Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gidgets and Gadgets and Gizmos Galore

Yesterday, I spent a lot of time building a playlist for my Myspace page and thought, "Wow, I wish there was someway to put music on my Blog." So, I began thinking about it and figured out a way. Now, I will have a song playing on my Blog. I guess the song will change with my moods or if I hear something new that I want to share. Right now, I am playing "Jesus and Gravity" by Dolly Parton. This is her new single and when I heard it on the radio yesterday, I thought it was a keeper. I hope you like it, as well. If not, just turn the volume down on your speakers and watch for the tune to change. :)

P.S. I am going to be adding a Beach playlist to Curiously Kaylea to go along with our vacation countdown clock. Yes, we are just a little excited!!!!!! Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just Call Me Cra-Z

I have a secret. I am Cra-z! Well, that's the rumor, anyway. But, that's no secret. You see, I discovered the most awesome product for getting stains out of clothes. It is Cra-Z Soap. This stuff works miracles on my stain filled laundry. It is the only thing I have found that successfully gets red clay mud out of clothes. I just wish I would have known about this back when Bub played softball. He might have looked like we actually washed his uniform. It is also useful for cleaning any type of greasy mess. You can even wash your dirty hands with it and it won't irritate your skin. If you have a baby with spit-up issues, a messy child that always finds the dirt (like Kaylea), or a husband that likes to go to the garage and get real greasy, you need this stuff. Here is a link to there website.

Spring Has Sprung

Today Kaylea and I were taking a nature walk through the front yard and I couldn't resist taking pictures of our Spring flowers. You see in Florida, I didn't have bulbs that bloomed in the Spring. That is probably why Spring is one of my favorite seasons. I hope you enjoy their beauty as much as I do.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Little Chickadee!

Occasionally there are such monumental things happening around our house that they deserve being mentioned on both Blogs, Kaylea's and mine. Most of the time, I try to keep the Kaylea stories isolated to her Blog, but this one deserves a look see by all of our readers. Check out the latest goings on in my crazy little mixed up world at this post on Curiously Kaylea.

Basically, I guess I am just being lazy because it is a really long story and I don't feel like retelling it.

Gotta go - my little chickadee and her Calamine Lotion are calling me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Young At Heart Chorus - I Feel Good!

Today, I was watching the Ellen Degeneres show and saw the cutest segment. If you want to laugh until your sides hurt, just check this out (just bear with the commercial in the beginning) !!!!

How funny! I bet your smiling now, aren't you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Smile Through The Pain

Some of you are not aware that I have been suffering from chronic pain and fatigue for several years, now. I have seen many doctors concerning my problems. With each visit I am hopeful that I will finally get an answer; however, that has yet to happen.

The pain can be unbearable at times, usually when I am on my feet too long or over exert myself. For example, yesterday I worked at the Duck-Duck-Goose sale sorting clothes for donation and/or pick-up. I was on my feet for 4 hours; subsequently, when I left my hips were aching and the pain was radiating around my midsection and shooting down my legs through my knees and into my feet. The pain is not always triggered by standing or walking, though. Sometimes it is brought on if I get too cold; if the weather changes; if I sit too long; or for no identifiably reason. When the pain gets this bad, the only way I can get relief is by taking medication and going to sleep.

Since, I also suffer from chronic fatigue, sleeping is always welcome to me. Unfortunately, if I were in bed everytime I was hurting or felt sleepy, I would sleep my life away. You see, it takes very little for me to get exhausted. I can push myself by getting up and staying up without taking any naps during the day. But, usually, I will have a BIG crash after several days of this. When I crash it is not uncommon for me to sleep 18 - 20 hours a day for a couple of days at a time.

I have undergone various tests; however, we currently do not have a medical diagnosis. The doctors have said that I appear to have arthritis; however the rheumatoid arthritis test came back negative. I have also had every type of blood and hormone test run; underwent a Dexa Scan of my spine (since I shrunk 2" in a little over a year); and consulted with a Chiropractor. All to no avail.

About a year ago, my current Doctor prescribed Cymbalta to try and alleviate the pain. He also thought it might help with the chronic fatigue I was experiencing. He was unsure if the pain was causing the fatigue or if the fatigue was causing the pain. (You know, which came first - the chicken or the egg?) Cymbalta is an anti-depressent that is also useful in treating the pain and fatigue associated with depression. He asked me if I was depressed and I wasn't really sure. I told him that hurting and being tired all of the time didn't make me feel that great (emotionally), so I was willing to give it a try. Basically, my Doctor thought this would be a good place to start in trying to break the cycle of pain =sleep=pain.

I can say, on a positive note, that the medicine does help with the day to day pain that I use to experience. I am feeling a lot better than before; however, I do still experience the fatigue. I am o.k. with being fatigued as long as the pain isn't as bad. I would hate for it to be the other way around.

I know that my condition affects my whole family. Bub is wonderful and always supportive of me. When I get "down" (in both definitions of the word), he is always there to pick me up. I feel guilty that he has to deal with all of this at our "young" age. This is the type of thing you expect to experience later in life. I also worry about the affects on Kaylea. I am hopeful that when she gets older, she will remember all of the fun we have together and not that I was always tired and/or sick.

My inner voice can get pretty brutal at times. I will catch myself thinking, "I am just lazy!" and asking, "What is wrong with me?" But then the rational part of my brain provides comfort by acknowledging that I am not laying around watching TV day in and day out, like someone who is "lazy" would do. I don't think a "lazy" person would be able to sleep 20 hours at a clip for 2 days straight. Maybe I am wrong; maybe they can. It's just that I have never known anyone that can sleep as much as me and I have known many a lazy bum in my life.

I wish I knew all of the answers to my questions, but I may never get them. I guess I will have to just smile through the pain and take lots of cat naps!

Another Yummy Recipe

If you like asparagus, you will love this recipe. Heck, you might even like it if you don't like asparagus - it is that good!

Asparagus Casserole

1 1/2 c. Ritz Crackers, crushed
1 stick Butter, melted
2 cans Asparagus Spears, drained
1/2 c. Slivered Almonds, toasted
4 tsp. Butter
3 tsp. Flour
1 1/2 c. Milk
1 jar Old English Cheese
1/2 tsp. Salt

Melt 4 tsp. butter in saucepan over medium heat, then stir in flour. Briskly whisk in the milk and jar cheese. Add salt and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from burner and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter. In a bowl combine the melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers. Put the buttered crackers in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, but reserve 1/2 cup of the cracker mixture for a topping.

Drain the asparagus and then layer it on top of the crackers. Top the asparagus with the toasted almonds.

Pour the cheese sauce over the almonds and sprinkle the reserved cracker crumbs over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just Doin' My Part

Well, friends, let's all say a little prayer for Kaylea today. She is very nervous about the TCAP testing that starts tomorrow. I have given her the only advise I can:

  1. Take your time
  2. Read carefully
  3. Pay attention
  4. Check your answers
  5. Don't race to be the first one finished

I really don't know what else to tell her. I wish she didn't have such anxiety over these tests; I'm sure she will do just fine!

In addition to cheering on my daughter, I volunteered to supply her class with morning snacks for each of the testing days. I know it is important for the children to eat a good breakfast in order to concentrate; unfortunately, some of the kids might not get one at home. So, I am preparing the snacks for Ms. W. Here is the menu:

  • Monday - Bacon, Egg and Cheese Cups with Orange Juice
  • Tuesday - Cereal with Milk
  • Wednesday - Ham and Cheese Biscuits with Orange Juice
  • Thursday - Doughnuts with Milk

Hopefully, this will fill their bellies and help them concentrate on the important stuff.

Ms. W.'s Class ROCKS!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Happy Day

Thursday my birthday present was delivered and here it is:

I am still waiting on two additional chairs, but they are scheduled to be delivered on April 24th. I guess my birthday will last all month long. Yeah Me!

Once the other chairs arrive, I will be ready for my BUNCO girls and all of the holiday meals. Now, I have seating for 14 that doesn't involve TV trays or sitting on the floor. Woo Hoo, lets have a party!

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm So Happy - Oh, So Happy!

Earlier in the week I posted about our participation in the Duck-Duck Goose Consignment Sale over at Curiously Kaylea. Guess What????? After the private sale on Wednesday, and the first day of the public sale on Thursday, I have made enough money to pay the remainder of the balance for the condo we have rented for vacation in Hilton Head. I AM SO HAPPY!!!!

I will definitely participate in this sale again. It was a lot of work to get the clothes ready for the sale, but the payoff is way better than a normal consignment store or eBay.

I am forever a Duck-Duck-Goose girl!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

They Got Me!!!!!!!!

WOW, what a weekend. As you all know, last Tuesday was my birthday. Well, Sunday was Mr. Bob's and TrickyVicky's Birthday, as well. Sis decided to have a party for all of the April Birthdays (so I thought) at her house on Saturday evening. So Saturday, Mom, Sis and I spent the morning preparing food for the big birthday party. Sis finally sent Mom and me home about 3:00 so that we could get ready and return at 8:00 for the party. Imagine my surprise when I returned for the party and found that I was the guest of honor. Sis and Mom had organized a surprise birthday party for me! This was the first surprise party I had ever had. I couldn't believe how they had fooled me.

The guests included: Sis, Mr. Bob and Miss C; Mom, JimBob, Dad, Grammy and Pappy; Jill, Charles and TrickyVicky; and my Bunco Girls - Pam, Ellen, Emily, Sarah, Lisa, Linda and her husband Warren. I want to thank all of them for coming to the party. It felt so good to see all of them there. I often feel like I don't have that many friends, but Saturday night I realized that I have a lot of people that care about me.

Thanks to all of you; you're the BEST!!!!!!!! (And you made the BIG 4-0 a lot of fun!)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Home Alone?

I was watching the Today Show yesterday and they reported on a mom in NYC that let her 9 year old son travel via subway and bus across the city by himself. It was a thought provoking story for me.

When is a child old enough to travel alone or be left alone at home?

Over the past few months, I have been thinking quite a bit about the latter of those. Kaylea will be 10 in September and I am wondering if she is old enough to be left at home alone while I run little errands. So far, I am just not comfortable enough to leave her. Now, I have to confess, when Kaylea was sick last winter I left her at the house while I made a 10 minute trip to Walgreens to get her medicine. All the while, I was feeling like I was doing something wrong. Of course Kaylea thought that she was BIG stuff and now she is always asking me to leave her at home again.

This whole issue is quite a conundrum for me. You see when my sister and I were little, our parents divorced and we became "latch key kids" at the ages of 10 and 6. Mom worked her butt off just to be able to keep food on the table and a roof over our head; there was no money for afterschool childcare. Not only were we alone in the afternoons, we had to walk home from school because we were JUST inside the 2 mile boundary; therefore, the buses didn't come to our neighborhood. (At that time, if you lived within 2 miles of the school, you were either a car rider, bike rider or walker). Our route home was a 4 lane divided road, similar to Kingston Pike. ThiThi was just a little older than Kaylea and she was responsible for herself AND a little sister. The big difference between ThiThi and me and Kaylea is that ThiThi and I were a lot more mature than Kaylea. Of course, we didn't have much choice other than to be mature; whereas, Kaylea has no reason or need to grow up.

So, do I let Kaylea stay home alone to teach her responsibility and encourage maturity? Or do I wait for her to become responsible and mature before I give her the priviledge of being home alone? Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


O.K. I got tagged by my ThiThi, you know her as Missy over at the Monkey House, to participate in the spreading of the MeMe joy. So, here I go. I hope you all enjoy it.

Name one thing you do every day:

  • Tell Bub and Kaylea that I love them

Name 5 things / people that make you feel good:
  • My family - all of them
  • Stinky puppy kisses from Angel
  • Listening to the laughter of children
  • Laughing until I cry
  • Cymbalta

Name 4 things you love to eat but rarely do:
  • Chocolate Eclairs
  • Fresh seafood
  • Jimbo's Barbeque with a side of hushpuppies to dip in the sauce (Lakeland, FL)
  • Mr. Fish cheeseburger and onion rings (Lakeland, FL)

Name 3 things that remind you of childhood:
  • Driving through Dandridge, TN
  • Holidays - Easter, Halloween, and Christmas
  • Smells - Norrell, Charlie, Old Spice, Right Guard, Perm Solution mixed with AquaNet, aroma from sewage treatment facility, and orange blossoms

Name 2 things you wish you could learn:
  • How to get Kaylea to stop arguing
  • How to sew

Now, that you know more about me than you probably wanted to, I am going give everyone an open tag. Please share your secrets with us, as well. We are dieing to hear them!