earlier today, then too low, and when I was there and he had it checked, it was normal. 

My parents live in a retirement village - they're two of the youngest people there - and they eat most of their meals in the dining room.  I went and sat with them while they had lunch today.  I really love that place.  Several people came by to tell my Dad they had missed him while he was in the hospital.  He had two "get well" cards sitting on the table.  Everyone there is just so sweet and you can tell my parents are very well liked.  My Mom had driven them over to the dining hall because it was raining and my Dad is so weak, and as we waited on her to pull the car around, my Dad was talking to this 90-something year old gentleman named Charles.  Charles was going out to run some errands with his daughter.  My Dad told her that Charles is his hero.  He helped Charles get his jacket on.  It just melted my heart.  Charles is a few years older than my Pawpaw would have been if he hadn't passed away 18 years ago, and I just felt like my Dad sees his own Dad in Charles.

Anyway, probably best of all is that they're very close to the nurse there.  When my Grandpa was getting pretty bad towards the end of his life, she and her other nurses were just amazing and they bonded a lot with my parents.  So, she's keeping a very close eye on my Dad.  She's getting his medical records from the hospital (since he hadn't seen the doctor, they had a lot of unanswered questions) and I know she'll do everything she can to help him out.

I've been trying to really focus this week on being better with my food and exercise.  Last night, I took the girls to the rec center for the first time in months.  I got on the treadmill and did 1/4 mile intervals of walking and running.  Running my heart out.  It felt so good, and I was impressed that I could run as fast and long as I did considering it's been months since I last ran.  I definitely have to get back into the routine of going to the rec center twice a week.  Especially with everything going on.  Having that kind of release, along with the runner's high, is just what I need.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

This is kind of a disappointing post if you're looking for some cool costumes and lots of fun.

Over the weekend, the girls got in trouble.  They played with the fingernail polish, getting it all over the floor.  Then they refused for 2 days to clean up Isabelle's room so I could move our old bed in there.  After many, many warnings, they were grounded for the week.  No Fall Festival at school and no Trick or Treating.

I know.  I'm a mean mom.

I, of course, had to work today.  I rarely dress up for Halloween myself, but had the idea to do something this year, so I wore my Animal hat.


Everyone at work loved the hat, the patients got a kick out of it, too.  Only one other person dressed up and one person had on Halloween scrubs. 

Unfortunately, the gray band on Animal is a little tight for my head.


I looked like that for a few hours after I got off work.  I had intended on wearing it all day and night, but it was such a relief to get it off after work, I couldn't stand the idea of putting it back on.

The girls tried every thing they could think of (other than the one thing that would have worked - actually cleaning or picking up after themselves) to convince me to take them Trick or Treating.  But when you make a punishment you have to follow through.  I did let them wear their costumes and we went shopping.


They did get candy, too.  Just not bucket-fulls.  Isabelle was a flower fairy.  Zoe was a cat... it was just a dress with a cat on it and ears.  I tried to talk her into a better costume, but she loved it.  I really wanted her to be a bumblebee... she'd make an awesome Bee Girl (from Blind Melon's No Rain video).  Olivia was Skelita from Monster High (I've never seen her in an episode, but I can't say I've paid that much attention to them).  She refused to wear the tights and gloves (which made her look more like a skeleton) or the mask.  So she just had on a funky dress, pretty much.

I decided to take them to the movies and we saw Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.  Cute movie.  Then the girls had Chik-fil-a and the night was over.

So, yeah, they didn't get to go Trick or Treating, but it's not like they had to sit at home and pass out candy watching all the other kids have fun.

While we were out, I got some yarn to work on my Sunday Run hats.  I made a list of all the hats I want to make... mostly animals, but some cartoon characters as well.  I can't wait to share, but I need to work on my turkey hats first.

I hope you had a great Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

She drives me crazy

Oh, my Isabelle...

We've been butting heads lately.  A lot.  She's like a mini-teenager, and I swear if anyone tries to tell me it'll be even worse then, I'm going to shove a dirty sock in their mouth.

So, as usual, she was pushing ALL my buttons this afternoon.  Making me so MAD.  It was all I could do to try to deal with her calmly instead of going all demon-possessed on her.

But, just when I thought I had all I could take, she came into the room and stood in front of me.  She held up an index card with "I love you.  Do you love me?" written on it.  The she set that down and held up two more index cards:  "Yes" and "No".  I pointed to "Yes."  She smiled and sat the "Yes" card down.  Then she took the "No" card, tore it up, and shoved it in her mouth.

Hours of being a brat, erased in 5 seconds of sweet and goofiness.


So, my sister and I are planning on doing a Gobbler Run on Thanksgiving morning.  And I thought, if we're doing a turkey run, we need turkey hats.  I sent her pictures of two different kinds of turkey hats... a cute cartoonish turkey and a roasted turkey.  She and her friend liked the cute, unroasted turkey variety.  So I guess I'll be starting on some turkey hats.  =)

That led me to another idea.  Since I have another half-marathon lined up in December, and one in March (and possibly one in February, but that will require some hubby-support and I haven't mentioned it to him yet), I'll be doing long walks/runs on Sundays throughout winter.  And I thought it would be fun to try to make a different hat to wear each week.  I love crocheting hats, and my kids have a ton of them and never wear them.  So, I'll make them for myself to keep me warm while I'm out in the cold.  And hopefully bring a smile or two to the other poor souls out freezing their tushies off on the trails.  =)

Now... do I want to go start on a turkey or go to bed?  My big, marshmallow-y bed is really tempting me right now...

Monday, October 28, 2013

I'm beat.

It's been a busy past few days.

Saturday, of course, I had the half-marathon.  I felt pretty good Sunday after that, other than the blisters on my feet.  I read up on some ways to try to help prevent them in the future, so fingers crossed...

Well, Thursday, my ancient dryer kicked the bucket.  We got it used over 8 years ago, and it was ancient then, but it worked fine.  My husband had to replace the belt a few months ago, and I knew it was just a matter of time by the way it had been sounding lately.  I went to go take a load out and they were cold.  It was still tumbling, but no heat.  RIP old dryer.

Friday I dragged the kids out to buy a new one.  My first new major appliance purchase.  =)  The sales guy said it would take up to 5 days for delivery, and I already had a mountain of laundry to do, so I opted to pick it up Sunday.  Bill went and got it and I had to help him drag the old one out, clean the floor (wet dryer lint is nasty.... I gagged), and then we had to get the new one inside andinstall the power cord.  Seriously, next time I'll wait and just hit the laundromat.  Bill dropped a screw down the back of the washer and we had to take the entire back off.  The kids were all trying to "be helpful."  It was not fun.  But I have a dryer that works again.  Wheeee!

And, on a tangent... why don't dryers COME with power cords?  Why do you have to buy that separately?  Is this common with all appliances?  I mean, you can't exactly use it without a power cord. 

Then today, Bill and I drove out to my parents' to pick up their old bed.  They decided to get twin beds and asked if we needed a new bed, which we did.  We bought ours before we got married and we've been married 11 years.  They bought this bed just about a year ago after their apartment fire.  It's nice... a queen size sleigh bed.  =)

While we were there, my parents took us to lunch.  We went to Perkins.  When we got there, I remembered that the last time Bill and I were there, we ran into my Grandpa.  After we sat down, the guy sitting directly behind me started talking and I swear he sounded almost exactly like my Grandpa.  Maybe that was his way of saying "hey, I'm thinking of you, too..."

After lunch, Bill and I loaded up the bed and rushed home.  We were a little later than we needed to be... the girls get home around 3pm and we were cutting it CLOSE.  A little TOO close, in fact.  They got home before us, couldn't find us, and went down to my sister's house.  My brother-in-law was home and called when they got there.  We were literally pulling into the driveway.  At least they had somewhere to go, thank goodness.

Bill actually drove to and from my parents' house (a little over an hour away), which is very rare.  I fell asleep on the way up there and on the way home. 

So, we moved our old bed into Isabelle's room and set up the new bed.  Threw some sheets on it and threw myself down on it.  It feels like a marshmallow!  So soft.  =)  I'm really looking forward to crawling into it soon because I am exhausted.  Walking a half-marathon, moving appliances and beds.... that'll wear a girl out.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Soaring Wings Half Marathon

My second half marathon is in the books!

Soaring Wings HM benefits the Soaring Wings Ranch, a Christian youth home.  They are totally privately funded by donations and events like the half marathon.  A good cause.  =) 

We (my sister and I) had signed up as runners, but walked the entire race.  Runners can walk, but walkers can't run.  Not that we ran any, but we could have.

For a few minutes, the white haired lady to the right was the only other walker in the corral with us.  The results showed 85 people registered as walkers, though.

This was a completely different experience than the Little Rock Half.  Much smaller, for one.  1749 people total.

I had someone to walk with, which was different.  I really enjoyed having my sister with me and she pushed me.  I probably would have been much, much slower without her.

The course was TOUGH.  The Little Rock half was fairly flat.  This felt like we were going uphill the whole time, which of course is impossible, but that's how it felt.  And we were on the side of the roads, which wasn't always level.  I stopped to stretch at the first water station after the halfway mark, and a lady asked if I was OK.  I told her I was fine and she said "Oh, you're just preparing for Bay Hill?"  I thought, "Sweet baby Jesus, a hill with a name?  I'm going to die."  It wasn't THAT bad, but all the hills were very tiresome.  And the downhill near the end was killer....  you wouldn't think going downhill would ever be hard.  Try walking 12 miles and then take a steep decline.  It's harder than you think.

Another different experience... blisters.  I didn't get them until I got my new shoes, and let me tell you... I had a blister on top of a blister on top of a blister on my left foot when I got home.  It was about the size of a half dollar.  That made the downhill at the end so bad.  I'm surprised they didn't pop.  I did eventually pop them myself at home.  I never do that, but it had to be done.  I need to figure out why I keep getting them with my new shoes, because it sucks.

And, lastly... I didn't train as well for this one.  I think the past two weeks, the only walking I did was my long distance walks.  I really could have been better prepared, but I don't feel any worse than I did for the last one, other than the blisters.

Our official time was 3:45:00.  10 minutes longer than my time for my first half, but I'm not complaining.  Like I said, if I had been alone, I probably would have been pushing 4 hours.  We were 1715 and 1716.  Only 1735 finished... 1 didn't make it to the halfway mark and 13 quit after the halfway mark.  I feel bad for them.  =(


The medals are nice and heavy!  My second medal, my sister's first!  I'm so proud of her.  She had been talking about doing the Little Rock Marathon 10K next year, but now she wants to do the half with me.  =)  It's so addicting.  My next half marathon is December 14.  Not very far away.  I am going to work on training to run part of it.  =)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It was like Christmas!

3 more sleeps!

I am starting to get a little excited.

Today I went to pick up race packets for myself and my sister.  I had to drive all the way to Conway (45-60 minute drive depending on traffic) to get them.  =P

The packet was chock full of stuff.  Several ads for 5ks, but all in either Conway or Russellville (which is another 45 minutes from Conway).  I will drive a good distance for a half-marathon, but not a 5k.  But there was more than 5ks in the bag!

The Mississippi River Marathon.  It's February 8 and there is a half!  That's about 2-2.5 hours away. 

Run The Line Half Marathon.  It is in Texarkana and is in both Texas and Arkansas.  It's February 16 and about 3 hours (?) away.

Half-Marathon in Fabulous RussVegas.  April 26 (Isaboo's birthday) and in Russellville.  About 90 min-2 hours away. 

But that's not all!

This is the best part...

Outback in the Ozarks.  A 200 mile team relay race.  OMG...it's like a Ragnar Relay!

I could increase my half-marathon from 3 a year to 6!  I'm not sure I can swing all those registration fees, and two of them are back to back weekends.  I think I may just do this RussVegas one, since it's closer.  This year anyway.  I need to set up a registration fee savings fund.  =)

But the relay race!  I showed my sister and she was excited about it, too!  There are a lot of logistics to figure out (like 10 other people to do it with us) so I don't anticipate being able to do it in 2014.  For one, there's a 36 hour time limit, which averages out to less than an 11min mile, and I'm barely hitting 15 min miles.  So pace is an issue, unless we found some super fast runners to team up with LOL.  And the registration fee is understandably steep.  But still....  so much fun to think about right now! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

6 More Sleeps

Did you forget that I have a half-marathon coming up?  You may think I did since I haven't been talking about it non-stop like the first one, but I have not.  I've been doing my long walks every week (well, almost every week...) and today was my last one.  Saturday is the Soaring Wings Half-Marathon!

This has been a completely different experience training.  No mental barriers to knock down, in fact, I am not anxious or excited (yet) about it.  I do still have that "but I'm only walking it" mentality, probably because I did want to run this one.  I've gone from running it to running part of it to just walking.  I guess that's a big source of the almost-disappointment.  The first half-marathon was SUCH a big deal to me, and this one is like "meh".  Deep down I know it's still a big accomplishment running or walking.  But yes, yes, I am disappointed in myself for not hitting that goal of running it.

But that's OK.  I have two more on the calendar and the weather is cooler and I WILL run part of the CASA Half in December.  Maybe not a lot of it, there's not an awful lot of time to build up much distance, but I will.  I really thought about running some today, but this close to the half, I wanted to play it safe and not risk being really sore or hurt after today's walk.

I just remembered that last Sunday I took pictures during my 12 mile walk to take you guys on a walk with me via my blog.  And I totally forgot to write the post!  I will work on that this week.  Promise. 

Today was only a 6 miler... it's taper time.  It was a nice walk.  I needed the fresh air and the time alone.  It's good for the soul.  I walk along the Arkansas River Trail, different parts at times, it depends on the distance, really.  I prefer one location for shorter walks, another for the long-long walks.  I started thinking about my 37 while 37 list (which is pitifully not nearly complete and my birthday is less than 2 months away) and one of the big things on it was to walk the entire River Trail.  It's a 14 (or 17, I've seen both numbers used...) mile loop that runs through Little Rock on one side of the Arkansas River, over the Big Dam Bridge, through North Little Rock on the other side of the river and back over the Clinton Bridge.  I've gone back and forth over whether or not to actually do it, because I can't tell for sure if the whole thing is complete by the maps.  But I really, really want to do it in between my half-marathons.  I just need to do some more research.  I think I'll take a Monday off of work... Bill will be home and can come rescue me if need be and the girls will be in school.  I would walk it at a leisurely pace, not my normal race pace.

OK, enough babbling.  I need to go sew.  =)

Saturday, October 19, 2013


***  Thank you all for your really sweet words!  It really means a lot to me to have people who take the time to read my babbling and you guys made me feel really good!  =)  ***

I've been on my meds for a few days now, and I have moments of feeling spaced out and moments of feeling really antsy or borderline high, but it's better each day, so I think it will all even out. 

I had a phone call yesterday at lunch.  I didn't recognize the number, but it looked familiar and I thought it was someone at work (I went out for lunch).  It was the pharmacist from Walgreens where I get my prescriptions.  She asked me if I had ever taken Zoloft before (yes) and how I was feeling.  I have never, ever had a pharmacist call me to ask how I was doing on a medication.  And it's not like some Mom & Pop little pharmacy where they know me or something.  It's Walgreens.  I thought that was odd, borderline concerning...  is there something I need to be looking out for?  Weird.

Anyway.  Enough about that.

A few weeks ago, my sister sent me a text asking if I wanted to go to the Bon Jovi concert with her.  There was a Groupon deal, so it was cheap ($17 or $22) and her husband was offering to babysit for me.  I haven't listened to Bon Jovi's last 5 albums or so, but I do love their old stuff, plus it was a night out.  So, of course, I'll go!

I haven't been to a concert in YEARS.  I'm not a fan of crowds.  Or live music for that matter.  But a Girls' Night Out is necessary every once in a while, especially one that doesn't involve people under 5 ft tall (unless you're under 5' but over 18, I guess I should say LOL)

I had heard on the radio that the show should start at PROMPTLY 7:30pm, no opening act, just Bon Jovi.  I also heard from other people that they only play about 4 old songs.... and other people said they play a lot of covers.  I really didn't have high expectations, but the tickets were cheap, and it was a night out, darn it.  I don't care if they sing Mary Had A Little Lamb.

The arena has two upper levels, and we thought buying the more expensive tickets meant we'd be in the lower upper level.  

That was not the case.  There were only 3 rows behind us.  We were so high up that I was dizzy for about half an hour.  It was scary.  I don't know where the cheaper seats were... outside maybe?  And the catwalks blocked the jumbo-trons.  So  really, we couldn't see a damn thing.  Oh well.  I think Jon Bon Jovi is hot and all, but with his hair short now he reminds me of an old friend and it kind of skeeves me out.

(my sister's friend, my little sister, and me)

They did NOT start promptly at 7:30pm.  It was more like 8:10.  =P  

All in all, the concert was really good.  About 1/3 of their old stuff, 1/3 stuff I have heard but wasn't familiar enough to sing along with, and 1/3 new stuff I didn't know at all or covers.  He did some Conway Twitty, Rolling Stones, other stuff.  Mostly fun stuff, though.  And he had an awesome Mick Jagger impression.  He had the moves like Jagger, for sure.  LOL  It was over 2 hours, so I think we definitely got our money's worth, even if they were little ants to us from up in the clouds...

That's as zoomed in as my phone could go.

They hadn't been to Little Rock in 20 years...  and they had a pretty packed house.  Lots of 30-40 year old women ;)  But there were plenty of guys, too.  And the girl next to me was probably 17 or so.

I had fun.  I might be willing to go to another concert in the near future....  if the right band came along.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Little Blue Happy Pills

A few weeks ago, I realized that I could not put off my doctor's appointment that I was due for in July any longer when I picked up my last refill on my blood pressure meds.  So, I reluctantly made the appointment, which was yesterday.  Somewhere in between making the appointment and having the appointment, I had a moment of clarity in what has become a pretty persistent dark fog that I've been living in.

I need help.

I had a conversation with an old friend who asked I ever wrote anymore.  I had to say no... I don't write much more than lists - grocery lists, to do lists... 

So I sat down to write later that evening.  Here is what came out:

"I just want to be face down for a while.  to just let everything around spin the way it wants to spin and not be bothered with it all.  i know i'm depressed and i can't shake it and that just makes me feel worse.  i'm hiding in books burying myself as deep as i can.  i want to feel up again.  i want to be excited about something.  i'm so tired and i'm tired of it."

"my body aches.  i'm exhausted.  i wish that if i just went to sleep early tonight that i'd wake up and things would be brighter.  i want the hope.  i want the motivation.  i want to know that if i forced myself to dig, that i could get out of the hole, but it just feels so exhausting.  if i knew that i could go sit down and work on the budget... if i could go clean up the room and toss out all the junk... if i knew that it would work, then i would.  i'm just afraid that it just doesn't matter.  that it's just how it has to be right now.  why don't the ups last as long as the downs?"

I realized that I not only needed to go to the doctor to get my meds refilled, I needed to talk to him about getting back on antidepressants.  I can't live with those feelings day in and day out any more.  I've tried dealing with it myself, taking Holy Basil and aromatherapy, but nothing was doing enough.  I'm used to having down periods... usually my moods are pretty tied to my cycle and I know a week before my period, I'm a miserable person.  But the hormonal switch gets flipped and I feel awesome again.  Two months ago, the switch just didn't flip.  And I've been waiting...  and waiting.  

So, after talking to the doc about several issues, he put me on Zoloft.  I took Zoloft in my mid-20s.  I called them my "little yellow happy pills" then, but I'm not on that high of a dosage (thank goodness, I was a MESS back then).  I also found out that my A1C is higher, which is no surprise because Ben and Jerry were my BFFs this summer....  He mentioned Metformin, and for a brief moment I considered it - because it has the side effect of weight loss - but I know when I feel better, I eat healthier, my blood sugar is better.  I asked for Chantix, because (and I may not have ever mentioned this because honestly not many people know I smoke at all) I can't manage to quit smoking on my own.  But he was reluctant to put me on Chantix because it can mess with your moods - and he's basing that on his patients - and didn't feel I was in the right head-space for it right now.

A lot kind if is hanging on Zoloft working for me.  Putting me back to my normal self where I can get back to my journey to being healthier physically.

I started it today, and I know it takes a while for it to get in my system and regulate everything.  But part of me already feels better at just the hope of feeling normal again.

So, again... hopefully I'll be back here more frequently.  I had to break out my sewing machine for some work I'm doing for a friend, so maybe there could even be come crafty things coming!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Yesterday was my Olivia's 9th birthday.  Nine.  I can't believe she's 9 already!

She wanted a party, but I really am soooo over birthday parties, you know?  All that work and money and, for us anyway, no one ever shows up but family.  So we compromised.  She got to have a "play date" at the park.  I brought cupcakes and drinks and she invited 5 friends.  One showed.  And she was late, so for a while I was really worried that Olivia would be upset, but she was very happy.

Dummy me, though... I had told my sister that we were going to celebrate on Olivia's birthday a few weeks ago.  I told myself all day Saturday that I needed to remind her, but I never did.  When we were at the park, I wondered where they were and happened to look at my texts to her and realized that all I told her was that we were celebrating on Olivia's birthday.  No time, no location... I felt awful when I texted her and told her what had happened.  She did a great job busting her tail getting there, though.  

Olivia had requested "Quadruple Chocolate" cupcakes.... chocolate cake with chocolate chips, chocolate icing, and chocolate sprinkles.  This is how they looked Saturday night after I decorated them...


This is how they looked once we made it to the park...


It wasn't that the plastic wrap smooshed them, the icing melted within minutes of getting into the van.  =(  Any time we have taken cupcakes somewhere for her birthday, they melt.  I guess maybe next time I should freeze them?  


She really didn't care though.  It was windy out, as well, so she had like .5 seconds to blow the candle out.



Her friend gave her a Mooshka doll, which I had never heard of until about a week ago.  They're awfully cute and they don't do anything.  That's my kind of doll.  Santa might be bringing the girls more Mooshka dolls...


It was really sunny out... most of my pictures had horrible sun flares.  I guess that's what happens when you're stuck with the cell phone camera.  =(  I miss my DSLR.  I'm still not sure if I'm going to see how much it will cost to fix it or just replace it with something less fancy.

The girls played for a good, long while.  My Mom kept Olivia's friend's mother deep in conversation the entire time, so I didn't even have to force myself to be all that social.  I'm terrible, I know....


Me and my oldest, one year older!

I managed to get some  pictures of me and my Mom and Dad out of the day, too.  =)



I always hear "You look just like your Mom" or "You look just like your Dad" depending on who I'm next to in the picture.  I'd say I got a good deal from both of them.  

Next birthday is mine!  I'm just a few years older, though ;)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Better than a puppy

Bill has a sister that lives in upstate New York and she has two girls that are 11 and 13.  Every so often, she'll box up some of their favorite outgrown clothes and some books and ship it off to us for the girls.  

Today we received one of those boxes.  I remember Bill telling me that she was sending one out, but I didn't know when, so it was a bit of a surprise.  The doorbell rang and the girls, thinking it was one of their friends from down the road, ran to the door.  They started squealing about a package and my first thought was the sprays that I ordered yesterday, and I was just amazed at the speedy delivery!  Then they dragged in the big ol' box and I knew it couldn't be that.

Isabelle decided as I was trying to get the packing tape off that it must be a puppy.  Why she thought her aunt was sending her a puppy, I don't know.  I tried to explain to her that if it were a puppy that it wouldn't be much fun to play with after being sealed up in a box and shipped halfway across the country, but she was just adamant that it was a puppy.

I finally got the box open and their faces fell for a moment when it was confirmed that it was not a puppy, just clothes and books.  I started pulling out the clothes to see what sizes they were (just a size or two bigger than where my girls are, which is perfect) and they saw something that sent them into probably the loudest, most pure pre-tween ecstacy I've ever had to experience with them to date.

Training bras.

Remember how I wrote yesterday that I wasn't ready to buy them training bras and went with camisoles instead?  Oh, Lord... I really wasn't ready.

They were just in rapture over these tiny little bras.  It was ridiculous.

They each put on a training bra (even Zoe, who refuses to be left behind no matter what).  Olivia, poor little stick figure, was just too skinny for all of them really, but she didn't care.  Isabelle put one on and was mad that it didn't fit, so I made her take it off and put it on again, just not upside down.  There's definitely some training involved in the wearing of training bras....

We went out for dinner.  All wearing bras.  Olivia's, being too big on her, kept creeping up and peeking out of the neck of her shirt, so she kept tugging it back down, and I kept telling her to stop it.  We're in public for Pete's sake.  The waitress stopped to tell me how sweet the girls were and Isabelle yanks down the neck of her shirt to tell the waitress they got bras today!  Please, make it stop!

We had a discussion in the van after dinner about how bras are like panties.  Private.  We don't show them off or adjust them at the dinner table.  Ever.

I'm really, really not ready for this, you guys.

Then, at bedtime, Olivia decides she needs to sleep in just her bra and panties.  Dude, seriously...  *I* don't sleep that undressed... where the heck do they get this crap from?  I implemented a new rule that you must be dressed enough when you go to bed to be able to run from the house in a fire.  She put on some pajamas.

I have a feeling that my husband is going to say a little more than "Thank you" to his sister when he talks to her.  

In the midst of all of this, I told Olivia that her cousin just turned 13, which to Olivia is THE age to be.  She asks me all the time "Mom, when I turn 13 can I (fill in the blank)?"  So, she worships her cousin now.  She sat down and wrote her a letter asking her to please tell her all about being 13.  I'm sure this will be quite an interesting exchange.  =)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shopping spree

While we are short-staffed at work, I am getting a bonus every week.  My boss forgot to give it to me my first paycheck after all this started, so this paycheck was about $300 more than usual.  And I've pretty much spent most of it after today.  Let me show you what I got...

First was a little online shopping at Storenvy.com.  I've become super curious about essential oils and their uses, and I had run across some essential oil sprays at Frankie and Myrrh.  I thought rather than spend the money on buying a crap ton of oils, I would try out a few sprays, and see if it really did anything for me. 

I bought some Monster Masher...

It's supposed to help calm the little monsters down before bed.  It's Mandarin, which is one of my FAVORITE scents, so I was sold right there.  My yoga teacher used to use Mandarin essential oil during savasana and I would crave that smell all week long.

I also bought some Hello Sunshine...

It's a mix of Rose, Lemon, and Bergamot.  It's supposed to be a mood booster and anxiety lifter.  I debated between that and Spray The Bitch Away.  Hello Sunshine won, mainly because I'm not a big fan of Lavender.

After the girls got home, it was time to replace my worn out running shoes.  I also wanted to get a pair of shoes to wear to work, because I got into the habit of wearing my running shoes everywhere and I didn't really have anything good to wear to work.  


My running shoes are Asics Titanium and cost me about an arm and half a leg.  Ugh.  Hopefully they'll be better than my Brooks Adrenaline.  I liked them, but the guy at the store said that I only slightly over-pronate (basically walking on the inside of my feet, normal for people with low arches like me) and my Brooks had too much stabilization and actually made me under-pronate (walking on the outside of my feet).  So these should even me out better.

And then I bought some Converse at Target... I'm a sucker for Converse.  Always have been, always will be.  I looked at the canvas "Toms" type shoes and they're just not me.  I'm a Chucks girl, not that these are Chucks, they're One Stars, but they're pretty much the same thing.

Both pair are, unfortunately, men's shoes.  God, I have huge feet.  My Asics are 10.5 in men's.  The Converse are 9.5.  I wear bigger running shoes than normal shoes.  That roughly translates into 12 and 11 in women's sizes.  I could have bought girl Converse that were identical, but the men's were comfier.

Then I hit the clearance racks and bought the girls each a pair of shoes ($6 each), and six pairs of shorts for Zoe (between $2-$4 a pair), and some undershirts for the girls because Olivia and Isabelle are both approaching training bra time.  Like they both need the extra coverage, but Mom can't bring herself to actually buy a bra for her child yet, so camisoles it is.

We still need to get Bill some new work boots, and then my bonus is gone.  He always goes for cheap boots.  I thought about talking him into something more expensive because they last longer... my friend says her husband buys Redwings which are a couple hundred bucks, but last 5-6 years.  Bill usually goes through a pair or two a year.  It would be worth the investment.  

So there you have it.  =)  Have a nice night!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I'm not trying to be a slacker....

(whiner post.. you've been warned)
Sorry for the lack of anything lately.  I feel like that's my theme saying lately, all across the board in my life.  Things are just crazy at work and it's taking most of my mental capacity lately.  

We have what seems like a revolving door for the other two positions in my office.  3 weeks ago, our new scheduler left, then the next week the insurance girl left (while my boss was on vacation).  We had a new insurance girl start yesterday and she's already told us she won't be keeping the job, but she's willing to work part time to help out until we find a replacement.  We interviewed and hired a new scheduler today... only to find out that we can't hire her after all because she is ineligible for rehire at other jobs due to some drug issues.  Lord.  Drugs are bad...  mmmkay?

So, yeah... work is kicking my butt.  

I started taking Holy Basil this past weekend, though.  It's supposed to help your body deal with stress and fatigue and depression and anxiety.  Pretty much my life at the moment.  I do feel a lot better today, so maybe it working.  Only time will tell.

Olivia turns 9 on Sunday, so we're supposed to be having a "playdate" at the park with her friends... my solution to not having the time, energy, or desire to throw an actual party.  Come play, eat some cake, go away.  

My sister and I are going to a Bon Jovi concert in a few weeks.  Pretty stoked about that... mostly the getting out for a kid-free evening with my sister more than anything.  I like Bon Jovi, but I think I'd go sit in an elevator and listen to Musak for a few hours if it meant getting a night "off."

My half-marathon is in less than 4 weeks.  I've missed my last two long walks.... not good.  Hopefully when I get back to it on Sunday it won't be too painful.  I should have my new shoes by then, though.  

School is driving me batty... I have one kid who refuses to read and one who loves to read but is getting a D in reading at the moment.  And I'm getting really concerned about Zoe's weight.  So I'm trying to figure out how to balance homework, housework, getting the kids more active (can't just single Zoe out....), fighting over everything under the sun.... 

I may need to up my Holy Basil dosage.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I am overwhelmed right now.

We're having like some mass exodus at work.  It's only 2 people, but there are only 3 of us.  I guess you know who's left....

We're going camping Friday and I have done nothing to get us ready.  I have to shop and pack tomorrow afternoon/evening.  Because I may have to go into work some on Friday despite the fact that I've had it scheduled off for months.  I've been told to just not worry about it, but really... who else is going to?

My house is a wreck.

Being gone all weekend means no laundry gets done.

I won't get to go grocery shopping for the week.

How relaxing is camping going to be with all that waiting on me when we get home?  How relaxing is camping anyway?  Ugh.

When do I get to do my 11.5 mile walk?

When can I go buy new shoes so that my 11.5 mile walk doesn't leave me limping for days?


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Currently 9/15

I'm slacking on blogging again...  

Currently reading:  Lighten Up by Peter Walsh.  Haven't been in much of a reading mood.  I let my Odd Thomas ebook from the library expire before I finished it and I have a Neil Gaiman book half-read.   

Current music:  Hair bands.  I'm in a total 80's/90's throwback mood.  I listened to Skid Row the entire 3 hours I was walking today.  Monster Ballads all week.  Firehouse.  I can't help it.  Guys with long hair are just hot.

Current guilty pleasure:  The TV.  I've watched so much TV this week it's pathetic.  BUT I make myself walk in place while I watch, so I don't feel too bad about skipping workouts for it.

Current drink:  Usually water, but today I'm indulging in a Diet Dr. Pepper.

Current food:  Chicken salad with craisins in it.  Holy moly, why didn't I try this long ago?

Current favorite TV show:  I was watching Orange is the New Black all week.  Finished it and I'm off TV for a while, I hope.

Current wish list:  A new employee at work.  Our new girl quit this week.  It's been hectic...

Current needs:  New shoes

It appears that I have walked the soles off my shoes.  These didn't even last 6 months, which is a total bummer since they cost me $120.  

Current blessing:  A gorgeous cool day.  It was 56 when I got to the BDB this morning to do my long distance walk.  I was chilly =)

Current outfit:  Black workout pants, a "Yoga Girls are Twisted" tshirt, and yellow Color Run socks

Current excitement:  Eye doctor appointment on Tuesday.  I have hated my glasses since the day I got them two years ago and I am ready to ditch them.  I'm even thinking about going the contact route.  I haven't worn contacts in close to 10 years.... they dried my eyes out so much I couldn't stand it.  Surely, in 10 years' time they've improved them.


Things are fine here.... just trying to keep my head on straight with the craziness at work and all that jazz.  My long-distance walk was 11 miles today, so that means the half-marathon is creeping up!  I only have three more super long walks before tapering for 2 weeks.

We're going camping next weekend, so if I don't find something interesting to say before then, I should have some pictures for you at least!  Our 11 year anniversary is Saturday.  =)  And yes, to celebrate, we're renting an RV at a park and camping - with the kids.  Romantic, no?

Linking up @ siddathornton

Friday, September 6, 2013

That darn cat!

I know I don't talk about her much, but we have a cat that was a stray and adopted us about 2 years ago.  I'm not much of a pet person, let alone a cat person, but she stays outside most of the time, and we (barely) tolerate each other.  She loves Bill the best.  The girls generally are too loud for her and she spends most of the time they're home and awake outside.  Her name is Serial Killer, Killer for short.  She scared me half to death one night, making all sorts of noise in the carport.  I thought someone had come to kill me.  So I named her Killer, but usually she's just "the (expletive) cat."

This is the story of why she should love me best, though.

It started this afternoon.  I heard some dogs fighting... our neighbors have somewhere around 8 or 9 dogs, no joke, so I assumed it was some of their mutts.  But it was really loud, so loud that the girls were concerned.  I opened the door to the carport and there were three large dogs barking and snarling and trying like crazy to get to something under the van.... Killer.  I started yelling at them, then banging on the door, trying to figure out the best way to get the dogs away without getting mauled myself.  I distracted the big black dog and Killer took that opportunity to jump out at it and dash off into the back yard.  They chased her, I'm still yelling.... eventually the dogs took off down the road.

Worried that Killer had been hurt, I went looking for her.  I couldn't find her anywhere in the back yard.  I went back out a few minutes later, still couldn't find her.  Until I looked up...


She looked OK, no visible blood or anything.  I wondered if she could get down, but figured I would just leave her be for a while.  We got ready to go out for a bit and I looked out there and didn't see her, so I figured she had climbed down.

When we got back home, I looked out the kitchen window, and.... Killer was still in the tree.  And she looked visibly upset and was meowing her head off.  

That is her tongue... she doesn't have a bloody nose...

Now, the lowest branch on the tree is abut 12 feet off of the ground.  I grabbed a 2 step ladder (the only ladder we have) and even with that on the deck, I was too short to reach her.  About that time, the girls came out and freaked out over the cat being in the tree.  I texted Bill, who told me to call my brother-in-law.  I texted my sister, but before she could get back with me, I had an idea.  

I grabbed the long laundry basket and put an old pillow in it.  Why the pillow?  To make it a little more enticing?  To make the basket more shallow?  I don't know.  I climbed up on the ladder and stretched out the basket as far as I could and it was right underneath Killer.  Now, mind you, I'm terrified of heights.  2 steps or no, I was shaking and fairly certain that if I could coax the cat into the basket that I would topple one way or the other off of the ladder.  Or drop the basket with the cat in it and probably injure her.  She looked at me, looked in the basket, looked at me, moved around a bit on the branch, and then carefully stepped into the basket, which I managed to NOT drop as I managed to NOT fall over.  I got her down and the poor thing was just shaking. 

She's filthy from being under the van, but looks unharmed.  She refuses to go outside, though.  Which is about to be an issue because she needs to go outside before I go to bed.  She wakes me up in the middle of the night to go out and that just ticks me off.


She looks so pitiful and comfy that I kind of feel bad about it.

In other news...


This is a picture that Bill sent me this morning.  That's my short-legged Zoe.  She got to wear jeans to school, and her jeans are way too long for her.  Bill couldn't get them to roll up and stay, so this was his solution.

Duct tape.

Ha ha ha!  Surely he wouldn't send his child to school with duct tape on her pants, right?

Wrong.  He totally sent her to school like that.

And this is what she brought home....


She's "Character Kid" for next week.  Very appropriate.  To say she has "character" is an understatement.  She wore duct tape to school, for Pete's sake!

She said no one said anything at all to her about her pants.  Which I was relieved about.  I mean, she's kinda got enough going on that kids would be prone to pick on her about... she's a little chubby, wears glasses... do we really need to stick duct tape to her pants?  Next time he should just tape a "Kick Me" sign to her back.  Poor baby.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

(Almost) A Week of Gratitude

I said I was going to start keeping a gratitude list here, and I didn't follow through. So, here I am trying again...

Tuesday 8/27
  • Zoe's homework including instructions to give me a tight hug
  • A walk around the neighborhood before the girls got home
  • The girls being so excited to ride the bus home
  • Down days because they make appreciate the up days more
  • That Bill offered to take Isabelle to the doctor today
Wednesday 8/28
  • Misread signs
  • The Oatmeal's comic today, I laughed forever.
  • No homework!!!
  • Dancing spelling practice (whatever works, right?)
  • The girls feeling so proud because they got to walk home from the bus stop alone (I can see the bus stop from the porch, it's 2 houses down)
  • Being in a better mood today
Thursday 8/29
  • Miss Thelma's comment about Dr. L.  I haven't laughed like that in a looooooong time
  • That Dr. L didn't sneak up on me today.  He needs a bell or something.
  • That days when I feel really low, random people pop up to check on me out of the blue
  • My kids doing their homework without any nagging or crying.  It was like the heavens opened up and the angels were singing.
  • Firehouse on repeat all. day. long.
  • Isabelle's amazing memory for song lyrics
  • A slightly (very slightly) smaller electric bill this month
Friday 8/30
  • Sweet notes from Zoe's teacher
  • That Bill had the foresight to ask me take him some Gatorade so he doesn't get sick in the heat tonight
  • Friendly cashiers who think my kids are charming
  • Aunt Lynne.... best in-law ever (not that they're not all great, she just always makes my day, though)
  • A new "virtual" workout buddy
  • Feeling like myself again
  • Three day weekends =)
Saturday 8/31
  • Finishing up the laundry marathon before the girls went to bed
  • My laundry putter-upper, Zoe
  • That I have Monday off and can put off my long walk until then, because it will be a bit cooler than tomorrow
  • Snarky, sarcastic people
  • That my kids have stopped asking for dessert every night
  • The photo challenge because I really loved looking through my old pictures and remembering those times
  • The creativity of others


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