Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Monday, April 30, 2012


Six o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep, wow, that's a new one. Lately, though, I've had so much on my mind, I just can't sleep. Go to bed late, get up early, yuck!

Yesterday, we had a very successful open house. About a dozen families showed, and everyone seemed to like the house. Our Realtor told me that almost everyone made the same comment, that the house was so much bigger than it looks from the outside. I've been saying this all along. Most of the homes on our street have the garage to the side, so there is an optical illusion that our house is much smaller, when in reality, it is the same size or even bigger. Our home is also pretty deep. It's not a huge home, 2336 square feet, but it's a good size for the average family. Our family of six has fit comfortably in this four bedroom 2 1/2 bath home.

There were at least two couples that showed yesterday that wanted to put down a contract. One had a house to sell, and we cannot do a contingency; she was quite disappointed. The other family has already sold their house and plans to put a contract on ours soon. I'm hoping for today.
This family has been noticing the house for several weeks, but he refused to look at it, as he didn't like the pictures on line, and he thought it was way to small. I don't know what persuaded him to come look, but when he entered the house, he fell in love. I have seen him drive by very slowly, back and forth, a few times for the past week. I'm trying not to get too excited!!!!
I'll have to say, the virtual tour really does not do it much justice. It kinda worried me when I first saw it. No one has really wanted to look at it, but because my Realtor has been so persistent on getting people in, our house has all of the sudden become very popular. We are now showing it almost everyday. This past weekend, we could have had multiple showings in one day, but our Realtor invited them to come to the open house. Most that come, though, have a house to sell and that is why we have not had a contract on it. No contingencies!

I think this is why I am not able to sleep. It's almost like Christmas for a little child. All the anticipation! So, instead of tossing and turning, I decided to go ahead and get up, blog, have some breakfast, and go for my morning walk. Maybe as I'm walking, I'll get a phone call, with some good news. I'm hoping so, because Friday is our 29th wedding anniversary, and in the back of my mind, I am planning on a trip......to KY!
Wish us luck!!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I love all kinds of crafts. Jewelry making is top on the list, and because I love photography so much, scrapbooking is up there too.  Lately, since a lot of my stuff is in storage, I've been doing little crafting. 

I have had a lot of birthday's and anniversaries come up, and so I've been trying to make cards. Mine aren't nearly as nice as some of the one's I've seen made by other crafters, but they are good enough to give, in my opinion. 

Sure wish I'd been taking pictures of some of the cards I've sent lately. I did, however, take a picture of my most recent one. It is still in the making.
I saw a really cute idea on Pinterest I've been wanting to try; button magnets. I've noticed I'm not the only one that has pinned that idea and thought it might make a cute little gift. So, I decided to use it with making a card. I think I need to add some leaves to this and maybe a bit of bling, and it would be real cute. Ya know, I could even made balloons out of the buttons too.
Again, need come leaves and bling. I think I could probably head on over to the craft store and purchase some sequin leaves, maybe also instead of drawing the stem, use ribbon. What you ya'll think? Any suggestions? So far, I think this might just turn out to be a fun anniversary or wedding card.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Foto Friday
Oh what a beautiful day!
Went to a friends house to take some photography
I just love her property
Wouldn't this be a nice place to live?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Redecorating on a Budget

When my sisters and I were growing up, it was pretty common to rearrange furniture in our house. I can also remember doing the same at my best friends, Melissa's home too.  It was a free, fun, experience to "redecorate" our rooms. 

I can remember doing this and then seeing how long it would take our dad to realize things were different. He was like most men, never really noticed. Eventually, he would notice (like days later) when he was in search for something in particular.  He'd usually say something like, "when did you move the furniture?" We would tell him, a week ago, then he would look at us with a surprised expression, and say, "REALLY!?" and then chuckle. 

When Melissa and I would spend the night at each other's house, which was quite often, we would most always redo our bedroom, spending all night moving, cleaning, etc. Today, I really don't notice many people doing this anymore. 

If you want a very inexpensive interior design redo, rearranging furniture, pictures, etc. is the best way. It cost $0! Several years ago, I use to watch a show that had professionals that would come into a home and use what was in the house to redo rooms. I wish that show was still on, because, I like to see what can be done to a home to improve the look without paying a cent.

Now if you have a little more than zero to spend, painting is another cheap thing to do. In bedrooms, one can paint, purchase new bedding, and you have a whole new look. Who says you have to buy new furniture?
I took this old head board,
painted it black,
and doesn't it look nice?

Something else I've done recently is just add a little touch to our lamps. We've had these lamps for years, and I love them. When we first purchased them, I thought they would look really nice with some beading, After all these years, I finally beaded them.
Don't ya love it?

Pillows can also be a good touch. You can find inexpensive pillows or make them for a pop of color.

Lately, we have been showing our house just about every other day. Finally, we have had a lot of traffic. For the most part everyone has liked it. In fact, I'm hoping to get a contract soon, as one of the couples loved our house and was trying to decided between our's and one other. Our house was just a bit over their price range though, ugg.

Today I got feed back from two other couples. One did not like our tray ceiling in our living room....ok, I understand. Can't do anything about that.
But the other couple, they said there wasn't enough "frew frew." My realtor laughed when she told me. I just looked at her like, "What?" We both laughed. I said, "What is that suppose to mean?" We thought and talked about it and we have come to the conclusion that interpreted to be I don't have enough "junk" in my house...dust collectors, you know...crap.  The reason we think this, is because they stated that they liked this other house in the neighborhood (which is smaller and $20,000 more than our house) which has A LOT of frew frew. My realtor said she has been in the house, and it has A LOT of STUFF! My comment was, "Are they selling the STUFF with the house? lol"

Anywaaaaayyy....Gotta laugh at that!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Speed Trap in Baskin, Louisiana

I had a pretty good weekend, just back from Baton Rouge. I went down to visit my daughter and her husband. While there, I was able to go to one of Ashley's dance recitals to see her girls dance. The only complaint I had....it was WAAAAAYY toooooo long!!!!! Over 60 numbers. 

I left just shortly after ten this morning. It was a wonderful sunny day. All was well, until I hit the town of Baskin, Louisiana (just over an hour or so from home). This little town has about 200 residents, so if you aren't careful, you will miss it.

The drive between Baton  Rouge and Monroe isn't too bad. The only thing you really need to worry about it your speed. I'm not one that usually speeds anyway. If I do, it is on the interstate and I might go five over, but not more. 

To keep me from speeding, I use my cruise control, unless it is raining. Today, it being sunny and all, I was using my cruise. Typically in these small towns that dot Louisiana, you will see the speed signs go from 65 to 55 to 45 to 35 then back up to 45, 55, 65. You have to be very attentive. It's very hard to keep track of the speed as it changes so many times, that's why you need to keep alert and just use your cruise to slow down and speed up. I will have to say, it keeps you from falling asleep.

Today, as I entered Winnsboro, the town just before Baskin, I slowed down as it stated on the speed signs, using my cruise. To be honest, I can't recall now what the speed was, but I know I was messing with my cruise to match the speed limit signs. Soon it was again 55. As it typically does, just a few feet away was a 65 sign; I was cranking it up some more. I still was under 55, when I look in my rear view mirror and what do I see? A cop with his lights on. I was very puzzled, as I was not even doing the speed limit.

I pulled over, and was digging my insurance, drivers licence, and registration out, when he approached the window. I asked why I was being stopped. I REALLY had no clue. He proceeded to tell me I was going 61 in a 50. FIFTY? Where the heck was 50 (I probably missed this while looking at my speedometer to make sure I was going the right speed)? Well, it didn't matter because I wasn't going 61. Fifty-three? maybe, but 61? no.

This police was very expressionless. He took my information and headed back to his car. Several minutes later, he comes back with a ticket. Again, I asked about it. He told me I was doing 61 in a 50. I told him I was not doing 61. I told him I had my cruise on. He said, "Ma'm, NO one uses their control in town". I looked at him and said, "Well, I do!" He didn't even look at me, and said, "mmmmhumm." I asked if he was calling me a liar, he shrugged his shoulders and left. HOW RUDE!! Let me add, I was being very calm at the time.

Ok, first off, in town? Well, there really is no town. There is a couple of deserted looking gas stations, but pretty much where he was saying I was speeding, that is all. Second off, I use my cruise so I DON'T speed! So this won't happen. 

As I headed down the road, I decided to call the police department, and find out it was $135 ticket! WHAT!?!?!? I called my insurance and told them about it, and he asked me if I was going through a school zone. Nope. Then he asked if it was construction. Nope. Our insurance guy really had no clue as to why it was so high. Well, the answer is......BASKIN!

Here are some interesting articles about this. Click here for one article and here for another. 

This is not the end of the story. I called their local newspaper, and talked to a reporter there that said this goes on way too much. He gave me a contact person in the Sheriff department, so hopefully, all will be made right. Yes, if I was speeding, I deserve the ticket. I still would not be happy, and mad at myself. But, GOOD GRIEF! I was not speeding. Heck, why didn't he stop the people who were passing me? I guess because I was easier to catch...


Ashley waiting for the muster drill to begin.
In August of 2009, I turned 50. In celebration, our family took a cruise. My oldest son was unable to come, but our other three children came, and so did my mom. We had such a good time! We left out of Port Canaveral, as we always do, since that is the area I grew up in. It makes life a lot simpler; my dad takes us to the boat, and then after the cruise, he comes and gets us. We never have to pay to park. It's great!
Had to snap a picture of one of our fav restaurants as we were headed out to sea.
This was a short four day cruise to the Bahamas. Our first stop was Freeport.
This is my mom and my daughter having a fun time
There really isn't much to do in Freeport. We pretty much did a little shopping and then stayed on the boat and enjoyed the slides.
That's my mom and me racing down the slide....I won!!!
Heading out to sea and toward Nassau
After our day in Freeport, we all got ready for our "formal" night.
This is my youngest son being silly and waiting for the rest of us so we can get us some good ole lobster.
The next day was Nassau!  Now I had some plans in Nassau. We didn't do any excursions, but aside from a little bit of shopping, I know of a really pretty place where I love to take pictures. 

I thought it would be so nice to get some family pictures for Christmas cards.  As always, though, I had very little cooperation!
The boys kept nudging each other....
Then there was the look, "Hurry up!!!!"

Then there was the teasing....
Never mind, I look fat anyway....
We did a little shopping, and then the kids went back to the boat. The water slides were open; and Scott was just getting over knee surgery, so he really didn't want to do much walking around. In fact, he had just gotten rid of his knee brace days before we left for the cruise....bad timing!

After the adults finished shopping, we headed back to the boat.
Our last day, was just a day at sea. I actually like the sea days. Time to sit back and relax!
After we got back from our cruise, we still had a few days to visit with friends and family. Of course, we spent time on the beach, but there were other things going on too. 
I really didn't catch on too much and it was a good thing, because my family and a surprise party for me.
Here's my cake. Yes, that's me when I was probably about three.
We had a family cook out and time to just hang out and enjoy each other's company.
Then, it was time to go home. We have always lived far away. It takes about 15 hours to get to my mom and dad's place, and we do it all in one day. We had had such a nice vacation, but boy, were we ready to get into our own beds.

We usually leave pretty early, so we can get home at a somewhat decent hour. We managed to get home around 9:00 pm. Everyone takes a load in. We all had our hands full of pillows, suite cases, etc, and once we hit the door......OH MY!!!! PEEEEE EWWWWW WEEE!!! What on EARTH smelled so bad?! My husband, the quiet man that he is, didn't say anything. He just walked right into our bedroom, only to turn around and walk back. All he said to me was, "Honey, our bedroom is flooded." Bill can be a jokster, and I really thought he was kidding. I headed to our room. The carpet was SOAKED! Then I turned to look at our bathroom, and this is what I saw...

In the state of Louisiana, many times, the hot water heater is put in the attic. When we moved here, I fought it, and fought it, but I lost. I knew this would happen! While we were gone, our hoses exploded off the hot water heater, and we had water EVERYWHERE!  I will have to say, though, we did count ourselves lucky, because if it had been one more day, our whole house would have flooded.

Sometimes, you just have to look on the bright side of things. Besides, I did get a whole new master area...

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Newest piece of jewelry....
Copper and glass beads

Friday, April 20, 2012

What Every Woman Needs to Know

This morning on my Facebook an article popped up that caught my attention. What Every Woman Needs to Know About Blood Clots.

This article is a must read for everyone. Two years ago, I was 50 years old and pretty healthy for my age. True I probably needed to loose a few pounds, but I was eating properly (some of my fav foods I was eating were salads, including spinach, etc.). I was also walking three to four miles, five days a week. We weren't just sauntering either, we did this in about an hour.

It all started almost exactly two years ago. I was totally out of breath and had to slow down, and even stop during our walks. I thought maybe it was allergies, or out of shape. But how could I be out of shape since I had not stopped my workouts?

In June our family took a trip to Fall Creek Falls and did a lot of hiking. It was a blast!
I was really having a hard time with all this hiking. I thought, "Boy, this altitude is really getting to me." I can remember a particular hike down to one of the falls, I just had to hang back. Everyone had to come back the same way they went in, so I just waited. 
A few weeks later, we took a trip down to Florida to visit with my family. By this time, my shortness of breath was gone. We went to Disney and walked all over creation. The next morning, I noticed I had a very slight swelling in my right ankle, but remembered I had bumped my leg pretty hard when we were on one of the rides. By that afternoon, the swelling was gone, and I didn't think much more of it. It really wasn't too bad to begin with. I remember asking everyone if they could tell if it was swollen, and the answer was, "hmmmm, maybe."

Fast forward to the end of August. My daughter and I headed up to Indiana to see her boyfriend who had just gotten off his two year mission in Chile. We drove the long 16ish hours, stopping in Tennessee and spending the night with my in laws.  The whole trip, I was exhausted, but just thought it was the stress of the long drive. I love to travel, just don't like to do all the driving.

On the trip back when we stopped at my in laws again, I was totally out of breath. My mother in law kept asking if I was ok. I thought maybe I was developing some allergies or something.

We finally got back to Louisiana, and was getting Ashley ready to head on back to BYU. We went to the mall to pick some stuff up for her, and I couldn't even make it from the parking lot to the mall doors. We cut our shopping excursion short and I went home and went to bed.

My mom and dad had been in Colorado visiting with family and came through Louisiana on the way back to spend a few days. I had tried to get into the doctor, but had no luck. It was Friday, and they made an appointment for Tuesday. By this time, I could not even walk to the bathroom without sounding like I was having a severe Asthma attack. Mom told me she was taking me in to the walk in clinic...NOW! 

We walked in and told them I was there for shortness of breath. Immediately  they assumed we were bringing my mom in and came out to talk to us. As we were talking, they looked at me, and said, "Wait, it's you?" They rushed me back into the examining room and started a series of tests. Nothing came back alarming, and so they sent me on my way and told me they wanted to see me the next morning. 

Saturday, we went back and still nothing. They ran some more tests and told me to come back the next day. The only thing that was not normal besides my shortness of breath, was my blood sugar was 45.
Sunday morning we went in, and still nothing. They sent me to the emergency room. When I got to the ER, and they saw my condition, they took me back immediately. Soon I was having a scan. Within a few minutes, the nurse came back with the results. The doctor 'bout had a cow. They quickly made me lay down on the gurney and whisked me into a private room. Now I was scared. They proceeded to tell my husband and I that I had clots....in my leg and numerous in both my lungs. They really didn't know how I had survived this long.

For the next five days, I was in intensive care flat on my back with a stint that went from my groin up to my lungs. fun! I underwent a serious of shots in my stomach. Oh, that was fun too (I hate needles). For the next six months I was on medication and gained a bunch of weight. Much of my diet had to change, as I could not eat any vitamin K, or at least had to limit them; meaning no more than 1/2 cup a day. That is hardly anything at all, and to think they tell you to eat mostly green leafy veggies. Nope, not if you are on blood thinners. I do believe that is why I gained so much weight; not to mention I had to quit exercising for awhile.

Now that it is all over with, and I am now off of the blood thinners and just taking a baby aspirin, I still get a little paranoid. I had no symptoms except the shortness of breath. Until this episode, I had not gone to a doctor here in Louisiana, because I was never sick. He told me he would like to see me more often. When I do see him, I am always asking, "What about....?" He keeps assuring me, I will know. I actually didn't know until it was pretty much too late. I really had no business traveling around the country as I did at that time.

So....just be aware of your body.  We all need to listen to what it tells us, but live life and don't be too paranoid. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Last week, there was no Foto Friday....OOOPS! Sorry. 

Well, this week, I was at my son's track meet and so I tried to take pictures of him pole vaulting. I had a hard time, as people kept walking in front of me....UGGG!
There goes my son, up....
Can't you see I'm trying to take a picture!?
UGGGGG! There is NO WAY he didn't know I was taking that picture. I had my camera on my automatic sports setting which takes a bunch of pictures right after the other, and it's quite noisy. 
Then I tired to get closer, but the camera just wanted to focus on the fence. hmmm....
I am one of these rule followers. You know, the ones who try to follow all the rules. Well, this time, I did not follow the rules. I just made my way on to the field like I owned the place so I could get some shots. Besides, I saw other parents doing the same thing.
Finally, I got a good shot!
I wanted him to pose with his pole. He thought I was weird, so this is the best I could do. Aren't teenagers funny?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

sometimes you have to sacrifice

Recently, in the news, someone made a comment about Mrs. Romney having "Never worked a day in her life!" Now obviously the woman who said this has no clue.  Mrs. Obama does though, as she Tweeted, "Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected."

Thank you, Mrs Obama! Mrs. Romney spoke of how they may not have financial hardships, she has had her share of other hardships (she is not only a cancer survivor but also suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. She has also raised five boys). Mrs. Romney goes on to say, "I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people that are struggling. That's why we're running."

Now I'm not saying that I'm endorsing Romney or Obama. I am saying this brings up a very good subject that I would like to talk about; and it is affecting our economy.

Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with a close friend of mine. She mentioned that she felt so bad for young people today because they both have to work, and that there is NO way that most families today can survive on just one income. She can't understand how anyone can get married and start a family before they graduate from college. Well, I see it all the time, and these people are not getting government assistance.

It is true that things today cost so much, but at the same time our income has grown too. Here's an example. I know someone quite well, who is a retired engineer. In the 1970's he was making $11,000 a YEAR! No I did not leave out any zeros! I couldn't believe it. 11,000? To give you some perspective, gas was 25 cents a gallon. Their house note was $110 per month. Sorry, I just have to laugh. It's just funny, to compare all that to today.

Ok...well, let's talk about today. I would venture to say that that same engineer is making about $100,000 a year, gas is $4 a gallon, and his house note is maybe $1500 a month or probably more. Wow, what a comparison!

Now let's go back to young married couples. Some of them are still in school, some are just starting out with a new job. Where do they live? Are they wanting to have granite counter tops? Two nice new cars? Nice pricey clothes? Fun trips like curises, etc?  All these things many young couples are wanting and having (putting it all on the credit card). I wanted them too, but I waited until we were more established, and we could actually pay for them (not with plastic). One other thing I would like to mention...the average wedding cost over $25,000 today. Really?!?

We started our family after being married for five years. My husband had over a year of school left. I had worked up until our first child was born. After he was born, I stayed home with him. I have not been in the work force since. How did we do it?  We sacrificed. We rented for several years, until we could save enough to put down on a MODEST home. There were times we only had ONE car, and it was a small basic, used car. Roll down windows, stick shift, you know your basic model.

We've been married for almost 29 years, and I still don't have granite counter tops; and there are other things we have sacrificed. Now I will have to say, in the last several years, we have been able to go on cruises, etc. but we worked up to those things. You know what? I don't regret it either.

It's like my daughter recently said, "I want to work up to those things. I don't want a new fancy car or a nice home right away. I want to be able to look back and know I've worked hard for these things."

Ok, so back to the one income family and the stay at home mom. I realized not everyone can do this, but a lot of us can. Like I said before, it takes sacrifice but it can work. One other thing; people look at staying home with their kids as demeaning. Some think of this mom as one who is uneducated. There is nothing more far from the truth. I have had many tell me that there was no way they could stay home, it would be too boring. Well, let me tell you, it is much less boring than any job! You never know what to expect. You always have to be on your toes. It is NOT a boring job! Not to mention, the caregiver has a HUGE influence on their little ones. 

One other thing I would like to add, a stay at home mom is like a CEO of a company. Not only is she raising and teaching her children, but she also organizes, deals with the finances, makes sure everyone gets to their various places, and so forth.

Earlier, I mentioned that all this is affecting our economy. How does it affect our economy? I believe there is a big connection to our homes and our country. There is more debt than ever in our homes, just like our country is in more debt than ever before. If we can start balancing the budget in our homes, I believe that we could have a huge affect on balancing the budget in our Government.

Monday, April 16, 2012


In 1988, we had our first child. After several miscarriages, we finally were able to start our family, and were very excited about it. So excited that I can remember fighting with my husband on who was going to change the diaper. TRUE story!
Seventeen months and three days later, we had our second child. Wasn't expecting that so soon, but, again, we were very excited! Now we had a sweet little boy and our darling baby girl. 
It wasn't until one miscarriage and three years later that we were blessed with our third child, another boy. Oh no! Now we were outnumbered! I was really scared about having a third child, but soon that feeling was replaced with utter joy!
We knew we wanted a large family, and since we were late in getting started, we decided to go ahead and have our fourth child. Twenty months later, we were blessed with another boy. We now had four children, ages six and under. I think back on those days and wonder how we ever did it.
When I gave birth to our last child, for some reason I really didn't feel as if we were done. Seven years later, at the age of 42, I once again got pregnant. At first I was in shock, but quickly, I got very excited. From the first day I found out that I was having another baby, I felt as if it was going to be a little girl. Ashley often mentioned about having a baby sister. Sadly, this was not meant to be, as soon after I became pregnant, I had yet another miscarriage. I think about that baby often. I really don't know if I have ever gotten over that last miscarriage. In fact, I think of all the miscarriages I've had and wonder what more joy we could have had in our home.
I can remember so many times when I was out with my children I would get some strange looks. Quite often, people would look at me, then to my children and then back at me. Then they would say, "Are they AAAAALLLL your's?" I would just smile and say, "Yes, they sure are!" A lot of times they would look at them, and then ask me if I had two sets of twins. "No" I would answer. Then sometimes they would ask, "One set of twins?" I would tell them, no twins....
Easter with the cousins when we lived in North Carolina about 1996
I will have to say, I was very fortunate to have some very well behaved children. Now I'm not saying they were perfect little angles all the time. Believe me, they had their moments. 
Easy? well, no, it wasn't easy. It was a lot of work! But I enjoyed it.