Friday, August 26, 2016

28 Days of Gratitude - Day 5

Today I am grateful for money in the bank so that we can afford the week's expenses.
I am grateful for quiet mornings at work so that I have a chance to wake up in peace.
I am grateful for Charli for being concerned about me.
I am grateful for a dishwasher to make cleaning the dishes easier.
I am grateful for hot water because showers are much nicer warm.
I am grateful for my sense of humor because it keeps me amused.
I am grateful for my glasses because I can't see well without them.
I am grateful for the beauty school for making it so I can get a nice hair cut cheaply.
I am grateful for sleep because it recharges me for another day.
I am grateful for my imagination because it keeps me entertained for hours.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

28 Days of Gratitude - Day 4

Today I am grateful for headlights so I can see to drive to work.
I am grateful for honest people because they inspire me.
I am grateful for being able to refill prescriptions online because it saves me from making a phone call.
I am grateful for sweet notes from teachers because I love to hear that they love my kids.
I am grateful for fans because they keep me cool.
I am grateful for my nose because somet things smell so good.
I am grateful for the mailman because just going to the end of my driveway to check the mail is very convenient.
I am grateful for nice, ripe tomatoes because tomato sandwiches will always be my favorite.
I am grateful for Bill's job because it has been a steady source of income for years.
I am grateful for healthy children because so many people deal with struggles I can't imagine.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

28 Days of Gratitude - Day 3

Today I am grateful for my phone for keeping me occupied when I'm bored.
I am grateful for money so that I can pay my bills.
I am grateful for my coworkers who help make my job smoother.
I am grateful for dragonflies because they are my spirit animal.
I am grateful for coffee because it gets me going in the morning.
I am grateful for the school nurse for taking care of my kids.
I am grateful for my brother-in-law for helping out with my kids.
I am grateful for routines because I feel better when I have one.
I am grateful for my eyes because I like seeing beautiful things.
I am grateful for music because it makes me feel more deeply.

Thank you, Bill, for being a good father.
Thank you, Bill, for working so hard to provide for the family.
Thank you, Bill, for your sense of humor.
Thank you, Bill, for mowing the lawn.
Thank you, Bill, for sticking around.

Thank you, Momma, for giving me life.
Thank you, Momma, for caring for my friends growing up.
Thank you, Momma, for being a good example of work ethic.
Thank you, Momma, for standing up for me against your own mother.
Thank you, Momma, for taking care of me when I was sick.

Thank you, Crystal, for being my friend in addition to being my sister.
Thank you, Crystal, for always being willing to help with my kids.
Thank you, Crystal, for taking care of Momma.
Thank you, Crytsal, for your quilting talent.
Thank you, Crystal, for always encouraging me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

28 Days of Gratitude - Day 2

Today I am grateful for cranberry apple granola because it makes my tummy happy.
I am grateful for my therapist because I feel better after talking to her.
I am grateful for my feeling productive yesterday because I got a lot done.
I am grateful for health insurance because it helps me get better care.
I am grateful for dreams because they fascinate me.
I am grateful for cooler days because it's nicer than hot weather.
I am grateful for melatonin for helping me get to sleep.
I am grateful for another day to live.
I am grateful for scrubs because it makes getting ready for work so simple.
I am grateful for clocks so that I can know what time it is.

Monday, August 22, 2016

28 Days of Gratitude - Day 1

Today I am grateful for rainbow socks because they make me smile.
I am grateful for the snooze button because the time in between alarms is when the bed is the comfiest.
I am grateful for my job because I enjoy being able to pay my bills.
I am grateful for Tiny Alpacacino because he makes me smile.
I am grateful for my older sister because she inspires and encourages creativity.
I am grateful for my washing machine because it is so much more convenient than any alternatives.
I am grateful for my home because it shelters us and keeps us safe.
I am grateful for insulin because it keeps me healthy.
I am grateful for school because my children aren't home all day.
I am grateful for finger nail clippers because they keep me from having ragged nails and snagging everything.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer blahs

Oh, summer.  Will we ever get along?  Probably not.

It's been a while.  At first it was because I was super busy.  Then it was because I was super blah.

My Random Balls of Happiness project kind of exploded for a minute, but has calmed down since.  I'm just letting it take its own course.  It's been really interesting to see the people I connect with on Instagram, and the other projects that are out there.  There's such a huge community of people trying to spread happiness and find and point out the beauty in the world.  It's amazing.

Even though my Happy Balls are kind of like therapy for me, and I've been feeling really good for a while, the clouds rolled in not too long ago.  I had hoped it was a PMS thing, and my therapist and psychiatrist think it could be hormonal, but I'm definitely struggling.  The psychiatrist is adjusting my medications and my therapist suggested that I keep track of my moods to see if it is related to my hormones in any way.  I really need more than 2 highlighters because I should have more than "happy" and "sad", but it's more like "good" and "bad" and I'm writing what's actually going on.  I HATE adjusting my Topamax dosage.  Good grief that stuff messes me up for a few days when I have to increase it.

The psychiatrist also gave me Lorazepam, which honestly scares the crap out of me because it's addictive.  It's prescribed to be taken as needed, and I've only taken it once since she prescribed it. I know people abuse the stuff, and I don't know how it makes people feel when they don't have anxiety/depression, but it just made me feel calm again and eventually I fell asleep.  Like I said, the stuff makes me nervous (ironic, an anti-anxiety medication making you anxious) because I don't want to be dependent on anything.  I've never even liked strong pain killers.  Plus, it's not often I have the luxury of being able to just knock myself out to cope with not being able to deal with life.  You know what I mean?  I have kids that need to be attended to, a job that I have to work.  It's not easy to schedule a nervous breakdown.  Trust me, I've been postponing mine for years now.

I'm actually having a good day so far.  It's not even 7am, but you know, I actually have a positive outlook on the day instead of feeling like finding the nearest cave and moving in.  Hopefully I can have a nice long yellow streak on the calendar.  PMS isn't supposed to hit for another week at any rate, anyway.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Black Jelly Bean

Saturday, Olivia went to spend the night with a friend, so we took advantage of the lack of pickiness and went to eat Chinese food.

Except Isabelle thought that meant we were going to the hibachi grill and was pouty.  I love Japanese food as much as the next guy, but it's expensive.  She got over it and ordered soup and was mildly disturbed by the "giant weeds" in it. LOL

After dinner, we took a walk at The Old Mill.  It was crowded with people trying to take pictures, which isn't unusual because it's a popular photography spot.  We dropped a few Random Balls of Happiness off.  There was a bride taking pictures and Isabelle tried to catch up with her to give her one of the balls, but didn't make it to her before she left.  Which, as it turns out was actually kind of serendipitous...

The ball Isabelle had was the gray ball at the top.  When we didn't make it back across the lake before the bride left, we found a tree and hung the ball.  I worried a bit about that ball because it was gray and a little dull.  It wasn't all bright and noticeable like most of my balls.  I worried that no one would find it.

Sunday, I got a message on Instagram from a lady asking me if she could buy some balls.  I didn't know her and she didn't mention knowing anyone in common, so I asked if she had found one of my balls.  She found the little gray ball at The Old Mill!  She's travelling to NY in a few weeks and wants to take some RBOH with her.

I'm pretty excited at how all of this is going.  I have lots of ideas brewing for it.


Monday, the girls ran into the house to tell me they had found a kitten.  

This is never-ending, you guys....  we have some stray magnet, and I need to dig it up and get rid of it.

I refused to even listen to them.  I was just shy of plugging my ears and "la la la" -ing

Finally I look.

It was the smallest, scrawniest black kitten I've ever seen.  Dirty and starving.  Dang it.

So we cleaned it up.  It was pathetic.  Scratched up, crusty, scabby.  Skin and bones.  Fed it some canned food.  Bundled it up and kept it warm.  I told the girls it had to go straight to the shelter, though.  

I called the shelter and they pretty much said it'd die there.  I know that making you feel like crap is part of the game because they don't want to take in any animals, but they did have a point.   The cat needed more care than they had time for.  So I felt too guilty and ended up taking it to the vet instead.

Black Jelly Bean is  about 5 weeks old.  Malnourished, but otherwise looks OK.  We're syringe feeding him for a few days until he starts eating on his own.  I still want to find another home for him, we really have way too many animals already.  But at least he has a chance now.  Just need to find another sucker... I mean softy.... like me.  =)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Milestone: First graduation

I was always a bit disappointed that the girls never went to a school that did Kindergarten graduations.  I think it's adorable.  But they didn't.  So Olivia's Elementary graduation this past Friday was our first official "graduation" ceremony.

I honestly can't believe that I have a child entering Middle School next year.  And as I was looking at all the kids on the stage Friday night, not a single one of them looked old enough to be going into Middle School.  Babies, I tell you.  All little babies.

But My little Livi has made it.... from the first day of Kindergarten through fifth grade.

Oh, my goodness, her cheeks.  She had the best cheeks when she was little.  I really miss those chubby cheeks.

Mr. Bill acted like he didn't understand the point of Elementary graduation ceremonies, but I think he was proud all the same.  He at least managed one of his rare smiles for a picture.  Trust me, that's a HUGE deal.

I'm probably 200% more terrified of Middle School than Olivia is.  I'm just really not ready to see my little baby bird start spreading her wings, but I guess that's really not up to me, is it?

So Olivia.....

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Week Off


So, I took a little time off of work.  It was wonderful.  So needed.  I really wish I didn't have to go back to work, but bills have to be paid.  Stupid bills.

My main goal was a lot of time alone.  While I did battle a little guilt and feeling selfish about that, it was absolutely necessary. You can't possibly imagine how theraputic hours of solitude is to me.  I couldn't take a Monday through Friday off because of other vacations previously scheduled, and I think it would have been even better if I had because there was a 3 day chunk of family in the middle of my solitude, but it was still very refreshing.  I feel so much better.

Thursday, I dropped the kids off at school (an unfortunate deal I make with the hubs when I am off work, it's torture) and went for a walk.  I had packed up my Happy Ball supplies and sat by the river and crocheted.  I made a fun rainbow Happy Ball and left it on a statue by the Two Rivers Bridge.

I went to the yarn shop nearby and bought some yarn that I just adore.  I gave the shop owner a Happy Ball.  To be honest, I don't really remember much else about the day..... it seemed to slip by too fast.  Poof, it was time for the girls to be out of school.

Friday was Bill Day.

I went to get my hair trimmed and then spent the day with that guy.  We had lunch together and were pretty bored, really.  We just wandered the mall.  We had a good time, we just were pretty aimless.

The weekend was our average weekend.

Monday I had planned on doing some heavy cleaning around the house after taking a long walk.  I dropped the kids off at school and took my walk.  It started raining on my last mile.  I got home, changed, and crawled into bed with Bill to warm up because I was chilled to the bone.  I woke up at 1:30p.m.

Needless to say, there wasn't much heavy cleaning going on.

Tuesday I did the cleaning.  I really hate cleaning, but it needed to be done.  Blah.

I did make a lot of Happy Balls along the way.

This isn't all of them because the girls stole quite a few to take to school along the way and I gave a few away.  I need to mail off a few batches.  I have a list of 5 or 6 people still who want some.

Yesterday was my last day off, so I decided to spend it out on my own again.  I took the girls to school and it was too early to really do much, so I went home and napped with Bill for just a little bit.  I got up and went to IHOP and had a late breakfast.  Then I went and watched Mother's Day.  I have never been to see a movie by myself.  I like not having to worry about what someone else wants to see.  Of course, there really wasn't anything playing I really cared about seeing.  The movie wasn't bad, though.  After that I went back to the yarn shop, again....

The shop owner had my Happy Ball on display on the knitting needle rack =).  Of course, I had to get more yarn because I have a problem (who doesn't LOL) and I had an hour to kill before having to pick up the girls so I sat and crocheted.  There were 4 other ladies there knitting and eating lunch.  They were all very nice.  I finished 2 balls and gave them to 2 of the ladies when I left.

After I got the girls, I had to go to the library because I needed to pick up the third season of Doctor Who (I'm just now watching these.... the season finales are killing me each time people.  How do you do this?)  We had left a Happy Ball there about a month ago and one of the librarians found it and posted it on Instagram.  It was actually the first time someone used the hashtag #randomballofhappiness on Instagram besides me and my friends.  Well, she was at the library and recognized Zoe from a picture I posted.

She looked at me and asked, "Do you knit or crochet?"

"I crochet."

"Do you crochet little balls?"


"Do you crochet little balls of happiness?"

"Yes.  Yes, I do."

She was so excited.  She said they were so tickled to have been yarn bombed and she couldn't wait to tell one of the other librarians that she had ran into me.  I felt almost famous or something.


I have an idea brewing with these little balls for Father's Day.  It's in the cooking stage.  And I"m going to post the pattern for the balls for anyone who wants it in a few days when I get the time.  So look for that.....

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dear Sally

Sally, I wanted to respond to your comment on my last blog and since you post anonymously, if I reply to it, you wouldn't receive any notification.  I hope you don't mind me doing it publicly.

I have to admit, I was shocked at first.  Not because I thought you were wrong for what you said.  Because I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said.  But because I guess I try not to show things like that a lot and didn't realize I let that much of it show.

I've never been all that strict as far as discipline goes, but this past year things have definitely spun out of control.  So many things have spun out of control over the past year.  I needed help long before I sought it, and it's going to take me a very long time and it's going to take a lot of hard work and probably a lot of frustration and tears along the way but I will regain control.

I take full responsibility for how they act.... I know I should lay some of it on my husband, but with our work schedules, he's really not around much (which is a big problem in and of itself, but not one that will be resolved any time soon).  There have been many days that the absolute best I could give was my physical presence.  I've not been mentally or emotionally available so much lately to be a good mother.  I was just a body sitting in a chair, if they were lucky... sometimes I'd be laying in bed.  There were many times they'd get what they wanted just so that I didn't have to fight because there wasn't any fight in me.  And Today Me, looking back, feels AWFUL about that.  I don't want my kids to remember that about me.

My husband..... I have many mixed feelings where he is concerned.  He might go to counselling if I gave him an ultimatum, but he would never go willingly.  He's an ass, and when I'm in a good mood, I'll call him out on it and he thinks it's all in fun. When I'm not in a good mood, he doesn't understand why I don't find it funny anymore. I don't know if he just doesn't know when to draw the line or what.  I don't want to make excuses for him though.  Like I said.. mixed feelings.

And finally, rest assured.... I'm not taking this medication trying to lose weight. Losing weight is not really even something I'm worried about right at the moment.  If I do lose weight taking this, great, but I'm far more concerned with getting my physical and emotional health back on track right now.  I think my melt down the other day was due to hormones, not the medication.  Sodas taste awful and I have noticed I really don't crave sugar, which is actually a blessing because it's made it so much easier to avoid snacking at night and my fasting blood sugars have been beautiful.  But ultimately, the hope is that it will even out my moods.  Anything else is just a bonus.

I really appreciate your concern, and I assure you that I am taking care of me.  =)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Life's Like a Jump Rope

I'm not really good at jumping rope, by the way.

I saw the psychiatrist Monday and she put me on a medication that gives me a headache.  You would think I'd keep it at bay with Advil, but I'm just really tired of taking pills, so I suffer through it most of the day like an idiot.

She made this drug sound like the holy grail.  It'll make you lose weight!  You'll lose interest in drinking soda!  You'll stop craving carbs and sugar!  All while it levels out your moods.

Let me just say, the weeks leading up to this appointment... I had been in really good spirits.  Since my primary care doctor upped my Effexor, life was good.

I started the new med, had a meltdown and have had a headache ever since.

And my therapist has fallen off the face of the earth or something.  We had an appointment Tuesday and she texted me that she was sick and asked if we could reschedule for today or Friday.  I said either day was fine and I haven't heard a peep since.


I'm not trying to blame the new meds on the meltdown.... yet.  I mean, I had only had one pill.  I do know from other people who have taken it that headaches are a common side effect, but I need to hold out judgement on the meltdown.  Could be PMS, it is that time.

I was loading the dishwasher and had 2 spoons.  I knew there were no spoons in the drawer, and all I found in the kitchen to wash were 2 spoons.  TWO.  I asked the girls to look around for spoons because obviously they have somehow scattered spoons across the house and they were all like "meh, whatever." and all of a sudden I felt like I was on a tight rope and there was no way I could balance on it.  I was going to fall one way or another.  On one side was anger.  Really ugly anger.  On the other side was crying.  Stupid, unreasonable crying.  These stupid spoons were tipping me over and I needed to choose while I had the ability to choose, so I chose crying.

I cried over the fact that we only have two spoons and my kids couldn't care less.

I stayed in my room for a while until I could straighten myself up.  I got the kids to go to bed, where they sent me back over the edge again and I went back to my room.  I came back out and they were in their rooms and I went to the living room.  I have a table by my recliner where I keep my crochet projects.  There's a little basket that had my alpaca yarn in it and the girls had knocked it over.  I started picking up the yarn and couldn't find the green yarn.  It just hurt my feelings so badly that they would knock over this basket and lose my alpaca yarn that was a gift that I just sat down right in the middle of the floor and sobbed.  It seems so unreasonable to me now.....  it always does after the fact.  Isabelle wasn't asleep, and she came out and sat next to me, rubbing my back and hugging me.  I worked really hard to stop.  I don't like my kids seeing me like that.  I really don't and that's why I'm trying to hard to get better.  It kills me.  But I don't know what to do.

So, I'm hoping this drug helps.  And I'm hoping my therapist calls me back soon. Because I feel a little tangled up in my jump rope right about now.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Balls update

It's been almost a month since I started making and leaving my Random Balls of Happiness.  I honestly had no intention to make this a "thing" when I started.  It was just something to do to bring something positive into an otherwise dismal day for me.

But a few people asked me to send them one.  And I didn't want to just send them one, I wanted to send them extra, to leave about themselves.

I've sent out 3 boxes of 6 to my sister in S. Carolina, a friend in Chicago, and Bill's cousin in upstate NY.  I still have 4 more people waiting on their own boxes.

My sister suggested I tag them with a hashtag to see if I could "track" them.  So I have put #randomballofhappiness on all of them since my initial batch and shortly after that, set up an Instagram account for them @randomballofhappiness.

I searched and searched for the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, but didn't see anything.  That's OK, because I was really happy doing it regardless.  Then, this past Thursday, the girls grabbed a ball each while we went out to run errands.  Zoe left her ball at the library and one of the librarians uploaded the picture to Instagram.  I was so excited!  I knew for certain that someone had found it!

And then Sunday the girls and I had a little picnic by the river and they left one on a tree in front of where we parked.  Shortly after we left, I got an Instagram notice that @randomballofhappiness had been tagged in a post.  Someone found the ball!

This has been so much fun, you guys!  I've even had my sister-in-law and one of you dear readers offer to make some to spread even more happiness.  It makes me feel so good to know that something I've done makes someone else happy.  I've lost count of how many I've made so far... and I don't intend to stop any time soon.  I'll just keep making my little happy balls as long as they bring me joy.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Versailles Matelasse Afghan

Happy Monday!

Last May, I started working on an afghan called Versailles Matelasse.  I really loved working on it and made really quick progress.... until I lost my crochet mojo in the summer.  It sat for months and months untouched.  Then, earlier this year, I picked it back up and finished all the main work on it.  Then it sat for a while with the ends unweaved.  I'm normally pretty good about weaving in ends as I go because I hate to sit and weave in ends for hours.  But I didn't do that, and I had other things to keep me occupied.  So it sat next to my chair 99% finished.  I even used it a couple of times in the early morning to warm up, although it's not a very cuddly kind of blanket.

My Mom's birthday was Saturday and I was thinking about what to get her when I remembered the afghan.  It was perfect.  She's always sitting under a blanket, it was a color she'd like, and it's something I really poured myself into, even if I didn't make it with her in mind specifically.  I always knew I'd give it away, I just didn't know who it was meant for at the time.

Anyway, once I decided to give it to her, I had to sit down and weave in all the ends.  And wash it to try to soften it up a bit.  I made it with some yarn that had been given to me and it was very old and very scratchy.  It did soften up a little, but I'm still not sure it'll be much more than decoration.  Like I said, it's not a very snuggly blanket.

My Mom liked it =)


She even put up the blanket she usually has by her chair, although I should tell her it won't hurt my feelings at all if she doesn't use this one to keep warm.

The patch of yellow flowers my girls are standing in has a bit of a funny story.  Our entire back yard was covered in the pretty flowers and I hated that Mr. Bill was going to mow it down, but it was pretty long.  As he was mowing, he noticed that one area had dozens of bees buzzing around, so he decided he wouldn't mow there right now.  He didn't want to take away all their food.  He's a good guy like that.  So we have a good little patch of yellow left in the yard for the bees.  He even marked it....

I think it's the cutest thing I've seen in ages.

I've been back to taking my walks on the weekends, although they're much shorter than I'm used to.  I'm really just trying to enjoy the time to myself, some music, and the beautiful spring weather and scenery.


I adore honeysuckle.  I think it's the BEST smell in the world.  I just wanted to stand in this one spot where it was really strong and just breathe it in as long as possible.

The dandelions were just glowing in the sunshine.  So magical.

It's been a good week, mood-wise.  I'm trying to just take it one day at a time and be grateful for the good days and hang on through the bad ones.  But I've felt more positive than negative this past week and that's a good change.

Have a great week and make someone smile!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I know you're not supposed to do nice things with the expectation of getting anything out of it, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping that by spreading some happy around that I wouldn't get some back.

It's been tough lately.  My health, mental and physical, haven't been good and I hate it.  I'm just so fatigued all the time.  Like yesterday, I was struggling to stay awake driving home after picking the girls up from school.  I went straight to my room and face-planted on the bed.  I was out cold for almost 2 hours.  I keep being told "you need to get outside, you need to be active, you'll feel better!"  I'm sure I would.  It's just difficult to make it that far most days.


I've had 2 appointments this week that I thought were going to be really expensive and really discouraging....

And they were neither.  I anticipated having to somehow scrape up $360, and only had to pay $10.  We worked together and I think in the next few weeks I'll be seeing a drastic improvement in how I'm feeling.

I think the old "what goes around comes around" might be coming back around for me at the moment.  I'll keep throwing the happy out there to be sure ;)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Random Acts of Happiness

First of all, thank you guys for the love you sent me on my last post.  You all are the best =)

My mood lifted a bit on Tuesday.  No particular reason, I just realized later in the day that I felt OK.  Wednesday, I had my appointment with my therapist.  She didn't really tell me anything I didn't know, but it's nice to have the validations.  I have way too much on my plate and I need to make Bill and the girls help me more.  I need to make sure to take care of myself and take time for myself - and not just the scraps of time at the end of the day.  She thinks hormones might be playing a big part in my depression, but that I'll talk to the psychologist more about that to try to figure out better meds for me.

After my appointment I went to get my new dogwood tree.  I made sure it looked really healthy and strong.  It was tall and even had blooms on it.  I took it home and had it in the ground in no time.  For some reason I still haven't taken a picture since planting it, but this was before I took it home:


I got some cute little picket fencing because Izzy wanted to put a fence around it and plant flowers around it.  The flowers might not happen this year, but I got the fence.

My brain started whirring throughout the afternoon.  I felt like I needed to do something for the anniversary of my father's passing the next day.  I was't sure what, but just something.  I had planned to take the day off of work and knew I'd spend part of the day with my Mom and little sister, but I thought I needed to do something tangible.  The idea developed throughout the afternoon and after dinner, I grabbed the girls and headed to Hobby Lobby.

By midnight, these had been born.


Random Balls of Happiness.  The shirt they're sitting in was a very old shirt of my Dad's.  I used to wear it every day in high school (telling my age, it was grunge style, around my waist LOL).  I was able to crank 5 of them out.  I actually was tempted to stay up all night making them, but I knew that would be a bad idea.  So I finally stopped around midnight, took some melatonin and crashed.

I got up and got the girls off to school.  I decided to go take a walk, but first I was going to grab something to eat and that's where the first Ball was left.


I went to the Big Dam Bridge and walked that.  I left two of the Balls around there.



After that, I ran home to shower and get ready to go have lunch with my Mom and sister.  We had a really good time visiting and had lunch at a steak house.  It was yummy and the waitress was the sweetest.  I left one of the Balls on the table.


Then, on my way to pick up the chicklets from school, I ran inot the gas station to grab a soda and left the final ball on my Dad's favorite, Diet Pepsi....


It felt really, really good.  It totally made the day so much easier than I thought it would be.  Of course, in a lot of situations like this, the anticipation of the day is really so much worse than the actual day.  I had a really good day, but the week leading up to it was filled with tons of tears.

I had some friends and my older sister ask if I'd send them a Ball of Happiness, so I think I am going to box of 5 or 6 to send to them, one to keep, the rest to give away.  Keep spreading the happiness.  =)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Almost a year

Thursday will be one year since my father passed. I'm not going to lie. I'm having an incredibly hard time right now.  I could put "with it" in that sentence, but it's not just the anniversary approaching.  My head isn't in a good place and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels in any attempt to fix it.

I saw a therapist 2 weeks ago.  It was just an intake session, so I spent the entire time just answering questions like "do you eat your hair?"  It's expensive at the moment (until I meet my deductible) so I am planning on going every 2 weeks because that's how fast the necessary money gets in my health savings account.   I had an appointment yesterday, which I was kind of really counting on.  I spent all weekend thinking "maybe, just MAYBE, she'll give me some hope that I can cope with this bullshit."  

And she called to reschedule.

I was on the verge of tears.  I rescheduled it for tomorrow.  But now I'm not so confident that it will help. 

So, Friday I had an appointment to get my hair cut.  It had finally grown out from my short pixie cut two years ago that I hated, so - OF COURSE - I felt the need to chop it all off again.  I found a cut that I adored and was in a fabulous mood.

They did a pretty good job.  The long side was a little longer than in the picture and the angle not as steep, but considering the disasters I've had in the past trying to get a stylist to copy a picture, it was great.

When I left, my husband was outside with the girls.  The girls were upset because he was mad for whatever reason.  He just looked at my hair funny, didn't really say much.  But over the next 2 days, he would tell me that it made me look like a lesbian and that he'd be ashamed to leave the house if it were his hair.  Oh, yes,  OF COURSE he's joking.  So my haircut I was so in love with, I now felt awful about.  Thank you, dear.

Saturday was just crap.  The girls were just defiant over everything and Bill literally cannot deal with that constructively, so it was screaming from all of them ALL DAY LONG.  In a moment of peace between them, Bill was doing yard work and let Zoe ride in the lawn cart.  She stood up and he didn't notice, and she ended up taking a tumble and spraining her shoulder.  So there was more crying and yelling (because when Bill feels at fault about something, he lashes out at people - he can't possibly take the blame gracefully)

All this carried over to Sunday.  We usually go over to my Mom's house on Sundays for a few hours, but she called and said she didn't feel well and asked us to stay home.  So no reprieve there.  The girls were just awful.  Threatening to run away, demanding - DEMANDING? - I give them money or take them out to eat or this or that. 

Then I went to deal with the laundry and stepped in dog poo.

I lost it.  

I screamed at them.  Realized I sounded like Bill and just went to lock myself in my bedroom.  I cried.  I read on Facebook that my Mom felt well enough to go to some social thing at the apartment complex, which I should have been grateful for, but instead I took it that she just didn't want to see me.  I cried.  I thought about how I asked Bill to go pick up a dogwood tree at Lowe's for me so I could replace the one that I planted last year in memory of my father that didn't survive the dry summer - and how he didn't and he KNEW why I needed him to do it and still didn't.  And I got angry.  I thought of what an ass he had been over my hair and I was just in a rage.

So I went into the bathroom and grabbed the clippers. 

I'm not bald.  It actually doesn't look all that different in the front, although I'm sure the back is a mess but I can't really tell because I don't have a handheld mirror.  I tried checking it with my phone, but I just really can't get a good picture.  I realized after that I kinda have a mohawk now.  Everyone has said it's cute, but I'm not entirely convinced it has been genuine.  And I can't bring myself to care.

So, that was my little breakdown moment.  I cried so much that I felt like a mess yesterday.  I still just feel raw.  Everything sets me off wanting to cry.  I literally feel like I'm truly alone right now.  While part of me is still trying to tell myself that I'm overreacting and being dramatic, I can't help that I feel like no one wants to be around me.  I don't really have any friends, a point that has stung quite a bit lately because my doctor and therapist both asked if there was someone I could talk to and I have to say there isn't.  "No one at all?"  No.  No one at all.  I feel like I'm failing as a mother because my children are acting so awful lately.  My husband makes me feel like I'm just there to cook, clean, and serve his penis.  I just want to run away.  I'm right back where I was in December, begging my doctor for something to help.  And it's not helping anymore.  And now he's gone and my therapist might be a flake and I can't get in to see the psychiatrist about meds until May.

And Thursday is coming and I have a  dead dogwood.  

I'm going to dig it up today.  I'm going to find time to go get a new tree, even if I have to perform some sort of magic to fit it in the minivan.  I'm going to plant that tree so that I have a new one by Thursday.  I'll go to therapy on Wednesday and she'll have magical advice.  And I'll be OK.

Somehow, I'll be OK>

Thursday, March 17, 2016


You know how it is when you know you should or shouldn't do something but you let the opposite happen?  Story of my life.

I told myself when I finally got my crochet mojo back that I wasn't going to overload myself with projects.  I was going to go from project to project, I had a big project in mind that I was excited to get started with once I was finished with some long-neglected things.  No deadlines, just relaxing work.

Then I made that frog.

I loved making that frog.  So I wanted to make some similar stuffed animals for the girls for Easter.  I had 3 weeks, plenty of time.

Isabelle's Happypotamus in progress... It's actually almost finished now.

I started on Zoe's Fatty Lumpkin the Brave (he's a horse, with a fantastic name).  I can work on the flowers with the girls around, but I can't do assembly, so I have both going on.  I'm also making Olivia a Fatty Lumpkin, but with wings, because she's into Pegasuses.

Then Ms. Norma asked my Mom if I would make another frog to sell her.  I said, sure, as long as it could wait until after Easter.

A friend mentioned wanting a turtle.  I never committed to doing it, but I really would like to.

A coworker who is always asking me to make her something or other finally wore me down and wants not one, but two mermaid tail blankets.  She really wanted them before Easter, but I told her there was no way, not even if I wasn't working on things that needed to be done before them.  I've really never had any desire to make one of these, let alone 2, or the 3 my kids will be begging for afterwards.

Isabelle wants me to make the We Bare Bears (If you haven't seen that cartoon, you HAVE to watch it - Cartoon Network.  It cracks me up) for her birthday next month.  I had wanted to make her a fusion blanket (fabric and crochet) for her birthday, but I don't think I could finish in time anyway, but it's also on the list because I actually did buy the fabric.

And I still need to finish up one of the pillows I am making for my sister.

Olivia wants me to make an Eevee and Sylveon for her and her best friend (Pokemon.... can you believe that's still around?).

That's 12 projects lined up.  I'm ridiculous.

And my sister sent me this box of awesomeness that I can only stare at for the next few months before I can make myself something.  The blue and green are alpaca.  They're payment for making her a cowl earlier this year.  I only asked for the reddish yarn, the alpaca yarn is a tip I guess.  =)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Don't talk to strangers

I work in an outpatient surgery clinic that is attached to a hospital. Usually, if I have to use the restroom, I go down the hall to the public restroom at the hospital. Not because we don't have one, but because ours is occupied 75% of the time I want to use it.  That's never a problem in the hospital. But, there's obviously a down side to using a public restroom.

The public.

I'm an introvert.  Very much so. I am not going to initiate conversation with someone I know, let alone a stranger. Especially a stranger in the bathroom. But, some people are different and don't feel the need for such boundaries.

So, the other day, I run down to the restroom. There is a lady in front of the mirror. I breeze past her and go into a stall.  I take care of business and then I hear: "Are you a nurse in the emergency room? "

I wear scrubs to work. I don't know why the office staff wears scrubs, but we do. I was sure this lady was talking to me because the restroom had been empty except for the 2 of us when I came in and I hadn't heard the door open since.

I answered, "No. I am not a nurse at all. "

"Do you know anything about fibroid tumors? "

I told her I really didn't know much as I came out of my stall and headed for the sink.

She started telling me that she just found out that she has fibroid tumors and that she was really afraid because she doesn't know anything about them. I listened to her because I felt bad for her. She was obviously really anxious and had been crying. I hoped lending an ear would make her feel a little better, even if it made me feel uncomfortable. I try to be a compassionate person sometimes.

I listened for a bit and wished her the best outcome and headed out of the bathroom. She followed me into the hall and continued to talk to me.

After a few minutes, I started to realize she wasn't simply anxious about a diagnosis she was unfamiliar with. She was convinced it would become cancer and she told me she'd rather go home and kill herself than die slowly of cancer.

Of course, then I was concerned for her mental well-being. I couldn't just take off back to work thinking she's headed home to commit suicide over fibroid tumors.

She continued on, telling me about all the various medical conditions in her family. She sounded stranger and stranger by the minute. She started talking about her granddaughter. How her granddaughter was taken away by the state....

I was dying to leave. We were past the comforting and into seriously personal stuff now. Way out of my comfort zone.  And, to be honest, she wasn't sounding very stable.

I listened to her anxiety turned paranoia turned conspiracy for about half an hour. No exaggeration. When she angrily told me how the judge who was sneaking booze into his coffee during the hearing gave her biracial grandchild to racists who probably just beat her, I decided I really needed to get out of there. I told her I had to get back to work. She hugged me. I'm so not a hugger, but I hugged her back.

But then she kept talking. As I kept stepping back, trying to get away. She was ranting about the injustice of the child protective services. How they take kids from their living families to sell to other families.

I'm not trying to be callous to her situation.  Really. But it sounded like that poor child is most likely in a far better situation judging by things she said and how she was acting herself.

I finally actually broke away and got back to my desk. Everyone was wondering what had happened. I told them I had honestly hoped one of them would have come looking for me. They assured me next time they would.

Next time.

Trust me, for a while, I'll be doing a pee pee dance waiting for the bathroom at the surgery center to be free. Because that's exactly why you don't talk to strangers in the bathroom.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

This and that

This is the longest week ever.  You'd think I had something exciting on the horizon to make the days drag, but no.  I'm just really tired this week.

I had a message the other day that my doctor appointment in April needed to be rescheduled.  So I called yesterday and was informed that my primary care doctor is leaving the practice at the end of this month.  I'm so sad.  I love my doctor.  He listens to me and doesn't make me feel like a loser for not being perfect.  I went ahead and made an appointment with the other doctor in the practice.  I'm really hoping she'll be as good.

One thing my doctor and I had talked about when he put me on antidepressants was going to therapy.  I put off making an appointment because my insurance was changing and I didn't have mental health benefits with my old policy.  I do now, but I felt so much better that I just didn't do it.  I'm thinking about it now though.  My meds are working, I'm no where near where I was, but I think now that my body is used to them, they're not quite enough.  I just can't summon up the drive to get things done.  I'm just BLAH.  I just skate by doing the minimum.  But my biggest problem is that I want to binge eat all the time.  And if I try to just not have anything in the house, it makes me anxious all night.  So I'm thinking I should make that appointment now and see if they can help me to deal with all this without adjusting my meds.  I need to have some drive to do something other than sit in the recliner and crochet while I listen to an audiobook.

And speaking of crocheting, I am soooo close to being finished with a long time project:

It's a Versailles Matelasse afghan.  Matelasse are whole cloth quilts where the focus is more on the quilting of the fabric, where as most traditional quilts are all about the designing of different pieces of fabric.  I found an ebook of crocheted afghans inspired by this type of quilt and I just think they are so beautiful.  I just need to add the border and weave in my ends and I'm finished.  I started this last spring, I believe.  I used some yarn that  had been given to me, it's not the best yarn.... pretty scratchy, but maybe I can soften it up in the laundry.  Olivia has tried to claim it already.  I think it's too heavy to be used as a throw for the couch, but it's too small for my bed, so I guess it would be fine for her bed.  I'm debating making a different matelasse pattern for my bedspread.  I was planning on a different pattern, but now I'm wavering.

The dogs are still with us.  I honestly don't think anyone is going to step up to claim them.  I guess we have two more dogs, then.  Yippee.  Sigh.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Population explosion

You know how most people make some sort of conscious decision to get a pet?  Not us.  Every one of our animals has just fallen into our laps.

Killer was a stray that decided we were home.

Ollie was dumped at a friend's workplace and we took him in.

Henrietta was a stray that Bill found.

Tiger and Misty were my Mom's cats that we took in when she decided she couldn't take care of them anymore.

So, you know, with that track record, it's no wonder that my kids think that if a stray animal finds its way to our home, they are supposed to be ours.


Isabelle gets off the school bus just a few minutes before I pull in the driveway after picking up her sisters.  She's often outside waiting on us (begging to go do something other than stay at home all afternoon/evening).  Monday, when we got home, it looked like she was searching for something.  I thought at first maybe Ollie got out.  I parked and headed over to see what she was doing.  She said she saw two stray puppies and she was trying to get them to come over so she could see if they had tags.  Then these two small dogs come bounding over, excited and playful.  No tags.  Of course.

I took pictures of the dogs, posted on Facebook about them, reported them to the local lost and found pet organization.  We tried to feed them, but they weren't starving.  They looked healthy, and they were extremely friendly.  There was a black female and a brown and white male.  The boy dog ran off again, and Isabelle tried for a while to get him to come back, but he got too far down the road.  We took the girl dog inside.  About an hour later, the boy dog came back and came in the house.

People shared the dogs photos, but no one has come forward to claim them.  I was really hoping someone would, and I still do.  I don't want or need 2 more pets.  I can't take them to the local shelter.  We do have some no-kill shelters in the area, but even still, I would feel terrible.  Black dogs are hard to adopt out, so I could be dooming her to God only knows how long in a cage in a shelter.  And they seem to be a package deal.... they do not like to be apart.  What are the odds of someone taking both of them?  Maybe I'm just too soft.

Obviously, the girls think we should keep the dogs.  They've already named them.  Libby and Roscoe.  I was hoping Bill would back me up on not keeping them.  I mean, we have FIVE animals already.  But he's softer than I am.  I do have to admit that they have not been a problem the two nights they've been here.  The boy dog runs off when we let them out, but he comes right back after an hour or so.  The girl dog is perfectly content where she is.  They're calm.

But seven animals?  Ugh.  I don't know what to do.

My sister joked yesterday that we should keep them because we'd have 5 humans, 4 cats, and 3 dogs.  We could get 2 alpaca and a goat and we'd have an awesome counting song.

For now, I guess I'll just keep holding out hope that someone claims them.  In the meantime, we need more seating in the living room....


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