Monday, September 4, 2017

Checking In - Current Thoughts

Summer Dining the Front Yard
  Summer is coming to an end. Sniff. This photo is from our evening September 1st. I love this part of the summer. The fresh foods, enjoying the evenings outside, slowness, when it can be slow.

Here are some quick updates (now that I have my blog back):
  1. It's hotter than heck outside and inside.  My AC quit on Wednesday.  Landlord isn't going to deal with it until sometime this week - meaning, he didn't want to hire someone over the holiday weekend and/or ruin his weekend plans.  It's 78 inside right now, and 97 outside.  Even though I love summer, not digging this part.  I'll get over it.  Fans running and windows open once the sun goes down.
  2. Sami is back in Hawaii.  She left on August 16 for her 2nd year in college. She transferred from Hawaii Pacific to University of Hawaii.  Starting over again with a new dorm, making new friends, etc.  Not easy. 
  3. Jake leaves this month.  His move in date at Eastern Oregon University is September 20th. At least he will be closer! 
  4. Empty Nest:  It's NOT what it's cracked up to be - especially if you are a single mom.  
  5. My Mother Grace:  I miss her.  It still hurts.  Even though we had years and years of strife between us, toward her end our relationship was better.  My fear?  She was the glue that kept her three daughters together.  We are drifting apart.  I feel it.  
  6. Life Around Here:  I have been a cyclops for seven days. Eye infection.  Blech.  Put a damper on all things 'weekendish'.  Did get out yesterday for a hike, but my eye was not happy with me exposing it to the elements - dust, etc.  It is, what it is. 
  7. Long Range Plan:  Can't deal with any more changes right now. Death, kids out of the house.  It's all too much.  So, keeping my little home and will deal with winter driving when it gets here. It would be great if we had a nice, mild winter!   Besides, see that view up there in the front yard - the mountains?  I love it. It grounds me.  Makes me sing my happy song.
Thanks for listening.

Day 4 - Daily Marker 30 Day Challenge

Day 4 of the Daily Marker 30 Day Challenge

Close Up of My Card

Hello!  Or, better yet, Aloha!

This is day 4 of Kathy's 30 Day Coloring Challenge, and I can't believe I have made it this far - meaning, coloring each day and posting to the challenge site four days straight. I am not one of those artsy types that can color.  But, I am motivated to get my Hawaii album done and the challenge is an incentive.  Obviously this card is going off the beaten path of an album, but I had one of those 'awake at night brainstorms' so here it is. 

Background Paper:  Distress Inks:  Broken China, Scatttered Straw; Stamps: Beach Vibes:Keri Bradford Studio
Die: Lwn Fawn Scripty Aloha.  Cut twice and layered.
Pineapple:  Also from the Beach Vibes set and colored with Copics. 
Cardstock:  I think from Hero Arts (my bad - no memory).
Twine:  Stampin' Up.

About my blog appearance
I had to delete all the cute third party links that were being hosted on PhotoBucket because I did not see the benefit of paying $339 year for a hobby blog.  So, here we are.  Bare bones.  And, in need of design help:)

Thanks for the visit.
More later.  

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Little I Know - April 23, 2017

Yesterday, my sister Avis sent this photo of our mother, Grace. 

Her room is different than the photo from January.  Definitely more medical looking than home looking.  I sent a message asking how everything was and what was up.

Yes, she has been moved. The last facility, was a residential facility.  Not a medicaid (or did she say medical?) facility. So the 'caregivers' weren't really medical caregivers.  And, something about billing, and Avis had to find another place for our mom that could be paid for with mom's medicaid or medical.  She had told me this earlier this month when I send a message asking how everything was.  So, when I saw the photo, I figured the move had happened and she was now in a medicaid/medical place. What a difference in atmosphere.

However, sometime before the move between point A and point B, Grace had a stroke.  The residential facility did not know she had a stroke.  My sister saw that Grace's left lip was stuck 'up', so she called the hospice nurse, who confirmed a stroke.  This is what I found out today.

I have no concept of when the stroke occurred, or of any side effects.  The photo was dated April 15 so it all happened before then.

I catch myself getting worked up and upset, and feeling out of the loop, but as I said before, there is nothing I can do from where I am.  I can't be at my mothers side. I can for a short time, and have volunteered that.  I did tell Avis earlier this month to let me know when would be a good time for me  to come down.  At the time she said to wait until she got mom settled into the new place.  And now, she said she will most likely being moving mom again, to her own home (Avis's), and taking care of her herself, because this new place isn't feeding her correctly.  When she went to visit they had given her solid food, and she doesn't eat solid food, she eats soup. So Grace isn't eating again.  Mostly, she sleeps.

The next step?  Avis' plan is to take an extended leave of absence to care for our mother.  Thank God for that.

Peace be with you mom, and with you, Avis.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Another Card! Another Challenge... Anything Goes

April Challenge at A blog Named Hero

Scrap Lift View 1 - Welcome to our Home

Scrap Lift View 2 - With a cute prop on the left
Yes.  I did it again!  I am using this adorable Welcome Home set from Hero Arts, for another challenge.

The challenge over at the 'A Blog Named Hero' site, is anything goes.  I pulled some purple into the card, since it was in the badge above.

I can't take credit for this card design.  I was inspired by Linda W. over on the Hero Arts Flickr Site, by a card she made with this set.  This is a scraplift - when you get inspiration from someone else's work and 'borrow' their design.  I borrowed her layout of the chair, fireplace and bunny, and idea for the wall paper, and flooring.  I added a framed sign over the fireplace, and she had a piece of art on hers.  Thanks Linda!

Chair, buny, fireplace and sentiment from the Hero Arts Welcome Home set.
Frame:  Imaginisce (cut down to fit)
PP from my stash

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Color Thrown Down #437

My Entry

Color Throwdown Challenge #437

I stumbled upon a challenge site while blog surfing on this cold, dreary, icky snow/rain day.
I knew exactly which stamps I wanted to use.  Let's say, they have been waiting to be used and I needed a little motivation. 

So, I made a quick single layer card.  Nothing fancy.  I really just wanted to use this stamp set from Hero Arts, which reminds me so much of the Beatrix Potter illustrations. 

Such a happy reminder.  Over nineteen years ago I spent a few days/months getting ready for my first baby, Sami, and her nursery was decorated the Beatrix Potter theme.  Sigh.

Stamps:  Chair, bunny and sentiment from the  Hero Arts 'Welcome Home' Set
Die:  Small stitched Oval stackables, Lawn Fawn
Copic Markers
Momento Ink

Thanks for looking!

I'm So Sorry (Paper Smooches 'Showers' Challenge)

My Entry for the Paper Smooches Showers Challenge

It's a rainy/snowy day here in Eastern Oregon so I am getting some therapy 'crafty' time. 

This is my second entry for the Paper Smooches April Challenge, which has a 'showers' theme.

Supplies Used:
1. I'm Sorry Sentiment, from the Paper Smooches Word Up Set
2. Two stamps (flower head and stem) from the Paper Smooches Friendly Flowers Set
3. Picket Fence and Clouds from the Cornish Heritage Farms KH:5054Fum Summer Trees Set
1. Copic markers, StazOn Jet Black

I tried 'fussy cutting' the picket fence - not my best skill with an exacto knife!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

When They Drive You Crazy - Mom Confessions

My one and only son, Jake, will be graduating from High School on June 3, 2017.

We had a rough week.

He has a few things to get done for graduation, like ordering his cap and gown, which he has known for months, along with getting all the necessary documents submitted for college applications, and applying for scholarships.  Trust me.  I bug him daily.  I ask him questions.  I send him messages.  I am certain I am his worse nightmare right now.  And he is cranky! And I am cranky!

And, there are deadlines. Fast approaching deadlines.

Jake is not good at deadlines.  He procrastinates,and doesn't prepare ahead of time. For some reason, I think he believes 'what ever happens happens', yet, that isn't the way of the world. He is learning that he has to make things happen. 

So, we/he had a battle getting one of the scholarship applications submitted by April 1st, yesterday.  He almost gave up.  He thought all he needed was his essay - which was done on Thursday, and then he told me Friday night that he needed two letters of recommendation, which were in his locker. the school has been closed all week due to Spring Break.  He had thrown in the towel.

There was no way I was going to let him give up. Especially for what was so close and still within reach.  He had one day to get it all together. A scholarship that would help pay his tuition! 

I made him problem solve and find a solution to what he needed, during spring break, when all the teachers/etc. where also on vacation, and on a Friday night.  He had to make some calls, make an appointment to meet the superintendent on Saturday, ask for a favor, and get his documents loaded up and make that deadline.

He did it.  It was hard and painful and frustrating.  And, I think he was out of his element.

 But he did it.  And it will be easier next time, because he has to do this again, and again, and again. 

Cute Chick Baby Shower Card (Paper Smooches)

Supplies Used Include Paper Smooches Sentiment Sampler

Inside of Card

Outside of Card

Today's big accomplishment ('m having a stay-at-home restful Sunday) was making this card for Molly and Brian who are expecting their first baby in late May.  The baby shower is April 15 in Casper, Wyoming, and since I won't be there in person, their gift and card will be sent via mail.

I am also entering this into the April Paper Smooches Challenge 'shower' theme, which includes baby shower cards. Ta Da! 

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Paper Smooches Sentiment Sampler (inside 'congratulations')
Stamps: Cornish Heritage Farms - KH 5044GUM Sweet Spring (chick on front of card, and 'Cute Chick' sentiment inside) Note:  These stamps are retired and were made by Kim Hughes, who owns and makes all of the Paper Smooches products.
Papers:  Paper Salon blossom, 6x6 swatches - from my old stash.
Button, twine - from my embellishment stash
Ink:  Versamark Black

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

2017 Family Vacation to Oahu - Thoughts

March 19, Sunday Adventure: Jake (almost 18),  Andi (almost 55), Sami (19) - Kualoa Ranch

March 17, Friday Adventure - How We Spent St. Patrick's Day:  Luau, and Breath of Life Fire Show

I am still recovering from Jake's and my big adventure to Oahu to visit Sami.  This was definitely one of those 'once in a lifetime' adventures (I hope I am proved wrong) for all three of us.  The trip was planned last November, and we had lots of time to think, research, etc. Well one of us took that opportunity.  It was also helpful having our own tour guide, Sami, who knew all the hot places to go.

Since I shared lots of photos on Facebook so I am only sharing the two above.

Jake is a senior this year, so this was his grad present.  And, I haven't seen Sami's campus, or her dorm, or any of those 'move in opportunities' that other parents get when their kid goes off to college.  This was that trip and it was so wonderful to see 'my baby girl' in her 'first time living away from home' life.  Wow.  She just loves being on the island and she is thriving. 

 Our trip was full of all sorts of adventures.  Not just our daily 'outings' but mishaps as well.  Driving a rental car, in a city whose street names you can't pronounce had some major challenges.  It was very frustrating driving around Honolulu.  I was frustrated, Jake was frustrated, Sami was frustrated.  Sami drove when ever possible. 

And some days were a little harder to get motivated than others.  I was actually sick the entire time - I took my cold with me to Hawaii. I was perfectly happy just being in the sun, in the heat, doing absolutely nothing.  It felt great.  The humidity actually helped me breath better than in the hotel air conditioning, where I would have coughing fits. 

We did good.  My favorite part was just being a fly on the wall and listening to Sami and Jake together.  They were amazing.  They interact so well.  My heart was happy just being near the two of them, capturing some of their conversations, and just having those moments.

You probably are guessing that my 'empty nest' emotions are peaking and I am having some difficulty realizing how close we each are to living our own lives.  It is hard.  But I also am proud and relieved that they 'can do it'. 

I hope we get to do this again.  It would be great to experience adventures together at different stages of their lives - college years (which we are now entering), married years, with their babies, etc.  All of those milestones.

I sure hope I have that chance.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Testing My Mommy Skills - When The Flu Hits

Emergency Room Visit One Fine Snowy Night in Late February

It's been a rough few days around our little casa.

Today, driving home from picking up Jake's meds, I got very emotional and cried.  I know I am tired from the last few days.  And I just want to Thank God, literally, for getting me through another one of those 'parenting on your own' trials.  I did pray my friends.  I was on my knees yesterday morning and I prayed last night when I finally crawled into bed.   Just so no one is freaking out right now, all is good.  All is good.

Here's the long story: 
I started getting sick last Thursday, with a nasty headache and stomach ickies.  The nasty part lasted four days. It still comes and goes, to be honest, but on an 'I can live with this' level.

Then Jake started getting sick Saturday morning.  High fever, body aches.  Stayed in bed all day, and took about 4 showers a day to be comfortable.  We did cold towels to the head, some ibuprofen, and hung out. But it kept going, and going, and going.  On the first day, you tell yourself, 'this will pass'.  On the second day, you start to wonder what the heck is going on, and on the third, fear strikes.

On Sunday we talked about going to the doc.  He wanted to wait another day.  Ug. He fears the doctor's office.  Such a man.  So.. we agreed. One more day.

So, bright and early Monday morning, we pow-wowed.  I would go to work for a 1/2 day, then take him to the Doc. I worried all morning while I was gone. When I got home, he said he was fine.  And, he truly seemed fine.  However, that evening?  He got worse. High fever again, and body shaking worse.  Even in that state, he wanted to negotiate for another day before seeing the doc.  I had enough. I told him we would both sleep better if we just went in to find out what was going on.

At 7pm we went to the ER.  Best decision ever.  We drove through a snow event (not quite a storm, just enough to make driving a pain in the ass in the dark) and got to our friendly ER in Baker, Oregon.  We got right in.  Temp reading was 102... and after all the symptom checking, a culture was taken (tube up his nose) and the lab test for flu was positive.  Thermaflu was administered on sight, and then off we went home with our doctor's orders. We were both in bed at 10.  It was the first night Jake got some rest.  I peeked in on him this am - touched his forehead, and he felt good. Phew.

However, also this fine Tuesday morning, I had to deal with the pharmacy, back in Baker.  It didn't open until 9am - which is an eternity when your kid is sick.  And, when I arrived, right on the dot at 9am, they said they wouldn't have it ready for an hour.  Which is ten times eternity.

I hate the flu.  I feel this all could have been prevented if Jake had a flu shot.  At least his symptoms would have been to a lesser degree.

However, the  father of my children has our two teens convinced that a flu shot is a bad choice, in addition to ibuprofen and any doctor's remedy.

As their mother, I feel I failed by not pushing harder. 

I realize they are now old enough to make their own health decisions. Yet, I promise I will work harder to advocate for yearly flu vaccines.

I think Jake will be an easy sell.  Too bad it had to be through his own experience.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Wishing for Peace for Grace

Comfort Food - Grandma's Chicken Soup - Today, for my Soul

Us - A good 35 or so years ago

Us - A Year Ago
Grace Walsh.  January 20, 2017

My mother is dying.  She is slowly dwindling away, getting smaller and smaller each day.  She used to weigh a lot - I am guessing close to 170 pounds, at 4 foot 11, and now she is less than 100.   She is only 74 years old.  Or is it 75?  Cancer of the liver.  Diabetes. 

This has been a slow painful process for her and us.  Obviously, she carries the most physical pain.  For us?  An emotional roller coaster.  Guilt.  Frustration.  Trying to let go of all the past.  Hoping for peace for her.  

I remember the July day almost two years ago when she sent a message out to all of us that she wanted to die.  She was wanting help with assisted suicide, in a State that did not allow it.   We were all shook up. I sat outside, afterward, on the front door stoop, in a daze.  Wondering 'is this real?'. 

It was.

After she was able to stabilize with new meds, and go into remission, we were offering advice, solutions and the the plea to 'please, get help now before it is too late' with all of her affairs.

My sister Avis has been her caretaker.  She carries all the weight of seeing and dealing with our Mother's decline and series of medical emergencies, emotional ups and downs, the pain, the horror, the sorrow, and now, the heartache and closeness of watching her slip away, day by day.  I pray for Avis daily.  I pray for her continued strength and wish she wasn't doing this alone. 

I called our mother a week ago.  Broke my heart.  She was upbeat, and said she was happy and comfortable in the new home she has been moved to. But she was tired, and had to cut our conversation short.

I did get to tell her I love her. 

I cry off and on... some days are good, some days bad. Thoughts go toward the good memories, moments I hope over power the others that are deeply buried.  Where I hope they remain.  Forever.  Locked away. 

One morning on my drive to work this past week, I kept smelling a beautiful floral scent.  Spring.  Something between oranges and jasmine.  I thought, 'this is it'. This is my mother saying hello before she says goodbye. 

I wish for Peace for my Mother, Grace,  as she travels this last journey here on earth.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Little Foxy Card

Card being sent in the mail this week

Covering the sentiment - so there is at least one element of surprise!

Rosie, napping in the sunshine on my bed - I love it when I can stay home and enjoy the light coming in the windows
Today was a 'stay home until 11 am and craft - then go ski - sneak in a power nap and then go out to dinner in town'  type of day.

In other words, a perfectly well spent day off.  I even got the laundry done, cleaned up after a couple teens and organized my One Little Word supplies for this year's workshop.  My travel bags are almost packed (in case I have to stay over in La Grande with the next storm). Talk about feeling productive!  Heck yeah!

The card above was made with the Lawn Fawn stamps.  I've been on a 'fox' kick lately - most of the gifts I sent for Christmas had a fox theme, and I of course gifted some to me and Sami.  Coffee cups, linens, and crafty goodies. 

Hope your weekend was fun and relaxing and full of sunshine!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Gonna Miss Her When She's Gone - Sending Sami Off. Again

My two.  Love the towel on Sami's head.  I'm going to miss the banter and laughter between these two.  I threatened Jake that this would be his Senior photo if he didn't start cooperating on the photo shoots I am trying to arrange!

Sami and her Bestie, Christmas Eve

Another great Christmas Eve shot - that darn mouth game!
So.. it's Saturday, Jan. 14th, 2017.
Sami and are are to leave in 10 minutes for Boise.  I am all packed and ready.
She?  Is not. 
I had asked her to clean her room before she left, and pack up any items in bags that we can give away.
Has that happened, yet?
Her room is a total disaster.

That's ok.  I can secretly enjoy the sounds of her moving around in the house for a bit more.

We will leave for Boise, once she is ready.
Stop for Sushi in Eagle, and have some 'just you and me' time. Which has been minimal with her social schedule. 
Check in to our hotel. And hang out.
Then tomorrow morning I will take her to the Airport and say goodbye as she goes back to Hawaii for her 2nd semester as a Freshman at HPU.

So.. this time tomorrow I should be driving back.
Perhaps a little gloomy and sad.
But overall, happy she is again, off on her adventure.

Thanks for listening.

Oh.. in other news?  Jake got accepted to Montana State University.
He doesn't think he will go.  He is waiting to hear from Boise State.  Which is fine!!!!!!!!!!
Please... Boise.. Please, please please.

Sympathy Card and Thoughts January 14, 2017

A Card made for Bonnie, in memory of Gene

One of my favorite neighbors died recently.  So, I made this card, and took it over to his wife, Bonnie, along with some homemade chicken soup.  We visited for a while.  It was earlier this week, January 9th.  The sky was clear and for once amidst all the latest snow storms, it was a lovely, quiet night.  Perfect for the short walk and time of peace.

Gene was a wonderful man.  A local artist, cowboy and great story teller.  He - Gene, and his wife -Bonnie, have lived in the Baker area for quite a few years, except for a ten-year stint to work in Wyoming as well as central Oregon.  He has driven a mule train for various events, made bronze sculpture, painted many western themes, and had a gentle heart. He was part of the horse crew when Painted Wagon was filmed in Baker. 

One of our first years here, in town, he walked across the street, on ice, on Christmas Day, leaning on his cane, and brought us a gift - one of his art pieces.  It is of a mamma bear and two cubs. I am very lucky to have received it and will cherish it always. The kids and I used to visit him in his little studio, which has a woodstove, and is adjacent to his home.  That is where he would share his stories, and art with us and latest projects.  He had a miniature wagon team that he made, and various projects in the works.

I hate losing people. It hits me hard.  Makes me cry.  Makes me sad.  I am not attached to very many human beings, mainly because I have a low tolerance for choices people make that I think are unforgivable, like bigotry, or adultery, and even gossip about one's supposed friends, spouses or even co-workers.  Therefore, my list of people that I truly admire is, well, short. 

Rest in Peace, Gene. 
You will be missed.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A few Holiday Photos from December 2016 - and Letting Go

One of my favorite ornaments

Favorite outdoor decor

My favorite apron

Our favorite egg nog - only found once!  We could not find eggnog in the stores the week of  Christmas. HUMBUG!

My favorite smart ass kid

My favorite girl came home!!!! 

My favorite friend (BFF) sent this pillow - the third in a series of my fa la la collection from her

And of course, my favorite past time... Playing in my crafty space

NOT my favorite drive this time of year.  It's been a rough commute these past few weeks

Wrapped up goodies to send off to those that live far away

Favorite Santa

My favorite guy and party host.  Christmas Eve

Love my kids.  Love our friends.  Love Christmas Eve.  This was the best day ever.

Who doesn't love Prime Rib?

Or Rum cake?

Or a great game that makes you look silly while trying to talk?

What's not to Love?

Loved the quiet moment outside sunshine on Christmas Morning.

Love this darn cat!  She kept attacking ornaments and things while we opened our gifts

Yep.  Love him. 17 years old and a senior

Love her.  Soon to be 19, and a Freshman at HPU.  Congrats on her 3.57 GPA!!!

Still loving my little house - snow and all
So.. yes.  Christmas and New Years are now behind us.
It's January 2nd. The tree came down today, all the pine needles have been vacuumed  up and the decor packaged up one box that said 'Christmas in a Box, 2016'.  I kept the indoor decor simple this year.
One Box.
I probably have about 10 or so in storage. And those are just for Christmas.

I am feeling the weight of things and am ready to start purging what I do not need.  But, will save that for another post.  Words below basically lead up the weight I have been carrying and my current feeling of needing to 'let go' and the need to release (2017 OLW).

December had it's highs and it certainly had some lows.
It was a month of extremes.
So. I am just going to warn you right now.  Below are the hard things that happened.  This is going to be a downer, and somewhat of a purge for me, so, if you don't want to be exposed to my baggage, now would be a real good time to stop reading, and just move along. At times I write as a form of therapy, and to get stuff out of my head.

 Picking up Sami mid-month when she arrived in Boise was an emotional drain on both of us. I had a 2.5 hour drive, through some shitty weather, which, this time of year, is the norm.  Got a hotel room for us, and then waited for her flight.  She was stuck in LA for 12 hours.  We communicated back and forth the entire time.  She was put on three different planes, each of which, never left.  Her layover was only to be an hour.  So, the result? An 18 year old, on her own, who, finally at 2:30 am was  put up in a hotel by the airline, and she successfully navigated her way back and forth.  She had to return to the airport 2 hours later to try to catch a 7am flight, which also ended up being messed up, by the same airline.  Ug. By the time we got to see each other, we both cried.  OH my...I hadn't seen her since mid August.  Four months.
Enough of that.

Then there was the email exchange between my sister Avis and I, after I reached out to say 'how are things and did you get my package'?  I found out my mother was recently moved to Sacramento, I think two weeks earlier (which was a long time coming - Thank God she is no longer where she was), and later, from my sister Paula, I learned she fell, had broken a few ribs, and' stuff'.  I had sent her Christmas gift to the only address I had for her.  I still don't know if she got her gift.  There is no communication. It's hard for my sister, I know that.  She is doing the best she can, with what she has. Which, does not include me. 
Enough of that.

Then there was that really messed up week right before Christmas.
Monday?  A 'procedure' on my left breast.  Second one. Nothing serious.  Just pain, and wanting it all to go away. It still flares up.  Getting older sucks.
Tuesday?  Roads closed due to snow. I was watching since about 3am since my phone kept blowing up with emergency alerts.  Exhausting.
Friday?  Ha ha ha.  White out on commute.  Drove off the interstate, somewhere at the top of the mountain.  Into the median - which is nice buffer of land.  Put in 4WD, waiting to see, got back on the interstate, and drove through more shit for about another 30 minutes until I got to work.  And that was how the day started. Needless to say, it was NOT a good brain engaged day.
Thank God the weekend came, and it was Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Our celebrations were the best!

Then the really bad weather hit, and more road closures, and warnings to not drive, and white knuckling it over and over and over and over when I could drive. And for some reason my eyes were hurting real bad after my drive.  Headaches, strain, right eye weeping.  So.. I went to the eye doc, and my glasses were NOT adjusted correctly from when I picked them up a month ago.  They were way off! My right eye wasn't using the right prescription - when I needed to see up close.


As you can imagine, I am so thankful to put December behind me.  And I am thankful for this new year of new dreams, fresh starts, daily do overs, and the fact that the days are getting longer!!!!!!!!

My outdoor Christmas lights will remain on until perhaps mid-February.  Hopefully, by then, there will be a little glimmer of light when I get home from the drive.

If you read through all of this, thank you for hanging in there.  I tell myself 'it could always be worse'.  That is what gets me through the really bad days.
Thank God for the really good ones though!