TICKED OFF. But Better

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My Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Story: Part 3

I am still struggling with talking about my story with RMSF because I worry that people are thinking I am doing it for “attention” about my illness… and then I get a phone call this morning that brings me to tears and it quickly reminds me I am doing the right thing bringing awareness to tick borne illnesses.

Before I talk about my story I want to tell you a little bit about my phone call this morning.  I have a friend that lives in Norman.  She knew I had RMSF but didn’t exactly know all the symptoms and problems associated with having this illness.  After reading my first blog she recognized many of my symptoms as some of the problems her dad had been dealing with for over a year.  He was being treated for dementia because his memory had gotten so bad he would forget how to drive home, leave burners on after cooking, and all the other things that someone with dementia deals with.  He was also being treated for arthritis, enlarged prostate and quite a few other issues.  She encouraged her mom to get her dad an appointment immediately and have him tested for tick borne illnesses.  He was tested and he asked for doxycycline.  The tick panel came back negative but he could already tell a difference in his thought process after just a few days of doxy.  They had a neurologist appointment yesterday and after doing all the scans the doctor tells her dad he does not have dementia and should be tested for Lymes.  The neurologist was knowledgeable about tick illnesses and asked him if his symptoms came on sudden or if they slowly progressed…. knowing that dementia doesn’t happen quick… it is more of a slow progression.

As her dad left the doctors office he  broke down with tears flowing, knowing he has a chance to get better.  He knows the struggle he has ahead of him with dealing with Lymes and the long term effects, but feels with treatment at least he will have some of his life back.  He will get to see his grandkids grow up, he will get to go to work, he will get to live life.  ( If you haven’t read the Kris Kristofferson story.. google it… read it!… his story is very much like this one.)

I’m telling his story to tell you I’m not going to think any more about writing and telling people about my story.  I want people to understand that these tick illnesses mimic lots of other diseases.  There are lots of stories of people thinking they are having a heart attack, being treated for dementia, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and a whole list of  other problems with in reality they have Lymes or RMSF or another tick illness.  These are treatable but HAVE TO BE DIAGNOSED EARLY.  RMSF and Lymes  are deadly if not treated.  They will finally cause damage every part of your body including your heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, prostate…. you name it… they will damage and destroy it and KILL YOU.

warrior

My Story: Part 3

I have to fess up…. When I wrote my last blog on June 5th,  I was talking about how much better I was feeling (and I was)  while sitting in my pajamas.  I had been in my pajamas for over 24 hours.  I did feel so much better but I still wasn’t 100% and I knew it.  Just feeling like getting out of bed felt so good.  The day before we had gone with our kids and helped them find some landscaping rocks at my parents property, gone out to eat, and just enjoyed spending time together.  I knew not to overdo it so I spent the next day just relaxing.  It made me think of something I had read:  “Some days you think you are doing life when in all reality you just got out of bed.”  I spent several days thinking I was really “doing life” when in reality I just was out of bed.

I returned to the doctor on Friday, June 10th.  This was 1 week after finishing my month long cycle of doxycycline.  I did well on the antibiotic and didn’t have the issues others have.  My doctor made sure I understood the importance of beginning a good probiotic immediately.  The joint and muscle pain I was having is about 90% gone, I do have some joint issues still but nothing like I was having.  I am still dealing with memory problems, insomnia, hot flashes, and some eyesight issues.   I thank God daily for my doctor, not only did she recognize my symptoms and get me tested immediately but she is also willing to research and work with me and continue to help me recover.  I was tested again and will get my results next week.

I told her about some of the natural and herbal remedies I have been researching and talking about with others with tick borne illnesses.  (I’m not sure what to call “us”… we need a nickname)  She also wants to do some more research herself and she also wants to call me after a week or so and see how I think I am doing with these natural remedies.  She did give me something that should help with the hot flashes and insomnia that I can take.

The thing that is bothering me the most now seems to be my memory.  I completely understand why my friends dad was diagnosed with dementia… I believe if I had not been diagnosed with RMSF it would not have been long till dementia would have something they would have been using to describe what was happening to me.  A few of my brain issues are:

  • I am saying wrong words in sentences and not realizing I am saying them wrong
  • I am very forgetful…. very
  • Telling same things/stories to people many times
  • I think I make stupid mistakes/decisions

I know you think you deal with some of these yourself… and you probably do… and I did also even before RMSF but it is more pronounced and more often.  I could tell you 1000 stories of my “brain farts” I’ve had lately but I don’t have that much time.  ( But…I’m sure if you asked some of my family and friends they will tell you some of the stories. haha)  Most of the time we are able to make light of it and continue on but I don’t want to live like this for the rest of my life so I will continue to try natural remedies for memory.  I, along with my doctor, am trying some things and I will let you know in a few weeks to a month how I am doing with these treatments.

AWARENESS!  We have got to become aware of the symptoms of these diseases and request/demand to be tested.  My hope is that doctors start realizing the large number of people with these diseases and become educated. There are many doctors that do… we want ALL doctors to understand.  Until then we have to really pay attention and educate ourselves.  Don’t just think you have the flu, arthritis, dementia,  fatigue, joint pain, heart issues…. the list can and does go on and on.  Getting an early diagnosis can make the difference in your recovery!  It can be the determining factor in whether you deal with this for the rest of your life or if you make a complete recovery, it can also be a difference in life or death.  In one of the Facebook groups I belong to it was asked, “What are the 3 things that most improved your health?”  We could only list 3 and that was very hard for me.   There were lots of really good answers and “ideas” of things I plan to start researching to try.  My answers were:

  1. A knowledgeable doctor
  2. Personal education of the disease
  3. Family and friend support/knowledge

I think having a knowledgeable doctor is key and can make a huge difference in your journey of getting well.  If you don’t have a knowledgeable doctor… GET ONE!    Of course, personal education is what we should all do when we have something affect us like these diseases do.  Family and friend support is a lifesaver.  My husband has been a huge factor in my recovery.  He understood.  He educated himself.  He did everything that needed to be done that I couldn’t do.  He just understood and because of that I felt like I could just concentrate on getting well without having to try to “do something” that I wasn’t able to do.  I love him more every day because of his love and understanding!!!  Family members that would call and check on me or come help me when I didn’t feel like helping myself was also key in my recovery.  The support of your extended family … your friends… is vital also.  To know you have friends that would call you daily and check on you, to send you a messages, send you get well cards, and to come by and check on you helps you keep a positive outlook which is very important.  Your mind starts playing games with you when you feel so bad and to have family and friends that will help you, do anything for you is more helpful in your recovery than you will realize.  For them to just understand what you are going through is so very important.   It helps you not feel so much like you are crazy and that what is happening to you is normal (even though this normal isn’t really normal).

This is my journey almost 6 weeks into my “diagnosis”.  I’m not really sure how long I have had RMSF because I don’t recall a tick bite, a rash or a fever.  I never follow the rules.  :)

If you want to refresh your memory on the symptoms go back to my blog:  TICKED OFF.   And remember… this is my story.  There are 100’s of 1000’s of stories and they are all different.  Everyone’s symptoms vary as does their story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STILL TICKED OFF

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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Part 2

I live in Antlers, Oklahoma.  Our claim to fame is we are The Deer Capital of The World which should be a clue to most that we also have an abundance of TICKS.  As a kid growing up, ticks were just a part of being outside in the summertime.  It was just a given that you would get a tick, or two, or…. well you get the picture, ticks weren’t something we worried about.  There was always a nightly ritual of making sure you checked yourself for the little critters while you were bathing.

I guess when you grow up with this mentality it also carries over into adulthood.  I had heard of different “tick fevers” but didn’t really understand the affect they could have on someone’s life  It can actually change the life of entire families because of one person’s diagnosis.  I actually thought it was kinda like the flu or a virus… it was something you could have a week or so and then you got well.  BOY WAS I WRONG !!!  While my story is shorter and easier than most stories…. it hasn’t been an easy recovery.

I started having body aches sometime around the end of January or the first of February.  It seemed to be mainly my larger joints that hurt the most.  I had gone back to work in October 2015 and just chalked it up to not going to the gym anymore.  I had been going to the gym at least 3 days a week and quit when I started back to work for a local school district.  The aches continued to get worse. I was still able to “do life” but just hurt while doing it.   I remember painting one of our bathrooms one weekend in March and then having problems with severe pain for about 4 days.  I couldn’t sleep because my entire body hurt, the pain seemed worse in my hips and legs.  When I would stand up I would have to walk hunkered over for about 10-20 seconds.  I was still thinking it was arthritis, getting older and not exercising.

My legs were crushed from my knees up by a truck in 2002 and I have lasting damage from that accident.  I had decided some of my pain was due to the damage from that accident and convinced myself it was something I was just going to have to live with… and  it was going to continue to get worse as I got older.

I was also having trouble sleeping.  Normally I could fall asleep the minute my head hit the pillow… not anymore!  I started noticing it would be 1-2 a.m. before I would finally go to sleep.  Once I went to sleep I would find myself waking up about every hour either in pain or hot flashes.  It had gotten to the point that I never had a full nights rest.

We went on a vacation to Mexico with a group of our AFLAC friends and I was going to the room about noon and sleep for 3-4 hours each day.  This should have been a clue that something was wrong… no one goes to a beach with friends and wants to spend all day sleeping!!!

As the pain continued and I was becoming worn down from lack of sleep, I finally went to the Choctaw Clinic in Atoka, Oklahoma at the end of April 2016.  I was tested and officially diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever the first week of May 2016.  I do not remember a tick bite, a fever or a rash. In fact when she said she was testing me I almost chuckled because I didn’t remember having a tick bite and had only “heard” of a few people that had Lyme Disease. I’m not sure I had heard of anyone with RMSF.

My symptoms were mainly fatigue, muscle and joint ache/pain, insomnia, hot flashes and a few minor headaches.  My white blood count was also low.  I started treatment for RMSF on May 2, 2016. Before starting the antibiotics I felt pretty bad but it wasn’t something I couldn’t deal with each day.  I was very sore, tired, not sleeping and looking back just all around irritable.   I am thankful I have a doctor that is knowledgeable about Tick Borne Illnesses and will run the necessary tests to find the correct diagnosis and treatment.

I had been taking the antibiotics and a probiotic for about 3 weeks when on May 22, 2016 it was like I hit a brick wall.  I was wiped out.  I didn’t want to get out of bed and didn’t for 6 days.  I had no idea what was happening or why I was feeling so very bad.  My heart rate is usually in the 60’s  but was now in the 90’s and I never had problems with my blood pressure but it was elevated. I finally got online and did what any person does anymore… I GOOGLED but didn’t find much about what was wrong because I really didn’t have a clue what to research.  Then I found a “support group” on Facebook for those with RMSF and Lyme Disease and started asking questions.  Immediately, they started telling me I was going through what was called the “Herxing Effect” or sometimes called “Die-Off Effect”.  It’s one of those good and bad things.  Herxing occurs when dead or dying bacteria release large amounts of toxins into the blood and tissues faster than what the body can eliminate them.  This basically means you feel 100% worse than you did before you started your antibiotics.  You start thinking you are going crazy.  You don’t want to lift your head, you don’t want to eat, you don’t want to do anything.  Until I was able to talk with others that had gone through this I had no idea what was happening and was worried that I was getting worse instead of better.  I learned from the Facebook group I needed to start detoxing.  I immediately started drinking lots of water with lemon, taking Epsom Salt baths, and eating clean.  Now….. I said I wasn’t hungry during this time…. But, I was actually craving sweets.  All I was eating were cookies.  I really didn’t want anything else.  The sugar I was consuming was not helping but hurting and actually making me feel even worse.  I haven’t done much research on this but was told by someone in “our group” that the toxins love, love the sugar.  Within two days of detoxing I started feeling “some”  better.

I finished my antibiotics on Friday, June 4, 2016 and will return to the doctor on June 10th.  I have felt pretty good most of this week but am continuing to take it easy.  This weekend was a good weekend and I actually am starting to feel “normal” again.  I am hoping that I have turned to corner and will continue to do well. I realize there are many with RMSF that don’t for various reasons.  One of the biggest reasons for complications and a more difficult recovery from RMSF is a delayed diagnosis.

Pay attention to your symptoms.  Demand to be tested.  Awareness is key!!!!!!  I was not aware… in fact I had no idea. I grew up with ticks but didn’t have a clue what they could do to our body other than a small bite.

If I had not gone to a doctor that recognized some of my symptoms I would probably be taking medication for arthritis and getting worse instead of better.

** If you want information about the FB group let me know.   They are a great support system.   I can also hook you up with a good AFLAC agent if you need supplemental insurance.  :) haha

These pictures were taken just this week from our front porch.  (Our house is inside the city limits btw.)  ANTLERS really is THE DEER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD !

 

TICKED OFF

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Jennifer jacks

MY ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER STORY:  Part 1

This blog will be longer than normal but I want to talk about something I have been dealing with for the past several months.  I have wanted to write about this earlier but am just now feeling well enough to write.  If there are mistakes just chalk it up to “brain fog”.  :)  

I will try to cover what I consider to be the most important things FIRST…. THEN I’ll tell a little about MY story with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF).  I will probably cover my story in several parts or several different blogs.  This blog will be more about the disease RMSF.  Be watching for blogs to follow that deal more with my personal story.  

The first and most important thing I want people to read is the SYMPTOMS  because the main reason I would even write a blog like this is for awareness.  I sorta feel it is now my “duty” to help spread awareness about tick borne illnesses.  There are many tick borne illnesses and I don’t have the time to cover all the symptoms for each one so I will address RMSF because it is my diagnosis.   Although many of the symptoms seem to be the same for ALL the “tick fevers.”  RMSF is caused by infection with the organism Rickettsia rickettsii and is considered to be one of the deadliest of the tick fevers.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention treatment for this disease is most effective at preventing death or if started in the first five days of symptoms.  

 

Symptoms of RMSF are:

I compiled this list from a little bit of everywhere.  Not everyone will have all these symptoms, I sure didn’t because as you can see below I only had a few of the symptoms which is why is was so surprised when I tested positive for RMSF.  This is not all the symptoms but a list of the most common ones.  And as with most illnesses everyone’s symptoms vary in degrees.

  • Tick bite– (I DO NOT remember having a tick bite… but I must have had one to contract RMSF)
  • Fever – (I DO NOT remember having a fever)
  • Rash– (I DO NOT remember having a rash. But…many do not report having a rash)
  • Muscle &/or joint pain/aches – ( THIS IS my biggest and worst symptom – it is the reason I finally went to the doctor )
  • Fatigue – (yes I do have, some days much more than others)
  • Headache – (I had a headache for a few days after starting antibiotics)
  • Nausea/ Vomiting– (I did not have)
  • Abdominal Pain – (I did/do have mild pain periodically, but nothing I consider enough to even discuss)
  • Conjunctival injection/red eyes– (I do remember thinking my eyes were bloodshot one day and asking others if they thought they were red.  I do think my vision has changed for the worse in the last few months.)  Looking back I remember wearing sunglasses one day when it was very cloudy and Sonny asking why I had glasses on.  I replied “because the light is hurting my eyes.”
  • Brain Fog -(I do have serious bouts with this!)
  • Restlessness and insomnia – (I definitely have this!!!!)

 

It is very important to go to doctor and be tested as soon as you believe you may have tick fever because the disease can progress quickly and can be deadly within a short period of time (days).  I’m not sure why some become seriously ill within a few days and some don’t.  Thankful I didn’t!!!  An early diagnosis will determine your recovery time and prognosis.  

I had only a few classic symptoms and really thought I was developing arthritis.  When I decided I had suffered with the joint pain long enough I called and made an appointment with my doctor.  I am just thankful I had a doctor that recognized my symptoms and tested me for tick fever(s) instead of just giving me something for arthritis.  I will write more about my ongoing RMSF story in future blogs.

This disease and the recovery is difficult even with an early diagnosis and a good prognosis, but if you wait around there could be some serious complications that could possibly cause death.  

 

COMPLICATIONSThe Reason for diagnosis and treatment ASAP:

  • It damages small blood vessels causing gangrene and death of extremities requiring amputation.
  • Inflammation of heart/lungs and other organs causing organ failure.
  • Inflammation of brain: (encephalitis) causing seizures, confusion and delirium along with other problems that go with encephalitis.
  • Death: If not treated there is a 75% rate of death.

 

Please protect yourself from ticks.  I had first put: Please protect yourself this summer from ticks but I removed the words “this summer.”  It was not summer when I contracted RMSF.  Ticks are around most of the time in our area.  They will be worse in summer months of course, but you can get tick bites 12 months out of the year in our area.  If you have a tick bite be aware and if you develop symptoms of RMSF….go to the doctor ASAP!!!  If the doctor doesn’t say anything about testing you for tick borne diseases… DEMAND IT!!!!  If you don’t remember a tick bite but have some of these symptoms…. get tested… and DEMAND IT!!!   If you want to talk or ask questions let me know and I will help you.  I’m not an authority on this subject but I sure know more about it than I did 4-5 weeks ago.  I will discuss in later blogs my story, treatment, recovery, the prevalence of tick fever(s) in our community and stories of others I have talked with in last 4-5 weeks that have a tick fever diagnosis.   

Tornado One, Tornado Two

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In my previous blog I wrote about our choice to have my parents purchase a mobile home instead of having a large wedding.  After a short search we found a small 2 bedroom “fixer upper”.  We had been saving pennies and would spend evenings rolling them so we could keep up with how much money we had.  When we had $300 in pennies we purchased enough new carpet to re-carpet the living room and bought a used couch for $50.  We did some painting, cleaning and fixing up and had ourselves a cute little first home.  I wish I had taken pictures of the before and after of our remodel.

Being married only about 6 weeks, the last weekend of  August 1979 we moved our home to The Brook (a mobile home park) in Ada, Oklahoma  and started East Central University that Monday.   We were having telephones installed in our house on Friday, August 31st after living for a week without being able to contact anyone from home.  It was starting to look like it could possibly rain so the telephone installer was trying to hurry and finish before the storm came.  As soon as the phone guy left we jumped in our car headed back to Antlers/Rattan to see family for the weekend.  The next morning (September 1) the mobile home park called my dad to say a tornado had come through the park during the night and destroyed our home.  The tornado had skipped through the park and destroyed about 6-7 homes.  Being married only about 2 months we lost our home along with most of our personal and household items, but were thankful we weren’t home when it happened.  We were safe!!!

With reservations we purchased another home and moved it to the other side of the 150 mobile home park.  Dad said, “Most people go their whole life and never have a home destroyed by a tornado, then he says he had never heard of someone having 2 homes hit by a tornado.  Well lets just say… we fall in the rare category.  In March 1981 we had a second tornado come through the park, this time it was a much larger tornado taking 120 of the 150 homes.  There was 1 person killed in this tornado.  Again, thankfully we were not home.  This time because it was a larger tornado and many more homes were taken the American Red Cross came in and helped those affected by the tornado.  The gave us money to purchase a small dining table, a chest of drawers and also gave us a small clothing allowance.  After two tornadoes we decided not to press our luck and we moved into the married student housing on the ECU campus.

The pictures are from the 1979 tornado.

If you notice in one of the pictures there is the tie down that you use to hold the mobile homes to the ground, it is pulled completely out of the ground.  Beside it is a pair of sunglasses that are sitting across a 2 x 4.  The earpiece is going through the flooring.

There is also a picture of an owl that proudly sits in our living room today.  He was found in the middle of the road sitting on top of our TV as if someone had placed him there with only a small nick out of his ear after the 1979 tornado.  The owl also made it through the second tornado with a few more scratches as you can see in the picture. This makes me believe that owls must have at least 3 lives.🙂

Needless to say we pay attention to the weather when the “T” word is used.

Don’t move her in my backyard

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Well, I posted  pictures of our wedding on Facebook yesterday.  Pictures I have never got  out and shown to anyone so I’m not sure what made me actually post them for the world to see.  We didn’t have a big wedding, we didn’t buy new clothes, we didn’t have a professional photographer, we didn’t do any of the other things you normally do when getting married so I didn’t really think about anyone wanting to see our pictures or hear our story.   I didn’t realize my family or even my kids had never seen these pictures and thought that was kinda sad.  After looking at them I decided I would do my next blog about our “Wedding Story.”  This blog will of course be as random as my other blogs.  It’s very evident I’m not a professional writer and I usually try to keep my blogs short… just a warning….this one is a little longer than normal even through I’m trying to keep it short as possible.

Sonny and I started “dating” when we were Freshmen in high school.  We dated all through high school and decided our senior year we would get married after graduating.  When Sonny went to ask my parents if we could get married, the first thing my dad said was, “Carol – go get my boots.”  Mom ran and got his boots out of the bedroom, while we all sat there silently. (and scared.. or at least I was)   After he got his boots on he said, “Come on Sonny, we are going for a drive.”  I’m not sure what all they discussed but whatever it was it took several hours.  If you know dad very well he was always making lists, and he would post them either on the refrigerator, out in his shop or wherever.  He just liked making lists. I am guessing he had a long list of things to discuss for when this day happened.

Although I never got to know everything, I do know a few of the things they discussed:

  1. Don’t move her across the country
  2. Don’t move her in my back yard.  
  3. Have more than 1 kid.
  4. Treat her right.
  5. Both of you finish college.

I’m sure that wasn’t the exact order they were discussed and I certainly hope it wasn’t the order of importance but this was the order they came to my mind today.  I’m kinda hoping number 4 was the most important!  Eventually dad said he and mom gave their blessings and the wedding planning began.  We have laughed many times about that day.  I think dad scared all of us… including mom.  On a side note… this discussion did not happen with the other siblings and we have often teased about why or why not.

After about a month mom and dad came to us and gave us two options:

  1. They would pay for whatever type of wedding we wanted.
  2. The would purchase us a trailer house to live in while going to college and we would have a small wedding.

We decided to pick #2 and opt out of a larger wedding.  This suited me perfect because if you know me you know I don’t like to be the center of attention and the practical side of me was excited about having a home paid for. Now, when they said small wedding I think they actually meant a small family wedding. We thought they meant just go get married, so that is what we did.  July 28th was the original date we had picked for our wedding day.  When we decided to just go get married we changed it to July 4th so we could have a small honeymoon.  The reason we picked July 4th was Sonny was working as a “Tick Monitor” through the county extension and it worked better with his work schedule.  His job was to go around and count ticks on cattle.  Funny stuff huh.

Mom found me a hat from somewhere, she also made sure I had a bouquet and a garter.  I wore the white Gunny Sack dress I wore when I was inducted in as FHA District President.  Sonny wore his Dumb & Dumber baby blue suit he wore to prom.  We were set.  We finally found a preacher at the First Baptist Church in Hugo, Oklahoma to come perform the short ceremony on a holiday.  I think Sonny gave him a whopping $10.  During the middle of the ceremony my cousin Randall showed up with a camera is the only reason we have any pictures.   After we got married (at 10:00 a.m.) we decided to go celebrate with lunch, not realizing it was only 10:30 in the morning.  KFC in Hugo opened their doors early to let us eat.  I’m sure they got a laugh out of these two young kids getting married on the fourth of July and coming to KFC to celebrate.  

I will say Sonny kept his word about the 5 stipulations from above.

Here are a few pictures from Independence Day 1979:

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Got My Rain Boots On

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Well, if you look at my blog from last week you will see that I discussed how a song stays in my head.  I love Jimmy Fallon and get tickled every time they have the “Tight Pants” skit. This morning when I put my rain boots on I kept singing “I got my rain boots on” to the tune of “I got my tight pants on” I may or may not have done the little dance. Just sit back and watch the Jimmy Fallon video and imagine me in my rainboots.  It was quite a sight!!! Hehe.  Have a beautiful rainy day today!!!!! Blessings to all.

 

*Everybody’s looking at my rainboots. *Everyone in town loves my rainboots. *I’m the only one wearing rainboots in this town. * I can dance real low, I can dance real high. *Slow down there old friend. * Don’t wake the snake.

 

Got my Rainboots on:

zzz rainboots

 

Got My Tightpants On:

 

When I Rise

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I love music.  I enjoy all types of music but there is something about listening to Christian Music.  It can set your mood for the day.  Whatever music I listen to usually stays in my head and I catch myself singing it ( be thankful it is only in my head… not aloud) all day.  I love waking up with a song.  I love going to sleep with a song.  By this I don’t mean the actual music… sometimes it’s just in my head when I wake up, when I go to sleep, when I’m working during the day, it’s just there.  I don’t know if this happens to others but I will hear a song and it will be the song I find myself thinking about, singing all day for several, several days.  Anyone that knows me knows that one of my favorite new groups is Sidewalk Prophets.  You can feel their heart and soul in their music.  This is the song that has been in my mind and heart for several days.  I wanted to title this blog several things…. All were some of my favorite words from this song.

 

 

zzzz sidewalk and me

Picture of me and David on KLOVE Cruise, January 2016.

zzzzz sidewalk prophets

Sidewalk Prophets performing on KLOVE Cruise, January 2016

I’ve Returned

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Well I have taken a huge break from blogging but I’M BACK.  Lots has happened within the last few years and I wish I had it documented.  My plan is to do AT LEAST one blog per week.  We will see how that goes. Tomorrow is Valentines Day and I was looking through some old pictures and found one of me and my Valentine back in the day.  Love this guy!   Happy Valentines Day to everyone.  Us 1979

mAiLbOx FuN !

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Several years ago we started a mailbox war with some neighbors down the street.  We didn’t do anything bad. We would just “decorate” the box for various holidays and they usually returned the favor.  If there wasn’t an upcoming holiday and we thought about it we might just wrap it in toilet paper.  We never did anything bad, it was always just something we did to let them know we were thinking about them…kinda like sending a Hallmark card in the mail. 

A few years ago on New Years Eve we had gone with the Lows to dinner and a movie in Sherman and on the way home we needed a little more “excitement” so we ran to WalMart, purchased some nice soft toilet paper and then we by some of our friends that lived in Durant and started the tradition with them also.  We have visited their mailbox a few times since that NYE night.  You can never have too many MAILBOX FRIENDS!  This afternoon our Durant friends showed up to send us their alternative to a Hallmark card.  Now… nevermind that the balloon says BABY… that is complete other blog!  (there is no baby expecting in the Jacks’ clan… but I left it on the mailbox just to see what rumors get started around town) :)  hehe

 

The Grace’s decorating our mailbox today! ( they got caught in the act … which is a huge no-no)  ROOKIES !!!!!

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Trina and I leaving the Grace’s an alternative Hallmark card. 

READY FOR SUMMER ! ! !

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READY FOR SUMMER ! ! !

I am one of those people that loves all types of weather.

I love Winter Days snuggling up, drinking hot chocolate, watching movies, wearing sweaters, scarves, boots, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with family.

I love the Spring when all the new plants are poking their heads up out of the dirt, planting new flowers, the beginning of longer days, Easter and of course my birthday.

I love Summer days swimming, riding bikes, cooking out, summer travels, and the long evenings outside with family and friends, oh yeah and of course fourth of July fun.

I love the Fall colors, watching the leaves fall from the trees, the cool evenings sitting around the firepit, wearing sweatshirts, tennis shoes and long sleeve shirts. Fall is such a beautiful time of year in Southeast Oklahoma!!

With all that being said…. I am ready for warmer weather this year more than ever. We have had quite a winter and our little community will spend years recovering from the Ice Storm of December 2013. So… lately my prayer has been… DEAR LORD…. LET THIS BE A FLIP FLOP DAY. Because flip flop days are warm days!!!

Para-sailing… A Bucket Lister

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Making Memories!

Making Memories!

In July 2012 we took a family vacation to Gulf Shores.  The entire family went and we rented a large house and spent 7 nights and 8 days on the beach.  It was an amazing and relaxing vacation.  We spend our days swimming in the pool at the house, playing volleyball, building a fire on the beach, cooking, eating, eating, and EATING, walking on the beach, shopping, hunting for sea shells and sand dollars, golfing, taking pictures, reading, sight seeing, deep sea fishing, game nights playing cards, visiting with each other and meeting our neighbors.  We also went para-sailing.

The day went went para-sailing everyone was very excited.  It was a “bucket lister” for many of us.  We called and made the reservations over the phone and didn’t realize we would be riding tandum (one behind other)  …. although it worked out perfect.

As they are hooking the equipment up you get nervous, then they give you all the instructions, and you get even more nervous.  (I seemed to not hear the instruction to sit WAY BACK in the seat… thus feeling like I was going to slip out of the seat most of the ride)   As you are leaving the boat and going up it is very exciting.  But to me the minute you are up there and just floating around it is almost like you were just sitting in a chair… not much excitement.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it and can now mark it off our list of “to-do’s”.  Glad I did it… although it was exciting I think I thought it was more of a adrenaline rush than what it was.

Now…. as we were riding around in the boat it was very, very rough water and kinda makes you a little sea sick…. or at least some of us “a little”  …… others a little more so.

It’s all fun and games until someone throws up!  Poor Mike.😦

Mike get sea-sick

Mike gets sea-sick

Can’t wait for our next adventure.  I love spending the time with my family making memories.

Today I will blog about Positive Attitudes… I found this really cute video that makes me smile… We can all learn from this little girl!

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What a great way to start each morning! I love life.

Charles Swindoll summarized a positive attitude the best :

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.

And so it is with you – we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

NYE 2012 Thunder VS Suns

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NYE Fun @ Thunder Game

I had every intention of blogging more last year! I guess I can say I blogged more than I did the year before… so maybe just MAYBE  this year I’ll blog more than I did last year : )

New Years Eve 2012  we went to a Thunder Game. It was my first game and we had such a great time. After the game we walked around Bricktown, visited the Devon Building, people watched and then went to Toby Keith’s for a midnight dessert.  Such a fun and memorable night!

If you click on the link above you can see us at the Thunder game…. we are at the very end of the video clip… I know… we’re now famous… and as Trina said… we will now sign autographs… but only on game days!

Happy New Year and God Bless EVERYONE !!

Every Day Counts… Find Joy in the Journey

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Every Day Counts… Find Joy in the Journey

Started a new bible study today. I just finished the first lesson/day and I think I am going to really enjoy this study. (journey) I use the word journey because the first day talks about enjoying your journey in life… no matter where you are. Age 15, 25, 50, … wherever you are!

It is kinda like I have said before… sometimes people are really excited about a trip or a vacation and all they can think about is getting to their destination.  What they don’t realize is… the “getting there” is half the fun… We have to enjoy our journey… and enjoy EVERY DAY of that journey.  Don’t hurry life… enjoy each day and each season.

I’m going to have to go slow with this book and “Enjoy the Journey” … because right now I want to read the whole book tonight!

Love one of the verses for today:
” True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” 1 Timothy 6:6

LoVe iT !

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LoVe iT !

We all have things we love right???   I’m not talking about people…. that is a given… I’m talking about THINGS, STUFF, POSSESSIONS, OBJECTS,… you get the point. Well a few people think that I have several  loves.  ( my words would be a few... their words would probably be a lot)  I really didn’t think I had “obsessions” …. but a few people think maybe I do. Now with that being said I never want to be identified as one of those people whose identity is totally wrapped up in their “STUFF” and have never considered myself as high maintenance.      I do know and recognize there are several “THINGS” I do enjoy. I like to think of it as my collections. ; )

A few of my loves/collections are: scarves, jacks, jewelry, table linens, purses, letters (especially the letter J) ,quotes, shoes, Christmas decorations, fingernail polish, dishes, scrapbooking stuff, lip balm, board and card games, pictures, and fabric. I am sure there are others and someone will remind me of them as soon as I hit the publish button on this blog … but I think you get the point… I do have lots of things I love. ( and love to gather in one spot aka:collect)

So I guess if any of you ever need to borrow a scarf, or table linens, or a purse, or fingernail polish, or scrapbooking stuff, or, or, or, …………. you know where to come.  I have almost every color of all of these things and I’m sure I can help you out!  ha !  Below is a picture of a few of my “collections” :

pretty polish ; )

Here are a few of the scarves... can't get a picture of all of them ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also have other obsessions… those things would be game nights, firepit nights, family time, friend time, travels with family and/or friends, babies, and of course Pinterest and Facebook. ( I bet you were wondering if I was going to list the last two)

Now… If  I could just be obsessed with diets and exercise things would be great!!!!

Favorite Things ( part 2)

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In my previous post I told you a little bit about our “Favorite Things” parties. There is a picture below  of the favorite things I received.  Just a little refresher about our party…. we eat, talk, eat, talk and then we draw 4 names out of the hat and those 4 people get the “fav thing” you brought and in return you will get 4 new “fav things”.

I got four really great gifts.  The first was a book of favorite quotes from Cindy.  This is really neat because Cindy took time to find all her favorite quotes…run them off… and put them into a book for us with extra pages for us to add some of our favorite quotes.  I love quotes so this will not be hard for me to fill this book up quickly.  The first quote in my book was  ” Do not reward yourself with food… you’re not a dog” !  Love it!

I also got a really cute white headband for those cold days. ( these bands probably have a cool name… I just don’t know what it is ha ha)   I did not have one of these and actually started to purchase one so I was very excited when I opened this gift.   I just have to convince myself that I don’t look like a peeled onion with it on   ; )       (Trina brought these as one of her favorite things.)

Deanne loves mugs (with inspirational verses) and magnets. She brought some really cute mugs for coffee (or in my case… hot chocolate) and a magnet. My mug says “take time to pray … it is the greatest power on earth.” Love this!

I also opened a gift from JoAnne… one of her favorite things is the movie “The Blind Side”… this was also a great gift because I love the movie and did not have a copy of the movie.  I’m sure everyone has but…if you have not watched this movie you need to do so… it has such a great story about helping others.  The really neat thing is it is based on a true story.

NOW about the gift(s) I brought…. I love reading magazines and for as many years as I can remember my sweet mother had subscribed me to Readers Digest. I loved getting them each month because they had great short stories, health tips, cute jokes and funny things people would send in. Mom had a stroke in October 2009 and I continued to get them for the remainder of that year.   I remember that first month I get not get one….. I think it took me a few weeks to realize that I wasn’t getting them in the mail anymore…. talk about a reminder of how life changes.    BOY DO I MISS THAT BOOK COMING IN THE MAIL EACH MONTH!!! … Every time I see one on a shelf in a store it makes me think of mom and I think about starting my own subscription but for some reason I never could do it.  So this month the theme for our “Fav Things Party” was something that warms your heart.  I have many, many favorite things ( this will be a whole other blog at some point lol)  and thought every day about what I was going to bring.  I decided something that warmed my heart for many, many years was when I got that little book in the mail each month. …. and then I decided  to do a years subscription to Readers Digest for the four names I drew out of the hat. I hope that when they get that book out of the mail each month that they think about why they are receiving it and it “warms their heart”!

I love my friends and I love our little ” Favorite Things” time.   And GUESS WHAT…..I think I will finally purchase myself a subscription to Readers Digest and each month when I get that little book out of the mailbox it will be a reminder of mom and the love she had for her family.  Miss you every day mom.

Next month our theme is RED… we are to wear red, bring red foodies, and our favorite things need to be………………………………………………..  you guessed it………… RED !!!!!  Sounds like fun….I gotta start thinkin!

me with my new favorite things : )

Favorite Things Party (part 1)

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We found an idea on Pinterest about a “Favorite Things Party”  and decided to have plan our own  “Favorite Things Party”.  We had our first party in November of 2011 and had so much fun we thought we should try to meet every month if possible.  ( if not every month then at least every other month)  I love this night for many reasons… good friends, good food, and lots of presents just to name a few!!  We each bring a snack and 4 of our favorite things wrapped as gifts.   ( It can be 4 of the same thing or 4 different things)   The cost of the gifts must be $10 or less.

When we arrive we put our name in a hat four times.   We spend time catching up with each others lives and just have fun visiting while we eat all the yummy appetizers and desserts everyone has brought. Next comes the FUN… each person draws four names out of the hat.  ( has to be four diff names and you can’t have your own name)  We go around the room and the four names you drew from the hat are the four people that get the gifts you brought.  As they open the gifts you brought you explain why they are your favorite things.

After our last party we all had new “favorite things” because of some of the gifts we received. . . and what girl doesn’t like to open presents!!!

My next blog will be about my favorite thing I am bringing this month and why it is one of my favorites…. ( it is a secret until after the party !!!) I will also try to take a few pictures throughout the night to post. : )

Here is a few pics of me making my dessert for tomorrow night. I was going to make these yummy Sliders but couldn’t think of how to incorporate one of my favorite things (CHOCOLATE)  on them so I decided to make Almond Joy Brownies because it has brownies ( one of my fav desserts) and chocolate on top ( another of my favs!)

Brownies are one of my favorite things!

You must ALWAYS use a fork to scrap the mix out into the brownie pan... if you use anything else it will take too much out and you will not have any brownie mix to eat while it is cooking ; )

NOW you get the spatula out to make sure you can get every last drop of brownie mix out to sample while the brownies are cooking! ... Don't worry about the eggs making you sick... they never have made me sick

should be how bowl looks when you finish sampling the mix

coconut, sweetened condensed milk and powdered sugar... to put on top of the brownies... then you put almonds (another one of my favs) and then the chocolate goes on top

this is a pic before the chocolate goes on the top... I will post a finished picture tomorrow after I finish it

Storytelling

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It has been a few days since I have blogged and each day I have an idea of something I want to write about… and didn’t do it. Tonight Jayci Carol reminded me that I had not blogged in a few days. Thanks j… I think?!?

For the last few days I have thought a lot about my Uncle Dan.  He was one of those Uncles that was such an interesting character.  One of his favorite pastimes was to gather all the kiddos in a circle and tell stories….. and an amazing storyteller he was!  Each Thanksgiving and summer growing up we could not wait for the “Kalenak Klan” to make their trek from West Texas to Southeast Oklahoma. They would drive up in that cool station wagon and out would jump Tony, Eric and Liz ( or Lizzy as her brothers loved to call her!) We would spend about a week roaming the woods, swimming the creeks, and just enjoying our time with our cousins. Not only did we look forward to our cousin time but we loved getting to hear “Uncle Dan Stories”. He had this amazing knack with words that would keep you on the edge of your seat as he was telling his wild tales. Everyone needs an “Uncle Dan” while they are growing up.  We pretty much thought he was a celebrity because he was on TV.   He was a radio and weather man, an author, he was also known as Dangerous Dan, and he loved dressing as Benjamin Franklin and going to schools and making sure the younger generations knew how very important Ben Franklin was to our country. Here is a youtube clip that tells a little about Uncle Dan:

I can’t talk about Uncle Dan without mentioning my sweet Aunt Karlene… she truly is the sweetest lady you will ever meet. She has this soft spoken voice that I have never heard say a bad thing about anyone. I think the thing I love and will always remember about Aunt Karlene is her laugh… she is always smiling and she has the sweetest laugh. I love you Aunt Karlene!!!!

Uncle Dan loved this Priestly Blessing  (Numbers 6:24-27) … not sure how many times I heard him recite it… but I can still hear his voice:

“The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

RIP Uncle Dan.

Here are a few quotes of Benjamin Franklin… if you google his quotes you can see how many he had… this is just a few!    While you are at it… google his inventions… I think you you will be surprised at some of the things he invented.

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.Beauty and folly are old companions.Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

Beware the hobby that eats.

Buy what thou hast no need of and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessities.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.

A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.

A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

A place for everything, everything in its place.

All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.

All who think cannot but see there is a sanction like that of religion which binds us in partnership in the serious work of the world.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

And whether you’re an honest man, or whether you’re a thief, depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief.

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

Applause waits on success.

As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.

Pictures that Make me Giggle

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Pictures that Make me Giggle

I was trying to decide what to write about tonight and decided to share a few pictures that make me laugh just looking at them… I have a crazy family and crazy friends and we always have lots of laughter when we are together…. wouldn’t have it any other way!!!!  This is just a few pics that make me smile… I will be sharing others periodically…. so if I have a crazy one of you… it will probably show up here at some time or another… just a ‘lil warning…..I’m just saving them for a later date.  I love my family and friends and our times we share making memories.

I love this picture of our family… we always have lots of laughs when we are
all together !

Our "Christmas is better if you make your own sweater" Christmas

love these crazy kids!

they love their "sweaters" .....like father... like daughter

yeah... this is us......there are really no words needed for this pic

umbrella anyone???

AFLAC Prom

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Each January we get to go to a “Kick-off Black Tie Event ” with all of our AFLAC friends. This is an awards banquet, informational and motivational meeting rolled all in one. After the awards banquet they always have an entertainment for us ( usually a band and dancing) The weekend always involves way to much food and staying up way too late! ( late for us 50somethings is not nearly as late for those 20 and 30somethings )

Here is a pic of the shoes I started the night with and the shoes I ended the night with!

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ALFAC is a great company founded on christian values and great business ethics. They take care of not only their policy holders but also their employees. We love being a part of  the AFLAC family.  They have an amazing Cancer Center for Children that is recognized as one of the top treatment centers for children… here is a link to their homepage if you would like more info….   http://www.choa.org/cancer

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Babies and Basketball

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Our family loves going to ball games. Joshua and Jayci grew up playing sports and we always enjoyed going to their games.  Jayci is now a softball and basketball coach, giving us a reason to go watch ballgames again.  We go as often as we can and watch her coach basketball  (and of course ….softball).  We also like to go watch the Antlers ballgames.

As much as I like ballgames… I love something else even more… BABIES !!!!! There is nothing like holding a baby.  I love that baby smell, their chubby little cheeks, and all those cute little rolls they have around their arms and legs. When they look at you and smile… it just melts your heart.  Sometimes I have to just remind myself not to squeeze them too hard!!!!   I look at a newborn baby I can’t help but think what a little miracle they are… to think they were inside their mom just a few days/weeks ago and now they are this beautiful living miracle!

Last night we went to watch Antlers vs. Valliant and I got to see two of my favorite babies! ( I do have other “favorites”… they just weren’t at the game last night)  Anyone that knows me knows how much I love babies and how much I love holding them.  It is funny because I have several “baby mommas” that know when they walk into a ballgame, restaurant, school, or anywhere… that as soon as they see me they may as well “just bring the babies to me” !!!! Here are a couple of pics of the babies I got to love on last night …..

One a side note…. today is Friday the 13th…. I love Fridays and I love the number 13…. so I guess that means I must like Friday the 13th ; )

This is a pic of sweet, sweet Emaree... she is a little doll!

This is Rhett...He is too pretty to be a boy

Taking Pictures at 1:00 a. m.

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I am writing this blog while sitting in room 234 from the OKlahoma Heart Hospital. In my last blog I said I was going to make sure I took pics for my blog… Never thinking I would be taking these pics at 1:00 a.m. I already had a plan for yesterday’s blog but I now have a funny story about our most recent trip to OKC. We left Antlers hospital last night about 8:30 with me following the ambulance. When we get close to OKC I noticed we missed the exit I usually take to get to the hospital . ( and after a few trips… I pretty much know how to get here) haha. I ( along with my GPS) decided they were going to take I – 44 …. Nope … We quickly drove right past that exit also! I remembered Sonny had his cell phone so I dial him up . He’s said they missed their exit so they were going to go down and exit on Kilpatrick tollway. Nope….they missed that exit also …. Finally I called again and asked if the ambulance wanted to pull over and just follow me… Long story longer …. They pulled over …. I got in lead and the ambulance followed me to the hospital . I have always wanted to be a storm chaser …. Might just add ambulance driver to that list ; )

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Down Time

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Every once in a while everyone needs a little “down” time. This weekend was one of those weekends… nothing planned, no major projects needing accomplished at home and no where we had to go. Friday night was spent going out to eat with friends, with some much needed laughter. Gotta love great friends !!
Saturday was one of those hang around the house kind of days. (Although Sonny did take the Christmas lights down as his project for the day) And to top the weekend off … Jayci came and spent Sunday hanging out and “doing nothing” with us !!! Perfect ending to a great relaxing weekend!Even Tux our 16 year old cat had a enjoyable and restful weekend. (this picture is not from today… it was the day I was putting the Christmas tree up… but… had I taken a picture of her today… it would have looked just like this!!) I am pretty good at taking alot pics…..I now realize I am going to have to take random pics during my day… so when I sit down to blog I will have pics to help add to my story.

Being short sometimes is a disadvantage….

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Have you ever traded vehicles with your kids or spouse for a few days and changed key chains or given them part of the keys and kept part of the keys. Yeah… that happens around here alot! Just so happens we had this happen this week. My keys were still on 2 separate key chains today when I went to work. One set had the Tahoe key on it and the other set had all the other keys on it.  When I left for school this morning I had the Tahoe key… ONLY.  So when finally get home I figure out I am locked out of the house. After walking around the house twice trying every door and window a couple of times I decided I would just hang around on the porch until Sonny got home. After talking to him I find out he had just left Muskogee and would not be home for 2 hours….. uggggg…. I was gonna get chilly sitting on the porch that long. So I go into the garage and get the biggest ladder we have and decide I was going to try to get into an upstairs window. (I thought one of the upstairs windows might be unlocked because the kids had climbed out a window onto the porch roof while putting up the Christmas lights.) After getting the ladder in place I realized I just might not be tall enough to actually get on the roof… so after looking at it a few minutes I sent Sonny and the kiddos a picture of the ladder and asked if they thought I could do it. THEY HAD NOOO CONFIDENCE IN ME WHATSOEVER !!! After getting the picture text that I had sent, Sonny immediately calls our neighbor Michael and has him run to the house to help me. From the looks of it I think he told Michael to HURRY !!! Long story short… the ladder was also to short for Michael. He went and got his ladder, crawled onto the porch roof and found an open window! I wish I had my phone ready when he actually got into the window because he fell in and all that was sticking out the window was his feet… it was a funny sight!!! THANKS MICHAEL… we owe ya !

Now… to all you gypsies, tramps and thieves….

all our windows upstairs are now locked.

So don’t be getting any crazy ideas. Sure hope I remember to get all my keys as I leave in the morning!

hOt ChOcoLaTe wEaThEr

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I got a new Keurig for Christmas… mainly for the hot chocolate … because I do not like coffee.  Since that day the weather has been unseasonably warm making hot chocolate not sound super appetizing.  I am ready for those cold nights where a cup of hot chocolate sounds really good!!!  I have had a few cups … just practicing for those nights : )  .

The machine also came with a sample pack of about 10-15 coffees… everyday I would make Sonny a cup and he would spit that flavor out… so I would try the next flavor…. then the next…. then the next.  ( you get the idea )   I even bought the “Folgers” blend.  We have yet to find a coffee made in the Keurig that he likes.  I guess that means it is going to be a “Hot Chocolate Machine” only.   Which is just fine with me !  Thanks  Joshua and Jayci… Love my gift… but most of all ” I LOVE YOU” !!!

I love hot chocolate!

Ready for a NEW YEAR !

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A mothers touch

I’m not usually much on making “New Years Resolutions”  or being happy a year is over… but WOW.. I AM GLAD 2011 is OVER !!! 2011 was like living a daily emotional roller coaster. We started 2011 with mom in ICU  ( she went into hospital Aug. 10, 2010 and was never able to come home).    I left for a “Girls Trip Cruise” on March 12, and on March 13 Sonny’s oldest sister Teresa was in a head-on collision, killing the guy that hit them and left Teresa fighting for her life for many months. We almost lost mom that very same night.  All this happens as I am out in the middle of the ocean somewhere… talk about a helpless feeling.   Mom fought hard but lost her battle with COPD March 25, 2011. I thought I was finished with “hospitals” for a while but 4 weeks later on Easter Sunday Sonny had a heart attack.  We wound up in Oklahoma Heart Hospital in OKC.  He had 100% blockage of the “widow maker” and had a stent put in.  He had some complications with bleeding but we were finally able to leave to hospital on Tuesday afternoon.  We decided to stay in a hotel in OKC for the night because there were severe storms expected in SE Oklahoma. We stayed about 2 hours in the hotel and had to go back to hospital.  The next morning they went back in and scraped another artery.  We were finally headed home on Friday morning.  WHEW what a week.  July 15th we were back at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital because Sonny’s heart rate was about 30 when he was up and about.  ( should be about 60)  He had a pacemaker put in that afternoon.  Then on Veteran’s Day we were once again back at the hospital and they put yet ANOTHER STENT in.   Teresa was able to come home in June and was able to begin trying to walk in November.  As we celebrated the holidays I missed MOM so much but had to remind myself she was so very happy and that I would never want her to have to live hooked to a machine like she had to live for the last 7  1/2 months of her life.  I also thought many times during the holidays how very blessed we were to be able to celebrate another holiday season with both Sonny and Teresa.  2011 will definitely be one of those years that will be remembered not only for the hard times but for the tremendous blessings.

Blogging

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I started this page in August… wrote one day… quit.  I am going to try and keep a daily ( or maybe weekly ; ) blog )    Today has been a very “unproductive” day.  I have basically sat on couch, watched tv, andfacebooked.  OOOHHH yeah… and did  a little more ( maybe alot) more “internet hoarding” in Pinterest.  This has been a very relaxing break and a much needed break.  We start back to school on Wednesday,  it seems crazy to think this school year is already 1/2 way over.  Teaching school is one of the careers where you really do realize how very fast the year goes by… and as you age you realize each year goes faster!!!  I guess it is because our job stops at the end of a year… then starts back up at the beginning of the next school year.