Friday, December 31, 2010

I am a quilter.

A quilter that hasn't really quilted much since I discovered sewing customs for Disney.

I am also a sewer; an embroiderer; an appliquér; and an all around fabric junkie.

So my question to all you fellow fabric-a-holics... how do you store your small fabric pieces.  And how small is too small?

I have an over the door shoe rack that was supposed to hold all my fabric for applique.  But somehow, it exploded and I probably need two more to hold the small pieces.  Then, there are those pieces that are too large for the shoe holder, but too small for any thing else.

Organizing your fabric stash should be fun!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The New Year is coming...

The New Year is barreling down on us, ready or not.  This year, while I am ready for a new start on a brand new year, I am not ready.

The only resolution of any consequence is for the whole family to loose weight.  We start our diets on Monday.  Since hubby and I really need to loose some serious pounds, and both kids are starting to get chubby, it is time for a family wide (no pun intended) diet and fitness program.

I think the hardest might be Mr D.  His teacher gives him candy as a treat for good behavior and getting his work done.  He is so NOT going to be happy with that change!

I also want to work a bit on the business.  I would like for it to grow (at least to a point where I have a positive cash flow) but I am not 100% sure I am willing to devote the time to it.  I prefer to take a slower, more leisurely approach to it!  LOL!

I have some organizational issues to deal with in my studio...I need more storage ideas for my fabric stash...and I am going to re-do both kids bedrooms.

I have a trip planned to Missouri to visit family, and would like to take another Disney trip, but that might be on the back burner.

Last year I wanted to try and blog at least once a week.  Looking back over the year I managed to just about meet that goal....

And I did manage to get the studio moved to the basement, as well as get an embroidery machine.

I sold a few items, and sewed a ton of stuff for our Disney trip...

And lastly, I got cheated by someone on an online sale!  That one still burns!  (although the story is not yet over!)

I hope all your dreams for 2010 came true and that you have a lot of things planned for 2011.

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 17, 2010

In just one short week...

it will be Christmas Eve, and my family will be gathered around for Christmas festivities (including the traditional meal).(sorry Korey, no hot wings this time!)

And then the new year will be upon us before we know it.  Time to start thinking about New Year's Resolutions.  Maybe I should look back to last year and see how many I kept.  (I can't even remember what they were!)

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Anyone for a Disney redo?

The magic of Disney has struck again.

I sent an email off to Disney when we got back, outlining the problems we had with our room.  I really didn't expect any answer, but it helped me to vent off some of the anger.

Yesterday evening, I got a phone call from Fiona at Disney.  We talked for a minute or two and then she started reading a script.  I almost lost interest, until she got to the good part.  Disney wanted to make sure we returned (as if there was ever really any doubt about that!) so they are comping us a room for two nights!  Since there is no expiration or limitations on the offer (only has to be a moderate), and we can use the Military Salute looks like we will be going back to Disney in 2011 after all!  I can add two or three more nights to make it worth while to drive down, and hopefully still get the dining added to our trip.

Now my biggest problem is waiting for the school system to publish their calendar for next year.  I would like to take this trip without having to worry about the kids missing too much school.  They normally get a week break in October, so I am thinking that would be a good time (weather wise) to make the trip.

Of course, since Miss B will probably no longer wear the custom dresses, I have to figure out what I will make to wear this trip....


Tuesday, December 14, 2010



It is a bit cold here!

I don't mind the cold weather when I can stay in.  In fact, I sleep best when my bedroom is cold. (I started my habit of sleeping with a window slightly open when I was pregnant about 33 years ago!)  Hubby throws on an extra blanket and has learned to deal with it!

Weather dot com has the weather at 15 with the wind chill of 5!

I have to go out in this today....Mr D needs more meds at school.  I have to get there this morning, before it has a chance to 'warm up'!  The wind is supposed to die down this morning...and that dreaded S word is supposed to start sometime this evening!

Everyone always teases me about how early I get my Christmas stuff started.  But, if I had done my normal Christmas things this year, I wouldn't be as far behind as I am!  I have two gifts to return, and rebuy, and a total of 4 more have-to-get gifts, and then of course my kiddies might like for Santa to actually bring them something this year, so I have that to do as well!

Since they are out of school next week, all this HAS to be done this week.  Something tells me it is not going to happen this week!

Funny about the cold last night.  I woke up cold once (which in itself is very unusual!) and thought I was at Disney!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Presents, Presents, Presents...


I have finally finished 4 out of the 18 Christmas presents I aim making.  Took me an hour or two to decide what exactly I wanted to do after I got back from Wally World to get more towels!

See, I ordered some from the same place I order my t shirts.  But somehow I managed to order the wrong ones.  I wanted regular finger tip towels, but I ordered finger tip towels with a grommet in them.  Usually known as golf towels.  The ones I wanted were a dollar a piece cheaper...oh well.  I'm not sure if they will take them back, since it was my own fault and none of theirs.

If I have to keep them, I have NO IDEA what to do with them!  LOL!

The towels are actually turning out a lot cuter than I thought they would, but I'm still not sure that a towel will count as a Christmas gift.  Seems a bit skimpy to me!

So, now off to the mall for some more Christmas shopping...and I really hate malls!

I may have something to wrap in a day or so.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Decorating the Tree

It never really seems like Christmas to me until we decorate the tree.  When I was growing up, the tree never went up until 7 days before Christmas.  Period!  No exceptions!  EVER!

Even after we went to an artificial tree.  Still only one week before Christmas.  

When I moved out, the first purchase I made for my new apartment was an artificial Christmas Tree and one set of fancy, smanchy, twinkling lights.  (This was back in 1972!)  That year, I put my tree up TWO weeks before Christmas!  After all, I was an adult and could do what I wanted!

After kids came along, we had a new wrinkle in our plans.  Often, we were not at home for Christmas.  We were in the army and only had one vacation a year.  So, we usually spent the Christmas break at both parent's house.  One in Missouri and one in Georgia.

Being gone for a month really put a cramp in the whole tree thing.  If I put it up before we left, I had to take it down when we got back.  Not much fun!

Then when my oldest daughter was born exactly three weeks before Christmas, a whole new wrinkle was put into the mix.  She wanted her birthday and Christmas to be completely separated, so no Christmas decorations were allowed to go up until after her birthday.  (a rule that she broke this year , by the way!  Her tree was up before Thanksgiving this year!)

This year, since we were going to Disney right after Thanksgiving for 10 days, putting a tree up in a timely manner was again put in jeopardy!  See, I like real trees.  All the good real trees are gone shortly after Thanksgiving, so we had a very, very limited choice.  We have very tall ceilings, so it has to be a tall tree to not look strange. And, of course, we have to put the tree in an awkward space, so it can't be too full (even though I LOVE full trees!)

We were relatively lucky this year.  We got a smaller tree than we wanted, but the tallest one we could find.  Since it wasn't as tall as normal, it was about 25 dollars cheaper than we had budgeted.

Then came the light issues.  I am positive, that last year when we un-decorated the tree, that the lights were all put back on the fancy light holder thingys.  But, when we got them out, they were all thrown in the box, with the fancy light holder thingys, in a tangled, jumble mess.

It took two of us over an hour to untangle the lights...only to discover that over half the lights did not work!  So, wonderful hubby went on the search for lights.  Now, lights are very important to me.  Ever since Germany, I only want white lights on my tree, and they have to be twinkling, not blinking!

See, blinking means a whole section of the string goes out at the same time...leaving a whole section of the tree dark.  While twinkling means each bulb is independent in the flashing.  No dark spaces in the tree.

Store #1 only had white in blinking.  He bought me 3 boxes of these lights.  He meant well.  But after they were on the tree, he agreed they were not doing it!  So off he went to store #2.  They had the same type of lights as store #1, unless you wanted to buy a set of 500 feet or more.  So, off to store #3.  This time he found what we needed and got me two more boxes.

So, we managed to put those two boxes on the tree last night.  The tree now has ENOUGH lights, but they are not very artfully arranged. In fact, I really dislike...very strongly...the way the lights look.  I wanted to take them down and redo them last night, but my back and neck had other ideas, so I hoped that they would look better in the morning and went to bed.

No, no Christmas Elves came in the middle of the night to decorate my tree.It was still waiting for me to finish when I got up.  But my resolve to redo the lights was gone.  Not that they looked any better, just I really did not have the time to do it!

So, this morning, I have been putting some ornaments on the tree.  With the help of a three year old.  Let's just say that the number of breakable ornaments is quite a bit less than there was this time yesterday!

I think it is time for a break from tree decorating for a while!!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas is a comin'....

And the goose isn't the only thing getting fat!

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one!

I have exactly 2 gift bought for the kids that still live in my house....and 2 gifts (out of 20) for those people that do NOT live in my house!  We normally already have the tree up and the house decorated.  I have not made a single teacher/doctor/therapist gift (I have 18 to make this year...that is what public school will do to you!)

But Christmas is still coming at an alarming speed!  It doesn't seem to care that I am not ready.  It seems to think that I am as far ahead of the game as I normally am.  I used to have all my gifts bought by mid October.  By the beginning of October I had so many lists made it was pathetic.  I had a list of what foods I needed to purchase (and what week they were to be bought...the non perishables were bought during the summer!); I had lists of where the decorations were to go, what day each item was done, what time each item was put on the stove for Christmas dinner....well, you get the idea!

This year....nothing!

I now have only one week to get 18 gifts made.  I'm thinking a Christmasy kitchen towel embroidered by my machine.  Quick, easy, and is definitely doable in a week...if I get around to finding the towels....

I guess I need to get off the computer and get to work!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Good to be home

....well, almost home!

Disney was fun, but we are almost to Macon.  That means about 2 more hours and we will be home.  We had a very magical trip, but decided next time we would take a break.  We will only do two park days in a row with a park-free day before we do two more park days.

That was a lot of walking around!

While I love Coronado Springs Resort, we were left disappointed in it this time.  We had requested a ground floor room close to the parking lot and we ended up with a room as far away from the parking lot as possible, and on the second floor.  Then, for 4 days we had no hot water to speak of, no water pressure and the only sidewalk to the parking lot was blocked off due to some emergency construction on the water lines.  It is really hard to believe that they kept that building open with those conditions!

Of course, we did get an autographed picture of Mickey and Minnie for our troubles....

It will be great to sleep in my own bed tonight, and the kids are actually looking forward to going to school tomorrow.  Now it is time to plan my Christmas shopping, cleaning, decorating, birthday shopping (no, I haven't forgotten about your birthday, just haven't bought anything yet!), unpacking, laundry, and I'm sure a million other things I have forgotten about!  LOL!

Less than 3 weeks until Christmas and I haven't even started!  (I work best under pressure!)


Friday, December 3, 2010

Disney part two

Still at Disney...still having a blast!  Tonight is Steamboat Willie dress night!  I can hardly wait!  It was my favorite dress as I was doing all that sewing, and I have been looking forward to this night since we started planning.  Not for the food...but for the dress!

I've also gotten a few ideas for more things to make to sell.  I'm thinking a grand re-opening of my Etsy shop in January.  Lots of ideas and lots of designs floating around in my head.


Monday, November 29, 2010


We arrived on Saturday, around 11am.  We took a quick stop at the room to unpack, eat lunch, and change.  Then we headed out to Magic Kingdom.  WOW!  The crowds were so bad!  I knew to expect the crowds to be bad, but somehow I didn't really think too much about it.

Even though there were really thick crowds, we still managed to ride quite a few rides and watched both the 3 pm parade and the new MSEP, the nighttime electrical parade.  The main thing I want to say about Magic Kingdom...the castle with the Christmas lights was spectacular!  I have seen many, many pictures and videos of it, but they were nothing compared to the real thing!  They were so spectacular, I could not bring myself to even take a picture of it, there was no way to even begin to give it the justice it deserved.

Yesterday we spent the day at Epcot and had dinner at Biergarten.  We had a blast!  Unfortunately, the Princess did not grow the quarter of an inch that she needed to so she wasn't able to ride all the rides she wanted to.  That is ok...she and Memaw played a lot of "house" while the adults and big kids rode!

Today was Animal Kingdom and dinner at Chef Mickey's.



Friday, November 26, 2010


As I sit here with only 15 hours until we go to Disney, rushing around to get all the last minute details of the outfits done, I realize I have met at least one of my goals I set for myself for this year.  I have gotten an embroidery machine and learned how to use it.

I started thinking about next year and realized, my big sewing goals for next year will include becoming friends with my serger.   I already use it to finish off all my seams. but have no idea how to do a rolled hem.  As I was finishing up the last of the hemming on the dresses I realized the rolled hem would have finished for me and I would have been through...

So, next year I will learn how to use the rolled hem on my serger.

Small statement, but HUGE accomplishment...let's see how that goes!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


OK, I admit it.  I am a fan!  I have watched from the very beginning.

This season, it started the night of my neck surgery.  It was on in the hospital room (I think) but I don't really remember it.  Last night was the finale.

The fact that Jennifer Gray won seemed almost like a message to me.  She had almost the same surgery on her neck a year ago...and we are 'close' in age.  (OK...I'm older, but not by too much!  LOL!).  A couple of weeks into the competition I was amazed at what she was able to do...since I was still unable to move my neck at all, and had no stamina to speak of.  It was a little reminder that my life as I knew it was NOT over, just put on hold for a few weeks.

Seeing how the dancers improved and grew over the past 10 weeks, and knowing how much I had improved over the past 10 weeks, it just seemed right to me that Jennifer Gray won.


Now if someone would just have a show about how not to get sick three days before Disney, I would greatly appreciate it!


Monday, November 22, 2010


I can never think of Roses without thinking of my mom.  She loved roses.  I don't think she ever had any rose plants after we moved from Forest Park, but she always loved them.

Every year, on the anniversary of the accident, we would give people that meant something special to us that year a rose.  Last year, on the fifth anniversary, we decided to plant 5 rose plants in her memory instead.

I was struggling with the last tshirt for the Disney trip in a few days.  I knew it should be something to do with Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but I was having trouble finding just the right design.  See, I had already messed up one shirt and needed to redo it.

I finally decided on the Rose under Glass from Frou Frou by Heather Sue.  I love her designs, and this seemed like it would fit the bill.

As I started stitching it out, I couldn't help but think of my Mom.  By the time I was finished with the shirt, I was in tears.  But not sad tears, tears of joy.  I thought about how happy Mom would be to see the way my kids are turning out.  And I remembered how she wanted to go to Disney with us, but was afraid she would slow us down so, no matter how hard we tried, she would not go with us.  The last time we went before she died, she promised she would go with us one time.

With this rose shirt, I feel like she is finally going with us!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Silly, Silly Me

I have been going over my lists for Disney.  Trying to make sure I have printed everything off the computer that I will need.  When SUDDENLY it hit me!  I am taking the computer with me and will have internet while I am there...there really is NO need t print anything!

So, I guess that means I can go back to making sure all the clothes are done, all the packing is done, all the shopping is done, and all the other 'stuff' is done!

Miss B got her hair cut last night.  It looks cute...she is worried that this morning the kids will call her a pouf ball. Of course once she said that her brother started calling her that...I told her not to worry.  That is what brothers are supposed to do.  They call you names so that you get used to it.  Then when someone else does it, you aren't bothered and they stop!

She bought it...crisis averted.

This morning she remembered that BBB was something she REALLY wants to do.  She almost started crying and said they wouldn't be able to fix her hair up like she wanted them to...I assured her that they would be able to just fine.  Another crisis averted.

Then, she realized we would be leaving in just seven and a half days.  Nothing of hers is packed, and she isn't going to be ready to go.  I reminded her that I always did all the packing and had everything under control.  Another crisis averted.

I'm getting the feeling that I have a new job description...Crisis Averter.  I kind of like that one!  Makes us relate on a whole new level!

Here we come Disney...ready or not!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nine more days and...what was that? Oh No!

Ah...Ah...Ah...CHOOOOO!  Yup.  That's right...a sneeze.  Not just any sneeze, but a SNEEZE...probably from allergies.

Around here, we usually spend October locked in an allergic grip.  However, this year has been different.  We have had unusually warm weather since September. My yard is normally brown and crunchy (Bermuda grass) by October.  It has just turned brown and started to get crunchy a day or so ago.

Mr D usually starts the allergic symphony, followed by me and Miss B shortly after.  Mr D has been sneezing for the past week.  I guess I have started now.  Miss B will be joining us within aa few days.

Our very first trip to Disney was in the spring when the 3 of us were in our Spring symphony of allergic sneezes. At that time I was glad it wasn't the fall bout. Fall is much worse for us.  I thought I had planned this trip so that the allergies would be over with by the time we leave ...I mean it gave us 6 whole weeks to get rid of it!

I will now stock up on Calritin for the least they won't have to deal with it too much.  I just have to find something I can take.  Claritin is very sedating for me.  So far I haven't found anything that works without putting me nighty night.

(did I mention that sneezing makes my throat hurt....) I really wanted to make this trip without even thinking about my neck.  Guess THAT isn't happening!

OK...enough whinning.  Back to the Disney planning and sewing!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ten more days and one hour

Yup, that is how long until Disney.  So why am I up at this hour you might ask?  Well, I forgot to pick up my Lunesta today.  I was doing fine until hubby decided to start snoring.

Well, I guess I'll get up and work on the 12 remaining shirts.  Nope, ran out of bobbin thread.  Unfortunately, the Wally World here doesn't carry embroidery thread anymore, so I have to wait for Joann's to open at 9.

Of course, by then I will be sleepy and not fit to sew, but maybe I can get one or two knocked out before the day is out.

So, I have been going over my lists of things to do and things to pack and things to remember.... and now it is 30 minutes later than when I got our of bed.

I really hate insomnia.  I was really hoping that after the neck surgery it would go away...but nope.  Still here.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Eleven days and 18 hours! is really getting close now!  We get to do online check in on Wednesday.  Friday is the kids' last day of school until the second week of DECEMBER! (And on a  sad note...three weeks from now we will be driving back home...BOOO!)

Am I ready?  Nope.  Will I be ready? Maybe.  Am I worried? Not yet.  And...oddly, I haven't started packing yet.  I normally have almost everything packed by now, but since the clothes we are wearing are still in various stages of construction, they are all hanging in the basement.  Once I get them finished, they will hang there until we are ready to pack the van and truck.  So I really don't have as much stuff to pack as I normally do...even though we are going for a longer period of time.

We are about to head down to the studio to try and get a few more shirts done this morning, so I can get back on schedule.  Somehow this weekend didn't work out exactly like I had planned.  But I did have lots of fun spending time with my it is all good.

My most important and exciting part about the trip planning is I FINALLY figured out how to get the Broadband2Go working on the laptop.  So now I can surf the web while driving...if I want to.  But more importantly, I can have access to the web at Disney without paying the $10.00 a day!  True, purchasing the usb/modem and the first month's charge is more than the amount for internet while we are there...but I can use this when we travel anywhere, and not worry about if the hotel has internet...or if they charge extra for it.

And also a great note on the planning front...Our PettiSkirts came in!  Yes, I did end up having to pay for them twice, and the original person who they were ordered from is being a not very nice person and will not refund my money or send me my merchandise...but the person who stepped in to help me get them on time for the trip came through with flying colors!  If you EVER need to get some not hesitate with getting them any where else.  Go directly to Princess Heirlooms.  She will not disappoint you!  First quality, Fantastic Service and she is a good person too!  Can't beat that combination!

Now...let's see if I have a picture of the two girls in their pettis for you..

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Allergies are in Full Bloom!

Usually our Fall allergies are in October.  Can almost be guaranteed they are over completely by the day or so after Halloween.

This year was a bit strange.  At Halloween we were still having high 80's during the day and high 60's at night.  We have only had the cooler temps for the past few days.  I think our first light frost was just a day or so ago.  And it was REALLY light.

This morning Mr D got up with a very stuffy nose...and promptly started sneezing.  Miss B, Mr D and I all have Fall allergies.  Mr D usually starts first and within 2 weeks, I follow with Miss B a few days after me.  If this trend holds for this year as well...we will all be in full blown allergy attacks for Disney which is in just 14 days!  I have added allergy meds to my medicinal arsenal for the trip...Yuck!

Come on ...join the fun!


Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have a gazillion things to do to get ready for Disney.  I was going along so smoothly this morning.  I was on the home stretch for the 4th shirt.  Only a few more bits and pieces and the shirt would be finished and I could not only 'tick' off another full day of outfits finished, but I could reward myself with starting to cut out the last dresses.

Miss B said something to me and I looked up for a half second. machine got angry because I didn't feed it breakfast and took a hunk out of the shirt the size of Vermont!  Tried unsuccessfully to fix it, but there is no repair for  this type of missing chunk.

I decided it was probably best if I left the machine and all thoughts of sewing alone for a while and come back up stairs... so after Therapy appointments today, we get to go purchase a new t shirt.   GROWL!

Anyway, I am now under 30 shirts and still have 16 days left....this looks like I might be finished after all!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I hate the news media!

There, I've said it and now maybe I can get on with my life!

You always see them hounding the family of victims after a car crash.  Or the victims of a violent crime.  Or the family of someone who was murdered.  They ask stupid questions, like "How do you feel about what has happened?"  I mean seriously, how do you THINK they feel?  How is invading their privacy, during one of the most trying times they will ever face, NEWS?

Why do they think I want to know such intimate details about their suffering.  Why do I need to see the pictures that are on their Facebook page?  To the new media, everyone is fair game.  Victims, their families, the accused and their families.  Even the friends of the victims and accused are at the mercy of the public's "Right to Know".

Can we for one minute remember that the accused also has innocent family members.  Can we remember that after the media no longer think it is newsworth, the victims still have to go about their daily life.

I do not want my privacy invaded.  I do not want my family and friends privacy invaded.  If I am ever the victim or the accused, who will stand for my rights?

....and don't even get me started with them not checking the facts.....


Monday, November 8, 2010

Did someone say Disney?

Eighteen days and seven hours!  The countdown is on!  Only eight more days until I get to do the online check in!

Now, the big question...will I get everything finished in time?  Well, I managed to get 3 shirts finished tonight, and as long as I keep up with 3 a day I should be fine!

I have a nice, well thought out list that will help keep me on track with everything else, so I guess I can say, so far ... so good!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

My own special fireplace!

My family likes to tease me whenever they get a chance.  I usually manage to make that happen quite a lot!

Our gas fireplace has not worked since the builder pulled out of the subdivision shortly after we bought the house seven years ago.  It is undersized and doesn't fit right, so until I get the money and inclination to have it replaced, we really only have a mantle with a bit of fake wood in it!

Occasionally I like to put candles inside to pretend we have a fireplace.  Yesterday I took the Princess home.  My son was sitting in his recliner enjoying a rolling fire in his fireplace.  It had been spotting some small snow flakes through out the day, and was very chilly.

I came home and decided to light some candles and put a tiny, tiny one in the fireplace.  (not much bigger than a votive actually!)  I sat down in my recliner with a nice warm blanket and did not give it another thought...then hubby came home from work.  See, the recliner is the only chair in the house that can't see the tv.

He saw that I was sitting front of the 'fire' and told me I would probably freeze to death waiting for it to get warm!

Maybe, but it sure was pretty!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Three More Weeks!

So much to do and so little time!  Three weeks from now, we will be loading up the cars for our trip to Disney.Will I get it all done?   Stay Tuned!


Thursday, November 4, 2010


Some family you are born with, and some family you choose.  But, they are both family.  One set isn’t more family just because you weren’t born to them; and the other set isn’t more compatible just because you didn’t get to choose them.
When one member of your family rejoices, you rejoice.  When one member of your family is in pain, you are in pain.
When something good happens to a member of your family, you think how lucky your family is. (and by extension how lucky you are).  When something bad happens to a member of your family, you hurt as much as if it had happened to you.
As I write this, I am rejoicing beyond belief that my youngest daughter has decided to put our Lord on in baptism and start her new life as a “baby Christian” (as her younger brother called it).  The highest high a mom can feel.
I am also saddened beyond belief by the news that another member of my family, a wife, a woman more courageous and classy than I could ever hope to become, is having to deal with the great sadness and betrayal that no wife should ever have to face.
It is unbelievable that you can feel such extreme highs and lows in one short 3 hour period.

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Music...from the 70's

For my birthday my son and daughter in law gave me an Amazon gift certificate.  I'm using it to load up my Ipod for the trip (what else!).  I discovered you can buy the music from Amazon a lot cheaper than I Tunes.

I had a large collection of 33s and 45s from my 'childhood', but they didn't survive my children's 'childhood' quite so well!  (Once, while we were in Germany, I found them playing...they were basically skiing...using my vinyls as skis on the tile floor!)  I actually still have them in a box...somewhere.

So, my goal was to find as many of the albums and singles as I can afford and put them on my Ipod.  So far I have some old Chicago, Moody Blues, Raiders, and some Phil Collins.  In my research I neglected to find out how the music is different...when technology is involved.  I saw the songs, listened to that brief snipet  of music and got all excited!

When I listened to the music, it wasn't quite 'right'.  See, I've listened to it so many times, I have memorized the subtle changes in tone and tune...some of these songs were just a bit 'off, while some didn't even sound like the same people singing.

So, the next time I download oldies, I will pay more attention to the words, re mastered, re mixed, and re recorded!  They are NOT all good!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm convinced...

... Kids can learn ANYTHING if you put it to music!

Think back to how you learned your ABC's.  I am willing to say there is probably not a single reader who did NOT learn them through that cute little song to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

My youngest two learned the books of the Bible through a couple of cute songs.  My learning disabled son has learned the lyrics of complete songs after hearing them only once.  My oldest daughter learned the 50 states through a song in , I believe, the 3rd grade.  My Grand daughter (age 3) can sing almost the complete song "Stuck Like Glue"

When my youngest two were little, and we used to spend hours in the car each weekend together,I used to look everywhere for kids CDs that would teach a foreign language.  Never found any, but heard lots of people say it was a good idea.

Kids LOVE music!  Look at all the games they love to play...Ring Around the Rosy...(who cares that it is talking about the Plague!).  The best way to get a short person to clean up their mess is to sing the "Clean up Song".  They learn the importance of continuous love with "Jesus Loves Me".  The Little Einsteins company discovered that as babies children can be exposed to classical music...and they LOVE it!

If I knew how to write music, I would make that my life's mission...unfortunately, I can barely read music...
and see if I can make this a reality!


Friday, October 22, 2010

35 days and 15 hours

Just a quick note about the darling Cinderella Coaches for the Pick A Pearl in Epcot.  They came in and are perfect!  I really wish I had gotten one for me as well!

I probably won't get any sewing done this weekend, cause I'm having too much fun playing grandma!  I forgotten how much fun it can be to have a little princess running around all day.

She has been her normal self...wanting me to take her to the mall...She is getting a biot sneaky though.  I told her I wasn't supposed to drive so we would have to wait a few weeks before we can go to the mall...and she told me we could go ahead and go...she wouldn't tell anyone!

I think we have most of the planning etc under control...but I still keep thinking I am forgetting something.....


Thursday, October 21, 2010

36 days and 19 hours!

Yes, I know you are tired of the constant Disney talk!  (but it is better than my constant surgery talk!)

There is so much on the agenda for today.  I don't want to do any of it!  ZI am about to go down and work on another t shirt...My plan to have them all completed by this weekend is not going EXACTLY as planned, but pretty close.  I'm guessing as long as I have them finished by the first of November I will still have time to get all of the remaining family's stuff done in time to enjoy those last few minutes of the countdown!

I had all the luggage out, and ready to start packing, but hubby has made me move them from he dining room.  We are refinancing our house and the lawyer is coming over tonight to sign the paper work.  So...they have to leave the dining room table!  They will be back tomorrow morning for the packing to begin!

I am working on a list of last minute purchases, and so far it is still manageable.  My only concern is how the kids have managed to need all new jeans...since the beginning of the school year.  NOT fun!

Now I just need to finalize some plans and make a final list of things to get done before we go.  I love this time of the trip planning! Almost time to go and the final preparations make it seem so REAL!   I truly am ready to leave TODAY!  I think hubby is getting tired of me saying."..If we leave now, we could be at Disney by...."  LOL  (I even half way have him convinced t leave a day early...just don't know how to make that part swing financially!)

So final countdown is ON...and those shirts are going to finish I better get started!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Great Progress today....

Wow, the kids are spending their last day of Fall break goofing off...just like kids should!

I managed to make old fashioned Oatmeal...the kind you have to cook forever (5 minutes), and comes plain.  I managed to make Macaroni and cheese for lunch and managed to get three t shirts finished...and promptly took a 2 hour nap!

So, not so much progress you say...well, I actually moved the walker out of the living room!  Woo Hoo!  Ok, in truth I haven't used it in a long while (I've actually been using it to hang some Disney clothes on ) but I guess it has been like a security blanket.  If I need it is there.  Otherwise I ignore it.

I very much want to get the shirts finished.  I have other stuff I want to get finished, but I will not start until I get the shirts finished.  They have been on my list since the very beginning.  How dare I bypass them for something cool I just discovered!  Seriously, they are coming along nicely.  I managed 3 in the amount of time it normally takes me to do 2.  Having a little helper to iron the fabrics and fetch stuff for me really did help. to find a way to bribe her to do it all the time.....


Sunday, October 17, 2010

40 Days and 20 hours....

Yup...that is how long before Disney!  I am going to try and get a good count for what is missing in the clothes department and get them FINISHED!!!!

Yesterday, I bought the little white gold plated Cinderella Coaches to hold the Pearl from Japan's Pick a Pearl at EPCOT.  Now, I kinda wish I had bought one for myself!

With just a little over 40 days until we go, I'm really starting to feel like it is real.  We have grabbed all the luggage from downstairs and it is now sitting in the dining room.  After my daughter gets back from her weekend trip to Savannah, I will commandeer the piece that she took with her and then I will get started packing.  (well, actually I will start getting rid of the musty smell in them.) I usually put them away with a fabric softener sheet tucked inside.  That way they smell so nice when you pull them out.  Unfortunately, someone else put them away after our last trip and forgot that step.

And in case anyone is worried that I am posting exactly when I am leaving my house unprotected.  I have 2 ferocious dogs and one 6 foot 7 inch guy staying at my house while I am gone. (plus all the deputies in a three county area will be keeping an eye on our house...)

Now, for a few words about my grand daughter.  I found out last week that I 'might' be getting her back during the day.  It is not definite yet, but a high possibility.  It was enough to keep me on cloud nine for the entire weekend!  I could not imagine how much I have missed her!  Having her around during the days will be such a good thing.  I miss my Princess!

We took a short trip to the north Ga Mountains yesterday.  We were hoping to see a bit of fall color, but I am thinking we are about a week too early.We took one of Miss B's friends with us.  It was really cute watching the two of them together.  They were trying so hard not to be 'babies' and yet kept finding things that made them more of a child than they wanted to be!

One of the cutest things we saw was a relatively new shop.  It is called "Goats on the Roof"!  It is hilarious!  Last time we were there it was a quilt shop.  I knew they were going out of business, but I really didn't expect it to be this!!!

They literally had goats on the roof of the buildings!  There was a series of ladders, bridges, and slides for the goats to go from one building to the other and an on the ground fenced in area for them to play.  You could get goat feed for a quarter and put it in a conveyor belt type contraption to feed those goats that were on one of the roofs.  When the feed dropped to them it rang a little bell and the goats came running!  It was hilarious!

The inside was a cut,e normal, run of the mill souvenir shop, while the other building was a snack shop.  They had chairs sitting around a fire pit for relaxing and lots of porch swings.

If you are ever in the Helen, GA area...look them up!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Customer Service

I guess I have worked all my life in customer service.  I've worked in Food Service Industry, various office staffs, greeter at the USO, and lastly in the insurance industry.

It has always been drilled into my head, that if there is a problem, go to the customer before they have a chance to even know there might be a problem.

In getting ready for Disney, we needed some pettiskirts.  Now, I know we could have made them, but it is such a pain, that we decided to purchase them instead.  That meant research, research, research.  I checked so many different sellers I started to get dizzy.  Some had good prices, but bad quality, some had good quality but bad prices.

There was one site over and over that kept coming up on top.  But she was one of the most expensive providers.

We decided to go with one of the less expensive sellers.  She had been in business for quite a while and had noting but positive, glowing reviews.  She said there would be no problem getting them exactly like we wanted.  So, I sent her the money via PAYPAL.  See, whenever I purchase something online, I like to go through PAYPAL, because they have such a good return policy.  If you don't get your merchandise, you get your money hassle, no problems...

About 2 weeks after I ordered, I started noticing something different about her site.  There were more and more negative reviews and complaints.  More and more people complaining that their merchandise wasn't arriving as promised.  Yet, I wasn't too worried.  I mean you have to expect some delays when ordering something...she told me going in it would be 3 to 6 weeks.

As time went on, I started getting more and more scared.  Nothing in the form of shipping info and nothing but negative complaints on her site about not getting their merchandise.

But, she kept assuring me it would be there soon, and that all was well.  In fact, just before my surgery, I sent her a message and her response was very re-assuring, and calming.  They would be shipped immediately.

Three weeks go by and no pettiskirts.

I start researching (it had now been 59 days and I thought the cut off for filing a claim through PAYPAL was 60 days...) She was still reassuring...

Then the horror...I discovered you only have 45 days to file a claim...not 60.  So I sent her a message...letting her know my great displeasure in her lack of customer service.   I mean if there was a problem, how hard would it be to send me a note to let me know?  If I am expecting merchandise and weeks go by with no information, I get worried.  However, if I am expecting merchandise and I hear from the vendor that there is a problem with the supplier, I feel like they are looking out for my interests and relax.

Well, I do get a response.  She tells me that she shipped it as she told me she had...(well THAT was the FIRST time she indicated that it had been shipped) and she didn't know why I hadn't gotten it!  She promised to look into it and get back to me the next day....well that was a week ago and still no word from her! Imagine that!

Today I ordered the pettiskirts from someone that I should have ordered from right away!  It cost quite a bit more...since I had to have them RUSHED!!!

I am not going to name the offending seller...I don't want this to be vindictive.  I want this to be about Customer Service.

So, to all my customers...I promise that if you order from me and I have a problem getting your order to you in a timely manner, I promise to:
-keep in touch with you as to when to expect your merchandise
-if there is a problem with one of my suppliers, I will let you know and give you the option of cancelling the order
-once the package is mailed (or shipped) I will email you the shipping confirmation
-after a reasonable time, I will follow up with you to 1)make sure you got it and 2)that you are satisfied with it.
-always be quick to give you the bad well as the good news

Customer Service is all about keeping your customers happy.  Sometimes that means your pocket book might not be as happy in the short term, but the long term is always better!


Monday, October 11, 2010

I want to drive!

Or maybe...I want to Rest!!!  or how about...I want to do...ANYTHING!!!

This past week I found I was taking my 'discomfort' pills more than I wanted to, so I decided today to not take any.  I discovered, that after an hour of sewing, I still was exhausted, the difference was, I could not rest.  I could not find a single position that was comfortable.  I suppose I could have gone to bed, but I really, really didn't want to do that!

I'm not in real pain, just very very tired.  And, the more tired I get, the more difficult it is to hold my head up and the more discomfort I feel.

This afternoon I decided to take a couple of steps towards closing the pool.  I gathered up all the pool toys and brought them inside.  That's it...nothing strenuous.  Took all of 15 minutes.  (three trips to the garage)  I am so tired, I could go to bed and sleep through the night!  This is ridiculous!

How in the world am I going to be able to walk around Disney all day?


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Seven Weeks...49 Days!!!

Yup!  Only 49 more days until I will be in Disney.  Actually at this precise moment, I will be finishing up breakfast and getting ready for the last hour and a half drive to Walt Disney World!

I still have so much to do to be ready, but a full knowledge that it will get done!  I am feeling better than I expected to feel 3 weeks after surgery, and have manged  to get 5 T shirts done this past week.  Right on schedule.

Since 99% of the planning is done, I have been working on our next vacation.  By popular demand it has been going somewhere this summer after school.  Since the school system will not be putting out the schedule for the next school year until APRIL!!! I can't actually plan anything for during the year.  Right now I have ideas for going back to Disney for a short jaunt, followed by a beach trip on the way home; a trip to Washington DC (trying to include a short beach trip in with that); a cruise (Disney of course); a trip to Missouri to visit family; and a vacation that really doesn't suit my planning style...but here goes...NO PLAN!

I am ready to throw the last one out...but there are some people (short ones) that think this might be a good idea.  The whole "be a gypsy" type plan is not in my comfort zone...and I'm not so sure hubby is ready for something like that either!

I have set a budget of $2000 for the trip, and so far I am finding some really good deals.   Of course, this will only work if I plan enough for food!  Hubby will NOT skimp on food on a vacation!  (I guess that is why he loves the Disney Dining Plan so much...plenty of food!)

(I guess now you see why I haven't posted so much lately...not that much to talk about!)

well, I need to go get started on my 49th day activities...translation...sewing!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Really? Tide? Clean up your act!

This has been bothering me for some time.  There are two current commercials out for Laundry detergents that have me scratching my head.

In one, a teenager is aking her mom where her favorite green shirt replies that it is not 'her' style, while scenes show Mom clearly wearing the shirt, getting a stain on it.  Mom runs up to the laundry basket, pulls out the green shirt and washes it with their detergent.  Next scene shows daughter wearing the shirt with Mom making a comment about finding which daughter replies, it must have been hiding in her closet somewhere.

In the second, Dad and two sons are about to eat something they know they shouldn't eat.  The boys make a comment that Mom is gonna 'kill him'.  Dad promptly drops something on her table cloth, and quickly runs to the laundry room, with the boys yelling "busted".  Flash forward to everyone standing around a nice freshly laundered table cloth and mom asking whats going on.  To which the dad gives the boys a sign to be quiet!

What are these two commercials teaching us and our kids?  that we should LIE??? Come on now.  How can they expect us to equate cleaning with their product to the dirty habit of lieing?

I try to teach my kids to tell the truth.  We all know that the truth always comes out...isn't it better for it to come from us and not someone else? we really need Tide telling us it is ok to lie to our families?  Even encouraging it?  Come on now...time to clean up your act Tide!


Sunday, October 3, 2010


Here it is October!

As most of you know, we have a pool.  In order to level out the back yard, we had to have some grading done in the back yard.  Besides my much talked about mud pit...we also have a LARGE pile of dirt.  This pile of dirt is at least as tall as I am.  and almost as big around as the pool!

Shortly after the pile appeared, we discovered a volunteer watermelon plant.  The kids like to say it was from when we ate watermelons in the back yard, but truthfully, it was already growing when we had watermelon our one and only time in the back yard!

This vine has completely taken over the pile of dirt.  About a month ago, hubby noticed there was actually a small watermelon growing.  We have been wondering if it would ever last long enough to get ripe.  So, we did what every responsible parent would do.  We didn't tell the kids about it.

It has steadily kept growing.  We checked on it about once a week.  Hubby did everything he could do to hide it from the kids. (including discouraging them from playing in the back yard by not cutting the grass!) It was getting lots and lots of sun and growing like crazy!

A few days ago, we had decided that if we didn't get a cold spell it might actually ripen!

Today...Miss B decided to go into the back yard...with in 2 minutes she was bringing in this gigantic watermelon...unfortunately it is not ripe yet.

Now I guess we have to cut the grass in theback yard!  LOL!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Well, it is official.  I had the surgery and I am feeling so much better that I can't believe it has barely been a week.  I'm thinking I will get down to the studio tomorrow to start back to sewing.

I am now wishing I hadn't postponed the IEP meeting for Mr D.  Of course, the school did not have my copies of his records until this morning, so I wouldn't have had any time to work on this.  And while I am on the subject of Mr D's permanent records... it came to 232 pages.  Over 90% of that was copies of things I had given why did they charge me $58.00 to make the copies!!!!

So, now I'm back into full force working on getting his IEP stuff ready.  Our meeting is in October (I believe it is the 26...) work on ways to tackle this boredom thing!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall? Fall? Not yet!

Wednesday is the first day of fall.  We are expecting temps in the 90's.

Now, I for one have to say I don't mind one little bit!  I have an air conditioner that works fine, have one in my car too, and....I have a pool.  I was really afraid we weren't going to get a lot of use out of it since it was put up so late.  But, since school has started, we have managed to get one or two days a week in it.  We could have gotten more, but Mom is having a few issues that make planning a little difficult (!)  even though I know that the only time I don't hurt is when I am in the pool.

However, after Monday I really won't care!  Well, maybe I will.  As soon as the cooler weather comes, I'll be able to wear my beautiful collar without much discomfort.....

So, Summer, I will give you one more week.  Then it is time to take your toys and go home.  We really enjoyed your visit, but it is time to go.  I look forward to your (early) visit next year.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

So, since I said I wasn't going to talk about the surgery on here...I'm trying to think of what I CAN talk about!

OK...I have almost all of my t shirts finished for Disney!  At least of the shirts that I have already bought.  I managed to get 3 more finished up today.  So it looks like I will get at least one of my goals done before I take a trip to the expensive "hotel" on Monday!  (see, I didn't mention that "S" word!)

Although, it seems that every time I talk about having to stay at least one night there...I keep calling it a hotel!  Maybe sub consciously I am thinking this is going to be easy.Or maybe I am telling myself I need a vacation.  Not really sure, but I do find it both eerie and funny!

Today, Mr D played with his football before catching the school bus.  It was really finny.  He is doing much better on throwing than I thought he would.  Of course, he thought the way the game works is he throws the ball and Cissy goes to get it! She wasn't too happy with that game after a few he declared that he won, because she quit!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I have a new blog!

Since I know most of you don't want to have the details of my surgery, I will now be using my new blog to document all the craziness that we go through for the neck fusion.  It is called...ACDF along with Nini.  I know, not a very catchy title, but I figured it said what it needed to!

See, when I was doing my own research I could only find negative stuff about the surgery and recovery time.  But, the statistics show that it is successful in over 97% of the time.  Evidently it is only let people know if you get bad customer service and not good!

So...if you want to follow along with my wonderful and amazing journey into neck surgery...follow   If not...stay here and I will promise to leave out any major details of the surgery and recovery.

Of course, I may not be updating this one as frequently as I had been you all get a rest!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More research...

So, I have a time for the surgery next week.  Eleven am!  Seriously?  Seriously!  Um, do they realize I can't have coffee that morning? Um, will someone please be on the lookout for my husband?  I'm pretty sure he is going to find a way to disappear for a while...and will come back with coffee breath!!!

Yeah, I know.  It is the only time he ever cheats on me... Every time I have surgery or something that means I can't have anything to eat or drink in the am, he picks that morning to be super hungry!  He usually waits until I go in before he goes to get a BIG breakfast and several cups of coffee...but with it not being until 11:00, he may just disappear for a while!

I have actually been feeling pretty good these past couple of days.  I managed to get 2 more t shirts finished yesterday.  Still have a gazillion more to go, but I think I have it figured out how to get them all finished before it is time to go.  If I can average one a day, I will have plenty of time!  So, I just need to double up on a couple of days (like 14 or so) and I should be able to make up for the 2 weeks I won't be able to get anything done.

Yes, I said 2 weeks.  I think I should be able to get back to sewing after a couple of weeks.  Not for long periods of time, but at least long enough to get a shirt done a day.  I know it will help me stay sane (ish). The only concern I have is the stairs.  Once I master that, there will be no stopping me.

Ok, now to the title of my post.  Research.  I have done so much research on the upcoming surgery my head is spinning.  I found a website that lets you post your thoughts, concerns, questions, etc about your experience with this type of surgery.  It was very SCARY!!!!  If it could go wrong, these people have had it happen to them.  They are very bitter.  Very Bittier!  They cannot imagine anyone coming out of the surgery fine. So much so, that when someone posts about a successful surgery, some accuse them of lieing!

Now, I know that the odds are that this type of surgery is 97% effective on my type of problem.  I know that there is a chance that all the problems (pain and numbness) may not go away because the current nerve damage may be too bad and permanent.  I know that this surgery is designed to prevent future damage and problems, and that it could actually make the problems worse.  (of course that is a very very small chance.) I'm not going in expecting a miracle, but I am hoping for the best possible outcome.

I personally think 97% is pretty good odds.  There are millions of these types of surgeries done all the time.  My surgeon has done hundreds of thousands over the years.  But if you go by the percentage of people that actually post, it is more like a success rate of less than one percent!  I realize that when people have a good outcome they are less than likely to go to a site to post that.  Most people use this type of site as a place to ask questions, and to complain (look for sympathy) when things go wrong.  However, before this site became THAT type of place, it was full of useful information.

So, I am thinking of posting my daily thoughts after the surgery here.  I would love to be able to come back later and see what type of feeling I was having then...and to see what my perception of recovery was at the time it was happening.  So, for those who are not interested in that information, sorry.  I might decide to put all these posts in a different blog.  Guess I'll have to wait and see how I feel about things next week!

I have my pre-op hospital info round to go today.  Last time I had one of these, it lasted about 30 minutes...they are telling me to expect a minimum of THREE hours for this one.should be interesting!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

This time next week...

...I will be freaking out!

There, I admitted it!  I will be freaking out this time next week.  Probably not for the reasons most people freak out before surgery though.  I will have to admit that not everything I want to get done will be done, and that no matter how hard I try to 'will' it to be the way I is not gonna happen!

So, I guess I also have to admit I am somewhat of a control freak.  I will be giving complete control to someone I have only met once (even though he is highly qualified and came highly recommended.)  I have to promise to do what he says...even though it is very contrary to what I want to have happen.

I guess I will just have to keep telling myself that it is all for a good reason...being pain free at DISNEY!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Day Two of Flare Up

Wonderful Start to the day!

Miss B had her Student of the Month award ceremony.  She seemed completely bored with the whole situation...but then again that is the way she is.

I managed to have a nice conversation with Mr D's teacher, she let me know that they will be using the HWT method soon for his full time writing instruction.  She will not be able to reschedule the IEP meeting with so little warning, so we will do an amendment for 30 days and then have another meeting.  Not the best solution, but it is really the best we can do at this late date.

My arthritis is really flaring up today.  I usually just double up on a couple of the meds to get through the day when it is bad, but since I am supposed to be avoiding all before the surgery...I am trying oh so hard to be a good girl!

Since the flare is primarily in my hip and lower back, I cannot seem to get comfortable anywhere I sit.  Standing is out, laying down isn't much better.  I think the Princess and I will just chill out and watch Disney Channel today.  She won't mind me getting up and moving every few minutes.

I've heard that this is a problem I will be experiencing for a few days after surgery.  Except it will be my neck bothering me and not my back.  So I guess I am just getting a jump on the fun!

I guess I just need to conserve my spoons a bit today.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Good news/Bad News

Good News...My surgery is tentatively scheduled for Sept 20.  Disney is still on, although I may not be able to ride all the rides I want to, I still plan on having a ton of fun!

Bad News...I can't take most of my arthritis medicine between now and the surgery date...and for 3 months AFTER!

I am already feeling the no meds part, after only one day.  Of course, I also discovered that most of what I won't be able to do for a while after surgery...I can't really do now!

Sweeping is out.  Moving furniture is out. Reaching over my head is out.  Bending is out. Sitting for very long is out. Getting comfortable in any position is out.

Of course there will be a few more things I can add to that list after surgery, but I think I am getting an early dose of what to expect...LOL!

Seriously, my type of arthritis has good days, bad days and some great days thrown into the mix.  I think it is a coincidence that I am having a bad day the first day after stopping some of the meds. I have gone a few days without meds before with no real adverse effects (like when I can't seem to remember to pick up my meds at the pharmacy!)

I guess I don't really need to get all the stuff on my list done today...right?


Monday, September 6, 2010

Is summer really almost over?

Today, the kids and I played in the pool for several hours.  Yes, I am sunburned, but I still had a blast!  By next year we should have a deck around it and some landscaping done.  I know I will be happy to have a great view OF the pool and not only FROM the pool!

It was really cute watching the kids learn to hold their breath under water...without drinking all the pool each time!  I think if the pool had been up longer this summer they would have both learned to swim.

I did manage to take advantage of the great end of summer sales and get the kids a few pool toys.  I already have a list of requests for next year.

I'm guessing we will still be able to use the pool for a few more weeks.  The water has cooled down quite a bit and feels downright icy when you first get in, but the air temperature is still in the upper 80's, so as long as the night time stays above 60 we should be able to get in it.

Of course, we are only 12 weeks away from Disney.  Only about 7 weeks before Halloween.  It is always freezing for Halloween, but generally warms back up for Thanksgiving.

I am really looking forward to the cooler weather, if only because it means Disney is getting closer.  But, also, the thought of wearing a neck brace in the sweltering summer heat is not something I want to entertain!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

I have the sweetest husband in the world!

That's right....the sweetest husband in the world!

He knows how important making all the outfits is for me on this Disney trip.  He went with me today to buy some more T shirts, and after getting back, had the kids play outside while I got some sewing time in.

Now, don't you agree...isn't he the sweetest!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

OK...I admit I am weired!  When something is wrong with me I do a ton...I mean a TON of research...and usually it makes me feel better.  The fear of the unknown is so much worse that knowing what is actually wrong.

Let's take my migraines for instance.  They scared the bejeebers out of me.  During my 2nd pregnancy they were so bad I would have TIAs.  Basically mini strokes.  The right side of my body would go completely numb...and I could no longer feel the baby move.  Very scary stuff.  Once it was explained exactly what was going on, I knew everything was ok, and it stopped bothering me so badly.

Now, they barely even stop me.  The pain isn't any less, I just know that it will pass soon and try by best to pretend nothing is wrong. Rarely do I have to stop what I am doing when a migraine strikes, even though I still have them almost daily.(except for reading...I still can't 'will' myself to be able to read when I can't really see...LOL)

When the doctors say surgery, I do as much research as I possibly can.  I go into the first meeting with the surgeon being able to almost know everything they are going to say.  I know the terminology, I am prepared.

For example, my rotator cuff surgery.  I did so much research that I even knew the percentage of women my age having the surgery and their expected outcomes.  I knew how much pain to expect and how long of a recovery time I would experience.  Knowing this made the recovery time less painful than I believe it would have been and much shorter.  I was able to stop pain meds after the first week.  Doc had wanted me to stay on them for at least a month.  The only real problems I experienced was the physical torture...sorry I mean physical therapy that I had to go through for 8 weeks!

Same for my wrist and lumpectomy.  Being prepared makes it less scary.

So, how come this neck surgery thing is scaring me more than reassuring me?  I have a copy of both MRIs (lumbar - which we are doing nothing about; and cervical).  I have the report from both.  I have researched each and every term that is used in the report and know pretty much what it is saying.  I can look at the scans and see 90% of what the report is saying.  ( it is funny, knowing what you are SUPPOSED to be seeing makes it oh so easy to actually see it!)

I guess my problem is that there is no 'title' to what is wrong, making it harder to know what they will be doing to fix it.  The report actually gives 4 different names to what my current condition is.  Although they are similar, and are treated in a similar fashion, there is enough of a difference to make a large cone of uncertainty.

The surgery can range from minimally invasive, removing the offending bone spurs; to removing the actual vertebrae and replacing with bone grafts and metal plates.  Hospital stays range from out patient to a hospital stay of 48 hours ...or more.  Recovery time is from 2 weeks to 6 months!

Now, how am I supposed to prepare for that much of a difference??!!

I don't like surprises.  I want to know going in if I should be fearful or relaxed.

Then, there is the stuff that the first doctor DIDN'T tell me about.  Like the evidence of "an arachnoid cyst in the supracerebellar cistern" me, you don't want to know what this is!  LOL

So, on Tuesday, I will either be comfortably prepared or horrendously scared.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Note from Mr D's teacher today:

"He worked hard when he arrived.  I'm really concerned with his grade level performance and him needing to rest frequently.  I'm sending a packet for tomorrow.  Just send back when completed."

Now, in order for you to understand my complete and utter 'displeasure' with the above statement, you have to know that I spent 3 hours before I registered him and 4 hours in an IEP meeting discussing 3 points.  One - that he is NOT on a 2nd or 3rd grade level in his work, but is on a K or 1st grade level on reading!  They insisted in placing him in a 3rd grade level special ed class! Two - that the meds he is on make him sleepy and he frequently needs to rest or take a nap.  We even discussed the possibility of me sending in a favorite blankie because he is a blankie baby and likes to have his head covered when resting.

The other point was his frequent doctor and therapy appointments and his need to miss a lot of school due to this!

I have to say that I am positive that no one listened to anything I had to say!  Sheeeesh!


A New Month!!!


What will it bring?

New problems, or new solutions masquerading as problems.?

The results of my MRI are in.  At first I was really, really freaked out about them.  I mean, I had been researching the worst outcome so I could be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. I had even put the words..."having surgery" into actual speaking...just to see how they sounded out loud.

I even joked that it would have to wait until after the first of the year...couldn't let it mess with Disney!

But when the doctor called...I was not prepared for what he would say.  He really didn't give me an option.  He said surgery.

I knew I had two ruptured disks in my lumbar (lower back) spine, and bone spurs growing on three disks.  I knew they suspected the same results in my neck.  I was hoping for shots directly in the disks to relieve the pain.  The doctor was confident that would be all that was needed.  He wanted an MRI to rule out other problems and to accurately pinpoint the area that would work best for the injections.

Basically, what they found was a lot worse than what was expected.  The arthritis in my neck had attacked the bone so badly that it had moved my disk to a point where it is cutting into my spinal cord.  He said there was evidence of nerve damage...but the thing that got me was his statement, that some of the doctors that saw my scans could not believe that I was able to walk.  He said the neck is so unstable, that it could cut the cord completely with just a little a fall...  Very Scary!

So, he gave me three doctors...I researched and liked his first suggestion.  I'm waiting to hear from his office.  Since there are a variety of different surgeries that can 'fix' what ails me...I'm not 100% sure which one they will do.  They are all pretty much the same surgery, just different methods of removing the offending portion.  I may or may not require a bone graft...the good news is, I should have only a minimal recovery time (2 to 3 weeks) and be able to still go to Disney...just have to be a bit careful as to what rides I go on, since if there is a bone graft it takes about 6 months to fully graft....

So, if the doctor that ordered the MRI has his way about it, I should have my surgery before the end of this month and be on my way to recovery...and Disney!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Desperately seeking weight loss ideas

First a bit of back story.

Growing up I was always skinny!  Very SKINNY!!  If anorexia had been around then in the minds of people other than doctors, everyone would have thought I was.  I had a very healthy appetite, just great metabolism and never gained an ounce. I wore a size 4 (back then it was really really hard to find any size smaller than that) but since I was 5' 10'' I had to wear a size 8 because that was the smallest size a tall came in then.  I always looked like I was wearing clothes that were a million sizes too big (which I was) and that made me look even skinnier!  Soaking wet I MIGHT weigh 80 or 85 pounds!

First baby took care of that!  I gained 100 pounds with him.  The doctor was worried I was underweight and told me not to worry about loosing the metabolism would take care of the extra!  Famous last words!

Said baby is almost 33 now.

So, for the past 33 years I have been overweight.  But, truthfully I have never had trouble loosing the weight for special occasions.  Like, a few years ago, we had Weight Watchers at work.  There was a prize for the most problem.  I quickly lost 20 pounds during the 12 weeks without even trying hard.  Kept it off for almost a year, but then came back.

Last year for Disney I wanted to loose at least 30 pounds.  I started in February and lost 30 pounds relatively easy by our September trip to Disney.  Now it has all come back...along with about 20 extra.

This trip has been in the planning stages since January.  We leave in 89 days.  I have done the same things as in the past, but I have continued to gain.  I tried Alli...but I don't eat enough fat to make it work!  I mean I had to work hard at eating 15 grams of fat at each meal!

I try to eat relatively healthy...only one helping of whatever we eat, no snacking, and stay as active as I can with my arthritis.  I actually eat about half what I feed to either of the kids.

In the past, both Weight Watchers and South Beach have worked for me.Will power is never my problem...

Right now, I can eat two to three bites of food before I feel full. I am eating ...probably only one meal a day.  I just don't get hungry.  But still the weight keeps creeping up.  Since July 4th  (when I had that tummy thing where I lost 10 pounds that weekend) I have gained over 30 pounds...while DIETING!

I need to jumpstart this thing...but I really don't know how.  I've read and researched all the 'old wives tales' about eating more to trick your metabolism to loosing well as all the medical stuff about why not to do each of these things.

So, tell me... what are your weight loss trick .  I mean I really am tired of looking like I did when I was 8 and a half months pregnant with my first kid!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Two Weeks down....

Well, today marks two weeks of school completed...

So far I am less than thrilled, but Mr D is very happy!

One of the side effects of his meds is that he gets sleepy during the day.  Another one is that occasionally he can't sleep during the night.  Both were explained in DETAIL at our IEP meeting.  While it is not in writing (therefore it didn't happen evidently!) they promised to make allowances for his sleepyness at school.  We even talked about my bringing in a blanket for him to sleep.

Last night, between his meds and a storm, he woke up at 3 and did not (could not) go back to sleep.  I sent an email to his teacher ...just as an FYI.  She wrote me back saying...basically that was too bad.  His academics were more important than his rest and she would send a lot of work home with him over the weekend so he could 'catch up'!

If I remember correctly we are sending him to public school...I should not have to be teaching him at home as well!

I guess this is just something else I need to add to his new IEP in a few weeks..

Evidently, everyone at that school knows more than all the doctors he has been seeing for the past 5 years...and can make the decisions as to what he needs and what is best for him!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hubbies...can't live with them and can't live without them!

My hubby has this idea that since both kids are now in public school I have nothing what so ever to do all day with my he keeps volunteering me for things!

Like today...we have therapy on Wednesday mornings.  He volunteered me to watch my grand daughter early this morning...unfortunately, he FORGOT to tell me!  Luckily, he called me to find out where I was...I told him, since he did the volunteering, he could do the watching until I got home.  He said fine.  I come home to find out he is not here....but his phone is!

I get up EVERY morning at 6.  Including the weekends.  It is the only way I can stay on top of half the stuff that I need to get done.  There is so much falling through the cracks it is not funny!  My house hasn't been clean in who knows how long!  I have enough sewing scheduled to keep me busy for the next 5 months...but it all has to be done in 3 months!  I can't remember the last time I slept in.  Hubby doesn't believe in getting up before noon on the days he doesn't work...and has been off for the past 2 weeks! I feel better......


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Updates, Update, I have updates!

OK...first one is...last night we had our double digit party for Disney.  Only 99 days until we leave, so we took a trip to the 99 cent theater to see Toy Story 3.  Kids loved it, The Princess particularly loved the potty (I think we took 4 potty breaks!).

And afterward, we were treated to a fantastic light display courtesy of  Tropical depression number 5 (or at least the remnants of said tropical depression).  There was so much lightning that at times it was almost non stop!  There were some pretty close strikes as well.  We had to wait almost 30 minutes after the movie to be able to get to the car!  We got home to not a drop of rain!

So in that same vein, my second update is on my wonderful pool.  It is up and full, and so inviting...but we are having a torrential downpour!  It started around 2 am and has not let up at all.  Our weather advisory says heavy rains for the remainder of the day.  I have NEVER gotten a significant weather advisory about the AMOUNT of rain expected!  So, even though this pool isn't leaking, I STILL have a mud pit in my back yard!

Next update is on Mr D's school.  I have about 10 pages of notes so far to take with me to our next IEP meeting.  Plus I have written a 4 page narrative of Mr D's story.  It was suggested we include more info on Mr D into his permanent record.  Right now it only says there was a car accident.  Nothing about how bad it was.  As one of his therapists said, it read like it was just a fender bender!

And I will be ordering a book to help me..It is from Wrightslaw called From Emotion to Advocacy.  I will be using a gift card for Amazon that I earned from Swagbucks.....finally getting some use out of that!

The Princess is having a birthday party today to mark her three years of being The Princess!  Her actual birthday is on Wednesday, but this is going to so much better than waiting until then to have a party!  I have her birthday quilt almost finished.  I still need to make the label and the binding.  I don't think I will be getting it finished before the party, but hope to have it finished this weekend.  So, Memaw will be an Indian Giver today.  I'll give it to her and then take it back home to finish!

We have made it through the first week of school. Somehow.  I am trying my best to remain positive...but Mr D's teacher has decided to completely ignore everything that we talked about...however, she IS following the IEP...since it had absolutely NOTHING on it!  Another note on Monday....hopefully she will get tired o\f seeing the notes from me and either do the things we talked about and agreed to...or stop sending me home his work!  LOL

I finally have a date for my next MRI!  Next Tuesday.  Hopefully, once this gets done I can get some relief on my back.  I'm almost to the point of just deciding to go ahead with the surgery.  If nothing else it will put an end to the pain!  Of course, since we only have 14 weeks until we go to Disney, I doubt it can be done until we get back...which puts it in the holiday season which means it will have to wait until next year!  Sheesh...

So..the next update is my house is a mess.  Well, ok, that really isn't anything new, but I am going to try and get a little bit done today before we go to the party.


Friday, August 20, 2010

My, how time flies!

In looking through some stuff, trying to get everything gathered up for Mr D's IEP meeting next month...I found a catalog.  Not just any catalog.  One of the catalogs that Mr D appeared in.  The pictures were taken back in 2005.  Just a couple of months after the accident, while he was in therapy at Grayson.

He was such a BABY then!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Updates on Mr D

Another milestone today...Mr D rode the bus for the first time in his LIFE!!!

He was so excited, he woke up at 5:30!  He said he couldn't sleep all night, but he remembered the rule that he can't get out of his room until an adult wakes up.  So he closed his door and watched tv...very softly.

...and we have our next IEP meeting planned.

Yesterday, when I gave a copy of his IEP to his therapists, they were appalled!  Seems it indicated I had given permission to the school to bill medicaid for services...NOT!!! So, I had to draft a quick letter to make sure they understood that any such permission was inadvertent and definitely rescinded!

So, now I realize I haven't given the story of Figment.  So here goes.....

After the accident, Damien spoke primarily in monotones and one syllable words.  On our first trip back to Disney after the accident, he fell in love with the ride Journey into Imagination.  It had a main character...named Figment...that basically got into trouble and taught you about using your imagination.  He decided that Figment was a word that 'felt' good to say.

Harder words, like multi syllables, were something his speech therapist was working on without much success.

We stayed at Shades of Green on that trip and had a coupon for some free merchandise from the gift shop.  Mr D decided he wanted a puppy dog from their build a bear type machine.  He named it Figment.  Figment went every where with him.  He took it to Day care, to school, and to church.  He knew that Figment had to live in his back pack and could only come out at nap time.

Today, Figment has been repaired so many times he is a pathetic looking little scraggle of a dog.

So, when I asked him if he wanted me to make him a shirt for the first day of school, it was only fitting that his first choice be Figment!  Figment has been with him through a lot of his important steps in his recovery.  It only makes sense they should be together now.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday, when I picked up Mr D for his appt in Athens, his teacher wanted to speak with me...seems she is going on and on about how good he is doing, while at the same time his para-pro is telling me I need to let him write more...his writing is NOT on grade level....really?

His psychologist appt went about like I thought...she was mortified when I showed her his homework for the first day of school.  Her opinion was that school should not set him up for failure, but for success. There is no way on the planet that he can be expected to know those spelling words in a week...probably not in a year will he know them.  He is having trouble with reading blended sounds within words, no way will he understand when a silent e is needed and when it is not.

So, next month we are starting a new round of testing.  This should give the school the data they need to place him better.  We will see....


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Well, both Mr D and Mommy made it through the first day back at school.  Since there is no adaptive transportation ready for him yet, I had to go pick him up.  School gets out at 3:30, so I left the house at 2:30 (knowing there would be a crowd)It is about a 10 minute drive.  I was actually about the 10th car there, not too bad!

Five minutes later, I looked around and there were cars EVERY WHERE!!!  It was easily over 300 cars!  They were in the grass, all along the road, it was unbelievable!

So we are sitting there, waiting.  I decided to turn off the truck to conserve gas and enjoy the somewhat cooler temps...high 80's.  As soon as I turned off the motor and opened the windows I realized it was a mistake!  There was a giant truck (dualie 4 wheel drive type) in front of me with his motor running...and it was diesel!

Then it started to rain!

Then the fire alarm went off at school.

I was able to notice it took a full minute for the office staff to make it out of the building and stand in their designated spaces.  TEN minutes later, the kids started leaving the school to stand in their designated spaces in the back parking lot (for the buses).  FIFTEEN minutes LATER than that some kids were STILL coming out of the building!

I know, I is only the first day, and it takes a while for the new routines to settle in...but really, who thought it was a good idea to have a fire drill in the RAIN on the FIRST day of school???  With all the parents sitting in front wondering what is going on!

By read that right...FOUR o'clock! Mr D had finally gotten into the truck and we were on our way home.  Did you remember me saying that I was about the 10th car there...and how many there were BEHIND me? Yes...Miss B did not get home until Five o'clock...she rode the bus!

Anyway, back to the first day of school for Mt D.  He had a blast!  He loved it!  He loved the thought that he had HOMEWORK!!!

He had to read a story from page 14 to page 45 in his reading book, and study his spelling words...except he cannot read, and spelling is something we never did tackle!  I read the story to him and asked him the questions at the end of the story.  We ignored the spelling words!

I have a feeling it is going to be an interesting year!


Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of School observations

Yup.  We have officially had our first...

So, my first thought is why in the world are there so many 'buzzard-like' birds in the trees on our street?  Looks kinda like a scene from the old Hitchcock thriller "Birds"!!! On the way to school, I answered that question...there are three deer that did not make it to the other side of the road.

My next question is....How many negative interactions do you have to have with a person before you can truthfully say, "this will not be a positive relationship"?  I have had three interactions with the principal of my kids school.  Not a single one has been positive.
1- Where he informed me that since he has no direct knowledge of racial bullying in his school, he cannot believe it is happening.  Right...because we all know that bullies love to pick on other children in FRONT of the principal!
2- During an IEP meeting with me he explains that having Mr D miss a half day of school to attend what he considers to be a 'non medically necessary doctor's' appointment will hurt his school's bottom line.  (In his defense, the principal is a 'doctor'...just not a medical doctor and highly UN-qualified to determine what is medically necessary )
3- This morning, where he informed me I cannot park in the handicapped section to take my son into class.  Even though I have a handicapped placard in my vehicle.  Both my son and I each have one.  But they were evidently meant for other people and not for us!

I have a feeling this is going to be a L O N G school year!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Four Hours

Yup...that is how long I was at the school this afternoon in an IEP meeting for Mr D.  At this point I am so not wanting him to go to school!

I first spoke with them on Monday.   At that first meeting we discussed the adaptive transportation option.  Today they acted like it was news to them!  Even though they had already filled out the paper work to request it!  Now I am told it will take up to 3 weeks to get the transportation office to make arrangements for him, but they would try and expedite it, but it would still take at least 5 days.

Now I may not be a rocket scientist, but if they had started the paperwork on Monday...wouldn't that be the required 5 starts Monday.

I told them my main concern about his last time at public school was his spec ed teacher had a 'study buddy' that did all his work for him. So guess who his teacher is...that's right!  And her contribution to the whole evening was she thought Mr D would react positively to Peer Mentors...the proper word for 'study buddies'.

The one thing I sad that would be a deal breaker is the regularly scheduled therapies that he is currently in.  On Monday they said it was, not so much.  He will be counted as absent, so it will effect their bottom line.  Because it is not considered medically necessary...they offer the same 'type' of therapy at school.  Even though what they offer is designed to help him function in SCHOOL.  What he currently gets will help him function in LIFE!

We won't even talk about the whole Disney thing!

I have some serious praying to do this weekend!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

Well, it seems that I have been getting a lot of requests to make various t shirts.  I'm really trying hard to make the decision to make them.  I've already got enough designs to make 3 t shirts a day, and never exhaust my design supply, and all my favorite designers are still cranking out those fabulous designs.

I have discovered, I have gone from buying the designs I need for a specific project, to buying designs I liked.  I have so many designs I have never even tried to stitch out!  I started getting them with projects in mind...but either just never got to or changed my mind. If all I ever do is stitch out samples of what I have available...I'll stay busy forever!

So...if you are interested, you might want to keep an eye on my Etsy site...or maybe my Facebook page...there MAY be some new stuff showing up there soon!

Etsy ID: QuiltsbyNini
Facebook page: Quilts by Nini

(How is that for originality?  LOL)


Wednesday, August 11, 2010 we come, ready or not!

School starts here on Monday.  I'm not 100% sure how I feel about that.  Mr D has decided he wants to go to public school like 'normal' kids.  Since there is nothing 'normal' about him, let's just say I am a little more than apprehensive about how this is going to work.

I have met with someone at the school for about 3 hours on Monday, and spoke to someone for a half hour on the phone from the school board.  On Friday I have a meeting at school with the Special Ed director for the school board, the principal, the special ed teachers, and some other assorted people to discuss the particulars and logistics of the whole idea.

My emotions have gone from fear and dread, and are now bordering on excitement.  At some point, it has occurred to me that it will give me more time to sew!  Since the bus will be picking them both up around 7...and the Princess will not be arriving until around 2 (at least for the first couple of weeks) that will give me 5 hours of uninterrupted sewing time.  I am almost giddy at the thought!

Of course, none of the adults in this house really expect the whole public school thing to be a long term solution.  In fact, when I told hubby that I was giving it 2 months and then re-evaluate the whole situation...he laughed and said he did not expect it to last that long!

But in the meantime...I'm making some 'pie-in-the-sky' plans for how I am going to spend my 'free' time next week...we shall see...


Monday, August 9, 2010

In just 2 short weeks, we will be having a party to celebrate the fact that the castle will have a Princess that is three years old.

At that party I am presenting her Highness with a new quilt.  The fabric has been bought, the time is blocked out...but I have zero ideas!

Since I have less than 2 weeks to finish it, it has to be a simple design, but yet worthy of her Royal Majesty.  After I tend to the million and one things on my to do list for the day, I am going to spend a few hours locked in my dungeon pouring over quilt books to get an idea.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

A word or two about time management

In my previous life I was a Small Business Commercial Lines Insurance Underwriter.  I lived and died by my calendar.  I had to know what policies were coming up for renewal and when.  I had to order reports and inspections so I would be prepared for the renewals.  I had to let the agents know what my best price was  (and why) for those renewals, and I often spoke with the insureds to let them know what was going on with their renewals. The agents and insureds often contacted me with their claims (even though I was not in the claims department).  I had to schedule my appointments with clients and agents so as to not interfere with my load of work, and had to work on new business.

My calendar (ie: Franklin Planner) kept me sane and on top of my 'stuff'.

Now, I am trying to home school one special needs child, run a small (very small) business, be a full time child care provider for my adorable grand daughter, run a house, and I'm sure there is more, but it is not written down so I can't remember it! I now carry 4 different calendars.  One for doctor appointments, one for Disney related stuff, one for home school stuff, and one for sewing.  On top of that I have a calendar in my phone that has a brief description of what is going on in my life.

I live by deadlines.  If I do not give myself deadlines, I can't function.  I would just let things pile up and do them all the night before I needed them!  I can always find 'something else' to do if I do not have a deadline.

So, my Snow White Dress had a deadline of mail by today.  Because of that deadline, I made changes to my original design to fit the time constraints.  My construction methods were rushed and hurried.  When something didn't work exactly as planned, I was stressed that I had to not only seam rip, but come up with an alternative.  When I discovered I left off the 'tie' to hold up the overskirt, I didn't have the time to take the skirt completely off, so I had to improvise a method to hold up the skirt.

Now, to the final finished product.

Is it cute? Yes.  Will she like it?  Yes.  Is it recognizable as Snow White? Yes.  Is it perfect? No. Am I proud of it? No.  Would a few more days have made a difference in my last two answers? Yes.  Would it have changed the recipients enjoyment of the dress? No.

While a few more days would have made me proud of the final outcome, it would not have changed the special little girl's enjoyment of the sundress on her Second Wish trip to Disney.  The lesson in all this?  Time Management would have given me a bit more time to make this dress perfect and something I could be proud to put my name on.  Those few extra hours would have made all the difference in the world to me.  But the dress itself is what makes the difference to the new owner.