Monday, December 16, 2013

Lainey is RUNNING!!!!

For those of you who think I'm crazy for all the rehab/recovery work we have done with Lainey....Well, here is a dog who couldn't walk for 16 months....Look at her now!!! Still more strengthening to be done, but my heart about explodes when I see her running...there was a time I never thought this would be possible

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Catch Up

In addition to the many things in my life that are being neglected, this blog is one of them.  Between the dog and her physical therapy, massage, and chiropractor and my light therapy visits and long work hours, I barely have time to fit in the know things like eating, sleeping, laundry.

I'm running on fumes lately and so, so tired.  Not just mentally exhausted, but physically tired.  I have caught myself dozing off at work, dozing on the couch as I eat my dinner, dozing off at the wheel.  It's becoming a major issue and I just can't find enough hours in the day to catch up on the many, many hours of sleep that I need.  It also doesn't help that most of the medications I am currently on cause drowsiness.  Add that to an already fatigued body and it's a means for disaster.

Now take the above and add in the busy, hectic holiday season that is approaching and it's enough to bring tears to my eyes.  I have our company Christmas party to plan, multiple holiday meals to attend (beginning with my first Thanksgiving celebration this weekend at the in-laws), Christmas shopping to get started.....and the list could go on and on.  I don't know how I'm going to physically still be standing by New Years.

Any suggestions on what I can do to get me through the next couple months?

FYI ~ I may sound like I'm complaining, but all it takes is one look at this face to know that all the craziness that we've endured the past 18 months with the surgeries, the specialists, the medications, the rehab....have all been worth it

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The things we fear the most....have already happened!

You may not know this, but I'm basically scared of everything.  Heights, lakes, spiders, mice, birds....just to name a few!

Well, on top of all the other things God has put in my path lately, he has also decided to test my fears.

It seems like every single time I walk out the door I walk right through a spider web.  It is so creepy and it makes me do this crazy arm flailing dance all the while thinking "is the spider in my hair?  Get it out...Get it out!"

Image from Google

And I've been avoiding cleaning out our shed to put away all the summer stuff, because I was in there this spring and there was a mouse.  I trampled my young nephew as I flew out of the shed at lightning speed screaming my wholly head off!  And to this day, I have not been back in there.  Unfortunately, we now have a mouse in the garage and it is taunting me.  My husband says he never sees or hears it, but EVERY single time I am in the garage it either peeks it's head out at me or decides it's dinner time and begins chewing, gnawing and making all sorts of noise.

Image from Google

And as if that wasn't enough...we now have red squirrels up in our soffits and they run around all day/night driving my cats crazy.  For a few days I simply pretended it was nothing, hoping they would leave on their own.  It didn't work.

Michigan Red Squirrel
Image from google
So now we have mice traps set in the garage and the shed, have sprayed for spiders, and have a wildlife critter control company hired to take care of the squirrel problem. 

Have any of you had "critter" problems before?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Major Makeover

For those of you who are Apple users and haven't downloaded the new iOS 7 operating it now!!!  I'm in love.

It is such a big visual change.  It may seem complex at first, but it's not that dissimilar from what you're used to, and in my opinion, the changes are definitely for the better.

I'm still playing around with it, but the changes I can see so far (and that I like) are:
  1. Bold new look
  2. New control center
  3. Air drop
  4. Camera
  5. Safari
  6. App switching
  7. Photo Library
  8. iTunes Radio
It almost feels like I have a new phone.  There are so many apps that have a new look.  Besides the new look, there are also new sounds, wallpaper, calendar, notes, reminders and more.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?  Go grab your apple device and update now.

Note:  the download takes 3GB of available space.  Unfortunately, my 16GB did not have that, so I had to delete some music, photos and apps.  I was able to plug into iTunes this morning and add all of that back in, so I guess it wasn't the end of the world.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tid Bits

I've neglected this blog for a month and I feel horrible about it, but I just can't seem to find the time (or the energy) to do anything about it.  As it is, you are only going to get bullet points today!

Here's a recap of the past month....

  • I still have my rash!  This Wednesday will be 16 weeks and I still don't have any answers.  I'm still seeing the specialist and they are still running tests, but at this time there is no prognosis.  I am on multiple medications to handle the itching and doing light therapy twice a week, but I wish they could diagnose me with something so that we could take care of this once and for all.  And more importantly, so we could figure out what is causing it.

  • Lainey has started physical therapy so we drive 1-1/2 hours twice a week for her appointments.  Tomorrow will be her 8th session so we are halfway done. 
    They do laser therapy, muscle building and strength exercises, and water treadmill.
    She has made huge improvements and I am so thankful for the doctors we are seeing.

    Here is the water treadmill....she is waiting for the tank to fill up.

  • We began to notice that Lainey was only limping and/or not using her bad leg while at home, but if we were out in public she would walk fine. She would be completely fine at my parents house, my sisters house, and a friends home, but would act all funny at home. We were advised by Lainey's physical therapist that it was most likely due to our hardwood floors at home.  She wasn't feeling confident enough with her leg and was too worried about slipping and sliding on the floors.  We just put them in 2 years ago, so there was no way that we were going to get rid of them (or cover them with a bunch of rugs).  So, our only choice was to buy huge pieces of remnant.  I hate how it looks, but she is a whole different dog since putting these down.

  • It's officially college football season!!!  Yay!!  My husband and my dad got an early Christmas present....Go Blue!!!

  • What little free time I've had has been spent doing a couple projects at home.  My stepson's bedroom had never been touched and was the last room in the whole house that was still that beige color that was on every wall when we moved in.  He is 17 and very rarely at our house anymore so I wanted to make it more "grown-up" so we could use it as a spare bedroom.  I love the way it turned out and even happier because he loves it to.  I ordered some wall décor that should arrive this week and then the room will be complete.

BEFORE ~ This is a picture from the day we moved in

AFTER ~ No more beige :)
We used the same grey from the Living Room/Dining Room and accented with Dark Blue
(we have also added curtains since this picture was taken)

I also decided to try a little DIY project and make my own curtains.  I've been looking for low cost ideas to change up our living space and when I started pricing new curtains I about lost my mind.  I even tried to find some on Etsy and still couldn't justify the prices.  Since I can't sew, I did a little search on google and Pinterest to find a "no-sew" method.  After watching a few videos and reading a couple blog posts, I decided to give it a whirl.

I went to JoAnn Fabrics and picked out these fabrics (great for our fall décor).  I also picked up some twin white sheets from Walmart to use as the lining.  Four curtain panels for just over $50...Can't beat it!

Chevron for the Living Room and the Polka Dots for the Dining Room
Here is the final result....I love them (and so does the hubby).  It is just that small change I needed.

  • And to end are some adorable pics of Lainey in her new Doggles.  She insists on having her head out the car window for the ENTIRE drive to physical rehab and I was so worried about debris getting in her eyes. Hopefully, she will get used to wearing these and then mama won't have to worry and stress so much.

Sorry for my absence...let's hope another month doesn't go by before I stop by here.  At the least, I can promise that things in my life should slow down about November and I hope to be back here more regularly.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Keep Calm and Enjoy Camping

I have so many memories of going camping when I was younger.  Watching all of the adults sit around the fire singing songs, the smell, roasting marshmallows, listening to the bugs at night.

But somewhere along the line as I grew into adulthood, camping no longer seemed fun.  I like convenience and I hate public restrooms to put in bluntly.

Fast forward many years later to when I met my now husband.  Prior to his accident that left him paralyzed, he was an avid camper.  I have to admit that I was thankful he was no longer able to do this, as I don't think for one second I could have gone along.  The bugs, the cold nights, the outhouses....ewwww, gross!

But then a few things happened.  Mainly, my parents bought a travel trailer.  And not just a travel trailer....a trailer big enough for my husband to be able to get around in his wheelchair.  And a bed just perfect enough for him to sleep in.

Obviously, this got the wheels spinning in my husbands mind that he was going to camp again.  He's not one to let his disability get the best of him, so I knew I was going to lose this battle.

Fortunately, the trailer has most of the modern necessities that I require....air conditioning, flat screen tv with cable, a dvd player, a full shower with hot water, electricity, a fridge, microwave, stove and oven.  Most of you won't consider this "camping", but for me, it allowed me to stick my feet in the big, scary camping water and test it out.

I LOVE IT!!!!!  We have now gone camping twice.  Once with my parents and once on our own.  I'm already counting down the days to Labor Day weekend because we are going again!  Who would have thunk it? 

And to make it easier for my husband, we purchased some portable wheelchair rails so he can go in and out of the trailer as much as he wants.

Testing out the new rails before heading out

The dogs have done so well and are much better behaved than we could have imagined they would be.  I was so afraid that Stewie would bark at EVERY.SINGLE.NOISE which then causes Lainey to follow suit.  Fortunately, that has not been the case!

Lainey helping Grandma Joyce finish her plate

Lainey's first camping adventure

Stewie's first camping adventure

Daddy & Stewie in matching outfits

Stewie getting some lovin' from Grandma

Mom & Dad
Lainey enjoying the fire with Grandma

 What are your thoughts?  Is camping your thing or would you rather stay at a Holiday Inn?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gluten Free.....No way, not me!

Tomorrow marks 8 weeks that I have had some sort of rash.  It is mostly on my lower back (upper buttocks), on my sides, around my chest, on my lower stomach, behind my ears and all over my scalp.  It is so itchy and drives me nuts.

I have been unable to see my family doctor as they are booked about 3 months out, so I have visited the urgent care 3 times and the emergency room once.  On all 4 visits I was diagnosed with contact dermatitis.  Meaning, I am coming into contact with something that I am having an allergic reaction to.

I've been prescribed mass amounts of prednisone, topical steroid cream and scalp wash....but, it continually keeps coming back.  We have gone through every item in our home (indoors and out) to see if there is something out of the ordinary that I have used and to this day we have thought of nothing.

Thankfully, I had an appointment with my regular physician yesterday for my annual and we were able to discuss my rash.  She made a phone call to a dermatology office and explained my situation and they were able to get me in yesterday afternoon.  Miracles do happen!!

A biopsy was taken off my lower back and will be sent out for testing and I also had some blood work drawn.  The specialist is thinking that I have Duhrings disease (aka dermatitis herpetaformis) and celiac disease.

Unfortunately, if this is the case, I will be on a strict gluten free diet and this will be a lifelong requirement (along with medication).  I've been wanting answers for weeks now as to what is causing all of this....but THIS is not the answer I would have hoped for.  I love food way too much to even "think" about having to go gluten free!

As much as I want this chronic itching to end.....I just never imagined this would be my answer.

Do any of you have to avoid gluten?  If so, what tips do you have.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Back to work blues

Today is the first day back in the office after 9 days away and to say the is horrible!  I really need to find a way to find some happiness and fulfillment in this job or else I think I may have a breakdown.

Don't get me wrong, I must like it here since I've been with the company for 11 years....but I am far from being happy.  The problem is that I can't pinpoint exactly what it is that is making me so miserable.  The obvious reason is that my job responsibilities have increased ten-fold over the past 5 years or so, but yet I haven't had a raise in almost 7 years.  It is so frustrating.

I also don't appreciate the amount of "off the clock" work I do because the other managers are incompetent and most of our customers tend to call me when they need something because they know it will get done.  Regardless of the fact that the things they are calling me about have nothing to do with my position in the company.

I can bitch and complain all I want, but I guess until I can pinpoint all my issues and then confront the necessary people, nothing will change.

There will be some big decisions being made in the near future!  Wish me luck...

Monday, June 24, 2013


The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events and the next couple weeks will be the same....don't you just love summer!

We started off with my stepdaughters graduation open house.  It was such a good time and worth the many weeks of prep leading up to the big day.  Although, in typical Michigan fashion, it decided to rain about an hour into the party, which caused about 30+ people to gather under 2 small canopies, our gazebo, and the garage.

The day after this party, I couldn't even get out of bed!  I prepped for about 3 weeks and put in well over 100 hours getting our backyard ready.

This past weekend my sister and I drove from Michigan to West Virginia to attend the Fiestaware Tent Sale.  It was so much fun, but exhausting all at the same time.  I awoke Friday morning about 3am and was on the road by 4:30am.  By the time we arrive back home I was whooped!  Not to mention a wee-bit sunburned :)

We normally stay in a hotel the night before, and then get in line about 6am to get our tickets.  But this year we decided to try something different.  We arrived about 10:45am and only had to wait in line about 2+ hours before entering the tent.

Patiently waiting
We rounded the corner and could finally see the tent
 If you've never had the chance to experience this.....It is an amazing site!

Google Image

Bin after bin after bin of colorful, fiestaware.  I am drooling all over again just thinking about it.

Google Image

Google Image

Google Image

I was hoping for a few more pieces than what I got, but that just means we will have to go back again next year!

I was able to catch up on some much needed quality time with the hubby and the pets yesterday.  It was a gorgeous summer day here in West Michigan and we enjoyed every minute of it.



It's so hard to get my tongue all the way into this cow hoof


This upcoming weekend I have a bridal shower for a good friend of mine and then the following weekend is the July 4th holiday/wedding. If I can just get through the next 12 days or so, I think I will be able to relax.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


This pretty much sums up my life right now.........and NO, I was not at the gas station when I took this picture.....Ugh!

Please disregard the dust.....Cleaning out my car
is about the 200th item on my list of things to do

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Catch up

To say I've been busy is an understatement!  Funny how life can go from simple, effortless and quiet to complex, complicated and distracted overnight.

There is so much going on both at work and at home that there are days I can barely keep my head above water.

In a nutshell, here is what has been keeping me busy....

My stepdaughter graduated high school last Friday.  It was surreal to see her in her cap and gown.  My husband shed a few tears, but he won't admit it.  I think in my mind she will always be this awkward pre-teen.  So to see her enter this next phase of her life was mind blowing to say the least.

We are having her graduation party at our house on June 15th.  I've been working my tail off trying to get the backyard ready for such a shindig.  Short of still not having grass, it is starting to come around.

One of my favorite projects has been taking our plastic outdoor furniture and spray painting it fun colors.

As I mentioned, we have no grass in our backyard.  Well, I shouldn't say "no grass", but it is spotty.  This was going to be the year we put money into this project, but due to the expenses with the dog, it is going to have to wait another year.  This has been an issue since we bought the house.  Last year we put down stone and it made a big difference.  But, there was still a large area next to the house that was a disaster.  We haven't put much effort into this area because our end goal is to build a deck.

Spur of the moment I decided to tackle this area and it's amazing what a little topsoil and some colored pots will do.

(notice how the grass is "spotty")

These pots are currently full of flowers and the difference is amazing.  We are no longer looking at DIRT!

There is still SO MUCH more going on, but as I suspected, this post has to be cut short because I am needed by a million different people all at the same time....Ughhhh!

Is it Friday yet?

PS ~ I do not have time to proof read I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors!