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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Sunday, July 03, 2016

We are sixteen going on seventeen...

It was July 3, 2000.  My chat ICQ friend asked me to meet him for pizza at Pepper's in Thibodaux.  I had never been there and hadn't been to downtown Thibodaux in years.  My Mom said to go, it would be good for me to get out.  He gave me his phone number, and I called him.... first   That was probably a first because I've never been much of a phone person to just randomly call people.  I remember talking about the cats - my cats, and he told me he had a bunch of cats, too.  Hmmm ok a guy with cats - cool.  We set a time and I got ready and drove the 30 minutes to meet him.

I wasn't expecting much.  We had been chatting just about daily for a little over a month now.  How that came about is another story, but we had some mutual acquaintances so it wasn't as if I were meeting someone totally random.  I arrived first and the restaurant was empty.  I picked a booth to sit and wait, and it turned out it was his regular spot.  The only pics I had seen of this guy were on his webpage, mostly of him dressed up for Halloween.  There was one of him at work in coveralls showing off his Taz tattoo.






In he walked a few minutes late wearing a Taz shirt.  I knew right away it was him and my first thought was hmmm he shaves his head.  He's bald.  He didn't tell me that.  He had a small soft sided green cooler (a purse???)  which later I learned was how he carried his medicine around.  Diabetes meds.  We had some sort of chicken pizza, then went across the street to a bar where he worked security sometimes and we had a few drinks.  It too, was empty.  Someone mentioned a band was at a bar in Houma, so we headed that way to see "The Chee-Weez."  It was pretty crowded there, but the band was great!  At some point, the guy I was with went to the restroom or to get a drink, leaving me sitting by myself for a few minutes.  Some dude came out of no where and started chatting me up.  When the guy returned, the chatty dude eyed the big bald guy up and down and pretty much stopped mid sentence and faded away.  (lol)

It was a fun night out and I wasn't really sure about this new friend of mine.  It wasn't really like a 'date' date since we had just hung out for the evening.  Over the next few months though, he grew on me....













It's crazy how fast the years have gone by.  Sixteen years ago today, Clint and I met!  Sixteen years sounds so long, yet it seems like yesterday.  It's as if this is how it was supposed to be all along. I barely remember life before him and the kids!!


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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throw Back Thursday!!

I was looking for some old pics and ran across these.  It seems like so long ago we were stressing over this house!!  We had a lot of red tape to go through getting started and it seemed like nothing but delays.  We used a floor plan that we liked and customized it to our liking.  Construction began in late July 2003 and we moved in two days before Christmas. (How ironic that Valerie was born almost one year to the day -- December 21!)  It was just me and Clint and it seemed so big and roomy.  It's definitely bigger and nicer than what we grew up in, but with two kids we sure have grown into this house!!



















I shamefully admit we still have a few things unfinished.  Nail holes that weren't filled in, moldings that need to be painted.  Oops.  We've slowly been re-painting each room and updating.  So far we've gutted the master bath, updated the dining room, painted our bedroom, the hall bath, the hallway, and the utility room.  We've changed the landscaping a few times.  I'm in the middle of painting Val's room now (pics to come.)  Someday I hope to paint the living area and totally re-do the kitchen, but those are big projects!  Here it is today.  I took these when I went out to check the mail!



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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tourist Trap

Clint took a day of vacation last Thursday and we had a family day in New Orleans!  Our last visit to the aquarium was with my Dad, and he has been gone nearly five years.  It was past time for another visit! It is rather pricey, but it makes for a nice indoor outing to beat the heat. I thought that going mid-week would be better than a busy weekend.  Well, I thought wrong.  Everywhere we turned, there were campers on field trips.  Hundreds of them in large groups.  We tried waiting off to the side for the group to pass, but they just kept coming and coming - wow.  I know we are all there for the same reason - to enjoy the aquarium - but maneuvering around such large groups was not fun at all.  Even nine year old Veronica went on a rant about how the counselors weren't doing a very good job and were very rude since they had bumped into her numerous times and didn't say 'excuse me' or anything.  We still enjoyed our visit and eventually the crowd thinned out somewhat.


View from the parking garage







After we were done at the aquarium, we walked over to the "Tourist Trap"  aka the Riverwalk Outlet Mall.  We hadn't been there in years either.  It used to be a regular mall, but now it's an "outlet" mall.  The cruise terminal is nearby, so it seems geared toward luring the tourists in.  There are a lot of regular stores but there's nothing discounted about their prices.  There is a lot of tourist geared merchandise - New Orleans clothing, nick-nacks, spices, Mardi Gras themed stuff, and food items.  I admit it is fun looking through all the junk stores and even the kids like looking at the souvenir type stuff.  I saw this in several stores:



The highest price?  $8.  (I've seen it higher than that down at the French Market - another Tourist Trap!! ) You can find this at Wal-mart for three bucks or so...

Of course we fell into said Tourist Trap and had to stop at the real Cafe Du Monde for a treat.  You can't go to New Orleans and pass up beignets and coffee!




On our way back towards the aquarium, we stopped for a bit to sit by the Mississippi River to watch the ships pass.  It was breezy so the heat wasn't all that bad.

There's the river

Not sure why Val is making that grumpy face!


Selfie by the Mississippi



Our final stop was the IMAX theater right next to the aquarium.  I had been here only once before and it was so long ago I don't even remember what I watched.  We saw "Secret Ocean" in 3D.  All the campers seemed to have gone back to where they came from and the theater was nearly empty.



After the film, it was time to head for home.  Lucky us hit I-10 in the middle of 5:00pm traffic!  Actually it wasn't so bad.  Traffic was moving and we didn't hit any gridlock spots.  We made it home with in a couple of hours time.  It was a fun day with the kids --  hopefully it won't be so long before we make it back for a day trip to The City.


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