Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Why I haven't written

Hello everyone. I didn't mean to not post for the past month or so. I wish I could say that it was because life has been super busy, and I have been out having adventures with the kids. But that wouldn't be honest.

Honestly, the last month has been hard. When we got back from vacation (which I still need to finish the posts for), life got HARD. Bill and I have hit a rough patch in our marriage for the 2nd time. We have done counseling in the past and life is just rough right now. 

I got hit with a bout of depression that really has knocked me down in a way that I haven't felt in a really long time. In fact, our marriage counselor suggested that I talk to my doctor about depression meds. I have been on meds for a couple of weeks. I am not sure that the dosage is correct as I still do not feel okay, but they want me on the dose I am on now for 4-6 weeks before they will change it. 

My health has also gotten worse. When we were on vacation, I couldn't walk very far without my back hurting and being out breath. I still can't go upstairs without getting out of breath. It is super frustrating. I am not sure how I am going to go back to work in a couple weeks. If I do something really physical, then I am out of commission for a few days after. For example, Rebecca and Jacob recently went to their summer camp and so I tried to do something with Ben. On one day where the weather wasn't hot or humid, we met my sister and her girlfriend at the zoo. Well, we walked slow and took our time (since my sister also has many health issues). When my back hurt, I tried to sit and rest. However, when I got home, I was done. And honestly, it took me a week to get back to not being exhausted. 

Before anyone says that I need to see my doctors, I have. I am due to have testing and more bloodwork at the end of next week for my nephrologist as she thinks that there may be something wrong with my kidneys. It took my hospital 6 weeks to get me in for the ultrasound appointment. By the time I would have tried to get a referral to a doctor in Columbus, it would have been the same amount of time. It is just really crappy. 

So that's why I haven't written.  

Thursday, July 7, 2022

We took a family vacation: Day 1

Happy Thursday! 

As I mentioned yesterday, my family went on a family vacation to North Carolina. We actually went on an extended family vacation with my family (Bill, the kids and I), my parents, my niece and nephew, my sister and her partner and their dog, and my brother. (On a side note, my brother's fiancĂ© was supposed to join us, however she broke up with him the week before we left so that cast a pallor on our vacation.) We all went together to rent an ocean front house directly on the beach. 

We left around 4AM on the morning of June 25 to make the drive to Emerald Isle, North Carolina. This is about 4 hours later than we would normally leave, however we couldn't check in until 4PM so decided to leave later. Thankfully, traffic wasn't horrible, and we really had no problems with the drive.




We arrived in North Carolina around 10:30 Saturday morning. We stopped at the rest area just across the border as is our tradition and had to take our photo in front of the "Welcome to North Carolina" sign. 




We stopped at McDonald's somewhere in North Carolina for lunch. When we are traveling, we only eat fast food on the road. We try really, really hard NOT to eat fast food chains when we are settled into where we are vacationing. 





We arrived at the house that we were all renting around 4:30ish. It was named Awesome Views. The kids immediately wanted to get their suits on and head to the beach.








My parents, niece, nephew and my sister were also there. (My sister's partner Cecilia and my brother Josh and the dog were coming on Sunday as Cecilia had to work on Friday night into Saturday morning and my brother was in a wedding on Saturday night). They left to go to the grocery store, while we hung out on the beach. We decided to order pizza for dinner as it would mean an easy dinner after a long day of driving. 

We got yummy pizza and chicken gyros from Circle Pizza




After dinner, we call kind of hung out on the deck and then headed to bed waiting for our adventures to begin the next day. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

I need a vacation...

 ...from my vacation! 

Happy July everyone! I am slowly recuperating from a week's long vacation to North Carolina that we took last week. I plan to blog about it soon, but honestly, I have been exhausted and tired since we got home late Saturday night. Today was the worst as I have had a slight headache all day and just exhausted. I just wanted to pop on and say hi and that I am still here. I am hoping to be back tomorrow with the start of my vacation recap, if I can get my photos to load properly. LOL For now, I am off to watch "Thor: Ragnorak" with the kids. It will be a lazy night. Hope you all have a good one! 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Books read for fun in June 2022

 Happy Thursday everyone! Happy last day of June as well! Hope everyone is having a good week. I realized the other day that I hadn't done a books read for fun post in a long time. I know that I am trying to build in time for relaxation and reading takes me away from all the stress of what is going on in the outside world etc. So I thought I would do a quick recap of the books that I have read this month. 



Many of these were beachy reads. They were all very good distractions though. The Book of Lost Names was a really good book. I had to read it for an online book club that I am involved in. It takes place towards the Nazi regime and how writers used a unique way of recording Jewish children's real names in a way that made a record of them, but would not allow Nazis to know that the names they were given weren't real. It was a really eye opening book and interesting to read. Race to the Bottom of the Sea is actually a juvenile book. I found it one day while the kids were doing a library program. It looked interesting to me and was a good pirate story. Definitely not my norm, but I don't regret reading it. 

What have you been reading lately? Any recommendations? 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Where my mind is these days

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Just thought I'd share some thoughts about where my headspace is these days....







Can you tell where my mind and soul wants to be these days? 
Enjoy your day! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Date Day with the kids: Books, food, and Aureum

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope you all had a good weekend and beginning to the week! After a crazy week last week, it was nice to have a nice day on Saturday to spend with the kids. The weather was perfect-- high around 70 and no humidity! Just a perfect day. Bill had to work, so I decided to kind of have a date day with the kids. 

Our first stop was the Friends of the Library Book Warehouse where we all found some books to enjoy. 


Then it was off to a lunch out at Wendy's. 




After Wendy's I surprised the kids with tickets to see Aureum which was billed as an ariel and acrobatic adventure tale. The performance was being held at Memorial Theater here in Mount Vernon. 



I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but figured that Rebecca and I love the arts. The boys would love the acrobatics and ariel routines. I found a coupon code for $20 off each ticket so I was able to get tickets for the upper balcony for only $10 a piece. When we were there, we were able to move down to the lower balcony as there was so few people who were going to the matinee. So basically we got to sit in the $60 a seat places for $10. 



It was an amazing show. The premise is that a time traveler meets the defender of nature's power only to find that power threatened by evil. It is a good versus evil story. It was really entertaining. Here is a short YouTube preview video of the show. If it is ever in your area I would highly recommend it. 

  

After, we headed to Round Hill Dairy for an ice cream treat. Ben had blue moon ice cream with sprinkles. Rebecca and I had hot fudge sundaes and Jacob had a Reese's Extreme sundae as he loves peanut butter. They were super yummy but super rich. I couldn't finish mine, but Ben had no problem finishing it for me.





 

Overall, it was a great Saturday spending time with the kids. 

Have you ever seen an arial and acrobatic show? What is your favorite kind of ice cream? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Tuesday Four: All About Nighttime!

 Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I have decided to join in with Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 hosted by Annie! 



This week it's all nighttime! 

1. Do you have a set bedtime that you stick to? 

I don't really have a set bedtime, but I will say that by 9:00PM I am done! I am in bed and asleep by 10PM most nights. I used to be able to stay up all hours, but lately I get too exhausted. 


 

2. What kind of sleep attire do you prefer and why is that?

I typically sleep in a sleeveless nightgown or a tank top and capri pj pants. I can't have sleeves, unless it is in the winter and then it is short sleeves as I get too hot with sleeves. 

3. Do you have a nighttime routine before bed?   Wash.. brush teeth.. snack?

I really don't have a set routine when I head to bed. However, once I am in bed I play a few rounds of solitaire on my Kindle. LOL 

4. Quilts? Coverlet? Fluffy comforters? Woolen blankets? What do you need to sleep comfortably?

I have a comforter in a duvet cover and a sheet. During the winter I add a thick blanket in between the sheet and the comforter. I also have to have a fan on all year long. LOL I love a colder bedroom and it drives Bill insane. LOL 

So there are some fun nighttime facts about me. What about you? Come join in on the Tuesday 4 fun if you can! 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Bats?, Derecho wind storm, raccoons and no power!

Happy Friday everyone! 

Whew! What a week!! As my blog title implies, it has been a CRAZY week! So, let's recap....

Monday afternoon, I wrote and scheduled the last blog post for Tuesday 4. I am glad I did because the next 24 hours was CRAZY. 

Monday evening around 7:30ish, Bill and the kids were sitting at the kitchen table playing Uno. I was sitting in the living room reading something on my phone when I heard a big plop of something in our fireplace. I asked Bill to look to see what it was. I looked in and saw a clump of dirt/mud on the grate that you place logs on. So, I had Bill move the grate to see if he could get down and look up to see what it was. Well, when he took the flashlight and looked up, he saw an animal face looking down at him. He thought it was a bat, as we had been hearing squealing in the chimney off and on for a while and we had a bat in the house a while ago. He called the non-emergency police line to see if we could get a hold of animal control after hours. Well, I took the kids to Walmart while Bill dealt with the cops. They did not see a bat but suggested we block off the hole that we found. So, Bill stuffed a shirt in the hole and it was dangling in the fireplace and he filled in around with steel wool and said we would deal with it in the morning and we went to bed. 

Monday night, around 11:15 we got slammed with a huge storm with tornado like winds, rain, lightning, etc.

Radar from 1st round of storms

We lost power around 11:45ish. The lightning was something I have never seen before ever. It was consistent and constant cloud to ground.

Lightning strikes

This first round lasted about an hour and a half. Then another round with similar features started around 3ish, and then again around 4:30AM. It was insane and felt like we were living in a hurricane. On Wednesday it was confirmed that we experienced a derecho. 



According to the National Weather Service,  derecho (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho") is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to the strength of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term "straight-line wind damage" sometimes is used to describe derecho damage. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho. It was a wicked storm. 

Tuesday morning we awoke hot and with no power still. Tuesday was hot and humid and gross. When I came downstairs, the first thing I noticed was that the shirt that Bill had stuffed into the hole in the fireplace was gone. I texted Bill to see if he had moved it. He said no. I took the flashlight and looked up in the fireplace and saw it had been pulled up into the hole. Then I saw a grayish pointy nose stick out. Um! That would be a nope! I called animal control and couldn't get through to them. So I called the non-emergency number for the police and they came out and the officer looked into it and said it was a raccoon. Ughh. He got a hold of animal control, but because it wasn't in the house (it was up in the chimney) they wouldn't come out. He called ODNR for me and they gave him the name of 3 trappers who could come out and trap them and charge me around $400-$500 to do so. I called our landlord as we also had a roof leak from the storms the night before. He came out and said he would take care of the raccoon. He sprayed some kind of repellant up into the chimney and placed plywood in front of the fireplace opening. To try to find positives in all of this... the kids nicknamed the raccoon "Bruno" and have been singing the song "We don't talk about Bruno" from the movie Encanto. LOL 

After dealing with that, my focus turned to the storm damage. We still had no power. MOST of county was without power and there were MANY trees and lines down across the county. Amazingly, the only storm stuff we saw around our house was our recycling bin was blown over, and we had a huge branch that is hanging low to the ground in the yard next to us. There were lots of branches and leaves all over the road.




My parent's power got restored in the afternoon. Our power company couldn't give us an estimate as to when it would be back on. More than likely it was going to be a long term outage. I asked my parents if I could move the meat from our full deep freezer over to their deep freeze and if we could stay there until our power came back on. They said sure. So I loaded up all the meat from our deep freeze and took it to their house, where the kids and I stayed the night. As we were pulling into my parent's driveway, I received a text from our power company saying power restoration wasn't expected until midnight Friday night into Saturday. Uggh! 

Wednesday, we were under a high heat advisory with temperatures feeling like 110 outside with oppressive humidity. Thankfully, we hung out at mom and dads, communicated with our landlord who came to spray repellant into the chimney. My sister and her partner came to town to take their dog to the vet and they had birdhouses for the kids to paint and so it was a good day. We all had dinner together and despite the heat and stress it was a good day. Rebecca went home with my sister and Cecilia to spend the night and swim in their apartments pool. 



Late Wednesday night, we got a text that our power might be on and to text our power company if it wasn't. Well I wasn't home to check, so I texted our neighbor. She was at work, but texted me later that yes power was on as she had come home on her break to check on her dog.

Thursday, Bill had a doctor's appointment and had to get new tires put on my van. When he returned to my parents, he confirmed that power was on and that our house was cooled back down. So we headed home so I could clean out the fridge and upright freezer. We lost a lot of food in our fridge and things like French fries in our freezer, but thankfully we were able to save almost all of our meat! (We will pick it up at my parents on Father's Day to bring back home. I didn't take it home with me yesterday as we were supposed to have more severe storms that day-- thankfully we didn't.)

Today, I went to Aldi to restock our fridge and figure out dinners for the next couple nights. We are blessed that we didn't lose our meats and only needed to replace things like milk, cheeses, eggs, condiments, lunch meat, etc. It was still an expensive trip ($170+) but I am thinking how much more expensive it would have been if I had to buy all new meat. 

I am trying to find the bits of thankfulness in this week. I am thankful that no one got bit or attacked by the raccoon(s) we had in the chimney and that hopefully the problem has been taken care of. I am thankful that my parents had power and we were able to save our meat. I am thankful that our power was restored earlier than estimated. I am thankful that the damage around our house wasn't worse. I am thankful that stores have power today and I was able to get groceries. I am thankful that the kids were pretty well behaved with all the craziness and they were able to keep themselves busy. Ben was thrilled to experiment with a slinky and a flashlight! LOL 



 

So overall it was a crazy week! I was glad to be back at home in my own bed last night and I got the best sleep I had gotten all week. think the kids are happy to be home. I am hoping the next week is a little less crazy!