Thursday, May 26, 2011

God Moment Yesterday on My Daughter's Birthday

Yesterday was my daughter's 31st birthday.  Katrina, my daughter who passed away when she was 12 from a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis.  So I cut some roses off my bushes in the yard to take to the cemetery.  Dh took the day off as he has since Katrina passed away.  We drove over to the cemetery and stayed there for a little while.  When we finally left, we visited our other daughter at her work and then decided to go to Red Lobster for a 'birthday' dinner.  And here's where the God moment comes in.  When we had been  seated at our table and we were looking down at the menus and as we were deciding what to order our waitress came over to us and said, "hi, my name is Katrina."  Well, my jaw dropped, my eyes locked in on my husband and then I looked at the waitress.  I looked at her name tag just in case I heard her name wrong and there it was.  The tag read Katrina.  It was unbelievable.  What are the chances of our daughter's name being Katrina and her birthday was yesterday and we get a waitress whose name is Katrina.  I don't believe in concidences. 

On another note, dh and I went to pick up my car.  It had a new oil pump put in it and a front end alignment.  When I started to drive it home, the steering wheel was still crooked so we turned around and drove it right back to the dealer's.  The next day they told dh that y car needed rachet pion replaced.  Well, why didn't they tell us it needed replacing before the alignment?  So mad!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Extreme Couponing

I'm sitting here watching extreme couponing.  I understand the concept behind it all and how cool to be able to get free stuff.  I wish I knew how to do that, but some of these people have 3 years worth of cereal sitting in their homes.  I don't know about their home, but if cereal sat around here opened or unopened for a long period of time it will  eventually end up stale.  So I ask, how do they keep their food from going bad?  Huh?  On the last show they has Chris Duff who does a lot of his couponing for the needy in his neighborhood.  Now, that's what I would want to do.  Can you imagine if extreme couponers could do that and keep the food banks from running out of food?  That's what I would want to do. 

I went to Target today.  Here's what I spent:
Arm and Hamer Laundry:  $8.50
Tostitos xxl:                        $2.50 ($1 coupon)
Utz chips:                             $3.14
Ocean Spray Juice (2@148) $2.96
MP Water:                          $2.99
Ball Park Franks                $7.58 (1)
Kelloggs Rice Krispies      $3.39 (.25)
Kelloggs Froot Loops         $2.50 (.25)
Wonder Bread                    $2.29
Bananas                              $1.20 ($1)
Sierra Mist                         $1.69 (Free)
MP Milk                             $2.99
Photo albums (3@8.00)      $24.00

This is pathetic.  I save $6.87.  When my kids were little they used to help me cut coupons.  In fact, Saturday was our day for clipping.  When the kids would seeme getting my scissor and coupons they asked if we were going to the store.  Hahah.  And I used to get that look at the register where people couldn't believe how much I saved in coupons.  But the thing back then is prices were so much cheaper and manufacturers would still put out coupons for .50 off.  So that was a great savings.  Sometimes I'd save 50% on my groceries.  I really need to sit down and rethink all this coupons stuff.  And, our coupon queen, the one pioneer of couponing was (and is) Susan Sumtar:

Here's here website:

This is who we followed for couponing.  She has youtube videos, too.

Anyway, I'm still not ready to leave toorrow.  Basically, we go the motor home cleaned, watered up and the refrigerator is on so it will be cold tomorrow.  We got needed supplies (at Target), I've packed some clothes, but still need to pack food, personal items, bed sheets....and then we have to stop by the post office and I have to get a medication refilled.  Even for a weekend trip, it time consuming getting ready! LOL I'm not a morning person, so I'll have to get up early to get last minute stuff done.  Whew!

That's it for tonight. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Motorhome Ready

It's that time of year to get the motorhome ready so we can take a few trips.  Mostly we take CMA trips.  CMA stands for the Christian Motorcyclists Association.  Dh and I are area reps.  We have a few rallies a year we attend.  For instance, the one coming up on Thursday is our tri-state rally.  We have a rally with Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland.  We are heading up to the fairgrounds in Delaware this year.  Every year a different state hosts it.  We are always in a different place, so it's fun.  In June we are heading to Hiawasse, GA for our National Rally.  That's a week long. 

Today dh finally has some free time from job and chores, so he asked what I wanted to do today.  As we got to talking, I said let's take the motorhome out and put some gas in it.  It doesn't take much to entertain us these days!  Tomorrow I'll have to get out there and clean it, load it with food, wash clothes and do some general packing.  We'll only be gone for a couple of days, so it won't take much to get packed up.  But it will be fun.

It did start to rain and then it really started to rain and then it rained so hard you could hardly see through it.  Luckily, we were in the restaurant eating when all that happened.  I was gonna cook spaghetti, but when the storm started I wasn't sure I'd have enough time because whenever we get a storm or wind our electricity goes out.  It's been that way for 33 years.  I know it's ridiculous; you'd think the power company would know what's wrong with their equipment.

That's about it for now...time to get ready for bed.  I'm bushed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Purple and Baysox Game

Update on the car:  the oil pump needs to be replaced.  Give me a break.  It's under warranty, but mind you, it's a new engine.  How can the oil pump be bad?  I have a feeling this is an omen that this engine is not so new and that I'm gonna have problems with this thing.  This car has to last me for another 10 years at least. 

Here in this county we have a minor baseball league called the Baysox.  The stadium is only about ten minutes from our house.  Our dd got free tickets for last night so we went.  It was so cloudy and we did get drizzled on, but it didn't last long.  There were  fireworks, too.  That's always a nice touch. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Purple Escort Station Wagon...not again!

Did I ever blog about my car?  I mean, did I blog when it broke down at Taco Bell?  Maybe I mentioned it here, yes, I think I did.  It was last September.  Well, I mentioned, too that dh didn't looked at the stuff leaking out of it until my oil light came on in the car and he put it on his car rack and saw that a seal was broken in the, the engine is a new engine.  And the seal is broken. me. 

It was over three weeks before I got my car back in September.  Three weeks without a car.  I felt like I was a prisoner in my home.  I couldn't go anywhere unless dh came home and I had to use his truck.  Towards the end of those three weeks I had cabin fever...I just wanted to go out by myself in my own car!

I googled to see how many purple escort stations wagons I could find.  Here are some:

Here's what she said about her car:
Once upon a time, I owned a purple Escort station wagon. I loved that car. Alas, it rewarded my love by throwing a rod through critical engine bits (probably an important life lesson there, eh?).

I think that's what happened to my escort the first time around...I put a new engine in it instead of getting rid of it like this lady.

I can't tell if this is exactly purple, but I want to soup up my escort like this:
jellybeaner1's 1997 Ford Escort

I didn't know there were so many purple stations wagons 'out there'.  LOL

I promise I will not cry, moan and groan this time about not having a car for three weeks and being a prisoner in the house.  It's hard, though, not being able to come and go as I please.  I have to wait for dh to get home and use his car or ask somebody to take me aroud town.  I don't like being dependent on others.  I just hope this car repair doesn't take as long as the last time.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ahh...Mother's Day

If you look real close around my neck and my ears you'll see the beautiful gift my dd gave me for Mother's Day.  She said it was 'beachy' (I like that) and I can wear it with my beachy outfits or I can be glamorous with it too...well, I think the word is classy!  I'm usually just a Plain Jane, but I suppose a girl has to be classy once in a while, right?  I love my gift.  Not only did I get this gift yesterday, dd made me (and dh) lunch [tuna sandwiches, my favorite chips, potato salad and iced tea!] and then later she drove us to downtown to get some ice cream.  Well, it was so busy downtown we couldn't find a parking spot so we went to another ice cream store.  I got a red velvet ice cream cone.  It was very good.  We went back to dd's condo and then later we decided to go out for dinner.  We tried P.F. Changs, Macroni Grill, Red Lobster and let me tell you, there were lines of people coming out the doors!  We ended up eating at Mama Lucia's.  Pizza...hahaha...but it was good.   Then after dinner dh and I went home.  It really was a great day for me!  Thank you dear darling daughter!

Now ds says he will take me out for lunch on Thurs.  We'll see if that pans out.  You never know about him.  He can make plans and then forget about them.  He is a busy man, after all.  LOL

A couple of days ago we were at the garden store and we found these dwarf peach trees.  How cool.  They are only suppose to grow to 3 feet.  And they grow fruit!  I told dh that he should get one (he's a fruit eater).  Anyway, guess what I found on the porch yesterday morning?  I sure hope those peaches are good ones.  Also, I found a pack of chocolate donuts in the frig.  Always when I start my 'diet' I have good stuff thrown in my path

I am blessed and some days I just forget how blessed I am.  Thank you Lord for all You give to me!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Where's the Family When I Need Them? LOL

Today dh was out on a motorcycle ride so I thought I'd hit a few stores.  I went to Kohl's and was leaving there when I stopped at a red light and wouldn't you know it my oil light blinked on.  It may be at this part you need to know some history about my car.

My car is a 15 year old escort purple station wagon.  It's been a good little car, but last year I stopped at Taco Bell, had lunch and when I came out, got into my car, went to start it and it made a horrible noise and then it was dead.  We towed it home ($160) and eventually decided to have an engine put into it.  I didn't want to buy a new car because I don't want car payments. 

So a few days ago I told dh that my car was leaking something.  Instead of him checking it out, he let it go and, of course, I'm the one who gets stranded.  When I let Kohl's I headed to Kmart.  When I got into Kmart I called dh but he didn't answer his phone because he was on the motorcycle.  Then I called my daughter, three times and no answer from her.  My son was the last on the list; I called him and he didn't answer his phone either.  GRR!  I called dh again and he finally answered his phone.  As it happened he was just right up the street from where I was...yeah! 

And then when dh and I were in the store buying motor oil dd and ds called.  Hahaha..but really, I thought I was gonna be stuck at Kmart for a very long time.  I hate that feeling.

Then dh and I went out to eat and he followed me home on his motorcycle. 

Tomorrow dh is gonna change the oil filter because his brother told him recently that the Fram oil filters were found defective or something and they leak oil.  I guess you learn something new everyday, right?

Dd is making me lunch tomorrow...tuna fish sandwiches and potato chips!  She said she might even take me out for ice cream!  When I was talking to ds he said he had to work until Wed so Thurs he is gonna take me out to lunch.  How sweet.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Didn't go to Chick fil a After All!

No, we didn't eat dinner at Chick fil a like I had planned.  It's funny how fast plans change.  When dh got home from work, we were planning to eat at Chick fil a, but then I was telling him how my friend, who lives in Virginia, got some tadpoles and mosquito fish at her garden store and dh and I have wanted to get some tadpoles, so we decided to go to our garden store.  They did have tadpoles, but we also wanted to get something to eat, so we decided to go to the Old Country Buffet since we were already halfway there. 

When we finished eating we went back to the garden store to buy four bullfrog tadpoles.  I love to watch them grow legs and then when they learn to croak.  

More smileys for free download


Tonight I decided we are going to Chick fil a for dinner.  I'm too lazy to cook something.  Awful, isn't it?  It's a dreary, rainy day today which always affects my moods.  Where is the sunshine and warm days? 

Last night I wrote out checks for all the bills, but wouldn't you know it I don't have any postage stamps.  I will stop by the grocery store tonight to get some.  My dd tells me to start using bill pay online, but I'm just not there yet.  I like to know I wrote the check myself and put it in the mail.  I don't want to depend on anybody else paying my bills for me.  But I suppose it would be nice to do a few clicks and *poof* your  bills are paid.  Somebody said by them doing the bill pay through their bank they saved over $400 in postage a year.  I can believe that!  At $.42 a stamp and sending out 10 or more bills a month that can really add up. 

I threw some towels in the washer and will go put them in the dryer now.
Later, gator.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

Cystic Fibrosis Image
I've been reading some other cf blogs where people are posting how they were diagnosed with cf or how their children were.  So I will also do that here.  Our daughter Katrina was 3 1/2 years old when she was diagnosed, but let me take you back to the beginning.

When I was four months pregnant with Katrina I started to bleed.  This probably has no connection to cf, but I can tell you that at that moment in time I was so scared of losing her.  I called the doctor who told me that I was too far along for a miscarriage (but I know now that he lied) and to take it easy, get off my feet.  He also scheduled me for a sonogram (and back in those days sonograms were only done during an emergency).  The results were that they could not find the reason for the bleeding.  So I went home and laid around the house for a couple of days and the bleeding did stop.  Did I say how scared I was?

Then seven days after my due date dh and I had just gone to bed when I had a huge contraction...right out of nowhere.  I told dh that I thought I had a contraction and he rolled over and said you better get some sleep because it's gonna be a long night.  (Jerk!)  Easy for him to say, right?  Cutting to the chase here, it ended up that I had back labor (I wouldn't wish that on anyone!!); I couldn't sit, stand or lay down and I went three times to labor and delivery at the hospital.  Because I wasn't dilating they sent me home.  The third time I told them I wasn't leaving until the baby was born because it was getting ridiculous.  I was in labor for 36 hours.  Screaming pain labor.  No sleep during any of it, either.

Katrina was declared a healthy baby and we brought her home three days later.  I made an appointment with a pediatrician for her check-up and shots.  During the course of all this Katrina ended up being a 'failure to thrive' baby.  I'm a new mom so I'm asking the doctor questions and he puts me off like I'm stupid.  But, he put Katrina on a banana formula called Probana.  It was made by Mead Johnson and let me tell ya Katrina started gaining weight on that stuff.  But she did have a lot of projectile vomiting and unformed stools.  She sweated a lot and tasted salty.  She had eczema on her head.  Doctor gave me some topical cream for it and it went away.  However, I did not like the pediatrician.  I wanted to find a new one.  Dh was a heating/ac service man so he knew of a pediatrician he thought I would like because he worked on his a/c and heating and had watched him deal with other patients.  I made an appointment with him and I just loved him.  He was like an old country doctor, very kind and listened to me.  He was one of a kind, that's for sure. 

Well, I complained to my mom how Katrina tasted salty and she was failure to thrive and slowly my mom started putting things together.  See, she had a friend who's daughter passed away from cystic fibrosis and she knew some of the symptoms.  I put the thought of her having cf off because when I looked into cystic fibrosis and learned it was a fatal disease I'm like there's no way we could have a child with a fatal disease...that's crazy!  In the meantime, Katrina failed to talk and her motor skills weren't developing properly and that worried me.  We had a developmental teacher come to the house to work with Katrina.  Once we put her in nursery school she just bloomed!  People couldn't believe the difference in her because she started talking and her skills got better and better.  Once, when she was around two years old she got pneumonia.  The doctor put her on antibiotics which cleared it up and we didn't think too much about it.  Then at around three years old she had a rectum prolapse.  This is when the inside of the rectum will actually come of the body.  I called the doctor and he said sometimes in children that will happen because they strain too much.  Well, my mother's heart told me that wasn't the case here.  Then Katrina started to complain her tummy hurt.  It was constant, non stop.  We would run her to Children's hospital every single night for two weeks.  The doctors there first told us it was because she had parasites.  Then they told us it was because Katrina just wanted attention.  It was so maddening when, as a mother, you know something is wrong with your child and nobody will listen to you. 

Then one day, I  left Katrina and her brother (we had a son when Katrina was 16 mos old) next door while I ran some errands.  When I came to pick them up the neighbor was saying she was watching a Phil Donahue show and they had teenagers on there that had cystic fibrosis.  (There's that word again.)  And she described the symptoms they had.  Also, during this time Frank Deford the sportswriter, wrote a book about his six year old daughter who died from cf and he was on many tv shows promoting his book and talking about his daughter Alex.  So with all this and after talking to my neighbor, I immediately came home and called the pediatrician to schedule a test for Katrina.  My pediatrician did not think she had cystic fibrosis.  He even told me so.  She didn't really have symptoms that he saw, but he went with me on it and I went to the hospital with Katrina to have the test done.  Unfortunately, the hospital was having trouble with their sweat test probes and the results came out as borderline.  I said that was stupid, how can you have a borderline disease.  The pediatrician scheduled a sweat test for Children's Hospital and that test came out borderline, too.  We had Katrinia tested four more times, but eventually we knew she had the disease.  Children's Hospital wanted to put in the hospital asap.  So we went to another hospital where the doctor was more laid back and we felt that was where we should be. 

We contacted the CFF and they sent us information about the disease, but reading that cf is a fatal disease and that your child is eventually going to die before she reaches adulthood is just way too much to comprehend.  I can honestly say that I mourned Katrina's death at that time; on the one hand having to come to terms that my child would die before she was 20, but on the other hand not even believing it was possible. 

There were times when I would be so overwhelmed with the thought of losing her I would go into her room while she was asleep and cradle her in my arms and cry and cry.  I can only imagine what she must have thought, though she never asked me why I was crying.  I started buying her little things that I never would have thought to buy  because I didn't want to spoil her, but I thought, what if I could never buy things for her later in life because she wouldn't be with us. 

Eventually, Katrina had to be hospitalized when she was six years old.  At first it was once a year, but near the end of her life she was hospitalized every six weeks.  And then the end of her life came.  And we watched our baby girl take her last breath at age 12. 

Having a child suffer and die is the last thing I would wish on my worst enemy.  It devastates a family.  You are never, ever the same again.  Life has changed. 

One in 30 people carry a cf gene.  If two people that are carriers marry they have a one in four chance of having a child with cystic fibrosis.  You'd be surprised how many people are carriers of cf and don't know it.

So this is how Katrina was diagnosed with cf.  One day I pray there will be a cure, but since it's a genetic mutation problem I just don't see how researchers will ever 'fix' it.  But there's always, hope, right?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Movie: The Conspirators

The Conspirators

Last night dd, dh and me went to see this movie.  Ds had seen it last week and couldn't stop talking about it.  Dh and ds along with dd are all history buffs especially civil war stuff, so this movie was right up their ally.   Mind you, we live about 30 minutes from Mary Surrat's house in Clinton, Maryland and have been to it many, many times.  It's so small that I do not understand how it could have been a pub, boarding house and a post office.  There are only like three small bedrooms upstairs.  The living room is about 9x10 if that big.  So whenever I go to tour it it amazes me that this a place of business.  During the movie, I learned that Mary Surrat moved to H St. in Washington, D.C. after her husband died.  I did not know that.  There in D.C. she opened another boarding house.    It was  house she acquired from her husband's relatives.

Here is a picture of it (it's the white house on the left).  It is now in a part of DC that is called China town.  This is the house where John Wilkes Booth had his meetings to plan the kidnapping of President Lincoln.  Here's what the house looks like today:

Really, it's a shame that this house is now a Chinese restaurant.  If those walls could!  I might have dh take me to it (we live about 40 minutes from DC) just so I can go inside and see it.  I'll be the owners of this place don't have clue the history of their business.   I wonder why this place is not as known as being Mary Surrat's House like the one in Clinton, MD.  In fact, this house (the Chinese Restaurant) is the house where Mary was when the union soliders came to her to take her into custody.  And...I did not know that her son John was the one who conspired with John Wilkes Booth (well, it's believed it was him). 

I also live about 40 minutes from Dr. Samuel Mudd's house.  I have been there quite a few times, too.  Dr. Mudd is buried in the cemetery of the church dh's great, great grandparents were married at. 

Now I'm going to dig more into all this.  History, especially when you live among it is so interesting!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Niece's Baby Shower Today

Today I attended my niece's baby shower.  She is due next month and is having a baby boy.  When the baby is born he will be my third great grand nephew.  I just wish my mom and dad were still alive to see their great grandchildren.  They would be so excited...just like they were when their own granchildren were born.  At times like these it really makes you go back in time and think about how things used to be.  I remember my own baby showers/time when I was expecting.  Those were the best times of my life..dreams coming true.  Good times, good times!

It's been raining all day. I guess that's okay, but I would like to see the sun this week.  Tomorrow night dh and I are going to meet dd at the movie theater to see Conspirators...I think that's the name of it.  DD saw it and highlyy recommended it. 

Have a good day tomorrow!