Saturday, October 01, 2016

Welcome, foolish mortals!

Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion.  I am your host, your GHOST host.  Kindly step all the way in please and make room for everyone.  There's no turning back now....

If you've been around for a while, you know that we are Disney vacation fans.  We try to go almost every year, and usually right when we get home, we tentatively plan for the next trip.  My favorite ride of all is the Haunted Mansion.  I just love how it is spooky but not scary.  It's so detailed that you notice something different each time you ride it.  Online there are all sorts of stories and webpages devoted to the Haunted Mansion.  Even through it's very dark, there are cameras everywhere so everything you do is on surveillance. People have even sprinkled their loved ones' ashes in there, which is probably not a good idea since they are just vacuumed up!

I first rode it back in 1974 when I was just four years old.  I loved scary things - movies especially.  The Haunted Mansion was scary to little me, and I hid my face on my Dad's shoulder almost the entire ride!  The only scene I remember looking up for was the Ballroom.  I don't recall riding it on my next two visits at ages 10 and 17, but I'm sure we did.  When I went to Disney with a boyfriend and another couple in the mid 90s, I wanted to ride it so bad.  I remember saying a few times I couldn't wait to go in the haunted house.  We got in the Haunted Mansion line and the other girl said the line was too long to wait, so we didn't ride it at all.  I was bummed.  It's a must do on our trips and I try to ride it several times!  Veronica still thinks it is too dark and scary, but Valerie happily tags along and it's one of her favorites now too.

Happy October aka Halloween month!  Today is also the first day of Horrordailies, so welcome new visitors!
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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Test the Waters, Baby Bird

This Momma bird isn't used to baby bird leaving the nest!

Valerie went on her first trip with out us over Labor Day weekend.  Her BFF invited her to go camping all the way in Mississippi!  Ok, so it's only a little over 2 hours away.  I know it's good for her to go off with out us to learn to be independent.  She is almost twelve and I can't keep her in a bubble forever.  The family is nice and I knew Val would be fine, but this Momma bird still worried a bit about my baby going off with out us.  Even if Val got a little homesick, I figured it would make for great memories, so we said yes she could go.

They left on Friday after school and returned late Monday afternoon.  (Longest. 3. days. ever!! BTW)

Val returned a little sunburned, with a pile of dirty laundry, and all smiles.  I'd say that's signs of a great trip!  They went to the beach, a water park, and ate junk food all weekend.  It was HOT she complained, and the rest was just jumbled up bits and pieces of fun.

One thing's for sure, I do believe it is time for Val to get a phone.  She has an iPod Touch, but with no wi-fi at the campground, there wasn't any way to contact her directly.  The mom kept in touch and Val called home to check in, but I would have felt much better if she had her own phone.  Isn't it odd how dependent we have become on instant communication?!  I was older than twelve, but I went on many school related trips.  I'm sure I must have called home via payphone, but it was no big deal if I didn't talk to Mom several times a day.  Val will be 12 in December, so I'm thinking it would be a perfect time for a phone.

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Saturday, September 03, 2016


My birthday quietly came and went.  I spent most of the day alone doing a whole lot of nothing.  I thought about going catch a movie, but there wasn't anything worthwhile playing at a time I could go.  Both kids forgot until I reminded them.  Valerie said, "Oh yeah! Happy Birthday!"  In usual fashion, Veronica cried because she didn't have anything for me and it was Daddy's fault for not taking her shopping. That made me feel terrible for my kind-hearted girl.  This may come across as shallow, but truly I'm not worried about getting presents and I certainly don't need any more random stuff.  I've even told him to stop sending expensive flowers.  It' just puts a big damper on my day to have my kids forget.  Clint could have reminded them or taken them to the dollar store to pick out a card, but no.  It's not about getting a gift.  Not at all....    It goes much deeper.  It's about being remembered and appreciated.   Everybody wants to feel valued.  It's the acknowledgement that you mean something.  It's about your family saying they are glad you are still here.  It's being thought of as worthy enough for the time and effort.  Not doing anything subconsciously sends the message I'm too busy or it's too much of an inconvenience to do something nice for you.....   

On the up side, I baked myself a cake.  And we went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse, which was good as always.  

I can remember when 44 seemed old... not so much now!  

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

44 times around the sun

Just throwing this out there .... Random thoughts as my 44th trip around the sun draws to a close:

Nothing in life is always easy
Some days are more difficult than others
And harder when your health goes awry
Your mind says yes, your body says no
The sickly, chubby girl inside me sees these pics
That IS me?

I have strikes against me - Hashimotos, vein disease, then had a total thyroidectomy... I need a pill a day to keep me alive.
You read that right.
I do not feel as terrible as I once did but I often do not feel well and had to adjust
I'm tired.  I hurt.
I will never beat anyone in a race, never run a marathon or even walk a 5k. 
I make the most of days when I feel my best
While I make the best of days I do not 

If I focused on what I can't do, I'd never do anything 
Instead, I focus on what I CAN do
I could make excuses...I could blame the illnesses.... Instead I made changes 

I may not be rail thin .. Never will be. I will keep my 32DD mommy curves, thank you
I don't need wraps or shakes or pills
I do not spend hours at the gym every day 
Or starve or go to bed hungry
I do not do hours of sweaty cardio, either 
It IS a constant work in progress
It IS mind over matter
It IS a choice and deciding what you want to be
It IS how badly do you wish to feel better... and live better
It IS worth it

WHAT do I do?  I lift weights.  Heavy weights, a few times a week.  

Here's to me - age 44- au natural with no starvation diet and no MLM gimmicks:

....   Now I have a year to work on being a better 45.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

1,000 Cats with Disney Hats

This youngest child of mine has quite the imagination.  She's always full of ideas and will rattle on and on about everything that pops into her head.  I can't even follow what she's talking about half the time - Youtube, people on Youtube,  inventing things, how her life is going to be, how her boyfriend/husband (!!) will be, etc...  She's got big plans.

Veronica had an assignment at school to write a story about her best day ever.  This is just too good not to share.....

(I typed it as written)

Best Day Ever
by Veronica Galliano
Age 9

This was the best day ever!  When I woke up I saw a check for infinent money.  I went to the kitchen, and whoh.  Do you want to know what I saw?  I saw one thousand cats wearing Disney hats and headbands, so I guessed we were going to Disney World.  I packed my bags and we went to the airport.  When we got on the plane it was completely empty.  When we got to Orlando, Florida my mom told me that we were staying in a Disney suite.  We went to the Magic Kingdom first.  While walking to a ride, we saw Aphamau!  I got her autograph and everything.  I looked very close at the people and they were all my favorite Youtubers.  We went to every Disney park and rode all the rides.  We also went to Universal and we rode the Harry Potter rides with the cats.  Keep reading Harry Potter it is so good.  After we did that, we went to the Disney suite and I saw all the Harry Potter books on the table.  I read a little bit of each book.  Then I went to sleep.

P.S.  I became a Youtuber!!  :)
P.P.S.  I got tons of Robux and I got things more of my style (Undertale, FNAF, DanTDM, EGTV, Tons of T-shirts, and purple) and I also got a computer.
P.P.P.S.  Brooklyn and my family was there.
P.P.P.P.S.  I got cupcakes and I went to one of the best bakeries in the world.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

And the rains came....

We are safe.

No rising water here.  We just had heavy rain for a few days and minor street flooding.

Nothing like what Lafayette and Baton Rouge are experiencing.  All of Denham Springs is underwater.

It's bad y'all.  Really bad.  Unimaginably bad.

So many people are stranded either in their homes, attics, rooftops, and on the interstate.  Surrounded by floodwater with no way out.  No food, no water.  Elderly, sick, children, and babies.  I'm seeing post after post on FB of people needing help or rescue.  People worried sick about their pets that had to be left behind.  People asking about specific neighborhoods to find they are underwater.  People who need medicine and can't get it...  it goes on and on.  No power.  No running water.  Spotty cell service.

It looks like helicopters are gearing up to make supply drops to the people stranded along the interstate.

You might think we are used to natural disasters with hurricanes and all....  but no one had any warning.  We can prepare for a storm.  We can stock up on food and water.  We can evacuate if necessary.  No one knew this was coming.  The water came up fast and places that never flooded, did.  Water up to the rooftops....   all you can do is grab an axe and retreat to the attic to chop a hole in your roof to get out.

It brings back Katrina memories, but in some ways this is worse.  Much worse.

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Monday, August 08, 2016

Lazy days no more

This has been the laziest summer yet.  There has been no schedule, no camps to attend, and no reason to get up early at all.  I won't lie - I've enjoyed sleeping in but it has made me rather lazy.  The only part of my routine that I've kept is going to the gym, and that has only been twice a week at best.  I've tried to be up at least by 8am most days. Veronica was up by noon.  Valerie would have slept until 2pm if I'd let her.  I have no clue how late they stayed up at night, but I spied Val's light still on at 4am on several occasions.

Sleeping all day cut into a lot of our summer fun.  If you don't get out of bed, you can't do much of anything.  We made it to most of the nearby library activities because they were at 3pm or later.  We saw several movies, went skating a few times, and spent a good bit of time in our pool.  Other than that, we really did not do much at all.....  and summer is over.

Today, Monday, it's back to school!  Yes, already....   Valerie is a sixth grader and Veronica is a fourth grader.  This is our last year as a Bayou Blue Bantie as Veronica will move to the middle school next year (go Gators!)  Uniforms were purchased weeks ago and school bags sat packed waiting by the door.  Valerie had orientation last week to pick up her schedule and take her ID picture.  Friday was Veronica's teacher meet and greet.  Both girls were up very early and excitedly got ready.  You'd think it was Christmas morning or something and not the first day of school!!

Here's to another great year....

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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Do you have thyroid problems??

I had my usual endocrinologist visit back in June.  All my blood work numbers look good, and as my doctor says, any improvement is a step in the right direction.  I don't feel as horrible as I did when my levels were way off.  The dizziness isn't constant, but comes and goes.  I could probably blame allergies or some other aliment instead of thyroid issues.  I can't say I feel fabulous but I am okay most days.  Diet and sleep seem to play a big part in whether I have a good day or an ok day.  Carb overload makes me feel sluggish and blah.  Lack of sleep just makes for a horrible day all around.

The scar has faded considerably, although it appears red if I spend time out in the heat. It's got a few little 'stitch wrinkles' in it but there isn't much I can do about it.  I don't get the stares I once did, so I can assume it isn't noticeable to the average person anymore.  My Mom's scar was much longer, although hers was a tiny thin white line and nobody really knew it was there.

If you have been here a while, I'm sure you remember some of my posts about my thyroid issues.  It wasn't fun going for a needle biopsy, waiting for the results, being told it's probably not cancer - but it could be, having surgery, and then the months of feeling awful that followed.  I tried not to complain much, but I kept family and friends up to speed on my many doctor visits, tests, and meds change.  I even posted scar progress pics on Facebook.  I don't expect anyone to remember all the details, but you'd think when I mention I have thyroid problems it rings a bell.  "Oh yeah, Mel had that thyroid thing."

Apparently I was wrong because it seems that to some, it's like it never happened.  It's quite the slap in the face to find that my whole year long struggle was forgotten.  It was quite a surprise to be asked 'don't you have thyroid problems?"  Um really.  Where have you been???   It's not like this happened ages ago.  It hasn't even been two years yet.  "Problems" would be putting it lightly to say the least.  Do you not remember seeing me in person with a red slash across my neck?  It makes you wonder about people for sure.  Like I said, I don't expect every detail to be remembered, but to totally blank on the whole ordeal is a bit insulting.

I'm willing to bet that you, my blogging friends, remember more than some of my 'real life' friends.  Thanks for always being here to "listen!"

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Thursday, July 07, 2016

Farewell to the Pink

Way back when we found out Valerie was a baby girl, we did her nursery all decked out in pink.  I searched and searched for the perfect bedding and found the cutest crib set.  Pastel colors and butterflies. It had the quilt, bed skirt, curtains, and matching wall paper.  I bought the whole set!

 Two years later when we learned Veronica was a girl, we decided to move Valerie into the spare room so the new baby would have the baby themed room.  It was just a plain room, so I wanted to decorate it to be more girly.  Again I searched and searched, and eventually decided on a pretty butterfly border that was a bit more grown up than the baby's room.  I wanted something that wouldn't be too little girlish that she could keep for years.  Since our house was fairly new, we touched up the paint and filled in the remaining nail holes, and we also painted the bottom half of the wall a pretty shade of pink.  The wall was a very light cream, so the pink was a nice pop of color.

Well, my firstborn is now eleven and a half and she announced she hates the color pink.  Her favorite color is a teal blue.  I've been waiting for the room change request to come, so I told her we could re-do her room this summer.  She could even ditch the butterflies if she wanted, but to my surprise she protested saying the liked the butterflies.

I picked up some paint colors and we decided we would go with a similar theme, but blue instead.  I painted the top half a light blue and the bottom half a pretty teal color.  I picked up new mini blinds and ordered some gorgeous teal curtains.  I painted a section of wall a day by shifting the furniture so I could get around it.  Then I cleaned everything from top to bottom, wiping down everything and even cleaning the floor by hand!!

I think it came out awesome and looks like a brand new, pre-teen bedroom:

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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The 4th

This was the second year we didn't host our big July 4th party.  For about eight years in a row, we had a big 4th of July celebration.  It was come one, come all!  We'd rent a water slide and invite everyone we knew.  We had food galore and fireworks after dark.  It was an all day event - come whenever, stay however long you'd like, leave, come back -- whatever worked for you!  It got to be too overwhelming and it began to feel like people were taking advantage of our hospitality.  We'd always request side dishes to help with the food, and some would give me grief about it or show up with nothing.  Every year we'd say everyone was welcome to bring some fireworks and nada --  they'd gladly want to pop ours but wouldn't buy a sparkler of their own.  Then we realized that the party invitations were never reciprocated.  Friends would do things with others through out the year, but we were never included.  We nixed the idea of a party last year, and this year we didn't bother either.

We had a quiet Independence Day at home.  We cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, and I made my Mom's bread pudding because the kids requested it.  Veronica wanted to put up the decorations, so we did. We watched some TV, gave those Bunch-o-Balloons things a try (auto fill water balloons - huge FAIL), relaxed  in the pool for a few hours, and popped our own fireworks at dark.

Maybe someday we will re-visit the idea of the party again.  It was fun, but it also was a lot of work.  I know both Valerie and Veronica looked forward to our party each year and were sad when we didn't have one.  

How was your 4th of July?

These did not work!!  They hurt when they hit you and did NOT pop until they hit the ground.
That's not how water balloons are supposed to work

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