Tuesday, October 02, 2018

October equals Halloween season....you know what that means!!

It's that time again....   time to rev up Bayou Blue Dancing Lights!!  This is our fourth year putting on a Halloween show and we have come a long, long way from that first year when we were just testing Light-o-Rama out!!

With Clint having surgery, the show was looking a little iffy for a while.  He said he could still pull it off and he did.  We had some help from some friends and knocked out most of the hard stuff the weekend before his surgery.  We managed to put all the yard items out a little at a time, and Clint ran all the cords over the weekend. 

I did a Facebook live stream on Monday night with in a few hours the video had reached nearly 5,000 people.  Yikes... 

We'll be adding a couple of new songs a bit later.  Here's a few short clips from our test run..... 

Do you decorate for Halloween?  Go all out??  Or not at all??  I'd say we go all out!! 

TT update

Thanks to everyone who checked in on Clint!!  I'm happy to say his thyroidectomy went well and he seems to be doing pretty good over all.  He didn't seem to have any of the surgery hangover that I had after mine.  He was up and feeling just fine with in hours.  His calcium was running a little on the low side at first, so his doctor is keeping an eye on that.  He's still in limbo waiting to see if he will need radio active iodine ablation.  Until that is decided, he can't begin thyroid hormone replacement.  We are hoping he can avoid doing that, but it is what it is I suppose. 

To be continued....

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Choir Girl

See this girl of mine right here?

When Veronica was teeny tiny, back when she was three or four years old, I'd sit with her while she was in the bathtub and sing.  I sang scales, I sang silly songs, and I sang some of my old choir songs.  She learned them, which was my intention all along.  Eventually she could hang onto the melody while I sang the harmony.  She could sing in a simple round.  It was part of our routine to put on a little show while she played in the tub.  She was not bad for being such a little kid.

Fast forward to now, 6th grade.  She chose choir as her elective at school.  She's been coming home with all sorts of info about how to sing and support your sound, proper pronunciation, and so on.  The first piece of music she learned was an audition song for All-State Honor Choir.  She's never done anything like that before.

Auditions have changed a bit from when I did it back in the day.  We had to audition in person.  Each choir member was recorded singing alone and her choir director submitted the audio online.  Veronica recorded hers last week, and she told me she about had a panic attack.  She took her time, but was in tears at the end she was so nervous. 

Last night we were out shopping and my phone rang.  It was the choir director.  I knew.  I just knew!!  She asked to be put on speaker to talk to Veronica also, and told her she had been chosen for All-State Honor Choir!!! 

This is so huge -- as there are only so many spots and only the best are chosen from across the entire state of Louisiana!!  And my girl, who is brand new to choir, got in. 

Last night she came to my bedside and told me, "Mamma, remember how you used to teach me your choir songs?  I think that helped me."  Me too, baby girl.  Mamma is super proud!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


I've shared details of the events leading up to my thyroidectomy and the aftermath.  It was a long road and a life changing experience. A lot of people do not realize how important your thyroid is.  Thyroid hormones control affect nearly every bodily system, playing a major role in the metabolism and development of the human body.  With out it, your body would shut down and die.  I must take replacement thyroid hormones for life.  It's going on four years now, and I'm okay overall.  Lab numbers have been about the same for a while now.  I still feel weird at times.  My thoughts are slow.  My head feels foggy.  And tired, oh so tired.  Given that my Mom had thyroid disease and had the same surgery, and my grandmother and my aunts had thyroid disease, it was no surprise that it happened to me too.  It was almost expected....

Situational IronyThe difference between what is expected to happen and what actually happens.

Life had other plans and just threw us a curveball reminder to expect the unexpected.  In a crazy series of events, one of us has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  Big hint:  As mentioned above I had mine removed four years ago, so that leaves....


Discovered completely by accident, down the rabbit hole we fell once again and he has papillary thyroid cancer.  It began during the summer with a neck x-ray at a chiropractor who noticed a spot on his thyroid.  From there, he had an ultrasound, needle biopsy, and a malignancy result.  Totally unexpected.  

Clint will be having the same surgery I had, but his is cancer and mine was not.  There's a chance he'll need radioactive iodine ablation afterwards, but that won't be decided until after his surgery on September 17.  The doctors like to tell you it's the 'good' kind of cancer to get, as it is curable.  Cancer is cancer though, and nobody wants to hear they have it.  The surgery isn't all that bad.  It's just afterwards that is rough.  Life with out a thyroid isn't always easy, the first year or so is very difficult as it takes time to find the right dosage of medicine.   

Really, what are the odds of a husband and wife having the same surgery??  September also happens to be thyroid cancer awareness month.  

Well wishes and thoughts would be appreciated.  

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Hello 46...

I celebrated my 46th birthday on August 30th!  It feels a little crazy that I am somehow 46... but I'll take it!   It was a quiet day.  The kids were at school.  I went to the gym and sat around doing not much of anything.  Clint sent me flowers.  I got a few cards and a neighbor surprised me with a gift.  We usually go out to dinner, but with it being a school night, we decided to do take-out.  Clint ordered and picked up Texas Roadhouse for dinner.  I also had baked myself a cake -- gotta have a real birthday cake on your birthday!! 

I somehow have put on a little weight over this past year.  Not that I am overweight by any means but I definitely feel and see the difference.   Slowing me down has been age, numerous medical reasons, and I'm seeing signs 'the change' is coming.  I left my old gym a few weeks ago and signed up at the brand new Planet Fitness in town.  I liked my old gym okay, but it was hard to pass up that $25 Black Card membership at PF!   Lots of people knock PF for not being a 'real gym,' but so far I really like it.  It's huge and has more than enough weight machines for me.  The employees are nice and I've been greeted with a smile every visit.  Hopefully this new routine will kick start my motivation to get this weight off....    here's to making 47 even better.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Lazy days of summer....

We had mostly a lazy summer.  Besides our short trip to Biloxi, we didn't do much of anything.   We saw a few movies and that is about it. Both girls seemed content to stay up all night and sleep all day, so that is pretty much what they did.  We didn't even do many library activities.  As Veronica put it, all the 'good people' are gone and now it's just lame.  True, because as nice as the new person planning the activities is, she was pretty bad at it.

While Val and Roni slept, I went to the gym, ran errands, did housework, swam laps in the pool...

Random summer stuff:

I got a somewhat crazy haircut.  I have a ridiculous amount of hair.  It's so thick and heavy.  I know people would love to have this hair, but it gets in the way a lot.  For years I thought about cutting a short layer underneath just to thin it out.  I decided to just go for it and did this:

You really can't tell AT ALL.  Seriously, who can shave a chunk of hair and it makes no difference??  It is a bit cooler and feels lighter, but still... 

Veronica spent a week in July at 4-H camp in North Louisiana.  She had a blast and made lots of new friends.  She didn't even get homesick this time.  Veronica also just had her 11 year old well visit and immunizations a few weeks ago.  She is 5'2" tall and 112 lbs.  She's going to pass me up very soon as I am only 5'3"!

This also happened:

VALERIE made a perfect score in last year's 7th grade English Language Arts on the LEAP  (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program.) Veronica made a perfect in Science last year, so now it's Val's turn!  Proud of my smart girls....  This is a pretty amazing accomplishment!! 

Anyway, school began this past Thursday and tomorrow will start our first full week of the school year.  Here we go!  Time for class projects, Beta Club, band, choir, and dance classes.... 

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Back to the routine

And just like that.... summer is over!!

Here's to a great school year....   Valerie is in 8th and Veronica is in 6th. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Biloxi Beach!

We took a little mini vacation over to visit Mississippi Gulf Coast. We actually stayed in Gulfport, MS as it is only a few hours away from home and we figured that would be an easy destination.  Biloxi is just a short drive from there and there's a lot to do in that direction.   It's on a much smaller scale in comparison to the bigger beach towns like Gulf Shores, AL.  We stayed in a nice condo across the street from the beach.  I was so amazed at how deserted it was.  We walked over to the beach every evening, and we were the only people out there.  Pretty as it was, the beach just isn't as nice at it is in Alabama/Florida.   Not that it was bad, but I still feel like we need to go on a 'real' beach trip to make up for it.  Overall, it was a nice little trip.  Biloxi is close enough and it would be great if we could make weekend visits there more often!

We did some shopping at the outlet mall and regular mall.  We visited The Institute for Mammal Marine studies, hit the gigantic arcade at Margaritaville, ate at several restaurants, and did a little bit of relaxing. 

And you know what?  Even though I had my pocket camera with me the entire time, not once did it leave my purse!  All I have are a bunch of iPhone pics....   oh well. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

It's summer!

We wrapped up the school year at the end of May...  so long 5th grade and 7th grade!  Veronica was invited to join Beta Club next year and she also signed up for 6th grade choir.  Valerie ran for Beta Club Treasurer and she WON!  Valerie also had her spring band concert.  Both girls finished the year with straight A's and received awards for their accomplishments all year.  Next year will be interesting with band, and choir, and beta, and 4-H!!

We also had our final dance recital at the school Val and Roni have gone to for the last seven years.  The owner has decided to call it quits and close the school.  Valerie has decided that she is done with dancing and will focus on band.  She will be in marching band in another year, so dancing probably would have been difficult to keep up with.  I was so sad when she told me she wanted to quit.  It was a rough moment at the end of the recital with lots and lots of tears as they said goodbye to their dancing school and friends.  The end of an era.  Veronica does want to continue, so she will go back to the school we went to before this one.

Clint set up our pool right after school let out, but it's been raining almost every day!  I've gotten in it a few times.  The kids don't have a whole lot of interest in it unless they have friends over.  I hope we have some sunshine ahead so I can have a lazy day or two in the pool!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

The summer of Bella

I've got some catching up to do....  but first, Bella.

Bella is our Siamese mix seven year old cat.  She's always been a big girl. Right from the start, she was much bigger than her brother, Perriwinkle.  At one point, she was so round in the middle she could not fit through the pet door.  She'd get stuck and rattle the door as she tried to squeeze through.  We'd open the door for her and shake our heads in disbelief that this cat was so big.

I DID put her on a diet.  I cut way back on dry food and switched to canned.  Bella DID lose some weight and could fit through the pet door again.   Bella was still pretty big, cat wise.  She'd often beg for endless water, either in the sink or in her bowl.  She was always in the litter box, like 10-15 times a day.  She was fat and lazy and we'd often watch her laying around listlessly and say, "there's something wrong with that cat."

Unfortunately, we were right.  Bella has diabetes.  A diabetic cat.  The vet referred to her as a "happy diabetic," meaning, it hasn't affected her behavior just yet.  She's still a happy cat being a cat.  All of her other labs came back normal.  So here we are with a new routine of needles, insulin, a diet, vet visits, and tests. Yes, we have to give this cat insulin shots.  Give. Cat. Shots. Twice. A. Day.  She tolerates it somewhat, but we have a long ways to go.  At some point, we need to get where we can prick her ear and test her glucose level at home with a meter.  Sounds impossible, but apparently it can be done and mastered!!  I know she's just a cat, but she isn't.  She's part of our family.  The things we do....

My whole summer is going to be spent fooling with this cat.  I just know it.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A little springtime

We had some beautiful spring days here in the South back in April.  Mild temps, sunny, and clear blue skies.  I could deal with this kind of weather all year around, but the summer heat was right around the corner....

We took the opportunity to tackle a few tasks outside.  I revamped the front porch a bit.

My Mom bought this glider swing for us the summer after our house was built 14 years ago.  It was nice to sit on but it was big and bulky.  Time had left it weathered and just not visually appealing anymore.  The arm rests were junk collectors.  I decided it was time for a change, so we did this:

The rockers take up much less space and have a nice curb appeal.

I also decided to paint my front door a deep red.  I love red and have so much red around this house...  what's a little more?!

I also made the wreath with flowers from The Dollar Tree.  Not too bad -- just don't look too closely!!

Eventually I'd like to paint the porch a shade or two darker green, but that also involves painting the gables.  That will wait for another time.

We also spruced up our flowerbed.  Surprisingly nearly everything survived the winter snow.  I only lost a lantana and my hisbiscus plants didn't fare well.  I picked up a bunch of $1 clearance flowers from Lowe's and we replaced the hibiscus bushes with a jasmine bush.  Most everything is growing nicely. 

Veronica's orange tree is doing fairly well.  I believe it was in first grade she smuggled home an orange seed from school and asked to plant it.  Clint germinated it, stuck it in some dirt, and here it is!  It has yet to produce any oranges, but we'll give it a few more years.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Happy Easter!

Apparently The Bunny's got jokes:

Easter fell on April 1st, aka April Fool's Day and The Bunny couldn't pass up the one and only opportunity to be a prankster.  Yes, that is a big ole' pile of cleaning supplies!!!  The Bunny passed rather early and went to bed.

Around 12:45am, Veronica tip-toed into our room and leaned on me to give me a big hug.

She whispered, "The Easter Bunny pranked us.  It's April Fool's.  He left us cleaning stuff.  But there's real baskets on the table.  I saw them!"

So I got up with her and was "surprised" and "amused" and shuffled her back to bed.  Thankfully we all slept in a bit Easter Sunday morning.

I do believe this was our last Easter for the bunny to visit.  Veronica seemingly still believes, but she also has her doubts.  Valerie knows but has yet to let us know that she knows.  At least she is playing along, for now.

Easter was low-key.  We barbecued and sat around most of the day.  That about sums it up!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Catching up....

Right before we left for our vacation, ten year old Veronica came home with these beauties:

APPARENTLY there was a parish awards ceremony for test scores and APPARENTLY we missed it.  We were Not.Told.About.It.  Veronica made a perfect score in Science, which is a huge accomplishment on these state required assessments.  I'm still pretty pissed that we missed the ceremony and probably will be for a long time.  I'm not even sure who's to blame, but it seems someone would have made sure the recipients were all invited to attend.

That same ten year old is now eleven!!  Gosh, it's hard to believe my baby girl is eleven.  We celebrated with a birthday party by inviting a bunch of Veronica's friends to our house.  I don't even know how many kids she invited, but she had a nice turn out and got some really cool gifts.  It was a perfect day weather wise and I think everyone had a great time.

Then THIS happened:



It's been nearly three years since she got those braces.  She was only ten when this journey began!  It's been a long road of painful adjustments and pokey wires. Valerie actually got a little teary eyed when she saw herself with out them.  She looks so different than the little kid with the overbite.  Now she has to deal with the joys of wearing a retainer, which she seems to be handling well so far.  She has to wear it almost 24/7 for three months, then she can switch to just at night.  Her smile is absolutely beautiful now!!  Not that my girl wasn't beautiful before, but nobody wants to go through life with jacked up teeth if they don't have to.  

what a difference!

As for me, I've been trying my best to get back to the gym five days a week. I haven't gained any weight in pounds, but I have put on inches for some reason.  It seems someone is always sick or there's an appointment I have to go to.  Three days a week is better than none, but I'm aiming for five!  I've been thinking about challenging myself to do six or seven days a week for stretch of time, but that might be pushing it.  I like the gym I am at, but my fav instructor just left which is a real bummer.  I am not a total class person but there are a few classes that I did enjoy every week.  There's a brand new Planet Fitness that opened a few months ago that is dirt cheap.  It's a few minutes farther from my house, but I plan on checking it out this summer.

And...  one last thing.  I'm taking bets.  How long before the 11 year old is taller than me AND Valerie??