Sunday, August 30, 2009


Well, I went to orientation for grad school. A little overwhelming, they handed out the syllabi and I already have homework due next week....Uuuugggg!!

All of the professors seem really helpful though, so that's good. I thought there would be more students around my age but most of them are in their 20's, there is a couple in their 30's and only one older than me. There are 28 of us in the MSW program. The computers were screwed up and people couldn't register, luckily, I had already registered from home.

The only problem I had while I was over there, was the place I was staying. The owner of the home was out of town and her niece (she's about 20) is staying there as well. She comes home late and has people over into all hours of the night. I have only met her twice and she has lived there for the past year. I don't know if she brings people over that late when the owner of the home is there, but on the second night I was there I had gone to be at 10:15 thinking I was in for a good nights rest.......NOT..... the girl cam home a 11:45 with friends, they proceeded to run in and out the front door, then went downstairs and put in a movie, laughing and talking.....they were right below the bedroom I was staying in and of course I could not go back to sleep. Finally at 1:20 am I got on my computer and found a motel to go to. I packed my stuff up and left. This coming week the owner of the home will not be home yet so I think I will book a motel room for the night. I'll have to talk with the owner and see if the niece does this often, because if that is the case, I'll need to find a different place to stay. I'm an old student and need my rest in order to function properly!

Well, I guess I better get busy and start studying my books, before I go to work!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wishing there was more time to each day!

I took up quilting about nine years ago. I can't believe some of the things that people make, I am no where near as good as a lot of quilters items I have seen, but I try. Here is one of my first quilts that I made my grandson.


I actually finished a queen size quilt for my sister, my husband wasn't very happy with me that I gave it away. I picked out fishing fabric because my sister likes to fish, so I decided to make it for her. I have to admit it did turn our pretty nice! It's one of those mystery quilts.

This moose is my most recent project, which I still have not finished quilting yet. This one is for our future log home.
I hope to be able to get some more made during my breaks from school, but we'll see. My granddaughter is still waiting for her horse quilt she requested some time ago. I bought the material, but it is still sitting downstairs in my sewing room waiting to be cut and sewn.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Playing in between work

We went to the lake and had some fun for a couple of days. Stayed in a really cute cabin, Flathead is so clear. This is a picture of our friends grandson, he's so cute!

Here is a view from the front of the cabin out to the dock. Our friends grandkids stayed in the Teepee tent.

On the way home we were going through town and this buck was helping himself to someones apple trees in their front yard.

And today we took the dogs to the river and went kayaking. Check out their little life jackets!

And now I must go to work to pay for this adventure called life!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Where is summer?

The last couple of days have been in the 60's here, where is our summer? I am sitting here wrapped in a quilt freezing my butt off. It's 57 degrees in the house but I don't want to turn the heat on because I think it is supposed to warm up in a few days. I talked with my daughter this morning and told her it was about 53 degrees outside, she said it was a little warmer where she is, but still not summer temps. I guess it doesn't matter much since I have to work today anyway, but still!

It's after 12:00 pm and I just looked at the temp on the back deck, it says 63. I am used to having anywhere from a few days, to a week or so in the 100's here during the month of August. This summer is quite different. My oldest daughter and her husband went floating and camping, I hope they are staying warm. Fall is definitely in the air; I do love fall, but I'd like to have a little heat before it sets in! Tomorrow we are going to meet some friends at a lake house on Flathead lake, I hope we have some good weather while we're there, but it will still be a good time being in a beautiful place with good company. We're going to stop on the way and look at some floor plans for our future retirement log home.

We found a great deal on a log home, but it is much larger than we want. I would like to down size, not upgrade to a larger home. We'll see how that goes. I want to pick a floor plan so we can take some numbers to the bank and see if we can get a construction loan. I think now is the time to build while prices are lower. I think the economy will be picking up and prices will start to rise again. I want a little log home for a get away now, but also big enough to accommodate us when we want to move there in the future.

We will also be stopping to check in with the person who is putting me up on Thursday nights while I am attending school 2 1/2 hours away. She happens to be my ex sister-in-laws Aunt who also used to date my father back in the 70's. Pretty funny; she's a great lady. The grad program I am attending is on Thursdays and Fridays, so she is willing to give me a room so I only have to drive over once a week.

Hubby wants to fly to the places we are going the next couple of days, but I'm not sure I want to. I am such a chicken; not much for small planes, I guess I better get used to it since the hubby is building a plane in our garage and our future home is on a private air strip! It's the weather that scares me, anything can come up quick and we have been getting a lot of bad, windy weather lately.

Here's a picture of a plane landing (or taking off, hubby took the pic) where we are planning on building our log home.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I thought I was pretty smart; until I took the GRE!

I must say thanks to Missy for the award. that was really great! So, THANKS Missy!
Well I am all registered for my classes and financial aid has come through again. However, I am not looking forward to paying back the $60,000 after I finish my Masters degree. I guess that's the price you pay for getting an education, huh?! It will be well worth it though, as long as I can get a good stable job when the time comes. Two more years of studying and then taking the test to become a licensed social worker. I don't know how I ever got through the GRE test to get into grad school!

The GRE (graduate record examination) has been dropped by many universities, but of course not the one I wanted to attend! Have you ever looked at some of the questions for this exam? I didn't know there were so many words that I didn't know! For example.....adumbrate, abjure, animadversion, aplomb, circumlocution, comestible, deleterious, any of you know what these words mean? I sure didn't and there are many, many more that I never even knew existed! (I have added a link on the side for if you want to get the definition of these words) I had just had 4 years of college and I felt dumber than a box of rocks when I started studying for the GRE......Uuhhgg!

I did not do well on the exam, but I was not going to pay the money to take it again. I certainly didn't want to study for it again. My daughter and one of my former professors told me not to worry about it because it didn't matter.....and they were right, because I still was accepted to grad school.

So if any of you want to go check out the GRE and take a practice test, just look it up on the Internet and try it!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

He didn't think I'd do it......but I did!

Ok, this is a story from our much younger years. The year was 1983. My husband was in the Navy and we went to many parties during those years. This party happened to be at a lake that was about 85 miles from where we lived. My husband liked Tequila and he and his buddies threw back quite a few that day. I was the designated driver. So...on the way home from the lake, my husband decided to be funny and pulled the emergency break up on me while I was going down the highway.....when I regained control of the car, I told him if he did that again I was going to kick him out of the car and he would have to walk home, we had 75 miles to go. All I could think about was what if he killed us by doing that, we had 2 small children at the time and that's what I was concerned about (the kids were at a babysitter that day) Well......he did it again and when I got control of the car this time, I pulled over, reached across him to open his door and said "get the "F" out of the car!" He did, bare foot, with no wallet, in shorts and a tank top.......I left and drove home to Idaho Falls. I figured he'd get a ride from someone else that had left the lake.

He had to hitch hike and first rode on a catamaran that was on a trailer, that guy only took him to Pocatello, then he hitched with a guy who drove a truck with chickens in it, my husband rode in the back with the chickens to Blackfoot. That guy tossed him a dime to make a call (phone calls were only 10 cents back then!). So my hubby called a friend to come and get him, our friend did and he was fine. I called our friend to make sure that my hubby was with him and made it to Idaho Falls alright. Our friend brought my hubby home the next morning. Hubby said he didn't think I would leave him out there, he thought I would just go down a couple of miles and then come back and get him.

A few years down the line we were stationed in California and went to a military Christmas party and of course, I was driving home and my husband was drunk. He started messing with me again and I said "I can pull over now and leave you on the side of the rode, or you can stop doing what you are doing" my hubby laid the seat back and I didn't hear a peep out of him the rest of the way home! He learned his lesson.......I follow through with what I say!!

Ya gotta teach them right from the get go that you're not going to put up with stuff like that, especially when you have children to think about!

Isn't it amazing we are still together?! I do love him very much and I don't know what I'd do without him and.......he hasn't had a drink in 15 years!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Thanks for you thoughts and prayers for my friend on her mammogram results. Everything is good. They saw calcification on one side and dense tissue on the other.'s all good. She said she broke down after she was told, just from the relief of it all. Thank God everything turned out ok. :)

Friend awaiting mammo results

I have a friend up in Alaska that I knew in high school. We have been out of touch for about 30 years and have recently been reunited. We talk almost everyday and she sends my son packages to Afghanistan which are full of all kinds of goodies; movies, canned salmon, jerky, books, magazines, etc. She has never even met my son, but she says she feels responsible for him because it was at her birthday party back in high school that my husband and I first started dating. She is so sweet. My son loves the stuff she sends!

Last week my friend told me that she went and had a mammogram and they wouldn't give her the results. She had to make another appointment to go in and get the results. That appointment is today, I just sent her an e-mail that I am thinking about her and saying a few prayers for her. My friend said the last week has been hell, she breaks down and cries at any moment; at work and one night when her and her husband went out for dinner. I told her to try and stay positive and that it is fear of the unknown that is taking over her emotions, she agreed. Her mom has been staying with her through the summer and she hasn't said anything to her because she doesn't want to worry her mom just in case it is nothing. Which I can understand, but at the same time, I know if it were one of my daughters I would want to know to be able to give her the support she needs at the time.

I just thought I would share and ask for prayers to be sent to Alaska for my wonderful friend and I will keep you posted when I here how her appointment went. Thanks a bunch!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Did your mom used to cut your bangs?

My sister and I were just reminiscing about when our mom used to cut our hair. We were left with not much for bangs, mom should have just cut them completely off, since there wasn't ever much left anyway!! I was always left with a dutch cut, do you remember the Dutch cuts? (I'm the toe head in the black and white crushed velvet dress in the front row.)
My poor sister, there just wasn't much left of her bangs when mom was done!

God love my mom, she was just keeping up with the "Jones's" I guess! It's funny to look back at old pictures of me and my sister, but if you look at the one I posted, my mom doesn't have much for bangs either!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

High School Reunions

As I came out of the bedroom this morning, my husband was sitting on the couch surfing the Internet. He started singing.....Hhhaaaappyyy Bbiiirrrttthhhdddaaayy Mr. President (in Marilyn Monroe voice). I started laughing and thought....can you imagine being the President?

My husband and President Obama are the same age.....they graduated 30 years ago. My husband said.....No Thanks, he would not want to be the this leads me to.....This weekend is my husbands 30 year reunion. We are only a 4 hour drive from where he graduated, but he has to work this weekend. He works at a dam and they do their annual maintenance in August of every year. They work long, hard hours for a couple of weeks straight, so we will not be attending his reunion.

Where do the years go, it seems every year goes by faster. I went to my ten year reunion, but will not go to another one. I am still friends with the people who were close to me and we still keep in touch. My Aunt, who is 70, goes to every one of her reunions and has a blast, maybe things were different for people in earlier years, I don't know. She graduated from the same high school as me and my husband, so what is so different?

I hung out with the people a year ahead of me, so I wouldn't mind going to their 30 reunion next year....we'll see.

How do the rest of you feel about high school reunions? Please share! Thanks!

Here's a couple of pictures of me and my hubby during high school....1979.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Change in work status

Well, I had to make in important decision concerning work. I felt my being the Program Manager wasn't going to be a good thing while commuting every week to earn my Master's degree. So, I wrote a letter of resignation from my Manager position and asked to stay on as a Program Coordinator. It is a step down, but would allow me the freedom to be done with work when I left the building instead of continuing to work from home as well; not to mention always being on call, which I get 2 to 3 of every time I try to take a day off!

August 27, I will begin my pursuit to school, while at the same time take on the title of Program Coordinator. I saw the ad in the newspaper yesterday for the Manager job, they upped the hours for the new manager to 30, I was only offered 20, but shortly afterward they offered me 25.5. The job really should be full time at 40 hours, but until a BIG grant comes in, it won't be 40. This will also allow me to get a paid internship, which will be nice.

I keep telling myself I did the right thing because school should be my number one priority and I want the place to have a manager who will be available to the staff. We will see who we get for a new manager, so that I can take a break from those responsibilities and hand them over.

Sorry I haven't written in a while, but I was facing this dilemma of work and school and had to take time to write up a good letter to send my boss. Thanks for all of your support!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How do I help my friend?

My friend called this morning and asked for my advise, or as she put it my "professional opinion." But the problem is....I don't know what to tell her.

Her husband is a binge drinker, he has been to rehab twice, he's also had counseling, but nothing has worked. She said that he has been drunk for the past week. He starts with wine, works up to the hard stuff and then when he comes down he drinks beer. She said he was starting to come down with beer yesterday, but he gets so he's throwing up and is so ill that he starts to drink again. Today he was back at it.

I told her that we could try an intervention, she didn't think it would work. So I told her she needed to to get some help for her own sanity. I even told her I would go to an ALANON meeting with her, she said she went to one a long time ago and has never gone back. I told her she needed to dump all of the booze out every time he bought it, but she won't do that.

They are retired, but my husband and I are not, we have to work all the time and are not always available for them. I wanted to go help her when she called but I have to go to work and facilitate a staff/safety meeting, so I couldn't go give her the support she needed.

The only thing I know to do is find out the next ALANON meeting and take her to it when I am off, maybe she can learn how to help him and quit enabling him.

Please give me some advice on how I can help her, thanks.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another unexpected visitor.

The sun was shining again this morning when we got up. The cat was meow'n at the back door, when I put some soft food out for her I saw that she had already eat'n and put the leftovers by the door. Callie is her name and she hunts mice, gofers and rabbits. This morning it looked like she just had a mouse, she eats them whole but leaves the guts by the door.....YUCK!

As I am tending to Callie at the back door, I hear Daisy Mae barking at something in the front yard. I looked out the window and saw that no one was driving up, but there was our friendly little buck coming for a visit. Daisy thinks she is being a good watch dog, but the deer could care less that a little dog is telling him to move on!

Well the deer did slowly move along and Daisy felt good about herself, she came trotting back to the house with her chest held high, knowing that she protected us from the wild animals once again!
Having a deer visit, is much more pleasant than having a cow, even if it is a calf!
Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where's Honey?

Yesterday morning was nice and sunny and warm, but yesterday afternoon was a different story, dark clouds started rolling in. It's kinda nice though, because it cools things down a bit (we don't have air conditioning).

I was running around trying to get ready for work, but I couldn't find one of my dogs (Honey). I was looking all over the house wondering if maybe she went downstairs, because it's cooler down there, or if I had let her out before my shower and she never came back in. I couldn't remember if she came in with Daisy Mae or not. So, I went in the bathroom to finish my routine of getting ready and low-and-behold there she was, tucked in behind the toilet!

I didn't realize that with the rolling dark clouds, there was also thunder and lightning, Honey absolutely does not like the thunder and goes and hides. Poor baby, and I had to go to work and leave the two dogs home alone. It turned out that they were only alone for 45 minutes before my hubby got home though. I bet Honey was happy to see him come home!!
Why is it that some animals are so afraid of thunder? Honey trembles and hides every time she hears thunder, or anything that resembles it. It looks like we are going to have the same situation today....Uh Oh!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Suprise visitor!

Had a nice morning, hubby made coffee and we sat out on the back deck to enjoy the beautiful day. I sat for a few moments listening to a calf bellow for his mommy......I was looking for the calf and realized that the bellowing was coming from inside our fence and we don't own any cows! My husband and I jumped up to see what we needed to do to get him off of our land and back on his own. Then we thought....there's no hurry.

Hubby said "oh, he's not hurting anything at the moment, lets just sit and enjoy our coffee for a while longer and then we will tend to him." So we both sat back down and continued to eat some cherries and drink our coffee. All of the sudden we heard the creaking and mangling of barbed wire fence and the pitter patter of mean, clomping hooves of a young bull, running to his mommy! The young bull couldn't take being away from the herd any longer I guess. So now we get to do some fence repair to make sure he stays on his own side.
(Oh, and obviously we need to get busy and stain our deck as well!!)

Thanks for visiting, have a great day!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Small town teachers

I spent the other day with my middle daughter who got the English teaching job in a small town. She and I drove up to see her classroom and meet the people she will be working with. They are all so wonderful. The school has teacher housing, so my daughter will be living in a two bedroom apartment with her husband and daughter, for $200 a month.....can't beat that!! My daughter said at that rate they will be able to set aside money to buy a house in the near future.

My granddaugther will be starting kindergarten and will get out a bit before my daughter finishes teaching. The principal told my daughter that my granddaughter can come to her classroom and stay with her until she is done teaching.......there's something to be said for small towns........they don't have all the rules of the larger towns!!

They are all excited to get moved and start school and I am excited for them. My daughter is beginning her career and doing exactly what she set out to do. She wanted to be a teacher in a small town just like where she grew up. I thank all of the great teachers in her life who were such a good influence on her.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What would you have done?

My hubby belongs to a flying club, it's where they pay dues to belong to a club that has planes that the pilots can rent to fly. This past weekend one of the members rented one of the planes and flew out of town to pick up his sister, which went without incident.......until......They returned back to the town in which he rented the plane, his sister got out to go into the building to use the bathroom taking his cell phone with her.

He refueled the plane before he returned it to the hanger, as he got back in to restart the plane, he ended up flooding it. He kept trying to start it and it created a spark and started on fire. I guess when it does that you are supposed to crank it again to suck the flame back up and everything will be ok. Well.....he did not do this. He just let it flame. Beside the pilot seat is a fire extinquisher, this guy got out of the plane, without the fire extinquisher and proceeded to the building where his sister had his cell phone. As he walked.....he passed a second fire extinguisher, failing to use this one as well. The pilot went into the building to retrieve his cell phone from his sister.

Meanwhile...........another pilot in another building sees the smoke and flames, grabs a fire extinguisher, runs out to the flaming plane and puts the fire out. Now, mind you while all of this is going on, the pilot who caused the fire is returning back to the plane and still has not used his cell phone to call anyone! This is a seasoned pilot, who oviously has no clue how to react in an emergency situation.......I don't think I would EVER fly with this guy!!

What would you have done? Do you think you would have had enough sense to grab the fire extinquisher next to you in the plane and stop the fire before it got out of hand? (this is a small 4 passenger plane).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Favorite Picture

Ok, here is my favorite picture. This is a picture of my middle daughter and my son the day we brought my son home from the it would have been September 4, 1985.

It is the most beautiful picture of love and peaceful curiosity, This picture displays a closeness between brother and sister, a big sister that will look after and care for her little brother....right?.......WRONG!

These two kids fought more than any other siblings I have ever seen. Big sister would get mad at little brother and use her fingernails as weapons......he would yell and scream.....his arm would be bleeding and out would come the clippers, I would make sister cut her nails short! I cannot count how many times this happened during the course of their childhood.

When my oldest daughter was 15, she was babysitting a friends baby, as well as watching little sister and brother. I received a call at work from my oldest telling me that little brother and sister were fighting, little brother was running away from sister and ran out into the garage, with sisiter running after him. Little brother turned around and tried to come back in the house when sister slammed the door on him, this is a steal clad entry door. Yes, what you are thinking is right......his finger was in the door......smashed, broke and bleeding.

My oldest just got her drivers license and loaded them all up in the car and took them to the doctors office and I met them there. When I walked in, middle sister was in the waiting room, head down and crying......she was very sorry for what had transpired.

Little brother ended up with his finger broken in two places, 14 stitches to put it back together and the finger nail was missing. Sister was sorry, but this did not stop the fighting; however, we never ended up at the doctors office again.

But now that they are grown.......they are the best of friends!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting Out

Well, sorry I was absent for a couple of days, but I went out kayaking with the fam! We had a great weekend; met my oldest daughter, her husband and two of their friends to have a little fun on the river. The temp. was in the 90's, so gotta get out on the water and cool off!

My daughter and her husband have a canoe and their friends were on inner tubes. When we got hot, we'd jump in and ride along the current. We used to go floating a lot when the kids were young, it's free and fun (as long as you have the gear, or know someone who will share!).
I love the sound of the birds and watching the deer come down for a drink. We saw bald eagles and young eagles without the white heads, as well as an otter swiming across to the other side of the river. One of the bald eagles swooped down in front of us and scooped up a fish, you can see him eating it in the tree in one of the pictures.
AAAhhhh, spending time with family in God's country, what could be better?!
Hope you all are having a great day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Proud Mom!

(Oldest daughter on left, middle daughter on the upper right and son on lower right.)
I got a phone call from my middle daughter yesterday, she and my granddaughter were to live with my hubby and I for fall semester while she did her student teaching. However........she got a teaching job!! She will be able to do her student teaching while she is the teacher, YAY!!!! Now she has to come up with an English curriculum, find a place to live and move all in a month, but she's eager to get started.

For starting motherhood at the age of 16 (almost 17), I think my husband and I did pretty damn good at raising our children! Our oldest daughter has her masters in accounting and is a certified public accountant (CPA), now our middle daughter is an English teacher and our son is in the Army serving in Afghanistan. We are very proud of our children and their accomplishments, they are an inspiration to me!

My children often tell me that they felt we were a close family and spent quality time together. Our kitchen and living room are upstairs, we did not have a TV upstairs, only downstairs. Meals were spent together and we spent a lot of time communicating with each other in the living room.

We had 1 computer and it was in the corner of the living room. We did not allow TV's or computers in the kids' rooms. Thank God cell phone's were not that popular when my kids were young, so we didn't have to deal with that dilemma.

We didn't have a lot of money so we came up with different ways to do things that cost money. My husband and I volunteered with the ski patrol so that our whole family could get season passes for $10.00. We went skiing every weekend and my oldest daughter ended up teaching ski wees on Saturday mornings when she was in high school and as she moved on to college she taught disabled kids to ski.

We live 7 miles from a big lake, so we spent a lot of time boating, camping, water skiing, and knee boarding. My hubby and I also went to almost all of our children's school activities, I usually worked part time so I was able to go and my husbands job allowed him to leave for school programs and return to work if needed (he was very fortunate).
Maybe it's the laid back Montana life that allowed for our type of living, but we were very fortunate to be able to spend quality time as a family and I believe our children benefited from that time together (so did me and my hubby!). I guess I should give my kids some credit also....they all were really good and didn't give us much trouble!

So anyway......I'm a very proud mom!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grandkid Withdrawals!

For all of you grandparents out there, you know what I am talking about. A grandparent can only go so long without seeing their grandkids before feeling to pangs of grandchild withdrawals! I am currently suffering from these pangs. I haven't seen two of my grandchildren for over a month, I did see my youngest granddaughter (picture on the left) on July 4th, but only for a few hours and that didn't do it for me.

My hubby just saw our two eldest grandkids (right) just 3 days ago. They all met in Idaho and had dinner together. My granddaughter told Bumpa (my husband) to "tell Nana (me) that I miss her." That filled my heart with warmth, but caused my withdrawals to peak again. They were on their way to their other grandparents house for a week. They will have a lot of fun I am sure. They were going to the Oregon coast to camp and do all kinds of memorable things. The kids are never bored when they visit them. That grandma and grandpa are always on the go!

When we have the grandkids we try and go camping, or kayaking if the weather is good, but if it's not, we make goodies, play games or put puzzles together. There's nothing like spending time with grandkids. As soon as all of mine return to Montana, I'm going to have to visit them to get my fix! They are angles sent from heaven and I cherish every moment I have with them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Great day today, hubby's home from WA and I have the day off. He missed me going with him to the fly-in and I wished I could have gone as well. I have found that I really enjoy traveling with my hubby. We used to travel a lot when the kids were little, but it was always to go visit family, so it wasn't really a relaxing, fun trip.The first time I realized how fun it was to travel with just my husband and no children was when our son graduated from boot camp from Fort Leonardwood, Missouri and we went down to watch. We got a late start on the day we left because my hubby had to work. We only made it across the border of Wyoming to Lake DeSmet, we camped at the reservoir. The next day we drove to Sturgis motorcycle rally, took time to walk around the shops, had a great Greek sandwich and saw the remnants of what looked like a good party the night before!

The next stop was Mount Rushmore; that was neat to see. We drove on to Mitchell South Dakota, stopping at the famous Wall Drug along the way. We stayed at a motel in Mitchell and the next morning we spent some time in Cabela’s before driving on to Missouri. If you think you are going to take some side roads to cut off some time in Missouri…….you are highly mistaken. That was our plan and it failed miserably! The side roads are twisty curvy and slow. The roads are single lane each way and soooo sloooow, they seem to go on forever!

When the day turned to dusk, we began to hear a loud, constant, high pitched screeching noise. My husband thought something was wrong with the car. I rolled my window down and told him that I believed the sound was coming from outside, not our car. We found a nice campground to stay at for the night and the camp hosts told us that the annoying noise was Cicada (not sure of the spelling) bugs, eeewww! However, I did like the fire flies that were flying around when we pitched our tent. As we lay in our tent trying to go to sleep with the Cicada bugs making their awful noise, all of the sudden the sound stopped. I assume that when the air reaches a certain temperature they quit, I don’t know if I am correct or not, but that’s my guess. It was so nice to be able to go to sleep in the peace and quite, finally! Even though I didn’t like the Cicada bugs, I liked being able to experience something totally different than where we are from.

We got up the next day and made it to Fort Leonardwood, we stayed in a motel room, spending the next few days visiting our son and watching his graduation. The Army sure keeps their hair short in boot camp, our son was practically bald. It was sure great to see him! He earned an additional award, we were/are so proud of him.

After his graduation we started back home, staying in Kansas City for a couple of days, just messing around and of course visiting their Cabela’s. We went down by the tracks and ate at Bryant’s BBQ, it was soooo gooood! If you go to Kansas City, you have to go there and eat (at the real one down by the tracks).

The rest of the trip we stopped and visited various quilt stores, ANOTHER Cabela’s store and camped one more night before returning home. The trip was really nice, we’ve gone on a couple more since then and I look forward to many, many more.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lifes Struggles....We all have them.

Here I am again this morning with my dogs sipping coffee. I have to go to work again this afternoon, I don't like this swing shift business. I'm over my hours anyway, depending on how the day goes, perhaps I can leave the place in my coordinators hands and come home early. I am thankful I even have a job.

After I finished my degree in December, I could not find a job. I was applying for full time and saw this job, but it was only 20 hours a week so I didn't apply. However, after 2 1/2 months of not landing a job, I figured I better quit being so picky, so I applied and it was offered to me.

It turned out to be a good thing that I got a part time job since I was also accepted to the Masters program. They did give me 5 1/2 more hours so now I work 25 1/2. I live in a small town, travel about 38 miles to the town where I work and will be commuting 2 1/2 hours (one way) to another town where I will go to school. The next two years are going to be a challenge, but others have done it, so I can too!

It will be worth it in the end. Right now my hours at work are swing shift, Wed. through Sunday, but I have to go in on either Mondays or Tuesdays (sometimes both) for meetings, so then I end up having to shave some hours off on the other days, which is great if I can do it.

I do really love the people I work with. I work at a consumer-run, consumer-driven (consumer, meaning anyone who has had experience with mental illness or substance abuse) Drop-In Center for people who are in recovery of either a mental illness or substance abuse. It's just a place for people to come and play games, read, knit, play the piano, or just come to have a cup of coffee and talk with peers. We are open to the public, so anyone can come and join us.

They call me a secondary consumer, meaning that my husband was the one who suffered from substance abuse and I was the one who experienced it with him and got him the help he needed, as well as supported him through it. I talked about having ups and downs through our marriage, that was one of the downs. That was 15 years ago, he's been sober ever since.

My husband was trying to quit drinking, but couldn't. He became depressed and suicidal. The doctor put him on antidepressants, I guess not knowing that he was an alcoholic, but that ended up being a bad combination. He eventually just quit going to work. I contacted his boss and explained what was going on and he said that my husaband has 6 weeks of vacation on the books so just to take the time to get him better. He said there was counselors and financial advisors at his job that could help us if I needed it, he was wonderful.

Long story husband ended up in a state where I could not help him. I asked him if he would let me take him to the hospital mental ward, he just walked out the door. I told him if he walked out the door, I was going to call the sheriff to come and take him (the sheriff was a personal friend and had already been involved, he was afraid that my husband was going to take his own life, as I was), so I called the sheriff and he took my husband to the hospital. Needless to say, my husband and his whole family was not happy with me. But I have big shoulders, I could take it and I knew that if I didn't do something, the outcome wasn't looking good. I got my hubby where he needed to be and the rest was up to him, he received the counseling he needed and stayed in counseling for over a year. He was only in the hospital for 3 days, but the group counseling he recieved while he was there, really opened his eyes. He tried AA but didn't like it, he came back home and it was a long struggle, but he overcame it all.

My life experiences put me on the path toward earning my degree in Health and Human Development and now, toward my Masters in Social Work. I believe the experiences we go through in life shape the person we become. There is hope for everyone to overcome what they are struggling with, recovery can be achieved, it's not linear by any means, but it can be achieved.

We all face our own struggles in life and work toward recovery. I am fortunate to work in a place where everyone is accepted no matter what their struggle/story is and as we support and empower each other......there is hope. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's time for me!

Well, the walk worked. The girls (dogs) slept all night without getting up, it was so nice to be able to sleep all night without any interruptions! It's amazing what a little fresh air will do for you.

Ok, on to the next thought........I was just thinking about how when you're first married, it's so exciting and you think you can never be without him. My hubby was in the Navy, so he left for months at a time. I remember the empty feeling in my tummy every time he would leave and I couldn't wait for him to return. After the first week, I would be fine and settle into my single parent role. Then he might pop in for a week and back out for another month, the empty, lonely feelings would return right after he would leave again.

My hubby ported in Hawaii one time, he took a weeks leave and I flew out to join him. We had a great time together and it was so nice to see him, he had been gone for two months. However, as soon as I returned home after our wonderful time together in Hawaii, the empty, lonely feelings started again. Maybe that's just me, I don't know. We were stationed out of California at the time and my family was all in Montana, I was thankful I had my children to keep me busy.

As I look back on that time of my life, I realize that it was good for me to learn to become independent and stick up for myself. I had to deal with mechanics who worked on my car that tried to take advantage of me being a woman. I changed my own oil. I dealt with military doctors who tried to brush me off....I just asked to see their superior. It's amazing how much they will listen when you ask to see their superior! When we decided to sell our house and move to Montana, my hubby took two of our children and one dog with him and went ahead (he had to be there on a certain date to start his new job). I stayed behind for a couple of weeks to clean carpets and paint, keeping one dog and one child with me. We hired a realtor and sold our house via fax machine.

We moved to Montana in April of 1990, I missed my friends in California, so during the summer of that same year, I (age 27 at the time) packed all three of my kids (ages 10, 7 and almost 5) in the truck and we drove to California to visit all of our friends that we had left behind. My husband stayed in Montana and worked. The things you do when you're young!

Now that my hubby and I have been together for 31 years (in Dec. we'll be married 30), I don't mind when he leaves for awhile. I enjoy my time to myself. I even rented an apartment during one of my semesters at college so I didn't have to drive back and forth. It was really nice having a place to myself, I could eat when I liked, had quiet time to study AND the toilet stayed clean, there was never any urine to clean from around the bottom of it!

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband dearly and don't know what I would ever do without him. We are so comfortable with each other and have such trust and respect for each other that I know we will be together until one of us passes away. I no longer have those empty, lonely feelings when my husband and I are apart, I charish the time I have to myself and make the best of it. I think because I became a mother and wife so young that I never had any time for myself, my time was full of taking care of others, which I loved (I didn't know anything else), but now it's time for me!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My dogs are out of sorts!

My husband is a private pilot and goes to the Arlington, Washington fly-in every year. I went with him the first year that he went, but have not been able to go with him the last two years. We have two Shih Tzu's and they just don't know what to do when either I or my husband are absent. We took them with us the first year we went. They are great travelers and campers!
This year they stayed home with me and are up and down/in and out all night long. One gets up and stays outside for awhile then the other one does the same thing. It's like they know that "daddy" is not in bed and believe he will be coming down the driveway any minute! The brown one is "Daisy Mae" and the white one is "Honey." They are very sweet and good company, except when "daddy" is missing. Mind you, I have to go to work everyday and need my sleep, obviously, Honey and Daisy don't see my side of things! If this keeps up, I am going to be one groutchy women by the time my husband gets home on Sunday!
I'm thinking my nights might improve if I would get off my lazy butt and take the dogs out for a walk or run, before or after I go to work. Now if I can just make this a reality, I guess I shouldn't have bought that chocolate chip ice-cream yesterday, huh?! It's so hard to get started, but I know once I am outside and see Honey and Daisy run up and down with the smiles on their faces it will be easier. They really love be outside doing anything and so do I.
Ok, I love my dogs and I love to sleep, so we are going to go for a walk today and I will let you know if we all get a good nights sleep tonight........

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Losing a Parent

Yesterday I watched the farwell to MJ. It was a touching moment when his daughter, Paris spoke of her love for him. MJ appeared to be a wonderful father to those children, it is sad they are now without him.

I lost my mother when I was 20, my oldest daughter was 3 years old and my second child was just 3 months at the time of her death. I remember right after her passing, I would pick up the phone and begin to dial her number and then realize she was no longer just a phone call away. (Here is a picture of my mom, she died of cancer less than a year after this picture was taken.)It's been 26 years and although time has made it easier, the pain still remains. What really makes me sad is the fact that my children didn't get to know her, she would have been such a wonderful grandparent!

I keep her memory alive by letting my children and grandchildren know their grandma/great grandma through my memories. My mom used to always keep her fingernails and toenails filed and polished, they were always beautiful and colorful. She would never leave the house without her lipstick either, something I never wear. Mom loved the sunshine, when we would go to Ashley lake, she would always lay back and enjoy the sun. She was a hard worker, taking care of the house, cooking meals and working outside the home as well. Mom was always there for anyone who needed her, she always put others before herself. She had an infectious smile and was loved my many, she will never be forgotten. I guess God knew what a keep sake she was and wanted her with him at an early age.

I am the same age now that my mom was when she passed away, 46, that's way too young. I'm just getting started with my life. I have to live my life to the fullest and carry my mother with me. I wish the best to MJ's children and pray that they can move on with their lives, but keep his memories close to their hearts.

God Bless this day, and the people in it, remember the positive, forget the negative and keep those who have touched your lives close to your heart.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Missing my boy!

I missed a call from my son today. I was in a meeting and couldn't answer my phone. My heart always sinks when I miss his calls, he is in the military currently serving overseas in the war. I thank God we live in an era that we can keep in contact, I don't know if I could have handled not knowing anything, or not hearing from him, like other parents had to endure in past wars.

He was just checking in to tell us he was doing good, as good as can be expected in the midst of what is going on! I thank all those who serve in our military and pray that they all stay safe.

I never would have thought my boy, who rode a two wheel bike when he was 2 and dirtbikes at age 5, would be serving in a war. I am very proud, but always worry, as any family member would do!

So charish every moment with your children and loved ones, hug them and tell them you love them. While we may be sharing today, tomorrow is not promised. Live everyday to the fullest! :)

Why I decided to go to college.

I was a highschool drop out. I was pregnant at the age of 16 and my boyfriend was almost 2 years older than me. He graduated and then joined the Navy. When he got out of basic training, I dropped out of highschool and joined him in Illinois. We married less than a month before our daughter was born. When our daughter was 2 years old, I went to night school and earned my diploma, having my second daughter during this same time. I wanted to earn my diploma before my mother passed away from cancer. I recieved my diploma in January of 1983 (the same month I had our 2nd child) and my mother passed in April of the same year.

We eventually added a son in 1985 and I enjoyed working part time away from home, but every other minute was spent with my kids. As the years passed and my kids grew, I found myself with an empty nest and no career. I cried off and on for the first two monts after my youngest left home.

My job of teaching our children right from wrong and treating people with respect, etc. was over. I wasn't sure what to do with myself. My husband encouraged me to go to college, it was something I had always wanted to do, but never did. So, I enrolled at the community college and began my quest for a degree and a career. I was 42 years old; what was I getting myself into?!

I had to take some preparation tutoring, so that I could take the placement test. After the first few months I wasn't sure I made the right decision, but my kids and husband told me to stick with it. It's been four years now and I have my Bachelor of Science degree. I was able to get a pretty good paying job that I otherwise would not have had a chance at if I had not had a BS degree.

I decided I wanted to go all out and applied to graduate school and was accepted. So, at the end of August I will begin graduate school to earn my Master's of Social Work degree.

Tip of the's never too late to get an education. No matter how old you are, you are never too old to learn; believe and you will achieve!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Kids say the darndest things!

We had a great time on the 4th. My daughter told me a story about my granddaughter, Liv. Liv was offered a package of fruit snacks just as they were leaving the day care. They had some at home, so Liv was told by her mom that she didn't need any because she could have one when they got home. Liv told her mom that she would never hug or kiss her again if she did not let her have the fruit snacks that were offered to her. daughter told her "that was something she was willing to risk!" As soon as they got home Liv gave her mom a kiss, but said she wasn't going to get anymore hugs!

For all of you parents out is good to keep those boudaries, because kids are always testing!

Liv is 5 years old, and an only far. My daughter and Liv will be coming to live with my husband and I for fall semester of college. My daughter will be doing her student teaching here in the same school she attended and Liv will be enrolled in kindergarten. I am looking forward to them coming.

Tip of the day........keep a journal of all the cute things children's great to look back and have a laugh when your children become adults......and believe me, it happens quick!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

Hope you are having a great 4th. We always volunteer at the fly-in here in our little town in Montana and serve breakfast. My husband is a pilot and planes fly in from all over. Good eats and good company, it's over by noon. We'll smoke some ribs for a few hours and then head back to the airport for more good eats and and the firework display. My daughter and granddaughter will join us for the evening! Have a safe one everyone!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Did anyone watch OPRAH today?

I watched OPRAH today and there was women who were talking about how they couldn't believe how hard it was to be a mom. One said if she would have been told how hard it was, she never would have done it.

Am I the only mom in the world who does not feel this way? I miss being a mom to young children; I loved that time of my life (and I was a mom at 16 yrs old!). I had 3 children, all are grown now, but I never felt that way. Maybe I had the best kids in the world, I don't know.

Please let me know how other women feel about the subject, Thank you, Krisgc