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Happy Birthday Pixy!!


Hope you have a great day!!!


Hugs & Kisses!!

"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly
I am looking for a psychologist or councelor that is covered by my insurance. Shouldn't be too difficult... right? So the website gives me a list of names that is a billion miles long... then I find out that none of them are covered. So I call the number for 'member services' on the back of my card. I explain to them what I'm looking for, they send me to a 'member services specialist'. I talk to this woman and she puts me on hold. When she gets back, she says, "You could just go to a psychiatrist."

I tell her that we have a psychiatrist for prescribing medication, but need a councelor or psychologist to talk to.

"I was told they are the same thing. One can prescribe medicine, is all."

I was appalled. "No. They are very different. A psychiatrist spends 45 minutes with you on the first visit, to evaluate you. Then they spend 15 minutes with you, once every 1-6 months, then write another prescription. A councelor or psychologist spends 45 minutes to an hour with you, talking and leading you to help behavior."

She repeats, overtop of me, while I speak, "I was told they are the same thing."

When I finish, she quits speaking to me. I finally hang up, after 10 minutes of listening to her type and not answer any questions or concerns.

Now, shouldn't the insurance company people know, or have access to information that tells them, the differnece?  Grrr...
"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly

Time for Reflection

Every December, I find myself reflecting on the year that is now behind me. There is usually some good mixed with some bad events, decisions, feelings, etc. I do my best to not go through the "what if" stage, and just spend a little time burning the memories into my mind... especially since having children. It seems like time goes so fast. This year, however, I find myself reflecting back further in my memory. 

A guy I knew in high school died last week. My brother noticed the obituary in the newspaper, and I immediately did a search to find out what had happened. There was nothing in any papers or online that mentioned an accident. There was nothing in any of his obit. printings that mentioned a fight with cancer or heart diseae. There was nothing to indicate why a man, only 36 years old, was no longer out there in the world. I couldn't let it go, though. I have very few contacts to my childhood. I don't talk to many of the people that were friends with me back in high school, or in the small town I called home... but I talk to a few. I asked around, and they asked around. Finally, I heard back that he had taken his own life. I stopped then, though I want to know more. I want to know why... but I never will. Not just because he's not here to tell anyone, but because it looks like he had no one to tell anymore. Maybe that in itself is why...

I know it sounds odd that I'm in such a titter over some guy I knew in high school... but I didn't just know him. He was second only to one guy, in the list of men that have intertwined themselves in my high school years. I dated him... twice. He took me into a social group that I was unfamiliar with and soon realized I didn't want to be a part of. He treated me like a queen... yet he was the most controlling man I ever dated. He was also, later, someone I could talk to about anything, as a friend. He listened and made me smile. He tormented himself, and me a bit. I make him sound horrible, but he was just a teenage boy, lost and searching. I was a teenage girl who'd been lost for years, and was searching. Maybe that's why he's intertwined in so many memories... we were different, but so alike.

Whatever it was, his death has led me to think about days gone by... and I find that I'd rather not. Part of me wonders if I shouldn't have kept in touch with all those people that were so important to me back then. I wonder what I have missed out on. With the exception of family, many of whom were raging alcoholics at the time, no one in my life knows me from that time in my life. Another part of me knows, however, that if I had stayed there, with all of them, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have met my husband or made my beautiful family. I may never have found a me I could live with.

My heart breaks for him. it breaks for his parents and brother. It seems he didn't get less tormented as time passed, and for that I am sad. What tormented him, I was never sure... but something did. As my sister-in-law has pointed out to me a couple of times, the well known statement, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, " only works if it doesn't kill you...

I'm going back to my reflection now... but only on the last year. I'm going to think about meeting my daughter and my 2 neices. I'll remember the trip to Minnesota and times at Turner Lake. I'll be greatful to have my SIL back in my life after a time of tension between us. Then I'll sing some Christmas carols. I'll remember the rest after theholiday...

"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly

Stolen from a Pixy

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper...Though I've been known to throw last minute gifts (or really odd shaped gifts) into a bag.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Real, much to hubby's dismay

3. When do you put up the tree?
Whenever we can get all of us together of an evening. Usually within a week of Thanksgiving, though ideally, Thanksgiving night.

4. When do you take the tree down?
January 6th or later. Why? January 6th is the Catholic Feast of the Epiphany, twelfth day of Christmas, etc.

5. Do you like eggnog?
It's okay. We usually have a little, but we don't stock up or anything. Though there are days leading to CHristmas when I think a good spiced rum/eggnog mix would be delightful. (maybe in mass quantities)

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Cabbage Patch Kid, probably... I don't really remember much.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My Brother, probably

8. Easiest person to buy for?
Right now? Celesta because she'd be happiest with an empty box or random bowl. Always, probably Cyndi or my mother.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
I have more than one: My Charming Tails & a couple or undividual knickk knacky ones.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
The cock clock. lol   Big rooster clock.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Miracle on 34th (old one)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I normally shop starting the day after Christmas and periodically throughout the year. I buckle down the middle of November, though.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Maybe... though I normally don't.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Pumpkin pie, though I forget and think I want other things... Then I eat a piece and wonder what I was thinking.

16. Lights on the tree?
White

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I  LOVE Christmas music! I hum some of it throughout the year to ease my stress. lol   My favorites are more traditional: Silent Night, The First Noel, Hark The Herald Angels, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, etc.  I am very fornd of Favorite Things done by TranSiberian Orchestra.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Home, mostly. Though we do go to my In-Laws sometime in the season, usually a few hours Christmas Eve.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolf... forgive the spellings

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Angel

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
We do all our regular stuff CHristmas morning, though we do have other get togethers where we open gifts... like at the In-Laws.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Bad weather and stupid people. Also, I hate the crowds at teh stores when all I want is a gallon of milk or some mittens for the kids.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Red, Green, and gold themed

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Uh... we did this... Pumpkin Pie. I also believe in turkey (though it'll be turducken this year, probably), not ham.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Books, sewing patterns, sewing books, stuff, lol. Now, ask me what I'll get. lol
"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly
I found this opportunity on a volunteer web site for Kalamazoo County. I sent for information months ago. I've had the application for a couple of months. I'm really interested in doing this, but I have reservations. First, my husband is concerned that I will be spreading myself too thin. He feels that I may have enough on my plate with my own children. Second, he might be right, and maybe I should consider getting a paying job before taking a volunteer position of this caliber. Third, I'm not sure I can do it. Am I objective enough for a position like this??

What does the position involve? It requires 18 months of service. There is a 35 hour training program. Once this is done, I'd basically be the advocate for neglected and abused children in the court system. I would provide objective assessments of people, places, and other matters affecting each child's life. I'd be able to make a difference in the lives of children besides my own. Another level of protection in the interest of the child.

I think I'm ready to fill out the application.
"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly

Biting off more than I can chew??

Yesterday, we spent some time catching up on shows taped by the DVR earlier this week, and one gave me an idea. I'm not sure which rock my head has been under, but I'd never heard of Turducken. A Turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. I am sooo going to try this for Christmas dinner this year... I think. I've looked it up, and this site looks promising. Should be a snap, right? The only foreseeable issues are...

  1. I have to come up with a couple more stuffing recipes we'll all like (I make a sage, bread recipe that's been made for four generations, though I have adjusted it each year to make it better)
  2. Not only do I have to find enough time to debone 3 birds, but I've only ever deboned a chicken breast. lol
  3. I've never cooked duck.
  4. I have to add all these extra things into a schedule that involves last minute shopping, cooking all the desserts, and getting extra sleeping arrangements around for all of our company. Did I say desserts? I meant 95% of the food... (which is what I like to do, so I'm not really complaining, just worrying).
Still, I think I'm going to try it just for the novelty. If I find it's too much work, but we like it, I will enlist help next time. If not, well then I guess we suffer through it for one holiday. Maybe the desserts can take everyone's minds off from it, in that case. lol
"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly
Thanksgiving went pretty well. In fact, there was like no drama. With eight adults and three children, one usually gets a huge amount of craziness, but we all chatted and there was little fighting. It was nice. I even hot everyone to do a "Thankful Leaf" for a new tradition my daughter and I decided to try. (I will explain in a minute). My Uncle Otis came down, which was different because we rarely see him anymore. It was just a really good day, even though we had a sick child. If I could have done any one thing differently, I would have magically poofed away whatever had my niece running a temp so that she could have had more fun and my brother and SIL could have been able to worry less.

Okay, the Thankful Leaf/Thankful Tree project. My daughter and I were having a long talk about all the things we take for granted. Not just family and friends (which is a big one), but little things like the awe of the first snowfall and the sudden moment of quiet that can sometimes engulf the house. So, we talked about some of the things we're thankful for and decided it would be nice to make sure we do that every year. So, we decided to make a Thankful Tree. Each year when we do Thanksgiving, the people that come to Thanksgiving will add a leaf, complete with their name, the year, and one or more things they are thankful for. We started this year with the outline of a maple leaf, sectioned it off into six pieces, and had people decorate it and fill it in with 6 things. Sometime this week, they will be laminated and put into a box for next year. We will also be creating a big tree to put them on. Next year, the leaves may be something smaller, with only 1 or 2 spaces for things... encouraging each person to think of something other than what they did last year, so as to add to each person's thankful list. As kids get old enough to participate, more leaves will be added to the tree.  Yeah, I know it's kind of cheesy, but our families have had a rough couple of years and I thought it couldn't hurt to be reminded that we all have things that are good in our lives. Sometimes the cheesiest things are those most likely to come to mind at the times they're most needed to bring a smile or help us get though something tough. Beides, the kids will have a ball. lol   I'll try to remember to post photos of our craft once the new computer arrives.

Hubby went out yesterday... not just to go to work. He actually went to a couple of stores. It was so funny to see his face when he got home from buying 2 pairs of new dress pants for work. He usually spends like $40+ per pair, and he was able to find two pair for only $30 total. He was geeked. Me too, for that matter. He went and paid a bill for me, plus dropped off rent, so I didn't have to go out in all that craziness. My after Thanksgiving shopping took place online, where the idiots are hidden from me and definately not annoying me or cutting me off on the road or in parking lots. I know that some people may think that's harsh, but I cannot help myself. The day after Thanksgiving crowd once made me cry because I was so excited about Christmas (I love this time of year, when it doesn't depress me... lol) and all these throngs of people felt that the best way to show thier Christmas spirit was to crowd, push, argue, and yell at anyone not moving a billion mph. *shrug*   So, I shop online. No tax and free shipping added to the great deals doesn't hurt either.

In non-holiday related news, I think Celesta will be walking by Christmas, or shortly there after. She's been standing next to the furniture for months (like since she was 4-4 1/2 months old) and now she's begun cruising along it. She's only 8 months old. I wish she'd slow down. lol

Well, babies are crying all around me, so I guess I should go attend to one. I think my daughter and niece feed off each other, especially when they first wake up.
"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I'm putting the finishing touches on my stuffing (which I actually stuff the turkey with) and then I'll be able to put my turkey in (23 pounds!!!). Hoping for a non-stressful day. lol  

Hope you all can keep the stress away, kick back and relax, and enjoy Turkey Day!!
"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly

Well, my computer stopped booting. I'm pretty sure that Windows is corrupted, but I won't be doing anything with it until the one I ordered is delivered. It actually quit in the evening a few days ago, but I shrugged it off and went to bed. Somewhere in my mind I had decided it would be fine in the morning. It was't. I had a panic attack. Suddenly I realized how much of my life is on that computer. All of my appointments, birthday reminders, anniversaries, photos, videos, etc. I have backed a ton of it up onto disk, but I know I missed things because I don't back the thing up like I should.... Serious panic attack mode. On the bright side, we were able to bring out the first computer Joshua and I bought together (almost 10 years ago) and it'll function for a little online contact...

Speaking of panic attacks..... My father is a GM retiree. While he is recieving partial social security benefits, the majority of his income is from his pension. These things going on with the auto industry have him, and us, concerned. If something doesn't happen, he definately looses his insurance; possibly his entire pension. He won't be able to afford the apartment he's lived in for the past 24 years. (I should note that he pays less than any other person renting there because renewal rent rates increase less than new people coming in... every year or so for 24 years... adds up to a ton of savings). He busted his ass for years for GM and now he may loose all the security he relied on. WHich means he'll be here... in my home. It's not even something Josh and I had to discuss. When Dad mentioned it, we both immediately said he'd come here. We knew we'd have him someday... It's just that he and I tend to butt heads and it'll suck to have to spend time figuring out how to make him understand that this is my home... my job... my rules for the kids. Just a bit of panic at that thought though... it's what you do. Right?

As an aside, I told my Mom & Step Father, jokingly, that if they really love us kids, they'd take care of my Dad. They do have a basement with a finished portion that he could stay in. My step dad laughed and said he thinks Josh and I have plenty of room. When I pointed out I'm already one bedroom short for my kids, he said they and Grandpa should double up. lol   Can't blame a girl for trying, even in jest.

Getting ready for the holidays hasn't gone as smoothly as I'd hoped. There will be another last minute push with the cleaning and laundry.. though not as bad as last year or the year before. The big thing is getting the kids to clean up their rooms. I have given them until 7pm on Tuesday, at which time I will clean up the remaining messes myself... with a trash bag. I hate to throw their things away, or give them away, but this is getting ridiculous. At one time, they were lacking a bit of room/storage because their rooms are so much smaller than the old house, but we've taken care of that. We have 6 people spending the night on Wednesday, so we need places to put the mattresses.

Well, it's time to start the day. I am going shopping for the last of the holiday food, though I'm still working on what will be for supper Wednesday night... I borrowed a book of holiday stuff from pixy_dust_79 , when I was at her home 2 nights ago. I'm hoping something will jump out at me...
"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly

Nov. 6th, 2008


Picture this, three days before Halloween (2 days before the first night my kids would go trick-or-treating) and we have no costumes. It's 9am, we're at the store, and i cannot imagine paying those prices for costumes. I have 3 kids. At at least $18.00 per child, we're looking at almost $50.00. No way. So, my hubby and I decide I will make them. Charity will be Dorothy, Celesta will be Toto, and Riley will be a Jedi. Sounds okay, right? Well, let me tell you that I have a sewing machine, but I've never learned to use it. I did a project in Home Ec in like 7th grade, and I tried a couple things about 4 years ago (and failed miserable). Still, I thought I'd try... with 2 days to do it.

Hubby wanted Jedi costume, too, so I did him one.  I finished the guys and moved on to my oldest; which required some sort of understanding of actual clothing and elastic... but I got  it sone. So, 3 down. Celesta's costume.... bad. Really really bad. I didn't have the time to do details because I still had to do laundry, housework, take the kids to their activities, play with kids, cook, clean, etc. So I ended up buying her one on the way to my MIL's house on the 30th, where they got to go trick-or-treating.

ALl in all, I think I did pretty well... especially for 2 days and learning to use the sewing machine as I went. In fact, I'm wondering what I could do with some sort of patter... Did I mention I didn't have patterns? Yeah, I just looked at pictures and made the clothes. 
Here are the costumes... and Celesta's store-bought one.Collapse )
 and the costume we got for Celesta. Let me know what you think.    By the way... I spent $26, including Celesta's costume, and I have enough fabric left over to make other stuff... hopefully with patterns. lol

"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? - Holly Golightly

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