Saturday, December 27, 2014

Life and Other Crap

I guess I could start with Merry Belated Christmas!

We moved into our house on October 31st. Called 4 different gas companies until we found the correct one. Gas could not get turned on until Tuesday, so we had to adapt and overcome. Everything is gas, water heater, cooking, heat...electric skillet, griddle, microwave, and coffee maker that is all we really need to get started. Well portable heaters were key as well.

The weekend was spent emptying the storage units and unpacking. It was a little like Christmas.

Everyone was starting to get a cold including G'ma so I passed out cold medicine to all.

We finally closed on the house November 14th. By this time, G'ma was still fighting off her cold/flu and getting her days and nights a bit confused. Fortunately, we had a doctor's appointment for her on the 18th.

G'ma ended up in the ER to get a blood transfusion, she was very anemic. By the end of the week we discovered that Mom had Multiple Myeloma, a form of bone cancer and she was stage 3. Mom was suffering from Hypercalciumia which was making her thought processed really off. She was not herself at all. We started Chemo and she endured 4 days of aggressive chemo to help get her on her feet. Mom spent Thanksgiving in the hospital but was being sent to a rehab hospital to gain some strength back.

My sister came down on the 4th so I could catch a bit of a break, three weeks of running back and forth to the hospital as many as 3-4 times a day was starting to wear on me. The night that my sister arrived mom was very sick at the rehab hospital. We visited on Friday and mom was struggling but expected to feel better the next day.

On Saturday she was not better and the rehab hospital ended up sending mom back to the hospital. This is where things went from bad to worse. Saturday Mom asked for her brother to come and see her and the doctors were not even sure what was happening. By Sunday things were much, much worse and the doctors confirmed that we were losing mom. My sister stayed at the hospital with mom Saturday and Sunday.

We managed to arrange things so that my Uncle and Brother could both get here on Monday but not until the evening...they were too late.

Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 12:29am, my Mom passed away. My sister was with her and I was walking through the hospital. Mom went very peacefully, but she is still gone.

Now here it is almost 3 weeks later and I am still a mess. I am not sure what to do next. I know that my mom would tell me that life doesn't stop just because someone passed away, Hell, she proved that after the passing of my other sister 2 1/2 years ago.

I have wonderful memories of my mom that I will cherish forever and I know she is living inside of us all...I just miss the crap out of her. These last few years with her living with us was great. We enjoyed shopping together, sharing crazy Facebook stuff, frustrations. She knew about some of the craziness in my life that only others living this type of life would understand. She befriended my friends and loved them all.

Mom told me during those last weeks that she had no regrets in life and neither should I. She was very proud of all of her children and grandchildren. She lived a good live and did many things. She was the most amazing person and I will miss her daily.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Northern Girl In a Southern World

Observations in the South.

Wow there are so many things so different from the Pacific Northwest...different but not in a bad way.

I have learned that like the Pacific Northwest people in the South don't really know how to drive in the torrential downpours either.

I have discovered that racism is still alive in the South as is reverse racism.

Southern people LOVE their chicken. I think there are more chicken restaurants here than burger joints.

70 degrees or below and they are in winter wear while I am still in summer wear.

The price of gas today was seen at $2.84 a gallon.

The rudest person I have encountered was an older white woman at the commissary and she worked there.

The gate guards at Fort Benning call me Miss Pamela.

The bugs are HUGE!!

My kids are happy here.

I will, I am sure, be writing more about our Southern Adventures.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Moving for Idiots 101

Needless to say, I think I have perfected Moving for Idiots.
Cross country moving is VERY expensive. $1600 more than we could have anticipated.

I could completely understand if we had been shopping before hand, but we barely bought enough snacks to start the trip. The cost of gas was ridiculous especially with a U-Haul and our own vehicle.

I could lay blame on a ton of different things or the organization that said they would be helping with $1600 worth of the U-Haul expense, but I won't. Take for full responsibility for piss poor planning on my part. I didn't research gas prices as well as I should have nor did I look into the best route to travel. I didn't plan enough food for the trip with 5 people and 4 dogs.

I am in debt up to my eyeballs and really screwed up, but I will work through this with many lessons learned. I have had to ask for help from family and friends and I never thought I would have to do that. I have had to skimp on feeding the kids decent meals for the last week, but they do have some food choices.

With all that said and out there...we will survive this and it could be much worse. There are lessons I have learned this month:

  1. Budget, Budget, Budget some More
  2. Plan for food
  3. Plan the best route possible
  4. Plan extra for food
  5. Set aside money
I would probably be in a mess still but just maybe not that big of a mess.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Adventures Across the Country

So instead of leaving Washington on the 1st we ended up leaving on the 2nd.

We finally got the house empty and had to get a trailer for the U-Haul to pull as well...too much STUFF. We spent the last night with my sister. We had a nice visit and dinner...sleep was important.

We left a little late but had some wonderful weather. We ended up stopping for the night outside of was exhausted.

We were going right along and passed Twin Falls, Idaho when I looked at the gas gauge and realized we were screwed. Thank heaven for roadside assistance. We were only delayed about 45 minutes total.

We arrived in Midvale, UT excited and tired. So happy to spend some great time with friends before we finish our journey.

Today was a day to relax. We had a great breakfast and we took a trip up to Park City, Utah, the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Manic Monday

Here it is Manic Monday.

Time to kick this is the rear. We are packing up the trailer to move it to the campground today. We have at least one bed is taken apart right now. Boxes to be moved downstairs.

Laundry is going.

Coffee has been drunk.

Getting excited to move on to the next part of this journey.

The kids are excited to be camping. The oldest came to live with us in March and has never been camping before so this could prove to be very interesting.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Packing and Packing

I HATE packing! So much stuff to pack. It is the little things that make it the most challenging.

We leave WA in 13 days. We have a bunch of time to get it finished but man o man. This weekend we are trying to get everything staged up in the garage because there are 2 house showings on Monday. Our DD is no where near ready for anyone to look in her room and that includes me.

The plan tomorrow is the clean the house thoroughly so it can be shown. So many of the little details to be cleaned up. There is a part of me wishing it was the 29th so we can just get this party started.

The mortgage company is still giving us fits but I am hoping that by Monday we can have some kind of an answer. I wish I could go back and correct all the past mistakes so this part wasn't the challenge it is but on the other hand 3 years ago we were looking at rentals and getting assistance. We have come so far.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

This Journey Called Life

Life is taking us on a journey. I know where it is supposed to send us but I am still not sure HOW.

We have been on a home buying journey since March. Leave it to us to find the most inept Mortgage Broker on the face of the planet. He has failed numerous times to follow through with what he said he was doing. We have finally gone straight to the Mortgage Company and we are getting results.

We have spent money to clear up old debts. We are fairly debt free right now except our car payment. This are working in a positive direction for us...except the Mortgage Broker.

I think one of the things that really got me was how he would talk down to me as if I have no idea what happens outside my own home. Hell, I am a business major and he would have flunked right now. Yes, he is in the South and I know there are cultural differences but DAMN this is the year 2014 not 1914.

Our journey is taking us to Columbus, GA. Yes, I said Georgia, the Deep South. I am very excited and a bit on the nervous side but I will overcome those feelings. I think one of the best things for us in Georgia will be friends. I have a ton of friends spread all over the world but one of my best friends is also a Caregiver to her Veteran lives in Columbus. I have learned that this life of Caregiving is very lonely and we need others like us to help us through the challenges and to support one another. While I will probably lean on my Best Bitch for awhile I am also so excited to start this leg of our journey and explore new things and places.

Yesterday I reserved the U-Haul for the end of the month and I reserved a campsite at a State Park close to home so we can pack the house and still have a comfy place to sleep at night. We are planning to leave our state on the 1st and head to Salt Lake City area to visit friends for a couple of days.

So excited to get started.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Life and Other Sucky Things

Today is just NOT my day. Kind of hating the whole world and really want to starting kicking ass and taking names. Will I? Probably not.

My husband got a boat for his birthday and this month the boat broke the budget. Trust me I know what BOAT stands for.

 I have a minor surgical procedure on Wednesday and I am fussing about everything. Money of course is the primary target.

We are trying to buy a house...we have been trying to buy this house since MARCH. We have done everything we needed to do in a very timely manner but apparently the only one that cares about things being completed timely is ME. The mortgage dude will not even answer his &*^%$ phone have the time, voice mail is usually full so we have to resort to TEXT MESSAGES - very professional to say the least.

I finally sent another email to the Realtor, mortgage dude, and the underwriter whose name was on all the paperwork we signed on the 4th. I WILL be getting an answer this week.

We can't stay here too much longer. There are 6 of us in this house and I am ready to start throat punching people for not listening to me OR asking if they can help AFTER all the work is done.

I feel like I could write a book "How NOT to Buy a House"

I really think Erma Bombeck was right with her book, If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I doing in the Pits?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Happy Angelversary to my Sweet Sister Debbie!

So are to believe you have been gone for 2 years. There are days when it feels like yesterday and other days I actually 'forget'.

I know you are always with us but we still miss you horribly. I really could use your input at times.

Mom and Debbie 1996 I believe

Debbie June 1994

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Life Changes & Other 'Stuff'

There are times life has a way of just jumping up and biting us in the a$$. We all know it and have experienced it.

In March we actually got approved for a home loan, huge step considering where we were 3 years ago. As of today we have jumped through so many hoops we might actually get to put in an offer on a home. We have paid off $1500 worth of misc outstanding debt, found another had been released, and are disputing one final one.

We have finally gained stability. The budget is actually working...we have come so far in a very short amount of time.

As of Wednesay I will offically be the mother of 2 teenagers. Hard to believe DD will be 13. Unfortunately I will be having a minor surgery procedure so Dad is on Birthday Duty.

Speaking of Dad, my Dear Husband finally got to buy a boat. Nothing fancy but perfect for the lake, fishing or tubing. There have been a few hiccups with the boat so far but nothing that can't get fixed. DH is also redoing the interior of the boat. Honestly I thought we bought a boat to go boating with not for DH to just tinker with. Silly me!

I will be adding some new pages to my blog to touch on some other exciting things going on.

Friday, April 4, 2014

This Crazy Thing We Call Life

Life has been so crazy lately and I really need to improve my skills.

We have all survived the Winter, if you want to call what we in the Pacific NorthWest called Winter. We watched The Olympic Games from Sochi.
DH and I every night went up to our room to veg out watching the games. We were slightly disappointed in the fact that we never saw any of the medal ceremonies.

Then we rolled right into Girl Scout Cookie Sales. Really don't like these 2 weeks every year, fortunately it is only 2 weeks and not longer. On the plus side DD sold more than 400 boxes of cookies. Very proud of her for reaching the goal she set.

I completed 21 CU's for School this term and the next term starts 5/1/2014. I was going to try to squeeze in one more class but time is my enemy right now.

On March 12th I had a second interview with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to become the Washington State Caregiver Fellow. At the end of the interview I was invited to become a Fellow and I needed to confirm I would be able to travel to Washington DC in April, hence time is the enemy for school.

My youngest nephew turned 5 on March 17th. Hard to believe he is growing up so fast.

The VA finally determined that my Dear Husband could not live successfully with out the Aid and Attendance of another, this might be our last battle with the VA. I hope!

On the 24th of March the Oldest Child (my step son technically) arrived at home. More chaos with happy children and happy dogs.

So many blessings with all 3 of the kids together now. The Oldest can go to the store, can drive dad around, and loves spending time with the kids. So glad he is here.

A bunch of other things are going on and I will be adding pages to my blog them as well.

Next week, April 7th - 11th I will be traveling to and in Washington DC. I have been officially invited to the White House by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden. Scared and excited all at the same time.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Surviving the New Year

Here it is the 12th of January and needless to say we have been plugging right along.

The kids have made it through the first week back to school from the Holidays.

Documenting our lives has started with my new Project Life Album for 2014.

I got a new planner from Erin Condren, and I am in love with it. I will be sharing pictures and ideas.

After 10 long years we have finally found a doctor at the VA willing to listen to what we are saying in regards to DH knee injury. On December 30th we went to Seattle VAMC for an MRI and that night the Dr. called us to confirm what we knew. WOW!! it is like winning something HUGE.

She put in a consult for the orthopedic specialist to take at look, and we will be going back to Seattle VAMC in February.

We have been told that we can go back and file a formal complaint with the ARMY naming the SGT that would not follow the doctors instructions when DH got injured, but I am not sure it is actually worth the effort. On the other hand I would love to see him in a dark alley, zip up my big a$$ purse and beat him with it...again, not sure it is worth the effort.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year...Fresh Start

Welcome to 2014

A New Year and a Fresh Start and boy do I need one. I didn't feel like I had anything worth blogging about, but I was wrong.

I looked back through 2013 and realized there was A LOT going on that I could have shared and not all good or bad.

I have a high schooler and a middle schooler this year. Making life interesting to say the least.

Our Dear Friends moved to Salt Lake City making visits more challenging.

We launched David's House on FB on November 11th. Working on fund raising right now.

Survived the first whole year without Debbie.

DH's oldest son came out to visit for 2 very short weeks in September. He wants to move out here to be with us. Kids are loving the idea and DH is waiting not so patiently.

We had a nice Holiday Season and are eager to move on to goals and adventures of the new year.

On December 30th, after 10 years of battling with the Army et al regarding DH's knee injury we actually got confirmation that there is a problem, and it is NOT arthritis. I feel like we won a major battle.