Each night I stare at the sky
the thousands of twinkling stars
and I imagine you there
dancing among the Moonbeams.

And the tears flow like rain
as I think of the time we were together
I am broken now, lost without you
But I know, the thing that will always connect us
are our Heartstrings

Friday, November 30, 2012

I am here

Well, here I am another month gone by without me blogging. I have no real excuse. I just get tired of writing sad stuff, so I wanted to wait until I was in a better frame of mind to write.

I didn't have Thanksgiving dinner. The closer it got, the harder it got, until the anxiety was too much and I canceled. We went to Ohio again, to my brother-in-law's. We took all 5 grand kids and they really enjoyed spending time with their cousins.

We went to the mall one day to take the little ones to see Santa. Crack me up!!!!!  Ava Beth and Rylan went up together. Ava Beth told him what she wanted. Then he asked Ry what he wanted, without hesitation Ry said I want a big woody. So the parents/grandparents in line lost it (one of the grandpas said he wanted one too), Santa was able to keep a straight face long enough to hear the rest of his list which included Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the toy story crew. Then he told Santa that he would leave out cookies and milk, but that Santa really only needed two of them. Just like last year, we finally had to drag Rylan away still talking over his shoulder to Santa. I think next year we should sell tickets for when Ry talks to Santa, because you never know what is going to come out of his mouth.

Last year I did no holiday baking, I just couldn't. Tomorrow the little ones are coming out to help me make cookies. It is time to pass this tradition on down. We will make gingerbread cookies (I believe the recipe is on that page if you are interested). This will be the first time I have made them without Jessika since she was 2. There may be a few tears, but it is time. The girl who cleans and runs errands for me is bringing over her two kids so we will all do it together. She can also take over if the pain (physical) gets too bad. Maybe I will even remember to take pictures.

I am going to try and fix a meal again. However, this will be on the 19th, not on the holiday. So, maybe that will be easier.

Do you have a holiday tradition you would like to share?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chocolate, Auctions and Grandkids

Wow, I have been gone for a while. Not sure why, well yes I do. In order to blog I have to think when I think inevitably my thoughts go to Jessika. The first anniversary hit me harder than I thought and I am just recovered from it. Oh, the pain is still there, but I am adjusting to it somewhat.

I have kept myself very very busy. I organized the garage so the guys could finish the interior. I need the heat and electric going before Thanksgiving because I am having dinner this year (I hope I am up for it) and my house is way too small, my table (a little pre-50's table) seats 3 at best.

The guys are calling it a Man Cave. My old furniture is out there. I got Bill a 73 inch tv for Christmas, but had to give it to him early cause it was too big to hide. I plan on moving the video game stuff all out there for the boys.

About that tv. Money is super tight since we had no crops. I found a new auction site (a division of Amazon), it is like a penny auction, bids increase a penny at a time. But, you have to buy the bids. They are .60 each normally, but are generally on sale for .17 to .20. There are no new bidders allowed after an item reaches 5.00. You must be careful bidding. Make sure you are figuring the price of your bids in to the price of the item. Doing that, and being at the right place at the right time, I was able to get that television for under 5.00!!! So happy. I actually got the majority of my Christmas shopping done and for way way under my budget. Oh, the site is Dealdash.com. Been very happy with all my buys so far.

Ava Beth and Rylan helped me put up apples this weekend. We turned a bushel into applesauce and apple butter. Then, we made 3 dozen granny smiths into chocolate covered caramel apples. To die for. I get my kit from http://www.chocoley.com/. Love their chocolate. Can't do that store almond bark after using chocoley chocolate. We had a good time and hopefully made some memories for them.

All my grands were here this weekend. Ryder even had a friend for overnight. It's a house full, but I wouldn't change it for anything. Rase, my oldest, is pretty much living here now. He eats supper here, sleeps here 6/7 nights and his laundry done here so yes I say he lives here. Love it.

I discovered Pinterest, big mistake lol. I have over 1000 pins! So much to do, so little time. I have found a couple of crafty things I want to make the kids for their stockings. Hope I can do it.

That's it. I know there is more, but it isn't registering now so I will blog again soon.


Friday, September 28, 2012


I am drained. I feel like I barely have the energy to breath.

Tuesday was harder than I was prepared for. Some of Jessika's friends joined us to lay flowers. We told stories of a young Jessika. We laughed. We cried. I came home and went to bed.

I slept all day Wednesday, getting up for meals, potty breaks and a quick check of FB. Thursday was the same. I am trying to wake up now, the little ones will be here in four hours. I would call off, but he would hold it against me and make it difficult to get kids in the future. I do see take out pizza for supper.

Bill has never believed in a "date". Meaning no birthday, anniversary, valentine, etc. presents. He does his own thing on his schedule. Which is ok. But he is having trouble understanding why I am hurting so much. It was just a day to him. Not to me. It brought back up all the hurt, pain, sadness, feelings for me. It will take a while for me to work thru these emotions again. Not that they will ever go away, but I will be able to tuck them away again It will be a bit though.

It has been rainy all week. Fits my mood. We get zero rain all summer, lost all the crops. We need to be planting wheat now for harvest next summer. We can't. It is to wet.

Hug your kids, tell your loved ones how you feel. Don't wait another day, hour or minute. You never know.


Monday, September 24, 2012

No Words

There are no words to describe how I am feeling. My heart feels like it has been ripped from my body, tears flow freely, I feel like the pain is going to suffocate me.

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of losing my daughter. I don't want it to be. I can't sleep. I don't want to wake up and this last year has been real. If I stay awake I can pretend everything is normal. That Jessika will soon be here.

My brain knows this isn't true, but my heart wants to believe it.

Bill is knocking off tomorrow to stay with me. The older kids will be out after school. We will then take flowers to Jessika. Pink roses. We always sent her pink roses. When she was born, Bill brought me 3 pink roses. Pink for a girl, 3 because she was born on the 3rd day of the 3rd month, roses because it is my favorite flower. Tomorrow we will take her pink roses.

Bill is going to try and go. He has never been there. He can't even drive down the road where she is, he take a route a couple miles out of the way when he needs to pass there. His tattoo is his first acknowledgement that she is gone. I hope he can go. I need him too.

I want to hang pictures of Jess, to talk about her. He has not been ready for that. I hate it. To look at my house there are no signs she was ever here. I need those pictures. I need those memories. I need to make sure the kids never forget her, that they  know her.

Please, please in her memory, hug your loved ones, tell them what they mean to you. I pray you never have to feel this pain.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I had a panic attack today. My first in a while. unless you count when we fly. I think it may have been brought on by the time. In two weeks it will be one year since our lives were forever changed, the first anniversary of when we lost Jessika.

I knew this was going to be hard. I have tried to prepare myself.

Bill is just beginning to heal, he has blocked it as long as he could. He said that getting the tattoo was helpful. He tied the pain of loosing Jess to the pain from the tattoo. They became one and the same. As the tattoo began to heal so has his heart. What is so cool, as even though we just shared this with each other, is that I was doing the same thing.

We still miss her dearly. That pain, that piece of our hearts that disappeared, has forever changed, branded us. Nothing can ever make that better. As we continue to heal, the happy, silly, quiet moments with Jessika begin to dominate. The stronger they become, the more we will be able to celebrate her life.

I wanted to keep my mind as busy as possible this month. I started putting a cookbook together of all of Jessika's favorite recipes and foods. It was to have been a gift for family members for Christmas. Then Bill decided, we should sell the books and use the money for a memorial of some kind for Jess at the local ball diamonds. With 5 kids, there has been and will continue to be a lot of time spent there, and I think it is something Jess would approve of.

I have sorted, gathered, condensed, typed 275 plus recipes that Jess either made or liked to eat. I have a little more to proof, then will send it to the printers. I hope we can profit enough to do a nice memorial.

Once I get this sent off, I will then start sorting pictures to make "memory books" for the kids for Christmas.

That should take a while and keep my mind busy for a while.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fake It Till You Make It

This is one phrase I am sick of. Yes, in some circumstances it is useful, beneficial even. But, I am sick of "faking it". I am tired of going through life pretending everything is peachy keen, while inside I am dying inside.

I am not saying I am not happy, with the exception of Jessika, I am fairly happy. I can have fun, Bill and I just had our best vacation ever. Life, however, is not perfect. We have had one catastrophe after another, the worst, of course, being losing Jessika.

I am scarred. I am not the person I was 2 years ago. I hurt. I can have a good time, but still carry the pain of losing Jess. I can smile through my tears. I will, however, no longer hide those tears. If they are there, I am going to let them flow. This is me, who I am, a grieving parent. The pain will never go away, I will have it every minute of every day of my life. I can still have a life, I can still have fun, form new memories, enjoy family. I will never again "fake it". I will be my true self, the real me, whomever she may be at that moment in time.

Bill and I wanted to do something personal to honor Jessika. While on vacation we got tattoos. Ones we had thought long and hard about. They mean something to us. Bill's is pretty self-explanatory. Mine has hidden meanings. The Halloween before Jess got sick we all went out, in costume, to party the night away. Jessika dressed as the Amy Brown fairy, The Brat. This fairy wore a red strapless dress with over the elbow red and white striped gloves and matching hose. I chose to remember this fun night. When Jess was young, she compared us to the sun and moon. I had golden hair and wore gold jewelry, she had white blond hair and wore silver jewelry. I chose to add a moon for her. A crescent moon open to the left signifies loss or remembrance, so it is open to the left. I added 5 stars for her kids, 4 blue (boys) and one pink. Eventually I will have the sun on my left shoulder redone to go better with the moon.

I am prepared for this next month to be especially difficult as we approach the first anniversary of her loss. In some ways, it feels like it happened yesterday, in others it feels like the pain has been there for years.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's the little things . . .

Today was my 53rd birthday, I did not "celebrate" as it was my first birthday without Jess. I did spend most of the day in reflection. I remembered what my Grandma Shipley told me years ago, it is the little things that matter, the little things are what are most remembered. You may not remember all about a trip, but you would remember how you were treated, the chocolates on your pillow and the turn down service.

Grandma was right. It is the little things that I that I cherish. Jessika's frequent laugh interrupted by a snort. Her quick wit and easy sense of humor. Her turning a recipe into her own. The way her eyelashes looked fake as they were so black and long. I hate that she suffered so long in the hospital. But, I will cherish those days, holding her hand and watching her crazy real crime shows, rubbing lotion on her feet and legs, painting her nails, brushing her hair, and kissing her small hand when I had to leave for the day. It is awful and painful, but I wouldn't trade it. I am more than blessed to have been able to be with her almost every day of her illness. I hope I made life a little better for her. I am glad I was there in the end. It was hard, gut wrenching. I didn't know a human could take that pain and go on. But I know, had I not  been there I would forever regret it.

I was able many years ago to forgive my father. To accept he did the best he could with what he had. We went on to have a very close relationship that I cherish, I do miss him, especially this past year. I decided I was not being fair to my mother, not accepting her as I did my dad. So, in my heart I forgave her. We had a birthday party for Rase, my oldest grandson. I extended the olive branch and invited mom and my step-dad. They came. It was a little awkward, but pleasant. I will accept that she has done the best she can and accept her for who she is, not who I wanted her to be. I had a relatively minor surgery last week. She called to check on me, she made soup and sent it over to us, she even emailed me birthday wishes. All very unexpected. I don't want to put expectations on this relationship, I will take what I can get and be grateful for it.

Jon has been very pleasant of late and generous with the amount of time we get with the little ones. Again, I put no expectations for this relationship, but will take what I can get. I know he is hurting and lonesome, I am trying to be a shoulder he can cry on for however long it lasts.

Well, I think that's enough reflection and tears for today. With so many anniversaries approaching I know the next several weeks are going to be really tough, for all of us. We will get through it. To not, would be an awful way to memorialize Jessika.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What If . . .

What if, two little words that can change everything. For some, they bring excitement; what if we won the lottery, what if we got married, what if we painted the wall red.

For me, not so much. I would like to eradicate them from my brain. Those little words bring me much pain and heartache. What if we had stayed at the hospital until Jessika's tests were back, what if I had been in the room and saw what was happening. What if Jon had been open and honest with us in the beginning of her illness. What if I could have stayed with her 24/7.

I am better at hiding the pain now, but when those two little words start swirling in my brain the pain overwhelms me. At night, I lay in bed and watch to see the slow even breathing of sleep in Bill. Then, I can let go. The hot tears run down my cheeks leaving a salty trail for more tears to follow. My heart hurts with the pain, the loss. When I am exhausted, I flip my pillow to the dry side and try to sleep.

When I wake in the morning, I carry on the best I can and keep the pain buried. I have people depending on me, I have to be strong. But, when night falls, and sleep is yet to come, those two little words start swirling in my head and the tears fall again.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I think I'm losing my mind

Actually I think I already lost it!

I have good days, good weeks, but I also have tears, almost every day. Everything will be great and then a thought pops into my head and there I go.

I redid the living room because there are so many memories there, many not so good, lots of negative energy. I got a sofa, chair and a half, and ottoman from a lady here in town for $200, don't think they were ever sat on. Got frilly yellow curtains on the windows, new rug on the floor. Using the ottoman as a coffee table for now, picked up a couple of tables on eBay, and pulled a few things out of storage. Put my little antique kitchen table at one end of living room, new liqueur cabinet (old one literally fell apart), drug a hall table in, replaced TV stand. Saged everything.

When I was done I looked around at my work and realized, I had done it exactly like Jessika would have. She loved the Victorian style and that is what it looks like! I guess I had an invisible hand guiding me. The energy in there is good now. I have a lot of empty frames around, I want to put pictures of Jessika in them, but Bill is not ready yet.

We had Rase's 16th birthday party last night. It was a lot of fun. We had tons of cupcakes, I will post about them later along with recipes.

My wee ones are here for the weekend. Ry is sitting beside me saying the letters as I type and Ava is tapping her foot waiting on me to do her nails, so I will sign off for today.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We lost more than Jessika

Last night I was laying in bed watching TV, Bill was in the living room. He hollered the kids are here. I yelled back, good I hope Jess is with them. Then I realized what I had said, and broke down, Bill got pretty watery too and reminded me Jess is with them. It took a while to stop the tears, but my heart is still heavy.

I was on FB earlier, and someone posted a link to a dance studio where Ava took lessons. I clicked on it to see if they had any pictures, they did.

It is hard enough that we lost Jess, but we have lost so much of the kids lives also. Lance usually tags me in pics so at least I get to see ones of the boys, but nothing on the little ones. We were not invited to Ava's grandparents day, and we knew nothing of all the performances I found out she was in. I am going to try and contact one of the mother's and see if they can let us know about events we might want to see. I spent close to an hour going through pictures and here I will share a couple of them. Yes, I am a very proud grandma, of all my babies.


 Rase with 2 players and Mike Matheny's wife @ a tournament in St. Louis They came in second!
Ava at cheer

Ava and fellow cheerleaders

Ava, front right

Rase at sweetheart dance

Stay Cool!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Is summer already half over?

Summer is flying by. We finally have a break in the >105 temps, still not much rain, only an occasional sprinkle.

The little ones are coming about every other weekend (finally), I have been working with them on swimming. The post below this one shows our progress. Ry had misplaced his trunks (again) and wanted to skinny dip, but I had him keep his undies on this time, lol. This is his first summer in the pool and he is amazing. Ava Beth has been a water rat from her first vacation to Edisto Island at the age of 2 months! She is dog paddling pretty good, and has learned to bounce off the bottom if she sinks. Ry swims with his face down, eyes open in a kind of frog kick. He wears me out, we have to remind him to stop and breath once in a while. Rase did the underwater recording for me, Ryder and Rowdy were at friends houses.

Right after I download this, Pete (the bloodhound) ate the camera. I ordered a new one and hope it is here before the boys go rafting so they can take it with them. I used a Flip video in a Flip underwater housing. It is reasonable (somewhere around $125). We used it a couple of years ago when snorkeling and it did great. It is digital, so everything downloads to your pc via the built in USB (hence the name flip as it flips out). The software is on the camera and downloads the first time you plug it into the pc.

Today is the 17th anniversary of Jessika and Lance (her first husband) wedding. I can not believe it has been that long. It was a HUGE wedding, and so beautiful (I will try and find a pic or two). She had 6 bridesmaids (6 groomsmen) 2 flower girls and a ring bearer. There were 2 receptions, one at the church right after the ceremony, and a big one at the golf course later in the evening. (The caterer for the dinner stopped counting at 500, so glad there was enough food). And of course lots of dancing.

Next week Rase will turn 16. I can't believe it, he should still be a little guy.

We finally started looking at stones. Not ready to buy yet, but looking. We want the final decision to be the older boys. We still have a little looking to do, but when they find it, we will see what we can do.

I think all these things have combined to make me blue. The tears still fall, almost daily. My heart hurts, I know this is never going away. The difference is, I can smile now, laugh, pass on those silly parts of Jessika I want her kids to know.

Since the guys are leaving the day after the party, I am making cupcakes instead of a big birthday cake. That way the guys can take some with them for eating on the road. So far I have decided on: red velvet, dk chocolate with mint filling, chocolate with cream filling, chocolate with chili pepper, key lime, coconut and plain old vanilla. That should keep me plenty busy, hoping to get them baked and frozen this week, then will just have to thaw, fill and frost next week for party. There are a couple more I am thinking about, but will wait and see how much time I have. Bill is going to smoke a couple of pork butts, and I will make baked beans, potato casserole, deviled eggs and pasta salad, those will all have to be done day of. Wish me luck.

So what do you have going on?

Kids Swimming

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Well I have been MIA for a while as you may have noticed. June was a rough month, in many ways.

I have had some health issues. With no insurance I wont have a lot of tests done, so the doctors are having a bit of a problem figuring out exactly what is wrong. For now we are treating symptoms, so either it will get better on its own, or get bad enough the problem can be identified and fixed.

June was also a very emotional month. I miss Jessika more than ever. It just didn't seem right opening up the pool without her. I would lay on a raft, slipping back and forth between awake and that twighlight sleep we get before totaling zoning out. Something would pop in my mind, and without further thought I would tell Jessika. It finally dawned on me when she would never asnwer that she was not here. The tears would come then. I don't cry as often as I did, but at least once a day a memory will float through my mind and I will cry.

Last time my little ones were here, Rylan was so tired and having a grouchy time, then he started crying that he wanted his mommy. I think this has been harder on him than anyone and he is only 3. I held him and rocked him to sleep and tried not to let my tears drip on him.

Tears were the only water that fell here in June. We have also had many many hot days. Last weekend we were over 106 for a few days, still over 102. Next week it is supposed to be cooler, back down in the 90s. It did rain a smidge over an inch here Monday. The rain came too late for the corn crop though. The corn is pollenating, but there are no ears to pollinate. The beans are hurt from the drought, but the rain should help them some. It will be one rough winter with no income from the farm. I am praying we can salvage enough to pay back the costs of planting.

Several times last month the darkness creeped back in. With the help of Bill, good friends (Nat) and my grandbabies, I was able to keep the darkness to the edges and it didn't envelop me as it has in the past.

Bill is preparing to take the oldest two boys on a whitewater rafting trip in West Virginia with his brother and his oldest kids (have to be over 12 to go). I think it will be good for them. The trip was planned and paid for before we realized how bad the crops were. I am glad for that. I will spend my week sleeping and swimming!

Looks like some friends are here. Ryder is with us again and has a friend out also. I love a housefull, just so wish my baby was here to enjoy it with us. Life is never going to be the same again.

Have a happy and safe 4th.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A post with no title

Well, I am almost recovered from the weekend. Wow!!! Bill's brother, Troy and his wife, Michelle, along with their youngest son arrived last Wednesday for a visit. Troy came to help with wheat harvest, and the other two came to visit.

Ava Beth and Rylan came out Thursday and stayed until Monday. The boys were here also, well except they left Sunday morning to head to a Cardinals game.

Saturday night we had a birthday party for Ava Beth and Lucas (nephew). The kids also initiated the new pool liner. That pool was cold, really cold, I am pretty sure I saw chunks of ice floating in it, but kids don't seem to notice cold if a pool is involved.

Bill and I seem to be at each other throats lately. It is getting hard. We are at very different places in the grieving/healing process, what each of us wants/needs seems to interfere with what the other one wants/needs. Sigh . . .  Patience!!!

You know I colored my hair dark red in December while we were in Vegas. It was nice for a change, but D*A*R*K. It had also gotten long, so long Bill would roll over at night, lay on it, and pin me down. So, I called Sam, my magic scissored beautician and turned her loose on it. I now have a short 'do, and she brought the color back to almost my natural shade of strawberry blond. Hope it helps my mood. At least it is short enough I won't get pinned at night anymore (at least not by my hair - wink wink).

I got some new cook books. Did I mention I am a cookbook addict? I have a few from the first part of the 1900s. No, I don't cook that much, I used too, now I just read the cookbooks and dream. I have come across a couple of recipes for no bake cookies that I will try when the kids are here next. I suspect we aren't going to get that camping trip in until fall. Nineties plus in a tent just doesn't do it for me. So I will give them cookies instead.

We were talking about canoeing over the weekend, and it reminded me of a story, but I will save that for next time.

Stay cool

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

No Stories Today

Been a little down today, even had a few tears. Today is Ava Beth's 6th birthday, Been a month since I saw them, it is hard.

The good news is, their dad is letting me have them Thursday evening till Sunday. I hope he follows thru.

More good news. My sister-in-law will be here late tomorrow night. Actually, her husband, Bill's brother, is coming for a few days to help with wheat harvest. So Michelle is coming with him. Lucus, her youngest, who is just a little older than Rowdy, is coming also. We will have a joint birthday celebration for Lucus and Ava Beth Saturday night. (I need to get that cake done!)

Rowdy is excited to have his cousin here. The older boys will set up their tent for Rowdy and Lucus. Rowdy wants it close to the house so they can have electricity to watch movies lol. He is also planning on using the new popcorn machine (looks like a mini movie one) to make popcorn. They will also have hot dogs, pop, snow cones and probably cotton candy.  Can you tell Rowdy is my foodie?

The pool is almost full, full enough that Bill could make the connections. Of course, it will be a week or two before it is warm enough for me to get in. I am sure the kids will get in though. That is 1,500 gallons of cold well water, 60 degrees warm. Wonder if that is cold enough to keep the raccoons out? Hate to have the new liner shredded already.

Have a new housekeeper starting tomorrow, I hope. I have not been able to do ANYTHING since my fall, not like I can do anything anyway. This place is a mess, a pigsty, truthfully I am embarrassed to have a new housekeeper see it. Oh well.

Peace & Love

Monday, June 4, 2012

It reminded me of a story

So, I am reading Face Book and see where a friend has posted a picture of hogs being corralled from an overturned truck. Well it reminded me of a story, a little one.

We don't live too far off the highway, a lot of trucks travel this highway, a lot of trucks from south of us carrying veggies to market. So one Sunday, we are sitting on the porch and see a commotion on the highway. DH jumps into his pickup and heads over to see whats up (this is not unusual, there is a slight curve in the road that causes a lot of accidents, the police have asked Bill to help a time or two (or twenty or thirty) to get things cleaned up. The worst was the time that had him looking in the deep ditches for bodies.

I digress, as usual. So he comes up on a truck overturned with cabbage and broccoli spilled all over the place. The driver told Bill that insurance would pay the cost of the lost as these could not be sold since they had dumped. Bill asked what was wrong with them, he said nothing, they just can't be sold. So Bill offers to "clean up the mess".

He came home, got a grain truck, and headed back down to the highway. When he came home, not only was the pickup full of cabbage and broccoli, so was the whole bed of the grain truck. He started calling friends, neighbors and family members to come get some of our loot, while I started blanching and freezing a years generous supply of the vegs. I packed my deep freeze, Bills folk's deep freeze and had huge batches of the green cooking.

One night as we were eating broccoli, like we started doing for most meals, Bill made the comment, he wished a cattle truck would dump, steaks sounded pretty good, or if dairy it would be good to have cheese for the broccoli. Crack me up, next day a cattle truck overturned in the exact same spot as the veggie truck. Alas, they rounded up all the critters, we still had to buy our cheese and steaks.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Operation OTP

Friday, being the coldest day of summer so far, we began Operation OTP, open the pool. Now as you may remember last fall was extremely hard on us, and both are missing large blocks of time. Apparently, the cover did not get put on the pool (I don't remember it being open, but of course I lived in Springfield from May - Oct). This lead to the pool being full of leaves, sour water, twigs, and who knows what else.

It is an above ground, and apparently the neighborhood raccoons are having pool parties. I am sure of this due to the large number of muddy paw prints on the deck, the beer cans strewn about, and the number of crawdaddies in the murky water. If they wouldn't drop their food in the water, I would almost put up with them. Of course, they need to learn how to use the freakin STEPS. This poor liner has been patched so many times that we were putting patches on the patches. This is due to the idiotic raccoons who fall in (too much beer) while washing their crawdads, or decide to take a dip to cool off, and try to climb over the side thereby shredding the liner.

So on Friday, Bill, Rase and Ryder spent the day draining the pool, then cutting the old liner out. Pretty much killed the day. So today, Rase, Ryder, Rowdy and their dad, Lance, came out to help Bill put the new liner in. After struggling with the hunk of vinyl for several hours, I am happy to report the new liner is in, sort of. They began filling it with water, and smoothing out wrinkles as they went. The water is somewhere around 5 or 6 inches deep, and they have turned it off for the evening. Lance, Rase and Rowdy went home. Ryder is  again crashing here (here stayed last night also), Rase will be back in the morning and they will continue filling and smoothing. Then the railing will go back on, pump and filter hooked up, and we sit and wait until the water is warm enough to swim. With my fibromyalgia, I can't handle the water until it is about 89 or higher.  I ordered me a new float, and the kids some new noodles and pool toys.  Let Summer Begin!!!!!

Yesterday, Bill and I headed to Evansville to do some shopping (not quite 2 hours away). Other than doctor appointments I haven't left the house since we got back from Vegas. First stop was Wally world, (a real super wal-mart, ours says super but it isn't, heck it is only open from 7:00 am till 9:00 pm, that should be the first clue). So I pick up some odds and ends, then head to groceries to get some things that aren't available here. Bill caught up with me and we checked out. Now I drive the little cart thingy in the store, Bill went to get the gringo (Durango, named by our then 3 yr old Ryder), and I slowly started pushing the cart out. Next thing I know I am sitting on the floor. Landed hard on my ass no less. With the help of 2 ladies I got up, and despite the encouragement from one of the ladies I did not need the manager, nor was I going to sue. Bill pulled up in the truck then so I made it out there. Thought I was ok, but a little while later I started to hurt.

I managed to make it through Sam's, again riding the cart, with Bill. We got the usual along with some liqueur, Kinky, a pretty pink, and 4 bottles of wine, maybe it was 6. Hmm, I got Skinny Girl white sangria (can't have red wine as it triggers migraines), a couple bottles of Moscato, some pink Moscato, and a couple bottles of white. And lets not forget the Stella, I think he had a case of it. Looked like we were going to party. We are. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law will be here Wed till Sunday. They are bringing their youngest, who is just a little older than Rowdy. Ava's birthday is Tue, and his is the following Monday, so we will also have a birthday party Saturday. (please send good energies, prayers, light candles, etc, that I get the little ones next weekend). Oh, almost forgot, I also got a quart jar of cherries canned in Moonshine. Don't know what I will do with them, but hey it is Cherries in MOON SHINE!!! Couldn't pass them up!

We got in early evening and my fun (not) began. I hurt like bloody hell from the fall. It made me nauseous from the pain, so I sat in the truck while Bill ran the rest of his errands and shopped. Anyway, I didn't eat all day, then ate a burger on the way home. Should not have done that. The belly cramps and spasms started, BAD, I took 3 vicoden, 4 Advil pm, 1 visteral, and 20 mg of Baclofen (heavy duty muscle relaxant) over the course of the night. I still got no relief (maybe I should have tried the cherries) and it was after 4:00 this morning before I fell asleep, only to get up again at 7:30 this morning. Spasms are not as intense, but I would still rate them 6 on a scale of 1 - 10. If I would have had insurance I would have gone to the ER. I usually keep Donnetal (belladonna & phenobarbital) for when I have a spell, but it has been long enough I hadn't gotten it refilled. I will be calling the dr tomorrow to get it refilled and hopefully get some relief. I have got to do a major number on the house before Wednesday.

Well kids, that's it for today, I have to see if I have any vicoden left cause spasms are getting worse, I am trying to stay on top of them now. Need to check and see if any more bruises or scrapes have shown up (I look dirty there are so many lol). Did I mention I love my ex-son-in-law? I do, he is great. I wish I could have that kind of relationship with Jon, it would be so much nicer for all of us. I am reading this over and I realize, Raccoons have it out for me. Wonder if they keep in touch with cell or land lines?

Till next time.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Funny Farm Phone

I was perusing through Amazon looking for a gift(s) for Ava Beth who will be 6 on the fifth. Had she arrived less than an hour later she would have been born on 6-6-6, her brothers claim if you considered Eastern time, she was, which explains her personality.

I digress. So Amazon makes some movie recommendations for me. The movie Funny Farm was suggested. And, that reminded me of a story . . .

Several years ago I owned and operated from my home a temporary agency. It was ok, but the big boys were moving in. I was offered, and taken over by one of them. I was made an area manager, given a big salary (for the time) and was to set up my own office.

The day came that the office was ready to go, and all I needed was the phone to be hooked up. I was beginning to wonder if they were ever going to make it and my boss was waiting on my call. The guy finally came, hooked me up and took off. I picked up the phone, dialed my boss's number and heard; Please deposit .25 cents for your call to be connected. WTF! I hung up and tried again, and a third time, same message every time. Ok, I will just call the operator and have her connect me. So I give the operator the number and she says, please deposit .25 cents and I will connect your call. OMG I explained that this was an office phone, she said you will have to deposit .25 or I can't connect your call. Hmm, ok, where do you want me to deposit the money? In the coin slots. There are no freakin coin slots, it isn't a payphone it is an office phone!!!!! I guess I sounded desperate because she finally connected me with a department that could help me, and yep, they had the number listed as a payphone. They had to switch stuff there, and a repairman had to come back out to get me hooked up correctly.

After I hung up from the phone company, I realized how funny the whole situation was. I left early to go home so I could call my boss. She didn't believe me because it was too bizarre. So she came down the next day when the phone guy was supposed to be there to check up on me (she was a bitch, I only lasted about 6 months), the repairman fixed the set up and explained it all to the boss.

I can't see the movie Funny Farm without remembering that.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oh rats!

So, I see this picture on Face Book and it reminds me of a story . . . .

When we first moved into this house (it was Bill's great-grandparents and built in under a month January of 1930) the previous tenants, not sure how to put this, cleaning impaired. I was 9 months pregnant with Jessika, and it was February, not a real warm month.

Within a couple hours of settling in, Bill saw a rat. No, not a bad person, a real honest to goodness furry flea bitten rat! And that was the beginning, it was WAR!

I was still in high school when we married. Since I had some difficulty with the pregnancy, I was put on home rest and the school sent out tutors twice a week so I wouldn't be behind. Bill and also gotten me a toy poodle to keep me company, his name was Tinker (but that is a whole nother story). So my tutor comes, a very nice proper lady. We are in my lesson when Tinker went nuts and came tearing through the house chasing a rat. I opened the back door, they ran out, I grabbed a broom a followed them, leaving the tutor wide eyed and dropped jawed at the table. So after a lap around the yard (remember I am 9 months preggers), the rat ran under the trash barrels. I picked up Tink and looked for bites, he was fine, so I went back in and finished my lesson. Neither the tutor or I said anything about the chase.

Jessika came along. We were worried about the rats. Bill had put poison out, but we didn't want to take chances, so Jess slept in our room. One evening I was in the laundry room, I felt something soft under my foot, I assumed it was on of the stuffed animals Jessika had gotten (that Tink claimed as his own). I bent over to grab it while turning on the light. You guessed it, not a stuffed animal. I think the scream and my jump onto the dryer took about a sec. Bill heard and came in and took the dead rat out, we think he had gotten into the poison.

We were making a dent, but could still hear one digging under the floor of the kitchen. One night the digging started up and Bill was MAD. He got up and I went back to sleep. A short while later I realized Bill was not in bed. So I got up and headed into the kitchen. There was Bill. My white fuzzy robe, his work boots, a smoke on one side of his mouth and a shot gun and flashlight in his hands, just waiten on the rat to poke his head up. After a few minutes I was able to get him back to bed, I can't imagine the damage my kitchen would have incurred if that shotgun had gone off.

So, when I saw that picture it reminded me so much of that night. I miss those fun wild days and nights. The rats however can stay gone!!!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Camping Tales and a Broken Heart.

Well first I want to thank all the service men and women. Our experience at Christmas showed us what truly wonderful these guys are. My brother was a Marine, and served during Desert Storm. I am happy he is retired from the military and lives only a few hours from me. My heart goes out to all the parents who can't share this holiday with their children, and never will again. I have an idea how they feel.

Originally we planned to be camping this weekend. When we saw the weather reports for this weekend we decided to wait. I do not like to be miserable in a tent with no way to cool off.

The boys came out Friday afternoon. We were expecting the kids Friday evening. Their dad sent me a text saying his folks wanted them that night and he would bring them out Sat. morning. Then it was they wanted to go to a friends birthday party so he would bring them out Sat. evening, then is was they want to stay all night with the friend, he would bring them Sunday morning.  After I sent several texts, he got back with me Sun afternoon that they wanted to stay with him, he would bring them out Mon. so this morning I get a text, the kids don't want to come out so he is keeping them home. Right. Whatever. I pray no one else has to go through what we do just to see our grand kids. The only time they see their siblings is when they are here. Very sad.

We are in desperate need of rain, have missed all the systems that have gone through. The corn is firing which is something we normally don't see until August, not good. The wheat is ready and harvest will start tomorrow. It is a little scary cutting wheat when it is this dry, one spark and the whole field can go up in flames. Seen it happen a couple of times now with neighbors.

Had a great visit, as usual, with my boys. They set up a little pool for the  lil kids. The lil ones didn't get to use it but these three nuts did. The water temperature was a balmy 62 so they tortured each other pushing them in or splashing each other. We are in the process of draining our pool so we can put a new  liner in. The raccoons have had a little too  much fun in the pool, don't know if they fall in washing their food or if they just like to swim. If they are gonna do it, the least they can do is use the steps to get out. When they try to climb over the side they slash the liner. After patching it for the last several years it is time to replace it.

Speaking of raccoons. About 6 years ago, we took a family trip to South Carolina. Jessika, her husband, his son, our 3 grandsons and baby Ava. Charleston was first up and we spent 4 days there. Then we headed down to Edisto. The town is an "island", and there is a state park there, We had reserved 2 spots months in advance. Our spot was just the other side of the dune and we fell asleep to the sound of waves every night.

Our first night after setting up I got up to use the portapotty. We were surrounded by trees and brush so it was a very private site and due to the heat we left all of the windows down. So I am sitting there, minding my business and I feel someone staring at me. Yikes. I slowly turned my head around to the side of the tent which was all screen, and standing there on their hind legs watching me were 4 raccoons! Ok, heart you can slow down now. We got up the next morning and headed to get groceries so we could eat the next few days. We came back (it just outside the park) and started unpacking when I looked up, there was one of those little fences around our site, like a snow fence. There were rows of the little bandits watching us put our groceries away. I swear there was one there with a pad and pen taking notes! We spent the day on the beach, and at bedtime we all just crashed. When we got up the next morning we saw the raiders had been busy, bread, cookies, chips, and fruit and veggies from the cooler! They opened the cooler! After that we stacked things on the cooler so they couldn't get in. It was annoying, but funny too. Bill went to replace our goodies. We then stored the food in the back of the van where they couldn't get to it. A couple days before we were to leave, we all went crabbing. We got a crab trap and some food for bait and headed to an area where the ocean met fresh water, along the marshes. Rase and I spotted a shark in the water just off the dock when we first got there. He soon disappeared and the crabbing began. There were hundreds of little "tree/hermit" crabs running everywhere. The boys caught some and wanted to keep them. I said one, you can keep one, but whatever you do don't let it loose in the van. We headed back to camp to cook all the blue crabs we had, stopped and got some shrimp fresh off the boat also. Supper was heavenly. Even if we did have an audience. There had to have been well over a dozen raccoons standing around watching us. We took pity on them and gave them our scraps (like they weren't gonna go thru the trash to get them). When we had first gotten back to camp the boys stayed in the van. Now, it was 105, who  knows how hot with the heat index, but way to hot for them to be sitting in that van. I hollered for them to come on, they got out and all 3 of them were hanging their heads. Oh boy. So, I said what? They kind of stuttered around and finally the middle one says, you know how you told us not to lose the crab? Well, we lost it. For days we searched for that little crab, never did find it. I am guessing it jumped out at some point.

Ok, enough stories. It was a fun trip. I would love to do it again someday, without the heat. Thank you for reading along, this has lightened my mood quite a bit.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Where is June

May is awful, too many bad memories here. I need June to move on.

We had all the kids last weekend, it was fun, it was sad, there was a lot of love, hugs and a few tears.

Saturday started off with a large bouquet of flowers delivered from all of the grandkids. Beautiful. The weather was great so we spent most of the day outside. Lots of work to do on the yard and many new trees to plant. The boys even broke the frisbee out to play. Later in the evening two of our friends and their girls came out to deliver another bouquet of flowers for me.

Sunday, the kids and I took a bouquet of flowers out to their Mom. This is where the tears started. As soon as we got there Rylan jumped out of the truck and started looking around. I was not aware neither he nor Ava Beth hadn't been there yet.

Slowly, with his head hanging in dissapointment, Rylan came up and said, "Bubbah, I can't see Heaven." Rase looked for tissues for me while I explained that we can't see Heaven until we get there. He seemed to accept that, so we took the flowers over and did a little housekeeping. We took a few pictures, and got ready to leave. Rylan started crying and yelling, "I don't want Mommy to have flowers over and over again, but wouldn't say why. We loaded up and ran a few errands then went home. Later in the evening Rylan started crying again and saying he didn't want Mommy to have flowers. Again, I asked why, he finally said, "I want her to come here to get them". Tears poured all the way around. I tried to explain she couldn't get them, but she would see them. Leave it to the innocense of a child to express what we all feel.

Throughout the last year I have learned many things. Some of them are the amazing capacity for tears that humans have. When you experience a loss, the pain never goes away, you just get accustomed to it. Children will always say what adults are thinking. You are stronger than you think you. Love never dies. A Mother's heart will never heal completely. When you are an advocate for your patient in the hospital you learn more and get better care. Never miss a chance to hug those you love or to tell them you love them.

Bill has decided to knockoff for Memorial Weekend. We are going to take the crew camping (tent), fishing and four-wheeler riding. We are all ready for some fun.

The back porch is about 50% cleaned. When we get it done I am so ready to make some soap. We are down to a few bars and I can't use commercial because of all the chemials. I also need to get some sunburn lotion and booboo cream made, as it is the season.

I am so far behind on movies, I now have quite a stack and plan on catching up starting tonight. Ok, not tonight, Bravo has some good shows on tonight. Anybody watch the Real Housewives of ? shows. I admit it, they are my guilty pleasure. If you do, and you watch the OC, answer this, does Vickies new boyfriend, Brooks, remind you of G. W. Bush when he talks? Well they aren't on tonight but the new Chef show is as is the season finally for the interior decorating show (yep like them too).

I saw a new doctor today for my knees since the other one had retired. Of course we had to do all the x-rays again. Guess what the diagnosis was, I need new knees! No shit sherlock. Can't happen cause I have no insurance nor do I have a hundred grand laying around. He did give me injections. My old doc would shoot in numbing stuff first, then the kenalog so it wouldn''t hurt so bad. I thought they all do that. Oh hell no. This guy goes straight for the kenalog behind the kneecap with no numbing. I bit my jaw to keep from screaming and tried not to pee my pants at the same time. Home now, in bed. PAIN Now this is pretty common for the first few days, but I sure wasn't expecting it to hurt this much so soon. Bill did bring in my camping porta potty and set it by the bed for me to use (this is because first time I had to tinkle I didn't make it cause it hurt to much to walk that far). Wonder if I can get him to make me some popcorn for my tv viewing pleasure, yeah and a coke, that sounds good. I don't usually drink pop, I am an iced tea girl all the way (I think I picked that up when I lived in Mississippi), but I just don't think tea "goes" with popcorn.

Till next time

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life goes on

Dang, I am gone for a few weeks and now I don't even recognize Blogger, same with the new Timeline on Face Book. I must really be getting old, cause I always thought if it ain't broke - Don't mess with it.

Everything changes, life goes on, with or without us. I am still dazed but one of these days I will get caught up.

This weather has been wild. We have been lucky, we are very wet, but the warm temps and warm winds will have us back in the fields soon.

All my babies were her last weekend. Rylan had just been to the doctor with a 104 temp and had tonsillitis. Poor baby, he hung on me so I couldn't move. By Sunday he was filling much better and was a little stinker again. Rowdy started with a high temp Saturday night, and pretty much just laid around. Ava Beth was the next to fall on  Sunday.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law came in for the weekend. They brought the little dog that used to be Jessika's so the kids could play with her. Was really sweet seeing Ava and the dog curled up together at bedtime. Michelle (sil) is staying with me. I have had some health problems, Bill is busy and I don't want to drag him away from doing stuff so Michelle is my driver, cook and nurse for a while. She is also a shoulder to cry on. Michelle was with me much of last summer when I was living in Springfield. Don't know what I would do without her. You know, my family has made no attempt to contact me since Jessika's service. I am not really surprised, but still. It's ok, I have made my own family with Bill, his family and friends, and my half-brother and step-mother. I refuse to be around anyone who does not make me feel good, alive, again.

We planted some trees last week in my "orchard". It is really just the back yard behind the garage. I didn't exactly plant either. I rode around on the four-wheeler and pointed where I wanted them. I set out 2 Fuji apple trees (I already had 3 apple trees, 2 peaches and 2 pears), 3 pear trees, 2 cherry trees, 3 white cherry trees, 2 pecans and a couple of decorative trees. I hope to enjoy the fruit in a few years and I know the grand kids will, someday it will be theirs.

Tomorrow we are going to the farmers store, I want 4 ferns to hang around the front porch. I love sitting out there early in the mornings. I take a pot of my favorite tea, a book or magazine, and enjoy the sounds and scents of nature. I am partial to the hummingbirds though. The barn swallows are back and putting their nest in the same place they have for years, but I haven't sited any hummers yet. My lilacs have bloomed and gone. I usually have them blooming around Memorial Day. Very strange weather.

We have begun thinking about a stone for Jessika. The boys are really wanting one. My holdup is that Jon wants a double stone for him and her. I don't. I want a single. He had her for 5 years, I had her for 35 and knowing what I know about them/him he doesn't deserve the double stone. He is just 40, odds are he will marry again and hopefully that will last more than 5 years, I don't think she would like him having a stone with he late wife. We will see. Sometimes things work out with a little patience and "encouraging words".

I still cry often. Not every day now. I think of Jessika every minute of every day, I talk to her, I close my eyes and remember how she would throw back her head to laugh, slip out a snort, look to see if anyone caught the snort, and go back to laughing. She is often in my dreams. Ava Beth says she likes to sleep here because she always dreams of her mommy when she is here. Rylan talks frequently about her when he is here. I am amazed at them, I ache for them. Life is so unfair, not only to lose their Mother, but to live in the situation as it is. My heart breaks for them, it also explains why Rylan doesn't let go of me when he is here.

Well now the eyes are full of tears and it is getting hard to see to type. So I will say Good Night. Love your kids and hug them every chance you get.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


This was a great weekend. My tears only dropped a few times, and those were in private. Praying this is start of healing. I was able to talk about Jessika several times only loosing a few tears.

We had all the kids this weekend. Since there had been some rain, Bill couldn't get into the field. So we went fishing, 4 wheeler riding and picnicking.

We headed up to the lake owned by a long time friend. It was drizzling a little off and on all morning, but we had sunshine in the afternoon.

Ava Beth caught the first fish of the day, but dropped it on the dock and it flopped back into the water. She was okay with it, she just wanted to keep fishing and she did end up with one on the stringer.

Instead of Easter Baskets this year we got a gift for the kids. The three oldest boys (9, 13, 15) were thrilled with a tent of their own, a pretty good size one that would hold them and 3 friends easily. (I tend to over pack so our tent is a bit crowded). Ava Beth and Rylan both got little rod and reels and a small tackle box with a few lures in it. Ava kept playing in hers and managed to slice her finger. I sent her to the van to grab the first aid kit. We got it cleaned, medicated and a band aid on. Rylan came over to see what was going on and eyed the first aid kit. Then in his very adult voice informed us that the kit was for emergencies. Cracked us up, we didn't know that he knew that word.

Rylan was so into peeing in the great outdoors that I think he went every hour. He did get a little while with his aim and came close to giving himself a shower.  Rylan caught the last fish of the day, a crappie. Bill wanted to take a picture of him and his fish. Well Rylan dropped the fish and for 30 minutes he cried because he thought he hurt his fish. I don't think we are going to tell him we are going to eat it. I am afraid that would traumatize him.  We did end up with 25 crappie and one bass yesterday. The boys and Bill were up till 1:00 trying to get them all cleaned and in the freezer. Today Bill and Rase went back up to do a little more riding and fish a bit. They said the fish weren't biting today so they only brought home 2 crappie and one bass. I see a fish fry in our future.

We are planning on camping a lot this year. Yes,we do tent camp, but it isn't really roughing it lol. So our tent is big, nicely big. It is divided into 2 rooms, not by a curtain but by a built in divider with a zip door. We have a queen size air mattress, an inflatable couch that doubles as a queen size bed, and a ton of cots for whomever. I have 5x7 rugs on both sides of the tent. A porta potty is not a luxury so I have one on the same side as our bed. We have all the kitchen stuff we could possibly need including a gas toaster oven (Bs & Gs are so much better when eaten in the great outdoors. I may get a few pics when we set up again.

This lady is wiped out. The kids all went home this evening, I think they are worn out also and are ready for bed.

 There was a lot of moss this time, probably due to the warm temps, the wind shoved it all over to where we were fishing, but it didn't stop us.
Ava Beth and Bertha's broken curtain rod.

Rylan and his first catch ever.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So today is a high pain day for me so I am just laying here, trying to teach the cat the proper way to lay down (she thinks she is a dog so I am having Pete and Giz lay over and over again to model for her, I think they are tired though as Pete is letting loose with a loud sigh each time, and now Giz is under the bed lol). So far she is uninterested, still goes to where she wants to lay and just plops over. I think maybe I should video it, cause you gotta see it to believe it.

I am afraid I have become quite addicted to some Face Book games. Crescent solitaire and Garden of Time consume just a bit more time than they should. Although, I am becoming quite adept and playing while carrying on a conversation. I can't play them on my Kindle or the Touchpad so I was going through serious withdrawal.

I am also trying to figure out a way to gently break it to Bill that I have turned our yard into an orchard. Boys aren't gonna be real happy either as it will cut the room they have for baseball toss and football. Oh well.

Bill came home yesterday and is very concerned about the weather. All those really warm days we had caused the wheat to come out of dormancy, grow and now they are developing heads. Well if it gets as cold as predicted (frost warning, freeze advisory) the whole wheat crop could be wiped out. Please send warm energies to our wheat crop.

We have dealt with enough bad things over the last 2 years, I really hope the wheat is not affected and we can begin to see a turnaround with our luck.

Lance (Jessika's ex husband whom we still love) took the boys out to see their mom for Easter. They took her a little basket and some flowers. I am so proud of them, I know Jess is too.

We are supposed to get rain later this week, so the boys and their dad are going to seed grass there for me. I very much want to get a stone on there, but can't because of Jon. He is insisting on a double stone. I refuse. I want a single and he can leave word when he passes to change the stone to a double then. In my mind he gave up rights to a double stone when he began dating so soon after we lost Jess. So for now we leave it as is. Bill has not been able to go out there yet, is barely glances at her pictures or of the boys out there. Too hard for him. Oh, it is hard for me also, but I don't hold it in, if I feel the need to cry or scream I do. He keeps it all in.

Well, I could say I am going to go and get some house work done. That is a lie. I took some benedryl earlier for hives and now I am out of it. So I am going to go take a nap.


Monday, April 9, 2012


I almost forgot I was going to share this site, perfect for Easter, Spring, anytime actually.


March was a black month. The thermometer showed warm temps outside, but inside it was cold. Not only was I deep in grief, I had several medical issues also.

Rylan had a great pirate party, he adored that everyone was wearing pirate t-shirts. I had gotten new pirate costumes for Ava Beth and Rylan, they looked adorable. If I can figure out where the pictures are I will let you see.  Their dad, however, did not make it. I was holding myself together until everyone sang happy birthday to Jessika. Luckily, Rylan was on my lap so I was able to bury my head against his back so no one could see the tears.

Ryder, grandson number two, has been spending a lot of time with us. It is so good to have him around, his personality is so much like Bill, and Rylan looks to have it also.

The warm days make me want to camp. If Bill can get the field work done, we will go Memorial Day weekend. The boys will go with us, I don't know if I will get to take the little ones, their is a lot of tension with their dad. We did take the boys fishing and on a picnic last Sunday. The crappie were biting so we all caught a lot (Of  course I caught the most).

We have lost several trees the last few years because of storms. We need to replace some. Bill is gonna kill me. I have a few fruit trees that we planted 3 years ago, they set some fruit last summer, but I wasn't here to enjoy it. So I decided to plant a few more, I kind of went overboard. I ended up getting a pecan tree, 3 white cherry trees, 2 plum, 2 more pear, a Fuji apple and 3 peony bushes. I wasn't thinking about mowing around them, I was just thinking of the fruit. I had white cherries for the first time last summer and am so addicted. They should come on in June, so if you haven't tried them, you must. I am going to wait till they arrive to break the news to Bill.

The boys always grab our laptops when they are here. Not sure exactly what they did, but both of our laptops had a virus. I finally got mine going again, but am still working on Bill's. I was able to read blogs but I couldn't get the scroll or post features to work, which is the main reason I have been away.

Does anyone know how to teach a cat? She is not a problem, a real sweetheart and great mouser. The problem is when she lays down. She lays down ok if it is on someone, but if she lays anywhere else she walks to the spot then keels over on whichever side she wants to lay on. The only time it is a problem is when she decides to sleep with us, the thud wakes me up every time.

I am looking for good crockpot recipes, if you have any please share.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tears and Cupcakes

I still have the headache, if it isn't gone by the first of the week I will go back to the doctor. Speaking of which my ortho doctor retired today, no notice and no replacement and I am in desperate need of shots in the knees, I can not bear weight for more than a few steps. Now if I find a new doctor that will take me despite being without insurance, he/she will run a few thousand in test that will say exactly what the others said - I need new knees. I don't have the cash (prolly around $60 or $70,000, Up till now I would get the shots and be able to tolerate the knees for a few weeks or a month or so. I may be an RN but I get very frustrated with doctors, insurance and the whole medial system.

So, I have cried all week. I just gotta get thrru the weekend. Not only does my body hurt, but my heart is broken. The pain of losing her is so bad, at times I can't breath. I started, along with Bill, grief counseling. I hope it helps.

I didn't want soggy cupcakes, so still don't have them done. I think I will send Bill for boxed mixes in the morning and use them, will still make frosting from scratch then maybe no one will figure out, or care the cake wasn't homemade.

Ryder, my second grandson, came out after ball practise to help with favor bags and spend the night. He has grown into a wonderful young man and I know Jessika is proud of him. I will have the whole crew after school tomorrow until Monday morning. I love having them here, I can't do anything much now but the boys and Bill help out so much. I couldn't do it without them. It is also a great time for Bill to help them with their cooking skills. I have reminded them that there are several generation of men in my family who were chefs or cooks, so they need to develop those skills so they can take care of themselves.

Time to head for bed. I will be back the first of the week, hopefully with pics of the pirate crew.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

March Third

I have had a migraine since Sunday, nothing will stop the pain.

I think my head is demonstrating what my heart feels.

I also think March 3 is behind it. That is Jessika's birthday, it would have been #36. It is also her youngest's 3rd birthday.

The thought keeps running thru my head and I can't stop it. Rylan was born on 3/3 his mothers 33rd birthday. Was this an omen? a sign? something I should have picked up on that could have prevented Jessika's death. Or was it just coincidence. Were the feelings I had the Friday night before we lost her, the feeling that I had to be with her, did I miss something? or was this feeling given to me so I could be with her in the end? I don't know. I think I did all I could, but what if I missed seeing or feeling something that would have made a difference? Did I not fight the nurses hard enough? did I leave the hospital too soon that night? If I were there when she started to code could I have helped? saw the problem and stopped it.

It overwhelms me.

Right now my plan is to have a birthday party for Rylan with all the kids and a few close friends along with Bill's parents. I was going to fix a meal, I know that is too much, it's gonna be take out pizza. I am going to make the Pirate cupcakes and cake that Rylan has been requesting since Thanksgiving. I am also making Jessika a birthday cake. The older boys want to take a piece to her, but they all believe she will be here, they need to see something, like the Christmas tree and the jack-o-lantern they have put on her I can't say it.

And the waterfall is flowing again. Time to go.

Hug and Kiss your children no matter what their age. You just never know . . .


Friday, February 24, 2012

Rough Weeks

I am still here. The last few weeks have been rough, and for more than one reason. I picked up the "bug" that was going around, however mine turned into bronchitis and a trip to the doc. Now I am on a heavy duty antibiotic (think almost $200) and Neb treatments 4 times a day. Also have a few complications that we are watching.

Ava Beth had her tea party. It was a riot, really a riot. Those four little girls managed to completely wipe out a bedroom and the living room. At least they had fun. I felt bad as I had a 3 day migraine and couldn't get the cupcakes and other goodies made. I was so surprised that the girls went to town on the little sandwiches, well except for the PB&J. They killed the cucumber sandwiches (1 med cucumber peeled and 2 lg packages of Philly cream cheese, mix all together in a food processor or blender, works best if you cream the cucumber then add the Philly) and the ham sandwiches (thin sliced ham, Philly whipped with chives, spread Philly on both slices of bread add the ham, enjoy). I did have the bread cut into cute shapes with large cookie cutters.

I had gathered up all the dress ups I could find and the girls went through them, after trying on several outfits they decided on outfits and the "tea" began.  Ava Beth went for the princess look.

Waiting on the tea to be served.

Petit Fours and shhh, Little Debbie cakes, there were veggies and dip in those little shot cups.

Oh no, they found the peanuts.

And now the tea is over and the peanuts are the big hit (even if Ava Beth told the girls it was okay to throw the shells on the floor, I think she thought she was at a steak house).

My other issue, is Jon, Jessika's husband. He is dating, started when Jessika had only been gone around 3 months. So, the dating is now a relationship and yeah I am having issues with it. My issue is the kids are involved, too involved. He promised me he wouldn't introduce kids to anyone until he had been with them several months. So much for that.

I asked for the kids every other weekend. It was agreed by both dads that I could have them on that schedule. Not only do we get to spend time with them, they are all together. Well the last 3 times I was supposed to have them, someone interfered and I didn't get the little ones as long as I was supposed to. This is getting very frustrating. I miss them, I NEED them.

March 3rd is Jessika's birthday, it is also Rylan's, he will be three. Since mid January I have been planning a pirate party for Rylan. I am also making a birthday cake for Jessika, and for Pop (my father-in-law). Now that isn't working for Jon. He says it is too hard to have a party on her birthday. It is hard. It hurts. Some how, in the grand scheme of life it is fitting that we celebrate Jessika's birthday as we celebrate Rylan's. I wonder if she somehow knew. I know for a fact she would hate it to not celebrate Rylan's  birthday because of hers. I am afraid if we didn't celebrate we'd be dodging lightening bolts. I know if we don't have something to focus on we will spend the day in bed, crying.

Crying. I still do that, almost daily. I still hurt. I still miss her. I don't think this is something I will get over, I think it is something I have to live with. Rylan was laying in bed with me last Sunday morning. I looked over and he had tears in his eyes, then he said "I want my mom". What do you say to a 3 year old. I felt the hot tears on my cheeks and I told him "Me too".

So, that is where I have been and what I have doing for the last few weeks. I did finally get my laptop up and running and it is so much easier to post from than the Kindle or Touchpad.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Life in the dark

It has be en a while since I was here. I would like to blame it on my laptop that died, or the disruption in our Internet service, but the truth is, the darkness kept me away.

I keep thinking things will be easier, that I won't hurt so much, or miss Jessika so much. It's not. Life is still hard and the pain is still there.

I think this causes some, if not all of the darkness. Some days it envelopes me, it is so dark and heavy I can't breath. I can't leave the house, I don't want to be around people (with the exception of close friends and some family). I am afraid I am becoming agoraphobic. If the pain would leave, maybe the darkness would also.

I am trying to learn to live without Jessika, I am trying to learn to live with the constant heart ache. I am not there yet.

Jon, Jessika's husband, has begun dating. The kids know and have met her. This hurts so much. Jessika has only been gone 4 months. He packed up her stuff last week with the help of some of his friends. I was not included, strangers were handling Jessika's things, her close, her lingerie. All stabs to my heart. How are the little ones going to feel if it doesn't work out with this girl? I know how I felt when I was young and my mom had dates over, we got attached, then when they were gone we wondered what was wrong with us. I don't want the kids to go through that. But I have no say.

It kills me that another woman will be caring for them, staying in the house that Jessika and I decorated, a house that screams of Jessika. I asked him not to introduce her to the kids unless he was sure she was the one. He said he wouldn't, he lied.

I have a feeling that his girlfriend time is going to interfere with my time with the kids. Will have to wait and see on that one.

In the meantime, I will continue to fight my way out of the darkness. When I have the kids here, the light comes through and I have hope. Then they leave and the darkness comes back.

I have to wonder if this is how life will be from now on.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Have Been Tagged!

Well, it seems I have been tagged! Ms. Natalie over at http://bridgetsdaughter5.blogspot.com tagged me. I will follow the rules, post my random things, answer the questions . . . then watch out, I will be off to tag 11 of you!

The rules are:
1. Post the rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about "you are tagged if you are reading this. You have to legitimately have to tag 11 people.

My random things:
1.) I love to read. I have spent a fortune buying books. Luckily now I am a Vine Reviewer for Amazon.com so I get a lot of books free.

2.) I love gadgets. You know weird little things for the kitchen or house? Everyone makes fun of all my junk - but they love to borrow it! Most recent additions: cotton candy machine, Babycakes cupcake maker, Whoopie pie maker, wine glass charms, ice crusher, new lemon zester, and the list goes on and on.

3.) My husband and I met when he rescued me from a dangerous situation. It was love at first sight even though it took another year before we started dating.

4.) I love genealogy. Have one line of my family back to Revolutionary War, and line of Bill's family back to a grandfather who fought for Napoleon.

5.) If I am going to drink a soft drink, it will be either Coke or Sprite, and it has to be in a glass glass (I hate plastic).

6.) I love camping. Tent camping. Of course with all my gadgets it really isn't roughing it. Friends laughed when I took my propane toaster oven, but they loved the biscuits from it.

7.) I think I am addicted to some of the games on Face Book.

8.) I lived in Jackson, Mississippi in 1973/74. It changed my life. Busing had just begun at the school I attended and I got a lesson in Civil Rights in real life. I loved it.

9.) I still consider myself a Southerner and love all things southern: grits, sweet tea, gator tail, grape jelly on my biscuit with sausage, etc.

10.) When we visited Charleston, SC for some reason it felt like I was Home. Makes me wonder

11.) I love the ocean. Everything about it. I love swimming with wild dolphins. Snorkeling for shells. Deep sea fishing. Our last family vacation (with Jessika, Jon and the kids) we went on a full day fishing trip out of Destin. It was perfect.

OK, now for the questions . . .

1.) What is your favorite book? The last one I read! I don't have a favorite book, I have a lot of favorites. I loved Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie, I love all of her books, but that one was laugh out loud funny. I also love Dorthea Benton Frank, all of her books are fantastic (and most take place in the south which is a bonus for me)

2.) Of all your hopes/dreams for yourself, which scares you the most? Fear of failure or fear you won't ever do anything but dream? They both scare me! I want to get my BSN (bachelor in Nursing), I had just started picking up a couple of classes I needed to apply to a program when Jessika got sick. I want to get started again, but I am not sure I would be able to concentrate enough yet. So fear of failure is a definite problem there. I have a lot of dreams, but as time goes by I realize some of them are not going to be attainable.

3) What brings you joy? Hmm, Joy is something I seem to have lost. Spending time with my grand kids is probably what gives me the most joy at this time. Spending time with Bill and good friends and just talking over a bottle, or two, of good wine is also very nice.

4) If money wasn't an issue what one thing would you buy for yourself, no houses, something personal.  Well, I do need a bigger house! I could stand a new car also. But if money was no issue, I would take all my grand kids and their dads, and their families for a 2 week vacation somewhere, maybe Disney, or maybe a tropical island.

5) What do you do when life stresses you out? I escape to the web, or into a good book, or if possible, take off for a couple of days with Bill. We love to go to Memphis (Beale Street) and Tunica, MS. It is a cheap mini vacation, only 5 hours from us and it is hard to be stressed if you're listening to the blues!

6) How do you celebrate when good things happen? Usually with a dinner with friends or family. Bill loves to use his smoker so we are often looking for something to celebrate so he can use the smoker.

7) What do you do in your alone time? Surf the web. Indulge in a bubble bath while reading. In the summer I love to lay in the pool and let my thoughts go where they may.

8) What do you do to honor yourself? Rituals, buy yourself something? I am not sure how to answer this, maybe I don't do it. I don't buy much for myself. It is so much more fun to buy for the kids, or Bill, or friends. I love it when I stumble upon the perfect gift for someone. I guess I would say I honor myself by doing those activities I listed in my alone time.

9)What are you doing right now to make your dreams come true? How are you working towards those goals? For the time being, my dreams are on hold. I am still mourning, healing and trying to learn to go forward without my precious daughter in my life. Once I get back on track I want to get my BSN and then maybe my masters, and become a counselor. I think with everything I have been through in my life I would be able to help others.

10) How do you give back to humanity? What actions do you do regularly? If you don't what could you do? Well, I don't do anything formally. I worked in Special Ed for many years, I loved being able to give the kids experiences they wouldn't otherwise have. Several years we would bring a class out to the farm for a tour. One year we let them plant things in the garden, one year we tie dyed t-shirts, Bill would usually grill hamburgers and hot dogs for the class. We had so much fun doing this. After Katrina, I made contact with a nurse in Lafayette and collected and shipped around 30 boxes of supplies of all kinds to her to distribute. A girl I know lost everything in a house fire, so Bill and I bought necessities for them, as well as Christmas for her kids. We try to give what we can to whomever we can help. It is more fun to do it anonymously though.

11) What do you do that's green? Recycle? Drive a small car? Oops, I am not real green. We do recycle some, and try to buy in bulk packaging to cut down on paper/plastic waste, we don't make unnecessary trips to town. All of our appliances are energy efficient, as are our light bulbs. My car is older but it still gets 24 mpg in town and 28 on the highway, Rase will get it soon and I will stick with my old Durango as long as it runs. We won't buy a new vehicle, and we won't buy anything we can't pay cash for.

That was tough! Now here are my questions for those of you I am about to tag. Remember to read, follow and post the rules above.

1. Who is your secret crush or free pass and why?
2. What is your guilty pleasure?
3. Do you have a special charity or cause? How do you serve it?
4. If time or money was no object, what dream would you fulfill?
5. Best vacation or holiday memory?
6. Do you have any odd or unusual hobbies? Any "normal" ones?
7. Paper or Plastic?
8. Your dream job would be?
9. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what and where?
10. Are there any TV shows you never miss?
11. Favorite movie of all time?

There you go, I look forward to your answers. Now off to tag . . . .


The house is quiet again. All of my babies have gone to their respective homes. I probably shouldn't call them babies, Rase is six months away from getting his license and my car. The weekend, a long one at that, was very nice with a few bittersweet moments.

Friday Rylan was looking at the pictures on the wall. He zeroed in on their family picture and stared at Jessika. Then he turned to look at me, those big blue eyes and in a little voice, barely above a whisper, said "I miss my mommy". Well my faucets turned on, I buried my face in his shoulder and choked out that I missed her too. The room got pretty quiet and I noticed the other kids had heads turned, hidden or wet cheeks. We sat that way for a few minutes, then he asked why he wasn't in the picture. I explained he was in his mommies tummy when that picture was taken. He thought a second, then said "That's right, I was in Mommy's tummy and Ava threw me a rope and I pulled myself out". Laughing, I told him I didn't know that. The levity helped a lot.

Bill and the older boys cooked tacos for supper for us Friday. A nice surprise, and we think it is time to start teaching some of these skills to them.

Saturday, Ryder had a friend out to ride 4-wheelers. She is his best friend, but not his "girl friend". Ava was all over her, and asked a million questions. It was obvious she is in need of female attention. Several times she wanted me to lay down with her so we could talk, I did and we covered everything, most of it concerning her mom's likes and dislikes. I love those talks.

Saturday night I had a little accident. Ava wanted to sleep by me, so I let her put her sleeping bag on the floor by my bed. She went to bed and a little while later I headed there also. However, she had moved to right inside the doorway and I didn't see her until I started to stop. You can not change direction easily mid stride and I went down, hard, I saw stars. I missed Ava Beth but landed on my right arm and side. I am black and blue. Can't straighten my right arm yet due to the swelling around my elbow, and my right leg won't bend, again due to the swelling. With the fibro, as my fellow suffers know, something like this triggers a full body attack, so I am in misery.

Sunday we broke out the cotton candy machine for the first time. I got it for all the kids to keep here. Jessika had one when she was young and it was always fun to make it when she had friends over. So I told the kids stories about when their Momma made cotton candy while we made it. We also watched the movie Labyrinth, this was a favorite of Jessika's and is now a favorite of the kids. I promised we would watch it again when they came back.

The boys helped Bill clean the concrete pad our garage is going on today, then cleaned up all the down sticks and limbs in the yard. I kept the little ones amused. The plan was for Ava Beth and I to make whoopie pies today, but I am much to sore for that, so we will do it next time.

Ava was upset she had to leave tonight. She wants to live with me, for at least 50 years! I wish my health, wallet and house size would allow that (probably not for 50 years though). For now, I will settle for my every other weekend visits. I suspect it will be much more than that this summer, at least I hope so.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Daze

The brightness woke me this morning. Not the sun, the snow. Not a lot, just a dusting and flurries, makes the world seem so calm and pretty. I wrapped my robe a little tighter around me and took my coffee to the window to watch the flakes floating down.

A giggle, then there was a 3 year old towhead building a snowman with her 10 year old uncle. All the while dodging snowballs from her dad.

Laughter brought me to a 7 year old and four of her friends building a snow fort where the snow blades had piled up the snow in the yard. So much laughter and rosy cheeks, not a care in the world, except dodging snow balls.

Shouting, oh, a car hood loaded with kids and pulled by a pick-up down our private lane goes down the road. They will be in for hot cocoa and cinnamon toast to warm up soon.

Then there is a beautiful woman, bundling up her own little towheads for the snow. With Mom they pile on the sled made by their Papa and pulled behind 4-wheelers across the open field. They will have fresh sugar cookies to go with their cocoa.

A dog barking brings me back. Through a haze of tears and heartache I let them out.

So many memories to cherish. I long for the day they bring me nothing but smiles instead of tears and pain.
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