Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Support for Team WhyMommy

We women must stand together and support each other. Many of us are faced with challenges every day. My MIL has battled and beat breast cancer twice. One coworker is currently battling it. Her previous mammogram was fine but she recently found a lump. She had a double mastectomy and radiation and hormone treatments.

I have had my own scares, the most recent one about 6 months ago when I was having swelling and pain in my left breast. My friend experienced the same symptoms just last month. These symptoms are extremely concerning because of a new form of breast cancer. If you haven't heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), you must read this and share it with every woman you can. It doesn't present with lump but rather symptoms of a breast infection so it can be overlooked. My friend and I both were lucky to receive a diagnosis of Fibrocystic Breast Disease. However, we both remain wary.

WhyMommy at Toddler Planet, a young mother with two small babes, wasn't as lucky. Six weeks ago she was diagnosed with IBC. And she is working diligently to spread to word to as many women as she can. This is an extremely aggressive cancer and early detection is paramount. Please read this post on inflammatory breast cancer and share it with everyone you can. Please follow her blog to read more about her story and her family and provide any support you can. Let's spread the word!

8 Random Things About Me

I've been tagged by Laurie at Learning Life Through Unschooling to tell 8 random things about me. I'm not really good at talking about myself individually but I gave it a shot. Here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

1. I play the mountain lap dulcimer. I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains where Blue Grass and Folk Music were born. My brother made one by hand when he was in middle school and I loved to play it. My dear Hubby bought me a new one about 10 years ago from an old gentleman craftsman in the mountains. He was an artist! It has the most beautiful tones!! I think I need to get it out and practice some!!!

2. I’m a freak. I have hitchhiker thumbs. You know, the kind that bend way back like they are double-jointed. It’s hereditary. So are free ears where the earlobe hangs down in a little dip and attached ears where the lobe attaches to your face without the dip. My Mom has attached ears. My Dad has free ears. I have one of each. I enjoy weirding people out with my little thumb and ear freak show.

3. I am the Queen of Fluff. I know an insane amount of trivia. If anyone has a question particularly about movies or music, they come to me. They know I’m going to know the answer 95% of the time.

4. I make candles as a hobby. I make them for myself, friends and family. I had considered launching it into a home business until reading about the entrepreneur who lost everything when sued by a customer whose home burnt down after leaving her burning candle unattended……in the bathroom…….UNDER THE TOWELS!!! EEK!!!

5. I love to bird watch. I could sit all day and watch birds at the feeder. We just put our hummingbird feeder up on the back porch so we can see them from the dinner table. It makes for quite exciting dinner conversation.

6. I used to own a cow. Yeppers, a real cow. I grew up on a small farm. My Daddy and PaPaw had several cows that they would breed. We would keep one steer for our own beef and sell the rest at market. My brother loved to name the steer and then torment my friends by asking them how good “Ol’ Tom” or “One Horn” tasted. My brother and I each had a cow and we got sell our calves at market and keep the money (minus expenses). Pretty sweet deal. I was the only kid in Jr High School with a checking account! My cow was black and white. Her name was Blackie. Yes, it was a very original name.

7. I used to raise tobacco. We grew Big Burley tobacco as a cash crop. It was hard work. We would set the plants out in the spring (I’d get out of school to help) and cut it in the summer. Then it hung in the barn to dry until fall when we would strip the leaves and tie it into “hands” or bale it. I really enjoyed this last part. I have never smoked in my life but the sweet scent of tobacco always takes me home.

8. I love to sing. I grew up singing in church—youth and adult choirs, ensembles, solos, you name it. I stopped when I went to college. Last year, I joined a local choral group and sang in a Christmas concert. I had forgotten how much I loved to sing. I’m planning to do it again this year. I can’t wait!!!

Whew!! I'm exhausted!! Now I tag The Farmer's Wife at Running in Wellies and Mama Zen at The Zen of Motherhood if they be so inclined and anyone else who might want to play. Just leave me a comment and a link. :)

A New Day

Thank you for accommodating me through this last week. The series about Misha was very difficult to write but healing in its own way. Guess this last week was the “chance of clouds”. But it’s time to move on. It's a new day and I see the sun on the horizon.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

We Miss You Misha


12/9/1994 - 7/28/2005

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true
Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemondrops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Friday, July 27, 2007

Remembering Misha--Part 3, When We Get To Heaven

We moved to our new home June 20, 2005. It’s very hectic moving 2 kidlets and a dog in the heat of summer. The kids missed the old house and were having trouble adjusting to the new daycare. It was a very stressful first week. Misha seemed to be adjusting fine until that first Friday.

We got home that night and sound she could hardly walk. She was unsteady on her feet like she was dizzy and her ears were all crusty like an ear infection. She wouldn’t eat or drink. The next morning she was no better so I took her to the vet. They ran some tests and cleaned her ears out good. The tests showed elevated liver enzymes but not much else. She said Misha reacted like she’d been poisoned. That didn’t make any sense. We’d been there only a week and she was always on leash and rarely made any noise so I could see no reason for anyone to harm her. They gave us some meds for a possible ear infection and sent us home.

Several days passed with still no improvement so we tried another doctor. He was an angel. He kept her for almost a week doing tests and giving her IV fluids. He called for us to bring her home saying she had improved nearly 100% over how she came in but the Misha we took home that day was not our Misha. And her blood work still showed there was something going on.

Dear Hubby took her for an U/S. He said the doctors were all chatty and pleasant as they started but the more they looked the quieter the room got. It was cancer and it was widespread. I think the stress of the move accelerated her condition. We took her home with some high protein food to help boost her energy and a hope for a few more months. That was July 14, 2005.

She was too weak to climb the stairs so we would carry her into and out of the house. We kept her with us as much as possible. She had good days where the old Misha was back and bad days. We tried to prepare the children telling them that Misha was very sick and we needed to spend time with her. She was failing quickly.

The night came when Misha could hardly breathe and she couldn’t walk. She couldn’t keep even water down. We called the vet who told us to give her some Benadryl to make her comfortable through the night. We woke Sara up so she could say goodbye. She cried so hard when we told her that Misha was very sick and it was time for her to go to heaven. She wanted to know how Misha would get there. I told her an angel was coming to carry her there and that once she got to heaven, she wouldn’t be sick anymore. She would run and play and be God’s dog. She would be able to watch us and would be waiting for us when we get to heaven.

The next morning the children and I said one last goodbye and Dear Hubby took her to the vet. He wouldn’t let me come. I was very angry with him that day because I wanted to be there. But now I understand this was something he had to do himself. He is a very private person and needed to grieve in his own way….alone. It was time. She would not have lived another day. I still, to this day, feel we let her down…..that we let her suffer trying to keep her with us for “just one for day”. Dear Hubby was with her when she passed. He said he held her and she just went to sleep……and then he cried. I locked myself in my office……and then I cried. That was July 28, 2005.

It’s been 2 years now. I still have her collar and tags in my dresser. Sara has a picture of her on her dresser and still cries for her at times. Scott was too young to really understand but he misses her just the same and has a fond attachment to anything Husky. I think of her often. I miss how she knew when we turned off the TV, it was time to go to bed. I miss “talking” with her. I miss her “cuddling” with me, lying between my legs and the couch. I even miss her begging to lick the ice cream bowl. But I know that God now has a great friend. I see her lying between His legs and His throne, cuddling. I see her playing with our friend Nancy who passed later that year and sitting with my FIL who passed last year. And I know that she’ll be waiting for us when we get to heaven when we’ll all be a family again.

We love you Misha.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Remembering Misha--Part 2, Dog Days

Misha came to live with us in January 1995 just after our 1st anniversary. She was such an adorable little puppy. And SOOOO smart!! Her crate was too big so we shortened it up with a board to keep her from messing it in. That little stinker figured out she could go over the board to mess and then scramble back to the front so we never knew. She got several days of praise for staying clean until the telltale odor gave her away! She also made a mess on the rug at the garage door. We didn’t realize this either until we noticed the rug was missing. I found it in the laundry room. She had actually messed on the rug and pushed it under, yes, that’s right UNDER the door into the laundry room!!! That was when we realized who was going to run the household!!!

And rule she did. In our house, Hubby was Alpha, Misha was Beta and I was at the very bottom of the pack. She slept in our room on our double bed with us. Actually, Hubby is 6’3” so he took at least half the bed. Misha slept at the bottom of the bed on my side and I got whatever was left. She got to lick the ice cream bowls, pudding cups and yogurt cups clean and leftover soup, sauce and gravy went into her bowl. She was a real talker too. At times I could almost swear she was saying words. She “talked” with such tone and inflection you always knew what she was trying to say.

She loved being outside watching the birds, chasing squirrels and just running!! Huskies LOVE to run! It’s innate!! They can’t help themselves!!! It was great when we moved to North Carolina and had a small fenced back yard that she could play in. We had a hard time getting her to come back inside most days!

She had the best life but that did change some in late 2000. That’s when the kidlets started to join the family. And let’s face it kids change everything. Misha was no longer the center of attention. I had two little ones a year and a half apart and Hubby was working or on-call most of the time. She wasn’t loved any less, however, spreading the time out was difficult and she was getting less attention. She was also getting older and starting to have health problems.

The time came for us to find a new home. Hubby had been commuting about 3hrs each day for over 6 years and we decided enough was enough. It took us over a year but we finally found the perfect house. It was in a rural area on 1.5 acres and it had an invisible fence so Misha would be able to run to her heart’s content!!!! She could chase squirrels and run with the kids all day! It was going to be perfect!!! ……was going to be……..

Remembering Misha--Part 1, Welcome to the Family

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Comments Anyone?

Jeana over at Days To Come has posed the question, “What is the purpose of Comments”.

Realistically, when we open our blogs to comments, we are inviting everyone who reads to say anything they want about us. This can be very difficult to do. I mean, most of us bloggers are posting about ourselves, our lives, our families, our convictions, dreams, acccomplishments, fears. It can be hard to hear someone disagree with us. A negative comment can be a slap in the face. Thankfully, from my experience with my blog and others, the negative comments don’t happen very often. And honestly, I welcome a different perspective as long as it is presented with a degree of civility.

I think the other reason we take comments is to get that pat on the back. I admit that I get excited when someone leaves a comment. I secretly envy those blogs whose posts get 10 or 20 comments. That means that people are really connecting with them. It shows that they are great authors who make people laugh, or cry or think. A comment is a Kudo, a round of applause, a head nod. Let’s face it, we all want to have our Sally Field moment, “You like me…..You REALLY like me!!!!!”

So I’m gonna keep writing and reading comments. Hopefully, I learn a bit about my audience to continually improve my writing and some day I’ll have my OWN Sally Field moment!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bow to the Queen!!!

Ring Ring!!

Me: Hello.
Hubby: I got a trivia question.
Me: OK.
Hubby: Who played “Brad” in Rocky Horror Picture Show”?
Me: Barry Bostwick.
Hubby: Thanks! That’s all I needed!
Me: Glad to be of service.

Oh, yes…......I AM the Queen of Fluff!!!!

Remembering Misha--Part 1, Welcome to the Family

Hubby and I married in January 1994 then Hubby relocated to be with me in the Far North Chicagoland. We were in our very first house and had met two wonderful couples just down the street— The U’s and The C’s. It was great! They were wonderful friends. The U’s had a female Siberian Husky named Alexis. She was so sweet. She was enamored with Hubby and would actually position herself between him and me. It was too funny!! The C’s had a male Siberian Husky named Nikita (Nikki). He was HUGE and could place his front paws on Mr. C’s shoulders (Mr. C is about 6ft 6in!!!). He looked quite intimidating but he was just a big push over!

Well, Alexis and Nikki got twitterpated and on December 9, 1994, Alexis gave birth. Six pups. She was a smaller dog and had trouble whelping them so she ended up with a C-section. She was very weak and the U’s almost lost her so the pups had to come home that night while Alexis stayed in the hospital to recover. We all got to hold the just born pups and help feed them with tiny little bottles. It was amazing!

They were adorable. Alexis Jr. (AJ) looked just like her mother. Brutus was the biggest pup of the six. Piggy had two little black dots on her nose that looked like a pig nose. Dakota had two black dots on his belly and was picked that first day to be The C’s pup. George was named after a Bugs Bunny cartoon. You know the one. “I’ll hug him and squeeze him and call him George.”

They were all black and white except for the last one…..Silver. She had the most beautiful silver/grey fur. You could always pick her out of the pup pile!! She was beautiful and different and …………and she was slowly winning our hearts.

Every time we went to visit, Silver ended up in our laps. Mr. U was always making a fishing motion when we held her--like he was reeling us in. We kept telling them we just weren’t ready for a pet. It’s too much responsibility. But still, she kept ending up in our laps and Mr. U kept making that reeling motion.

We all got together just before Christmas to celebrate the holiday with our friends—our family, really, since ours were 800 miles away. Once again, Silver was in our laps. I looked at Hubby and said, “Can we name her Misha??” And Mr. U was in the corner, frantically reeling………hook……line…….and sinker.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm gonna call him Shadow....

Scott got a new pet yesterday. Well, sort of. Sara picked up a snail shell at daycare and Scott just had to have it.

I want the snail!
No, it's mine!
But you have a calapitter!!!!
No I don't!!!
Yes you do! It's a cocoon!!
No, I don't, it died! It never hatched!!! (oops, sorry I never updated you on that!)
But I want the snail!!!
Fine! Take it!
Thank you.

So he did. And he put it in a sippy cup with a lid just like Sara's calapitter. I kept telling him it was empty but he said he still wanted to keep it. He even put leaves in the cup. And he named it Shadow. (He wanted to name Hyperdog Shadow but we didn't feel it fit her. He was VERY disappointed.)

When Daddy put him to bed last night, they were looking at it.

Wow, that's neat.
It's name's Shadow.
Are all those leaves for it to eat?
No, it's dead. The leaves are it's bed.

Shadow currently resides next to his bed so he can look at him. Kids!

Friday Fill-In #29

Janet of Fond of Snape hosts this every week so I thought it would be fun to play along! Sorry Janet, haven't figured out how to get your sexy Friday Fill-In button to show up.

My answers are in bold (as if you couldn’t figure that out on your own!! LOL!!)

1. _Cows_ makes me remember my childhood.
2. I like to use _garlic_ when I cook.
3. _Toy commericals that make my kidlets whine, "I REALLY want that!!!!"__ really pisses me off.
4. I've been thinking about _photography_ lately.
5. The last song I heard that I liked was _I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on me drum all day!!_.
6. _Dream____ by starlight.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _pizza delivery_, tomorrow my plans include _swim lessons for the kidlets and pool time_ and Sunday, I want to _play with my camera_!

Don't forget...have fun!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Photography Class

I’ve just started an on-line photography class!! I’m super excited! I’ve always loved taking pictures and usually do pretty well with the composition but the nuances of aperture, exposure, depth of field and lighting are lost on me.

The class is “Secrets of Better Photography”. Sounds like a blast doesn’t it?? I took a pretest to see how much I know and as it turns out, it ain’t much. LOL!!! So I expect to learn a lot!! And YOU should expect to see lots of photos. Please feel free to critique them for me and in return I’ll happily to share the tips I learn. OOoohhhh, it’s gonna be so much fun!!!!!

The Power of the Playstation!

I’ve never been one for video games. Let’s just say that I’m ….. uhmm….. shall we say, a little uncoordinated. Ok, I confess, Hubby says I could trip over dust. He calls me “Queen Klutz”. And I do very well to live up to that title, thank you very much!!! But back to the video games…...I never really played them so when Hubby decided to get a Playstation system one cold rainy spring day I was like, yeah, ok, whatever. He thought it’d be a great way to spend a cold, rainy day when the kidlets couldn’t get out to play.

We started with the system and three games: NHL, some racing game that gives me motion sickness and Scooby Doo. The NHL game is VERY difficult to play even thought I kinda understand hockey. The racing game, well, like I said, Puke City. And Scooby Doo is fun but it’s one of those find things and figure out the clues games that was a little too advanced for the kids. So the kidlets didn’t play very much.

Recently, I took the advice of Dear Friend, Laurie, and bought Lego Star Wars. The version we got has games from episodes I, II and III. It is soooo cool!! Everything is “made” from Legos and you can build things or break things. When things blow up or characters get destroyed, little Lego pieces go flying!! One caution: it plays best with two players working together as a team. Scott hasn’t quite grasped the “team concept” much to Daddy’s aggravation. But the kidlets just LOVE it!!!! Scott has gone from an occasional gamer to an incessant gamer. Don’t worry, we DO limit their game time.

The benefit I see is the acquisition of a new and very powerful discipline tool. Scott actually started this himself. One day at preschool, he got sad faces for not wearing his listening ears. I asked him what he thought we needed to do about it and he replied sadly, “I know, I don’t get to play the game tonight”. WOW!!!! I had never used it as a discipline tool before and was shocked that he even suggested it! And believe it or not, he DIDN’T play the game that night. He didn’t even ask to play it. Now, he shows me when I pick him up, “I got two happy faces!!! I get to play the game!!!”

Even this morning as he proceeded to give me flack about going to summer camp, a mention of losing gaming privileges straightened him up Toot Sweet! All Hail the Mighty PS2!!!

So the game system has indeed a mighty power in this household. At least for Scott. Caitlin, Her Majesty, The Drama Queen is a different story all together………….

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday Musings

Sorry, I’ve gotten behind so back to the Rainbow!!! The next color is............


1. Who's your favorite Ninja Turtle?
2. Do you have a green thumb?
3. What's your favorite kind of salad?
4. Do you get seasick?
5. Are you a fan of the "Shrek" movies? Have you gone to see the third one?

My Answers

1. We don’t watch them (although Scott calls them “Injun Turtles) so no favs here.

2. Not really. I tend to forget to water and then I over-water. But I HAVE managed to keep my Christmas cactus alive for nearly 20 years bringing it from the brink of death several times. That’s gotta say something!

3. Watergate salad—love that green salad with the little marshmallows!! Yum!!!

4. Oh gosh yes!!!! But Bonine does wonders!!!!

5. I love Shrek!!!!! I have seen Shrek The Third but I have to say that although good, it wasn’t up to the same caliber as the first two.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

That Darn Dog!!

Or maybe “Hyperdog Strikes Again” is a better title.

Let’s return to last evening. I got some hamburger and some beer at the grocer on the way home. I was going to have Hamburger Helper for dinner. I know, but the children will usually eat it and it’s quick and easy. Of course last night they cried for chicken nuggets instead! The beer was a new brand I’d tried in Baltimore—Blue Moon……..Belgium White……Wheat beer. Really good!!

I put the beer in the fridge in the garage. It’s a small dorm fridge Hubby’s boss gave to him. We use it mainly for beer which we rarely drink unless we have friends over. I got ready to start dinner and couldn’t find the hamburger. Oh yeah, I left it in the garage. I entered the garage and I saw Piper standing by the fridge. She immediately dropped her head and flattened her ears. Uh Oh!! What was that on the ground? A half eaten package of hamburger--93% lean hamburger…..1.5 pounds of hamburger…..$6 worth of hamburger!!!!!!!!!! ARRGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

What can I say? She’s just a pup. It was my fault for leaving it where she could get it. So Piper got a very nice meal of raw meat. The children got their chicken nuggets. Hubby and I got cold sandwiches. I think the dog got the best meal last night. At least I got a bottle of beer—Blue Moon……..Belgium White……Wheat beer. Really good!! MMmmmm!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Answered Prayers

Rain moved in about 4 pm as we were eating an early supper at McD's. T-ball was cancelled so we settled in to play Lego Star Wars, read and watch some TV. After a short protest from Scott, the kids were settled in bed shortly about 8:45 pm. The much needed rain is moving out of the area. My headache is basically gone and I'm ready to turn in. I'm looking forward to a much better morning. Good night!

What's on your DVR?

We don't know how we every watched TV before getting our DVR. Here is a list of what's waiting to be watched:

Power Rangers
Supernanny (3 episodes)
Farscape (2 episodes)
The Dead Zone
Ultimate Dog Championships (3 episodes)
Good Dog U (5 episodes)
3000 Miles to Graceland
House (3 episodes)
Build an Outdoor Kitchen (5 episodes)
Spider-Man 2
Stargate SG-1
Music and Lyrics
Boston Legal (5 episodes)
Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes
Night at the Museum
24 (18 episodes!!!)

Wow!!! Looks like we'd better get on it!!!

What's on YOUR DVR?

Yes, I'm monkeying around with the site

Please bear with me while I work on the format of this blog. I like the pic but it needs to be smaller. What do you think about the colors? Do they hurt your eyes? Remember, I already have a headache so I can't tell. LOL!!!!

Oy, my aching head

I've been dealing with this headache for about 3 days now. Don't you just hate those? The ones you go to bed with and wake up with the next day? I called out of work today and spent the morning in bed trying to sleep it off again with some excedrin. No luck so far. And we have T-Ball tonite.......with pictures..........and it's going to be 99 degrees today. Just kill me now!!!

Who Needs Sleep?

My 5 year old does!!!! Poor Scott is operating on a sleep deficit the size of the national debt! It's all the Grands' and cousins' fault. We visited family for the holiday and they stayed up WAY too late. I generally try to get them in bed about 8:30 but this summer with the time change, it's been more like 9:30. But.......while on vacation, they were up until nearly midnight every night!! It's just so hard to give it up and go to sleep when you have cousins to play with. And of course, just because they go to bed late, doesn't mean they sleep late either. They get up at normal time and are just crabby patties all day long!!

Scott's main thing is to fight bedtime with a purple passion!! He wails and cries and kicks and flails lamenting that he's NOT tired, he wants water, he wants to watch TV, he wants to play video games......all the while desperately fighting to keep his eyes from closing. Even Sara is being affected. She was hitting her friends and telling her teachers "no" yesterday and this morning she was quite the little devil!!!!

God grant me strength. (And a nice rainy day so I can convince them it's later than it really is and get them in bed at a decent hour!!)

Monday, July 09, 2007


Good Morning!!

I've written an article for TopBlogMag. The theme this week was a music lyric. Boy, I had a hard time with that one. Too many to choose from!! LOL!!! And I found that writing for a specific theme on a deadline is MUCH different than personal blogging!!

Well, go check it out along with the other great articles. Be kind to me.......it was my first try. LOL!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Here I am!

Did you think I fell off a cliff? Jumped ship? Moved to the outback?

No......just extremely busy. Shortly after my last post I found myself having to travel for business (the horrors!), having to complete three 8 hour web training courses in 3 days and traveling to Tennessee for the July 4 holiday. I’m still exhausted!! But I have lots of new things to write about!! So stay tuned!!