Thursday, July 26, 2012

The House That Built Me...

I know they say you can't go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma'am, I know you don't know me from Adam
But these hand prints on the front steps are mine…

My12 in 12
1. Actually clean & organize the house
2. Read 10 books
3. Refurbish Sally Angel
4. Lose last 7 pounds
5. Hike a mountain in the area
X 6. Find 3 new healthy meals
7. Go to Alaska-excursions beyond dreams
X 8. Go visit the new CarsLand-huge surprise
9. Attend a musical or play
10. Buy a strangers’ meal
X 11. Find a home for bunnies-yes financial
X 12. Re floor the upstairs or the downstairs
Red means accomplished
Blue means working and getting close

Here are my “New Year” resolutions from April 20 this year to April 19 of next year. I would like to update you on how this list is going. So far I have 3 more pounds to go till I reach my goal weight. We visited the new CarsLand on opening weekend. The bunny boys, Bert and Ernie, found a new home on Tuesday, July 24 and we had our bathroom, the long hallway upstairs and the stairs redone this past month. I also have found and been trying many different meals and foods trying to lose the last bit of weight I have left. Not too bad of a start on my goals. The house is coming along and so is the reading of books. Cruise to Alaska is leaving in 39 days. I am planning to hike Camelback Mountain in the fall hopefully with Bill, Derek and Lara and anyone else who might like to share my trek into hiking…
carsland at night
Up those stairs in that little back bedroom
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar
And I bet you didn't know under that live oak
My favorite dog is buried in the yard…

I have been trying to adopt many of the rules in Bob Harper’s book entitled The Skinny Rules. Much of what he says makes good sense to me and seems to be working. I have lost 4 pounds and dropped a size in the first month. I have not adopted every single rule and I still eat meat, carbs and some fats. I just have added lots of veggies, fruits and low carb things such as 3 apples a day, Greek yogurt, a whole hardboiled egg, Ezekiel bread and agave nectar. I eat complex carbs early in the day and try not to eat many after 2 pm. But I will still eat pasta it just has very little pasta and more veggies under it. I have also gone back to doing my circuit routine. Since I have been off minocycline since December nearly all my elbow pain is gone. With my weight being down now I am really building muscle. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I am pleased with myself and how I look.

We spent all last week in construction mode. Well should say reflooring mode. We began with our bathroom last month and finally tore out the carpet that was in the bathroom. Yes I said carpet. That is what was placed in master bathrooms in the 1990’s. We replaced the carpet with laminate looking vinyl flooring. Yes, in bathroom areas vinyl is best with all the water. It matches the same flooring we put in the hall bathroom in 2005. We needed to replace the toilet in our bathroom and it seemed the perfect time the replace the flooring. I was amazed to learn that the same vinyl was still available this many years later.
carpet in master bathroom
new vinyl in master bathroom
If I could just come in,
I swear I'll leave
Won't take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me…

 I could not stand the smell of the carpet in the hallway landing at the top of the stairs. The dog has been using as her personal pee spot for years. So time had come to bite the bullet and do laminate down the upstairs hallway and the stairs. We had been talking about doing the stairs for years. Carpeting on stairs takes a huge beating and ours after 18 years was in need of being taken out. But I was told that for being 18 years old that carpet was not terrible. We had an amazing team install our laminate and it looks incredible. They removed all the baseboards, didn’t break a single one and replaced them all newly painted. The stairs look amazing after two nights of having to climb the railing to get up to our bedroom. But it was worth it. Next will be taking out all of the tile downstairs and replacing that with the same laminate, or putting in a new French doors to the back yard to replace the sliding door. We will have to see what comes next.
carpeted stairs
bare stairs
finished stairs
hallway to the girl's rooms
Bert and Ernie have been on the list for the bunny rescue since March and they have had only one family meet them. I still had no idea when they would be going to the shelter to live. So Sunday night I began looking on Craiglist and found an ad for a family wanting to rescue bunnies. I contacted them and felt they were not eating or selling them for food. I decided to give the family a try. So I packed the boys, their cage and food and headed off to Queen Creek Tuesday to take the boys to their new family. The family loves pets and has 39 bunnies and 19 cats. Not sure if they are hoarding pets, but I don’t think so. They told me they would be keeping Bert and Ernie since they are older and not adopt them out. They fell in love with the boys and I trust they have a good home now with plenty of love and kids. It is bittersweet as we have had bunnies in our house for the last 9 years. But it feels good not to have the responsibility and hoping to get all the fur out of the house one day.
Ernie and Bert-Had them for 5 years

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it's like I'm someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself…

I had laser treatment done on my entire face this past Monday. For some reason the left side of my face has reacted differently than the right side did. I have extreme swelling and bruising. The swelling has extended into my eye and it has made my eye red and watery and it hurts. I feel quite ugly right now and it doesn’t help that people can be very cruel. Looking away, staring or flat out not making eye contact with me. It makes me feel like I a diseased or something. I imagine this is some of what Heather felt when she had no hair and would go out. I remember the stares but it wasn’t directed at me. It still made me angry but for wanting to protect Heather. For now I think my journey into trying to get rid of the redness is over. It will get rid of the spider veins and that I am pleased with. I have one other vanity thing I would like to have done, but it will never happen. I am too chicken to do it…so now you just have to guess what it might be…
Yes, this is laser and swelling-not a pretty site to see
Heather was 16 when she landed her first job. It was at a Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts shop close to the house. She began in February 2005. When she received her first paycheck she went shopping, her most favorite pastime in the world. While shopping at Superstition Mall she noticed that Zales jewelers had a ring that had two pink and one red heart shaped stones in it. It was on a special sale and Heather marched in and bought two of these rings one for me and one for her. She was very proud of her ring and the fact she bought me the same one. She told me this was a small gift but when she got a real job she would buy me a Thomas Kinkade painting. A real one not a paper copy.
You leave home, you move on
And you do the best you can
I got lost in this whole world
And forgot who I am…

Unfortunately, Heather’s ring broke and she lost the stone out of it just a day after she bought them. She returned it and got a new one. The second one did the same thing. So much to her dislike we returned both rings. I wish to this day that I had kept mine. Missing stones or not I would give anything to have that ring back. I can’t even find a picture of one online. I remember it in my mind and that will have to be good enough.

Helzbergs Jewelers just received a new line for Fall. I was looking online and found something that took my breath away. No, it is lab created stones and in sterling silver, and it doesn’t not match the ring that Heather bought for me. But it is the remembrance of a memory and close to the ring she bought me. My thoughtful husband surprised me with this ring last night. He knew I was feeling down because of my current laser treatment making me look so badly. Maybe someday I can have this ring designed into real gold and have the stones be real as well. So while it is not the original ring, it is a memory that I will cherish and be able to show on my finger.
My memory ring
If I could just come in,
I swear I'll leave
Won't take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me…
~House That Built Me-Miranda Lambert~

The exact teacup the girls rode in in 1996

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


 Trying to live and love,
With a heart that can't be broken,
Is like trying to see the light with eyes that can't be opened.
Yeah, we both carry baggage,
We picked up on our way, so if you love me do it gently,
And I will do the same...

What did you wish for as a child? What did you imagine your life would be when you grow up? I dreamed of being a teacher, but the only thing I really ever wanted in the whole entire would was to be a Mom. I wanted to have babies so I could belong to someone. Being an adopted child I think this is a normal feeling. I wanted someone to look like me and have my same mannerisms. The wishes of a young child are faded into the past and so much has changed.
marker placed-7/17/12-saw it at night for 1st time
 What did you dream for the day you got married? What did you picture for your new life and family? I dreamed of having four kids boy or girls didn’t really play into the count. I just wanted four. The place we lived did not seem to matter to me just as long as it wasn’t Phoenix where we started. It was too hot. Funny how life brings you full circle. The dreams of a young bride have long faded into the past and so much has changed,
such a lovely sight to see ...
What did you hope for when your child was born? What wishes and dreams did you see as you looked into your new babies face and held them close? I wanted each one of my girls to be safe, healthy and happy. Not to say that bumps and bruises would not come along the way. Life is hard and I knew I could not protect them against everything. But I wanted girls who loved the Lord and could be anything they wanted to be. The hopes of a new mother have long faded into the past and so much has changed.
Red beauty!!!...
What did I pray for the day I heard the words “Your daughter has cancer”? What did I beg God as I held my daughter who was in shock? I wanted to be the one that had cancer. I wanted to scoop her up and run and hide and make it all go away. I wanted this to be someone else and not her. I needed to be her strength and protector but how could I do that when I was falling apart. The prayers of a scared mother have long faded into the past and so much has changed.

I'll let you look inside me, through the stains and through the cracks,
And in the darkness of this moment,
You see the good and bad.
But try not to judge me, 'cause we've walked down different paths,
But it brought us here together, so I won't take that back.

What did I think as I heard the words there is NO HOPE? What did I feel deep inside my heart? I wanted to die in that moment. Life for me was over. My child, my flesh and blood that I grew and carried was going to die. While I was happy I knew she was going to heaven, I am very very selfish and I wanted her here with me. One last time I begged God for strength as I lay next to Heather and let her go home. The feelings of a broken hearted mother have not faded but so much has changed…
Sinks in when you see it in stone!!!
What did I feel as I stood in the dark looking at the newly placed marker on my daughter’s grave? What did I think as I saw her name written in stone for the first time? IT IS FINAL….AND IT IS NEVER GOING TO GO AWAY OR STOP HURTING!! EVER!!! Despite what the world thinks three years is not a long time. I ran my fingers over her name and photo and cried. It is the most beautiful marker I have ever seen, and at the same time it is the most horrible thing I have ever seen. No mother should ever see her child’s name written in stone in a cemetery. The feelings of a grieving mother have not faded but so much has changed.
It is finally final...
 I have to be me and I have to remember Heather the only way I know how. I can’t change who I am for anyone and I won’t. That isn’t fair to me or Heather. Heather was part of my world for over 22 years counting the 9 months I grew her. I cannot live without her with me every day of my life left here on earth. I am sorry if I come across weird with my cemetery talk, photos of decorated graves and ever changing moods. It is all I have left to make sure she remembered. I was reminded of this as I read a message I received for someone who has stared cancer in the face and seen her own death.
"People have their own perspective on situations and unfortunately they don't always think about how you must be feeling. I love the things you do to keep Heathers memory alive, the care and thought that goes into everything. You know, one of my biggest fears when I was first diagnosed was that if I died , my family would forget about me. Not that I wouldn't want them to move forward, I just didn't want to be forgotten. I love you tons Sherry".
First decorations-horribly beautiful awful and pretty
We may shine, we may shatter,
We may be picking up the pieces here on after,
We are fragile, we are human,
We are shaped by the light we let through us,
We break fast, cause we are glass.
Cause we are glass.
~Glass~Thompson Square