Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 70th Birthday Daddy!




There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.  
~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994~

You have woven me a blanket of love Daddy!
Thank you for all of the lessons you have taught me.
For learning how to love, how to be patient, and how to be a good parent.
I wish I could put into words how much I love and appreciate you!

Happy 70th birthday!

I love you so much!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inner Voice

It takes courage to grow up to become who you really are ~e.e. cummings~
 
When I was pregnant, I was terrified that I was going to be a mother.  I read everything I could find on how to be the best parent I could be.  Six months into the parenting thing I figured out a few things.  Number One: There is no way to be a perfect parent.  Number Two:  You are going to fuck your kid up.  There's just no way around it.  All you can do is try to minimize the damage and save for therapy.  Number Three:  Love your kid above all else and you'll make it all work out.  

That's it.  You're going to get tons of parenting advice when you have your first child.  This is what I tell those woman who ask me for advice.  "Listen to what everyone tells you to do, then ignore them all and do what feels right to you".  

One thing I do believe that all the experts are currently telling us is about your child's inner voice.  As they get older, that inner voice is usually going to be a repetition of the things you've said or not said to them throughout their life.  I've tried very hard to make sure that my daughter's inner voice is one that will help her to be a happy person.  She got her nose pierced today and needless to say, there are some people who are very unhappy about it.  She's too young, she's ruining her life, it's disgusting, blah blah blah blah.  I made sure I told her that I was proud of her and that I loved her.  She thanked me and then asked me why all the lovey dovey.  I told her that I wanted to make sure her inner voice was one that helped her and didn't make her feel bad.  I love my kid so much.  She said "My inner voice is me and I think I rock".  Somewhere, clearly, I've done something right.  So, you keep being you baby girl!  Don't let anyone tell you differently.  You can change this world and do it being the amazing person you are!  Know that I love you and will support you!  You're going to win in life and sometimes you're going to lose.  Through it all, I will be there.  Always.  I will fight for you when you cannot and will fight with you when you can.  My sweet girl.
 

I am unique. Do not compare me with anyone because I wasn't born to be like anyone, act like anyone and think like anyone. ~Frank Matobo~
Many people would be surprised that I'm not a big fan of kids in general.  There are exceptions to this rule of course.  Three of those exceptions are the fabulous and unique children above.  I am privileged enough to get to spend time with these children almost daily.  I love these children like they are my own.  

Sean, you are becoming an amazing man and I am so proud of you!  You know your path and you will follow it with passion and fearlessness.

Sarah, I have watched you blossom into a confident and beautiful young woman.  You no longer fade into the background but proclaim your uniqueness with a strong and powerful voice.  It is such an honor to be a small part of that blossoming.

Shanny.  So wise beyond your years.  You see deeply and truly to the heart of what is.  You fly your flag baby and you do it like nobody I've ever known.

Thank you, my sweet ones, for allowing me to be a part of your lives. 
Know that I love you and will fight for you like I would for Kim.
Know that you are lucky in the mother you have been given.
She will always allow you to be who you are and that is a rare gift.
May your inner voices always speak with love.

That is all.




Sunday, August 25, 2013

Demons

We all have them.  Mine live in my head, where most of yours probably live too.  I wish mine would shut up.  I've spent too long feeling less than and for stupid reasons.  I'm trying so hard to feel like I deserve the things in life that many take for granted.  I deserve to be happy, loved, and respected.
 
Warning: rambling ahead..... 

It feels weird to not need your approval.  I spent so many years needing what you would never give me.  Not what you couldn't give me, but what you wouldn't.  I always thought that you didn't love me because there was something wrong with me.  After all, I was the common element in all of my failed relationships.  Clearly, I wasn't good enough.  Turns out, not only was I good enough, but you were really damn lucky that I loved you.  You really missed the boat.  It's okay.  If you had told me a year ago that I was about to say this, I'd have said you were crazy.  I am so glad that you didn't love me.  I am so glad that you made the decisions that you made that enabled me to move on.  Thank you!

Rambling ended.....

Just having one of those introspective nights with too much time to think.  Rather than numbing out the feelings and thoughts, I'm just letting them tumble and jumble.  Through it all, I keep internally chanting my positive self talk which is turning into a mantra.  I am trying to remember that what you believe is what you manifest.  So, I am worthy.  I am lovable.  I am loved.  I am beautiful.  

That is all. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Fun


Well, summer is here and so is the fun!

We had the after school celebration with the kiddos.  We took them roller skating, lunch, Mallard's Ice Cream, and had a celebration cook out at home.  They worked their patookeses off this year in school.  Sean finished his freshmen year in high school (and how the hell did that happen?  I'm getting old), Sarah and Kim both did their 7th and 8th grade curriculum, and Shanny finished up elementary school.  Kim and Shan have chosen to return to public school next year.  I'm trying really hard to be supportive.  Really, really, really hard.  

Strawberry picking was next with lots of fun and tons of yummy strawberry jam at the end of it.

Of course, there's the fourth of July with the fireworks and the one of two days a year that I allow myself to drink too much.  Becca made tons of food and we spent the day outside in the sun (for almost everyone, I was in the shade).  I am so blessed to have these wonderful people in my life.  

B has some great stuff planned for the kids this summer.  The NW WA Fair, Birch Bay Water Slides, a weekly jaunt to a nearby town to do some spelunking, Do Do Monkey's birthday, and of course the 6th (?) annual Water Balloon Wars!!!!

Never forget, the group camping trip is coming! WAHOO!!!!
 
 


Sus is coming home for a few days in August and I get to meet her boyfriend which is super cool.  At some point, Kim and I are going to make it down to Sunnyvale to hang out in the fun and sun as well.  I'm not sure where that's going to fit but damnit, it's going to happen!


Of course, the last two months have been full of Chris.  He really is amazing.  For the first time in so long, I'm being treated well and I won't lie, it's nice.  I am completely twitterpated over this incredible man.  We have a lot in common but enough differences to keep it interesting.  He's incredibly shy, sweet, and very funny.  Yep, twitterpated.  I don't care that spell check keeps telling me that it's not a word.  If it's good enough for Thumper, it's good enough for me!

Off and running so more later!

That is all.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Year


I cannot believe a year has passed.  

A year of birthdays, sunrises, and yes, of grief.  You are so missed Nana and still loved beyond measure.

Thursdays still aren't the same.  I made your cupcakes for your birthday.  The cedar waxwings came back.

I love you Colleen!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Worst Blogger Ever!


 Hi Kittens!  

Yes, I know, I'm the worst blogger ever.  Over a month has gone by and I have not blogged.  I feel shame.  Shame and anguish!  I do hope you'll forgive me!  Life has been a bit busy but I am going to try to get better about blogging.  I know, you've heard it before, but this time I mean it....;)

 As you can see, B bought the kids a trampoline.  In completely unrelated news, Kim sprained her wrist.  We also had a very scary trip to the emergency room.  Like, call an ambulance for my passed out and unresponsive daughter, scary.  Not a fun time.  Still not sure what is going on but she had an allergic reaction to something and dehydration didn't help that any.  She had food allergy testing on Tuesday and we are waiting for Children's to call about getting her back in with the gastroenterologist.  She's been having stomach problems for a few weeks and we're not going to wait until this gets bad to get it figured it out this time. 

Mother's Day is usually within a few days of  my mom's birthday and it's rarely a good day for me.  Although I try not to mire myself in grief, I usually spend the day in a funk.  This year, mom's birthday fell on the same day as the Heritage plant sale in Ferndale.  B and her mom went every year and this is her first year without her.  We decided to be selfish and take the day for ourselves.  We went to the plant sale which began with us crying in the car.  We walked over and I immediately saw a Wisteria that had my name all over it.  It was mom's favorite plant and what better way to wish her a Happy Birthday?  Poppa gave B some $$ for us to buy plants and have lunch so thank you Poppa for the pretty plant!  I picked up a few other plants and a present for Sarah's birthday, then I went to sit down.  Part of my way of handling my anxiety is people watching.  I noticed this guy who was cute and figured he was waiting for his wife because it was clear he wasn't interested in the plants.  Becca and I were chatting back and forth across the sale and one of my friends showed up.  I noticed, while talking to Michelle, that this man had gone to talk to Becca.  Hmmm...odd.  My friend went off to find plants and this man walks up to me "Susan"?  "Yes?"  "Your friend told me to come over here, my name is Chris".  Let's face it folks.  For such an intelligent woman, I'm kind of a moron.  I assumed he was Becca's ex boyfriend Chris and she wanted me to meet him.  I'm smooth too, let me tell you.  "It's nice to finally meet you".  A few seconds of small talk and I went back to talking to my friend Michelle.  As Becca and I were leaving, I feel a tap on my shoulder.  This guy hands me his phone number written on a piece of paper and all sheepishly (and how adorable can he be?) told me if I wanted to call him, that would be great.  I smiled and think I said something like "Oh cool!  Have a good day".  He walked back into the store near the plant sale.  I walk up to B and say "Your creeper ex boyfriend just gave me his phone number".  "I've never seen that guy before in my life.  He came up to me and asked if you were single.  When I told him yes, he said you were beautiful so I gave him your name and told him he should talk to you.  I think he came out specifically to meet you".  Yep, smooth as glass, that's me.  This totally cute guy is hitting on me and I'm not only oblivious but kind of ridiculous.  Becca and I had a great day filled with memories, fun, and I think being together really helped us get through a miserable day.  I got home around 9 that night and the next day was Mother's Day so I didn't get a chance to call Chris until Monday night.  We talked for four hours that night and have been rather inseparable since.  He's fantastic, my kid adores him, and he thinks I'm amazing.  I am over the moon for this guy!!!  It's so nice to finally be happy and he does make me so happy!  Okay, enough gushing.  You'll be hearing more about Chris in the future, never fear!

Well, I've babbled on long enough.  School's almost done for the kids and summer is almost here.  It's been a rough year here in The 'Ham and I'm hoping the next year will gift us with happiness, peace, and love.

That is all Poppets. 


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Victory In My Defeat

I've talked about my anxiety on the blog before.  
It is pretty severe and every time I think I'm getting better, I am reminded that I'm really not.  
I've talked about how some days, it takes everything I have to crawl out of bed.

Today, I crawled out of bed knowing that I had a garden project meeting.  
This is a great program.  They build you a 4'x8' raised bed garden, fill it with awesome soil, section it into 1' sections, provide you with training, seeds and starts.  

There are 3, two hour meetings.  The first one, today I thought, is where you learn about what grows here in Whatcom County and you order the seeds and starts that you would like.  Kevin ended up having to work because it is the Fun With The Fuzz 5K.  Kim and Beth had plans to volunteer at the Humane Society and then spend the day together just bumming around the mall, value village, and Goods Produce.  That left me on my own.  Going to an unfamiliar place with people I don't know.  Cue the anxiety.  I got dressed, I waited and waited for what seemed like forever until it was time to go.  I drove into town and got a coffee at  Cool Beans, then went to the ReStore where the meeting was being held.  I thought.

I get there and have to choose between the stairs and the elevator.  I was shaking a lot so I took the elevator because I didn't want to fall on the stairs and embarrass the crap out of myself.  Can we say wrong choice??  I get in the elevator which is tiny, but I can handle that.  The door closes.  The light does not work.  I am now in a pitch black box that is not moving.  At all.  I pulled out my phone for a bit of light.  Three minutes later the box finally ascends.  Sort of.  It groaned, stuttered, stopped at one point, and finally got to the 2nd floor.  The door stayed closed.  At this point, I really am proud of myself for not curling into a ball and sobbing until the vet showed up to put me down.  The door opens and I practically flew out of the death lift, shaking even more than when I got into it.  I walked down the to entrance door on this beautiful veranda with lovely plant boxes and nice chairs to sit in.  The door was locked.  There were no signs.  Nothing.  I knock on the door thinking maybe I got the time wrong and there was somebody in there.  Nothing.  I peek in the very dark windows.  Nobody.  I sit down in one of the chairs, take a sip of my coffee, and text Becca.  JoJo calls me back because B is driving (he went last year and he could tell me if I was in the right place).  I was in the right place.  A quick call to Julia (the coordinator) that went unanswered and I decided to take the stairs down and ask in the ReStore if anyone knew if I was in the right place at the right time.  Blank looks and shrugs.

At this point, I feel like I'm going to pass out so I go out to my car before I embarrass myself more.  I drive to the redbox at 7-11 and grab a few movies I had reserved for Beth, Kimmie, and myself.  Becca called to make sure that I was okay.  I was.  Ish.  I knew I'd be okay once I got home.  

What happened here? 
 I checked the calendar.  
Well, that's what happened. 
 I need to learn to read a calendar because it's next week.
I am going to do this all over again next week.

I choose to find victory in the fact that I not only went, but I went by myself.  By myself and without passing out, vomiting, crying, or otherwise making a complete fool of myself.  

Screw you anxiety, I won today!!!!

That is all.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes


I have been involved with this walk in one way or another since 2004.  Growing up, one of my best friend's mom had this scary disease called Diabetes.  I didn't know a lot about it but I knew that she was sick, had "reactions", and sometimes went to the hospital.  Watching what I now know were diabetic reactions to low blood sugars was scary.  For a long time I didn't know what to do or how to handle it.  Over time, I learned a little bit about what to do, but was still mostly just scared.

In 2000, I found out that one of my best friends had Type I Diabetes.  He kept a lot of the effects of it from me, other than occasional low blood sugars and it wasn't until 2007 that I finally saw the hell the he lives in.  It's a hell of constant vigilance or risk having a low which, for him, leads to seizures if they aren't caught soon enough.  He had to have reconstructive shoulder surgery and in order to do that, we had to have his blood sugars under strict control.  It became a focus of our lives for over a year.  I've learned an enormous amount about what this disease can do to you if you do not manage it properly and sometimes even if you do.

My father was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes several years ago.  He manages it well but it's always a worry with neuropathy, possible vision loss, what he's eating, when he's eating, if he's resting enough, and if he will get sick or not.  You see, people with Diabetes don't heal as quickly as they should.  A simple cut on the bottom of your foot, if you don't feel it or just think you stepped on a rock, could be life threatening. 

I want to live in a world that doesn't have this insidious disease.  I want people to educate themselves on some of the causes of Type II Diabetes.  I don't want to wonder anymore if this seizure is the seizure that takes him away from me.  I don't want to wonder just how much shorter Diabetes has cut my loved one's lives short. 

If you can donate even $1.00 then please do so by CLICKING HERE for my personal page.

If you are in the greater Seattle area (I live about 2 hours away) and want to walk then please CLICK HERE to join our team.  You can also join the team as a virtual walker if you cannot attend the walk but want to raise money.

 If you want to join or start a team for a walk in your area, you can find a walk by CLICKING HERE and entering your zip code on the Step Out homepage.

Whether or not you walk or donate, please pass this information to your friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media you would like to use.

 
The American Diabetes Association asks walkers why they walk.
 
I walk for love.
 
That is all.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Pampered Chef, Saturday, and an Award.

Hi all,
I'm hosting an online Pampered Chef Party.  
If you have ever purchased anything from TPC then you know the top quality product and awesome warranty that they provide.   
Although I am hosting the event on Facebook, you can order without even going to the page.  

Here's how to place your order:

Go to
www.pamperedchef.biz/intveldkitchen
Click "Shop Online"
Enter "Susan Fine" as your host
Select the blue link “Susan Fine "
Shop! Shop! Shop!

***FREE Small Batter Bowl with purchase of $60 or more!! ***
 
All orders will be submitted together and shipped when the show closes on February 26th; 
credit cards will be processed at that time. 
Direct shipping is available to anywhere in the U.S. 
~ local orders will be shipped to Susan for pick-up.



A big happy shout out to Becca who took my kid clothes shopping today.
$40 for 3 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of yoga pants, and  7 shirts.
YAY!  Thank you Becca!!!!!

Menopausal Mother  has nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. 
 It always makes me feel good to know that my blog has impacted someone,  other than sending them to the funny farm!

   The rules for this award:
1.  Link back to the person who nominated you.
2.  Post award image on your site.
3.  List 7 random facts about yourself.
4.  Nominate 15 other bloggers.
5.  Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link back to their site.

7 random facts about myself:

I have 2 birthmarks.  
Both are photosensitive so one has all but disappeared and the other is barely visible except in the summer.


I like Nickelback.  Yep, I do!  I don't understand why people don't like them or make fun of them.


 Some of you know that I have a Marvin the Martian tattoo. 
 I LOVE Marvin.  He's so cute and destructive. 
I have several tree ornaments, the tattoo, a notebook, pencils, 
and goodness knows what else with his cute little self on them!


I love using Paint Shop Pro to be creative. 
 I also make cards and scrap, and my hope is to start doing some more creative stuff with materials I already have.  I love re-purposing things.


Cooking stresses me out.  What if it doesn't taste good?  What if the people eating it aren't being honest. 
I have mentioned that I have issues so this should not come as a shock that I am a bit OCD about it. 
Although cooking stresses me out, I love cooking utensils.  I love using them.  It makes me smile and helps me to think that maybe it will taste better because I used kitchen gadget x.  
Neurotic, party of 1!  Neurotic, party of 1!


I am not religious but I follow an earth centered spiritual path.

I am constantly trying to be a better person in regards to those around me, new people, and the earth. 

I am going to nominate 6 bloggers who inspire me:

and in a shameless plug for Becca and my blog:

In all seriousness, HHH inspires me every day to get outside of my head and be positive.  
It forces me to look for beauty in the world, even when I'd rather turn from it.

I know I'm supposed to do 15 but I've already spent the whole day doing stuff, coming back to the post, taking a nap, coming back to the post, etc.. so 6 is what you get. :)


Hope you all have a great weekend!

That is all.
 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why I LOVE My Life

Actual conversation that happened yesterday:

Me:  Beth, could you measure the Flarke bookcases in the hallway please?
Beth: 9 and 3/4 inches.
Kim: (Exploding out of the bathroom): Platform 9 3/4?
Me: Yes Kim, we are sending you to Hogwart's next year!
Kim: YES!
Beth: helpless laughter
Kim: You're not really sending me to Hogwart's, are you?
Me: more helpless laughter

Friday, February 15, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cake

So, I thought I'd be upbeat today.
What's more upbeat than Birthday Cakes?
Here are some cakes that Beth and I have made over the years.

 Sean's 5th grade graduation cake. 
 It looks more like a guy in his nightshirt and cap but he liked it and it was fun.  
I need to work on my people. :)

This was for Sarah's(I believe) 9th birthday.  It weighed 15 pounds and looked awesome.  It is supposed to be a castle but we can also go with Smurf houses! :)



One of my favorites to make was Sarah's 10th birthday cake.  She wanted a square foot garden and that is what she got.  Becca had the great idea of using crushed Oreos for the "soil".  Awesome.

This was for Kaitlyn's 4th birthday and it was a lot of fun to make!
This was for Kim's 10th birthday and was challenging.  
I don't work in fondant, so trying to get the skirt as smooth as possible was interesting.  
It looked great though at the end of it. 

Super Roller Chick Kim's 11th birthday cake.
 



Let's try not to laugh at my attempt at a sock monkey cake.
First time we worked with modeling chocolate and it was FUN!


Kim's 12th birthday looked awesome except for being lopsided and tasting really bad! lol  
Note for future: Test new cake recipes BEFORE making the actual birthday cake.

So, those are some of the cakes we've made through the years.  
Hope it made you smile!

That is all.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Cycle In My Head


Nobody trips over mountains.  
It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble.  
Pass all the pebbles in your path 
and you will find you have crossed the mountain.  
~Author Unknown~
 
Depression sucks.  After 13 years of this, you'd think that I'd be able to ignore it or shrug it off easier, but that's just not the way it works for me.   A lot of times, it is insidious and it sneaks up before I even notice it.  All of a sudden, I feel like everything is just too hard and I want to go to bed.  Most of the time, I don't.  Most of the time.  I end up giving up everything that's good for me for a day or two, then feeling like a failure and not going back to them, then I don't blog because I'm embarrassed that I failed, and on and on until even I'm bored of myself.  

I'm trying to fail forward.  I'm trying to learn from my failures, and I'm trying not to give up.

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
~Author Unknown~

 
So,back on track.  Back to the 90 Kick Ass Days challenge (even though I missed many of them!)


and taking on DietBet.

 Okay, time to dust off me bum, again, and start all over.  Again.

That is all.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Get Moving


Today is Day 3 of 90 KickAss Days.

Yesterday I walked for 26 minutes 
(5 minutes more than Wednesday which made me happy)!  
Yes, I still wussed out and walked around and around my garage because it's in the 20's here and it's really dark where I live and I'm scared of monsters.....
:)

Today I worked out with Becca on the Wii.  
Phew.  I kept up for almost all of it.  
There were two exercises I couldn't do very well but I walked in place during them and during the cool down.  
I am really proud of myself.

Reasons I love working out with my skinny friends:
They inspire me
They don't mock me
They encourage me through the whole workout
They praise me when I'm done

Okay, I'm sure that my fat friends would totally do all those things as well 
but I didn't work out with them today, so there.
Plus, there's only room for one fat chick making jokes during a workout. 

So, you can head over to Twitter and join us using the hashtag #90kickassdays if you want!
I feel really accomplished working out these last three days.
Hope you join us or at least get moving!

That is all.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

90 Days

Once again, Cyn over at The Racy Redhead inspires me to get my butt moving!

1/9/13: Day One of 90 Kick Ass Days
I didn't read this until almost 8pm last night so I walked around and around my garage for 21 minutes which is about all I can do right now.  I'd walk outside but it's cold and I'm a wuss! 

I hope you'll pop onto Twitter and keep me (and Cyn) updated with your progress using the hashtag #90kickassdays!

That is all.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Priscilla

Although this is not a picture of my dog, it might as well be!

She has decided that she is a part time guard dog.  By part-time, I mean that she barks when she wants to! 
She's great though!  We adopted her at the end of November from the Whatcom Humane Society.
She is a 3 year old short hair chihuahua and is absolutely magnificent.

She is sweet, loving, nervous, needy, and such a delight.
This is her and I today while Kevin made his first juice (more on that soon).
Isn't she pretty?

Check out your local shelter, save a life, and make your family even better!

That is all.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013? Really?

How is it even possible that it is 2013?
I know, I've been all "Happy New Year" and "Wahoo" but I'm stunned.


Phew!

I've got a teenager now.  She was just a little girl starting to walk and talk.
Now, she's a young woman with her own opinions on life.

Cherish every moment that you get in life.
You don't know what is going to happen tomorrow.
Love your family and friends like you won't be seeing them again.
Hug your kids.  Don't be too busy to listen to them tell you about their day.


That is all.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tired

Today's post has been postponed until tomorrow because my brain is tired.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year


Welcome to 2013 everyone!

I wanted to let everyone know (and thank you for the well wishes everyone) that my dad is back home and doing fine.  No stint was needed in his heart and he just needs to work on a few things.  He's feeling great and is back to his normal self. We all appreciate the positive energy that you all created!

Yesterday was a great day with dad's birthday and doing well during the heart cath, New Year's Eve, and Shanny's birthday!  For her dessert this year, she chose Unicorn Poop.  Yep.  It's one of the zillion reasons that we love her like we do.  Here is a before and after shot of the unicorn poop.

I don't do resolutions on new year's because I try to improve all year long.  
I do know that this year I'd like to get serious about my health, my blog, and my businesses.
I always seem to have some excuse why I haven't done these things but it boils down to laziness.
I'd like to really stop being so lazy.
So that is what I shall work on.

I hope that your 2013 is the best that you can make it!!

Blessings, Light, and Love to you all for a new and better year.

That is all.