Tuesday, December 31, 2013


from Das Whetsel Haus!

I would be lying if I said that I wasn't glad that this year is almost over.


It hasn't been a bad year. It has been a year of finding a groove, making friends and finding uplifting moments.

I am currently watching a 2013 in review on NBC. That means I am writing this through tears. I have cried at the drop of the hat. I am also smiling. There are so many great stories from this last year. I cry every time I hear the word "Batkid."

The best thing that happened in my life in this last year has been making friends. Some old friends that I reconnected with and some that are brand spanking new ones that have helped me to figure out who I am. I am not one for resolutions. But, I will be making goals. Both personal, with my family and as a business woman.

There is one keyword that I plan of focusing on. It was value and weight. Is important and a limited resource. And, you never know when yours will be over.

The word is "Time."

Anyway, it is time for company and games. I hope your 2014 is better than 2013. No matter how good your 2013 was.

Monday, December 23, 2013

What We Dream About and For

I have started this blog about four times. But, every time I have, I have had my emotional feet knocked out from underneath me. And, thinking about the things that I want and don't have going on just makes me depressed and angry. But, I am trying to work on it. I would be lying if I didn't say that part of working on it did not include meds and a whiskey and coke at night. But, just one.

I have also come to a realization that some of my fantasy list also falls under realizations I have made and things I have learn. So, this will be a bit of and eclectic and random list. I know HUGE shocker, right?

1. Some of my wishes are for the world. The bible speaks of having the faith of a child. I have always held this close to my heart. It is part of the idealist in me. This wish is that the people of the world would find their inner child and latch on to it for everything they have. I have also realized that this is a lot easier with small children in your home. Whether they are your children or someone else's.

2. I use the phrase "This is a kindness." a lot now. I heard it on Doctor Who. Apparently, it is a rather common phrase here in the states, too. I like it a lot. I use it instead of "Can you do me a favor?" It implies that the act is not expected to be paid back. And, I am a proponent for doing things because it is the kind and right thing to do, not because you are keeping a tally of who owes you for what.

3. I am missing the country a bit. Mind you, I don't want to be out as far as I used to be. But, I would love to be out of the city limits with maybe 10 to 15 acres with trees. I want to have more chickens and goats. I also want to be able to rescue large dogs and have room for them to play. I want other animals, too.I want large farmhouse/storybook home with a studio space.

4. I want a mountain cabin all to myself. I could use time away from people.

5. I want to quit grinding my teeth. I did for a while. But, I started again for some reason.

6. My last wish for the evening is that you get to see the mark your child makes in the world. And, while they are alive. Pay attention to how your child interacts with people. Both adults and children.

I was shocked by how many parents knew about Sarah. I mean their children came home from school talking about her. And, not because she was the diabetic kid in the class. The talked about how strong her personality was. How she stood up for other kids. How she stood up for herself and made her presence known.

If you have children that have touched your kids that way. Let their parents now. It is an awesome feeling.


On a different note, I have a dear friend that lost a baby during pregnancy. I love her and her husband. If there was ever a couple that I would wish a child for a family, it would be them, I got a message from her this morning stating that she had a dream she wanted to tell me about.

I have had friends that have had dreams with Sarah ever since we lost her. But this one touched me more that the others. Somehow in my mind, I see Sarah greeting children as they come into Heaven, showing them the ropes and singing as she goes. This is the message I received.

"I dreamed about my baby being in Heaven. The baby was being held 
by someone else. They turned around, and it was your Sarah. She told 
me not to worry because the baby was with family and friends. 
Your Sarah is helping take care of my baby."

I cried and smiled when I read it. This is a hard time for people that have lost children. It doesn't matter if the baby didn't survive the pregnancy or the child lived for several years. It is still hard. Please be kind and patient.

I love you, Stephanie and Andrew. 

My heart goes out to all of the families that have lost children. May God pour your peace out over these families during this holiday season. 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Perfect Storm that Lead to A Grumpy Idealist

I have started so many blogs today in my head. I have had a tumultuous week.  The assumption, on my part anyways, is that this week has been a perfect storm of randomness that pushed me a bit over the edge Monday. Then, it just kept going. It has been a craptacular storm of negativism and complaining all around the world. I am avoiding to avoid Facebook for a while. I have had my fill of people perpetuating stereotypes and slinging stones that I am done. So, I am going to write two blogs today. This one to vent. And, then later this evening, I will write my fantasy Christmas list. So here we go.
I will only say one thing regarding the Duck Dynasty story. As a hard-core, dreamy realist, I am in awe that people seem to be unaware that this is more about money than anything. Will they lose more money from advertisers if they keep the show or from the audience if they drop the show? That and GQ will sale issue after issue for an article that has nothing to do with being a gentleman. No, I am not referring to religion. I mean really, if these guys weren’t loaded and have their own show, would they be in the magazine? I think not.
I had a rough day this week dealing with some other things that are probably always to going to always be too private to blog on because they do not just involve me. I have however decided that from here out, the only people that should have a direct impact on my house, both the buildings and activities that take place there, are no one else’s business other than the people that live there. There is a certain amount of pressure that I have put on myself about our home that has been debilitating. But, you know what? It is a lot easier to get up and clean because you want it done than because, in your own little head, other people care. I have hopes of a clean home.
I may or may not have posted about people breaking into storage buildings and homes lately. Well, it looks like at least one person has been caught. These people have broken into our family storage building and took some of our things. I try really hard not to judge. But, it happens. If they really need the money for food and such, there are other ways. If it is just plain being nefarious, then they suck.
Oh and one thing that I am going to quit doing is dumbing myself down. I am going to start every sesquipedalian word I know!
And, one last thing, all of those people that kept complaining about Christmas before Thanksgiving, where are you? I see very few of you posting.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Few Lessons I Have Learned

I am pretty darn happy.
I don’t  know what to do with it.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of things in my life that could be a lot better. But, in general, considering everything in my life, I am happy. I am at a place where I can see a light of hope for the future. The last few years left me with emotional whiplash. A lot has happened both good and bad.
I was drained. I am going to give you a visual. You have a bathtub that is full of filthy water. You drain it completely. Now, you put the plug back in and add more water. Clean water. It doesn’t stay clean. There is still dirt there. But, not near as much. Then you drain it, again. If you keep doing this, eventually you end up with fairly clean water. Water that isn’t stagnant. There are some issues that will always be there, like ring around the tub in an old porcelain tub that needs to be refinished. But, you get used to it and pretty well ignore it. 

That is where I am. This morning, I felt like I was taking a bubble bath in my tub. I wake up to the dog scampering over and laying down on my chest with his normal, “You don’t need to get up right now.” puppy dog eyes. Then the kitten comes over and starts nuzzling. Then look up to see Mr. J smiling at me. (Yes, I see you over there making that gagging motion. I don’t care. Nanner-nanner.)I was warm and happy. The only thing that would have been better would have been if my son was there.
I have even come to a point where I don’t say son and daughter. I realized that yesterday. Acceptance is a hard, painful thing. But, it is healing. You can’t move forward without it. She isn’t coming back.
I have noticed that other people speak of her always being 14. But, when I think of her, I see her as a seventeen year old. Standing tall and proud. Strutting about with that self confidence that is so rare in teenage girls.
I have learned a few things over the last year that I want to share. 

You can never hug your children too much. Ever. 

Never mock the person that treats their animal like family. For some of us, our pets really are family. I would be just as devastated if I lost my dog as if I lost a blood relative.

That you can never talk to your children too much. Treat them with respect. It is how they learn, by example. I even tell them yes ma'am and yes sir. There are a lot of children that never hear the words. It might be the only time they hear them.

You are an adult. Act like it. That often means not stooping to other people's level. And, sometimes, that means not trying to show people up.

When you are an adult, you learn to let by gones be by gones. When your spouse has friends that are friends with someone that you had a falling out with a long time ago, grow up. Get over it and move the heck on. You are hurting your spouse. Especially if the ax you are still grinding is from before you were a couple. 

That everyone grieves differently. And, that is OK. There is not a "right" way to grieve. 

Don't be afraid to make new friends.

Well, I am going to wrap this up for now. I have a sinus headache that is eating me alive.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Is That You're Engorged Sense of Entitlement, Or Are You Happy To See Me?

I had this grand plan for a well thought out, structured, mature blog. Then I said screw it. I have been thinking on this blog for nearly a week. I am mad at my younger self. I wish I had realized that I was selfish and rude. I wish that I had made better decisions and been more aware of the world around me. (This includes paying more attention to my now husband. We met in college and if we had dated back then, we could have saved each other a lot of pain. Yes, we wouldn't be the people we are today. But, still.)

I wish I had been aware of the opportunities around me. I wish I had spent more time forming opinions and taking stands than flirting with boys. I wish I had gone for a degree I would eventually want to actually use. I really. I wished I had formed better habits.

But, hind sight is a bitch. Like karma.

That being said, the reason I have had these thoughts on my mind is because I keep seeing people acting like I did. I mean, I didn't act quite as poorly. But, I still see it. So, the lesson on this trip to the top of the soap box is don't be a dick. Yes, I mean you. I am not saying you are a dick. But, I think that we on occasion need to step back, as an individual, and thinks, "How do other people see me?"

There are people that say "I don't care what other people think." I am calling bullshit. From my experience, people that say that are lying to themselves, assholes, looking for a fight or seeking attention. Or, any combination there of.

I am not saying that your decisions should be determined by other people. But, your attitude shouldn't either. Just because you feel strongly on a subject does not make it OK to treat people that disagree with you like crap. It is NOT OK.

I now I am rambling a bit. But, I have been stuck inside do to the fact that my body hates cold weather and takes it out on my joints. I have a bit of cabin fever.

Being gracious isn't always easy. Especially if it is something that you really do not want or is intended as a jab at you personally. But, whatever you do, DO NOT tell the person you don't like it. Say thank you, and move on. Also, I am a firm believer that you should never expect things from people. By saying this, I don't mean that people are bad and that they aren't going to want to give you anything. I am simply saying that we should do things and give things because we want to. There should never be any invisible strings attached.

One last thing and I will let you go. And, this above all. Just be nice. Even when it hurts. And, especially when someone else is hurt. This includes the grocery store. Especially when the lady is standing there staring at the pop rocks on the verge of tears because they were her daughter's favorite. (Walmart has candy cane flavored ones.) Seriously, the person that spins out on the ice and is just sitting there. Give them a minute. Be patient. The clerk that is snotty and cold. Bathe them in your kindness. They may being going through things you will never know about. And, if not, they need your kindness and warmth more than anyone else.

So, in closing, as I said earlier. Don't be a dick.

And, one last thing. No one owes you anything. You are not entitled to anything. If you think you are, you probably don't deserve what you have.

I am stepping down from my soapbox now. As you were.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Candy Canes are Hung

The ornaments are all hung on the tree. Well, the ones that will fit. We have way more than we have room for. Jerry and I had our first tree in 2010. We did a comic book tree with action figures and I made paper and ink versions of the comic book logos. I had a small box of ornaments from my previous marriage. And, Jerry had few that had sentimental value.
Skip ahead to Christmas 2011. In one year we were married and lost Sarah. I was trying to write a few very belated wedding thank you cards, thank you cards for the funeral and Christmas cards all at once. A friend told me that I didn't need to send anymore thank you cards. If anyone expected one from a grieving parent, especially if they are actually upset about it, they are the one with the mixed up priorities.
This is the same friend that paid me for a baby tutu I made her with a large box of ornaments. Part of my therapy was decorating the tree. Sarah had developed a thing for peace signs. And, they were popular that year. So, we had a groovy, bright and funky tree that year. The box of ornaments she brought matched perfectly.
We have the tradition, like a lot of families, to buy everyone a new ornament each year. This year, we bought several. Sarah's is always Peace related.

And, the candy canes are on the tree.
The ornament on the left was a gift from a fellow Type 1 mom.
I made sure there is a candy cane next to it.
You know those memories from being very young that you don't remember if they really happened or not? Mine is about seeing seahorses. I love them. So, this is my new ornament. 

This is Sarah's ornament for this year.
It is hard to find Christmas ornaments with a religious tone. I loved this one.
And, the green heart has the lyrics from the song we played at her funeral.
One of Sarah's favorite musicians has a close line with a flying pig as it's logo.
Also, she loved the phrase "when pigs fly." Jerry couldn't help himself.
The "S" was a gift from one of her friends and class mates.
I had to give Ty a limit of saying the word "Jack" to 10 times per day.
 He is a bit obsessed with Duck Dynasty. So, a Duck-Hunter was perfect.
Ty is also a Tech fan.
 I painted the angel years ago. It's probably over 20 years old, now.
And, yes, there are Sugar Skulls on the tree. I am planning on painting some, too.
This is Mr. J's ornament. He is a sci-fi nut with the heart of a five year-old.
What else would he have?

The finished product.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Candy Cane Heard Round the World

When we were children, we spent Christmas Eve at my grandparents with the rest of my mother’s side of the family. There were a lot of us there. The house would be packed. Every room would be full of people. There were stacks of gifts wrapped in the “funny papers” under the tree.


One year, PawPaw was going to have his teeth, the ones that were left, pulled for so he could get his dentures the next week. So, to entertain us, he was pulling his teeth out. I still remember the squeals of, “EEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! Do it again!!!!” from all of the grandkids gathered around.


Besides the lemon meringue, pecan, chocolate meringue and coconut cream pies, there was always another treat. A giant peppermint stick. It was almost always a Bob’s candy cane. He would get a hammer and break it. And, we would all eat on it. Everyone. It reminds me of breaking bread as a family.


Well, I grew up knowing that the best candy canes were Bob’s. Not Brach’s. Not Sprangler’s. They were good. But, they weren’t the same.


We passed this onto Sarah. She would look for the first box of Bob’s candy canes in the store. That was when our Christmas would start. I remember walking through the store with Sarah, not long before she passed, when she commented that she couldn’t wait to get her hands on them. She was just starting to drink coffee. And, she was looking forward to coffee with a Bob’s candy cane in it.


So, there will only ever be one brand of peppermint candy canes on our tree will be Bob’s. The only brand of peppermint candy in my coffee will be Bob’s.


The Christmas that we lost her, I posted about this. Friends and family hung them on their tree in her memory. People I had never met, all over the world, they hung them in her memory. I do not think there was ever a time in my life that I felt more connected to the rest of the world as I did then.


And, sitting on the chair with the stockings, is a box of Bob’s Candy Canes waiting to be hung on the tree. They will be hung last. Then, I will sit and cry into a cup of coffee sweetened by love, memories and peppermint candy canes.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Random Things That I Am Thankful

I am a bit late posting my list of things I am thankful for. It is important to me to find the smallest things that make us happy. Some days, those are the only good things we have.

I am thankful for my families twisted sense of humor. It makes things like playing Taboo ways more fun.

IMDB.com - Without you we would be up late at night wondering "Who the heck was that actor and what have I seen them in?" 

Malibu Rum

The DC Universe... Especially the women

My Blogging group. You girls are awesome and make me feel better about myself.

My son, or as we think the dog calls him,The Boy. He is awesome on so many levels and in so many ways.We had a Beatles sing a long fest in the car at his request at his request yesterday. 

Mr. J. Best husband a woman could ask for.

Rick. He's my therapy dog.

Sincerely, I thankful for the creators of anxiety medications. There are so many of my loved ones that have benefited from them over the years.

Assassin's Creed. My son and husband have spent much time bonding while playing the game together.

The people that work retail and keep a smile on their faces. It is a hard thing to do at times. Especially at the end of a long shift when everything has gone wrong that day. Been there, done that.

Pablo Picasso. His work rocks.

Julie Newmar, Michelle Pheiffer, and Anne Hatheway. I'll leave it to you to figure that one out.

Smart Phones


Bacon Cheeseburgers, even though I can hardly eat them any more. Oh, and turkey burgers.

Doctor Who, well, BBC in general.

Gerard Butler and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

And, I am thankful that this headache is easing up. So, I am going to wrap this up. I am thankful for a lot more. But, for now, I will leave it at that. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Have a Happy Zanax, I Mean Thanksgiving!

I need a distraction from thinking about people that aren’t going to be here this holiday season. I have had a heavy dose of missing the grandparents and Sarah this year. I am not sure if it is the stress finally easing from the divorce, starting a new relationship and losing Sarah, but  I have had gaps where I don’t have a lot of clear memories. 

They are starting to flood back in.

They aren’t bad memories. They are generally very good ones. But, it’s still hard. When we were children, we would have Thanksgiving at my maternal grandparents. There would be a ton of family there. Same with when my children were small. There were always a lot of people. But, as everyone gets older, we move further apart. Thanksgiving and Christmas were when MeeMaw's pie making skills were shown off. Coconut cream, pecan, lemon meringue and chocolate meringue... all loaded in her pie baskets. Tomorrow, I will load one of those baskets with an apple and a buttermilk. 

I miss her. 

As a child, I remember coming to my father's parents in November to find two large pots of chrysanthemums on the dining room table. Every year. Both of my grandparents birthdays and their anniversary fell in the same week in November. I think of them every time I see a Chrysanthemum.

I miss them. 

Sarah made the deviled eggs. She was very good at eat. I can't eat one without crying, now. The last two Thanksgivings haven't been as bad as I expected. This year seems to be making up for them. I am the least stressed I have been in a long time. 

That may be the problem. I keep thinking of what it would be like if she was still here. The sound of her voice and her laughter. How she would come up behind me and grab me. 

I miss her so much that it hurts.

So, this will be my first medicated holidays. I know I have the right to miss them. But, it doesn't mean I want to.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Grief is Selfish... and Exhausting... and Painful

I am sitting at the computer sobbing.

I was sitting this morning half listening to the television while the story about Jackie's Secret Service agent came on the TV. With it being the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, it is all over the TV. I was half watching while playing with the dog and check my Facebook feed while listening to the TV.

Then I heard something that got my full attention. He explained why he ran to Mrs. Kennedy. When. I have see the video, I always assumed she was reaching out for help. In that moment, she went from being the wife of the President to John's wife. She did what was instinctual when someone is hurt. She was trying to gather the broken parts of her husband.

It's what we do when when we know someone we love is physically sick or injured in an emergency. We go into fix it mode. Especially when you are a mother.  The gentleman got her back into the seat of the seat of the car. She was not concerned with her own personal safety. The shooter was still out there. She didn't care. I can only imagine what she was thinking. (I have included the video from the news story this morning.)

When they swore in LBJ, she wore the dress, stains and all.

It is funny how our minds work in those moments of sudden death. I remember the day that we lost Sarah, there were long stretches of calm with moments of complete and utter despair, wailing and gnashing of teeth. But, there had to be some calm. There were people to talk to, decisions to make. Since her father was still on the way back from Albuquerque, I was the only legal parent there. I had to trust my own decisions.

I remember the dress I wore to the funeral. And, the shoes. It took nearly two years before I could wear the dress, again. I love the dress. A simple black, wrap around. And, the red satin heels Sarah had found for me the first Christmas after I left their father. (Her step-mom wore her plaid boots.) I nearly cried when I messed up the heel of one shoe. I stepped through the grate on the floor at church and scraped the red right off. I was crest fallen.

 I feel guilty, and probably will every time that I drive by a funeral procession, pass a funeral home or hear of some one's death. I go to my own memories first. We all do to a certain extent. And, as time goes on, I am sure that the time the memory lingers will become more and more brief. But, even watching the death of a President takes me back to that morning in Anson, Texas. When I sat screaming inconsolably while people wrapped their arms around my shoulders while I felt myself fall, spinning like a plane plummeting towards the earth.

I take that back. You know how in action movies someone is all ways jumping off a building and there is a series of awnings they keep falling through? Each one I hurts to land on, but the progressively slow their fall. And, by the time they reach the bottom awning, the have slowed enough that they don't go though, or if they do go through, they might scrape their knee.

That is a lot like grief. Falling is scary. Very scary. You know that it's not going to kill you. But, there is a doubt that tells you it might.

You will land. Maybe on your feet. Maybe not. But, you will land. You will be broken and bruised. You will probably limp away. But, the key thing is that you pull yourself to your feet. You get up and move on.

You will not be the same person.

You will be changed. You will be scarred.

But, you can move on. And, you will.

This was going to be a blog about the relationship between husbands and wives. But, sometimes a detour is a good thing.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I made a pie. Does that count?

On a weekend full of potential, I made a pie. Well, I also got laundry washed. That's pretty much it for the entire weekend. My energy level is coming up slowly. A couple of months ago, I wouldn't have got that much done. But, I still feel like I am letting my family down. Including myself.

I am not leaving up to my potential in the least. I tend to be a "why even bother" type when it comes to housework. Especially when my hormones and stress level are fighting against me. I get to find out if the company that rubs our software can fix my boo-boo from Friday when I get to work tomorrow. Between that and the fact that it's that time of the month. If it's TMI for you, then you obviously Donny spend a lot of time around women . If not wasn't for the fact that Zanax knocks me out, I would have taken them over the entire weekend. 

My body locked down, I have a headache and I am nauseated. I can not think straight. I am expecting the worst and hoping for the best tomorrow. But, it has shut me down for today. 

Today I could be sewing aprons to sale for funds to go towards new kitchen equipment. (My mixer died, last night.) 

I could be painting. I could be cleaning.

But. I am not. 

Instead, I am trying to keep my mind from exploding into little bits. Playing a video game helps, a little. But, even the games that don't kick my motion sickness into overdrive give me a headache after a while. 

I do not see much of a productive evening in my future either.

And before you say, it's ok to goof off now and then, I am this way a lot. But, like I said, it's getting better.

Slowly, but surely. Just not tonight.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Diabetes Sucks

November is hard. Really hard. It is Diabetes Awareness month. And, today is World Diabetes Day. You know how you tell your children to ignore the bullies because they are mean and not worth your time? That is how I feel about diabetes.
When I got a tattoo for Sarah, there were people that expected a blue ribbon or a blood drop. I wanted to honor her life, not what killed her. I want the world to remember how she lived, not how she died. I prided myself on the fact that she had diabetes. It didn’t have her. A friend posted a blog on my personal Facebook page. It was a letter that an adult Type 1 wrote to herself before she was diagnosed as a very small child. She wrote of the things her parents would have to learn to do for her. The things she would have to miss out on. Also the things she would have to deal with daily that “regular” kids would not. I found myself being flooded back with memories.
You see, I have spent the better part of the last two years focusing on the best moments with Sarah. Her outstanding personality. Her laughter. Her compassion and devil may care attitude. Her brilliance. But, not on the hard times.
They were my hard times, too. You will see many posts and blogs this month about the things that a diabetic patient has to do and go through. But, you see, it isn’t just a person that has diabetes. The entire family does. From the parents that have to learn an entire cannon of information on a scary new disease to the siblings that are not only scared for the sibling. They also see the fear and stress in the rest of the family. The grandparents are overwhelmed and worried. Will they ever get to come spend the night again? And, if they do, will I know what to do?
Thunderstorms and bad weather would always make Sarah’s sugar drop. We could count on it. They were a huge stressor for her. And, when it fell, it would go fast. There was one night in particular that we had been stuck in the vehicle at my original in-laws because the rain was falling so hard that we couldn’t get out. (I just can’t call them my ex-in-laws. They are still a huge part of my life and I am glad to call my original mother-in-law my friend.) I have never seen rain like that. When we finally got home, I remember opening the door for the kids to get out. We were in a quad cab truck so Sarah was a little above eye-level. I told her to get out. I looked at her face and saw the glazed over, non-responsive eyes. 
Here is come. When her sugars fell REALLY low, she would have a seizure. She started shaking and jerking. Ty, her younger brother that was probably eight or nine at the time was in the back seat with her. He had never seen her have one before. He was terrified. We checked her sugar and got some into her. We waited in the truck until she came to enough to get her in the house. Ty just stunned the entire time. But, he had paid attention.
The kids were staying with my parent’s the next day while we were at work. I called my mother to see if Sarah had checked her sugar. She was on the phone with me when she found her on the floor convulsing. I was lucky enough to have an employer who didn’t mind me running out the door and calling them from my cell phone to tell them that my daughter was having a seizure and I would call them back when I knew more. I ran in the house to find my mother and brother just in awe. Ty had come right in with her kit. Checked her sugar and was giving her the sugar. He knew exactly what to do. He may have saved his sister’s life that day. We are still proud of him for that. My brother and I never had anything near like that happen. But, they had to watch their granddaughter like a hawk when she was there.
The homes of both grandparents had stashes of syringes and partial bottles of strips. There was always something to bring her sugar up and ibuprofen for the headache that inevitably came after a low. They had to be ready, too. Her brother had to keep an eye out, also. He was always aware of if her mood was off, or she had a funny look on her face. I caught him making sure where her purse was on more than one occasion.

And, there are so many things that make it hard on a diabetic themselves. If she left her purse somewhere, she had to go back to get it. Especially once she had her pump. That glucometer in her purse was the only one that would talk to her pump. Her sugar tablets were in there, too. She didn’t always get to have the cutest purses. They had to be big enough to hold her purse.

When she got older, and wore skinny jeans, she had to deal with people asking why she had two phones. She would pull her pump out of the pocket and show them what was basically and artificial, external pancreas. When she was younger, she hated the attention brought. When you are eight or nine around other kids and you open your kit, people stare. Especially kids. And, there are times where you can’t be discreet about it. As she got older, she considered it more of a teachable moment and would tell the person who asked what she was doing and why.
Sleep overs were out of the question for a very long time. Then it was only at homes that were within a certain radius from our house. And, I eventually just made a list to give the moms of directions and phone numbers.  Being in a small town, they all knew Sarah. They were always great to have diet sodas and things that she could eat without shooting her sugars through the roof. And, they were never afraid to ask questions.  But, the parents of her friends still worried.

And, then there were the students, teachers and staff at school. I still vividly remember the phone call from the school that she had a seizure. One secretary was on the phone with me and another with her father. The ambulance was already on the way and her dad beat them there. Luckily, they were in the computer lab with huge tube style monitors, so only a few of the students actually saw her fall out of her chair into the floor. One of the students had to go to the classroom to get her purse and kit for her dad. Did I mention you have to take your kit EVERYWHERE? She did after that.

Then there is life as a parent or spouse of a diabetic. There is the constant checking to see if they are still breathing in their sleep. There are so many fights when you have to keep asking, “Did you check your sugar? Did you dose for that? Are you sure?” It gets worse when they are teenagers. Diabetes is a glandular issue. Yeah, you know those glands that affect a child’s body by releasing those horrible hormones that turn your sweet little child into a raging, hormonal demon spawn? Same system.  So, it really screws with diabetic kids that already feel like they stick out like a sore thumb. And, their fingers are callused and hurt. They are tired of having to be accountable for everything that goes in their mouse. They cannot just go get a coke with a friend. They might get lucky enough that the store has a diet drink that they like. But, it never fails they don’t.
So, you see the person with the diagnosis isn’t the only one with the disease. It directly impacts everyone that loves and interacts with them.

And, it sucks.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How Big Her Brave Is

Today is one month from Sarah's 17th birthday. I have pondered how to word that sentence. Is her birthday... Would be her birthday... Would have been her birthday... But, December 12th will be her birthday. And I am reminded by that with every picture I see of her friends as they are getting older, then I feel guilty. It makes it hard to see the other children without seeing her. It makes it hard to see how beautiful and bright they are, how they have grown and stretched their wings. Especially the ones that were close to her, but I do see it. It brings tears to my eyes as well as a smile.

I stop and wonder when I see the pictures, "What would she look like?" I pretty much just need to look in the mirror. But, would she still have a rocker girl edge? Would she be a little more main stream? Would her hair still be short or would she have let it grow out? Would she still want to be involved in music production? Would she have a boyfriend? Would she have a job? 

One thing I am sure of is that she would still have her self-assured, not always tactful, compassionate, charming, bubbly, non-judgemental, loyal, kick ass personality. She was brave, she was physically and emotionally strong. It didn't mean she didn't have moments when she was weak, but they were few and far between.

I remember her coming home from school one day telling me from across the room (with her head whipping around like a slightly crazy person) about the trip home on the school bus that day. The bus bully was being a jerk and grabbing other kids bags, specifically Ty and one of his friend's. He was trying to get a rise out of them along with the other boy's brother. So, Sarah gets in his face and tells him to give their stuff back. He threw the bags down and threaten to bitch slap her. 

This is where I thought to myself, "And, then she said, 'You go right ahead and try!'" 

She popped of, "I sat down and thought, 'You go ahead and try.'"

I knew my daughter pretty well. 

There was another occasion when Sarah overheard a girl making a snotty comment about a friend that was walking with her and she called the girl on it, loudly. Luckily her art teacher stepped out the door before any punches were thrown. I know you shouldn't condone violence, but I was far more proud of her for standing up for a friend than being upset with her for getting into a fight. The other girl smarted off and was rude to the teacher. After that, the teacher forgot about the girl's verbal skirmish and hauled the instigator to the office. 

Remember those girls I see in the pictures, especially the ones she knew? I know she had an impact on their lives, I hope for the best. I also hoped that she taught them to be fierce, to be strong, to use their voices, to be comfortable in their own skin and to make an impact on them to stand up for others. 

In the words of Sara Bareilles, "I wanna see you be brave."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rocks, Paper, Scissor, Patterns, Pins, Threads...

Hello. My name is Marlo and I am addicted to fabric. Yes, I sew and quilt. Some. But, mostly I collect fabric. I grew up in a household with a mom that sewed all the time. A lot of my clothes were sewn, too. We were yelled at for stepping on quilts. I totally understood why after I made my first one. I spent may afternoon trips to Hancocks (when it was on Barrow), Clothworld and even the fabric store at the mall. Yes, boys and girls, the Mall of Abilene had a fabric store. It was high end, dressy stuff. So, we only actually shopped there for special occasions. We went to Alton’s on occasion, too. This was when it was on South 8th across the street from where I work now. (Currently, it is a fenced in yeard for a pool company. Also, another note of interest, our local Synagogue is on the other side of the lot. Most people do not realize we even have one. I was lucky enough to attend a service where to Torrah was brought out and the children danced down the aisle. As a Southern Baptist girl, I found this to be very unfair. But, I digress.) 

When other kids in elementary school were complaining that they were never going to have to add fractions, I just sat there and shook my head.  I had do fractions every time we shopped for a pattern. (Well, that and when we baked.) It's probably part of the reason I did well with fractions. Yes, I can sew. I have done crafty sewing, apparel sewing, quilting, and home decor sewing. I even sewed a formal, once. Never again. Satin and I do NOT get along. At all. I have boxes, baskets, drawers and crates of fabric. I hardly touch them anymore. I blame a lot of that on the house being a disaster. I am not even sure I can get to my machine right now. 

I even spent four years or so working at the local Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts. I miss the fabrics, notions and patterns. I also missed getting to help people choose patterns and fabrics for their designs. It's now like have a huge database of knowledge. But, I have enough basics that I pretty well know what I am talking about. I know when I am NOT doing something right. And, I know when I really need to. I know that when choosing a thread to match you need to go darker rather than light. There are some things I know because I was taught by my mother. There are some things I learned from working at the fabric store. And, there some things I have learned from my own experiences. I also learned from my theater experiences. 

I know that you get what you pay for when you pay for fabric. Yes, you can buy 100% cotton at the same place you buy groceries for $2.00 a yard. But, you get it will most likely not wash well. That or it will shrink or fade. Yes, the decent stuff is $6.00 and up a yard. The good stuff is far more. But, if this is a quilt that you want to keep for years, or a piece of clothing that will be worn over and over again, you will be glad you spent the extra money. So, when you see Moda or Alexander Henry prints at anything under $10.00 a yard, you will know you have quite the deal on your hands.

A few other things about fabric that some people do not know...

Always cut the selvage off! The selvages are the sides of the fabric where it is secured together. If you are making something that will NEVER be washed, you're probably ok. (tablecloths, costumes, some curtains, etc.) Otherwise, take the time to cut them off! They do not shrink. They have been heated and or glued to keep the fabric from unraveling. Besides the fact that they don't shrink, they are stiff and don't feel good.

Do not mix fabric types whenever avoidable. Most quilters will only use 100% cotton. Fabrics shrink. They all do when they are first washed. It maybe a small enough amount that you never noticed. But, not always. The more natural the fabrics, the more they will shrink. Keep in mind, good cotton will hardly shrink at all. But, different types of fabrics shrink at different rates. 

When it comes to whether to wash fabric be
fore you use it, you will get different opinions. Often from the same person. It depends of the fabric and what you are going to do with it. But, the key thing is that if you wash part of the fabric for a project first, then wash it all. There is one time I would make an exception. That would be when doing very small hand applique pieces. 

One day, I want to own my own fabric store. I have the name and theme in mind. And, even some of the advertising. There is a store in Fort Worth called Cabbage Rose Quilting. I have only been lucky enough to go once. My favorite thing about the store isn't the fantastic fabrics, great notions or delightful patterns. It isn't even the inviting, warm decor. It comes down to their employees. When you come into a store that sells quilt fabric, you expect a bunch of older ladies ranging from stuffy to old hippies. They have them there. But, they have all sorts of people working there. The day we went, it was all women. But, they were all sorts of ages, personalities and styles. I loved it! The girl that was our cashier was covered in tattoos. That would be hard to find here. I want to make it happen. I want a fabric store to make it happen! And, one day it will.

Oh! And, one more thing. NEVER, EVER under the threat of removal of your limbs with a pair of rusty pinking sheers should you use a person's fabric only scissors on anything but fabric. It will not end well. You have been warned.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Some Days Are Heavier Than Others

Some days are what I call "Sarah Heavy." Days like today. EVERYTIME I open listen to what is playing it reminds me of her. ("Sing" by My Chemical Romance) The CMA awards are wrapping up with her favorite country song. We played Old Crow Medicine Show's version (the original) of "Wagon Wheel." And,  I saw watching all day. The Transam we parked across from, the lady bug ornament, the anchor ornament. I had been considering doing a photographic biography of sorts soon. I am taking all of these things as sign that today is the day to do it. It is more for me than anyone else. But, sharing her memory eases my pain a little.

This was the last picture that I took of Sarah. 
She made it her profile picture on her Facebook page. It's still there.