Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Long, Bumpy, & Blessed Road Back

Hello all!  It has been a looooong time and a whole lot of life going on since I last posted, but, just like falling off a horse, I think it is time for me to get back on and blog again.  I can't believe that it is Easter week already and yet we may have a few flurries!  

So when we last visited I was already suffering with some blog fog (more like crazy hormone fog) and was slacking badly on blogging.   At that time my biggest concerns were angling to get the BDJ to move to this side of the country, moping around and dreading Mini heading to college next fall, and spending countless hours reading reviews in preparation for buying a new camera.  Boy, what a difference a few months makes.

The week before Thanksgiving I was making the most of some beautiful fall days, thanking God for those beautiful days and praying that I could get through them physically.  I took a few days off and spent some days raking leaves and working in the yard.  It was a slow go.  I continually had to take breaks and couldn't figure out why.  I slogged through the yard work and helped Wonder Hubby lay a new wood floor in my Coastal bedroom before returning to work. 

I headed back to work on the Monday before Thanksgiving excited that I had managed to clean up the yard, and precook quite a bit of our Thanksgiving dinner as well as finally narrowing my camera options to two.  The plan was cleaning on Wednesday in preparation for the family on Thursday, enjoying Thanksgiving with the family, getting most of the Christmas decor up and of course getting that camera on Friday!  That was the plan.  You know what they say about the best laid plans......

I have to admit here that I can be kind of dense ostrich-like when I choose to be and for a couple of months I had been making like an ostrich and playing the game of denying that there seemed to be something in my abdomen area that wasn't normal.  I also can be very mind over matter so I had decided to just do that....I would will it not to be there.  I made the dreaded doctors appointment for the Tuesday after Turkey day...cause you know I was not going to let this whatever it was mess with my plan.

That worked well until it didn't anymore and after a long Thanksgiving week with lots of pain and not being able to accomplish anything I had planned, a visit to my doctor was welcome.  I don't know what I was thinking other than the fact that since I could no longer wear pants they were probably going to have to do something to fix that, but I wasn't thinking that a mere 15 hours later I would be in an emergency surgery. 

Yep, I had time to go pack and feed the dog and that is about it. My doctor (who by the way I love to argue with) just didn't see my point of view on waiting a week so I could Christmas shop and decorate.  No...he whisked me right to the front of the line, he is polite like that don't ya know.   I had an emergency hysterectomy on December 4th,  they fixed up all my girl issues and found lots of goodies that I should not have been carrying around and took care of those too.  Thankfully it all happened so quickly there was no time to fret about any of it!  

BDJ was very helpful telling me what fun the Morphine pump would be....so I looked forward to that until it was determined that Morphine makes me very, very sick!  I was to be in the hospital for 2 days afterword but after a long and painful night I decided I could be miserable at home and this time my doctor let me win and sent me home after 23 hrs.

The next couple of weeks I had to do something I don't do well, let others do for me.  Thank goodness for my family because they took care of everything.  Because Wonder Hubby's schedule had him leaving for work in wee hours of the morning, Mini would set her alarm to get up and get my meds and anything else I needed.  She was a full time caregiver when she wasn't at school or work.  BDJ came home for Christmas several days early to help out and Spare Daughter was good with meds and monitoring me since she is in her final semester of nursing school.  I had lots of help and received some very pretty flowers to enjoy when I wasn't too drugged!




Mini surprised me a couple days after my surgery by managing to decorate 3 trees and put up all the Christmas decorations while I was in a drug induced slumber.  She will never know what that meant to me.




We did virtually all our Christmas shopping online.  Wonder Hubby and I did stop for a wee bit of shopping after a doctors visit the week of Christmas. That little outing took care of my feeling that I was missing out on that "holiday shopping experience" and completely wore me out!

The few days before Christmas we managed to finish up the family tree....wrapping finished up about 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve.  I never quit trying to act like I was completely healed, in fact, I worked on the gifts I had planned for friends two days after surgery.  They were a little project I had seen on Pinterest and I passed them out along with a note that explained "results may vary based on the amount of narcotics in my system at the time of production!"  I think they turned out great...below are some in progress shots, I guess I was a little too loopy to shoot the finished product. Just picture sets of 4 tied with pretty ribbon and made with love! lol  







The kids did a lot of cooking and I even felt up to a little candy making...although I did rely on a stool in the kitchen





 Best of all I saw a lot of this......





 The kids decided to host Christmas as would be normal and everyone pitched in with food.  I think I will have them handle this every year from here on out since everybody brought way more food than it normal!  You literally couldn't even sample everything there was so much.

Despite all the craziness, Christmas was wonderful.  After getting the no cancer diagnosis and getting through the surgery I was feeling more thankful than ever to celebrate Christmas with my family.   It was my kind of Christmas too....it took 14 hours start to finish to open all the gifts! Yes!   Indulge me a little since I haven't yet shared any Christmas photos!






I wish there was music I could put here that would create the set up for the drama that continued to unfold in our lives because the next 3 1/2 months deserve dramatic music,  but I will just have to explain it all.

By the New Year I was feeling much better and The Nana, Mini, my MIL and I all headed out for a day of shopping.  It was a wonderful day....I was so glad to get dressed and out of the house.  By that weekend I was beginning to think this post surgical life might just be awesome...then the rug was pulled out from under us.  Wonder Hubby lost his job.

The man has had 3 jobs in the 30 years I have known him, so this really threw us for a loop!  The stages of this adventure are tons of fun!  It is strange, this job was a job he took because at the time the hours worked to allow him to be able to attend our son's college football games.  It was never intended that he be there long term and we had talked A LOT in the past year about it being time to make the change but when it isn't your choice it is a shock.  

So the month of January was spent looking for a new job and starting a new job. It was also the first time the signs of a very sudden menopause became very apparent as well as a month,  January also brought the death of  a sweet uncle to cancer.  Very sudden as he found out only a week and a half before he passed away.  January was also the month Mini's car began to have a sick transmission.   All of these events delayed my healing and I ended up being out of work five weeks.

I returned to work mid-January to a very busy travel booking season.   February was month one of the new job and a very different schedule and was a challenge to the whole family.  It was also so cold and gloomy the whole month it was hard to stay positive.  The fact that Mini's car with in and out of the shop 4 times and we were constantly arranging rides was frustrating as well.  

There were several moderately unbelievable events here and there in January and February including a close call on my convention oven, a tire issue on my car that required 2 new tires about 10,000 miles early, a leaking toilet line that should have been fixed in a half an hour but was complicated and lasted 3 days.  How about an ice storm that did some tree damage, the refrigerator trying to die again, Mini doing an about face on her college decision and the biggie....Wonder Hubby having a wreck in his parents car!

Yes March too was heavy on drama.  Thankfully from the ashes some good has come.  I was offered the opportunity to move back into my previous job as an travel consultant (oh yes....I am very, very excited about that one) and Mini chose her college.  With the new job has come lots and lots of studying and lots of brainstorming but I truly do love travel.

Wonder Hubby has managed to find a car, the in-laws car is almost out of the shop and thankfully the sun has begun to appear on a fairly regular basis again! lol  I am beginning to feel like a better version of me with a few meno ups and downs but not nearly the hormone and pain filled existence I had before.  

Wow.....I know there is more but truthfully I think I blocked quite a bit of it all!  We seem to be coming out of the fog and are on the road to better times.  We have learned and grown tremendously during this time and that is what we are focusing on. 

Whew, I am so glad to have this post done so that I can move on to posting about some fun stuff!

Thanks for stopping by and reading about our 4 1/2 month adventure in our little corner of the South! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blessings

Although I spend way more time on Facebook than I should, I somehow missed the memo on Thankful November.  I finally put it together this morning after days of seeing posts about being thankful.  I just thought people suddenly had woken up and realized how truly blessed there were! Silly me.
 
Since I didn't get on that bandwagon, I decided to write a quick post that gives an overview of my little corner of the world and all the blessings we have and have experienced to be thankful for.
 
Last month Mini was on fall break and Wonder Hubby and I took vacation time.  Other than our family vacation in the summer we are rarely ever all off at the same time.  We planned a few activities, antiquing, visiting colleges and seeing a movie (yes, that is a big deal around here, Wonder Hubby and I just never seem to get to the movies).  It was a glorious 9 days.  I truly mean that, I told both Wonder Hubby and Mini I don't know when I have enjoyed our time as much. 
 
Although Mini has been accepted to several different colleges (more blessings) she had not yet heard from the college she was most interested in.
 
These are pictures of the first couple of acceptances (then she lost interest in me taking pictures!).

First Acceptance!


 
Part of vacation week we planned a visit to her college of choice. It turned out to be a beautiful day here in Tennessee for a 3 1/2 hour drive there and the tour.  I didn't photo journal the visit, I just tried to actually live in the moment.  After the tour we met with her recruiter and she was told of her acceptance.....and let me take pictures. 


 
I think she may have been a bit overdramatic for pictures, but she was very happy!
 
We also took a day and drove into Kentucky to do a little antiquing.  We all enjoy digging through junk for treasure. 

 
 This trip Mini was on the hunt for a lamp.  She ended up finding one that she fell in love with and snapped it right up.  Turns out she was making her first purchase for her college dorm room (girl, please stop hurrying to get there you are killing me!).  I didn't realize what a big deal this was with her until I read her blog (which btw it a Christian based blog that features some of the content of her newspaper column and is AWESOME).  It was such a fun day.


 
We took in the Sandra Bullock movie Galaxy, which I loved cause I love some space stuff.  Toured another college and then ended up with a last minute home improvement project.  We decided to rip out the carpet in Mini's room and put down hardwoods.  It was a lot of work but she loves her floors and I am thrilled to have one less room with carpet (only 2 left to go!).
 
It was a great, relaxed and totally chilled week and I was so grateful for that.  Since then, well I am thankful we managed to get a tree that was leaning toward the house dangerously taken down, just before severe storms.  I am grateful to have had a really good sales month at Lottie and Molly not to mention that I have so enjoyed the pieces I have been working on as of late. 

Wonder Hubby was off last Sunday and we were able to attend church together which is huge because he is never off on Sunday!
 
How blessed are we that we have a nice home, a reasonably healthy family, cars with no major problems to drive to jobs we are blessed to have?  I would say very, very blessed and for all these things I am very, very thankful. 
 
Today, I am blessed with beautiful sunny skies and sweet texts from my children to start my day!  I hope you all are enjoying your blessings this minute, this day, this month and always.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

French Typography Table

My dad recently brought me two of these tables.  They are really cute little tables but they had a bit of water damage on their tops and they were oak....which is so not selling in my area.


Since starting Lottie and Molly, I am always trying new techniques and ideas to make my furniture stand out a little.  Since these tables needed a little pizazz and I have been admiring furniture with transfers as of late and I am a huge fan of The Graphics Fairy now seemed like a good time to give it a try.

First I cleaned up the tables and base coated in a taupe color called Brushed Suede (it is a cheapo Glidden) that I have turned into chalk paint with my super secret chalk paint recipe that I love.  Then the fun began.  I first chose a postmark transfer and after a couple of prints (due to the fact that I could not seem to remember to flip the image) I had a transfer ready to go.

 
I decided to got with the design on the corner of my table since it was smallish.
 
 

I chose to transfer using the highly technical spray bottle method.  The first attempt was a bust, as I wet the paper way too much.  I wiped the boo boo away and adjusted the spray and tried again.

 
I then used a super professional Pampered Chef stoneware cleaning tool to press the transfer onto the table.


When I lifted the paper, I realized I used a little too much water.  Thankfully I was able to dab it off, but, I realized this transfer just wasn't working for this table.  Back to The Graphics Fairy website.


I won't bore you with tedious photos of the same techniques again.  Here is my table after my new transfer choice was applied.  It came out extremely light and I was afraid that once distressed and waxed with dark wax it would not show at all.  I chose to hand paint over the transfer.

 
After completing the hand lettering (which by the way took only a few minutes) I lightly sanded to distress (which BTW is why I love my paint formula, the distressing is soooo easy).
 
 


I then waxed with natural wax then waxed again with lots of dark wax.


I absolutely love how they turned out.  I so enjoy adding the dark wax and watching the magic happen!  The transfer was just the little punch this piece needed to become special. 



Wish I was keeping them, but these little beauties are heading to Lottie and Molly.  Thanks for stopping by, please take a moment to leave a comment.  I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Met Monday and Kim at Savvy Southern Style, won't you stop by?
 
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who's Watching You Tablescape/Halloween Replay

Since I haven't had time to create a new Halloween table this year, I thought I would look at last years table. After I saw it I was sad I hadn't put it out again and thought I would share it with everyone again this Halloween. Hope everyone enjoys a Happy and Safe Halloween!

I have been anxiously waiting to use the owl I have blogged about here and here since mid Summer.
 
I have been waiting so much that I almost didn't actually do a tablescape using him! I have been wrapped up in fall fun, kids on break, hubby on vacation, son home from afar, and a trip that I hadn't changed my table since I did this tablescape.
 
So today I made a point to get this table completed so we could enjoy it at least a week before the big day.
 
Let's tour the table and see exactly who is watching us!
 
Who is watching you.....Who is my owl's name.  He stands tall and casts an eerie glare over this spooky table scape.

 
I love the way the candlelight catches the sequins of his attire.


The candlelight in this table scape is more sweet than scary.

 
This dishes in this tablescape are my highly versatile white Food Network favs as well as some really old octagon black plates Wonder Hubby gave me years ago.  The glasses match the black dishes....I've had them for years and never get tired of them.
 
 
The napkins are layered white/ghoul green, white/pumpkin orange or white/midnight black and are caught up in the owl napkin rings I blogged about here.
 

Who isn't the only one watching you at this table.  Each and every glass is peering back at you.  The glass stems are tied with tulle to match Owl's ascot and accented with a spooky spider.

 

Since I am a bit batty, it was only natural that Owl perch on a bat themed cloth.  Bats around the table. 

 
A close up of an owl napkin ring.


I love the witches shoes...there are a couple of different ones in this tablescape....not candy filled though....I can't fill things with candy here because Mini and I can't control ourselves.  I had to threaten to cast a spell on her to keep her out of the candy filled candle holders until after pictures!

 
The signs are several years old and I love finding new spots for them every year.
 
 
 




 


 
The table is set for a Frightening Family dinner or a Ghouls Night out .

Either way we will have a spooktacular time!  Thanks for stopping in....Happy Halloween!