My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Grandbaby #2 Is On The Way!

I am so tired but so excited!

Some of the food
First... Thanksgiving was a great (but long) day with lots of food and family. We hosted (my parents hosted I should say because all I did was show up to eat) and I made a real effort to sit at the table and entertain guests all day. tasha was able to be with us, which was awesome. (They're back on again so things are good with Cosette's parents for now!) We had the best time with my Cousin Christie's little boys who were in Heaven with our craft supplies. No toys but I've got glitter for DAYS! They were adorable and we had a blast with them. Christie was the one who rescued Little Kitty from the pound. They intended for him to be an outdoor mouser for them but he was SO CLINGY and affectionate that he drove Christie's husband Nathan NUTS! He was destined to be the cat of a very sedentary person - a match made in Heaven for me! Anyways... back to Thanksgiving... Jim and Angie had to do a family thing with her family and came later in the evening. I was absolutely wiped out by the end of the day but my last visitors were my two favorite redheads so all was well. We watched Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and enjoyed lots and lots of dessert!

Cody and Austin. I don't know why. 

Cole and Trent display their masterpieces. 

Cody, Aunt Ginger, Tasha

Putting some rolls in the oven while Cody and Marquee supervise. 

Austin dressed up for the occasion. Not. 

These two were worn out, especially Sarabeth who (much like me) can only take so much human interaction before needing to introvert for awhile. We developed the air hug for such occasions. Jamie could entertain for days and never miss a beat.
Harassing sister who is trying to introvert. 

Yesterday I got up, went upstairs to scrounge for leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast and came back down to get busy sewing since I had taken a day off for Thanksgiving and still have approximately three projects to complete before Christmas and two that are just about finished but need a few little tweaks. (sorry for the run-on sentence). I was doing my morning routine - making sure the cats have food and water, getting my drink and getting settled into my sewing nest - when I realized that my left leg wasn't doing it's job. It's numb but not completely numb. It feels like it won't hold my weight. It's that shaky feeling you have when you're really sick. This is what happens when I sit upright in a regular chair/regular sitting position. It's not just the pain that makes me uncomfortable and keeps me from living a normal "seated" life.  It's the problems that I have in the days afterwards from the compression of nerves and the inflammation that gets everything all in a tizzy. As the day went on yesterday it got progressively worse. I couldn't wait for bedtime.

I was settled into my nest and highly medicated at nine-something, about to fall asleep when Austin came through the living room saying, "I just got a call from Cody to come upstairs and let them in..." At dark-thirty? When they live 100 miles away? On a day after we last saw them? I knew something was up! Cody, Marquee, their friend David and my granddoggie Sammy came in. Marquee gave me and my mom each a wrapped gift and told us to go ahead and open them. Mine was the book, "I'll Love You Forever" which my kids call "The Crying Book" because I could never read it without crying. Being rotten boys who tease their mom incessantly they would hand me the book to read so they could laugh when I got teary. I mean, I'm the mom who cried every single first day of school and my kids always got a giggle from it. Boys are like that. Mom's package held a book of Grandparents Memories to fill in for baby.
Their last kid free Thanksgiving!

That's right. BABY! As in, Grandbaby #2! Due to arrive about 2-3 months after Grandbaby #1! They came all the way up to tell us in person. I'm not sure what my reaction was because I was pretty well sedated from my night meds. My dad did some kind of double fist pump jig that you really had to see to understand. The funniest part was that their friend David had NO IDEA why they were coming to see us at night on the day after Thanksgiving. They told him they had some kindling to bring up here and a cat climbing stand and he was just happily along for the ride. His reaction was also quite hilarious! Oh, to be so young!

Of course, my next question was, "can I blog about it?" because it's way early - about six weeks. They did a mental roll call of everyone who needed the info before I broadcast it to the internet and I was given the ok. I posted to facebook last night but didn't give the details of how they told us because I was really REALLY sleepy. I didn't trust my storytelling ability although I'm not sure it's any better now.

My mom took a few pictures last night but I don't think she's posted them yet. I'll snag them and include them on my next blog entry.

So two. I'm getting TWO grandbabies next year! I posted Ryan to see if he and Sara were going to go for the triple crown and got "Not. Right. Now." as a reply. Teehee. They've got until March to change their mind. The grandma clause - for me to change my allegiance from Florida to Florida State if I got a grandbaby - include a provision that if I got three grandbabies in a year I would get a tattoo of Osceola, the Florida State mascot, stabbing a spear through a Florida Gator. SO it's better if we stick with two babies for now!

Time to get started sewing and get ready to watch football all day. Love and hugs, y'all!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Wish List

Today we had 8 hours of rain while I spent 8 hours watching Downton Abbey and cross stitchin'. I'm doing another one of those patterns isa very small weave that requires lots and lots of stitches to fill in. This one has about 5000 stitches. Ain't none of the Fat Man's Elves got nothing on me... 'cept maybe their clothes are cuter but ... what evs...

I promised my Grandbaby's Mama that I would put a Christmas Wish List up on my blog soon... and that was about a month ago so... no time like the present to talk about presents! It's not a secret that I'm sewing all my Christmas gifts this year because I don't have money but I've got fabric, free patterns, thread and a lot of time. Although some of you will be getting something from me in say... March... but the thought is there.

Seriously, it has been a wonderful thing for me this fall to sit and sew for many, many hours a day, every single day. The feeling of productivity is a tonic to my soul. Spending many, many hours working on each project gives me time to really think about that person and create designs that fit their life and personality. I pray over each one and I reflect about who they are in my life. The gift to me has been the time to treasure that person in my heart as I'm working... and the second gift to me is if they like it/love it/realize how much of my self I poured into it. And the third gift will be for them to take it into their home and have it for however long it's practical.

You see... I'm sort of becoming an invisible person. I'm not part of a couple. I'm not raising kids. I don't work. It hurts to go and do anything. But each of these things that I've made... they'll take them to their home and when they see it, they will think about me. And years from now it may be that "something my old Aunt Heather made me when I was in middle school" and hopefully, it will continue to serve as a reminder that I loved these folks enough to pour the most private part of my heart and the dwindling creative talents - I don't have a lot of mad skillz left due to my back/chronic pain/whatever - but this year, I could do this and it has been so much fun for me.

So that's what you're gettin' if you're gettin' from me - homemade stuff made with lots of love. Honestly, it's not that unusual for me to create rather than purchase. One year it was the no sew fleece blankets. It's been homemade scrapbooks... fancy Shutterfly photos books... poster size black and whites of photos (like I did last year). I'm not really consulting Christmas lists but with zero income, I couldn't buy for anyone anyways. SO... being totally contrary... the girl who doesn't shop from wish lists... issues one of her own.

My disclaimer: please don't feel obligated to buy any of these things. I'm so blessed and truly, honestly, have what I need. If I don't have it, I must not need it. These are just things that would be nice to have if you were thinking of putting in a good word to the Jolly One on my behalf.

1. Long sleeve tshirts /sweatshirts. I wear a 2x or xxl but I will be happy with bigger sizes as they can be used with leggings/yoga pants, etc. I love the Walmart Just My Size stuff and it's super cheap.

And I don't care what color but most of my bottoms are black so maybe colors other than black. My basic uniform around here is black yoga pants with some colored long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt. 

2. Needlework stuff. If you have old needlework projects sitting around that you aren't going to finish... send them to me. I'll either assemble as they are or I'll divide the goods and come up with my own creation. I'll even make something to send back to you~! I use DMC embroidery floss and am always happy to expand my color palette. That's 30 cents and you can stick it in a Christmas card and I'll be over the moon! 

3. Candles - I love getting the Yankee Candle Catalog because it has all these scratch and sniff places. I dream of picking out a couple hundred dollars worth and then I throw the catalog away. It doesn't have to be Yankee Candle brand though. Walmart. Glades. Whatever. Just nothing vanilla. I prefer pine scented or cinnamon scented and... sometimes florals but... whatever. The basic thing is that I live with Austin and three cats and there are always various smells I'd like to mask. 

4. - had to let my renewal go this month as it was already a crazy expensive month for me with meds and a doctor visit that included labs. Since I've been working on the Christmas projects I haven't had time to put into my genealogy work and I know that one day I'll want to get back to it. 

5. Rite-Aid gift cards. All my drugs come from there. Drugs are necessary and expensive. I'd like to be able to afford them without having to sell a kidney. (who in their right mind would want MY kidney?)

6. Good lotion. I'm not picky about the scent (not vanilla) but my skin is so dry I look like a reptile. 

7. Dry shampoo. I know... it's weird but the thing is... when I take a shower during the winter it's cold down here in the basement so I turn on the space heater but then it get too hot and my hair frizzes. I prefer to sponge off daily and only do the whole glam routine for the hair every 4th or 5th day. A little dry shampoo gets a little more mileage out of it. 

8. Old random teacups with saucers. Back when wandering through stores wasn't painful I would browse antique shops for cups and saucers. I have a few in my china hutch and scattered in other places. 

9. Cards/notes/letters. I'm the worst pen-pal in the world but it just makes my heart so full that tears squeeze out of my eyes when I get mail. It means the world and I wish I was more consistent about doing it myself. Message me if you don't have my address. 

And I guess that's it. There are big ticket items that would make me squeal like a mini-fridge for the Whine Cellar. Or a microwave for down here. Just stuff that makes for fewer trips upstairs. 

Whatever the case... in 2015 I'm getting a little Cosette and I can't think of anything else I could possibly need than a baby girl to love! 

What's on your Christmas List? 

Love and hugs, y'all! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Letters To My Granddaughter - #1

Dear Cosette,

It's still so surreal to me that you are a girl! You'll see... there aren't a lot of girls in our family so you will be treasured and spoiled rotten.

Today your Grandma Leslie went out and bought you a few new outfits. Yesterday Grandma Barbara bought you a beautiful silver dress. I'm your poor Granny but I'm planning to sew you lovely things and I hope you'll enjoy them.

I'm not sure what you will call Grandma Leslie or Grandma Barbara as I'm still not really sure what you will call me. Your Cousin Jamie says I should be Meema - not Meemaw but Meema. I think I'm leaning toward Meemaw but we still have a few months to decide.

More importantly is picking YOUR name. We know that we love the name Cosette and when you're about 14 I'll let you see the musical that inspired that name! Your daddy can't wait to sing Castle On A Cloud to you - he says it will be your lullaby. I would love your middle name to be Camille but we'll leave that up to your mommy and daddy.

The most important thing for you to know is that you are a much loved little girl. I got over a hundred well wishes on Facebook when I announced that you are a little girl! Your family structure may be different but know that there are lots of people who love you and can't wait to watch you grow.

In Psalms God tells us that His eyes see you even now, better than what we can see through ultrasound like we did yesterday. I love that He already knows who you will be and what your life will be like. I'm trusting Him to bring you into a world where you know how much you are loved.

We'll talk more soon. I just wanted you to know that whatever we all end up being called - there is a whole team of Grandmas who already love you and are buying you lots of pretty things!


Grandma / Granny / Meema / Meemaw / ????

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's A GIRL!

I have four brothers and three sons. For the brief time that I had stepchildren, they were boys too. So when the ultrasound technician announced... "It's a girl"... it didn't seem real. It still doesn't.

Photographic evidence... and still, can't wrap my head around it. Right now the kids are still loving the name Cosette (from Les Mis). Originally they were thinking about Raquel for the middle name but I've suggested Camille - take a second and try that on - Cosette Camille Sauls - pretty sweet, right? I think they're liking it but there's some grandparent opposition.

As far as the scene from the other night... Cosette's parents aren't exactly buddy-buddy but they're being civil to each other. At the doctor's office today the plan was that only mommy and daddy would go back for the ultrasound and the grandmas would stay in the lobby. I'm ok with that. I see the whole pregnancy/childbirth thing as being a very private, intimate thing and I have no intention of interjecting myself where not welcome. I was perfectly fine to wait in the lobby. Austin's still feeling very uncomfortable around her parents and his deal was that if her mom was coming to the ultrasound, he wasn't. And if her mom couldn't go back, I couldn't go back. Not a problem. I tucked my latest embroidery project in my purse and planned to stitch away in the lobby. Her mom decided to wait in the car so at the last minute the kids decided I could go back. I'm glad I did because I got such photographic gems as these:

Yeah, I know. I'm not quitting my day job to become a photographer.

I am really proud of Cosette's parents and how maturely they handled what could have been a very ugly and awkward situation today. Tasha did a great job at fielding the comments of the Blog Readers/Mother Hens after my last post and kept an open and honest line of communication going with me. Austin did a great job at putting the drama behind him and being a supporting boyfriend/dad today. None of this is easy but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I've been way more in the middle than suits me but I love my granddaughter (first time I've ever used that word before) more than I hate dealing with the drama. I even went to the other grandmother in the parking lot today and attempted polite conversation. Ten seconds later she was nasty to Tasha about how I could take her to all her doctor visits, etc. And of course, I would. She said she wished she had the free time to go to all the doctor visits. And I told her I wished I could work. I mean, what else can you say? I didn't choose this.

Speaking of doctor visits - I went to see the pain doctor yesterday. Usually I see the Physician's Assistant (Dr. Matt who is a cutie-patootie) but this was my annual visit to the guy whose name is on the door. He's a bit wacky but we always engage in intelligent conversation about the health insurance industry and the (un)Affordable Care Act, you know, since I don't have health insurance. He wants to do a work up on the evil gut pain but understands why it's not financially feasible. He agrees with my theory that it's likely the cyst that they saw in one of the first diagnostics (an MRI, I think) on my back. He increased my pain medicine and is trying me on a new sleeping med (since I never could come completely off the ambien) and a better muscle relaxer. And... they'll see me in three months. I don't expect anything other than standard quo because to do anything different would cost something different and that ain't happening.

Other than doctor visits... what have we been doing?
Little Kitty perched on me. I think he spends about 12 hours a day as my Siamese Twin and 12 hours a day telling people what is out of place.
 Edison enjoying a cozy spot on a cold Winter Fall night. Despite the cold I'm still eating my Luigi's Mango Italian Ice every night. Old habits.
When he cuddles in the recliner with me he requires my left arm/hand to hold onto. He even takes my hand between his paws like we're holding hands. He is completely human like.
Another poor photo but all three cats are napping in the sunshine.

And... in addition to the Luigi's my latest food addiction is butterfingers.

Notice that this is a share pack? Spoiler alert: I didn't share.

And one last picture since it's time for me to get back to my 5th grade math on Khan Academy (two more tests to pass and I'm on to 6th grade!)... Cosette's first dress bought by her mommy this afternoon:
That's all! Happy Thursday Eve, y'all! Love and hugs!

Friday, November 14, 2014

About Last Night

Happy Weekend from the frigid Northeast Georgia Mountains. It's unseasonably cold here and my parents have a roaring fire upstairs which means the heat isn't coming on to warm the Whine Cellar. Too cold is always preferable to too hot to me so I'm not complaining. I just hijacked my mom's big fluffy pink robe and am propped up against a heating pad. If anyone needs gift ideas for me this year - long sleeve tshirts and sweatshirts. Size bigger than you think. Whatever size you think I am, buy a size bigger.

We had a really dramatic night last night and I want to blog about it - not to toss all of our skeletons out of the closet but because in the future there will be questions about why or why not things are happening and I want it to be in better context. Also because I forget stuff. On purpose.

So... when we last left the story of My First Grandchild's Parents, things were kinda rocky for a bit. We had that really awkward doctor visit where her mom pretended to be mute. I kept encouraging Austin to work on their relationship because they created life together and that life has a right to have two parents who love and respect each other. Last weekend they did really well. He spent the weekend with her and came home speaking positively about the things they had done and excited about the future. Yesterday she came to hang out for the afternoon and then the plan was that he would go home and spend the weekend with her again.

Twenty minutes after they left my dad got a call from Austin asking him to come pick him up. They had a fight. My parents leave to drive the couple of miles to get him and when they still weren't back an hour later, I knew it was trouble. As it turned out, Tasha had this thing of bubble gum tape (she had gotten a case of them at Sam's Club last weekend so she had plenty) and Austin playfully took a nibble out of it and she got upset with him. He's annoying sometimes, I get that, but he's harmless. The gum thing turned into a fight and Austin - taking my sage advise to "always weigh every argument against the thought, 'do I want this to be the thing that causes my child to not have parents who live together and love each other'" decided that it would be best if he went on home, let them both cool off and come back tomorrow.

If that had been the end of the story, tonight they'd be hanging out together and all would be right in the world. Instead... the following things happened in some order, I wasn't there so I don't know exactly how it all unfolded but these things have been collaborated by my parents, my son and my grandbaby's mama:

Austin wanted to leave.
Tasha told him if he left he'd never get to see his baby.
That made him want to leave more.
She blocked the bedroom door.
He was smart enough to know that if he touched her in any way he could get in big trouble.
He began to back away from her while yelling, "I'm being held here against my will".
Her dad told him he was going to open the door with a gun.
My parents arrived to pick him up and were told by her mother that she would bring him home later.
My parents went to the store and decided to stop back by on the way home.
Austin was still in her room screaming that he wanted to leave.
Her mother told my parents that Austin would NEVER see his baby.
My dad told her mother that it wasn't up to her.
Her mother said that the only reason Austin wanted to leave was to go hang out with Fat Pat and smoke pot. (Pat's in Panama City Beach, Florida so that was not possible).
At some point Austin managed to slip past Tasha and leave with my parents.
Tasha was (and is) very, very apologetic and upset about things.

And that's the gist of it. The reason it's important to get this in context is because next week Tasha has a gender screening ultrasound. Austin says he won't go. He's not just angry... being cornered like that is way, waaaaay worse for someone on the autism spectrum than it is for the average person - and I think we can all agree that being cornered is not someone anyone would appreciate, ESPECIALLY with someone threatening to shoot him from the other side of the door. He was really shook up and I can't imagine any scenario where we would want him to go over there for any reason. I want him to share in the discovery of his child's gender but I understand why he might not be keen to do so.

In this story I am the mother of an adult with Asperger's and the grandparent of a child whose parents aren't married. I understand that Tasha regrets acting that way and believe me when I say that I've done as much, if not worse in the heat of an argument than prevent someone from leaving. I guess the difference is that my dad doesn't own a gun. I'm not mad at Tasha. I'm mad as HELL at her parents and have considered filing charges against her dad for threatening Austin in that way. But my grandchild will be depending on that man for a roof over its' head, more than likely and I don't want to put their family in a difficult position. Her parents are active members of a local church and honestly, I've thought about calling their pastor and asking him to mediate the situation. Like... I know here in the country we cling to our guns and our religion but... I guess I just don't see their behavior as particularly Christian. I'm not mad at Tasha because I know what it's like to be pregnant and in a relationship that is unstable and to lose control of your temper. I wish, as I know she wishes, she had handled things differently.

Austin handled the situation exactly as I would have wanted. He realized they were in an argument that was getting heated and he realized he needed to excuse himself from the situation. When he was trapped he used his WORDS and not physical violence to get out of the situation, even when he was threatened with physical violence.

I've been messaging back and forth with Tasha pretty consistently since yesterday. She's heartbroken over what happened and feels horrible. She's mad at her parents for how they acted because they really escalated things far beyond where they needed to go. I'm not against her - I'm just flabbergasted at how out of control this got and how quickly it happened. I want my grandchild to be happy and healthy and raised in a world where he/she is loved and secure and doesn't have to be passed back and forth. I want my grandchild to be in my life and this situation is far too unstable for me. I don't know if you've noticed ... but people who have known me in real life and people who have read my blog for very long can attest to the fact that I have become extremely withdrawn over the past few years. Too many people have done too many things that have caused me too much hurt and I've just gradually reduced the number of interactions I have with people outside of my nest. Dealing with physical pain is hard enough, I don't have the emotional capacity to handle physical pain and emotional pain BUT I have worked very hard at allowing Tasha into my life and have allowed myself to be hopeful about having a grandchild in my life  It runs deeps, this situation. It cuts really deep on so many levels.

And also, just for the record, my parents don't do drama. They shouldn't HAVE to do drama. They shouldn't have some angry woman yelling at them about their grandchild who is - at that very moment being held against his will in her house.

So that's what happened. No pictures today. Just that. I'm open to your thoughts and suggestions and I think Tasha is too.

Love and hugs, y'all.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Life In The Whine Cellar

It started out as a fuzzy blanket on the floor in front of the tv. My niece Jamie would make her nest there when she was visiting. That evolved to a single mattress on the floor which... kinda crowded things up but I also loved falling asleep on the mattress watching tv. I love to sleep with the tv on but with satellite it is so expensive to have tvs in every room. I spend more time in the living room so it made sense to have the tv there... but that meant I would have to sleep on the couch or the mattress if I wanted to fall asleep with the tv. And... when Tasha spends the night here she sleeps in my bed because Austin's room smells like boy. My mom kept saying, "we need to put a daybed in here" and I sort of resisted but I had about a half dozen falls that involved the mattress on the floor. With my spine, even the slightest jolt is painful.

So eventually I said, "let's do it." My mom loves painting and redecorating and that sort of thing so if  you even hint that you might consider a change... she's all for it. In just an hour or so she had commandeered Pop as her assistant and had a daybed up in my living room. We put the bed where the couch had been, moved the couch to where the loveseat was and put the loveseat right behind the couch creating a little sitting area that looks out on the lake. Here are some pictures to demonstrate. A little.

 I was going to wait until I straightened up to take pictures and then decided that might not ever happen so... don't judge. It's lived in.

This shows the view as you come down the stairs into my Whine Cellar. Lots of open floor space where there was a mattress.
 This is the daybed on the wall where the couch used to be. Sarabeth and Jamie christened it "the Princess Bed" which is not surprising since we've been eating at "the Princess Table" at every family gathering since they were able to sit up. We do a lot of Princess around here.
 This is the view as you come in the sliding glass door, looking over to the living room. I've got to get someone to slide the couch over a little because they're not perfectly straight and... I'm no perfectionist but it does sort of bug me.

Notice our countdown chains on the wall... counting down to Christmas and Grandbaby #1.
Here you can kind of see how the dining area is. Eventually I'd like to have a microwave and a little fridge in this area to cut down on the need to climb stairs to get to my parents' kitchen. Things are a bit cluttered because I haven't found homes for everything yet.

We are still enjoying the carpet squares that Austin and his friend Logan laid last Summer after the flood. We had kept some of the squares up because we would have occasional seepage but... knock wood/cross fingers we haven't had a problem in several months. I'd love to have a really cushy, plush carpet but it's just not a good idea for a basement.

 So now Jamie has been promoted from her little rug on the floor to the Princess bed and there's enough room for Bibby (her sister) and Mawmaw and Oscar (aka Abdul, look closely at the green blanket between Mawmaw and Sarabeth which is why Jamie's head is flung back laughing).
 Notice the cellphone Jamie is holding? That's my cellphone. She was playing with it while we waited to pick her sister up from school and she said, "I just love old timey technology!". It's maybe five years old but it's not a smart phone. She was still playing with the phone while I was texting with her mom to let her know what the kids needed from the house to take to church. After she left I noticed that Jamie had sent a few texts to her mom and had the tech savvy to know to put her name at the end of her text to let her mom know it was coming from her and not me. She's nine. And hilarious.
Notice how much taller Sarabeth is than Mawmaw? Sixth grade, y'all! And you can also see more of Abdul the Dachshund under the green blanket.

I've had a rough week pain wise and a little cold and congestion. The pain gets worse when I lay down - something about the ways the discs and nerves are compressed. Sleeping in the recliner is the least painful position... except for the cat who sleeps on top of me.

And can you stand a few more Fall Photos?  Here you go.

And that's what's happening here in the Whine Cellar this week. Love and hugs and happy weekend, y'all!

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Few New Things and A Few Things That Are The Same

Good Morning 4am! It's not the time change that has me up at this random hour... it's pain. The evil gut pain has been raging war over the past two days and sleep is just not happening. Since it's been a whole week since I visited the blog world, I thought I'd use these bonus waking hours to say hello. There's a cat sleeping THISCLOSE to the laptop so I'm not sure how well this will work but I'll give it a go.

So... what's new, y'all? Around here, these things remain the same:

cross-stitching Christmas gifts like crazy and watching the links from the Christmas countdown chain disappear...while worrying I'll never get finished and someone is going to get a blank piece of cross stitch fabric and a promise in their Christmas gift..

pain. pain. pain. And did I mention PAIN? The back pain is aggravating and limits my ability to do stuff but the evil gut pain stops me in my tracks. It radiates from right in front of my left hip through to my spine like someone shot an arrow through me. It radiates down my left leg so that I have to have my leg in a certain position to ease the pain. It's mean, crazy, ugly, frustrating... and this has been going on for fifteen months. Not every day but on an almost weekly basis. Since it's gone on so long I'm convinced that it's not fatal... probably an ovarian cyst, they found a small one a few years ago while doing the complete workup for my back problems but.. who knows. It's bad enough that two tramadol and a percocet haven't helped tonight. Some times the pain meds at least help a little but not tonight.

still working on Khan Academy. I finished 4th grade math the other day and the "arithmetic" section last night and am working on 5th grade math now. I'm also taking a course on computer programming. Just soaking up whatever I can to keep my brain in gear.

Grandbaby #1, my Cinco De Mayo baby is still cooking along just fine. Tuesday Tasha will be 14 weeks and Austin says she has a cute little baby bump now. Their relationship is still rocky but Tasha is doing a great job at being patient and remaining calm and I'm seeing a lot of emotional maturity in her. She and I message back and forth all the time which, if you know me in real life, you know that's not normal for me. But this is my grandbaby's mama so she is very important to me! I keep thinking about what my mother-in-law could have done differently that would have kept her involved in my kids' lives after their dad and I divorced. I'm working on doing things differently/better.

A few new things:

My kids' dad has remarried. He and I have been divorced since 2002, living separately since 2000 and I wasn't sure he'd ever marry again. The lady he married is a childhood friend of mine. Her dad is one of my dad's closest friends. The first wedding ceremony my brother ever performed was one of hers. She was the one who helped me find a job when I was going through my divorce. I mean, our paths have not only crossed, they've been wound really tight for most of my life. In the beginning it was weird for her to be with my ex-husband but she's really been good for him and... bottom line... she'll be a good step-grandmother to my grandbabies. I introduced her and Tasha so that she can be involved in Baby Cinco De Mayo's life. I figure the more people that love our baby, the better.

The leaves were beautiful last week but we had a pretty shocking cold snap over the weekend and I'm thinking that will bring the leaf season to an end. If I can get past the pain I'm going to run out this morning to restock our snack stockpile and will try to get some pictures. I am loving the cooler weather and always feel relieved when Summer ends. I struggle with dizziness and nausea and it is so much worse when it's hot out. I can get out and about easier when it's cooler. Until it's too cold and then the arthritis flares up and... it's just a vicious cycle.

My brother in NYC got promoted to Junior Partner in his law firm. He works for a huge firm and we're all super proud of him. Can't wait until he's home for Christmas so we can celebrate!

Austin has been doing some construction work with his friend Fat Pat. He's getting paid a little here and there - not making a steady income by any stretch of the imagination BUT he's learning some skills that will make it easier for him to find a job in the future and it gets him out of the house.

And... I guess that's it. Happy November, y'all! This year has flown by, hasn't it?

Love and hugs!