Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Holidays and other ramblings

 What a strange year it has been. 2011 had so much promise, so much potential. But if it is one thing I have learned this year it is, life cannot be predicted nor controlled, no matter how hard you try or how many plans you make.
I have started a Reflection Journal this month. Each night I write three positive things that have happened that day. Sometime these things come easily other days it is a struggle to come up with three. The point is to start feeling more grateful and I find on a bad day, after I have written my three things down, I go to bed feeling better about the day.
I am doing my best to avoid being overly stressed this holiday season. On thanksgiving I made everything I could the day before so on the actual day I would not be so overwhelmed and over it by the time company came. It worked! We enjoyed a nice long visit with family and ended the evening playing a game of Phase 10! This year we had my mom over, which has never happened. It went well and she is coming back over for Christmas dinner. I am really getting into the Holidays this year and have gone overboard with decorating. For Thanksgiving, Duste Keaton and I made hand turkeys, paper roll turkeys and colored leafs for decorating. At the end of the dinner everyone got to take home a paper roll turkey! How cute! For Christmas we are making Hand Print ornaments, which we will paint and put his name on and give them as gifts. Duste and I also made wooden snowflakes to decorate around the house. I want to be crafty so bad but it isn’t coming easily!

Duste has really stepped it up and I am more spoiled than ever. She does such sweet little things for me and I love and appreciate them all.  When I get home from work she has my house shoes and socks warm and in front of my spot on the sofa. She makes the bed and turns down my side so I can easily get under the covers. She packs my lunch and puts in special treats for me. The list goes on and on. She went to town and bought me several new pairs of PJ’s. Nice soft warm PJ’s because she was worried about me being too cold in my old ones. She is awesome and raises the bar higher than any man could ever compare to or compete with. She makes me smile. She makes me feel special and loved and wonderful. She is the only one for me. She is the only one who would put up with me—with all my attitude, mouthiness and issues. She is made for me! (Yes, I even feel this way when she is not spoiling me-ha!) She had gotten quite handy as well. She put shelves up in our living room closet the other day. They are sturdy, level and everyone is super impressed with them—including me! I am so lucky to have opened my eyes and mind just in time not to miss her in my life!
I am now getting acupuncture for my “bad” leg--where the Desmoid Tumors were. I have had three treatments a week apart and for the most part it has really made a difference in my pain. Winter time in Indiana is not so easy for me and hasn’t been since 2007.  (First tumor) The cold rainy days seem to get the best of me but sometimes just the cold makes walking hard. Lucky for me, we have a hot tub and without it I don’t think I could get through these long Indiana winters. My 2nd scar is so faint now it is hard to even pick up in pictures, but the indent is still there. I am thinking by next year it will be more filled in, maybe or maybe not. I am still seeing a personal trainer who is dealing with my weight issues-from thyroid problems-and strengthening/retraining my muscles in my “bad” leg. All of the doctors agree this is the best thing I could be doing. My knee is still a big problem. It has gone back to wanting to bend in and not support me. So, I wear a brace a lot of the time. But I am happy and healthy (enough) and I keep on keeping on! I go for my next MRI December 22nd. Duste will be going with me and we are going to try to make the trip a fun thing, if the weather will corporate!

Well, now that we are caught up—Have a wonderful Holiday, from Duste and Talisa!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A crazy wedding story….


My sister was married on September 10th, 2011.

She had decided to have her wedding and reception at our family church. As a family we had gone to this church longer than I have been born. My partner and her parents have also gone to this church for many years, so they knew us well. 8 days before the wedding my sister called the preacher to ask if we could have a bounce house in the parking lot. That is when he told her he could not do the wedding or allow it to be held in the church because my partner, David's best man, was a woman that would be wearing a suit. Let me state this again—8 days before the wedding! What a mess!

When my sister told me this I could not believe my ears. I thought something like this might happen but I thought if it was going to happen it would have before this point. He knew very well my partners name and knew she was on the groom's side. (He stated he thought, when given the names of the wedding party, my partner was a man—that is BS. He knows us and knows who she is.) At first he didn't have a problem and now he does? What makes it worse, his wife is related to my partner. This is unbelievable. My partner and I told her to go ahead with the wedding as planned without her but my sister would hear none of it.

Amanda is an amazing person. So strong willed and bull headed. (Wonder where she gets that from) She could have carried on with her wedding without my partner and that would have been the easiest solution. Nope, she would have none of it. She knew what was right, she knew what was important and if it meant sacrificing her wedding to have it the way she wanted it, with the people she loved in it, then so be it!

My sister and I worked all the next day to find a place to have the wedding—with 7 days to spare. By the end of the day we found a gym we could have it at and a priestess to do it. Shew!

My sister surprised me that night when she was in tears telling me how unfair it was and how we would just have it somewhere else. She sacrificed her wedding, her church wedding, for me and for us. She is so passionate about rights for same sex couples; she has done most of her college papers on it. Lots of people SAY they are but not many would have DONE something like this, especially on such an important day. She is an amazingly strong person! We cannot thank her enough for that sacrifice. I wished I could have given her the most elegant most perfect wedding, she deserved it. How did I get so lucky to have a sister like her? When did she get so strong? She may be 7 years younger than me but she is still teaching me things!

I LOVE YOU AMANDA--we Love you so very much! You stood up for us in the face of a preacher, which took some nerve! You're amazing, you're awesome, you're great and I am so proud to have you as my sister and my BESTEST EVER friend!!



 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crushes


Isn't it funny that as an adult I still get crushes! But this time it isn't on the guy down the street or in my class, of course this time it is on Singers and Actors! (So, there are many reasons these crushes will never be more than crushes!) This of course is purely based on looks and how I perceive them; I am sure in reality they aren't as great as they are in my head (rarely any thing is, is it?). After all, they are men and we all know men are asses by nature. Better seen and not heard if you ask me! (See, I told you many many reasons!)

At this moment my school girl crush is on--I couldn't just pick one picture of each!


Hank Williams III
Hank Williams III
Russell Brand
Russell Brand
Shooter Jennings
Shooter Jennings

To look at them you could see some similarities, (dark hair, tall and skinny.) But, like I said, this is make believe world where the only thing we are judging on is looks. In reality good looking men are rarely nice to be around, heck men in general aren't that great to be around with all their issues and whining. But these ones are sure nice to look at aren't they!

In real life I do not judge people based on looks alone, I don't even judge people based on their genitals. What is between their legs is no concern of mine; it is what is in their hearts and the soul that really count. For many years I limited myself based on sexual organs and for many years my life and relationships were terminal because of this. Sure, I could have tried harder, I could have put my happiness aside to be in a relationship that society deems normal but I mean more to myself than that. All my life was a fight and I didn't want my relationship to be yet another fight. Real love, true love shouldn't hurt, it shouldn't feel forced and it shouldn't be a fight.

My life came to a fork in the road several years ago. After several failed relationships with boys, that were nowhere near being men yet, I needed a break. I knew at the end of this break I had two choices, I could go back to him or I could be with her. I chose her and I don't regret that decision. She makes me happy, she makes me whole, she makes me, me. She gives me the life I have always wanted—secure and happy. I know he could not. I know I would never be happy being without her. Once I made this decision I was surprised by all the people that already knew we should be together. It seems I was the last to know, the last to consider this as an option. Silly me I thought I made this decision but life and the world had already made this decision for me.

So here we are several happy years later walking our path together. The path is less bumpy now and life is more stable. We live a very boring life together. No partying, no cops, no extremely late nights (other than when Keaton had colic) no bills being disconnected and no worries of food being in kitchen. We do have own a home together, have a savings account and reliable jobs. If boring is my happiness then so be it!

This is the one I love—

When I look at her I see my soul mate. I love the way she looks at me. I love the way she treats me. I love the way she respects, supports and cares for me. I love that worried look on her face when I say some guy is cute! Oh, and do I need to mention I love that she doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs and is perfectly happy not doing so?! She goes to work every day and she comes home every night, what else could I ask for! (ha!)



Friday, August 19, 2011

Crazy Cat Lady



Yes, it is true. I have become the crazy cat lady. I blame my grandma Joan. I am just like her, with my weakness for animals.

The woman who lived in our house before us, along with the neighbor, was feeding the stray cats. The cats were fat, healthy and friendly. When we moved in we decided not to feed them and let the neighbor deal with it. Then the neighbor, an elderly couple, could not feed them on a regular basis and the cats got mean. Now, you are thinking, how mean can a cat be—believe me, really mean. They were beating up my older cats, who are declawed and living in a heated/air conditioned garage. They would do anything they could to get in the yard, where a dog lives that doesn't like any cat but her cats. The male, appropriately named "bad kitty", was spraying everywhere. It was crazy around here.
So, I did my research to find out the options. I could not bring myself to have them trapped and destroyed, although the life they were living wasn't a good one either. Then I learned trapping and destroying them does not work anyway. Research shows more cats just replace those cats and so on. Instead we opted for Trap Neuter Release. The catch with this is we would have to continue to feed them, provide them with shelter but they would not be able to reproduce. They also clip their ear so you can tell when new ones show up that needs fixed. So, we put a feeding station in place—a large storage tote with a whole cut out with a bowl of water and cat food. I also put out two houses—two 30gal storage totes with 18gal ones inside surrounded by board insulation and on the inside straw with flea power. There is a small opening in the front and they set up on bricks. I will also surround them with a short wall to block out cold air and snow from blowing in. My goal here is functionality meets cuteness. I will post pics when I get it all done!
It is really hard for me not to want to bring these cats indoors and love them. That, after all, is my instincts but I really do not want all those cats inside. I would love it if they could learn to get along with my dog and other cats, at least then they could live in the heated garage with pillows and fluffy things.
I have been feeding them for only a week and have made huge progress. So far I have one "mommy kitty", one "bad kitty" aka dad, and two baby kitties. They, at first, would not let me get close and would run at the sight of me. Now, a week later, I am able to walk close to them and they are outside waiting by the food station for food every morning. The grey kitty still hides from me and Bad Kitty is a little skittish but Mommy Kitty and baby number 2 are really getting accustom to me.

Just this morning Mommy Kitty let me get very close to her while I was filling the cat bowls and cleaning out the feeding station. She just lay there, looking at me. I looked into her eyes and was amazed at the expression she had. She was looking at me like I was the strangest thing; a human feeding her. She looked so confused by this, like she just could not understand what was going on. Black kitty, ( kitty number 2), was just happy to see me and seemed to think this is all the new normal. I did not try to go towards them, I just accepted this was the limit they were comfortable with, hard for us humans who want to pet and cuddle everything. I talked to them, but I always do. I have a bad habit of that, talking to animals. I want them to come when I call "kitty Kitty". That would make it easier for roll call. Because once I start feeding an animal, I start worrying about it.

Ohh, the life of a crazy cat lady!
This is Mommy Kitty and Baby #2 aka Black Kitty!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Reinvention of Talisa


3 months after turning 28 I have an itch; an itch to reinvent myself, yet again. Looking back over the years I have gone through these phases. Changing from the well put together look to the hippie look. This time I would like to keep both looks in my closet. This is the cheapest solution anyway. Maybe the key is mixing these two looks, yeah it sounds impossible but I am thinking I can do it. I am thinking Smart Casual at work and Hippie girl at home. Soon, I will be cutting my hrs at work and only working 2.5 days so that will free up a lot of time for my hippie side. The two sides of Talisa—the Smart Casual girl at work and the Hippie girl at heart! Ha!

I think it is natural for my age group to feel in limbo with their look. I am not in my early 20's anymore but I am not in my mid 30's. I want to update my look—including my hair, my makeup and my clothes. I do not want to be stuck with my high school look when I am an adult. I want to look put together, nice, responsible but not prudish.

Step one—get a free makeover to try new makeup.

After Yoga and personal training I took myself to Merle Normans and re-learned how to apply makeup, correctly. I am now the owner of lots of brushes, colors and tools. Of course I made it my own and am going with a more natural look. I now wear foundation, eye shadow and eye liner. I also have some lip color but I am bad at putting it on over and over again throughout the day. Because of what I have learned I will be saving us some money and will be doing my sisters and my own makeup at her wedding! Score for me!



Step two—new look, new clothes (pic coming soon)

Duste took me to a second hand store in Greenwood and I got a few new dresses. Short (to the knee) adult dresses that come in around the waist to show off all my hard work! Hippie dresses are free flowing and comfortable, great when you are out of shape or rather do not have a shape. I also am in the process of finding some Trouser Pants for work (yay! adult pants). I am not the size I want to be currently but am hoping I am a little closer to the size I do to make these work. I have also ordered a few tops for my new look—I am so excited!

Step Three—hair today gone tomorrow!

My new hair!
Coming soon! This Friday I am hopeful I will get my hair cut short! We will see if my hairstylist will go for it. I have been sending her pics of different looks for several weeks now so we should be on the same page. I want it no longer than to the top of my shoulders. But because of my sister's wedding everyone is hesitating, thinking I will hate it and it will be forever in wedding pics. I say lets go for it! I am not a fan of straight hair on me because it is just lifeless and lies there, besides I look too much like my dad when it is straight. I am a fan of curly, curly because it does not have to be perfect and gives you more room for play. With straight hair I get a little crazy that every hair is in its place. But with curly, short and too much body it will make my face look fat so you can see where this is a little nerve racking. I am so excited to see how this turns out!

Maybe I will post pics when my look is complete—a little before and after. I am like a butterfly; going in the cocoon a young adult coming out a full blown adult! Yay!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Addiction can kill; addicts do die…..


Over the weekend another person died because of addiction. This person just happened to be famous but suffered all the same as someone on the street. Addictions aren't glamorous, although Hollywood would lead you to believe this. It is serious, so serious that is kills. It wrecks families, relationships and your soul. It turns you into someone you are not, someone you thought you would never be, someone no one recognizes.

I am not an addict but I am on the other side of addiction—I am the daughter of two addict parents. When my parents divorced one remarried an addict and the other did not. So, out of four parents I only had one who was truly and completely present in my childhood. My childhood was spent with parents who were always preoccupied and never emotionally availble. They were too busy to deal with me and when they did I was resentful and hell bent on making the day miserable for all of us. I wish I could tell the child me to enjoy these times, don't punish them because soon they would stop trying all together.

My mother was someone I adored. I thought she was brave, strong and independent. But I was looking through child eyes. Maybe she started that way, I'm not sure. The person she ended up is not the mom I saw back then. She had hopes and dreams and none of them were to become an addict. She lost herself and I lost my mother. As the years passed she moved further and further from whom she was.

I have two younger sisters and all three of us got a different side of our mother. I got to see all three. When I was younger I got the mom and dad that partied hard and fought even harder. When they split up I lived with my grandparents and life was what it was suppose to be. They were my saviors. They showered me with love, attention and affection. Then my mother married again. My life was in transition from my mom's, dad's and my grandparents' house. At my mom's house I was a little adult. I felt I had to take care of my mom, protect her. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized she needed protection from herself. When I was younger and my life was filled with addicts. I looked at my situation and life as a puzzle; I was constantly trying to put the pieces together and figure out what was really going on and if everything was ok. I felt so dedicated and responsible for my mom. That would leave me with a lot of disappointment but I always picked up what pieces I could and carried on trying to fix it. When my middle sister was born things mellowed out a little bit. My mom put effort into being a good mom. We did not have the "leave it to Beaver" type life but were getting close to the family on "Roseanne". She was present, attentive and cared. She would still go through spells where she would get a little wild but it would always calm down and return back to normal. It was normal to have your friends coming to the front door and drug deals at the back, right? Well, maybe not for everyone but for us it was. At lest they were stable and trying to be good parents, how we made money was the least of my worries. I would say things were good for several years and my youngest sister was born. Little did we know it would get bad, the worst it had been, fast. My youngest sister was around 4 when my mom and step dad started in again on the harder stuff and our life fell apart but this time it would not come back together. My mom and step dad split up shortly after that. Turns out, together they made one decent parent but apart they made two terrible ones. I was moved out at this point and watched from the sidelines as both my sisters lives fell apart. Our mother turned into a selfish teenager. She was no longer concerned with us or about us. Life for her was now all about her new husband and her addictions. That's the way it's been since.

Mom says she loves us—I believe her. She says wants to be our mother, that she is the one that gave birth to us, that she is our only mother. I realize all this but this still does not make it ok to use us, to abuse our relationship. I had to walk away. She was breaking me. She was breaking my heart and my soul. Her problems are not my problems. I cannot fix her, I cannot fix her problems, I cannot take care of her anymore.

The relationship with my father was different. He was in and out of jail for DUI's, not paying child support and so on, a lot when I was growing up. I spent many weekends and summers with him. But he wasn't always home. He was either working or out with his friends, no doubt getting into trouble. Both my parents seem to have had a hard time letting go of their teenage years. My step mom, or soul mom as I call her now, took care of me. I would beg to come over and she would tell me my father isn't there and I would tell her I didn't care. I just needed a break, a break from two addict parents at home. When I was with my soul mom I could be my age, I could be a little girl. I found it hard to let go and be my age but I loved the idea of it! My father and I weren't real close but we had a relationship. When I was in my late teens he started pulling away. He was using again. This time he went to prison for several years. I was the faithful visitor of course. Now he is out and doing well. I decided long before he was out that his decisions were his to make and if he traveled this road again, he would travel alone.

When someone famous dies from addiction it reminds me it truly is an illness. If it could be cured easily surely the famous would be cured. Instead they find themselves in the same boat as the average person, fighting to stay afloat. I know my mother is sick. She has been to treatment before. She has reasons to seek help and to follow through with it but she chooses not to. She instead chooses her addictions over her family, her children. These addictions are more important than a relationship with us. That is how it has been and that is how it will always be. You cannot help those who are not willing to help themselves. Or, in my mothers case, in complete denial of the problem all together.


My heart goes out to Amy Winehouse's parents. I know how it feels to watch someone you love do this to themselves and not be able to stop them. It hurts. You cry, you beg, you threaten but in the end it's their decision and you have to walk away to save yourself. It hurts when love isn’t enough. To those who said they didn’t do enough-you are idiots. This is real life not the movies or Reality TV.  NO ONE can save an addict but the addict themselves.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

6 month MRI


Well, I had my 6 Month MRI last week and the results are CLEAR!! I knew they would be but it is a little nerve racking. That morning, while I was getting ready to make the hour car ride up there, I was thinking there is something wrong with me putting in all the effort of getting ready to be tortured! Ha!

We got there a few mins early so we could grab a bit in the café for lunch. (My MRI was at 12:15 and it takes a few hours)The smells of the food made me nauseous. All those memories of being in the hospital, being sick to my stomach and smelling that food and they came flooding back. It is funny how the nose and the brain connect that way.

They had me go to a new location in the hospital for my scan this time. The tube I was in was shorter and opened at both ends—so the top of my head and my feet stuck out. The MRI Tech was super nice and did a wonderful job putting up with my questions. (I can only take 15cc of a certain dye injected very slowly or I get sick) She didn't even leave a bruise! To make the scan more tolerable I jammed to Stevie Nicks Greatest Hits Crystal Vision. (Did I mention I am going to see her in Aug!!) I think with the next scan I will jam to some Jimi Hendrixs—that should cover that loud banging the machine makes! Then I headed to my doctor's office located in the same hospital—there is something wrong with knowing your way around a hospital.

I waited 3hrs to talk to the doctor for 10mins. Which is typical. I had him show me and my soul mom my MRI on the screen because I was concerned with Scar Tissue—my second tumor was missed because it was classified as "scar tissue" for two years. My scar tissue is just right behind the scar and follows it—it gets questionable when it is more round. He said even the scar tissue on my first surgery has changed and it is right behind the scar as well! He said he can also see a big difference in my muscles since the last scan—late last year. It's all the physical activities I am doing—physical therapy and now personal training and yoga. Yay! My next scan is the end of this year and I predict it is going to show a normal leg with little to no scar tissue.


Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

- Hans Christian Anderson  

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What is with music now days?


Seriously, at the risk of sounding like an old person—WTF?!

What is with all this Techno BS? What is with all the computers and mixers going on? What happened to being able to sing live without any technological assistance? I am talking about singers, and I use that term lightly, like Katy Perry, Brittany Spears and Lady Gaga.

I miss the 'old days' when musicians were judged on talent and not looks?
I bet none of these "girls" could sing live in the park if their life depended on it!

I miss music—what they are playing on the radio can barely be compared to real music. What happened to all the genres of music—I miss choices. County, Rock, Punk, Southern Rock, Easy listening. Now everything sounds like everything else. Since when is Green Day considered Rock—are you kidding me? If that is what is considered Rock now days, I am done!

I sometimes listen to the new music station and think—one day, this is what they will be playing on the oldie station and that is sad! This is what the younger generations think music is? Those poor souls will never know that feeling you get when listening to Tom Petty, Eagles, Aerosmith, Guns-n-Roses, Stevie Nicks, Heart, Janice Joplin, Doors, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. Now that is real music and that is talent!

I was blessed with a dad and soul mom who really enjoyed good music. Music was always playing, and playing loudly, as I was growing up. In the house, in the car, outside—I remember many memories of a record playing in the house with the windows open on a hot summer day while I lay out in the sun with my soul mom. Summer is not complete without these wonderful REAL musicians still to this day! These musicians make up the sound track to my life, my childhood. I cannot imagine how sad it would be to say that about the "ladies" mentioned above.

I find that it is my job to expose as many younger people as I can to REAL music. I am proud to say at only a few weeks old my little Keaton Michael enjoyed himself some of these greats! Those loud guitars were the only thing that could soothe that colic baby—who can say that about computer generated music and singers?

Shooter Jennings


Monday, June 27, 2011

Keaton Michael Lauyans


Two Years ago on July 2nd my middle sister had her first baby. She was the first of my siblings to have a child.

9months before this I didn't take the news so well. I got that phone call from my sister after hearing that she was pregnant and not believing it. She was 19 and we hadn't talked since her graduation. (A few months back) To say the least I wasn't happy. I did not support her during most of her pregnancy. I instead chose to ignore it, like that would make it go away. But my point was to not celebrate this terrible decision she made by supporting her. I am sorry for that.

I don't remember exactly why but we started talking again when she was near the end of her pregnancy. We took it slow but our relationship soon fell back into place, but this time with a mutual respect we didn't have before. I had come to terms with the fact that a baby was to be born soon, like it or not.

The next life changing call I got I took much better than the first! It was July 2nd 2009 when Keaton Michael Lauyans came into our lives. I was amazed how much I could love and how fast. I could never imagine our lives without him. My sister has allowed me to be very active in their lives and I couldn't be happier! This little man has been the best thing for us. He has brought my sister and me closer than ever before and together with David and Duste we are raising one of the smartest and most wonderful boys ever to live on this planet. My sister and I have only hit one stumbling block along the way and it felt more like a brick wall, but we are back on track and back to supporting each other and the small family we have together.

                      Keaton Michael Lauyans turns 2 on July 2nd 2011—
                      whats that? I think I hear angels singing!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

--Searching for my Rainbow--

 I am done giving her advice, she does not take.

I am done listening to her bitch about her life and the messes she gets herself in, and never wanting to change.

I am done loaning her money.


 

I do not owe her anything just because I can manage my money better than her. Her situations are not my fault and I shouldn't be punished because of them.


 

I am not responsible for her happiness.

I am not responsible for her thoughts and feelings.


 

I deserve to be:

Loved, Respected, Appreciated


 

I do not deserve to be talked to this way. I do not deserve to get an email explaining all the reasons I am a terrible person and then told my response does not matter because that person is taking some time off and will not discuss it. That was an Attack—an attack on the one person that has been there for you and by saying you are taking time off after an attack like that is like saying a big "FUCK OFF—I do not care how my words affect you or what you have to say about it". I would never do that to you. I have never done that to you. When I took my time off we were fine, everything was fine and I just needed a break from the world—why do you take everything personal?


 

I am sick of having what I say twisted and thrown back in my face—people who love each other do not act this way.


 

My hurt is now turning to anger—I would rather feel anger than pain. I would rather be mad then cry.

I have so many questions—questions I will never get answered because you will never see that you ever did anything wrong. I cannot do this, I will not do this—I cannot have a relationship with anyone who is like this. Always walking on egg shells, always wondering when the next time will be that the floor falls out from under me.


 

You say I am not supportive. You say you cannot talk to me.


 

Hmm—but what about all the hrs spent on the phone at work, at home. You say I am so terrible to you but you can still ask me for money; you can still spend time with me and have family outings and cookouts?


 

I am saying right now I cannot be any more supportive—I help you financially, I help you with food, I listen to you always complaining—do you realize how draining you are? You are responsible for your own happiness—if you are not happy change things!!! You're not a child—you can figure this out!


 

I am done. I am done fighting. Life is too short for this. My happiness means too much to me.


 

I hope one day you can see what pain you have caused and what you have done. I hope one day you see how much things have changed inside of you and I hope one day you do something about that. No one can make you happy but you. I hope you can truly be happy, one day.


 

For now--I'm ready for my rainbow and here comes Duste to the rescue—she is great, she will not rest till my smile comes back, to my face and in my eyes!


 


 


 


 


 


 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Devastation

I knew something was coming when I looked out my bed room window and there was a dead baby bird. Something was coming, I could feel it.

I never expected this. I never thought of this—I should have known better. I should have seen it coming.

I set here with tear stained cheeks trying to make since of it. Trying to put those hurtful words together, like a puzzle, trying to understand them. I just don't understand, I don't understand. Your hurtful, painful, soul crushing words swirl around my head like a thick dust cloud. I cannot make out the words, I cannot understand.

I did not see this coming. I am so hurt, torn and broke. A new kind of broke but an old familiar one as well. I had completely let my guard down with you. I allowed you in-you're the only one who made it back in once the walls went up. I never thought you of all people, would do this to me.

I may act strong, but I am weak. Everyone has their breaking point. Everyone has a heart. Mine is broke, not fractured but broke. Do you even think of what pain your words will cause, do you even care? I built my life around you and him. My future always had you in mind. I wonder now if I ever meant that much to you….

The next step is one I do not want to think about. How can I when I know what I need to do. I do not want to, I do not want to. Isn't there someway this can just all go away, isn't there some way?

I stand here looking out at the house I thought was strong. The family we all built together, small but mighty. I never thought it would be destroyed from within. Now all that is left is the original one room cottage. That cottage kept me safe when all else failed. She is the only one I can truly count on.

I feel the numbness creeping in. Ahh, that familiar relief. Just shut down when the pain comes, just shut down. …….


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Indiana Dunes


We had a wonderful Holiday Weekend! We went to Indiana Dunes and stayed in a lakeside cottage in Porter, IN. It was wonderful!! The cottage sat up above the lake and all the windows had a wonderful view of the water. We were so close you could hear the waves hitting the shore. One morning we watched it storm over the lake from the bed surrounded by windows! It was a beautiful sight! We were there for three days and each day was completely different. First day it was 60's, second it was 70's and the last day was in the 90's—only in Indiana! It was the best vacation and much needed! (We are already planning our return trip!) Here are some pictures!





Friday, May 20, 2011

Chemicals and poisons are everywhere and in everything---Ahh!


Well, like a lot of the things I do, when I started looking into one thing it leads to several and before I know it I am drowning in all the new information!!
Let me start from the beginning—
I am sure you all have heard the rumors about plastics leaking chemicals when it is warmed. Well we all knew plastic was bad but who knew it was evil! I have heard not to drink water from a water bottle that has been left in the car—ok, well I do not buy water in those plastic containers anyway so that isn't a problem. But that got me to thinking, if you cannot get the plastic as warm as it is in your car then what is happening when you put it in the microwave or dishwasher? Turns out plastic is trying to kill us! It leaks bad chemicals into our food and or drinks as it is warmed. The exact chemicals depend on the type of plastic it is but they are all bad. Not too long ago you started seeing BPA Free on a lot of baby things—this is a chemical that is in plastic that can cause severe damage to babies and adults alike. Here is a link to a website where you can read all about it -- http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Plasticizers/Out-Of-Diet-PG5nov03.htm
So, I did away with all my plastic storage containers, cups, bowls, plates everything. I replaced it all with glass. Glass storage containers, glass mixing bowls, glass cereal bowls, glass cups and glass plates! We found a wonderful deal at local thrift store that had plates Duste remembered from her grandparents' house and they were half off—perfect!
Soon this led to my pots and pans—turns out the non stick coating on pots and pans is also bad. Now I admit I had heard this before, before I was so opened to this type of thing, before my tumors and never paid any attention to it. But now it seems I should really be watchful of what goes into my body. I did some research on Teflon and it doesn't sound good either. Here is one article you can check out— http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/462168/why_you_should_throw_away_your_nonstick.html?cat=5
So back to the internet I went. I researched my alternatives and came across the old cookware Visions by Corning Pyrex in Amber!  I remember this old stuff and loved it! I am all about surrounding myself with things that remind me of the happy times in my childhood! So, I am in the process of replacing all my non-stick pots, pans and bake ware with glass. I have read the pros and cons of glass, asked a few older ladies who have used it for years and have decided this is for me! I am so excited!
Well, that was my week's journey. It amazes me that for anything I wonder, anything I question, the internet has a surplus of answers and evidence ready and waiting for me. I love that! I love to be free to wonder, free to question and have the answers there waiting for you to discover them!
HAPPY and HEALTHY cooking and eating everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Desmoid Tumors and Estrogen


There is a study being done on how Estrogen affects Desmoid Tumors. Some results seem to suggest higher levels of Estrogen may cause the growth of a tumor. "They" are not sure if this is what is causing them to appear in the first place or if it's just contributing to the growth once a tumor is there.
Here is a list I found of foods that natural have estrogen and a list of foods that inhibit the absorption of Estrogen.
I have to say I do eat a lot of foods from the first list but can that really be what is causing my tumors—don't most people eat this stuff?
I have to also consider I am on Synthroid—synthetic thyroid—which can cause Osteoporosis and Anemia because it interferes with the absorption of calcium, iron and magnesium. (Long term side effects)
Ahh…having a rare tumor is so much fun! I wish someone would just tell me X, Y and Z causes these tumors—don't eat, drink or sit next to these things and you will be fine. Life would be so much easier. Without this I find myself questioning everything that I ingest. From pills to the dishes we eat, drink and prepare our foods in. It can be exhausting but I am determined not to have a third reoccurrence!
Foods Containing Natural Estrogens
  • Alfalfa            
  • Animal Flesh—ew! That just sounds wrong!
  • Anise Seed
  • Apples
  • Baker's Yeast
  • Barley
  • Beets
  • Carrots—all time fav!
  • Cherries
  • Clover
  • Cowpeas (Black-eyes peas)
  • Cucumbers—another fav!
  • Dairy Foods—OMG, I do not think I can live without these!
  • Dates
  • Eggs—I could take 'em or leave 'em!
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic—was really starting to get into this!
  • Hops
  • Licorice
  • Oats—I am an Oat eater!
  • Olive Oil—have been using this forever!
  • Olives
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers—this is another big one for me!
  • Plums
  • Pomegranates
  • Potatoes—seriously?! I have to have my taters!
  • Pumpkin—my family will be sad, there will be no more Pumpkin Cheese Cake bars.
  • Red Beans—and rice, yes please!
  • Red Clover
  • Rhubarb
  • Rice—poo!
  • Sage
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Soybean Sprouts
  • Soybeans
  • Split Peas
  • Sunflower Seeds—my dad would buy these for me all the time growing up!
  • Tomatoes—I will eat them but they are not my fav.
  • Wheat—was always told to eat Whole Wheat.
  • Yams

     
Estrogen Inhibiting Foods


  • Berries—ok, this is good.
  • Broccoli—this is right up there with carrots.
  • Buckwheat—I thought this was just a character in Lil Rascals!
  • Cabbage—could live without it.
  • Citrus Foods—not my fav.
  • Corn—good thing I live in Indiana, the CORN STATE!
  • Figs—the old people fruit! Ha!
  • Fruits (except apples, cherries, dates, pomegranates)—I am more of a veggie person really.
  • Grapes
  • Green Beans—this is the only veg my sister will eat so I do eat a lot of this.
  • Melons
  • Millet
  • Onions—LOVE onions
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Squashes
  • Tapioca
  • White Rice—a little flavorless, but I guess I can figure out what to do with it.
  • White Flour—I will not know what to think to eat plain white bread again…

Monday, May 16, 2011

Buy American

An Email I received from my soul mom Brenda May. ..


 

Did you see that Diane Sawyer has a special report coming up this week? They removed ALL items from a typical, middle class family's home that were not made in the USA .

There was hardly anything left besides the kitchen sink. Literally. During the special they are going to show truckloads of items - USA made - being brought in to replace everything and will be talking about how to find these items and the difference in price etc..

It was interesting that Diane said that if every American spent just $64 more than normal on USA made items this year, it would create something like 200,000 new jobs!

WAS BUYING FOOD THE OTHER DAY AT WALMART and ON THE LABEL OF SOME PRODUCTS IT SAID 'FROM CHINA' 

 FOR EXAMPLE THE "OUR FAMILY" BRAND OF THE MANDARIN ORANGES SAYS RIGHT ON THE CAN 'FROM CHINA '

 I WAS SHOCKED SO FOR A FEW MORE CENTS I BOUGHT THE LIBERTY GOLD BRAND OR THE DOLE SINCE IT'S FROM CALIF.

 Are we Americans as dumb as we appear --- or --- is it that we just do not think while the Chinese, knowingly and intentionally, export inferior and even toxic products and dangerous toys and goods to be sold in American markets? 

 70% of Americans believe that the trading privileges afforded to the Chinese should be suspended.

 Why do you need the government to suspend trading privileges? DO IT YOURSELF, AMERICA!!

 Simply look on the bottom of every product you buy, and if it says 'Made in China ' or 'PRC' (and that now includes Hong Kong ), simply choose another product, or none at all. You will be amazed at how dependent you are on Chinese products, and you will be equally amazed at what you can do without.

 Who needs plastic eggs to celebrate Easter? If you must have eggs, use real ones and benefit some American farmer. Easter is just an example. The point is do not wait for the government to act. Just go ahead and assume control on your own.

 THINK ABOUT THIS: If 200 million Americans refuse to buy just $20 each of Chinese goods, that's a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor...fast!!

 Most of the people who have been reading about this matter are planning on implementing this on May 1st and continue it until June 1st. That is only one month of trading losses, but it will hit the Chinese for 1/12th of the total, or 8%, of their American exports. Then they might have to ask themselves if the benefits of their arrogance and
lawlessness were worth it.

Remember, MAY 1 TO JUNE 1st !!!!!!
START NOW.

 Send this to everybody you know. Let's show them that we are Americans and NOBODY can take us for granted.

 If we can't live without cheap Chinese goods for one month out of our lives, WE DESERVE WHAT WE GET!

Pass it on, America......  BUY AMERICAN  !!!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hello Brad--

Yesterday I met a blog fan, whom I didn't know before starting this blog. It is still a shock to me to meet someone who reads my ranting that is not related to me—ha!

Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet you Brad and if I had known I would have talked longer (I thought he was my sisters friend and they were talking) Brad did mention he was a fan of all my eco friendly things but he could live without the reusable toilet paper—

Well Brad, if you could learn to live with it maybe more trees could also live! Ha! Killing 1,000(+) year old trees just so you can wipe your ass on them and throw them away—that is something I could live without! Ha! It's all in good fun, small steps my friend and before you know it you will be as eco crazy as me!

Brad, I wish you the best of luck on your eco trip! Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to let me show you a different way of doing things!


 

--Talisa--


 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

6 Months since 2nd Surgery!!

 March 28th 2011 marked my 6months since my last surgery!
 Here are some pictures~

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here Comes the Sun--Here Comes Sun--and I say--Its All Right!!


Positive Changes

I am so thankful, I am so happy, I am so excited! Things are really turning around for us—things are really working out for us!


finally got that phone call!! She starts her new job at a wonderful factory with wonderful household insurance in a few days!! And wait it gets better, it is for a FIRST SHIFT position!! This is almost unheard of with this company—typically they start you out on 2nd or 3rd and you wait for years to get at 1st position!! Yay!!!

Next up is the enclosed porch—soon to be a mudd room. We had several estimates done and one came in at exactly what we were thinking. After making some adjustments he came down another $250! We first thought it would be a few weeks but as we began buying furniture for the room the contractor showed up and started the job this week! Yay!

The next thing is going to take a little more back story—across the street from our house is a wooded lot with a run/falling down 100yr old house. A sign appeared announcing a proposal has been filed for a change of land use. Fearing the worst we called and found out they were planning on putting 79 self storage units there. Then a letter came stating they want the city to wave the code stating they have to put in landscaping. So, we hit the neighborhood with a petition. A few days later came the public hearing. We walked in and sat among the suites. It was a 3hr meeting consisting of several proposals around the city. The proposal we came for was presented last. The man who bought the property presented his case very well. He was prepared for me as he got my letter and petition ahead of time. Most of my questions were answered but I am quick on my feet and thought of more when it was the public's turn to talk. I have to add here—typically when I speak in front of people my face turns red and I stumble through what I am trying to say. So, I stood up and stated my name and address and started my questions. My face never turned red and I talked for 30mins! A long story short—it passed but with my conditions! Yay #3!

Like I have posted before, I am reading the book The Secret. It is all about positive thinking: Ask, Believe, Receive! Could this be the reason behind the sudden positive changes?! I am going to continue doing what I am doing and keep thinking positive!

Next week I will have an even bigger positive change to post! YAY!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Words to live by

"If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else."

- Dave Ramsey, author of Financial Peace

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Secret—the book





So, one day we were browsing through the movies available to watch instantly on Netflix and stumbled on The Secret. I know, I know I am a few years behind here. It was a short movie so we watched it.
This reminded me a lot of what my teacher, Vincent Darlage, taught me at Indiana Business College. Affirmations I believe he called it. This is like affirmations but way more serious, way more involved. Since I have seen the movie I decided to borrow the book to get a little more information about all this.
As you could have guessed by my last post I am giving it a try. Why not, I say, I could use a little more positive thinking in my life!

I have created a "goal board" at work that I stare at often. When I have a few minutes I go through what all the pictures mean to me. I put myself there and I feel what it would be like to have those things. If nothing else it makes me feel good for a few minutes! I also think about what I am thankful for and what is on my goal board as I fall asleep.

My soul mother has always believed in positive thinking. She taught me to surround myself with people that love and support me and do away with the ones that cause pain and stress. Since listening to her my life has never been so good. Sure there have been a few stumbling blocks pop up but nothing like it used to be. I used to live my life always upset, always stressed and always worried. I could count on one hand the number of times I was happy. But I grew up this way so this way was normal. It wasn't until my soul ached that I began seeking out a different way of life. I am so thankful I took that step, I am so happy I rocked the boat!

So, yes I can see that this works.
Maybe I will not be a millionaire, but that is not on my goal board anyway.

Change your life by changing your way of thinking—brilliant!
 I am all about doing something different when the same old stuff isn't working!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude


I am trying something new; a new way of looking at life, a new way of thinking. It is challenging on some days but those are the days I need it the most. I like a good challenge.
Positive thinking--to have an Attitude of Gratitude.
Trust me it is harder than it sounds on days where you are not feeling so positive. I have made a list of what I am the most Thankful for. I will remind myself of these things each and every day and probably more on the bad days.

Things I am thankful for

My family—
Amanda for being a wonderful sister, mother and friend. I am so happy that we have such a great relationship now.
           David for being a great man to my sister and to the family.
           Jayde for trying hard and getting back on track.
           Keaton for teaching me I could love more than I ever thought
          Alma and Jim for all the support in the decisions we make
           Dad and Tina for staying out of trouble, helping when he can and keeping him out of trouble
           Brenda for always being there and helping to guide me when I can no longer see the light
           at the end of the tunnel
Duste for supporting me in all my plans and changes, loving me unconditionally, accepting me as I am and making me who I am today.
She is my security blanket, the support beams in the structure of my soul. She encourages all my changes and growth and is always there to lift me up or carry me when I fall.

My house—
Filled with things I love and having a solid structure to make it into our dream home.

My job—
    With out it I would not be able to get us out of debt or fix up the house.

My car—
    For always getting me where I need to go

My Heath—
    I am tumor free, disease free and healthy.

My life—
Working my way towards a greener way of living. Being able to cut my hours or stay home at the end of the year.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hurry up and wait….


Update—we are still waiting. The good news Duste is on the waiting list for a wonderful job. Bad news we have to wait for someone else to mess up so she can take their place, but it is only a matter of time. Neither of us is very patient and these are trying times! Ha!
We are waiting for the call of a better job—we are waiting for some life changing news. (Too much waiting; too much up in the air.)
Wait……wait…..wait…..

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

5 Foods That Help You Sleep

By Melanie Haiken, Caring.comThu, Feb 03, 2011


 

Should you let yourself have that midnight snack if you're having trouble sleeping and you think hunger might be part of the problem? Here are five foods that can actually help you drift off:

1. Cherries. Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body's internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.

2. Bananas.
Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin.

3. Toast. Carbohydrate-rich foods trigger insulin production, which induces sleep by speeding up the release of tryptophan and serotonin, two brain chemicals that relax you and send you to sleep..

4. Oatmeal. Like toast, a bowl of oatmeal triggers a rise in blood sugar, which in turn triggers insulin production and the release of sleep-inducing brain chemicals. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which many people take as a sleep aid..

5. Warm milk. Like bananas, milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which turns to 5-HTP and releases relaxing serotonin. It's also high in calcium, which promotes sleep

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Things are falling into place~

Yay! I love it when one of my plans starts coming together. It is a little worrisome when I have a goal or plan that I can not control and put so much faith into it. But it seems that things are going our way. It seems this may truly be our year!

All our hard work and planning just may be paying off!

This week alone we have had major things fall into place. Major changes that our lives and future depend on. Major things that will forever change our lives!

I am so excited. Like a little girl waiting to go to Disney World!

Oh, it's about 30 degrees warmer which is helping with my mood--Spring is in the air!




I will post again when things are for sure!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Day--what a load of crap!

Ok, ok I understand how this might sound but just hear me out~

It is an invented holiday to make people feel obligated into buying unnecessary junk and making a big deal about it. I think it’s ridiculous. A holiday to make house wives and girlfriends feel good about themselves and give them bragging rights with their friends.

“oh, my man must love me the most because he bought me..”

I guess it just doesn’t make since to me because I am not a material girl. I have never been the type of person that judges how much some one loves me based on the gifts they give me. Shouldn’t you feel loved and appreciated every day of the year? If you only feel these things once a year then isn’t there something wrong with your relationship? In a good relationship Valentines Day is everyday. You shouldn’t need a date on a calendar to remind you take the person you love out for a date or to surprise them with a gift.

I just don’t understand the big deal about it.

I am lucky I know. I am very happy at home today and everyday and don’t need one day a year to feel loved and appreciated!

And for the record I feel the same way about Fathers and Mothers Day. My parents know I love and appreciate them every day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

In a funk…


What does the future hold for us……..

 Wish I knew what the future held. Wish I knew the answers to all my questions.

Are we on the right path? Is there something else I should be doing?
Will that phone call ever come for a better job for Duste?

Ugh—Life and its many questions.

I try to stay positive. I try to line everything up so a good outcome will be ours. I try to do all I can so we can have a better future.

 I always stay focused on the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it is so dim. I just keep my head down and march on.

Ugh—Life and its many twist and turns.

I am not a patient person. I want to know what this year holds for us, right now. Yeah, right now works for me.

I am fighting with myself to stay focused on the things I know.
I know I will soon have my student loan paid off.
I know I will soon have the floors in one room redone.
I know I am healthier than I have ever been—off sleeping pills, off all unnecessary medications, eating better and staying active.

I am also starting a new career. It is just something small I can do at home to earn a little extra money. I always have a plan B. This is just in case the better job for Duste never calls. I am hoping to earn the little extra that we will need to be able to live on just her income.

My happiness is important to me and working 32+hrs a week isn't making me happy. I want to stay home and be available to watch Keaton Michael when his mommy starts her new career.

 And then the phone rings—it's Duste on the line with another lay-off scare.

Ugh—Life is so much fun!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Death

Death is a hard thing to deal with, isn’t it? I don’t think anyone ever deals with it well or gets used to it. I hate death. It seems I have had a lot of death in my family these past few years. The big C word has claimed two very important women in my life and has its grip on one more. Two others went because of things that could have been avoided. (one accident and one alcohol)

Grandma--Carol Joan Burnett (dad side)

It all started when I was 20 and my grandma on my dads side died. She died at home, a long and drawn out process. She died of cancer. The cancer that killed her started in her pancreas. She was the first person I was close to that I lost. I hate the death bed. I hate standing there and not knowing what to say. I hate watching the person I love fade away. My grandma’s death was very traumatic for me. I remember being in denial about it. I remember being forced to go to her viewing and funeral. For months after I would pick up the phone to call her only to realize I could hear never her voice again. It took years before I could bring myself to look at pictures of her. Then it happened again--a few years later.

Grandpa--JT England (mom side)

My grandpa. There are so many emotions that come up when I think of him. It was the only positive male role model in my life that was constant. My grandma and grandpa raised me (mom side) through out my childhood when things got too rough at home. I was lucky enough to have spent a lot of time with him. Unlike my sisters who were 15 and 10 and primarily raised by their parents. It is sad that they did not have him in their lives longer. He was a great man! He died from a car accident when a man, late for work, ran a stop light and “T boned” him. He spent a month in the hospital before we decided to take him off life support. We never got to hear his voice again. I miss his gruff voice. I miss all his childhood stories. My heart aches for my grandpa.

Grandma--Jewel Wood (soul mom’s side aka step mom(hate that word, step)

She was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. She was always sweet and positive. She always made you feel good about yourself. She was always smiling and her laugh was contagious. Her laugh would light you up from the inside! She was a wonderfully genuine, truly good person. She also died from cancer. Ovarian cancer.

Duste’s Grandparents--only a few years apart--Grandpa Wesley Andrew and Grandma Silvia Jane Eggers

They were the cutest couple. He was wide and strong but turned into a gentle teddy bear with her. Silvia was a delicate womanly woman. She was a wonderful cook and gardener. She had beautiful flowers. They grew bigger and brighter than they I thought possible. Grandpa Andy went out of his way to make sure she had large areas to grow in. He kept busy in their many acres. I don’t know how many times we went out there for weenie roast over a bon fire! He loved to read and always looked up everything he was told by a doctor. Duste has a lot of her grandparent traits. She is always planting flowers, trees and shrubs. Duste always loves to read and when not gardening she has a book to her nose. She is also known to research any diagnoses given by a doctor. She makes me smile.

Aunt--Penny Lynn England (mom’s side)

Aunt Penny was the life of the party in our family. She was upbeat and funny. We always had Aunt Penny around growing up. She was a lot of fun, I enjoyed her company. She died of a broken heart after her father, my grandpa, died. She drank herself to death. Such a sad, sad way to go. We all tried to make her snap out of it but the alcohol took hold and we all lost.


My Grandma Anne England (mom side) is still with us but no one knows for how long. After grandpa passed she has had a hard life. When her youngest daughter died she was never the same. She developed breast cancer and beat it. Now, it is a tumor on her brain, that has shrunk, and ovarian cancer, although she has no ovaries. She does not want any more chemo and the doctors will not operate. We are not sure how much longer we will have her in our lives. This is hard to think about. I hate this.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another step closer to a “Greener” life


Can you believe it, it is already 2011—wow the time went fast!

As 2011 came, Dust and I thought; is there something else we can do to save us money and save the environment?

The answer was YES, of course!



This year's weakness—Paper Towels!! Darn paper towels always being there when I need them! Shame on me, instinctively grabbing for them! A new habit that I need to break!

So, back to http://www.moocowmomma.etsy.com/ I went! I cannot say enough about Barb and how wonderful she and her products are! LOVE her!

Paper Towel Tower

Since we use a lot of paper towels I bought 3 sets (24 towels per set) of Reusable Paper Towels. I knew if I was to put these in a drawer they would never get used so I ask Barb for some advice. She led me to http://www.madeintheredbarn.etsy.com// where they make the cutest Unpaper Towel Dispensers! They sit on your countertop and you just grab one towel at a time from the front of the dispenser. They come in lots of different colors to match any décor. Yay! I love finding new things to make the transition easier! (will post picture of new set up soon!)

A look inside


So, if you are considering small steps to a greener future try going paper towel-less. Going Green is easier tackled if you start with small steps and work your way up-- Maybe just one room at a time even.
I am excited to be a little less depended on Walmart!!
The next weakness to overcome is Sandwich and Freezer bags—stay tuned for that journey!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

This is me….

I am a caregiver. I am opinionated, open, honest, loving, devoted and dedicated.

I was dedicated to a fault. I spent 20 some years dedicated to my family. I have taken care of my sisters, my parents and grandma. When I was taken care of everyone I was not taking care of myself. I was left with a shell of the person I used to be. My soul was crushed. I chose to take a year off; a year away. Some time to collect myself, pick myself back up and start taking care of me. When I took those first steps I felt like a new person. It was a wonderful feeling. I felt alive.

Since I have taken those steps away I rocked the boat. My family does not like to rock the boat no matter what. I had become an outsider. Outside looking in, I decided was not so bad. Soon the phone stopped ringing with cries of save me I've done something stupid again. Soon people realize I was not going to do what they asked. The phone went silent. Silence is freeing, silence gave me a chance to hear myself.

With the silence came resentment. Resentment from my family who do not understand they broke me. I was broke, hurt and felt alone. That phone only rang in the past when people wanted something never just talk to me. I was only wanted because they needed something from me. That hurts. Every time I needed someone no one was there. They would say I cannot help financially so I will not help at all. Sometimes all I needed was a hello, how are you. I got nothing. I was drained.

When I tried to come back, baby steps at first, they tried to suck me back in. Into the drama and back into my role as caregiver. I cannot take care of everyone anymore. It was not only draining me emotionally it was draining me financially. I work just as hard as the next person. I am not making Doctors money. I have to pay my bills too! I feel like a delicate ship being tossed around in the storm barely able to stay afloat with more people trying to climb on. Why does my family want to sink me? Why do I have to take care of people who are capable of taking care of themselves or that are not my responsibility, regardless of what it does to me? I do not want to go down because of my family's mistakes. I cannot carry everyone. I feel like screaming this at the top of my lungs—why don't they understand this?

The past has left me alone, with damaged relationships and a damaged life. I will not let this happen again. Again I walk away. I cannot take this anymore. I will not take this anymore. My life and my relationship means more to me, I mean more to me. My family may not like the decisions I have made but they are mine to make, mine to live with. I choose to live this way. I choose to love who I love, I choose to live on the outside of our family.

My family feels like a fire that is burning hot, so hot it can peel your skin with a single touch. I stepped too close to the fire once again and again I got burned.

I will heal from this burn but I will not heal the same as I was. It will leave a scar; one scar among many. Too many scars to count.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Family

Family is something that either makes you or breaks you it seems. Either you are one of the selected few to have a good or "normal" family or you are one of the many with a screwed up mess. I was not a fortunate one.

Today my middle sister, Amanda, also known as Keaton's mom, got custody of our youngest sister Jayde.

Jayde is 15 and last year was not going down the right path. She was turning into one of those statistics that come out of a messed up home. Jayde was smoking, doing drugs, drinking and even had a pregnancy scare. It is hard to imagine with her being so young, but it was only a matter of time before she turned into one of those girls with that life. I talked to her until I was blue in the face and had nothing else to say. I begged, I pleaded and I cried but nothing helped. It took my sister Amanda taking her in and moving her to a nearby town to really make a difference. Now Jayde is the girl we knew she was really. She is going to school, making good grades and good choices. It looks like she may really turn out not so bad after all! I have to say it was a lot easier winning her over to our side than I thought but I am glad everything has worked out the way it has.

Amanda is an amazing young woman. She is a young mother of a 1 ½ year old and a teenager. She has made changes in Jayde no one else could, including her mother and grandmother.

Grandma has raised me, helped with Amanda and was the only stable support for Jayde. Grandma did her best but with her age and sickness Jayde knew how to play her. She was acting the same at grandmas as she was her mothers with no boundaries, guidance or consequences.

One would think our family would be as happy about this as we are but we get a lot of mixed messages from them. Most of our Aunts are afraid to upset our mother so they stay on her side, right or wrong. It is sad how little our family will stand up for what is right. They all talk a big game but when it comes down to it, their difference of opinion comes out as a mere whimper. I have always been one to stand up for what is right even when I stand alone.

I had to do a lot of sacrificing in my young life to make sure my sisters were cared for and supported. I can tell now it was worth it. Amanda was listening, she was watching and she did care!

I am so thankful to have a sister and friend like Amanda!! I love you Amanda Elizabeth—you are wonderful!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Saving Money with a little help from.......

Products that help Save Money! My favorite thing…..


Bread Making with a Bread Maker
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Since I am always thinking what else can I MAKE instead of BUY, I got a Bread Maker for Christmas!


I have since made two loafs of “County White Bread.” The bread is super yummy, especially when it is still warm! It is easy adding the ingredients but slicing the bread is proving to be difficult. Practice makes perfect I suppose!

Shark Steam and Vac
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This is awesome!! Way better than mopping--the floors are so much cleaner and I read it kills 99.99 % of germs! First I sweep the floor with the shark vacuum then I attach a frame with reusable pad to the bottom (this is magnetized so I just pick up the vac (it is super light) and sit on the frame and the reusable pad attaches to the frame with Velcro) Fill with water (one tank of water does two rooms) flip the switch to steam and off I go!


No more chemicals, no more wet and dry pads to buy over and over again and if people out there still do it the old fashion way, no more buckets!



I am in love!