Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Hope your summers are all going well! Stay cool if you are in the nasty Arkansas humidity!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I'm not sure I can get a full refund of what we've already paid, (in fact, I'm pretty sure I can only get half) but most importantly, how do I tell my child who has been so looking forward to this for nearly 6 months that it's going to fall through at the last moment? Please pray for answers and/0r her understanding beyond her years.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Wish me luck?
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The above picture is of an impromptu trip to Eagle Watch Nature Trail with my Dad and my grandma who is visiting from New Mexico. It was last minute because with all the rain we've had, you never know when the sun is going to shine or for how long! ;0)
Now we are getting ready for the ballerina's recital and then youth camp, O'Rama competitions, and children's camp. June is gonna be horrendously busy, especially with my hubby's b-day, roo's b-day, my dad's b-day, and hubby's dad's b-day. Whew!
Until next time.....
Thursday, April 23, 2009
We all really do love farm life....just not losing calves. Did I mention Junior was hiding behind a sad little tree the whole time? For some reason she was scared of that heifer! LOL Her daddy kept telling her to get over there and watch, but she was scared because he and I kept having to grab the mama by the horns, dig our heels in, and hold on for dear life.
Life on the farm, heh. Is it naptime yet? ;0)
On a better note, I just found out that I won 2 tickets to see Coyote County Loser, which was written and produced by some graduates from John Brown University, our local Christian College! I'm SO excited!!!!
Hope you all have a great weekend! :0)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
So, that's 1 major event down, and 4 to go.
This week is Fashion Revue, in which both Roo and the Ballerina are entering 2 outfits each. These are outfits they have constructed and will be modeling/presenting before a board of judges. I'm proud of both of them for all the hard work they've put in....these are some amazing outfits, especially considering neither one of them had constructed an outfit before! :0)
This weekend is State Bible Drill in Little Rock, in which both Roo and the Ballerina will be competing. They've already won at the church and regional levels. Again...very proud. :0D
Then, at the beginning of May, Jr. will be graduating kindergarten. It is a big accomplishment and we are very proud of her, as well.
At the end of May will be the Ballerina's recital. I'll be taking just a few deep breaths after that, and hopefully we'll be done with our school (we're on the right track to be). The reason for just a few short breaths is that Roo is working daily with her colt to get him trained, and it will be time for Roo and Jr. to bring their goats home to start working/training for the county fair in Sept. Yep....we are BUSY! :0) The summer will be spent getting projects and such ready for the fair. The ballerina will be competing/performing on June 17 in Alma for O'RAMA (4-H). She has to choreograph her own performance, which she's done before for her exams, but only in 1 minute increments, really. It will be exciting! She also has youth camp in early June and then ballet summer intensive in Tulsa the last week of June.
Whew! Did I forget anything? I'm sure I did. LOL
Through it all I will be working, finishing their school year, hunting down curriculum for next school year, taking care of my dad, and running ragged in general....AH THE LIFE OF A HOMESCHOOLING MOM! ;0)
Speaking of Dad....if you would like an update, or to stay informed, visit my new blog I've started called "Our Journey" at http://tljjourney.blogspot.com/
Thanks for all the prayers everyone! Have a great week!!!!!!!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
His dr. appt. didn't happen. By this, I mean that we got up at the crack of dawn, got to the dr.'s office early, sat and waited...then waited some more...only for the receptionist to inform us that the dr. called in sick. Go figure. We are taking him back tomorrow morning (Wed.). I truly hope the dr. can and will help. If not, then the pursuit of another dr. will begin.
My brain is jam packed with all I've learned in the past few days...all the research. I've had to sit my children down and try and explain this incurable disease to them....which is so hard to understand at their ages. However, they've come up with some great ideas on things we all can do to help. My girls are precious.
I'm having constant headaches....a sign that my clinical depression is surfacing again. That means I need to make a dr.'s appt. for myself in the near future. It's been a couple of years since I had my meds checked and I know that life changes and upsets can trigger my med-controlled chemicals in my brain to be altered. Constant headaches, wanting to sleep a lot, disengaging from my world....these are the symptoms I've learned to watch for. I've been battling clinical depression for 11 years. I've used natural/herbal meds for some of those years, been med free for a few, but for the last 5-6 years I've been under constant medication...and too afraid to try and get off. I've also been through a lot of counseling on/off and know that I have a firm grasp on how to care for myself and the signs to watch for. I recently learned that suffering depression in your life increases your risk for developing Alzheimer's....my dad suffered from it as well as my biological mother who has mental disturbances still. My genetic gene-pool seems rotten and stagnant, eh? My poor girls.
I'm now checking on my dad multiple times daily....worried about him having a spell while home alone. I set their phone to have me on speed dial....which means him pressing 'dial' and the #1....but he thinks he can't do that. I'm going to have him practice it. I found him coloring at lunch time today. That made me proud! :0) He says he did some reading, but I can't ask him what or he will have a "spell". Questions seem to trigger the spells as well as choices (like what to eat or wear). Sometimes nothing triggers them, though. They are like panic attacks.
I'm grateful that over the past 3 years the Lord has brought me so many great friends. Friends I can truly call on at any time and for any reason and will drop all and come running. I've not had to do that a lot, and it's hard for me to do period, but knowing they are there and that they care so much is very comforting. I'm sure the near future will require me to lean on them more than I care to. I feel like a bottle of soda that is constantly shaken up and ready to explode....not angrily, mind you, but the tears, sadness, mourning....they come in waves. I'm not used to being so emotional so often. Every time I leave my dad I cry. I worry about him. I'm scared of losing more of him than I already have. I'm sorry for him that he is enduring this at the age of 59. I'm sad for what this means for my girls and our family. However, it does have some positive effects on me. I'm now more determined than ever to LIVE ON PURPOSE. I want to make memories.....have fantastic memorable moments with my father, and my family. I want a strong memory bank to draw from should I ever face this. I want my dad to have good recent memories to concentrate on. Much of his life and childhood were filled with harshness, so now he needs the sunshine.
Some ideas I/my daughters have come up with are:
-Take him fishing (he used to love this)
-read him a chapter/day of a great book (like Tom Sawyer)
-take him on lots of walks, maybe mushroom hunting with all this rain we are having
-pull out the old round-table and listen to his (and consequently my) old favorites
Most of all, I want to make him smile as much as possible and make him feel loved. I want to take many pictures and create a memory book for him to look at often. Something to help him live in the present (or most recent past).
I want to thank those of you who are bothering to read this-to listen while I attempt to empty some of the raw emotion and frustration of this disease. Please continue to pray for my dad and especially my mom, who bears the brunt of this. She is such a wonderful woman and a great caretaker, but none of us are perfect and I can only guess at the toll that this is taking on her health. I'm thinking of starting another blog where I can post updates about my dad's illness and other's can share of their experiences as well. I'd like to keep the "Dalrymple School Among Thorns" a happy place.....a place to hide, perhaps, on the really bad days.
Thank you, all my friends. I love each and every one of you.
Friday, April 10, 2009
My dad. I will be blatantly honest and say that he has never been well put-together. He's been a pathological liar for far more years than I realized (until I was about 26). He created much of the strife in our dysfunctional home. However, a few years ago he began having "spells" at work. After many of these, and much time off work, the doctors began to suggest they might have been small strokes. It would be nice to believe that were true and simply have the answers, but I'm not convinced. In the last couple of years his memory has become extremely troubled. This started shortly after I confronted him about a lot of lies and mistreatment of family members. For the first time in my life, he admitted a few issues....laying the blame on his horrible childhood. He, indeed, had a terrible upbringing, and I know it to be true simply by the fact that 3 of his siblings (out of 4) who were raised by his father and mother (the youngest was an "oops" and was only 6 when their father died) were mentally "off" as well. Just odd, they are/were. Strange stories and recollections of terrible beatings....all sleeping in the cellar as children. Anyway.... my dad received counselling for a short period and I thought things were going to finally start "normalizing," but I was wrong. The mini strokes followed. His family doctor of 20 years kept insisting there was nothing wrong with him, other than him being his normal (story-telling) self. This made it difficult to feel sorry for him. Really difficult. During this period he was forced into early retirement. Financially, that was quite draining since he was....56, I think? So, finally, my mom (step-mom, but mom for all intensive purposes as she raised me) applied for disability. The doctor that "examined" him (asked lots of ?'s) at first thought there was nothing wrong with him, but after a bit realized he would get this "tick".... a faraway look in mid-conversation. She said she thought it was from the mini strokes. She gave us hope that his memory loss would not get much worse, if caused by strokes. If it was Alzheimer's, it would get worse progressively. His mother has Alzheimer's. Well....in the last 9-10 months since he saw that doctor he has gotten horrendously worse. I could give examples all day long, but he's becoming a danger to himself and that's most important. We live just down the road a bit from him, which works out well when we aren't CRAZY busy b/c I can sort of keep an eye on him. He used to walk up and down the roads all day...just getting out and hoping to run into someone to talk to. Now, he mostly stays home and sleeps....and eats. He will eat his lunches that are for a couple days all in one day b/c he doesn't remember eating. My mom has to work during the day. She has to. It's not an option. She's nearly 58 and my dad will be 60 in June. They cannot retire anytime soon. In order to be "officially" diagnosed, my dad needs an MRI. That's about $4,000.00. They have no insurance, since my dad was forced into early retirement by his company and my mother's employer does not provide insurance. With disability, you have to wait one year before applying for Medicare. Hopefully he will get that in June and be able to go for the scan....which will, again hopefully, tell us something. Anything. Just so long as we get some answers.....preferably with treatment solutions.
Meanwhile, my dad is slipping away from us so quickly. Despite whatever bad might have occurred in my childhood (he was never physically abusive or anything like that), he is still my daddy and I love him. He's really all I have left as far as family (outside my husband and children). He and my step-mom, whom I worry about constantly as her health is not that great and now she is the primary caretaker of her husband, who has become more like a child. My siblings...we've never been close. Even as children. Some of them are quite messed up, due to my birth mother's abusive ways. Some just got fed up. It's understandable. Most don't live close enough to really understand all that is happening with dad and they don't call or visit. I feel gut-wrenchingly sorry for them because they have no idea how serious things really are. At this point, we are trying to avoid putting him in a home. It's very hard when you have 3 active children (one is a teen and one is almost a teen), homeschool, and work part-time...plus having a farm. I need to find ways to spend more time with him. I've suggested he do cross-word puzzles or word searches, but he won't. I don't think he can, really. But he doesn't even try. He says he reads, but when I ask what book he's reading he simply says that he has many books to read.
Does anyone have any experience like this? Is there some way that it's NOT Alzheimer's? He seems to know when a "blip" is coming. He will stop mid-story and say, "Here it comes," and then he's forgotten what he was saying. That doesn't sound like Alzheimer's to me. But I'm no doctor, either. He talks openly with my husband about his fears of losing his mind...when they are alone. He won't talk about it with me. When I ask questions he says he's fine, or he's getting better. I think he's trying to protect his baby girl. I know he loves me dearly, which makes this all the more heart-breaking.
If you have any advice, experience, anything....please help. If you don't....please pray....with urgency. Please.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The following text is taken from a post on thethriftymama.com If you haven't been to her site, you should check it out. She has great frugal living tips, plus links to awesome coupons. She also lists weekly savings at our local stores.
"Here’s how it works:
You use their program to view ads, and you get paid for each ad that you view. Instead of google and other ad companies making the money, you are making it! Sometimes it’s .25 cents for viewing an ad, and sometimes it’s .10 cents. It takes me just a few seconds to view all of the ads they have for me each week and I make $3-$6. That’s not a lot, but over the coarse of the year that can really add up. The nice thing is that they pay you through paypal every Friday. The first week I signed up, I started viewing ads on a Friday. I spent about twenty seconds viewing all the ads, and because it was Friday I had over $4 in my papal account within a few hours of first doing it. You can bet I was pretty excited about it!
Quick Tip: Sign up for a free paypal account and do NOT upgrade it. This way you will not be charged any fees from Paypal, because the money YouData sends you is funded. YouData does take out a few cents if you select to be paid with Paypal.
But not only can you make money by viewing the ads, but you can also make money for referring friends. You get $1 for each person that you refer, and for each of the first 100 times one of your referrals is paid for their attention, you receive a $0.01 referral bonus. That can really add up over time.
Payday is tomorrow, so go ahead and sign up with YouData HERE, view some ads and enjoy the extra money that comes your way. When I first signed up it took a few days for ads to finally come in, so just be patient if you don’t have any paid ads right away."
I have signed up and made over $4 within a few clicks. It's easy, it's safe, and I can do it while checking email or blogs. :0)
Enjoy the extra!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I love spring! Park days and play dates, playing in the mud...making mud pies, yum, yum! Butterflies and Daffodils, dandylions, too. Lush green grass and blooming trees, the tweet of the birds...everything is fresh and fun!
Here's what we did yesterday....
OLD or INCAPABLE!!! It'll get ya taken down every time! :0)
She thinks that since she is as tall as me now that she can take me....I have to show her differently a LOT lately....hopefully I can keep my bluff in for a few more years! LOL
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Yep. That's what I said. Thanks for the line, Judith Viorst.
Have you ever bought paint? A gallon of paint? Did you trust that the paint-mixer-man put the lid on correctly (you know, pounded it with the rubber mallet)? Only to find out a couple miles down the road that he had merely pressed it on with his hands, then forgotten to hammer it in? Yes. It really happened. TO ME. Why me? Argh. Lavender paint. ALL OVER MY VAN!!! COVERING MY LEATHER SEATS!!! After trying to clean some of it up (read: scooping it from the seat into the can) while picking my older 2 girls up from sewing class, a friend said that I definitely needed to call the store (WM) and let them know what had happened. She suggested I call right away. There was a good chance I would not be able to get this paint all out. It was an ENTIRE gallon, ya know. It didn't turn completely on it's side, but tilted, so there was about 1/4 of the paint left in the can. Maybe if I had set it in the floor, instead of in the back seat, it wouldn't have tipped at all. It's not like I was driving crazy or anything.
So, I called WM. The VERY NICE MANAGER said if I could bring the van back up there they would clean it out for me. I weighed it for about 10 seconds, then agreed. I thought, "Many WM workers can clean this up faster and easier than I can at home by myself. And besides....it was the fault of an employee, and not my personal mistake."
I took the van back up there and 3 managers (including the store manager) proceeded to clean the paint out of my van. They took the seats out and worked and worked (in their white shirts and ties, mind you). It was going to take a long time, so they offered us a ride home. I felt bad enough as it was about the managers having to clean the paint out of the van, so I had my mom come get the girls and I. They are still working on it. I'm going to pick it up tonight, then drive it back in the morning, since I have to work anyway, and they are going to work on it some more. So far, it seems like it will all come out. The floor is the main concern, because no matter how much paint they seem to soak up, there is always more. Right now I'm glad I have leather seats. Can you imagine if they were cloth? Ugh. We have a really incredible team of employees at our local WM. I cannot say enough good about them. I realize they were probably worried about a law suit or something, but I would never seek such revenge. I'm just not a real vengeful person. They really are going above and beyond to make it right. I did receive another gallon of paint and more soda (since the box was soaked with paint). Other than that, the groceries actually made it out fine. I guess this was because I put all the groceries in the very back, but had set the pop and paint in the back seat, so as not to smash any of the produce.
Did I mention I got paint on my nice Nike's? And my jeans? The Ballerina got it on her jeans and shirt, too. Does anyone know of something good to get it out? LUCKILY, it was a water-based paint.
Do you feel better about your day now?
I think I'll move to Australia.
Today, my dear husband comes home after having to purchase a new transmission for his truck (do NOT get me started!) and proceeds to show me his sale bill. Oh. My. Goodness.
You have got to be kidding me!
HOW on EARTH do you go from Dalrymple to DOLLARNIPPLE???!!!!
I kid you not. I have NEVER seen or heard such an insane spelling of our name. It was just so funny that I had to share! I hope you get a good laugh to start off your weekend! :0)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
She came up with the letters and little pieces across the top. A BEAUTIFUL touch! :0)
Now, this table is in my hall. That is because we are currently painting my daughter's room. I'll have to take another pic once we finish her room (halfway there!). It will look even better against her freshly painted walls. ;0)
Side of the table. The other side is similar. For some reason, the colors didn't come out as bright and pretty as they actually are.
She loves it!!!!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I don't know HOW many times we swept this floor today....more than I can count!
This is the corner where my "happy" table is.
The pic below is a before picture, taken before ANY of this got started.
I'm not really sure about the window mistreatments. My hubby REALLY likes them, though. I need something "westerny" to tie around them. Hmmmmm........
You can't see it very well, but I used upholstery tacks in the shape of stars that are "rustic" for the tops of the curtains.
My hubby said he is going to get the baseboard trim down this weekend.....I hope it happens!!! ;0)
Well.....I have a throbbing headache and am off to bed!
Thanks for peaking in on my little (H-U-G-E) journey. I have many more projects to attack, but they aren't nearly as big (or as daunting!).
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Okay, I just COULD NOT WAIT to post a pic or two!! You'll just have to forgive the mess that you may see. The floor needs swept VERY badly!!!
I LOVE this wall. I think we are going to center the family pic above the mantle.
This is my peace inducing, happy feeling table. Now.....I just need to train my kids to QUIT placing things here that don't belong!!!! (like library books!)
This is something I worked on last week. I think setting on the floor, leaning against the wall, does not do it the justice it deserves, but couldn't help but snap a pic of it. It's an old window pane that I was given and, well, I just played with it and had fun. I can change things out at any time, so it can change with season or just whimsy! :0) I plan on centering this along our long yellow wall. I'll post a pic of it once it's hung.
Well....back to work! I'm up way too late, but there's SO much I want to get done!!!!
Thanks for looking!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Somehow, I did manage to get a few fun crafts and such in this week (it was the BEAUTIFUL weather that motivated me!).
I made some cards (sorry, no pics!), did a LOT of painting (so much closer to having the living room done....maybe this week I'll finish!!!!!!), and re-vamped a lamp, a nic-nak shelf, and my daughter's night stand.
Here's a quick glimpse.....
The Night Stand was very old and I'm not even sure what color you would have called it. I got it at a yard sale for a buck. It has really pretty knobs for the drawers, but of course, I took them off to paint it.
This is the before pic of the nic/nak shelf. I liked it just the way it was, but after painting I wanted to add some black accents to the living room. Instead of buying more junk, I looked around for what I could paint/change.
Here is the before pic of the lamp. It's a fine lamp and the color was fine before I painted the L-room yellow and tomatoe red. I've had this lamp for about 12 years and it was a Christmas gift from my sister. At least now I am keeping it instead of replacing it. All new decor for the price of a can of spray paint. :0) That's my kind of remodeling!
I have to give credit where credit is due, however. Mrs. Savage and the Nester have inspired many of us in the blog world to work with what we have to recreate our homes in ways that make us happy. I love their motto and have adopted it for myself, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!" Yes.....I can live with that!
So what do you think? My living room is still a disaster since I'm not done painting. I need one more coat on one wall and then have to do the wall-divider trim that goes around the room. Then there's the "oopsies" to go back and clean up. When all that is finished, hopefully my wonderful husband will put the trim down around the wood floors we installed, um......a year ago? LOL!!! You know I'll post the pics when it's complete. :0)
Have a great week!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
So...here are a few pics taken from a couple days before and then some taken during the outage. We DO have a fire place to keep warm by....that is a huge blessing as so many people do not have an alternate heat source and even gas heat requires electricity to run. We still don't have water....(not sure where it is frozen at b/c we emptied the lines of all water when the electric went out in hopes to avoid frozen and/or busted pipes). I also consider myself pretty innovative when it comes to redneck survival tactics. I actually cooked a hot meal over the fire in our fireplace. I like cast iron skillets, and those are versatile enough to lay (literally) right on the burning logs/hot coals. The only thing was that I'm not so wise in cooking HEALTHY meals this way. Maybe chicken breast, but as those were frozen rock solid, that didn't seem to be an option. Instead, we had sausage, made-from-scratch biscuits, gravy, and pork-n-beans. (by the time the biscuits and gravy were done, the sausages were getting cold and we didn't want to wait on eggs, so just heated up the beans....dear hubby's idea-we had his sister and her husband here so needed to stretch the meal a bit further) It was really rather tasty. AND we didn't catch anything on fire, lol!
Without further ado....the pics.
Hey! You can see my "Tomato Red" wall in the background....we don't have stuff back on the walls, yet, though. Also, to the left is my yellow wall.
Ah....this is the ice, yesterday before noon....before the lights went out. Yep. That's about an inch on the power lines. We received another inch+ over the evening and nighttime hours.
This was taken last Sat. I actually had a day where I was able to get some things accomplished at home like painting, laundry, etc. J said we just HAD to go see these eagles down the road. Well, when we got there they were gone, so we stopped off at this dried up creek bed and played/froze! It was fun, though! Here are just a few pics we took....
J gives a science lesson on the ages of some of the dirt layers. The girls are fascinated....for a minute! :0)
We found a few REAL caves, although didn't go exploring....this one appears to belong to a LARGE animal, which I don't care to disturb!!!
This is a trip we took to a local nursing home last week with our 4H group. The kids had made crocheted hangers and cards, and handed out baggies of chex mix. It was a WONDERFUL time and genuine connections were made by the girls. We are looking into the "Adopt a Grandparent" program.
Junior gave out LOTS of hugs....some people requested seconds, LOL! We realized how much hugging our family does on a daily basis, yet these folks may go weeks/months with one single hug. What a priceless and effortless gift to give.