Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Captain’s Log

I have this sense that I’m failing. You guys have been so good to me, and really made me feel like something quite special when I asked you why you read this blog. (But I think you are the special-ness, really.)

You and me, we have something, ya know. It’s a real connection.
And I’ve kinda been disconnecting from a lot of things since my brother died.
And I feel bad about that. Some of you have reached out to me so sincerely -- and some of that has fallen through the cracks in terms of my responding, but NOT in terms of it how much it’s effected me in deeply beautiful ways.
So when I just show you before and after photos of stuff -- I don’t want you to feel shunned. I just am wavering, on everything. And so to blog feels really weird. I’m used to being really honest with you. And it’s not that I don’t want to be honest now, it’s that my honestly would take up Encyclopedia-levels of space. And I don’t have the time to write that out. And I don’t know which direction to go -- because my thoughts are sprawling.

But I do want to keep that line out.
So here’s an attempt to say how I am lately.

I don’t know how I am.
Sometimes I feel bad -- very, very bad. And sometimes I am good.

Grief is crazy. It breaks things. And you are left with all this shattered glass around you, and a mind full of mush, and... you get to choose what to do next.
And other people standing around you are in their own shattered glass -- but it all shattered and mixed a bit together, so everyone’s glass is everywhere -- and they get to choose what they do next. And we don’t all do the same thing. And everyone’s mind is full of mush. So sometimes just the reactions to the broken things breaks us.

There’s a thing called secondary losses in terms of grieving a loved one. You don’t just lose a person, a whole bunch of other things get lost with them. This list {HERE} pretty well sums up my current plight. Not every single thing on there applies to me -- but a very large percentage of them do. It’s a seriously heavy load to walk around with.

But generally speaking, I’m used to picking myself up and making things work. In fact, I get a charge out of solving problems -- seeking knowledge and solutions is my anti-anxiety pill. It always has been. That or... making things pretty. (Which I also use my problem solving skills for.) So what I’m doing these days is pointing my feet forward, and making changes, and steps towards functioning -- and functioning well.  (And things happen to also get beautified in the process.)
Part of me doesn’t want anything to do with that. (And everything to do with ice cream and never getting out of bed again, ever.)
But I have three very young kids that need me functioning, and ideally functioning well. So I’m pursing it with all I have.

I’m knowledge-pursuing, problem solving, fixing, mending, and doing my darndest to push everything I’m finding into my reality, with every waking moment I have.  Because I have a new urgency from understand the concept of living life.

So…this, I think, makes me look totally ok to people. I’m pretty sure I’m giving off the “She's A-OK. She’s floating around, just breezing through.” But I’m not. I’m a hot mess inside. I’m FULL of doubts. Like doubts come out of my pours now instead of oil. I’m extra hard on myself currently. I hear all sorts of negative things in my head -- memories, or self talk. And I don’t feel strong enough to fight them right now. I can’t control my memory-factory section of my brain. Sometimes I can’t pull up anything I’m looking for in my mind, and other times I am in vivid out-of-body flash backs. There is no fighting that -- there is only riding those waves. They aren’t gentle waves. I’m tired and beat up. And again, I get to choose what to do next. Do I quit (whatever that means)? Or do I say, “Nope. Not today. Back on the horse. (Which is a wave…keep up with me here ;) )”

Generally, I’d say I don’t see it as a choice. Me and the horse -- we have a job to do -- we have to get these kids taken care of, and raised well, and loved deeply. I have to get up. No matter how hard I get kicked.

And can I tell you something? Life isn’t backing down. It’s not saying, “Hey little lady, take a seat and catch your breath.” It’s just not. And sometimes I get mad about it. Sometimes I don’t sleep because of it. But I don’t have another option. I get back up.

A couple weeks ago we found out we had bed bugs. Without any reason, we just had them.
Apparently that can happen -- you can just casually pick them up sometimes. I had no idea!
We had an exterminator come to look it over and he said we couldn’t have had them longer than a month. We’ve done nothing in the last month. Gone no where, had no guests, I’ve not even thrifted anything besides one mirror which never went anywhere near our bedroom. (The only room with any problem.) He didn’t seem surprised or confused by this -- just kinda implied they come from anywhere.
It’s ridiculous.

We caught them really early. We figured it out because one day Blake had three weird bites on his side one morning. I figured spider bites. A week later he found a weird bug skin on his leg. And he woke me up saying “I think we have bed bugs.” (I’m NOT a morning person -- this is like the… WORST... way to wake me up.) I refused to accept this and I angrily attempted to talk him out of it. When it wasn’t working I started wondering if I should google. And after he left for work, I did. And I then proceeded to lose my mind.

First of all -- no one likes looking at close-up bug photos including bugs, eggs, bug babies, and bug poop. That’s just not visually good.
Second of all no one wants to think that is on their bed.
Third of all, no one wants to realize that those creepy bug skins, that are also in those photos, sure do look a lot like what was on your husbands leg when he woke up.
And then when you read, that they shed those skins one week after feeding (aka biting someone) and you realize that’s exactly the time frame between your husband getting bit and then finding a skin -- well….
Time to throw the world’s biggest pity party, because girl, life is just going all sorts of creative in it’s random attacks on you.

I’ll save you the joys of entering too deep into my mind, and wrap the story up faster than it felt because I just don’t want to think about it anymore.

We had Orkin out and he looked everywhere -- all the rooms looked fine. And even our room didn’t really show much (because I had already washed the sheets in hot water trying to rescue myself.) But he gave us a quote of $1,000 for a liquid treatment or $1,600 for a heat treatment (the most effective.) With the advice of do this now because if it gets more intense it costs more.

So Blake and I were both like “Holy Crap that’s a lot of money.”

I was ready to shell it out because I was losing my mind trying to sleep “Fear Factor” style in my bed --- Crying myself to sleep, while waiting for my sleeping pill to take over my mind, so I could let the vampires come get me while I lay helpless against them. (And no, I didn’t want to sleep in another room because I didn’t want to lure them to more places -- they follow the food. And the last thing I wanted was vampires in every room of my house.)

But Blake being a bit less irrational, and emotional, was willing to think a bit more than my sleep deprived mind was able to. And he decided he was a scientist, and that scientists most definitely could heat a bedroom up to 130 degrees safely, and thereby do exactly what the professionals would do but for a heck of a lot less money.

So that’s what he did. He borrowed a propane heater from a friend. Got a remote thermometer (you can read it from another room.) Put the video baby monitor in the bedroom watching for any fires or mishaps. And he stood outside the room with a fire extinguisher for 90 minutes (30 minutes longer than the pros…just for good measure.) He assured me the fire extinguisher was just for the very, very unlikely possibility it will be needed, just really a true "by the rules" safety measure.

I couldn’t take it though. I sat on the far other end of the house trying not to have a panic attack while he did it.

But he did it. And our house is still standing!

Hopefully that was all it took. We will see. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. And it could definitely save us huge bucks. So far we’ve not seen any more evidence. So cross your fingers and say some prayers for us.

We also bought these mattress encasement covers for every mattress (and boxspring) in the house.
(I may have temporarily cleared our city out of queen sized covers, I had to buy at multiple stores to get enough!)

I bought them because: (And listen up -- this could be SUPER helpful for you)
When Orkin came through, he saw that we had these covers were already on in the girls beds (because of allergies) and as soon as he saw them he announced “Oh they won’t be in here with these on.” And he deemed the room totally safe.
So -- I will now be living the rest of my life with these covers on every bed -- why would I not?
(I honestly think everyone should now that I’ve experienced this. Save yourself. Get some. It’s much cheaper than the alternative -- it’s also a lot less stressful!)

I almost didn’t make it through that “wave". It just was too random and cruel. Cruel and unusual, Life, come on!
But like I said -- there’s not really another option but “through."

So here I am on the other side.
Still standing.

In other news--
Before, and while, that was going on -- I’m trying to pull myself into a new self. Someone who CAN.

 My mind is a MESS. So I’m working on things that simplify my world so my limited brain power can still make things work.

So besides the Enormous stack of books I’m reading, trying to fix my mind enough to still be a mom.
I’m trying to streamline everything else.

I’m currently in the middle of Marie Kondo-ing myself. I plan to blog about it -- but after I actually get somewhere and live inside it more.
So far I’ve gone through my clothes -- and it’s been every bit the “magic” she attributes to this process.
I think it’s probably more-so because I’m in this really crazy mental place right now, but I’ve done very few things in my life that have made me feel so empowered and so aware. It’s weird that it can be such a huge deal -- but it really felt DEEP.
(I thought her second book was more helpful and clear. Especially if you are already on board with her game plan….which, I will say, is not for everyone, and that’s ok. But it IS for me. And it’s pretty cool because it’s actually is very custom per person. The main/basically only rule is: You keep what brings you joy. Not too sure how that could be a bad fit, really. The other rules are just the order she wants you to go through your belongings, because it’s easier on you that way.) (Both books I read via my library. And I took some notes to get me through after I returned them.)
She says getting this done in 6 months is fast. So don’t expect me to blog too soon about it. But when I do -- expect me to rave about it.
But small spoiler: This type of streamlining makes me 90% more functional because it’s SO much easier to only have things you love in your home -- soo much less stuff to pointlessly tend to.
Getting dressed when you only have clothes that bring you joy (part of this is stuff that fits) around -- simple and good. And laundry is easier to put away. And more enjoyable too -- because you are only touching things that are joyful as you do the laundry.

In terms of streamlining other ways --
I’ve also started a chore chart for us.
I can’t tell you if I stick to it or not. I’ve literally only had it for two days. And I know I usually crap-out on doing things like this in about a week’s time. So I don’t know yet.
BUT I made this one custom for me -- I looked at every chore chart that I had a connection with online and meshed them into my own self, life, and wants. And came up with this.

And I will tell you, in the two days I’ve had it,  that once again, this feels like magic and totally empowering. And VERY mind clearing.
I’m getting the kids involved, because I want them to have those skills. And I’ve revamped our routine chart a bit, going for a few more healthy habits, and we are experiencing only minor turbulence from the shift -- which feels like a big victory for me.
But what I’m liking internally, is that I feel like I have guide posts, and I don’t have to use my mind now for this stuff. I’m an over thinker. So I was over thinking when, what, how to clean.
So -- sitting down, being realistic, and figuring out my goals and putting them on paper took a lot of stirring inside me and settled it down and gave me the ability to focus. And having things set out gives me the feeling of accomplishment, seeing what I have to do and that I did it.
It also gives me the feeling that it’s ok to rest, and not do any more, once that day’s stuff is done -- because I know soon the spaces and things will get cleaned too, because they are scheduled.
I’m so all or nothing that my house usually has spurts of chaos and spurts of glimmering. I *think* this chart will keep me more balanced. And I’m totally on board with tweaking it as I go. For instance, I haven’t lived a “Wednesday” with this yet -- the monthly chores might need adjusting -- some might be too much for one day. Not sure yet.

As far as fitness goes. I’ve seriously LOVED PiYo so much. Chalene has been like a true life mentor to me right now -- with the way my mind is, her words, and even just sweetly timed smiles and winks, during the workouts are like sustenance to my bones. I will say some of her statements to myself randomly throughout my day.  Even the more pointless ones seem to have depth to me. I’ve never liked the words on a workout program in this deep soul way before.
And I’m really happy with the way my body feels these days. I feel really healthy and walking around in my skin feels good. I love the way I feel doing Piyo too. It’s by far my favorite at home workout ever. It’s not overly hard feeling (for me) and it’s gotten noticeably easier as I keep at it. I LOVE the feeling of progress it gives me. I love knowing mid workouts: “This used to make me think I was dying, and now I’m sailing through.”
I’ve had very little next-day-soreness. I’ll feel like "warm muscles" -- like “hey you used me” muscles the next day -- but nothing like other workouts... where I’m not sure I can walk the next day.
But still, it’s crazy effective. (You do have to combine it with a healthy diet to get full effect, but…)

I took some more After photos. But I can’t find the same clothes. (I can’t remember getting rid of them. But I don’t see them anywhere.) So these might not give you the full effect, correctly. But I’ve knocked more inches off since last time. Actually since starting this journey (in Earnest -- in June) I’ve lost 22.75” all over. And 21 pounds.
Here I am this morning premake up. And obviously rocking the I just nursed the baby lopsidedness. (See, I love you guys!)
Starting / Mid-Way-Progress

Starting / Mid-Way-Progress

Starting / Mid-Way-Progress
You guys, I can actually see my abs when I flex nice and hard. You can’t see them when I’m just standing around. But when I flex I can see where those little “packs” live. It’s crazy, I NEVER thought I’d experience that. (Babies or NOT -- I just didn’t think this is who I am, or could be.) I’d love to show you because I’m still shocked and in denial and I’d like that added level of “this is real". But I can’t figure out how to take the picture without looking... "a bit much for the internet." So I’m just gonna leave it off the table. But it’s so amazing, and I’m still kinda weird-ed out that I can do that.

Actually, an unexpected stress for me is that when you mix those secondary losses (from grief) that I was talking about, into this body shift, I’ve really been thrown for a loop when seeing myself in the mirror. It feels like another loss -- more loss of self. I don’t really feel any of the “standard” emotional benefits most people experience when losing weight. I just feel lost and confused.
It’s not bad enough that I want to stop being healthy -- because I physically feel great. And emotionally  I feel like a wreck either way. Plus the after-workout emotional boost has been super grounding for me. But my physical changes have been extremely disorienting visually and therefore emotionally inside this mix.
     My brother and I looked a LOT a like. When we were kids I was short and he was tall, so even though I was two years older, we were the same height (till he grew just about a literal foot taller than me starting in Jr High.) So people would would always ask us if we were twins. (The fact that my mom loved to dress us in boy/girl matching outfits added to the effect.) But I even into my adult years I’ve regularly heard, “Wow you look SO MUCH like your brother. It’s weird.” I heard that exact sentence at his funeral.
So as my face changes with my body, I’m constantly confused on if I’m finding more of him or losing more of him. Or finding more of me, or losing more of me.
Nothing is straightforward these days.
Everything is laced with hard and uncomfortable, even the good-good stuff. And I don’t feel like celebrating my hard work and progress because all my progress (on other fronts too) just make me feel like “Who am I?” I really feel like I’ve lost myself these days.

Additionally, people treat me different. Pretty much just women. I’m not really emotionally still enough to fully deal with the whole world of women and their emotions that come up when they see my body changes. But I’m REALLY attuned to reading other people’s feelings. And I feel painfully guilty if I can tell my presence stirs up anything negative inside of them. (I’m working on that one -- I can control my actions, but I cannot control how someone responds to those actions. I’m not in charge of how anyone feels but me. I cannot control anyone else’s feelings. ….oh my gosh, I have so much work to do to start believing that!) So that’s actually super draining on me. Being by people -- yet another layer of “maybe I should never leave my house.”

I actually got to the point where just getting dressed was emotionally overwhelming for me because none of my clothes fit and I didn’t know what I even like to wear anymore. I didn’t know what to shop for, because I really just don’t know myself right now. And the things I’m used to pulling off the rack both: look wrong on my body now, and feel wrong, as is “this isn’t me” style-wise. I feel like I’m starting Jr. High all over again but with the knowledge of an adult, which is nuts.
I did find a pair of high waisted black jeans that fit me well and felt like “me” -- and just having a single pair of pants that fit really did help chill that fire down.

(Lauren Conrad at Kohls -- couldn’t find a link to what looks like them. Mine didn’t come faded at, all but super black through and through. But here is a link to “washed black” high rise ones. I cannot promise anything about those. I tried on the denim version and hated them -- they felt bad and fit bad. But the black ones I have are great and feel like quality material, not thin and cheap like the jeans felt. So I can’t tell ya anything about the “washed black” ones.)

And I’m slowly trying to put my finger on the rest of my general identity and my clothes fall into that whole process. I’m trying to be patient and trust. But when EVERYTHING feels like it changed at once, small stuff does get hard not to sweat. Sometimes you just want something to be easy.

But all that said (ha -- a bit much said for this transition) -- I’ve been doing PiYo for a good while now. And I’m starting to drag on wanting to do the exact same thing every single night. I’m also wanting to shorten up my workouts a bit. (PiYo is usually about 30-40, with one being closer to 50.) Because I’m just wanting more time to do house stuff.
So I’m on the lookout for something new.
(Also just FYI: I’m not trying to do any physically crazy transformations anymore. I just enjoy working out and feeling good, and want to fit in my work outs into my day easier, and shake things up a bit. Also -- nobody panic, if you knew my weight, and were look up body weight recommendation charts, you would see that I am inside the “healthy” range, and that I actually have a large buffer between me and the “underweight” category. And I don’t have any sort of notion to actually even get close to the edge of that either -- I don’t have that kind of energy, or that kind of desire. So no one bother with any freak-outs that I’m under weight or getting close to it. I’m sitting squarely inside the healthy weight range -- and actually on the upper end of it…..Maybe none of you are thinking about that at all -- but just in case, I wanted it out there. I’m healthy and not joining any eating/workout disorder arenas. Just healthy. I still eat chocolate. 
Random Rant Done.)

Anyway -- yesterday I tried a free app on my phone that a friend told me about. And I actually had a blast doing it.
I will say -- I don’t think I would have liked this as much to start with --  because I have officially hit the stage of fitness where I like to workout -- I like those endorphins enough to put myself through a wringer to get them, and I’m totally over the “eww sweat” thing -- I feel like my day is weird if I don’t sweat. When I started I needed something I liked the actual fluid feeling of doing -- piyo feels pretty. The workout I did today feels like working-out. But I’m at the point where that’s cool with me.

Anyway it’s called Freeletics. And you can use it free (they have paid options -- I have no clue what it does. ) And as of today I barely know what the free version does. But I did 2 short little HIT circuits with it. And it was great. My girls saw me doing the mountain climbers and joined right in because they were like, “That looks like fun!". We had a blast counting down our reps and they did a big majority of the workout with me, laughing the whole time. It was really motivating.  So I think I’ll be playing with this some more, maybe mixing it with PiYo or something else, we will see . Could be a fun thing for you to check out if you’re into that kinda thing. It’s free. Why not?

In other news --

 I’m liking music again.
I haven’t truly liked music for a long time (we are talking years here.) It was just something to have on in the car. I don’t know why. I just kinda lost a feel for it at some point.
Lately I’m really enjoying it again.
A friend shared on Facebook her love of a Pandora Radio Station named “Hipster Cocktail Party Radio” and although I was skeptical I turned it on -- and I haven’t looked back. I’m really into it. It’s fantastic to have on in the kitchen. Give that one a whirl, see what you think.

Also I’m joining the world of technology-and-socially aware. Having a blog and loving Pintrest does not a Tech Savy person make.
I’ve only just recently discovered podcasts. And I’ve just finally discovered the real point of Instagram.
(Insert crying laughing emoji here.)

Incase you are also as un-aware as I have been until about a month or less ago let me share with you.

My current podcast listenings are limited to:

These are both done by Bloggers who do interior design stuff. I wasn’t sure how their podcasts could have anything interesting in them -- because it’s a visual topic. But I’ve throughly enjoyed them.
I’ve either been thrilled to listen in and hear them voice thoughts that are in my head and I think “I must be the only person who cares about this stuff, or thinks this way.” but they get to prove to me this is just a cool niche -- my brain isn’t nuts. I’m detail oriented on some stuff and so are other people. That’s fun for me. But I’ve also gleaned some really good tips and a lot of those are from their guests they have on -- usually other big name interior designers. And I’ve also learned who some other not “HGTV, or like Oprah, or whatever gets names in houses” interior designers are. And I’ve found a few that seriously speak my visual heart song.

My current biggest design crush is Studio McGee. I’m very into her clear feeling color pallet.
But I’ve found a bunch of others I’m extremely into as well.

Which lead me to the Instagram thing.
I’ve been using Instagram like Facebook -- I just had my Facebook people on there. Oh what I have been missing.
The other day I clicked to see who ChrisLovesJulia was following and I saw ALL these designers and all their work and I fell down the best rabbit hole I’ve ever seen. And I think I may love Instagram more than Pinterest all of a sudden.
(Also side note, when you start following a TON of new people, sometimes you get more followers as well -- wasn’t even thinking that was part of things.)
But I’m now thrilled to open Instagram and just feast away on beauty. (Once again -- I cannot believe my ignorance here until now.)
Makes me really want to up my game. I’m so inspired. Beauty is so beautiful.

So that’s kind of my plight right now.  Bad. Mess. Crazy. But really inspired. And really pushing through the burn.

Thanks for hanging out with me while I’m on Fire.
(Hopefully I get to use that “On Fire” in the positive connotation way soon.)
You guys mean so much to me.

Also -- because you’ve earned my trust -- “Captain’s Log”--  my post title:
I grew up on Star Trek "The Next Generation", and “Voyager” and a bit of “Deep Space Nine” as well. I’m not ashamed to say -- my life-flash-backing grief has me Netflixing some history there. (It’s kinda goofy because I don’t think my brother cared a bit about Star Trek, but I my dad loved it and I would always watch it with him and some popcorn. So it reminds me of being a kid, and my time with Jeremy in association with those days.)
That’s right, I’m a Treky. Would you have guessed it? Maybe yes. Maybe no. Either way. I am. ;) 


  1. You look great! So strong and trim. I'm just starting a post partum fitness program and I would love to get in that kind of shape eventually! I hope to learn to enjoy exercising too ;-)

    1. :) Thank you.
      Just remember to be patient and trust your body as you go. There’s no time limit on getting to where you want to be.
      And to put my progress into perspective -- I’m 15 months postpartum.
      Some people (especially you will see them online) bounce back right away. Other people don’t for a long while. I had a friend who got her baby weight off 5 years later -- and I actually found that really inspiring because to me it said, you can always decide to do it, there isn’t a cut off time where it becomes “too late."
      And even after my second, very healthy, pregnancy, where I got right back into working out afterward I had her -- it still took my body a long while to really mold back into place. That time, even after I had lost all the pregnancy weight, I was still looking different than I was used to and then in a few more months I kinda leveled back to my normal -- not really because of anything I did -- it just took a while for my body to shift itself. Pregnancy is a huge process. So un-pregnifying is as well.
      As far as learning to like it -- My Piyo mentor Chalene says at the end of some of her workouts something like “What you are feeling right now is the post workout high. THAT is how you get addicted to exercise. Don’t think about how to feel when you start, think about how you feel when you end.”
      And it’s true. I’ve had some really hard days lately, and so I give a workout everything I have, and I've literally entered a bliss afterwards -- like a giddy, relaxed bliss. I’ll just plop down on the couch all sweaty afterwards and bask in that post workout high. That’s what got me to this point. The more you put in (but you know pace yourself, of course) they more you get out, the better it gets.

  2. This is Deb (aka Choklatslutz)

    Oh NO! I was horrified and really sad to read about the bed bugs. It's true, they are everywhere & you can get them from anywhere. I'm also wondering if you need the mattress case if you have a memory foam mattress. I don't have one, but I'm going to someday. Right now we just have a topper from Costco--which is pretty much like heaven.

    Lydia, I'm standing in the pile of glass with you, girl. I clicked on the grief link you provided. It hits home with me too. "Newly Bereaved" for five years sounds way more reasonable to me. It hasn't even been 1.5yrs w/Mom gone and time is passing painfully slow. PAINFULLY. My insides have been ripped out and I'm still a walking shell. For what it's worth, hospice sent us something about the 10 month mark being the hardest. Maybe so. WHY people expect you to be "normal" is beyond me.

    Tho, I do finally feel like getting my hair colored & cut. And I'm in desperate need of that--I have thin, fine, greying DULL brown hair that should be blonde (like it was as a kid). I'm happy with blonde highlights, but I'm feeling rather brave & considering some subtle unnatural haircolor too (not electric pink tho). I feel like rebelling.

    Suddenly, I'm intolerant to TONS of food. I've been trying to follow a low FODMAP diet because I feel decent on it. Basically, I can eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, carrots, lettuce, green beans, blueberries, potatoes and rice. Some diet, eh? There's a few more things I can have, but you'd need 3hrs to read the list of things that aren't allowed.

    I've had biopsies in numerous places (all of which were negative), allergy testing (also negative), endoscopy & colonoscopy. No dr knows what the heck is going on with all my weird symptoms. Maybe it IS grief.

    I LOVE the parenting book reviews because I know I will be able to use the info w/our 3yr old grandson & the 8yr old grandson too. Esp the part about the feelings. They both struggle with that--the 8yr old is on the spectrum and the 3yr old's teacher says he has sensory processing issues.

    Your chore chart. Love it. I, for one, know that I feel like I CAN face the day when I walk into the kitchen and find the sink is empty and clean. So, that's something I try to do every night before going to bed. My big accomplishment this week was finishing the 33gal can of shredding. Now to tackle the box under the desk. I'm so tired of all the junk mail--even tho we are on the list to not get it, it still comes. (like bed bugs?)(my attempt at dark humor).

    The patio looks amazing. Any more flooding?

    Ooooh. I also wanted to tell you about this really cool place for resale furniture. It's in Carol Stream, IL, but you might want to surf it every week anyway. It's called Jubliee Furniture.

    Every Thurs am it is updated with pics of the newly donated furniture. No--I don't work for them and I don't get any $ for mentioning them. We got a full size leather loveseat sofabed for $300 from them a couple of years ago. It will do until I get the American Leather sofabed from Penny Mustard for $2,500--which will be the last sofabed we will EVER buy--when we finally save up enough $ to get it. Seems impossible, but it really is worth it.

    I have new glasses on order--so that is something to look forward to. And the rest of this week is filled with duties to my aunt & dad which requires a trip to Central IL.

    Wish I had something inspiring to say, but nothing is coming to mind right now; there are too many other pressures of my life (the hubs was slashed from his employer to name just ONE & COBRA is crazy expensive).

    Wishing you peaceful moments of inspiration in the coming days. Deb

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