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.