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 d├ęcor. 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!