Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hunger Games

Tonight I'm going to the release of the Hunger Games - Catching Fire with my 14 year old.  It's released tomorrow.  Only the movie is 10pm tonight.  I know. I don't get it either.  But, I'm just stopping by to say that I'm thankful that it's 10pm and not midnight.  I'm old and it's Thursday night. Enough said.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Some days just go that way.

Our grandkids live with us.  They are age 3 and age 1.
Okay wait...their parents live here too...but they just aren't as important. :)

Most mornings, I love to hear the pitter patter of little feet as they wake up and begin their day.  Some mornings, the pitter patter of feet is replaced by other sounds.

Today, it was screams.  Tilly screams.
I know.  It seems almost impossible that this sweet innocent little one would be able to exert a extra large size tantrum.  But, believe me.  It can be done.

And not only was that early this morning...that was also late this morning...and early afternoon and late afternoon as well.

If she were older, I'd explain to her that yes..some days just go that way.  Some days nothing seems to go right and everything is an excuse to break down in an emotional fit.  Some days... you just want to throw a tantrum.  So, do it now.  You don't need a reason.  We will still love you when your fit subsides.

That's just the way it goes some days.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Where I am in life and blogging.

Sometimes I have narcissistic dreams that my blog will be some sort of memory for my children and grandchildren when I am gone.  And I panic.  Because what kind of story am I telling them with my silence?  I've dumbed down my stories to facebook status updates and instagram photos...and even then, I'm not doing so well.

So, here I am.  Back at the Dull As Dishwater site.  Maybe I'll try to put a reminder in my phone to update my blog more often.  Maybe I'll write myself a big sticky note on my computer to blog before I do anything else.  Or.  Maybe I'll do this one post and then a year and a half from now I'll do another.

Truth is... blogging has evolved to some crazy thing I don't know that I've kept up with.  I used to read my blogs at bloglines.  But, I can't remember my password.   So, all the blogs I used to read... I have no idea if they still blog because I can't find them or remember them.  So, today, I started a new account with newsblur....AND a new account with The Old Reader.  I couldn't' decide which one I liked better... so now I have two... which, I know... is totally dumb.

Besides.... now I'm Just. So. Darn. Busy.  My goal is to work 30 hours a week...but that's rare.  Last week it was 48.5... the week before it was 44....the week before that was 33 (score! sort of).  I'm struggling at finding a healthy work-life balance that will allow me adequate free time to chill and do things like record my life stories in this blog.

Alright.  So, what does life look like for me right now?  I'm living the dream.  Work - I own my own business doing bookkeeping, marketing, event planning, and procedures for small businesses.  98% of my time is spent on bookkeeping... and the other 2% is the other stuff.  I really really really enjoy my work.  There are days that bring challenges.  But, I love it overall.  And I see lots of potential for future growth for me... I just haven't figured out how to duplicate myself so I don't have to work crazy hours.

Kids - oldest daughter - lovely Haleigh is living on her own in her own apartment in a job she enjoys and is getting to know a special guy that seems to have captured her heart.  Second one - Lindsey and hubby Joe with grandbabies Eily and Tilly - live here with us right now.  They are a ton of fun and I have had a blast with them around.  Today, as a matter of fact right now, Eily (age 3) is painting Grampa's toenails. She was looking for someone willing to allow her to paint their nails and he was ready and waiting!  Abbie - sweet compassionate loving Abbie - is living at home and going to school to be a nurse.  This is perfect for her and right up her alley.  Her compassion abounds and she will be a fantastic nurse someday!  Emily - Little Red M... is in 9th grade, still dancing and still red. ;)  She's a lot of fun and she's having a great time being a high schooler!

Hubby and me just recently celebrated 25 years of marriage this year.  Who knew we could make a quarter of a century together?  We are still in love and still in like.  That's quite an accomplishment!

There you have it friends, an update on life in blog format.

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23

I already shared about my husband’s heart attack here.  That was September.  Now, fast forward to December.  Last week he got his blood test results back.They were AMAZING. LDL of 43! (Is there such a thing as TOO low an LDL?)  He’s been in cardio-rehab for months, and he’s been working very hard at diet and exercise…lifestyle changes in the most extreme way. 

Now that he is graduating from cardio-rehab…yesterday we joined a gym. GASP!  I never did do the 10K that I was training for last year in September because the day of the race was the day Shawn was recovering in the ICU from heart surgery.  So, now I can train on the treadmills at the gym, and try again next year. Who knows….maybe cardio-boy will join us for the 10K next year.

In November, Shawn’s grandmother Beulah was not doing well.  She turned 92 in May and was still living on her own with the assistance of family members.  But, in November, she had some health problems develop and her health started to turn quickly from “healthy” to “not-so-much”.  She had gone to a nursing home for a while as she needed more care than she could get at home. 

On November 16, she went to be with the Lord.  She was a very sweet lady.  I had a lot of love and respect for her.  she loved to tell stories of growing up on a farm in rural Iowa.  Of course, now I wish I had written down some of the things she told me over the past 25 years.  But, she was somewhat of a record-keeper…so I imagine that somewhere in her home…we will find lots of amazing stories to share and pass on with our kids and grandkids throughout the next several generations.

We cherish the beautiful pictures we have of her…and the memories of sharing family dinners and holidays at her home.  She left her mark on this world with a wonderful family.  They are all creative and festive and family-centered.  They love, they laugh, they enjoy life.  Just as she did…just as she taught them...

We miss her.

Another page turns…. another year leaves…. more change for 2012. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22

For years, I have been begging my husband to let us get a dog.  Years.  He finally agreed in June to let us get one.  So, I began searching for the perfect family dog.  Of course, I have since come to realize that no dog is perfect.  Those were my lofty dreams.  I wanted a dog that wouldn’t poop where it wasn’t supposed to,  would sleep when I wanted it to, would bark only when barked at, would not scratch my floors, and was loyal and devoted.  Basically, I wanted a giga-pet, but I didn’t know that at the time.

We found Gibbs at an animal shelter about 2 hours away.  They had plenty of dogs.  He was the only one that didn’t jump on us when we approached him. He didn’t bark like the others. And when we took him out to the yard, he was calm and quiet.  Deceptive little thing.

We took him home and learned quickly what having a 6 month old puppy in the house was like.  Definitely not like my trusty dependable Tamogatchi. He was barky and loud and whiney at all the wrong times. He didn’t like being alone and would lay at my feet under my desk all day long. 

It didn’t take long though, to get a routine.  I began walking and training for a 10K and started walking at least 3 miles a day all summer long.  My trusty companion joined me every day.  At first he tugged and pulled and wanted to run ahead.  But, after a while, we figured out the walk.  He was my motivator to keep walking every day.  Mostly because without his walk, he was unbearable. 

He was an energetic dog.  Very energetic.  We would go to the park and when we got to the clearing, I would let him off his leash, and he would run as fast as he could for as long as I let him. 

One day in October,  I walked out to the car and he followed me. He always wanted to jump in the car and go with me every time I went somewhere.  But, this time he must’ve seen something to chase.  He ran straight into the street and into the path of an oncoming car.  I heard the tire screech and didn’t even know what had happened it was that fast.  He died an hour later at the vet clinic.  His internal injuries were too severe. 

I miss him.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December: #2

It’s still December.  December 14.  I was thinking today about one year ago.  One year ago, we were preparing for Christmas.  Marge, my mother in law, was at the nursing home. She had a tough year.  For the entire year, she had been in and out of the hospital and nursing home. She had MS.  Had been diagnosed with it in the early 80s.  She lived basically symptom free for years.  Then, in 1996, she had an attack and the disease began to progress.

She started going to the Mayo Clinic and started a series of different treatments.  One thing led to another, she switched neurologists, and saw different doctors…. and for whatever reason, she opted to stop treatment of her MS.  Sometimes she would say that she wanted to believe that God would heal her.  Other times, she tried alternative treatments, homeopathy.  And as many times as I tried to convince her to pursue aggressive treatment for the disease, I have to respect the fact that she made the decisions that she wanted to make regarding her health.

Several years passed.  A few years ago, she was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  And she felt that she had been misdiagnosed of MS in the early 80’s and again at Mayo Clinic in the late 90’s.  She aggressively pursued the Lyme treatment.  I think that she had found hope.  She never really wanted to have a debilitating disease.  She never wanted to hear the news that MS is progressive and doesn’t ever go away.  Lyme Disease was treatable, and would be gone forever.  So, she found a Lyme specialist and pursued it with great fervor.

In December of last year…about this time… her family doctor was very concerned for her health.  He was working on convincing her to pursue a visit to a neurologist friend of his in Des Moines.  This was someone he felt would benefit her greatly with her MS treatment.  Her Lyme doctor had prescribed so many antibiotics and she had been repeatedly been admitted and readmitted to the hospital for UTI’s and bladder infections.  Because of the overuse of antibiotics, her body was developing immunities to antibiotics.  Very quickly, the doctors were running out of antibiotics to fight infection of any kind.

Christmas was her favorite time of year.  I met Marge when I was 16 years old.  In the 27 years I had known her, she had always loved Christmas.  She loved giving… she loved baking… she loved decorating.  So, we planned a Christmas family gathering at the nursing home.  We reserved a room and made arrangements. 

Then, on Christmas Eve, the day before our big party…. Shawn’s dad (Marge’s husband), fell off a roof and broke his ankle. We spent Christmas Eve night and the wee hours of Christmas morning in the Emergency Room at the local hospital.  He stayed there that night.  So, thank God, we decided not to cancel our Christmas plans at the nursing home.  We brought in our food, our presents, and we hung out there all day long.  One of our girls was living in Trinidad last Christmas, so she Skyped the entire event with us.  It was definitely a different Christmas than all the other years together.

We didn’t know one year ago that it Christmas would be our last with Marge.  On June 1 of 2011, she went to be with the Lord. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This morning, I tried to write my Christmas letter.  Tried, and failed.  How do you write a year’s worth of life-changing events in one page and not lose the readers? I don’t want to be “one of those”… who write a four page sad Christmas letter and end with Merry Christmas!…. you know who you are.

So, I decided this.  I will take the next couple of weeks and actually blog.  And instead of writing a Christmas letter, I’ll just add a link to my blog… and anyone who actually WANTS to read…can come here and get their fill. Brilliant, I know.

This morning, as I was thinking about what to write..and how to begin… I thought about December.  Advent. A synonym to advent is actually “beginning”. The first Advent was when Christ came to the earth.  And as Christians, we celebrate each year.  We celebrate his coming to the earth…and we anxiously wait for his second coming.  So, in a sense, it becomes to us a celebration of the beginning…and the waiting … for the beginning.  We tend to focus on the first coming…and the celebration part more.  And we neglect the waiting part.

This year, as I reflect on the past year, I realize that God has taken me to a place of looking forward to His second coming.  A place of waiting for His return.  A place of seeing that life … this life… is but a blink of the eye.  This life is but a brief moment between what was…and what will be.  This life. This brief life…although it seems like it’s all “that”… is the waiting.

    But, as it is written,
    “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
        nor the heart of man imagined,
    what God has prepared for those who love him”—
1 Corinthians 2:9