Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Wordless Wednesday...

Something fun is coming!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Choir Girl

I know I have made a lot of posts about Valerie and band lately.  It really has been all consuming for all of us!   Meanwhile, running parallel to all the band activities, Veronica has been all about choir.  If you've been here a while, you may remember how she made All-State Honor Choir last year.  It was a big deal, as she had only been in choir for two months!  To have the guts to audition and then to make All-State at only 11 years old was a huge accomplishment for her.  Back in June, during summer break, Veronica decided to check out the All-State website and found the audition info for this year.  The song was "Circa Mea" by Mark Burrows.  She then went to YouTube to find it.  She found many recordings and began practicing all on her own.  All summer long.  Once I found out she was working on it, I searched around and found the sheet music online.  Then I began playing the YouTube videos all the time: 

We had some questions about the correct Latin pronunciations, but by the time school started in August, we both knew the alto melody.  It was a few weeks in before they began preparing for the audition at school, but Roni already knew her part.   September 6th was audition day.  It's a recorded audition that the director sends in, so it's much easier than having to sing alone in front of people judging you!!  She was still so nervous, shaking nervous she said.  I know it was hard for her.  She has terrible anxiety.  But she did her best...  and we waited and waited.  Results take a while because they listen to all the recordings sent in.  She was on pins and needles all week waiting to find out if she made All-State again, stalking the website hoping the results would be posted early...

....and last night they were!


Took me a moment, but there under youth mixed was my girl's initials.  She is one of two from her school that made it. 

Needless to say, Veronica is SUPER excited!!!   I'm so proud of her.  She worked so hard for this.  Now we get to go on a second All-State Honor Choir in New Orleans adventure this November.  It also means this mamma will miss Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands, the biggest marching festival of the year.  It is the same weekend.  Sigh.  You'd think these things would be coordinated a bit better!  Oh well.  Clint will travel West with the Band Kid and I will travel East with the Choir Girl! 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Cats post

Can I get a Happy Birthday, Sassy Cat?  Time is catching up with our dear old girl.  This cat is now officially 18.  She was born September 2001 and has been around since before marriage, a house, and the kids...  She still gets along pretty good for her age and is quite demanding.  We are here to serve her, right??  She can't get on the bed without help, so when she asks, she gets put where she wants to go.  She wants to eat?  She gets fed.  She walks very crooked on a bad day.  She is mostly deaf. We wonder sometimes if she has kitty dementia, as she seems to forget her routine from time to time or wanders around the house as if lost.  It is quite challenging sometimes, as you can't reason with a cat.  She has developed a strange aversion to the litter box, but is fine with a puppy pad... so a puppy pad it is.  Do what you have to do to appease the old cat because she's spoiled and who knows how much time she has left, right?

Bella turned 8 this summer.  Despite being on a low carb diabetic diet for the past 14 months, she is still very chonky and overweight.  She is forever hungry and has digestive issues.  The diabetes is in remission though!!  She hasn't needed insulin since last October.  I spot check her glucose from time to time and I'm always relieved to see those low numbers.  I know one day I'll see those numbers spike again, especially if we can't get the weight down.  She is more active and happier than she was, so there's that. Even with all the needle sticks she not once ever ran from me or tried to hide.  She's still the sweetest lap cat ever.

Finally, Gizmo is the baby at 4.  So much to say about this crazy cat!!  He's a copy cat and will go where Sassy goes.  At night he attacks my feet under the covers and I have the battle scars to prove it!  He steals socks/clothes and drags them around the house yowling.  He drowns toys in the water bowl.  He gets in these 'moods' where he is all puffy and wants someone to hold him and pet him.  It's quite funny and we call him 'puffy cat.'  It's so weird!  I read that it means he's super happy and loves us.  Well, we love you too, Gizzy!

Monday, September 09, 2019

Friday Night Lights

I am not a football fan... not at all.  Not much of a sports fan either.  The thought of spending every Friday night at a high school football game does not appeal to me at all.

But of course we put all that aside and do what we must for our kids.  Friday night was Valerie's first high school football game experience and she was so excited. She also hates sports, but said she couldn't believe she was looking forward to a football game.  She learned all the stand tunes and couldn't wait to party in the stadium with her band friends.

However, it was a very LONG day.  She gets up at 5am, leaves at 6am.  School is until 2:15.  At 3:00 she had marching band practice.  They were fed pizza, then had to get dressed for the game.  The game started at 7:00 and the band was the very last to leave.  The game went on forever!!  Four hours.  We didn't get home until 11:30pm. 

And it was sooo hot.  7pm: 

She was exhausted, but Valerie still had a blast.  I still don't know about doing the football thing every week, especially in this kind of heat.  I just don't do well sitting there sweating and feeling like I will pass out.  I'm' going to try to go again this Friday.  Probably homecoming.  And maybe a few more.  Maybe.

I have some (bad) video clips of the band's halftime show.  They have gotten so much better in recent weeks!!  I can't wait to see the whole marching show.  Next week I may try to bring my good camera to get better video.

My girl is definitely working hard, which brings us to this week.  It's going to be extra crazy.  Clint is in Houston, so it's just me. 

Monday (today)  Veronica has an orthodontist appointment.  Valerie has a doctor's appointment.
Tuesday:  Valerie has marching band.  Veronica has dancing.
Wednesday:  Valerie had marching band.  Veronica has dancing.
Thursday:  Valerie has... (guess)  band.
Friday:  Another long day with band practice and a football game.
Saturday: Marching band practice
Sunday: Marching band practice. 

Thank goodness for carpooling Moms to help get the girls to and from this craziness!!

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

It's check your neck month

Did you know that September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness month?

After my total thyroidectomy in 2014 (which wasn't cancer,) it was a new beginning for me. The first few months were just horrible.  It was nearly a full year before I felt okay, and I had a whole new level of normal.  I've not been quite the same since.  I'm okay, but not okay, if that makes sense.   I never dreamed we'd be dealing with any of that ever again.  Last summer, quite unexpectedly, life threw us a big curveball.  Quite by accident, we learned that Clint had thyroid cancer.  He had the same surgery as I did, followed by radio active iodine, and spent 5 days isolated from the household.  In just a few weeks he'll hit the one year mark, and he's about in the same boat as me.  Okay, but not okay.  There is no tired like 'no thyroid' tired.  It's definitely been life changing for him too, but at least the cancer is gone.

It's also crazy that in our very small circle, we have run across several others on this same journey.  I can think of eight people I know off the top of my head who have had a total or partial thyroidectomy.  Eight.  Makes you wonder if something in modern times is the cause?  All those dental x-rays?  Or is it found more often now because the technology is there to do so?  Thyroid cancer is so slow growing so it could take years before any symptoms surface. 

So, because of all that this is me reminding everyone that September is check your neck month!  We never thought it would happen to us, but it did.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Another trip around the sun

Someone asked me how old I was a few weeks ago, and I had to stop and think...  thirty... wait no forty...  forty??.... I'm about to be 47?


Well, today is the day I am 47.

There was a time when that sounded so old.  Now, not so much.  I don't feel like I could be 47.  The mirror says otherwise.  Grey hair and wrinkles are creeping in.  The hair - I don't care - and I'm actually attempting to let the years of dye grow out.

The wrinkles and aging skin I see in the mirror do bother me and I know there isn't much I can do about it.  I once had perfect skin and was asked all the time if I had on make-up when I didn't.  Now, not so much.  While I haven't gained any weight in pounds, I have gained inches.  I need to find my motivation and energy to hit the gym hard to at least try to get back to where I was a few years ago. Lately I have been so so tired, which is another story in itself.  There's no tired like "no thyroid" tired.

I could also do without the random aches and pains that keep popping up.

Time isn't friendly to anyone....

Anyway, I baked myself a cake.  I always do for no other reason than just because I can.  I know what I like and how to make it!  Triple layer white almond sour cream cake, from scratch lemon filling, and homemade almond buttercream icing.  Yes, I know I have messy icing writing.

No other real plans, except going out to dinner this evening.  Where?  I don't know yet.  It's hard to figure out a place that makes everyone (as in the very picky kids) happy.  I wanted to see a movie, but there isn't anything at the theater that I'm interested in. The piano bar I wanted to go to is closed for the holiday weekend which makes no sense to me.   So it's looking like dinner somewhere and a night of Netflix at home.  (??)

Oh well, here's to making year 48 even better!!

Birthday flowers from my husband 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

All eyes on Dorian!

It's hard to believe Hurricane Katrina hit 14 years ago today.  We had only been in our house not quite two years, so that was the first major storm to come our way.  Clint bought plywood and made coverings to board up the windows.  We thought about leaving, but the idea of evacuating with 8 month old Valerie was daunting.  It's not that easy to just leave everything. We had pets that made it hard to travel.  Sitting in gridlock for hours isn't very appealing, especially with a baby.  So we stayed put. My parents also stayed.  We were lucky that we just got some wind and rain.  We lost power for a few days and had no idea of what was unfolding just a short distance away in New Orleans at first...  Then we started listening to the distress calls coming in over WWL Radio. 

This is how you hurricane prep!

 Also a few days ago was also the anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.  August 26, 1992.  I was 20 years old and had never evacuated before in my life!  My Mom, Dad, and grandparents all loaded up what we could and drove to my Aunt's house in De Ridder, LA.  It's usually about a 3 hour drive, it took 7 or 8.  My hometown of Morgan City got a direct hit by weak category 3 Andrew.  We were lucky then too as our home had minimal damage.  The worst was being without power for days and days after our return. We actually got word that a hotel around the corner had power and had rooms!  And air conditioning!  So my Mom and I hurried over and booked a room.  My Dad stayed behind in the smothering hot house to keep an eye on things.  It was a while before things got back to normal. 

Then September 1, 2008 there was Gustav.  August 28, 2012 there was Issac.  (see a pattern here?) 

Now, all eyes are on Dorian!  They're predicting a Florida landfall as a category 4, 130-156 mph winds.  I feel sorry for all the Disney World vacationers, but once the weather passes the parks will open and be EMPTY (spoken like a true Disney fan, huh?!)  After it gets over Florida, it's supposed to turn north.  For a while it looked like it might move over into the Gulf of Mexico and head our way...  it's looking a little better for us.  Anyway, if you're in Florida, prep time is now!!  Stay safe out there... 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wordless Wednesday ~ Which Chicken Sandwich?

Everybody's all... 

While my kids are.... gimme another one of these: 

Monday, August 26, 2019

The instant craze

I know I'm late to the game!  But I'm not one to just go out a buy something because it's the new fad kitchen gadget.

I eyed these for two weeks.  Two weeks!!  Then I found myself wandering around Wal-mart thinking about them and texted Clint that they were marked down.  He said get it.  I wasn't sure how much or how often I'd use it. I mulled around a bit then decided why not?  I figured it might come in handy. I finally joined the cult and bought an Instant Pot.

I've only used it a few times and I'm still on the fence.  It's 'okay.'  I made some honey chicken that was pretty good.  I cooked a perfect beef roast in about an hour.  I made white beans, which took a little longer than the hour stated in the recipe I followed ....  but it was much faster than on the stove.

I joined some Facebook groups for recipe ideas.  So many of them have pasta or rice, and we rarely eat them anymore since we follow somewhat of a lazy low carb diet.  I joined some low-carb recipe groups as well but so far nothing has seemed too appealing or it seems easier to just cook on the stove/oven.  I think I will try cooking a whole chicken next. 

It still seems like a glorified crock-pot, and I hardly ever use my crock-pot. 

Do you have an Instant Pot?  What are some of your favorite dishes to make in it?

Friday, August 23, 2019

Regressing from the progressives

Well, I tried.  I really tried.  For weeks, I tried over and over.  I finally gave up on the progressive lenses glasses.  I wanted to like them but I just couldn't do it.  The longer I wore them, the worse I'd feel and the worse things would look!  The blurriness on the sides and the fishbowl effect never went away.  Every time I'd look around, straight lines became wavy.  Seasick!  The only way distance worked well was if I just stared off in the distance straight ahead and did not move my head or look to the side.  Driving with them was really hard because there was so much blur.  Even reading, I found the clear area was so small that I could only see a few words at a time.  There was no laying in bed reading a book with them.  I'd force myself to wear them, but just end up just frustrated and taking them off.

So, I gave up. 

I brought them back a few weeks ago and they re-checked my prescription and still tried to sell me another pair of progressives.  No thank you.  I had them re-made with single vision lenses for distance only.  Then I ordered a separate pair of (crazy expensive) reading glasses.  Glasses, even only wearing as needed, will still take some getting used to. These already don't seem to be nearly as bad as the progressive lenses were.

So this is me to see near.

And this is me to see far (mostly driving.)

And this is me the rest of the time because my mid-range doing day to day things vision is just fine!  hahaha!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Room re-do #2

Late post! 

After Valerie got a furniture upgrade earlier this summer, Veronica wanted to do the same. She has been complaining about her mattress being uncomfortable for a while now.  It was time for her to say goodbye to the little girl pink furniture also.

I scoured Facebook once again.  Veronica's room is smaller than Val's, so I had to find furniture that fit.  I happened to run across a daybed with a trundle from one person and a chest of drawers from another that were a fairly good match!  And cheap, cheap!!  Hey, I have no qualms about buying second hand to save a buck.... 

The chest has a few nicks in it that had been filled in, but other than that, it was in perfect shape.  The owner of it was moving, so it had to go.

The daybed is beautiful iron scroll work with wood trim.  It was a steal in comparison to pricing we have seen.

We ordered two Chime mattresses in a box from Ashely online.   (How CRAZY --  if we had ordered in store, they told us 3-4 week delivery.  The same mattresses took a month to come in when we got them for Valerie.  I ordered them online at 9pm on Saturday night, and by noon Tuesday they were sitting in my driveway.  THREE days online vs a month in store?!  Pay attention retailers - this is why people shop online.) 

And here it is, all put together.

The quilt was made by my Mom when I was about 3 or 4.  It's Veronica's favorite blanket. 

We are still working on de-cluttering.  I don't think we will ever finish. Veronica has SO much stuff and she doesn't want to part with any of it.  Schoolwork that goes back years...  stacks and stacks of notes, worksheets, study guides...   She might 'need' them so she wants to keep it all. Binders full of math problems - really?!  I guess there are worse things than a kid who wants to hang on to schoolwork!

Sunday, August 11, 2019


We finally got a tiny glimpse of what the marching band has been working on all summer.  Marching band is quite a big deal around here and her school is one of the best around.  Everybody wants to be like them.  It has been an incredible amount of work, more work than Valerie has ever done.  SO many hours out in the sweltering heat on the practice field.  It has been really rough and Val has been so exhausted. This is only a small portion of the show and it isn't perfected yet.  Props are being built.  They still have a long ways to go before it's finished, but here is what they have learned so far:

(excuse the ticking metronome - they are still learning the show!)  

The show is titled "The Last Straw" and it is custom written. The theme is crows and scarecrows, and was going to be called "Murder" as in a murder of crows, but they changed it.  It will feature a clip of "My Immortal" by Evanessence (which is one of my most favorite songs ever,) but they haven't gotten to that part of the show yet.  That will be learned in entirety during March-A-Thon, which is an all night event - from 6pm to 6am!  Their next public performance will be during half time of the first home football game.  Then their first competition is in Biloxi, MS in September. 

It's exciting to have your kid part of such an awesome music program.  But, as I said, it's been really hard on Val and she had some rough days.  Now that school has begun, she's getting up at 5am to catch the bus at 6am and on band days she won't be home until 7:30pm.  Plus she has all honors classes...   so she has a lot on her plate!!  Of course this Mom is concerned as she was very sick when she came home from the first 5am day, but hopefully she adjusts quickly.  After all, there's 200 other band kids with similar schedules, and if they can do it, so can my ValGal!