Tuesday, December 28, 2004

It's still happening.....yikesssss!

My seasonal clocks must be off, just a titch....I have been doing spring cleaning in the winter.......at first it started off gradual a few new throw rugs here and there.....then a new runner for the bedroom hallway.......then some clean demon took over me today and I emptied all my kitchen cabinets! In the very top of one I found baby food jars.....my baby is 12 years old!!!!!!!!! I guess it's been awhile since I straightened out my cabinets.

I found I had way more lids to Tupperware than I did the actual Tupperware dishes, so I tossed them out. Then I hit the big pots and pan cabinet, like I need a roasting pan the size of Cuba! so I widdled that cabinet down to a highly organized cabinet! I then tackled that Mount Olympus pile of paperwork and threw out and/or shredded that down to a small stack (memo to self pay some bills...will ya! ) LOL

I then emptied out the shoe bin (old toy box) in the bottom of the hall closet and found tons of my children's shoes 3 sizes to small for them now, also hit a few hampers and now I have a ton of stuff to donate (Amvets please call soon!) and as from my earlier entry you read about my Christmas Wish list........kitchen gadgets! Yikessss! It's like I'm nesting or something! Heaven forbid my tubal ligation gives out on me now!!!!!! I couldn't even imagine adding to my family at this stage in my life..You know you have to sign a hold harmless on those operations...they aren't 100% guaranteed! And the doctors don't want to be sued by some mid-life psycho woman who just found out she's pregnant (again) My last two children are only 10.5 months apart.....Yup I was only un-pregnant 7 weeks between my last two lil darlings.......Thank God they are now 12 and 13! I think I'm still in shock over that one! lol

OK back to work for me.........I'm taking down the Christmas stuff already.....I hate when my Living Room isn't just right! I'm taking full advantage of this lil power burst cuz I know it won't last! lol lol lol

Sunday, December 26, 2004

What has happened to me???

OK, Growing up I heard all the stories about how when your a grown up, things just disappear.......socks, car keys, mittens, scarves... you know.... the usual. But what I wasn't prepared for was the disappearing act that oven mitts and oven gloves do, silverware, dinnerware, tupperware even the lil doo-hickey that spins around on a hand held mixer, not to mention 1 long blade/one short blade to the electric knife!

I was told it was gremlins growing up, when asked if I ever had something that had gone missing as a child, I always blamed it on 'Idontknow' and 'notme' But the things that go MIA in my house are the weird things! What the heck do they want with a do-hickey!!! For all I know it's buried in the back yard somewhere!

I could shingle a house with all the house keys that have turned up missing, I often think about running a continuous ad in the local paper "Found a key? it's probably one of mine please return to 'yadda-yadda' for a small reward and please knock before entering if your going to use my key!" lol

So for this Christmas, (and I think I'm going to have to burn my DIVA card on this one) I asked for a new hand mixer (YES a small appliance! Can you believe that??) and a new set of oven mitts and oven gloves and the largest crock pot they make! My husband just looked at me funny when I read my 'wish list' and then he felt my head to make sure I wasn't delirious with fever, then calmly said,"So I don't have to make a tripto your favorite jewelry store?" (They call me if they haven't seen me in awhile.....no lie!) and I replied, "nope" and he said, "And I won't get killed for giving you a small appliance for a Christmas present?" and I replied, "Nope"
and then he muttered something about 'A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE' and went off to do his shopping! lol

If this is what middle age does to a spoiled rotten lil brat then I don't wanna grow up! I'm a 'Tiffany's R us' kinda girl and now I'm asking for kitchen gadgets???? I must be coming down with something!

By the way........I was so good Santa brought me everything I asked for on my pitiful lil Christmas wish list...oven mitts and all! lol lol lol

Friday, December 24, 2004

Memories....are the best gift

In light of recent events in my life and the time of the year it is and the years given to me to become wiser and kinder......I have to admit the best thing in life besides love has to be memories.

When you take time to let your mind wander through all the years past, it's not the gifts you received, it's not the gifts you gave, it's the memories that accompany them. It's reminiscing about Christmas mornings as a child and remember almost bursting with anticipation to see what Santa brought you, how many gifts do you actually remember? I remember more of family and friends who shared in the holidays festivities and traditions, I remember going to Grandma's house to be with Aunts, Uncles and my many cousins. I remember our first Christmas in our permanent house after military life and my parents buying a tree that spun around and played Christmas songs, and the bright red, multitiered bauble placed in honor, at the top.

Even the not so good memories hold a special place in my heart, they keep me humble and help me to always appreciate the life I have now. It's the memories of my own children's Christmas mornings waddling out of their beds, all sleepy eyed and wrapped up warmly in their feety pajamas flopping down the stairs to suddenly come alive with the sight of how good they must have been for Santa to bring them so many gifts!

I think how empty my heart would be if I didn't have all these wonderful memories of time and places and most of all the people who have meant the world to me. I try to always be aware that at any given moment another great memory can be made, if not for me than for somebody else.

May this season bring you your own wonderful memories of Christmas's past and may you have more wonderful times ahead in your future and may you always be grateful for what you have right now, here in the present.

Monday, December 20, 2004

My heart is heavy today

My heart is heavy today, I lost a friend to cancer last night. I will be forever grateful for her presence at our last Christmas party together.

I know she was happy with the life she lead, she had the love of a great man who absolutely adored her, her husband. She was present in her children's life and lived to see them become adults themselves and witnessed her own children know true love. She was able to hold her first grandchild in her arms, this her last year on earth.

She was a quiet and unassuming woman, but nothing ever got passed her, she had a keen wit and had me laughing just last weekend with her observations of other people who attended the party. She was also a woman who knew how to shop! We often shared our new found treasure conquests with each other. She didn't like a lot of people but she did liked me and I her. I will be forever grateful for her friendship through the years.

Our biggest giggles came from avoiding another friends husband who liked to get a lil too friendly with wives of his friends, so table seating was a huge issue and giggle between us. During dinners together, we always sat in between our husbands next to each other to avoid the attempts of this man.

The next few days will be difficult for me, death is always worse for those left behind, my heart will break over and over again watching her husband grieve for her. Their love was a great love.

Rita.........I am so blessed to have known you and had you in my life and you will be missed girlfriend.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Heard it in a love song (2)

There are just those perfect love songs, when you hear it for the first time it takes you back to falling in love again. This is just one of those songs, it was also recorded by Aaron Neville and both renditions are awesome, but I love Van Morrison (It's a marvelous night for a moon dance) But this song (Crazy Love) brings back wonderfully delicious memories..........ahhhh Young Love! lol lol lol

Crazy Love Lyrics

by Van Morrison

I can hear her heart beat from a thousand miles
And the heavens open every time she smiles
And when I come to her that's where I belong
Yet I'm running to her like a river's song

She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love

She's got a fine sense of humor when I'm feeling low down
And when I come to her when the sun goes down
Take away my trouble, take away my grief
Take away my heartache, in the night like a thief

She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love

Yes I need her in the daytime
Yes I need her in the night
Yes I want to throw my arms around her
And kiss her hug her and kiss her hug her tight

And when I'm returning from so far away
She gives me some sweet lovin’ brighten up my day
Yes it makes me righteous, yes it makes me feel whole
Yes it makes me mellow down in to my soul

She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Think Spring..series final


Think Spring.....series (4)





Think Spring..... Series (3)


Think Spring..... series (2)

   Violets In Basket                                   violetbasket.bmp   


                                      flowerpet.jpg   Begonias

Think Spring!....Series in Photos (1)


Someday I would love to have an English Style garden, right now I'm afraid of commitments.....(to gardens that is lol) So right now I just garden in pots and flower boxes. This photo was taken last spring at the height of my Martha Stewart mood.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Got Quirks?

Some quirky things about me.................

I don't pick up pennies found in the street, I know they are meant to be picked up and wished upon, but I'm pretty content with what I have so I leave the pennies for someone else to wish on.

Before Caller ID, I never answered the phone until after the third ring, and I have no explanation for this! lol

I binge on coffee, I will go weeks and weeks of HAVING to have it, then I don't touch the stuff for months!
(I think I just heard DORN hit the floor!)

I don't share chocolate very well................ OHHH all right! I don't share chocolate at all....try to swipe a piece and you might loose a hand over it!

My favorite class in High School was.......Earth Science

I have a long standing
*~CRUSH~* on Sam Elliot............he was soooo HOT
in the movie "Mask" with Cher.......That man can say the ABC's and make me melt to this day! I also have a slight crush on Andrea Bocelli, an Italian Tenor whose voice simply carries me away, he is amazing!

I still LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and yes this choosy Mother chooses JIF lol

I can't do anything unless music is playing softly in the background, I enjoy all forms of music....it's a great motivator!

The only things I salt is popcorn and potatoes..........anything else and I'm a pepper girl!

I am anal when it comes to symmetry, everything has to line up! It drives me crazy that I can't view things on angles or slightly off centered.........I wonder what a shrink would think about this??? lol

Well, enough about me.....tell me something from your quirky side!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Judith Heartsong Art Essay

Judith Heartsong's Art Essay

Decembers theme will be best Christmas gift ever received.


I know this might come as a shock to most of you but I'm a lil spoiled, Ok more than just a little. It's not my fault......NO! really it isn't!...... I have been spoiled all of my life, it was my birth right. I am baby in the family. And I'm a firm believer once your a spoiled brat there is no way of going back! lol So this makes buying gifts for me kind of difficult, I like what I like and I hate what I hate. I'm a much better gift giver than receiver, but I was raised with manners and I am gracious.

Some of my best gifts would not be prized by anyone else but me, they are the gifts that can't compare to even the best baubles and trinkets. They are gifts that I still can look at year after year and smile all the way down to my heart.

They are the hand rolled and molded bubble gum pink and mint green,
lop sided ash trays made with love from one of my children even though neither my Husband or myself smoke, it was molded out of clay with love from her once very small hands and traces of her tiny finger prints can still be found woven in and out of the truly loved ash tray,

It is the hand written Christmas Card along with a petrified candy cane attached to it, that says "I am the best mommy in the whole wide world! Love, Jimmy" written in a kindergarten script that only I alone can decipher. A few of the letters are written backwards, some letters are larger than others but nonetheless it's perfect! Given to me from my last baby I sent of to kindergarten many moons ago.

It is the
'baby pink'
pig fairy with the golden wings with just a bit of the tip broken off, made especially for me because I used to adore pigs, it was precious enough to make it into the display case at school for a month before making its way under the Christmas Tree wrapped in layer after layer of tissue paper to ensure it's safe arrival.

It's the Hallmark card given to me by my Husbands First born which said,"Even though you did not give birth to me you are the best mother I could ever have and in my heart I will always be your daughter"

It is the "time" my husband spent at the perfume counter during the rush of holiday shopper's trying to avoid the woman going around dousing everyone with perfume samples and picking out the scent that would always remind me how much I am loved.

Funny how it wasn't the diamond earrings with the matching jackets,  but the silly little after thought of jumping on a replica of ET in the bicycle basket with the night time sky and full moon as a back light, to pose for a picture, taken just to see me smile! While all the other shoppers thought this grown man who was all alone, must have lost his mind! His grin in this picture still causes me blush! It's his wonderful sense of humor who will forever put himself 'out there' all to get a giggle out of me!

It's all the macaroni necklaces, lop sided pottery, hand sewn sock snowmen, and all the hand written Christmas Cards and that horrible but wonderful, petrified cow dung shaped into a pig and was sold throughout the Hallmark stores in my area as "Poop Pets" and given to me with a note from my Darling Husband that read," Here! Now you can never say that I didn't give you 'chit' for Christmas!" thesewill be forever be my most cherished Christmas gifts!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!


*~~December's Artsy Essay~~*

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

BIG/BAD hair days ....Christmas Past


Ok.........You wanted Big/Bad hair day pictures...you've got it! lol any normal day I'm five foot tall zero inches tall, on a good hair day I can be 5'1 but back in the early 80's I could be 5'9 if I wanted to be......on this particular day I might have hit 5'10! lol lol lol

Laugh all you want but I think I'm suffering from second hand hair spray from my own 3 daughter's now! lol



Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Plop Plop Fizz Fizz

Whewwww! The weekend of Christmas Parties is over! Saturday night was my Husbands Salmon Club Annual Christmas Party which (and I laugh at this)  he has been hosting for a few years now and the reason why I laugh is he the one that sets it up year after year?...........NO!

I help in the choosing of the hall, the menu, the entertainment, the decorations, the bar and the gifts for the gift table, I do the shopping for the gifts that go on the gift table, I make the center pieces year after year and donate them to the club to delight someone when they find the candy cane taped to their chair and win the centerpiece, I make sure everything runs smoothly, does the head waitress know my Husbands name and where to find him at any given moment?....... NO! ....Does he leave his dinner at the table to get cold, while he checks table to table to make sure everybody ( all 103 of them) has what they need and are enjoying themselves........NO! Does he field the complaints when things aren't just perfect? ...NO! But does he get the pat on the back at the end of the night, when everybody is joyous that this years party was another great success........YES!

What did I get out of it this year?....maybe a new career? I must 'work' the room very well for a young couple came up to me half way through the night to tell me about becoming engaged and that they were was so impressed with the dinner and the hall and the decorations that they wanted to book their upcoming wedding in July and asked me if the date was available.........for some strange reason this girl couldn't get it through her head that I don't work for the hall, that I was just 'Hosting' this party.....Hmmmmmmmm maybe I should become an event planner! lol

Now on to Sunday's party, it was my Father's side of the family's annual Christmas party......which I like to refer to as MY BIG, FAT,OBNOXIOUS IRISH BOOZEFEST! lol My Father's side of the family had 7 children, those 7 children had 17 grand children, those 17 grand children have had (so far) 26 great grand children and 1 (so far) great great grandchild so needless to say with spouses it adds up to 55 people plus throw a few friends in there for good luck and it makes for a very festive and loud Christmas party! lol And at the head of the table year after year is the matriarch of the family, my Father Mother who God bless her soul started this loud bunch back in 1937! lol She is going to be 88 next year and insists that the whole family always attend because this is her FINAL year....(she's been saying that for 12 years now! lol) I figure with the Brandy she's always nipping on she pickled by now and is going to last much longer! lol

The Irish like to celebrate everything! We even celebrate death, when we loose a loved one we all gather for a few kind words then a huge celebration begins to remember our loved one and their passing. We toast to their life, their death, their family, their good deeds here on earth and even their bad deeds. I'm beginning to think we just like to drink! lol lol lol

Plop.... Plop..... Fizz....Fizz...oh! What a relief it is! And what does next weekend have in store for me? 2 more parties but this time, I'm a guest! lol

Thursday, December 9, 2004

A Cop, A Bustiere and Tequila

In reading through other people's journals today a "Saturday Six" question on the topic of wedding was brought up. 'Favorite memories of other people's weddings?' This instantly brought back memories of my friends wedding (1994), it was the best time I ever had at a wedding! Some of the things I get myself into!  lol

Jodi is a girlfriend of mine who was forever dating and falling in love with MR. SOOOO WRONG. She dated a man who lets just say would fit into the 'Soprano's' very nicely, she dated a man who was divorced 3 times, jobless and back home living with MOMMY (how many red flags does a sista really need??) lol lol lol She dated her Boss. Then she met Rodney (enter Mr Right...right now, right time, right everything!) I adored him instantly, but was he up for the challenge of 'handling' Jodi?

He definitely was and asked her Father for her hand in marriage right before their 1 year dating anniversary. She was the baby in her family and also the daughter they never thought they'd marry off! lol So they pulled in all the stops on this wedding! My Jim and Rodney became fast friends so we were both asked to stand up to their wedding. This was kinda special to me because Jim and I eloped, we come from a long line of elopers, so this was a lil chance to actually walk to the aisle with my Husband, (Jodi nixed me wearing a veil too! lol) But I secretly did the something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue thingy! lol

The church was beautiful, Jodi and Rodney were beautiful, our dresses were beautiful, the hall was gorgeous and the Italian's now how to feast a banquet! We had a blast at the wedding, all of our friends, all gussied up and in one place at the same time! We conga lined through other people's receptions, we tango'd down the sidewalk, by the time we all left there, we knew everybody in the place. It was quite the celebration, but I was ready to get out of that dress and bustiere, get out of my shoes, garters and stockings and get comfortable.

The ride home from the reception hall was a good hour so I had packed an overnight bag of sweat pants and a sweatshirt for the long ride home. So as soon as I hit the parking lot the clothes started coming off! lol Since it was the middle of the night I didn't expect too much traffic as I did a slow strip tease for my husband in our SUV on the way home (all in bad taste of course!) that I didn't notice was a squad car to the left of us waiting to make a right turn onto the street we were making a left turn to get off of, so here I am in my final glory stage of whipping my bustiere off and swinging it over my head, when the cops lights hit the windshield! It's like being displayed in one of Macy's Christmas windows! lol

Of course my Husband Jim, just starts laughing but I'm freaking out, here I am naked as the day I arrived in this world, painted up like a hooker and no ID to prove that I'm not!!! The purse that I brought was only big enough to hold a tube of lipstick and compact! So the cop looks from  Jim to me and back to Jim again and then Jim precedes to raise his hands and shrug in that " Well....What can ya do" fashion and the cop does the same thing and just drives away! I dress quickly into my sweats and ride home completely mortified!

Damn the cop, damn the bustiere.....  Most of all DAMN the tequila!
Laughing all the way.....ha ha ha

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Mommy (ing) 101 tips

Just a list of a few things I learned along the way on Parenting and running a house, that made it just a wee bit easier on me, the multitasking CEO of this crazy family of mine!

Each child has their own hamper in their own room along with a laundry basket, that way I do all their laundry individually then fold or hang their clothes and then only one trip up to each of the rooms for them to put away and I am no longer running from room to room with every laundry basket.

Go on a family vacation every year? How I make this easier for me is I combine getting ready for this trip and adding to their wardrobe by buying the new clothes that they need for what ever season we plan the trip in. I buy their new socks and new underwear and a few new outfits for each child before we go out of town, then I don't have to worry about going through their wardrobe putting outfits together, (this was a huge help when they were all younger and needed me to do the choosing and the packing for them) Also it secretly impressed my Mother-in-law with how snappy and bright their appearances were! lol Since we do our family vacations in the summer, its a good time to buy the clothes they need every summer and when we are/were school clothes shopping that takes care of the winter vacation wardrobes.

When they were all younger and this worked for a long time, each chore in the house was listed and given an appropriate amount of points as a reward for doing the chores and since my kids ages were spread out into 2 different age groups I had chores listed even the lil ones could do, like straighten the pillows on the couches, feed the pets, straighten the shoes in the hall, just little stuff that made a huge difference in the appearance of the house and then I kept a list of the children with the points they earned. When they wanted to do something like a trip to the mall, or a sleep over or eat at someone's house or have someone eat here or a new CD or ice cream from the ice cream truck they had to cash in the points for these requests, they could even cash in some points for cash if they needed it to splurge on something they wanted but I wasn't going to buy for them. They learned.... You want something? WORK FOR IT! Don't expect to get handed everything in life. Everything is a privilege and it must be earned. This worked for about 4 years.....I had 4 years of a very tidy house and no whinny children, bad behavior resulted with points being taken away.......They didn't like that so they were very good! lol

We also keep a huge change jug, we all add to this through out the year and usually in late winter when we are all about stir crazy from being locked up in the house all winter we have enough spare change to take a 4 day trip to a semi-local indoor water park resort.

Holiday presents to buy as gifts to mail man, teachers, etc.? Wait until after Christmas sales like 70% off and buy gifts that are great old stand buys, bath lotion sets, candle sets, stationary, small Christmas decorations, picture frames any non food item (ICK!) and put away for next years gift giving season. really good idea when you have lots of little gifts to buy!

Christmas is also a great time of year while food shopping to get in on all the buy 1 get 1 free items and ask the grocery bagger to put all 'extras' in a separate bags and drop off at a local shelter, food bank or local church on your way home from grocery shopping.

I also have each of my children pick a name of the Christmas gift Tree and they usually try to find one with a first name like theirs or at least their own age group and then help me to pick up a gift to add to the Christmas giving tree in their name.......it helps them to remember the holiday spirit of giving and think about those who are a lil down on their luck right now or you can sponsor a Christmas dinner for a needy family.  Christmas should be special for EVERY child.

Would love to hear from anyone else who has ANY tips for making "MOM" an easier job!

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Santa Baby.........

Just a funny lil Christmas quip from my son and youngest daughter when he was about 6 and she was 7 (he's 12 now and she's 13)

We were all sitting around one snowy winter afternoon and I thought it would be a nice time to pull out all the old family videos from memories gone by, so we started off with the very first Christmas with the camcorder, It happened to be my first child's Christmas before the other siblings came along, and since she was the only child, the first grandchild, the first great grandchild and the first niece to Aunts and Uncles, needless to say the tree was completely surrounded with gifts going half way up the tree.

Now my Son and our youngest Daughter are sitting side by side each other eating popcorn and watching these old movies, and my son bumps by daughter and say's "Wow! Amanda musta been REALLY good girl that year, did ya see all the presents Santa gave her?" and my daughter says, "I don't think you (meaning her brother) could ever be THAT good!"

My Husband, my two older children (who no longer believed in Santa) and I laughed our heads off but then quick thinking Mom that I am who tries to never miss an opportunity to teach valuable lessons or find ways to motivate good behavior said, "It's never too late to start trying!"

Now Santa Baby.....if your reading.......even though I've been a good girl this year, I wouldn't mind finding a huge lump of coal in my stocking as long as Mother Earth has heated and compressed it, and it has found its way to a jeweler who has cut it perfectly, shined it all up and set it in 14 carat ANYTHING! lol lol lol


Santa Baby (My favorite Christmas song)

written by J. Javits and P. Springer
originally sung by Ertha Kitt (The Original Batwoman)

Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me
I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, an out-of-space convertible too, light blue
I'll wait up for you dear
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be oh so good
If you'd check off my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo

Santa honey, I wanna yacht and really that's
Not a lot
I've been an angel all year
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, there's one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, I'm filling my stocking with a duplex, and checks
Sign your 'X' on the line
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring
I don't mean a phone
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight


Monday, December 6, 2004

Irrational Fears....can be fun?

Ok, I have made up my mind and I am going to take on an old irrational fear of mine head on! lol I am going on a cruise! lol I have no idea why I am petrified of cruise ships, Titanic maybe? one too many viewings of the Poseidon Adventure? who knows! I am also going to be boarding an air plane for the first time since 2001 pre-September 11th. So count that as two irrational fears of mine head on!

A few of the Wives from the Lake Club we joined this past summer including my sister-in-law have agreed that all our husbands get too much 'play time' together and in doing that, us as Wives are always left behind taking care of everything, while they go on many hunting and fishing trips together year after year. It's now equal opportunity 'Play time' and they wives are rebelling and we just booked a cruise leaving out of Los Angeles and cruising to Baja California (Mexico) woooooo hooooooo!

booked the trip for a few months down the line and I took a virtual tour of the ship and the suites ( gotta love the internet!) and I was so happy to see the private balcony in our suite! (here is where my maybe not so irrational fear comes into play) The thought of even walking the gang plank onto a ship scared the bajeebies out of me and EVEN the thought of going into the belly of the boat was some place I couldn't even let my mind explore! My worse fear would have been a cabin in the belly of the boat with just a 15 inch porthole to look out of. I was always thinking I would never be able to squeeze my much larger size butt out of a 15 inch porthole in case the need arrived and I had to plan my escape! lol So you see having a balcony right outside our suite I don't have to worry about saving myself in case of an emergency my butt is much smaller than the balcony door THANK GOD! lol

So I am tossing my fears of ships to the side and over packing of course and lettin' it rip! lol lol lol  Our husbands are in complete shock! We all got that *deer in the headlight* look from them when we announced our plans to them this past weekend at the lake, we followed them there, it was the last day of gun season and it's the only place we could catch them all at the same time, to spring this idea on them! lol each of us got,"whatta ya mean your going on a cruise?" and then, "And your going without us?" it was priceless! "Yep we are going and we are going without you! We'll call you if we need BAIL MONEY!!!"

And we'll have fun.... fun.... fun.... till our daddy's take our t-birds away! lol

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Depression ..end of series

My first few years off of meds and dealing with the bouts of depression was very trying to say the least, I would feel the pull of depression start as early as November, but I learned the harder I tried to keep it at bay, the more intense the feeling of foreboding and the longer the periods of depression would last. So if I just accept this part of me that I referred to as 'Down time' the easier it was for me to go through it. That old saying 'This too shall pass' brought great comfort, for just as I knew that depression could and would find me again, I knew that it would pass too.

I still have bouts of depression, but they are fewer and far between but I have to admit this year in particular some of the old intensity has returned, but knowing that spring time always follows winter, helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing that no matter how much despair and BLAH you feel, always remember it's not going to last a life time only a small moment of time in my life, is a great copping mechanism.

I want to thank everybody for their words of encouragement during this series, some of you have mentioned about how brave I am to show this not so perfect side of me, but I wanted to expose this side of me as well as the other not so perfect sides of my life, to maybe help someone somewhere either feeling what I have felt or experiencing it for the first time that it doesn't have to define you, that it doesn't have to control you and you can have a good life.

Here are a few things that helped me along the way, just some really simple ideas to chase away the blues.

Lemon Scented candles - smell is an important part of our life, it can trigger memories, for me it is a reminder of summer time, which is a time that is free of depression for those who suffer from bipolar depression. I really like William-Sonoma kitchen candle in lemon scent it is the most like lemon and doesn't smell like pledge furniture polish (Yuk! house cleaning is enough to make me depressed! lol)

Take advantage of every sunny day - Flood your home with it, open blinds, lift up shades, let it fill your home or at least the room you spend most of your time in.

Spend at least one to two days a week outside of the house - This forces you to shower, dress and participate in life. You can meet friends or family for lunch, dinner or shopping. Or you can just spend the day out there by yourself.

Call an old friend - the kind of old friend that you can laugh and I mean really laugh with over silly stuff you did when you were younger. Once you re-establish that old friendship call on this person every time you could use a giggle. Make plans to get together with them when your feeling up to it.

Most important TALK ABOUT IT! you would be surprised to find out how many other people have experienced some of the same things that you are experiencing now. It doesn't always have to be a 'down' conversation, we all have the capability to laugh at ourselves.

The 'Blues' always seems to catch us off guard, but it's a natural life experience. Some people's 'Blues' are just a lil deeper than others. Reach out to someone else having a bad time of it, it will be good for your own healing and you might be just reaching that person 'IN TIME' in their own battle with depression.

And when you feel that old feeling creeping up on you, just think 'bring it on!' let it wash over you, let yourself have a few 'down' days and once you accept it as a part of your life, it's easier to deal with. For me this helped to speed it along, now when I do have a bout with it, it only lasts for a few days at a time instead of weeks and weeks and I find myself able to work through it.........life is good and I am thankful!

Just remember you have felt this way before and THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Manic-Depression part 4

For those that aren't sure how antidepressants effect your body, I liken it to a "Flat Line" No ups, no downs... simply a flat line. They want to stop you from feeling the terrible lows but in doing so they block the "JOY" you experience in life too. Your no longer sad...your no longer happy....your just......there.

I had grown up manic, I loved that side of my personality, when I am in my manic stage I am super woman, it is such a part of my personality, that without it I was struggling to be me. Only a few of my best friends and others knew what I was going through and they were my angels, the weeks I would disappear into myself they would call and talk to me through my answering machine,"We know your there, we just want you to know we are thinking about you and we love you!" I didn't want to leave my room, answer the phone, clean myself up, forget about hair and make up, just brushing my teeth was a struggle, I just wanted to sleep my life away. During sleep you don't have to deal with anything, no stress, no decisions, no conversation, no questions and answers just the quiet, dark place found in sleep.

Some of my other friends found this to be very difficult to deal with, they didn't know how to deal with me this way, so they just avoided me, others were shocked that Happy-go-lucky Kim suffered from depression ( I hid it well) I never left my room, let alone my house during the worse of it all, so they only knew the manic side of me, the side I had grown up with, it wasn't until my late 20's that the depressive side of the disorder showed itself full force.

Panic attacks would happen out of nowhere, the weird thing is that increases in 'Noise levels' is what would trigger them. I would be out and in a safe mood and all of a sudden the noise level would go up and I would have to leave where ever I was, to escape to the safety of my room. I left restaurants with food being ordered, I left grocery carts filled with groceries, I left school functions (kids) without a word to anybody, only the safety of being in my room brought my panic attacks to an end. My Husband was able to read my face very well now and he would know when to hand me the car keys while he would order the meal we just ordered 'to go' now and I would run to the truck and wait for him to rush me home to the safty of my room.

After a couple years of 'Talk therapy' and meds I decided I was going to stop all medication. I was so sick and tired of taking pills, so without my family or my Doctors knowledge (I don't advise this!
) I stopped taking everything. No more Prozac, no more Synthroid (thyroid disease) (big NO NO found that out later) and no more Depakote. (Seizures) I seemed to have more seizures on that medicine than off of it. I went from having maybe 2 seizures a month to having multiple seizures a day. They aren't grand mal seizures, it's not epileptic in nature, they were petite mal seizures. At one time I was so drugged up, I had put my baby boy (toddler) down and just walked away from him. We were at a restaurant and Jim handed me the baby to go find a table while he took the girls to the washroom and I just put lil Jimmy down and walked away. Jim came to the table and asked where the baby was and I didn't even remember having him. Jimmy was found unharmed terrorizing other restaurant patrons, but that was it, I can't put my children in jeopardy while trying to heal myself.

I couldn't stand going through life without being able to experience all the emotions that goes along with it. I have to be able to experience 'JOY'...I had to be able to 'Function'.. I had babies and small children. I later had to start taking my thyroid medicine because that is basically the 'brain' of your whole body, it regulates so many things can even bring on depression. For more information on Thyroid disease..(click link)  . 
WebMD with AOL Health - Hypothyroidism -- What Happens


Friday, December 3, 2004

Depression (new diagnosis) part 3

The new year (1993) had come in without a bang for me because I was not at the point where I could celebrate, Dr. M had prescribed at first Paxil for me to no avail and then finally I was put on Prozac with the milligrams increasing to a high level, I had been in "Talk " Therapy with a wonderful woman I'll call Dr. E for a few months and I felt many burdens leave my spirit as soon as the words left my mouth.

There wasn't too much to learn from DR E because for me I was always able to answer "Why" things happened, or why I let things happen or why I did the things I did......I just needed to speak of them, say them out loud for the first time and then let them go.  I had wrote briefly about my therapy in an earlier entry so here is a small exert from how I equated that discovery back in time, back in my life and mind.

Decades  (written 9/26/04)  read whole entry here..... Decades

"My fourth decade is where I shattered.  I couldn't do it all anymore.  I knew in order for me to go forward I had to go back to my past.  I dealt with childhood issues that I thought were long taken care of. 
I liken it to a long hallway with many doors, some doors well lit, some cast in shadows.  There were a few that I just wanted to take a peek in, just to relive a great memory, and there were others where the doors were scorching hot, and they burned me as I turned the knob.  I opened all but a few.  Those were the doors that I didn't really want to know what happened, I am at peace with my choices.  The second half of that decade was ridding myself of all the drama. I walked away from everything and everybody that I felt took more than they gave to me.  It was wonderful to be free of that garbage, but I still had to deal with the guilt of sometimes putting myself before others.  Your whole childhood your taught to be nice, to accommodate everybody so no one feels left out, even though your spread so thin that you wonder if there is enough of you to go around? Its something you don't realize until its almost too late. "

I seemed to get through what I had to get through faster during therapy, I contribute that to having to not only telling my words once, but having to talk about it again (sessions) when I returned back home from each therapy session to spill my guts to my own Mother who was at my home taking care of my children, while I was keeping up with Doctor appointments and therapy sessions and even though she did not want to pressure me into telling her what I was going through, I think as a Mother she needed to know what happened to "HER BABY" So I would tell her what was discussed that day and with the same kind of unbelievable pain from whispering those same words earlier at the doctor, I would have to relive it again and most times when my husband would return from work, I would have to rehash through tears again. So it was like triple therapy sessions each day. It was during my therapy that DR E changed my diagnosis from severe depression to being manic-depression. She was able to show me how I lived most my life in a manic state......super woman....always the life of the party....able to get through any and every thing...I was now learning the depressant side to it..I was learning the small ways it had shown itself through out my earlier years but wasn't aware of it.

I remember the day my husband rushed home because of the frantic call from our 6 year old daughter, and he was beside himself because he could not console me, he could not take my pain and my tears and my guilt away. I was so afraid......I was afraid of loosing him because I went from this strong independent woman to this mess, (He still tells me I'm a mess but I'm a beautiful mess and I'm his) After lifting me up from the floor in the corner of my room and calling my Mother and my new family doctor he said to me as he held me and wiped away tear after tear of mine," I love you and I will do anything to get you well again, we will get through this....you will get through this."


Thursday, December 2, 2004

Dealing with Depression (part 2)

Getting better started out very slow.....it was meeting a new family Doctor for the first time, (moved to a new neighborhood) and I went for our introduction meeting and after all the usual questions were asked and answered, she said, "Is there anything else you would like to discuss?" So I thought this might be a good time to mention the bouts of pain in my head that I had been suffering through silently for 15 years, so she ordered and EEG and a MRI of my brain and I was later diagnosed with seizures (Who knew?) and severe Migraines. Then she asked,"Is there anything else?" and this torrent of words just started spewing from my mouth and I told her everything in one long winded breath because I was afraid if I stopped to take another breath I would close myself off and again and suffer more dark moods in silence.

She just took my hands in hers and quietly looked me in the eye and said,"First we are going to get you well physically and then we will get you well mentally." I felt my soul break free and dance. Then I wondered would I be able to really open up myself and let all the terrible things that I had to witness as a small child find words and escape my mouth? Would I let all the terrible thoughts that ran around my head, that just scared the hell out of me just thinking about them sometimes, actually escape through my mouth? I was either going to have to really trust and feel safe or I was going to have to find that part of me that just threw it all out there and let the chips fall where they may.

It took a few days for my first visit for my head to get shrunk, would I let my head get shrunk? Would I feel like I could talk to this Doctor and would she really be listening or would her head be somewhere else? caught up in her own day? (you know what I'm talking about, you've caught your doctors on that once or twice!) it was a very scary day for me.
I just remember my sister telling me,"What ever you find out, what ever you might remember, don't tell me I don't want to know, I am not ready to remember, I don't want to remember!"
How's that for support?? But that is another whole issue unto it's self.

I was very lucky that my "Shrink" really loved her job and did have my best interest at heart, with the same candor that I had opened up to with my new family Doctor I found myself half confessing/half tattling everything that had brought me there, to my breaking point. I thought, "So this is what a nervous breakdown felt like?" all that holding it in, all that hiding in myself, always worrying about what others would think or say, telling a few secrets that weren't supposed to leave the recesses of my childhood came out of me that day.... like the helium that escapes a popped balloon...but what would be the repercussions?


Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Losing it while watching Oprah

Ok watching Oprah just made me loose it....it was letters from soldiers who would not make it home, some arrived right before they were killed, some came after they had already had passed and the family was notified, what a special but unbearable pain that those letter must of caused.  These are someone's babies, someone's forever love, someone's Mommy or Daddy, someone who was destined for greatness and will be loved and missed greatly.

Being from a long standing military family that has been traced back to the French and Indian War which was officially began in 1756, I know that War is an evil necessity, but that does not make it any easier to accept when a loved one does not return from War. My Parents met while in the Air Force and I currently have a nephew in Iraq and a cousin in Afganistan and many others that I care about have family members that are serving their country in these two war ravaged countries.

Being born in 1963 and spending my early life as a military brat I did not understand what the Vietnam War was all about but I did understand what the American Flag and the POW and MIA flags and bracelets meant. I wore both POW and MIA bracelets during most of my childhood, I knew they stood for an American person who was a soldier and who might not come home. I remember my Mother not being able to tell me were my Father and my Uncles were, my Father flew a lot of missions that he wasn't able to discuss with my Mother. One in particular haunted him until his death at 41, he never did tell us where he was or what he was supposed to do, but that what ever it was, it was aborted the mission at the very last moment and he was ordered to return to base.


My Mothers military career ended upon the birth of her first born, my Brother. But followed my Father where ever they would let an American family follow. I spent a few years over seas in Europe and many summers running around military bases playing soldier. My dearest treasures are my Father's Dog Tags and his Burial Flag.There aren't too many things he did that I am proud of but serving his country was one I could adore him for, for that he is an AmericanHero and mine too!

What the Vietnam war did teach me was that those brave men who went and did their job without hesitation, for the love of their country and the sacrifices they and their families made, make me very proud to be an American and I am so happy to see even though some people are against this war, they are not against the soldier's fighting it.

So I cry a tear for the ones that aren't coming home, and I send prayers to the family's that have to accept this and I am forever grateful for those who are poised to defend this great country at great costs to themselves. Hero's come in many uniforms.....God Bless!


Depression (part 1)

As mentioned far back in an earlier entry, my childhood caught up to me, and I was raising 4 small children the youngest being a new born the next only 11 months old, then the 6 and 9 year olds, plus my 2 year old neice a few days during the week, and taking care of my Husbands 83 year old Grandmother who I adored and was suffering from Alzheimer's and multiple TIA's (mini strokes), plus taking care of a new large house, I just snapped. I thought I could take on the world but I learned differently that year. I am a strong woman but I was up against something that was stronger and my mind and body and soul gave in.....it was 1992 and I was 29 years old.

Most days were spent locked away in my room sobbing with my newborn in a bouncy chair and my 11 month old in her walker, the older two at school. I kept that part of me hidden, accepting something that was bigger than me, accepting that I can't do it all only made me feel more desolate. It wasn't until my 6 year old daughter came home from school one day and found me on the floor, rocking back and forth did my little secret come out. She placed a call to her daddy at work telling him, "Mommy is rocking on the floor and she isn't holding a baby!" I had locked myself.... in myself.. and couldn't find a way out, something I could do at will from surviving my childhood became forgotten to me.

There was something freeing though in letting go, only those that have gone through this know what I'm talking about. It's as if everything is packed into the basket of a hot air balloon and you are on the ground watching it drift farther and farther away from you, when in fact you are the one drifting farther and farther away from it. You are tucked safely away somewhere, you just don't know where that somewhere is and your OK with that.

After meeting with the experts and my family by my side at first I was diagnosed with severe depression and I was told there are three types of people when it comes to depression, one's who can be treated with just medication, ones who could be treated with just talk therapy and one's that needed both......I fell into that category.....both.

Let the healing begin....or try to at least..........
(to be continued)