Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Winter/early spring watering

Wanted to find my earlier blog as a reminder about winter and spring watering in the fabulous state of Colorado, but then remembered; one of the dead ones from myspace. Sigh.

Water your shrubs and trees, people! I know we're enjoying this 60 degree weather, but the trees and shrubs are so thirsty! My rule of thumb is if we have three days of 40 degree weather or warmer during the winter (which happens quite a bit) then water your trees. Brian and I have taken the Home Depot 5 gallon buckets, drilled a small hole in the bottom, filled them up and let them slowly drain out. This way, we know they're getting at least 5 gallons of water, and it's easy to move the buckets when they're empty. It takes a little more time, but if you have more than one bucket, it doesn't take too long!

Most people lose their plants to dehydration more than anything else. We've had a very dry winter, so keep the water coming!


Brian has an interview today and I think I'm more nervous than he is!! It's been a wild ride the past few months and with this interview, it could be the start of change. He's still enjoying working for Janus, but we never know how long that will go...and we're particular about how much salary he makes to cover our expenses. I am more than willing to work more hours (especially since Riordan will be going to school full time starting in the fall) but Brian is trying to carry all of the burden on himself.

In these times, we do what we have to do. Brian has been very good with interviews in the past, and I hope he shines in this one.

Prayers would be GREAT!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

In the 60's

I'm absolutely loving the weather we've been having. All week long it won't dip lower than high 50's. Today we took advantage of it by meeting my friend Lena and her two kids at the park!

All three kids seemed to enjoy themselves. We might have to it again this week!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Sometimes, a mom just wants to hear a thank you once in awhile.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stages of spring

Yesterday was beautiful. I went outside after cleaning my office, and walked around to see any signs of life out in my gardens. Daffodils poking through, hyacinths showing green...it makes my heart flutter because I know spring is just around the corner. One thing that I just adore about bulbs is that you sometimes forget where you planted them year to year, and all of a sudden, there's one in the most unexpected place!

I have major cleanup to do in my gardens. I cut down a few things in the fall, but left everything else up to help with winter cover. I've been putting clean up off because I've been thinking of starting a compost pile, and there would be tons to add to the pile. After talking about it with my father, I still think getting the barrel might be the best idea, but those things aren't cheap!! In the long run, it really does save you money (with my gardens being as big as they are, composting every summer can cost some serious bucks) I think it will be one of my first purchases after I work at Picadilly for a month. I was lucky enough to attend a compost class at the Pro Green expo, so I have a better idea on how to make it work. Now it's just starting the darn thing.

I still haven't finished designing my back yard. I've been looking at all of the plants, but haven't come up with a design that will work. When I buy plants, I look for the ones that will be happy where they are, so there's less upkeep from me. Since I am buying for my back yard, it's taken me longer because I haven't spent as much time back there to see the sun patterns to know how much sunlight each section gets. I know that as soon as we build our deck, I will be spending a lot more time out there, but unless I decide my design, what's the point? There won't be anything to look at!! I do know there is a section of my garden that gets shade from morning to night, and I'm very excited to buy plants that I've never been able to get before. Astilbe, hosta, brunnera. All are plants that I've adored, but never have bought. I also have a million and one columbine that I'm interested in buying. The space isn't big enough for the amount of plants I would like over there. That seems to always be the issue. ;)

After working at Picadilly for two years, I've fallen in love with a lot of shrubs because they have such interesting foliage. When buying shrubs, the good thing about them is they are a bit more resiliant and aren't as picky where you place them. Decisions, decisions!!

It's been fun talking about gardening with my father again. He is the one that got me interested in perennials in the first place. He thinks he'll actually have time to tend his gardens this year, and is happily circling plants he's interested in. If a gardener surrounds him or herself with other gardeners, they know they'll never be without choices in flowers, because there's always a time where that gardener needs to cut and divide their plants. So, dad and I are talking about what we have and what we want for later years to swap.

Ahh, I cannot wait to feel the soil in my hands.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

3rd round chemo

Today I spent the day at the Front Range Cancer Center hanging with mom, Aunt Marsha and dad for 6 hours. We're half way done. Only 3 more to go of the heavy chemo, and then 16 more Avastin treatments (if she's getting Avastin...we're still not sure).

Things went much better this time; she had taken a Percocet and had no pain in her legs. I have to say that I'm on pins and needles because I still am not sure mom will continue with the heavy amounts of Taxol in her body. I keep waiting for her to say, "enough is enough" and ask to lower the dosage and we know it's working because her CA 125 counts were in the 40's compared to the hundreds!! Great news!! I know it is her decision and will support her no matter what, but I want the chemo to kill the "son's of bitches" and quickly.

Mom has another Cat Scan coming up and I can tell she's afraid they'll find more cancer. The last one she had was when they found the fluid in her lungs with cancerous cells, so I can't say I blame her for worrying. I just pray that it will go fine and they don't find anything. She needs some good news...to see the chemo is worth the hell that it brings.


Mom and dad came over on Monday because I went to the airport to pick up Aunt Marsha, and mom wanted to meet her with me. Mom was wearing a wig. She looked good, but I could tell she wasn't comfortable. Before she left, I told her that I wanted to see her au natural. She took the wig off and looked at me expectantly. I have heard that losing your hair during the chemo can be the most traumatic thing of all, and I couldn't imagine it, so I steadied myself for the worst. But when I saw the small, fuzzy head, the two words I thought of were survivor and hero. I did not cry. I held her and told her she was beautiful.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Taking care

I've been dealing with back pain on and off for about a year. Certain ways I move will move me to tears. More of a sharp, stabbing pain, and then would go away. Now, it's hurting all of the time, and makes it nearly impossible to bend down to get anything.

My friend told me that I'm really good at taking care of my kids, but am crappy at taking care of myself. I agreed and then went to the Chiropractor today. It's not that great of news. I've got several discs turned, and she needs to adjust me 3 times a week for awhile. I have to have this taken care of before I start back at Picadilly, so I'm feeling a severe time crunch. I shouldn't have let it go as long as I did. The doctor also saw the early signs of arthritis in my back which scares me. I rely on my back for too many things, and can't have chronic pain!!

The doctor also saw "vein like things" in my lungs when she took an xray and she has no idea what they are, so she sent my xrays to be examined. This freaks me out on a whole other level.

I'm hoping it's nothing, but with cancer all around me, it is, of course, the thing I worry about the most.

Anyway, my back felt great for the first 5 hours of adjusting, so hopefully, it will only get better. She also said that because of certain nerves being pressed down, this could explain my severe cramps and headaches. I might...MIGHT be a new woman after all of this is over. I can only hope!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The past

Joining facebook has been interesting. As soon as I added my maiden name, I've suddenly been in touch with a ton of people that I grew up with both in Kansas and here in CO. I love the recent contact because I'm nosy and want to see how everyone is doing, plus it's just great to reconnect with old friends. However, it's making me think of old high school days and I just didn't really enjoy high school all that much.

Thinking back, I'm not sure WHY I didn't enjoy it. I think my freshman year was great. I was best friends with Anne and we did everything together. Then, our Sophmore year (I think?? It's a blur) is when Anne and I moved our separate ways and I had to find out who I was. This is impossible to do when you are in high school. Who was I? I was a very hyper person who thought high school "titles" were ridiculous. This was mostly because I didn't fit in to any of the titles that were labeled. Not a jock. Not a nerd. Not a stoner. Not a freak. I was just normal...trying to live my life with a smile on my face. So, to combat or rebel against labels, I was an acquaintance with a lot of people from all said groups. It seemed to work, I had many friends, but I was still trying to figure out who I was. There was never a time that I "fit in" anywhere. I think a lot of it was by choice because I still was hurt losing the friend that I loved so dearly, and never knew why the friendship dissolved. I believe I didn't want to get that close to anyone again because I knew high school wasn't permanent, that whomever I became friends with would be temporary...only a few more years. So, I hung out with Carrie, and then hung out with Amy, and then hung out with no one. I've always been the type of person to have one really great friend, and let the rest stay just a tad out of reach.

Did I hate highschool? No. I just know it isn't something that I'd want to do again. I don't think of it, I hardly even remember it.

I found myself when I found my husband. A few years later. I've always been a late bloomer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eye opening

I stumbled over a writing that my husband wrote in a blog. Yeah, a blog. He never told me he had a blog (probably because there were only three entries...but I digress).

I'm making this public not to humiliate (NEVER THAT!!) but to prove that what I say is what I mean. You know I never lie.

Yeah, he's stubborn. Yeah, he's got an attitude. Yeah, he's got a big mouth. However, he's sweet, and kind and loving and looks up to you for everything. You are his dad. You are who he needs acceptance from and a biting remark can dwindle him to nothing. He acts defensive not because that is who he is, but that is how he deals.

Love him for WHO HE IS, even though he is just like you. You may never learn to love yourself, but love the best of him, because that is the best of you.

Be proud of him. He is good.

Couch pics for Lena

Sorry, girl, I've been busy. Here are the pics! These are the first new couches Brian and I have ever owned. We've been fortunate to have my mom and dad give us their old one's for 14 years. It's a HUGE deal for us to be able to buy some for ourselves. We went with leather in hopes to keep the dog and cat hair down for the boys. I've already seen how much hair is left when the cat lays on the couches!! It's incredible. The next step is to get hardwood floors, but that won't be for awhile. We have two animal loving kids that both are allergic. It was important for us to keep the animals, and find a way to make it work!!

I would also like to post the pic of the boys' bathtub before the horrendous cleaning I had to do. With a bad back, it took 30 minutes to clean!!!! Brian said that even HE noticed it was getting dirty...so it was BAD. HOW DOES IT GET SO BAD?!??!?!?! Better yet...how do they get so dirty? It's winter! They're playing inside. It's not like they're getting sweaty and dirty playing in the dirt! Notice the perfect rectangle that was left after I removed the non-slip mat that goes into the bathtub! Ha ha!

This weekend will be busy for all of us. I am so happy to report that my in-laws will finally be moving into their new, rebuilt home a little more than a year after the fire. The house is beautiful. Stupendous. I told my MIL that her house is too sexy for her and she needed to get slippers with rhinestones on them for day to day lounging!! I'm very excited for the both of them. Congrats on the new home!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I've been thinking lately about family and the overwhelming urge to keep them safe and happy. I am, by some fault, a people pleasing person. If those around me are not happy, I am not happy. So, I go out of my way to try to make things good for everyone. I see this trait in two of my son's, too. If they feel I'm down, I can tell that they drag, too.

With the things that are happening in my life, I have to reign in this feeling of protectiveness. As a friend, and sister, or daughter, or wife, or mother, all I can do is listen and offer advice on how I would deal with something. I tend to give more advice than maybe I should, but I still listen, still validate, still care more than most.

Cancer, financial problems, bullies. All of these things are problems that I cannot fix for people. I certaintly cannot put myself in my mother's shoes at this time. I was talking to my father last night (chatting on facebook, believe it or not!!) and we talked of the fear of dying. For the longest time, I was hearing the ticking clock of time going by and then talked to my friend Nikki who's mother also has stage 4 ovarian cancer. She said that she is not going to live her life waiting for her mom to die. She said it with such conviction...it moved me. I had a choice that I could make. Hang on to death, or embrace life. I am embracing her life. This doesn't mean that I don't fear the death of mother, I just refuse to think it will happen anytime soon. She is a survivor. She made a comment to me that she's sorry that I've been put in the situation to constantly lift her up. I told her that after 33 years of her doing the same for me, I think it's about time I could do it for her. If her spirits are lifted, then I feel better, too. I know that I cannot take the cancer away, but I can encourage her to keep fighting, to make it through one more day, and to help her see the light at the end of the tunnel that shines so brightly for me.

As for the other two things. I've lived through it and can only offer my advice on how I handled things. The people that I talk to have the choice to listen and then act how they feel is the correct way. I have to understand that it is their lives, their decisions that reflect on them...and in no way reflect on anyone else. I cannot make things better for them. I have to get out of the "fix it" mode or it will drive me crazy. Sometimes, I want to bang my head against the wall because I see these people making the same mistakes over and over again, but again, this has nothing to do with me.

At what point do we disengage ourselves from the situation? Why do I feel as if I need to know all that is going on? Am I just naturally nosy, or is it the need to protect?