I gained 18 pounds

OF WATER in the hospital and have an unquenchable thirst!  How can that be?

At the hospital I was able to have ice chips to suck on when this terrible thirst would occur. 

Sometimes my stomach/chest would be so full of fluids I could hardly breathe. My belly so distended I could not get out of bed. 

They diluted my Potassium levels enough I had to have the “horse pill” size supplement….two of them at a time just before my discharge. 

I got home yesterday afternoon about 2 pm and was on the hunt for something to sip on.  Gatorade, while cold, was wonderful the first three giant sips. Sugar content in the Gatorade quickly gave me cotton mouth which worsened the thirst. If that was even possible!

Once again, Joe became “My Hero”!  He was long gone from home when I arrived. On his way to Nashville, Tennessee. Our wonderful neighbor, Hugh, picked me up at the hospital. Prearranged by Joe. 

So how would Joe be of help and not even here?  The better question is….how did he know 12 years ago the Christmas present he bought would be just what I need right now?!

He bought a Cuisinart “Smart Stand” small kitchen appliance. Comes with a mini food processor and an immersion blender. 

Fill the bowl with ice cubes…..

Pulse the stick thing until…..

You have perfection!

Just enough large chips to chew on, mostly really great slush!

Anything sweet leaves me with cotton mouth.  Dasani Drops are out for now. 

So no Snow Cones 😖 for now. My feet and legs are so swollen right now. Excuse the bad pedicure….actually no pedicure. 

So…..what am I GRATEFUL FOR?

  1. I am home from the hospital!
  2. No day and night blood pressure and temperature checks. 
  3. Praise God, no more IV Fluids. 
  4. I had a shower in the hospital which felt great. 
  5. I had a luxurious shower this morning in my home without fear of the blood pressure nurse coming for me. 
  6. A Thank You Tote was given to everyone that tended me.  One of the Room Service people had been given one previously that I did not remember. I ran all out of assembled supply packets when she came with my tray. I was distressed she was being left out. She got hers the day before. 
  7. My neighbor came to the hospital to bring me home. He even carried in my cra….stuff. 
  8. Joe and his Cuisinart Smart Stand so I can have chipped ice at home. 
  9. I can make it myself when I need it, not wait for a member of nursing to bring it. 
  10. Sleep in my recliner as I need to. Not the waterbed for a while. I would pee myself trying to get out of bed. 

I sent him on a treacherous mission

And he prevailed!  My hero!

It nearly did him in though. 

As my 103 degree fevers were reducing and I was on the way to healing it was time to ask Joe if he would take on a dangerous mission. 

He would need to go into a potentially unsafe environment. Obstacles could cut into his ankles. Tripping hazards are definitely something he will need to watch for. There will be near lethal attacks coming from hidden spaces. 

His objective is to enter this hostile space, get his information via phone only. He will need to follow instructions while keeping an eye on dangers. 

First request:  Scrapbook Tote. Under the table to the right. Too late he was told about the the first hazard. An over full and unstable large baking pan ready to fall at the least bit of provocation. 

Success:  he did topple the baking pan, some items attacked his toes. 

He would need to extract two items first before he could safely go for the next objective. 

Leaning against the large cupboard door is a large guillotine trimmer and a large scorning board. These are to go in the scrapbook tote. 

Next was to get the Sizzix Texture Boutique.  Open the left door. Look about chest height to see the blue purse. Make sure to get the two black plastic and one thin white plastic piece. 

Next, carefully turn around and go to the desk surface. To the left next to my heat embossing machine are the embossing folders needed. 

Still at the table, look to the top left to find an odd grey and turquoise board. For better clarification on what is needed, he was to locate an orange paper trimmer then take the piece needed. 

The final item would be found on the table top somewhere. A pink strip of paper, one inch wide with writing on it. 

He needed help to find a very specific paper pad. 

Joe did his usual excellent job at being my Superman. He even brought with him our daughters. Via the excellent care I have been given at the hospital AND the arrival of extra love from the girls I am healing well enough that I may be going home tomorrow. 

My extra love and support team. Tiffany and Keri. 

Since the arrival of my tools I have made my signature 3×3 note totes to thank everyone that has done something for me in one manner or another. 

Eight nurses, eight techs who supplied me with top notch care. The first two days they willingly brought Sprite and Chicken Noodle Soup with crackers to ease the absolutely unreal sensations of nausea and extreme hunger. Each nurse and tech received a Thank You Tote. 

During all this mayhem I’ve had four housekeepers taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom and shower, cleaning the sink, sweeping and mopping the floor, and sanitizing the tray table. During this process I had to leave because the aromas of chemicals was overpowering. Each housekeeper got a Thank You Tote. 

The four Room Service people that brought the food trays received a Thank You Tote. 

Hopefully I will be going home tomorrow.  I am so swollen from all the fluids I have been given. My feet and ankles look about ready to pop. I have pressure cuffs on my legs. These things have airbags that expand and deflate. Each leg gets a tight squeeze then release then switches to the next leg. 

This little patch of misery will pass and I will be home recuperating.  Thank you to all of my Facebook friends and family for your love support and prayers. I appreciate each of you. 


Success comes with persistence and modification. 

Last week we had an extra day off in Percival, Iowa. I took a stab at making a card using my Lacy Scallop punch from Stampin’ Up!  The old black one before they started selling the sleek gray one. 

I also tried using some die cuts I purchased from Hobby Lobby a few months ago. 

That was an utter fail. I think mostly because my heart wasn’t really into the whole card making experience. 

Yesterday, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I gave it another shot this time I used some borders from K&Company to take the place of the punched borders I had been trying to use. 

From a failure…..

I was able to create two cards. A Thank You and a Mother’s Day card in Baton Rouge. 

Don’t let the turkeys get you down. If you have an idea, stick with it until you figure it out. Modify your supplies if necessary. Just don’t allow that fickle Mojo to run off on you LOL


Sometimes you have to prime the pump. 

Many of you don’t have a clue what this phrase means. You have to be older than 50 to get the reference. 

Long ago there used to be water wells with a pump handle above ground. To get water out of the spigot the handle had to be pumped up and down. A person had to do a lot of pumping to fill a bucket. 

If continuous pumping had no effect, generally, there was a bucket with a tin cup near the water station. A small fluted piece near the top of the pump had an opening that went down to the stopper. The application of water down the flute, with the aid of the metal cup, would loosen the diaphragm which would allow for water flow up the pump. This was known as “Priming” the pump. 

Whatever is going on in your life that keeps you from your craft space and your creativity sometimes makes it difficult to express your self artistically. 

I’ve had quite a long dry spell recently. No time to switch gears in my mind to let the creative process work on my parched soul. A little poetic license there. Not seeking sympathy. 

I had an opportunity to dive into my craft stash at a hotel in Percival, Iowa. Which is just a couple miles from Nebraska off Interstate 29. 

My intent was to make a card featuring several scrap papers having been punched with a decorative border punch. 

My idea was to have the lacy border accent a decorative sentiment tag. 

Nothing worked right. In frustration I gave up and put my stuff away. Feeling a bit of performance anxiety, and a whole lot of negative self talk, I had to walk away from it. 

My results are less than stellar but I think I have “Primed” the pump and hopefully in the next few days I will have a solution to my problem. 

Sometimes you have to have a bad day of creativity to enjoy the good days when your Mojo is back and the pump is fully working. Filling your soul with the life giving “water” of sharing your talent. 

Don’t beat yourself up over the failures. Rejoice in the act of creativity….even if it comes to nothing. Tomorrow will be better. 

Feeling like you are in the middle of a video game?

You know the kind where the player shoots at aliens or bad guys.  Or maybe World of Warcraft with the plethora of giants, fairies, swordsmen, and other inhabitants out to annihilate you?

We have, essentially, been out on the road since just before Christmas.  A few days here and there we were home…but not for long.  We got home on March 16th and I have been battling myself for over a week.  Some days I hit the bed thinking my “Life Meter” is about empty.

Meal planning for 10 days:  I was stoked to get my crock pots out and let them do the cooking for me.  Plop the ingredients in the device, turn it on low, leave it for 6 to 8 hours.  That was hit and miss.  Some of the meals were actually good while others….well let’s just say the meal suffered a traumatic injury.

I don’t like chicken – this crock pot chicken recipe was REALLY GOOD and that is saying a lot.  This is the recipe I used.

We were to have our neighbors over last Sunday for barbecue ribs, baked beans, and baked potatoes.  All cooked in the crock pot.  Here is the recipe I used.  The ribs were stewed in their own juices and this was a FAIL!  Pow, pow.  The dinner with our neighbors was  a precursor to playing a card game called Phase 10 that we all enjoy.

House cleaning:  Last week, on the Flylady.net site, was the main bathroom and one other room.  I had busted one of the toilet brushes in January and needed to purchase new the next time we were home.  Got two new ones when we went grocery shopping.

This activity, as a whole, didn’t get done very well.  More of a lick and a promise.  Give the chore a less than heartfelt swipe and promise to do better later.  Well….later has yet to arrive.

Paperwork for our business:  This is when things began to take a turn for the worse.  Spend one whole day organizing our trip envelopes and getting file folders made.  Printing out the papers that had been submitted to our dispatch offices to complete these trip envelopes was a long process.  I ran out of printer ink and my day was over.

Next day was printing out invoices and statements from Corporate Lodging for our hotel stays during January through March…after I had made a trip to the office supply store for an ink cartridge.  Printing bank statements for January and February.  Trying to remember the passwords and user names of the myriad accounts was a time suck.

The rest of the week was filled with data entry and wishing I could be in my craft room making something and doing a video for my YouTube channel.  Data entry won out over my creative time.

Thursday, we had to make a trip to Wichita, Kansas for a seminar Joe had to attend on Friday, at the FAA.  While he was occupied I went off on an adventure.  I was in search of Debra Higgs, one of my Facebook and YouTube friends.  I spent two and a half hours with her at her home.  What a lovely visit I had.  The time went by too quickly and I totally forgot to take a picture of the two of us to commemorate the event.  Boo!

Rich Mom University:  While we were out on the road the first part of March, I was notified Rich Mom University was open for enrollment.  I signed up for the course on the first day then spent my nights in hotel rooms watching the various videos and attempting to do justice to the learning process.  Once we were home I made it a point to get up before Joe and daybreak arrived to get in an hour or two of a lesson before tackling my many duties during our 10 days at home.

Let me tell you….retention of information in an already crammed up brain is a bit daunting and hard to do.  Old, long buried, habits began to worm their way up from my psyche.  Self sabotage  crept in.  Lists I had made to keep me on track were useful.  It was great to see a messy scratch off go through each item I completed.  I was getting many things done while feeling like I was getting nothing done.  The looming deadline of going back out on the road dangled before me like a rotting carrot.

I began to think about cancelling my subscription to Rich Mom University because I can’t give it the time it needs.  It is a Lifetime membership for the initial cost.  Trying to see it from that perspective would help in some moments but not in others.

Joe says he can see the amount of things I’ve learned from this course, even with my short periods of dabbling with it.  For now he has set a time frame of me being home in September so that I can put the necessary time in to begin working on my hand made business.

For the past nine days I have been cramming in a work load that would normally take a month to do.

This morning, while entering a Facebook post to wish all my friends and family a very Happy Easter, I was blown to smithereens by a post made by Barbara Diamond featuring a short film made by Nathaniel Matanick.    The video is titled “ReMoved”.  It is about a troubled child dropped into foster care.  This hit me like a ton of bricks.  Triggers from my own childhood and living in foster homes assaulted me.  My “Life Meter” was emptied.

My Lord and Savior died on the cross for me and today we celebrate his rising from the grave.  Throughout my life He has guided me.  Placing people in my life to direct me in the way I need to go.  More often than not I fought each of them and chose a path in the opposite direction.  He never stopped guiding me.  He never stopped putting people in my life to show me the way I needed to go.  I thank God for the person I have become over these many years.  I thank God for the many people he put in my life when I could not see their purpose, nor His.

This is my attempt to let you know where I have been these past days and why I have virtually disappeared from everyone and everything.  In a few short days I will be gone from home once again.  I have a promise from Joe that we will be taking an extra day off after five days of hard pushing so that I can have the time to create a video for my YouTube followers.  So until later –


How to choose colors for your cards. 

Tonight we are in Hebron, Ohio. Tomorrow, early to mid afternoon, we will arrive in Ono, Pennsylvania to begin moving trucks to auction in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. 

Darleen Messenger, a friend and subscriber to my YouTube channel, recently asked how I come up with my color choices in card making. 

I take my cues from nature. I am, after all, pretty well immersed in it daily. Let me show you a photo I have borrowed from http://www.commons.wikimedia.org. A very moody sunset. An author would call this a “bruised sky” I would imagine.  Purple, mottled blue, a peek of yellow, deep dark colors. 

Translate these colors to your creations. 

Think about a rose garden or a bouquet of roses to translate into your card or scrapbook layout. 

http://www.fanpop.com  has a photo of a bunch of roses. Deep red, sunlight yellow, a full pink, snowy white, bright red, dainty pink. The green leaves in the background, plus really great lighting, showcase an array of colors you can work with on a card or scrapbook layout. 

I am working on a video to show how I make my color choices. It will be a few days before I get that made and uploaded. Hopefully this little peek will help you in your color choices. 


Traveling Hoarder Show – Sullivan, Missouri

Some of you know that I have had to go back out on the road in my “Day Job” as a truck driver.  The middle of December 2015 is when I ended my retirement. 

Not being able to get my creative “Fix” in December and January made me a bit grumpy and antsy. So…..I packed up my card making supplies.  

Our first stop on the way to Ono, Pennsylvania is Sullivan, Missouri. About 435 miles from home……and well into our 1350 mile trip to Pennsylvania. 

A small table and a chair are in the hotel room, with the bed close by. Plenty of room for a little creativity. 

Using Operation Write Home – Card Sketch #62 – I made a couple of masculine birthday cards. 

Lighting is bad, as I knew it would be, but I made a video of the card making process. That will be edited tomorrow as we continue our journey eastward into the frigid northeast.  But, for now, it is time for bed. 


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