Sunday, June 05, 2011

A Year...

Wow--and entire year has gone by and I haven't blogged once! That is crazy! Too busy playing games on FaceBook I guess to worry about blogging...

SO much has happened--couldn't even begin to list it all. Lost both my biological mother and my adopted dad this past year. Karin passed away in July and Dad finally passed in February. It was a blessing for both--they had suffered a lot in the past couple of years...

Sierra got her license and we have been trying to buy her a car since October! And as of the third of June I now have TWO high school graduates!! Yep--Sierra walked on Friday! She has been on cloud 9 for the past week--just SO excited about graduating! Her sister went to Disneyland last week with Eddie and got her a flashing lanyard that says "Class of 2011" with a little graduation cap on the end and it lit up in LED colors! Sierra LOVED it and wore it proudly as she walked and all through the ceremony! Had to laugh!

Sierra and Eddie have broken up for good it seems. There has been so much drama over the past four years with their relationship and since he came home from basic she has not been sure about how she feels about him or whether she really wanted to get married so young. She has decided to be single for now and he was devastated at her decision. Not sure what will happen in the long run so just have to let God work in their lives and of course He will see them both through this also..

Eddie has been chosen to be on a special detail through the National Guard and is now on personal security detail (PSD) for high-ranking officials in the Guard and elsewhere in the state. He also just received the Governor's Outstanding Soldier award this weekend, so he is doing well there. Since Sierra and he broke up, however, her sister Jordan and he have become bosom buddies. Jordan's best friend Emilee is dating Eddie's best friend Josh so they are always all hanging out together. It has been good for Jordan to have these guy friends in her life, because just the other day I realized that she has NEVER had guy friends before! Wow! I can't even imagine that myself! Last week Eddie and Jordan took a spontaneous trip to Disneyland--she paid for gas and he paid for their tickets! They had a BLAST!!!

Jordan has been growing up a lot in the past year. She has two years of MJC behind her and after she gets in her 50 hours of internship at a preschool she can be certified as a preschool teacher. She has decided that she likes her hair very blonde and this last time we added pink to the under layer--too cute! She is such a cute girl I can't believe some lucky guy hasn't snatched her up already! She has a servant's heart and is always ready to step in and fill the gap and serve where needed, quietly and without need of recognition.

We have a grandbaby that fills our lives with love and laughter now--Raven was born February 7, 2010 and she is the light of our lives! She loves her Aunty Jordan best--J has been the one who has taken care of her since day one. Practically moved in with Raven's parents for the first 2 months after she was born to help out. Raven is here 3-4 days a week and she prefers J over all of the rest of us! Well, she loves her Aunty Sierra too--I'm Nana and I'm ok but she wants the girls over me any day!! :)

I gave up my Tahoe a few months ago--had to file bankruptcy to try and get out debt under control. Sierra is heading off to college in the fall and I am hoping that I will be able to have the money she needs to do it... She wants to go to CSU East Bay and has been accepted into the pre-nursing program there, but after reading her financial aid package I am beginning to wonder if her housing was included in her grants and stuff. I am afraid it isn't so now not sure how she can go there... *sigh* I hate money--it is always the reason I have troubles. Lack of it, actually, is the problem! I need to hit the Super Lotto or whatever so my girls won't ever have to worry about money and can do what they want and achieve their dreams without any issues...

Anyway. Pretty much it for now--can't go into all the stuff cuz who would care? And this blog is mainly for myself anyway so I know what happened and I don't need to write it ALL down now do I?! ;)

Monday, May 31, 2010

I Remember...

I remember the lists that would run on the evening news, listing the names of the casualties and MIA's during the Viet Nam war. We would watch, praying that there wouldn't be a name we knew in that list. I remember standing on the four square court the day that President Nixon declared the end of the war. I was in 6th grade, and I remember thinking, as I stood under a blue sky in the shade of a large almond tree, "So this is what peace feels like" and savoring it, the knowledge that there wouldn't be any more lists of names of young men who had lost their lives for a cause none of us really understood.

I remember the day I told my youngest daughter that the young man she considers her big brother had shipped out to Iraq. I remember her sobs and how helpless I felt as I watched her succomb to her fears of losing her brother to a war she didn't understand, and I remembered...

Today is a day to remember. I still have a daughter in the Air Force and a future son-in-law in the National Guard. I am incredibly proud of them and their service to our country, but I pray that they will never be called on to defend us again in a war that doesn't make sense. Because I remember...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Random Thursday...

I am cooking a pot of beans for dinner. We had ham for Easter and I had the bone in the freezer and it sounded good, so I scrabbled everything together and threw it all in the crock pot to simmer for the rest of the day.
As I was feeding the dogs the fat and rind scraps from the left-over ham that I added to the pot, I couldn't help but feel at peace. Each dog sat so politely, waiting for their handout, and I was over come with a great sense of well-being. What is it about having pets that makes one feel so good? I don't know, but I have plenty to keep me happy, that's for sure!

My husband says we have way too many pets. If I am forced to look at it from a practical angle I have to admit he is right. Who in their right mind has SIX dogs, as well as three cats, a couple of rabbits, birds, and a tortoise to boot? Well, um, that would be me, but really each one of my critters has their place in the family and there would be a hole if I was to lose one.

I have been home now for almost four months. I haven't had that much time off at one time since my last daughter was born almost 17 years ago! It's going to be hard to go back to work full-time next month, and the dogs are going to have to readjust to not having Mom home with them all day. I think it will be hardest on my littlest dog Jaz. She is my baby in more ways than one. If I am sitting down she is usually in my lap. When I get up she follows me throughout the house, and when I go to bed she is right there next to me. If she thinks I am leaving for any reason she is trying to leap into my arms and begs to go with me! Yep, it will be hard for all of us...

Besides spending quality time with the dogs I have been re-discovering the joys of cooking. Since having the gastric bypass surgery last month I am limited on what I can eat, but that doesn't mean my family has to suffer! So I have been poring over recipe books looking for things I can cook for them that I, too, can eat. It has been a challenge! My crock pot has been getting used a lot because meat that is cooked in liquid becomes very moist and is easy to eat--very important to a gastric bypass patient!! The great thing is that I can still cook nutritious and satisfying meals for my family without feeling the need to indulge myself in what I am cooking. This not being hungry thing works for me, let me tell you!! And since I am now much more conscious of what is in the food that I cook I am really cutting back on my family's carbs and sugars, which means we ALL benefit from my surgery!

I am home by myself today--well, that is, I am home with the dogs by myself--and I have to admit I love the quiet! No kids, no husband, no TV blaring in the family room. When I am home alone I don't even listen to the radio. I just savor the silence. I clean a little, find a new recipe to try out on the family, read a book, play on the computer, and just enjoy the peace... When I go back to work I won't get these days any more, and truthfully I need time to myself. No one really gets that because everyone in my family are people-persons! My youngest refuses to stay home by herself, my oldest gets bored, and my husband--well, he just hates being alone period. Me, I love it--always have since the first time my folks let me stay home by myself while they took a little over-night trip when I was around 16. Truth be told, I never saw myself getting married--thought I would live near a beach with a dog or two and be a writer. Thirty years later I have two kids, a mortgage, a husband, and chaos around me pretty much all the time! Life is good--unexpected, maybe, but good. Just not quiet! And still working on the writing thing. Lots of ideas, even some good stuff, just nothing published...

At least I still have my dogs... :~)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Catching Up

Wow--so much has happened since I blogged last! So how do I catch it all up in a few paragraphs? Let's see...

Jordan is now in her second semester at MJC. She had to take some random courses her first semester, which is pretty normal I guess, but her second semester she actually got some good core courses that will transfer to a four year college. She goes to classes 3 days a week (M-W) so that she can keep her Thursdays free to help my sister with her grand babies. She hasn't had to pay for ANY of her classes yet--I'm not really sure why other than she may have gotten a Board of Governor's Waiver. I was told she could get it her first semester, but both? I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth!

Sierra joined cheer leading this year at RCHS. Well, actually, let's back that up. I stepped up and volunteered to be the coach because there was no cheer leading team at all at the school. Sierra and several girls signed up last year but when she asked about it this year she was told since there wasn't a coach they couldn't have a team. I called the athletic director and scheduled an appointment, for which he was 20 minutes late. I had to practically argue for the chance to do this and then he said we could only have a cheer "club" since I wasn't a qualified coach. Ok, whatever. The first day of practice 13 girls showed up, and it turned out that one of the girls' mom was a former professional cheerleader. She offered to help and the next thing I know the AD is fawning all over her and offering to PAY for HER to take classes and be the coach. Hello? Why wasn't this offered to ME? I was offended, but let it go. I settled for assistant coach and did what I could to help. She made her daughter, a freshman AND new to the school, a captain which didn't sit well with most of the girls. Supposedly they "voted" but when the girls were asked about it later only one of them had voted for this girl to be captain. Hmmm. Granted, she has experience, but when the girls asked for a vote for new captains when basketball season started they were told "no". It was when they decided to add dance/stunts into their routines that trouble really started.

Sierra has had almost ten years of dance. She got frustrated by the way the coach tried to count out the dance steps and voiced her frustration out loud in front of the team. The rest of the girls would then agree that it was confusing or whatever, and the coach would then do it the way Sierra said it should be done. By then many of the girls didn't much care for the coach and her attitude--she definitely had favorites and treated them as if they did no wrong but either put the other girls down or just ignored them. She didn't have a clue how to deal with my daughter and chose to suspend her for being "disruptive", etc.

What pissed ME off was that at no time was I informed of this decision--I didn't get a phone call, a letter, a face-to-face --nothing. I gave it a week, and when Sierra went back to practice I made sure I was there also. The coach benched her and two other girls for being a few minutes late and then completely and utterly IGNORED me. I mean, back-to-me, never made eye contact, ignored me. I decided that it was time to beard the lion in its den and asked for a meeting, especially when I found out the coach had suspended Sierra AGAIN for a another week. When confronted with all of the facts, the coach really didn't have much to say in her defense. Sierra looked her in the eye and fronted her on everything. It was the coach who backed down finally, not Sierra. Sierra wanted to quit but we persuaded her to try one more time. When she went to practice that Monday all the coach did was have a couple of the girls teach her the new cheers. She didn't offer to make room for her in the new stunt routine nor did she say she was glad to see her. Sierra quit the next day. There were only two more weeks of games left, but she couldn't handle being around the coach another minute.

Out of the 11 girls left on the squad, at least 8 of them won't cheer next year if she is the coach. They all want me, but I have to get my coaching certificate first and then I don't know if the AD would even let me. I did have a long talk with him about what I saw going on this season and how I felt the coach could have done a much better job of handling issues with the girls. Her way was to ignore the problems or just go over it like there wasn't a problem. There were no fun days where the girls just got together and bonded as a team over a pizza, no team meetings about how they wanted things to go or cheers they thought would work well for the team, nothing. Her daughter taught all the stunts and dances--she merely observed. Hell, I can do that!! LOL! I guess we will just have to wait and see what next year brings.

Anyway. What else. I got swine flu in October--on my way with a friend to pick up some heifers in Payette, ID. Yeah, that sucked. Then right before Christmas I fell off the second to the bottom step in my MIL's basement and fractured/sprained my right ankle. Since then I have been off work sitting around the house waiting for my ankle to heal. And now I am on my way to pick up the letter from my primary physician to get my gastric bypass surgery final approval from my insurance company. Yay! I have been pursuing this for over a year now and I am SO ready for this! So now I am putting in for a 6-8 week leave of absence since I used up almost 8 weeks of my FMLA already and I want to save some for when I go back to work in case I need to take time off for what my friend calls "gastric bypass days". Not sure if I will need them but I want to have them just in case.

Wow--this doesn't cover everything but good grief! I've written quite the novel here already! Time to go get stuff done. Ta ta until next time...



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Graduation...

Well, it finally happened--I am now the proud parent of a high school graduate! Woo-hoo! Hard to believe I am old enough to have a daughter who is almost 18--I am still convinced that I am only 30 something myself! LOL!

What is really neat is that Jordan graduated exactly 29 years to the day from the same school that I received my high school diploma! She even had a couple of the same teachers. Of course, they had stories to tell her about me--oh gee, thanks for bursting THAT particular little bubble for me! And here I thought I would be able to maintain my innocence--I was such an exemplary student!! LOL!

It was a proud moment for me and her dad and the rest of her family as we watched her walk down that aisle in her cap and gown with this huge grin on her face! We looked each other in the eye and then we had to look away or we would have both been bawling. Yeah, yeah, like mother like daughter--it was a Hallmark moment! I got misty several times over the past couple of weeks, but I managed to get through the entire ceremony without breaking down. Come on, folks--I still cry on the girls' first day of school every year! And they are in HIGH SCHOOL!

She spent that evening with all of her classmates at a huge Sober Grad party and then the next couple of days partying with different friends, including her own party on Tuesday.

The best part was when I got her report card on Friday. FIVE "A's"!! Wow! And her sister got solid B's with a couple of A's sprinkled in, including two on her final exams. Can you tell I am proud of my girls?!

So now we are moving into a new phase in our lives. Jordan will be starting at the junior college in the fall to get her pre-req's out of the way before she transfers to a 4 year college to complete her special ed major. Sierra will be going into her junior year at RC. It will be the first time that the girls haven't gone to school together. Ever. Not sure how they feel about it, but it will be very strange for me--still working on getting my mind around it...

I am looking forward to having Jordan spread her wings a little more. Watching her explore her new world, test her independence. She is very much a home-body so she never ventures far from mom, but now that she has her license and a car I have noticed that she is out and about quite a bit. It is so awesome seeing how much she enjoys this new phase in her life! These should be some of the best times of her life and I hope she enjoys every minute of them!

So--one down, one to go! Onward and upward....

Friday, May 01, 2009

Thus begins a new chapter...

My oldest daughter passed her driver's test this morning. She had a lot riding on it, to say the least! Tonight is her Senior Prom, and I told her if she passed her test she could drive herself there in whichever of our cars she wanted--including her dad's 'Vette! She decided to pass on the Corvette, since she is only 5' tall and she can't see out of it very well! Plus, since she will be wearing a long dress tonight, she decided she wants to drive my Tahoe because it sits up high and her dress won't drag when she gets in and out of it. A good choice, actually, since it is big and burly and she can see out of it and it has airbags all over in case something happens...

Can you tell I am a little--apprehensive, I guess you would call it--about my baby driving alone, at night, on Prom night? But I have to let her go--she will be 18 in a few months and she has earned her freedom. I just worry about the other idiots on the road with her and I just want her to be safe...

It is a good thing, truly it is, but along with my happiness for her there is some sadness for me.
Getting her license is just one more step she is taking away from me, of needing me, and I am not sure I am ready for that yet. It seems like just yesterday I was helping her take her first steps, or teaching her to ride her bike. Now here she is, a month away from graduating high school, her license hot off the presses, and I am the one who is trying to hold back a little, to slow things down. For me. She is ready--I know she is going to be fabulous--but I don't think I am!

I was so nervous when the examiner from the DMV came out to the car and told me I could go inside now! I was in tears as she drove away because I knew how much this meant to her and I really wanted her to pass. When they came back about 15 minutes later my heart stopped--she had said the test would take like 45 minutes so I thought she must have failed! I walked around the corner and she got out of the car with a big grin and said "Well, I guess we can go to Huckleberries'" and I knew she had passed (I had told her we would go out to breakfast if she passed)!! And then I cried again! LOL!

So now we move on to a new chapter in our lives. The one where I let go and let her discover who she is and who she wants to be. I'm not really sure how this chapter will end--haven't scripted it out yet, because now I am writing it with someone else and she is going to have a lot of input from now on. Should be interesting. Stick around and see where we go.. It could be A Wild Ride! (*wink* to The Cherries!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Puppy Love

I have decided that I MUST have Pomeranians in my life always and forever. In fact, I don't know why it has taken me so long to get one. I have loved Poms since I was a kids--I always thought that if I was to ever get a small dog that Poms would be my choice. I just think they are probably one of the cutest dogs in the world with their little foxy faces and fluffy hair!

I have always preferred long-haired dogs. I like being able to bury my hands in it and stroke it and brush it. And up 'til a few years ago I have always preferred BIG dogs--never could understand why someone would waste their time on some little ankle-biter dog when you could have a REAL dog!

When I was a freshman in high school our PE/basketball coach got a puppy from one of the dairy kids. He was a German Shepherd cross and he was HUGE! His name was Moose, and let me tell you--he certainly fit his name! I came across Moose one day while I was over at my sister's fiance's house (just around the corner) training their puppy Shamus. Coach walked out of his house and saw me walking the dog and asked what I was doing. I had been training dogs since I was about ten, starting with my dad's hunting dogs, and he was impressed and asked if I wanted to train Moose.

It was love at first sight. Moose was the most intelligent dog I had ever gotten to be around. He was the perfect dog--and he taught me a thing or two along the way! Needless to say Coach let me do what I wanted with him and we basically shared him for the next several years. I would take Moose with me on the weekends when I got to go camping--he was my companion of choice on my very first trip. I mean, who is going to mess around with a girl who has a 120 pound Shepherd with her, right?!

But Moose spoiled me for other dogs. Every dog I have had since must go up against the Moose Meter--and none of them have ever measured up. Some have come close, but none have been Moose.

But now I have these two small dogs, and I have found that they give me great joy every day. They aren't Moose--far from it. But between the two of them they fulfill that joy and love I had with him better than any one dog ever has before. They make me laugh every day with their antics! Tavi, I have figured out, believes he is a big dog that unfortunately happens to live in a small dog body. So it offends him greatly to be picked up and loved on or carried anywhere. I have taken to putting a leash on him to take him to the truck to go anywhere so that he thinks he is a big boy--gives him a much better attitude! And when he comes into the house and demands my attention by barking and grabbing at my pants I just sit down and pet him on the floor instead of picking him up and snuggling him.

Jazz, on the other hand, believes her feet should never be on the floor and that my job in life is to snuggle her and be as close to her as is humanly possible. If I sit down, you can be guaranteed she is cuddled up against me before I even get comfortable! If I am at the computer she lays under my feet. At night she sleeps between my hubby and my pillows. Tavi prefers his kennel--it is his "man cave" where he can chew on his toys and have some peace and quiet without his sister bugging him.

I am content with these pint-sized morsels of dogdom for my companions. They aren't big, but they are big in love and laughter and joy of living. They protect me from noises outside--Jazz is the barker of the two--and they keep me warm and remind me that I am loved every single day. I look at them and think to myself, "why did it take me so long to find you?!" and they just look up at me with those adorable little bright-eyed faces and I realize that i am a very lucky person. They are mine and I am theirs--life is good!







Rainy Weekend...

It has been raining now for two solid days. I guess I shouldn't complain--we desperately need the rain here. But of COURSE it chooses to rain on my three day weekend! So I am stuck in the house. With the girls. And the dogs.

My hubby took off for his dad's for a couple of days. Dad lives on Lake Shasta. I am not sure why, but whenever we decide to go and visit him, the biggest storm of the year usually blows through the area right about then. We have decided that we can singlehandedly end the drought here in California just be declaring our intentions to visit my father in law! LOL! Absolute guarantee of snow and rain to follow! And since I thought I had to help my friends move this weekend I kept the Tahoe and he had to go up in the Corvette--guess he made it in with about an hour to spare before they closed the highway!!

The girls and I have spent a quiet Valentine's/President's Day weekend together. I re-acquainted myself with the SIMS and got to play the newest expansion pack for the first time. I rather like it, but I have yet to try out any of the new hobbies and activities on the game.

Took my daughter shopping for Valentine's stuff for her bf, but as of yet she hasn't gotten to give it to him. She even wrote him a poem all by herself--and she's the one who doesn't like that stuff--but she hasn't gotten to see him at all nor has she really talked to him. He moved back home a week or so ago and has been acting strange ever since. He says he doesn't have any second thoughts about their engagement, but you would think he would have wanted to spend their first Valentine's Day as an engaged couple with her.... Instead he mumbled something about an interview for a job on Saturday and he hasn't answered her texts or her calls except for rather perfunctory responses here and there. (sigh) She hasn't complained but I know she is very sad...

So we sat and watched chick-flicks all weekend together. One of the stations had all these great movies on it, one after another, so we curled up in the living room with most of the dogs and vegged out. Since hubby isn't here I can make food that we like and he doesn't, so for lunch we had mac n cheese and sausage and for dinner we had taco salad. Then I made us big sundaes later on for dessert and we all decided that we are going to gain at least ten pounds this weekend!!

The little kids are back--again. We got them back what--a week ago already? They were home for a little over a week and their mom got picked up on a warrant for stuff she hasn't done that she was supposed to do. They are over at the mom's bf's this weekend--he offered and I decided that hey, he wants to play daddy so I may as well let him... And it rained. All day. All weekend. So that means they are all stuck in the house. Together. Did I mention the place isn't very big? And he doesn't have a car? And the buses aren't running today? And the kids fight--a LOT!! Better him than me at this point! LOL! So I will go and get them today--later. Much, much later.

Gotta go help my friend pack up the rest of his stuff and get the furniture ready to move next weekend. We were going to rent a trailer and try moving him today, but with the rain and whatnot, and the fact that the place still looks like a cyclone hit it, we decided today would be better spent getting stuff organized, taken apart, and gotten rid of. I am the "get rid of" person--I go through all the papers and whatnot that he has collected over the past 15 years (or more) and I dump it. He is a bigger packrat than I am, if that is at all possible! I have been finding things from previous moves--some stuff dating back to the '70's and '80's!! My God--I was still in junior high when some of this stuff was new!! I have to make sure, however, before I dump something that it isn't sentimental or historically important first. But there is old mail, old newspapers, fliers from recitals and whatnot that I can throw away with nary a qualm! LOL! He says I will know more about him than anyone in our home town by the time we are through--and I had better never breathe a word to anyone either!! LOL!

Well, gotta go take a shower and wash some more clothes before the molehill in the garage becomes a mountain! Can't believe how much laundry just those three extra kids can make!!