Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If I believed in that Astrology stuff

I'd think it has something to do with being born under the sign of Gemini, the twins.  I'm always going in multiple directions at the same time and seem to have trouble focusing on anything to completion.  Ugh.

Right now, I'm working on establishing a blog for my business... but in the meantime it reminds me that I need to reconnect with my personal blog.  Who knows... maybe I'll join myself to one being and one blog.

It's so cold and rainy today.  Not much else to do except inside stuff anyway.  My list is long of things I want to do so.... not accomplishing many of them at all.

Oh, to further add fuel to my split personality thought:  I have about six books I'm currently reading.  I have a list of housework projects that is pages long.  Haven't started any of them.  I'm trying to set-up a facebook business page, a youtube channel and a blog for my travel business, all while trying to come up with the concept for my brand and market myself.  I really would like to get my Christmas decorations out and oh by the way, I need to clean before I do that.  I have about six windows open on this computer right now including two blogs.  Help.

What was it I was going to do?  Oh yeah, I haven't eaten anything yet today and it's like 2:30.  I'm definitely having issues.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We interrupt this blog for some "mom" ramblings..

Have you ever spent a couple of hours writing and then realized that what you wrote is gone.  Somewhere in the ethernet.  That's what happened to this post.

Guess you didn't need to be a guest in my pity party today.  At least, that's what my computer decided.

The only part left was the last part.  Anyway, long story short, my youngest son left today to move to Germany.  Short version:  He is almost 26.  I should be happy for him and a part of me is.  Still I will miss him terribly and hate the thought of him being so far away.

He did ask me to visit.  Hopefully, we will do that.  It will be fun... it is very easy, I'm told, to visit many of the sites of Europe from Stuttgart.

He says he will come home in December for a visit.  So, at least he didn't leave without any view of a reunion.

Still, this Mom's heart is sad today....

Gotta run.  Grandson Jackson wants me to go fishing....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Road Trip - Newburgh, IN to Killington, VT, Sept 2010

We are in Vermont this weekend.  First time ever for me.  It really is beautiful, even though it is the off season and ski slopes are green.  Mike and I came up here to meet two of our sons and a friend who have been hiking on the Appalachian Trail for a couple of months.

After the grueling 18hr drive up here yesterday from Indiana, we woke to a beautiful morning... perfect temperature and sunshine.  Drove from Rutland to Killington where the trailhead is and the guys were waiting for us.  I was really excited to see them since it has been a couple of months and they have been living in the woods, the deep woods far from civilization much of the time so I don't have to tell you that I've worried about them quite a bit.  I know they are grown men but still I'm their mother.  That will never change.  

Here they are.  Photo taken right after we pulled up.  Their friend Stephen is on the left, then John and Josh on the right.



It was really great to see them and  I celebrated with a few photos.  

This one is of John and Josh with me.

The area around the trail is just beautiful.  I took a few photos there too.  They turned out pretty good even though my camera is an autofocus and doesn't really provide many options for me to make them better (or screw them up).



It's hard to see but there is actually a hiker repelling down the face of that cliff.


This is the trailhead.  A sign marks the beginning with various posted signs and announcements.  A walking stick leans against, left there by some hiker by accident  most likely.


Mike is joining the guys for a 2-day, 17 mile hike and I'm going to enjoy the local flavor.   (Of course he had to check his Blackberry before leaving.)



At their suggestion, I took a gondola up to the top of Mount Killington to meet up with them 1/2 way through their hike.  It started to rain and was windy and chilly.  (I guess remnants of hurricane Earl).  I had second thoughts about heading up there but they called and said the weather was butter up there so I headed on up.  Tickets purchased in the ski shop are $15 for a round trip. 

It was very chilly when I got to the top but when I got off of the gondola I immediately headed over to the path to the crest.   I hadn't worn shoes for hiking since I wasn't planning on it and the path was very rocky and uneven, a bit difficult in places.  Definately not where you would take children, by the way.  It was very windy up there but worth the relatively easy, short climb.  I didn't even have on sneakers or boots and still managed with no trouble. 


PhotobucketNear the top I met up with John and he escorted me out onto the rocks to look out at the magnificent view.  It was windy at the top but John wanted to get a photo of me.  Ha ha I look like I'm afraid I'm about to be blown away.


There is a small snack bar/restaurant at the top.  They have a great view of the surrounding slopes and countryside.  Kinda rustic with a snackbar on one side that serves burgers and sandwiches and around the back a bar and small TV and observation deck with wonderful views. 

On Sundays they serve a buffet for $25 which includes the price of the round trip gondala ride.  The view is worth the price.

After a snack at the top, my hikers decided (upon urging of Mike) to in fact call it a day and head back to town rather than hike the five more miles and sleep in the shelter overnight.  The Vermont State Fair is in town and the guys said they were interested in checking out the pig races.  The one-way gondola ride would have been $7.50 each but when the attendant found out that they were "thru-hikers", he let the guys go for down for free.  John and Josh said that they got quite a few benny's at villages along the trail because just by mentioning that they "thru-hikers".

As evening approached the temperature dropped considerably.  The guys got a much needed and deserved shower and we all headed out for some food.  I would be remiss if I didn't share Stephen's one trip salad from Pizza Hut.  It was a prize winner indeed.  All I can say is WoW!


Can't wait for Day 2, tomorrow.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Wow, it's been a long time since I've written.  I've been kind of self-absorbed for the past few months, I guess.  Many of you know that I had weight loss surgery, gastric bypass  or Roux-N-Y to be exact.  It has been seven months now.  

1/24/2010Wasn't sure I wanted to talk about that.  Wasn't sure I wanted people to know.  Like they wouldn't notice, huh.  I guess I didn't want to admit that I needed it.  Like if I didn't talk about it, no one would know that I was 100lbs overweight.  I didn't even realize it myself, or I refused to think about it.  Even now as I look at "before" photos, I can't believe I really looked like that.  I really didn't realize it.

Well, it has been seven months since my surgery and I can honestly say  now that I have a new life.  My brain is starting to catch up and I am beginning to actually see myself as I am in the mirror.  I'm still not happy with what I see but I'm getting there.  

I actually smile and feel like a "normal" person now.  I'm enjoying everything I do so much more.  I'm enjoying buying and wearing clothes.  I'm enjoying that people can't imagine I used to weigh 93lbs more than I do now.  I'm enjoying that I enjoy physical activity and don't shy away from it.    

In short, I'm not the same person I was seven months ago.  When you lose weight and your metabolic system is impacted as "ours" is, hormones are released in the process, so there are a lot of emotions going around, some positive and some not so much.  Sometimes I'm impatient, sometimes my patience is short.  Sometimes I think I'm more demanding and more particular.  I know some of these are not qualities I want to see in my life.  I'm working through that but it hasn't been easy for Mike to go through that part.  :)

I feel excitement for the future.  So many of the "goals" I had for my surgery and subsequent physical change have already come true.  Many things I didn't anticipate have happened as well.  I wanted to live an active lifestyle with Mike.  It is something he has wanted for years.  I wanted to be able to enjoy activities with our kids and grandkids for years to come.  I'm already enjoying those things after such a short time.  

For the first time in my life, I actually feel confidence in myself.  Confident that I can do the things I always could have but wouldn't believe it.  Confident enough to speak up for myself, to express my opinions, even to start my own travel business.  These are things I wouldn't have attempted before and now I feel the desire and ability.  More to come on those....

PhotobucketThis weekend, Mike and I are on a road trip, traveling from our home in Indiana up to Vermont to meet up with two of our sons, Josh and John, who have been hiking on the Appalachian Trail for the past few months.  We stopped a bit ago and while Mike ran in for a potty break I took a little hike up a hill a bit in the distance to take a photo.  

I was thinking as I smiled to myself, not long ago I wouldn't have wanted to do this.  When my husband came out and saw my photo he said, "you hiked up there"  When I said "yes", he said, "remember when you wouldn't have wanted to do something like that?"  I smiled and said I was thinking the same thing.

Oh, and a funny thing happened last weekend at Holiday World and Splashin' Safari (in addition to me riding the super slides with my 5yr old grandson, Jackson).  When we arrived and Mike went ahead with the boys, our daughter, Ashley, and I went to rent a wagon.  When we met up with Mike in a few minutes,  he said to Ashley, "you aren't gonna believe when I saw you in the distance I thought, who has Ashley picked-up?   It took me a few seconds to realize it was your mother (me).  I guess his brain is having a difficult time wrapping itself around the changes as well.   I LOVED IT!  

I thank the Lord for my uneventful surgery and recovery.  I thank Him that my husband has stuck through it with me... the years of overweight and unhappiness and the not so easy process of transforming my body, my self-image  and much of my way of life.  I'm thankful for my new lease on life.... for the elimination of high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, IBS, GERD and arthritis from my experience.  I thank all of my family and friends (to include many new friends I have met through and Dr. Throop and St Mary's Bariatric Center for their love and support through this experience. 

I guess I'm officially "out" so feel free to discuss this subject which I've been afraid and ashamed to discuss in the past.  

...More to come....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Parenting advice...from me???

Ah well, a request for parenting advice. You know my kids, Amber, and you still ask me? hehe Mine were never been particularly good at the getting along thing. :) Well, they do enjoy each other more I think as adults than they did sometimes as kids.

After being a mother for 32 years, I've decided I'm no expert. Watching my five children grow up and have kids of their own is both a blessing and a humbling experience.

Maybe I realize now just how much I didn't know about parenting when mine were small. Sometimes I think I would do a much better job now (but I do not have the patience now that I did then) but I probably wouldn't. It was crazy around our house and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I remember my kids hiding snacks so the others wouldn't find them and there would be some when they wanted them (Jason). That's not to say we didn't buy enough.... just how much is enough when there are five, three of them boys with never ending stomachs.

And .... the who's at fault thing, can't help ya there. It was always a challenge with five. I think mine learned early on that if none of them admitted fault, they would all make out OK because I didn't have the heart to punish them all (although I'm not sure that Mike never did.) Could be very frustrating. No answers there.

Actually, my kids had me pegged pretty well. They knew I was a sucker for a hug (and I think my grandkids have picked up on that already.) If you have a soft heart, it's best they don't see the real you. You can never get that fear back once you've lost it and it can be very useful I've heard.

No, remembering back over the years, I wouldn't think of trying to tell someone else how to parent. However, maybe I could provide some perspective.

It all goes by so quickly. What seems important today is forgotten tomorrow. They are little for such a short time and then they are gone. Enjoy every moment. Take notes so you won't forget the things they say that make you laugh ...or blow you away.

Take time to notice how often our relationship with our kids mirrors our relationship with our heavenly Father. They want their own way, even though we know what's best for them.... They get frustrated or hurt over something that we know is small in the scheme of things...... We are just amazed at how much we love them and know there is no one who could love them more than we do. Remember that as much as we love them, that's the way God feels about us. Mind blowing, isn't it? What a lesson He teaches us through our children if we are open to see it.

And one more thing: Even when they are adults with kids of their own, you will look at them and see the little girl or little boy they once were. You will still see it in their face, you will still see it in their walk. You will get that cloudy look in your eyes and they will know what you are doing, but it won't matter. You will get a tear in your eye and they will shake their head(s) at you. They will think you are silly at the time but they will understand one day. When they are blessed with kids of their own.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Busy week

Started a new job this week. So far doing lots of policies and procedures. Fun, huh? I'm enjoying the new environment and meeting new people though. Looking forward to making a contribution. The beginning assimilation time is kind of awkward for all.

It's lunchtime now so I thought I'd blog a bit.

On the grandchild front, a couple of antequdotes: Jason and Annie had a nice garden this summer with a home-made scarecrow named "Sanchez". Last Sunday when they picked Blaise up from Sunday School they had been coloring scare crows for fall and Blaise kept calling his, "Sanchez". Bet the teachers had some questions about that. :)

Caleb and Charlie stayed came to visit us last week but unfortuately, Charlie was sick with a stomach bug the whole week. Eli came down with it too. Good news, they are all doing well now.

News flash, Anna Grace (Aggie) took steps on her own this week so Blaise better watch out. Eli pulled up to cruise around the train table too. Aggie's first birthday is coming up in a few weeks.

We asked Ashley to consider bringing the boys (Jackson and Jase) and coming to live with us for a while. She's praying over that and we are as well. Lots of hurdles to overcome to make that happen. Lots of challenges if it doesn't though. Jackson especially needs more individual attention, which Ashley just can't do working full-time. Thanks for your prayers in this area.

Should be hearing about a new neice or nephew tomorrow. Amber is going in to the hospital in the morning I believe. Wishing her an easy time and a healthy baby.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why me?

Here goes....

It was suggested that I should start a blog to share my experiences as a 50-something .... Wife, Mom of five grown children and Grandmommie of 7 (at the moment). My experiences aren't particularly unique or interesting I don't guess but at least this will be an easy way for interested folks to hear about them without too much trouble... and my facebook friends won't be bored with all of the details.

Frequent subjects will most likely be my husband of 32 years, Mike, and our five adult children: 0ur son Jason and his wife Annie and their two children, Blaise who is 2.75 and Anna Grace who is almost 1; our daughter Aubrey and her husband Tim Dorsh and their three sons, Caleb who is 4, Charlie who is 2.5 and Eli who is almost 1; our daughter Ashley and her two boys, Jackson who is almost 5 and Jase who is 2; and our sons Josh and John.

That will do for an intro....more to come. :)