Friday, September 30, 2022

Birthday-Palooza Weekend

This beautiful lady (THE mother-in-law) left this world about a year and a half ago and is very much missed.  She would have been 95 years old today.  The past several years it had become custom to celebrate her birthday and we continue that tradition.
We continue the tradition for her and now there are two more (actually more) to the birthday celebration of September/October.  The sis-in-laws was the middle of the month and Biff's is the 24th and tomorrow is
SNICKLEFRITZ'S 10th birthday...
and Sunday is MIN'S 3rd birthday.  
Oh my goodness these babies.  My heart absolutely bursts with love for these two beauties.  They are more precious than gold or diamonds...they are my life.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my darling girls.

Have to throw a bit of painting into this.  I finished this little jewel this week.  I had started it in the workshop a few weeks ago and have been struggling to get the head just right, s t r u g g l e d with it.  But, finally I liked it!  

"Brother Brian
9x12 oil on linen

Wednesday, September 28, 2022


 I/we have been married for over 46 years now.  I say this because there comes a time when, in those 46+ years you can obviously get aggravated with your spouse.  You tolerate, overlook some things but it's all a give and take, and acceptance.  I say this because lately The Hubby has been aggravating me to the point of me exploding at him.  I will admit it is all me doing the exploding.  It is 6:30 in the morning and I thought The Hubby was getting ready to head to the office where he NEEDS to be getting the invoices ready for me to come in and type, but he's not.  Let me back up a bit.  I have had a lot on my plate, mentally, what with Baby Max and being there for Af and Nick and little Min while they deal with his birth and all that may happen there.  I'm also dealing with, in my heart, the more immediate health issues that are my sister's cancer diagnosis and the thought of losing her.  I have a lot on my mind. Since my hip surgery, The Hubby has been absolutely awesome with taking care of me and stepping up with doing the dishes and stuff.  Monday morning he decided to clean the sinks in our bathroom.  He cleaned toilets the other day.  As usual there is now, never a dirty dish in the sink, EVER!  And now, this early AM, after what I thought was the sound of him heading out the door was not that!  6:30 AM, he is running the vacuum.  He said something the other day about cleaning baseboards and I just kind of put that back in my mind, but this morning, he is running the vacuum.  Okay, should I be fine with this step up in his actions around the house lately, or should I feel, well, like he thinks I'm not a good housekeeper.  I don't know what I should feel. I'm kind of pissed off about it really.  I'm telling you if I don't do something he feels needs to be done when he thinks it should be done he will do it.  Mind you we've had a cleaning person every two weeks for 30+ years and we don't now (long story.)  So all this cleaning stuff has fallen on me, US!  It's not like our house is a pigsty, it's not, just a bit dusty really.  So I am sitting here typing on my laptop, enjoying my coffee and he is slaving away vacuuming the entire house.  How would you feel if all of a sudden someone took over the management of your house.  I mean I quit doing his laundry and ironing 30+ years ago after he started complaining that I wasn't doing it right.  He has taken over the dishes thing because he says I haven't done it right for 46 years of marriage.  Ummmm, how should I feel, grateful or am I getting ready to be unleashed upon with anger.  I JUST DON'T KNOW!  Okay, DO NOT get me wrong, I love that he is doing this stuff because frankly, I DON'T HAVE TOO!  BUT, inside I have mixed emotions about it all.  

Oh, I'm making a mountain out of molehill, maybe...

continued to the next cleaning surprise.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Fall Weekend

It is supposed to be the first weekend of fall and you could see it in the trees a bit as we drove to the cabin on Friday.  I was going to the cabin by myself this weekend as The Hubby had a dance last night but we, I, decided that I would come back on Saturday with him as he decided to go Friday evening.  Yes, our plans often hinge on a whim, a lot of the time.  We left town about lunchtime Friday and on the drive stopped half way there to have lunch at the I Don't Care Bar & Grill!  The drive was nice as we made our way.

As usual I took a lot of snaps of the drive from the truck window.  Hopefully something will make me want to paint it.
Last weekend I got this little gem and this weekend since it was another of the painting weekends I wanted to paint it.
I only had a couple of people show up to paint with me but that was okay, at least I wasn't by myself.  I am going to do it one more time and we'll see if any more come and if not, then I'm done I think.
I've got some more tweeking to do on this but it will be nice.  I left it at the cabin not thinking that I would like to work on it this week but really I might not have time anyway.  

This  week is invoicing week so painting at the studio may not be in the cards anyway.  Plus I'm going to watch little Min (with the help of Auntie Biff) while her parents head to OKC for a pediatric heart specialist appointment for the day.  Lots to get the head around there.  Plus on Saturday is Birthday-palooza Weekend!  Friday would have been my mother-in-law's birthday, this past Saturday was Biff's and last week was the sister-in-laws and this Saturday and Sunday are Snicklfritz's and Min's birthday's!  YIKES!!!!!!!  So Saturday Min's small kiddo birthday is in the morning, nap for her then everyone will come to our house for Olive Garden dinner about 4:30 then Biff, Snicklefritz and her Dad will head to their house for a slumber party to celebrate Snicklefritz's 10th birthday!  Goodness I am going to be worn out as will everyone else.  Not counting the all day Friday watching Min and their parents doctors appointment and we never know what that holds.  

Friday this week too my sis started chemo to fight her inoperable cancer.  So hate this for her and what she is going through.  It's not going to be a good outcome and have to understand that she has limited time left with us.  Heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Two Years

This morning, early this morning The Hubby got up and went fishing with a couple of friends for the day, a guided fishing expedition.  He needed it.  It also allowed me to roll over and go back to sleep where I didn't wake up until 8 am, AGAIN!  Whoopee, that feels wonderful but honestly I feel like half my day is gone.  I like getting up early in the morning and getting my mind working, looking at FB, reading emails, etc.  I get that out of the way and then get things done.  First thing on the agenda when I'm through here is to clean out the freezer or rearrange the food, in case he brings tons of fish back!!!  Then I will read on my book for book club tonight.  
Can't seem to get into it but will put some good effort into it this morning.  
Then it dawned on me that this is about the time we lost Daddy and sure enough he's been gone two years yesterday.  There was a reason I was feeling a bit off.

Since 2020 life has been a bit weird and I'm feeling the weirdness.
It's all the loss, loss from our lives from Covid to just family and friends.  2020 brought us to the loss of Daddy and last year we lost Gloria (my sweet mother-in-law.)  Hey, add to the loss of my hip but gained a new one!  This year, this summer we've lost my cousin Jerry and my Aunt Jane.  We are also dealing with baby Max and his health issues and now my Sis and her cancer diagnosis.  We also have a dear friend who is once again dealing with cancer and his future has a very dim outlook.  Honestly it is almost too much to handle and I'm trying to shoulder all this grief and frankly I'm not doing it too well because I'm lashing out at the one(s) I love.  I'm trying and that is all I can do right now is to understand and feel the grief and worry that is inside me.  I think that is partially what is causing my skin issues that have popped up on my arms, legs, and inside my mouth.  I'm not a stranger to letting things manifest into skin irritations. Since I was 14 years old I've let stress fester inside me to pop out as hives and I've had it happen as an adult too. I need to deal with my grief, let it flow and release this pent up whatever it is.  It is working I think because the lesions that have appeared are starting to fade, thank goodness.  

Grief is a BITCH, I can tell you and I seem to be affected a lot by it.  I remember when my Great Grandfather Grady died and we drove to Arkansas to attend his services.  On the drive back I had to lay down in the back seat with a horrendous migraine and that is also about the time I first got hives (stress also makes them pop out on me.)  I internalize a lot and if I don't blow, well, I get hives.  Amazing the human body, absolutely amazing.

I also have to consider what The Hubby is going through.  He has lost a parent too, his beloved mother and I know how hard that is.  Maybe he is experiencing grief too but he doesn't talk about it to me.  He internalizes a lot feelings, which I feel guys tend to do.  I'm sure he is having issues too.  Just need to watch him and be there for him has he's only had a year since she left us.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Hope Chest of Dreams

Recently I read a book by Jennifer Weiner called The Summer Place.  It was about a family that were "stuck" together during the time of Covid when it first took hold.  They all ended up encapsulated in the parents home, husband, wife, and children, like many of us.
Because they had "time on their hands," the husband began purging the house of non-essential stuff, in his eyes.  Wow, that book triggered some marriage stuff for me.  The Hubby is constantly trying to get me to get rid of "MY STUFF"  because he sees no need for it, he has no use for "MY STUFF."  How do we get to those places.  We have been married for nearly 47 years now and we have amassed a lot of stuff.  It's not just in piles everywhere, well, maybe in my closet there is, and I've tried to cull, we all do at times.  But why in the hell is it always "MY STUFF" that he wants to get rid of.  I can tell you why, it's because the house is mostly my domain and anything he deems to collect or hang on to he conveniently has buildings to store the stuff.  I don't have that luxury.  That desire of his to get rid of "MY STUFF" can set me off sometimes, it's not pretty.
When do we start that keepsake thing.  I know for a fact that I did start in childhood.  When we were children, my siblings and I would go to Greatgranny's for a week in the summer, and we frequently went to the local junk store.  Oh goodness, that was great fun and I decided that I would start collecting for my hope chest, dishes to be exact.  Lord knows I don't have any of those things now, well, maybe a couple of knick-knacks.  But in my era of growing up there was still the concept of a hope chest, marriage is the future.
I had a hope chest.  You see that trunk under the bird cage (that's Bird, the parakeet.) That trunk I had was given to me by my Greatgranny.  It belonged to her sister Mary, who died after her appendix ruptured, she was 16 years old.  The trunk was in an outbuilding on the property and not in good shape.  At the time a friends mother fixed up trunks and gave me pointers to fix this one up.  I worked and worked on it, sanding, staining, lining the inside, all to be MY hope chest.  I still have that trunk and it still holds a lot of memorabilia, pictures, letters, my mother's wedding dress, my wedding dress...
In the 70's and before, all the future had to hold for most young women, me included, was to get married and have children.  I was not different in that desire.  I filled that trunk with all kinds of things I thought I needed when I got married, tea towels, dishes, salt & pepper shakers, hope chest kinds of things.
I really didn't have any other kind of prospects or encouragement from my parents or grandparents for anything else.  I was an okay student because I just did what I needed to do, no more than was needed to get out of high school and fulfill that dream.  

I did just that with average grades.  I graduated, worked in my Daddy's machine shop for a bit, met a guy and got married. 
Don't get me wrong it WAS what I wanted and I achieved my goal, and it was the best thing ever.  I have had a wonderful life.  Sure there have been ups and downs, you can't be married for 47 years and not have ups and downs.  It is a journey and I would not trade it for anything.  My life is the best, I have two wonderful daughters and two beautiful granddaughters and a precious grandson on the way, two great SON'S-in-law!  It IS what I wanted out of life.  In achieving that goal I did add going on to college and 13 short years later I received my bachelors degree.  We have also maintained a highly successful business for 43 of those 46 years.  Honestly it has been the best life I could have ever had. 


Sunday, September 18, 2022

A Weekend Away

I scooted off Thursday evening to the cabin by myself, he was to follow Friday.  I was in great need to get away from "home" the past few days.  I think all that is going on with baby Max, my sister, losing my aunt last month and my cousin in June has taken a bit of a toll on my mental health.  
This past year so much has been going on that I honestly completely filled my journal and it's only September!  I had to start another one.  It was a good feeling to see the blank pages to fill and gave me a sense of calm.  

The drive down I finished another audio book and just enjoyed the drive.  

Friday, The Hubby got there and he almost immediately took a 2 hours nap.  He's been exhausted too.  I went to "day drinking" and enjoyed visiting with girlfriends.  Back to the cabin and I fried some fish he caught in June.  It was a nice evening and we stayed on the porch till about 8:30 just reading and listening to the world shut down.  
Saturday evening the club, whoever wanted to come, met in the meadow at 5 for cocktail hour.  Oh it was so much fun.  Then we were off to our friends Julio and Mary's for a Chilean dinner for Julio's 60th birthday celebration.  Poor Julio though.  A couple of weeks ago he thought he had Covid but it was not.  Then he thought he had poison ivy because he had a rash on his head around his eye and his eye was swollen and had the rash in it.  Julio told a friend who is a doctor that he had poison ivy and so his friend gave him steroids.  Well, he DID NOT have poison ivy, he has shingles and the virus that is shingles feeds on steroids!!! Poor guy looks horrible and is in awful pain.  He's even got some neurological issues from it and memory problems.  So worried for him.  Even though he wanted to celebrate his birthday you could tell we were not going to stay long.
He very quickly was going down from pain and exhaustion.  So we were home by 7:30, which was probably good because two very strong gin and tonic's I was in need of bed!  
The drive home I was able to snap a couple of cow photos I've been dying to get.

So home and ready for the week of dinner with friends not one, but two evenings!  A bit of work and hopefully some studio time then it will be back there to do another painting class.  So many want to do it and say they will be there but we will see.  The last time only one showed up.  No worries, I'll paint and I will enjoy the cabin! (He's dancing!)


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

All Around Update - A Tick Up On Good News

Baby Max update:

A&N went to the most recent fetal medicine appointment and news is on the upswing a bit. The ultrasound showed that although the mass has increased in size slightly, that the artery also has increased in size and blood flow is significantly better. The tumor is still there and it’s grown but so has the aorta and the left side of his heart IS PUMPING!! It’s looking really good, as far as we could see today.

He’s a big, active guy and very healthy, despite the heart tumors. He is growing in every other way and the lower chamber is activated and pumping. All of these are good things to hear. We’re not out of the woods yet.

B&B's recent upheavel in their lives.

I totally forgot that daughter #1 and her family, on Labor Day were visited by ONG (gas company), out of the blue. Apparently someone reported they smelled gas in front of their house so ONG came out, tested and yes gas leak and pulled their meter. They were in a state of shock and told that ONG would fix the outside lines but the inside was their problem, their cost. Their lives right were not in a place to handle that cost and since Labor Day they've been without hot water, taking showers where they can, boiling water (electric range) to do dishes. Well, yesterday with another meeting with ONG (I don't know exact details,) ONG is paying for ALL OF IT!!!

Sis, small update:

They did the biopsy a bit early and she might get to go home earlier than expected. The test results may be at least 10 days out. She's lonely and bored sitting there in her room and apparently neither of her children have come to see her or her hubby. I'm guilty there too, but Covid and my knee are hindering that visit for me. The hospital she is in has the most horrendous parking and I'm not sure I can manage the walk. I might be able to go with daughter #2 today if she drops me off at the door. Daughter #1 went to see her yesterday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

And The Hits Keep Coming

No real update on Dana except she is in a lot of pain, lots and lots of pain.  So much so that the 4-6 hour pain meds are only lasting about 2 hours.  They're going to have to wait until Thursday to do the biopsy and I have to tell you my sister is NOT a good patient.  I hope she holds her tongue and lets the doctors do what they know. 

Then late in the afternoon I received an email about a kiddo I used to know, that was in the youth group at our church that I worked with.  His parents were darling.  His dad, Bud, passed away about 4 years ago from early onset Alzheimer's.  My artichoke dip recipe that I am now known for was his recipe.  Bud and his wife had two sons and Drew was their oldest.  He was about my youngest's age I think, maybe 36-37.  Drew had some learning disabilities and probably ADHD pretty severe.  They had their troubles with him but Bud was so thankful that our youth group was a place that accepted Drew.  He cried to us one time that it gave him peace that Drew could be a part of the group.  Last weekend Drew was killed in a hit and run.  I saw that on the email and absolutely cried.  His poor mother, Sherry, what she must be going through, losing her husband such a short time a go and now her darling first born.  My heart aches for her.  

I am OVER this bad news.  Please no more hits.  My heart is bursting with sorrow right now.  I know it is life but enough is enough.  

Monday, September 12, 2022

Another Heartache

Yesterday I got a phone that I never expected to get.  My little sister, my baby sister, called to let me know she was in the hospital.  She HATES hospitals first of all (trust me you don't want to be her doctor or nurse.)  For months now she has been dealing with a horrible backache, she thought she threw her back out.  She had been on muscle relaxers and had been to the chiropractor several times but just wasn't getting better.  After a lifetime of smoking she is also COPD and at birth was born with holes in her heart, a mitral valve prolapse and another valve that was not working.  After the birth of her son, that came AFTER her doctor said no more children and her tubes were tied...yes it apparently didn't take...she had her first open heart surgery to replace the valve with mechanical valve.  About 2 months after that surgery she was life flighted to the hospital to open her up again because she developed a blood clot in the new valve.  She has been through the wringer and always called herself a walking autopsy from two c-sections, hysterectomy, tonsils out, new hip and two open heart surgeries.  The backache it turns out was cancer.  She has lung and liver cancer!  My heart is absolutely in shreds.  

I shared a room and a bed growing up with Sis until the day I married and moved out.  I won't lie it wasn't pretty most of the time and she is a different kind of person, but I love my sister.  She has the mouth of a sailor and a kind of abrasive personality but she is my sister and my heart hurts. 

Just too much to deal with right now and my mind and heart are in turmoil.

Last night I tossed and turned, I slept but it was fitfully with weird dreams and nightmares.

We now wait a couple of days for them to ween her off the blood thinners so they can do a biopsy to figure out the course of action they will take in this new health crisis journey she is to take.

Bro, Sis and I just had lunch together last Friday, thank goodness.  We've been very good at keeping in touch since Daddy died on that front, in fact I think we are closer.  

Please add to my prayer, good vibe chain for Baby Max and now Sis-Dana.