Monday, November 30, 2009

Driving again.

I got a much later start than I intended today and also had to stop and sleep for a little while. Basically all I did at Mom and Dad's was take in a little tiny bit of goodies, Mom gave me a basket I can use for a gift basket and then I managed to get Dad out to the car and back to the nursing home. I also took one of my little Christmas trees and asked, "Do you want this here or in your room at the nursing home?" Dad replied, "leave it here. I'm coming home tomorrow."

So when I took him back I had to figure out what is going on and he is NOT going home tomorrow. He is still prescribed a lot more therapy before he can return home. The home care that was approved for him was only for TEN hours a week, and there is no way Mom can care for him that much. PLUS, the house has to be inspected for safety (it is NOT safe) and Mom says that is "stupid" and I am not sure she will let them do it. So he may end up there forever unless some of these factors change. I sat down and had a talk with Dad about it and he seemed to accept it when we talked. I could tell he was really sad, though, so I went out and talked to Margarita, who is his nurse for the night, and she said she'd keep a little extra attention on him.

I took the nursing staff leftovers from Holiday Market and they were all happy with that!

Ironic.... we have been keeping little packets of peanuts, trail mix, granola bars, bottled water etc in the car to give to the street beggars. I was stopped at a light right next to a guy tonight and searching frantically to find something before the light changed. I totally forgot I had BOXES of cookies in the back and could have given him a real treat. I felt sad after I realized it! Duh. I guess it happens. I need to remember ALL the options sometimes.

It's late. I need to try to get some sleep. No more working on the list I think Going to bed with it incomplete again. I am strong. I can do it. Go me, no OCD!

Addition: I ran into some friends from college at the nursing home tonight. I knew Tom's mother was there too, but I hadn't talked to her for over 20 years so I was too shy to talk to her. They came from Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving and it was amazing and wonderful to run into them! I like to keep friends forever, (really!) and I was sad that we had lost touch in the last couple of years.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sporadic, at best.

I know my entries have been sporadic instead of compulsively habitual. Strange, huh? I have been so busy physically preparing for the holiday market, stressed financially preparing for the holiday market, and drained emotionally by holiday market crossed with a holiday where I chose to NOT go to Lafayette and do the family thing. Heather was angry because of that choice and my parents may have been hurt. I just have so much money tied up in the business I felt like I had to be ready! I have leftovers, however, which is wasted money. I took some bags of toffee to the bar where we go karaoke and gave to the waitresses who take my abuse nearly weekly. I also plan to make a gift basket to take to David, the owner of Inner Chef. Michael and I go in there constantly, ask a million questions and can never afford to buy anything. The night I really HAD to have the food scales, however, David let me in after hours and helped me as pleasantly as could be. I figure he deserves a treat or two! I will either take some up to the nursing home and staff tomorrow or donate the rest to one of the shelters on Monday. The Focaccia bread has to go quickly however, it has a quick mold growth because of the moisture and no preservatives.

I did make some money today. Not enough to cover expenses I think. Most of the expenses were for ingredients so that is what I really need to recoup. Items like the food scales and some additional cooking utensils I purchased would be included more in the start-up costs in the cost analysis, which counts as part of the pricing structure too. I don't know where I am with all that. I have been saving receipts forever, but I need to take a couple of hours and really see what I have spent on equipment and "permanent" things, and what I spent on ingredients for developing recipes and for tastings, and what I spent on ingredients for sale items.

I have a meeting Tuesday to talk with a woman about a program community kitchen is going to run called "Backpack Buddies" They will send backpacks full of nutritious foods home with the children of the really financially challenged families on Fridays to help them get through the weekends without their free school breakfasts and lunches. I have one recipe for Nutritious Breakfast Cookies that are very high fiber, have powdered milk for calcium, applesauce, and whole-grain oats. I am going to make some Monday night to take to this meeting to see if it will work out. The Kitchen and Local Growers Guilds have a grant to pay for the items so it's not just out of the goodness of my heart (although my heart is good, I promise), but I hope for it to be additional income, even if it is small. If they need their foods to be produced in a licensed kitchen I wonder if I could use Community Kitchen's. They have volunteers work in there all the time under the supervision of a certified Food Handler, and I am certified so maybe we could do that. I will return and report on that.

I stayed up ALL NIGHT baking - took a shower about 7:15, planned to leave for the market which opened at 10:00 at about 9:00 to get all set up. I don't even remember lying down, but I woke up at 10:15, yelled, "Oh shit!" Threw some clothes on, threw the stuff in the car and got there at maybe 10:45. Everybody was worried about me, yet at the same time, they took all the premium space in the booth so I was kind of stuck in the back. I was able to move up after a while and then I sold a little more. I was surprised that I sold A LOT of ginger bread cookies and I don't think I sold one box of oatmeal chocolate chip. The choc. chip has been what I have taken to tastings and everybody LOVES them. I guess it's more unusual and holiday-ish to have gingerbread. My gingerbread is vegan, 50% whole grain and fat free. I use a little bit of canola oil in the frosting to keep it frm turning into cement, but that is the only fat.

Jennie, the flour lady, gave me two bags of a new kind of pastry flour to try today. She said they only grew a little of it this year as an experiment. It is a white wheat berry, which they are able to grind to a finer texture than the gold wheat berry I bought this time. I am going to try it with the cookies and try some pie crusts or yeast rolls or breads also. She wants feedback on it to know if they should plant more. Just looking at it (they use clear, cello bags) I have a good feeling about it. They call the gold wheat berry flour their pastry flour, but some people don't like the grainy texture in a sweet if they are not used to eating whole grains. Using a finer grind and a softer wheat might be able to ease some people into the whole grain life. If it is fine enough I might be able to go 100% for some of the products. I might even try 100% to start out. Pretty exciting. I like experiments like that.

Speaking of experiments... Amber, I need help with the homemade caramel thing. I have never been the world's best candy maker, but I followed directions EXACTLY and used a thermometer and everything. There were no dipped pretzels for sale at the market today, however, and a picture will be posted on the "Spectacular Disasters" album on Facebook soon. I almost want to wait until I manage it successfully before I post the picture, so people will know I can do it before I tell/show them how I failed! I need to clean the house before I can take the picture. I did very well on the "clean as you go" while all the baking was going on. That last run though that ended at 7:15 this morning - well, it's still there and even though I napped, I am still pretty damn tired, AND I am driving to Lafayette tomorrow and then to Greenfield to get Michael. I can't make any promises to myself about starting the week with a clean house the way I like to, but that's the way it goes!

I must miss blogging. I'm so tired I thought I'd just get on here and quickly report that I am not dead. I guess it's hard for me to write just a little at a time in here. I wish it were more difficult to write in here and less difficult to work on my actual books!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


i just made the toffee with semi sweet chocolate on top. After it cools I will have to cut it and store it for the day. I packaged the first batch of toffee today and it made 22 2 oz. bags. So for a pound of butter, two and a half cups of sugar and 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar, 12 oz. of chocolate and three packs of bags from the dollar Tree I have potential income of $44.00. I'm not sure what the net would probably ZERO if I paid myself minimum wage. Sigh...

Heather wants me to go up to Lafayette tomorrow which sort of was the original plan, except I thought we'd have dinner at the nursing home. Now they are saying Dad can go home f r the day. I am worried about him being at the house and I am worried about finishing everything for the Market. I don't know what to do. It makes me want to sleep all day, which will do no good for anybody.

I need to go finish stuff and I don't want to talk to Heather for another half hour about if I can do what I need to do to make my labels and signs and business cards on Mom's computer. I just want to give up.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple and quick.

Dinner tonight - this is the focaccia dough made into a calzone - this one is Michael's veggie only. It worked, but because it is not a very "stretchy" dough it was difficult to get it nice around the filling.
This was about as pretty as I could get it to look. We have also used it like a "pre-cooked" pizza dough, added our ingredients on top and baked it a second time around. I did sautee the veggies because I was afraid the bread would burn if it had to cook long enough to cook the veggies too.

Michael had an orchestra event today where a small ensemble played in Kroger and we collected money and sold CDs. I think it was fairly successful. Michael has been not feeling well all weekend and will probably miss school tomorrow. Some of the money I spent yesterday was on a couple of full spectrum light bulbs. We need to get them all over the house, I think. No more sick and depressed winters! Life has its challenges.

I still have some business tasks I need to do - start weighing ingredients to prepare for my packaging. Ingredients have to be listed in order of weight predominance. One of my expenditures $35 for electronic food scales. I was going to borrow Eric's from when he had the pizza shop, but it is not sufficient.

More $$

I spent ever so much more. I am afraid to balance the check book. My goal tonight (this morning?) is to at least write down the a paper checks and see what has cleared.

I shopped for freaking HOURS and still remember things I need. Also I have to have enough money to pay for my expensive flour and my packaging next week. Eek. I have the packaging for the pretzels and the toffee. I have the stickers to make the labels. The cookie packaging will be $64, and he is getting a price on the bread bags Monday morning. He is also getting a price on "pizza circles" I am trying to decide if they should go under the bread. I also bought business card paper and more paper to make signs for the table with prices and all that. I need sign holders, but I think I can borrow a couple from Renee or from work.

At karaoke tonight I met a nutrition/dietitian student and she said I should use applesauce for the fat substitute in the ginger bread. Duh! I knew that. I have just been too boggled. That will keep them vegan. I am baking some tomorrow. And I don't have to bake a whole batch and waste it. Gingerbread is a dough that you can keep refrigerated and use later. Amber also says she makes her pretzels ahead of time and they keep well in a tightly covered container. ALSO I had taken toffee to work about two weeks ago and when I brought the remnants home just a couple of days ago it tasted great. It just had a little bloom on the chocolate, but that may be because our house is so cold. I'm trying to decide what shapes for gingerbread. I wish I had a star of David cutter. I can make some Christmas trees, some people and some circles or hearts. I also have autumn leaf cookie cutters I like to use for ginger bread and then just put sparkly sugar on, but I think it's too late for that by Holiday market.

I'm rambling because it's stinking late and I am exhausted. I will let you know how the gingerbread turns out tomorrow - pictures if it is good.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I have spent so much money today it's crazy. I bought food scales, a refirgerator thermometer, packaging for the pretzels, some ingredients. I can't even think what else. Sigh... I need to figure the checkbook and pay some bills too!

Having trouble finding molasses for my gingerbread cookies. They may have to be canceled from the sale. I was worried because they are so labor intensive, anyway. Instead of drop cookies, they need to be rolled and stamped and sugared or frosted.... Sam's has a one gallon molasses on the website, but it says it's not available in our store. I should see if it is in Lafayette.

I talked to Amber about baking/ business tonight and she sent me a recipe to make my own caramel for the pretzels! That will save a lot of money. She says it's better too. Yay.

I'm exhausted. I think I don't even want to go see if it's my turn in Scrabble.

Tonight's culinary adventures...

Pretzels dipped in caramel and then milk chocolate. These are pretty labor intensive. I didn't realize it.
just another shot. I was going to drizzle with white chocolate and then for some reason (fatigue, ya think?) I couldn't remember how to do it. I sat there just thinking "this chocolate won't drizzle." After I finished taking pictures of naked pretzels, I remembered, Oh! Duh! I always put in in a bag and squeeze it on.... I don't know where my brain was.
Dipped pretzels with carnival sprinkles! Good for any occasion.
Butterscotch brownies. I made these with the flour that I don't like in the cookies and it was good in these. I overbaked a little because I was doing too many things at once, so the edges stayed in the pan!
Yum! With pecans too! I am taking these to the orchestra chili supper tomorrow night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Up late

I took the new med to help me sleep and I was in a fog all day. No more of that! When I got home I slept until almost 9:00 , I think. I committed to baking cookie for a bake sale at work tomorrow so I had to get up and do it. Now I still have to package them and then get my butt to bed!

I am still not happy with the cookie results from the local flour. She calls it a "pastry flour," but I just don't think the grind is fine enough for my tastes. I have made cookies with it twice and they have turned out to be thin cookies, instead of the fat chewy ones I like. I tried additional flour and oats tonight and I still didn't like them. I want to get a good batch of cookies to figure out the correct ratios and also to get pictures up before Holiday Market. I don't even like the way these look. I may have to go back to retail flour for these cookies and try to find another recipe that is good for the local flour. I wonder if the beer bread recipe would take it. Maybe I will make that tomorrow.

I just had the Dove chocolate party and now I am having a jewelry party for Heather, who is selling Lia Sophia. People are going to think I am inviting them over just to get free stuff, but I really just like having people over to the house, and why not help a friend or sister get started in their business at the same time? Lots of people are helping and supporting me in my ambitions too!

Well I bet the cookies are cool enough to bag up so good night!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

20 MInutes

I did 20 minutes of movement all at once tonight. The way I have been lately I feel accomplished. I have been doing 20 minutes some days, but dividing it into two ten minute increments. I also worked on the yard on Sunday cutting and toting wood. I want to get my arms back!

I added some more names to my email list and sent a second round of the email tonight. I have one advance order. Woo. I started a Facebook page where people can be a fan. I have posted some pictures on there. When I get pictures of all the products I am offering at Holiday Market I will send another email with photos attached.

I went to the dr. today. I told him all my stress and the sleep troubles and blah, blah, blah... He talked about how if I don't sleep it will mess up my cortisol, which messes up the way my body uses insulin even more. That is Type II Diabetes. Your body produces insulin, but does not use it properly - insulin resistance. So first goal is to get me sleeping better. Also, one of the meds we had reduced we are going to go back to the larger dose and he thinks it will get me off this plateau which has become a four pound gain. Sigh...

I need to go wash dishes and then make toffee and take pictures and then wash dishes again. I have a midnight goal tonight and I am going to stop and go to bed no matter what is or isn't done. Eventually I am going to get myself back to nmy eleven o'clock bedtime.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hope's Homemades 1st Email

Some of you have probably received this already!

I have already had a few kicked back as bad addressees AND I have already remembered some people I should put on the list. I wish I could afford an IT Department and an accountant and oh, maybe to start a business at all. Who knows? I may fizzle after holiday Market. I may be a fantastic hit. We'll just wait and see and try to be optimistic for now.

I am also afraid it will go to spam filters because I sent it as a bulk email.

I baked more focaccia bread tonight.

My friend Kim posted a pumpkin muffin with butterscotch chips recipe a couple of days ago. I made it tonight only doubled it, whole wheat flower and ground flaxmeal for half the flower and made it in a bundt pan. It looks and smells amazing I haven't tasted it yet - a little piece might happen to pull off when I take it out of the pan...

Hello Friends, Family, Taste Testers and Everybody Else!

You have been included in this group because either you signed up for it, you have helped test my products over the years and expressed pleasure, you have been with me in some important part of this journey and been supportive, or you are my family and therefore obligated to at least feign interest in my attempt at starting a business!

Hope's Homemades is much closer to reality. After small business development classes, food safety classes and ServeSafe certification (I am 97% sure how to kill you if I want!), a lot of sampling, trying new ingredients, and taking treats to work, all while trying to lose weight of course, a REAL SALE APPROACHES!

Hope's Homemades, as part of the Bloomington Kitchen Incubator, will have goods for sale at the Holiday Market, Saturday, November 28th. 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Holiday Market takes place in the Showers Plaza - along with the Farmer's Market. BKI will have a table in the area with the crafts and art vendors.

Currently Hope's Homemades is functioning as a Home Based Vendor as allowed under Indiana Law. What does that mean? It means all my foods must be labeled "This product is home produced and processed and the production area has not been inspected by the State Department of Health." The law also limits what types of foods I am allowed to sell and where I am allowed to sell them - either Farmer's Markets or at Roadside Stands. Bad thing - NO CHEESECAKES. Good thing - Bloomington has a great Farmer's Market and a winter market and although it may not happen this year I am researching the requirements to become part of those markets. In moments of desperation I may pitch a tent in the yard. Bonus to living outside the city limits!

PRODUCTS I have planned for holiday market are:
Tuscan Spice Focaccia Bread (vegan)
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
Gingerbread Cookies (vegan)
Toffee with chocolate topping
Dipped pretzel rods.

Pricing is yet to be set as I determine my packaging, labeling and costs - yikes! I promise to be as reasonable as possible.

As always I will try to use true, wholesome ingredients, locally obtained (not from Schenectedy over the internet) and locally produced if possible. I have found one locally produced whole wheat flour I love!! There will be no preservatives, no artificial flavors and no hydrogenated shortenings in any of my goods.

If you would like to place orders ahead of time, please email and let me know. I know that's kind of a silly thing to offer when I haven't yet priced the products. If I have many orders placed ahead of time, however, it may actually keep costs and prices lower. I will know how much to prepare and be able to prevent too many leftovers and waste - although Shalom Center and Community Kitchen would benefit if I DID over-bake.

If you know someone who may be interested, please forward this email to them and give my contact information. If you do not want to receive any additional emails from me (I can't imagine!) or if you would like me to use a different email address, please reply and let me know.

I look forward to receiving your orders. I will send pricing and package sizes and amounts as soon as determined and I look forward to seeing many of you at Holiday Market!

Hope Leeper
Hope's Homemades

I attached a flyer/sign I made for our last tasting event: (which now Blogger says it can't show pout!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I pretty muched kicked today's ass...

... but then it kicked me back. I awakened headache-free at a pleasantly late hour. Had a hunk o' meat for breakfast. Then I did a few household tasks off and on the way I do. After a while I lay down and took a I-don't-know-how-many-hour-nap. Still feeling great at this point. So I went outside and started working on the yard. Sprayed the remaining Canada Thistle with the organic weed killer and cut wood, some by hand, some using the little electric saw my dad had given me. Still feeling good. Finished up a little later than planned so jumped in the car in yard working/ house working clothes to go get Michael from Ed's. I took a big glass of ginger ale and some snacks, having not eaten since this morning's hunk o' meat. Still felt fine. Once I got on the road safely I checked the VM. Heather said something about Mom taking Dad home from the nursing home... I didn't get the whole thing so I called back. What it was was that they had given her permission to take him for a drive in the car, but she was not to try to transfer him out of the car. I guess what they did was drive home and sit in front of the house for an extended period. I called Heather again and she was at their house and said Mom still hadn't come back. I called the nursing home and checked with the nurse and she reported that they had returned safely, had some visitors, Dad was in a good mood and not complaining of headache or pain. YAY! I guess a trip home was a good idea, even if he couldn't go inside. Maybe sitting there looking at those four stairs up to the porch and the one more over the threshold will make him realize he needs to accomplish a lot in therapy to get there! Heather is staying until tomorrow and she is going to talk to the Social Worker and Therapists. We can't get any information out of mom.

Bad thing is, whether from the scent of the weed killer (Clove oil based), the worry that they had not contacted Heather after returning to the nursing home, or having to call the nurse, the guy with the screwdriver started stabbing me in the left eye and the right side of the head. After a nice day with no pain killers I was instantly physically miserable. I guess this makes it pretty obvious it is stress-related. Sigh. I'm pretty sure I will have to be drugged to sleep tonight and make it to work tomorrow, but it is happening very soon - definitely before midnight tonight. All I have left to do is take my night-time meds and wipe where I sprayed some cleaned in the tub - I probably shouldn't have done that with the head hurting already, duh.

Good night.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I made a very long list of items to accomplish today - a long list even for me! My main goal, however, is to get enough rest so that my headache goes away. It has been nagging at me for four or five days. It has never made me non-functional, but miserable in general. I made the long list, but I am going with the idea that it is a wish list and if a nap or a certain food that will make me feel better supercedes items on the list so be it.

Here's a short report on the week of non-blogging:
Constant headache or hip pain.
One visit to chiropractor - helped both
Heather visiting while on her vacation
A couple of good meals cooked and consumed
Heather was helpful because I didn't feel well
A coworker - Gina - gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers because I told her it was a rough week.
Chocolate party, not as many people as I would have liked, and a little too "salesy" but still pleasant.
Work, busy, yet sort of fulfilling, despite physical discomfort. I like feeling when I "earn my keep."
Food and exercise, too much, not enough. I have gained back a little and am going to get back on the wagon.
Business: went to restaurant supply store to research packaging. Decided on foil trays with plastic dome lids for cookies. Foil is recyclable in our community, the plastic is not, so better than all plastic "clamshells," less expensive, too. Decided I want to sell breads in flat paper bags and guy is searching for them for me. Now I just need money to buy them. Focaccia bread with the locally grown flour is AMAZING - cookies with the golden wheat berry flour - eh. Will try again.
Crafts/art and reading - none accomplished this week. I did listen to good music a lot, however.
Cleaning out - took an entire carload of stuff to Unity Church "Circulation Day." Very happy about that. Also Heather helped me go through my closet last night and pull out many items that are too big that I loved and hadn't had the heart to part with yet. A lot of times she would grab the back and say, "I am holding six inches of fabric here. It's too much to even get altered." She took them all away this morning to a charity where they give clothes to women trying to rebuild lives and start careers. Most of what we sorted out last night was the nicer, dressier stuff. It is much harder to get rid of than T-shirts, jeans and knit shirts!

My first items on my list are "fill pill case" and take medicine. Those are a necessity and must be done soon, so I am off to start the day (at 11:00 - see, I slept extra already!). I will try to return and report!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not blogging daily.

I'll get back to it soon.

Tonight I am baking a pound cake to use as a dipper for chocolate fondue tomorrow. I'm having a chocolate party tomorrow. I am excited. I hope people come.

I'll report back!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

That little rattle under the car...

It's a good thing I decided it was worth taking in and having it put up on the lift. Chris had looked under it and said he thought it would need a whole new exhaust, but he wasn't able to really raise it up and also based that on putting his hand on the exhaust pipe and not feeling any pressure coming out at all. That little rattle, that little rattle, that little rattle I'd hear every once in a while above the chugging... when it was up on the lift the guy was able to see that the "flex pipe" was almost rusted through, and if it goes all the way and hits the road you become one of those cars that throw a bunch of sparks until it rips off and you leave the muffler and pipes lying on the highway! It was $143 to get it fixed. I balanced the checkbook and I had $130 BUT there is a check out that Ben swears he already cashed, so unless Ben is wrong and finds the check and cashes it I am okay. Please, please, please however, let the child support be deposited on time! We are eating what we have in the house this week! At least I can bake bread if all else fails! It's just lack of fresh veggies that will make Michael crazy.

Made more focaccia bread tonight with the locally grown flour. AND found that Eric still has the scales from when he owned the pizza restaurant that he will let me use for weighing ingredients and for packaging. So things look grim in some ways and great in others. I have to have money to buy the higher amount of flour and the containers and labels to make my labels and and and... sigh. Yep. I think I still agree with the crazy verdict!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I put bed by 11:00 on my list tonight and I don't think I will make it.

It's just been a regular Monday. I did make a nice meatloaf for dinner. Heather is here visiting while she is on her vacation so it is nice to have someone to eat meat with me!

After cleaning out Mom's cabinet the other night I am inspired to take care of my own. I actually already have "Get rid of foods we will never eat" on my master list already. I am starting with the spices. I have repeats of too many, but I also have Tupperware spice containers that have been emptied and never refilled so I can consolidate. Those are in the sink waiting for me to wash them right now. THEN I get to fill them and label them with my label maker! Yay!

Joyce is the Ace typist at work, but she is also one of the staff who took over the Public Notices job after I went back to regular classifieds. The other Public Notices Clerk is Pam and she is on vacation this week. I typed a few letters to the editor today to help Joyce. People are nuts and write the strangest letters to the editor. James Alexander Thom, the novelist, lives here and he often writes letters about political issues. I typed one of his today. I can't remember what it said, but it seemed a little "Off the Wall" to me!

Well, I am going to go work on spice containers! Yippee!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

One more trip....

The visit at the nursing home was not so pleasant nor as unpleasant today either, just boring. Dad started out in PT, but it made him tired and headachey. After that we just kind of sat around and did nothing and didn't even talk. I even lay down on a couch and slept for a little bit.

Then we took off (It was Michael, Heather and me) and went to the house. Heather and I worked on the kitchen. I cleaned out one corner of cupboards and threw out all the old expired food. Some of it was from 2002... Heather worked on cleaning off the table and got that all finished and then worked on the floors. I washed the dishes - there weren't really too many- and knocked down some cobwebs ( I need to do that here!) and washed some cabinet fronts. Everything looked a lot better when we were done.

Brother Chris came and looked at my car and said it probably needs not just a new muffler, but the whole exhaust system..... so I have a $225 speeding ticket, a new muffler, a house that needs repairs and I don't have any clothes that fit. I also have to pay $100 out of pocket to my dr. every month and blah, blah, blah... and somehow I think I am going to start a new business? WTF? Something is wrong with me.

I decided I need counseling for "stress management" I called our insurance company and we get four sessions free each year so I figure if I start now I can use this year's four sessions and next years four sessions maybe every other week and have counseling for four months and maybe it will help me make it through all this and the holidays without losing my mind and hurting anybody.

I am back to Dr. Karin in the morning. I also took a chair cushion from Mom's house and used it on the way home and I think the driving hurt my hips less.

I'm not in danger physically/psychologically in THAT way, I am just afraid that the stress and pain will make it so I will get very ill again like when I go that pneumonia and then the flu a couple weeks later. I am back on a commission/"spiff" structure right now so if I miss work time I get paid time off, but lose on those bonuses, so I can't afford it. Sucky.

Okay, off to go a little more and then bet ready for bed.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oh My!

Hysterical call from mother about 11:15, a trip to Lafayette, meeting with Social Worker, nurses, dealing with Dad who ANGRY. I think we're settled for now. I will probably still go up Sunday unless I am having my own nervous breakdown. I am very much on the edge mentally. Last night when I was so tired It took me over two hours to fall into a nightmare filled sleep. Physical discomfort with the hip, and the car is the worst thing for it. Going back to Dr. Karin tomorrow for some more work.

I was saving my massage until I hit 180, but that may never happen with all this stress. I may need to go ahead and get it now as a self- care act, and not a reward. It's just so damned expensive!

All I am going to do now is feed the fish, take my medicine, refill my pill case and then SLEEP, even if it takes a load of tranquilizers to get to sleep.

It's too late, baby, well it's too late

though I really did try to make it.

I am tired and I'm and I'm gonna go to bed. I'd like to blog, but I just can't take it.... Oooohh -ooh.

I went to Dr. Karin today and she worked on me. My entire left side is a mess as usual. I was not in as much pain today as yesterday. Part of that is probably the narcotics I took last night. Part is probably the arnica salve.

Going to go rub more salve on my butt and go to bed, Fred!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Randomness in Photos...

In Illinois, along a state highway. On the way there we took the odd roads through small towns.
These pictures are all in really random order!
Halloween night. You might think it sad that Scott is teasing Hobbes with the ball, but what is really sad is that there was actually a hamster inside, although I promise no hamsters, dogs, nor boyfriends were harmed in the making of this picture.
Hobbes, Sweet Hobbes. He has special needs and physical challenges.
We'll see if Emily and Scott are really up to it.
Marci's son Joey. Marci thinks that the cars came from some kind of exchange she did with my brother Chris 25-30 years ago!
Joey is VERY smart and cute!
A miracle. Shawn swept.
A magic broom...
Gillian cast a spell on it. That's my messy desk in the background.
A field of windmills, Benton County, Indiana.
We had elk for dinner.
Whole-grain elk pasta from IKEA - cute, but the shape doesn't cook up well so it was only mediocre.
Severo's memorial.
After I took this picture I kind of put the white cross on the right back in place sos it would look better.

Gorgeous - good trip.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm bad, but it's good.

I don't want to blog, but it is because I want to get to bed quickly! Isn't that exciting for me? I don't even have everything on the list accomplshed and I am "blowing it off."


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Back Home Again in Indiana...

... and with a list to do, of things both good and bad, blah, bla, blablabla baaahhhh... I didn't want to think of any more rhymes. Sorry.

Last night I went crazy manic and after I dropped Michael at the hotel I went and got the gas and washed the car and then sat by the car wash thing and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned the interior and the windows of the car. It has been SO long. It still looks dirty! I will have to work on it some more.

I also went and walked around Walgreen for a long time and found some amazing gifts to bring for my friends and coworkers. I also went to Wal-mart and walked a long time. I definitely got in some movement yesterday with IKEA added to my late-night wandering! I am also proud to report that only the first time at the hotel, when we had all our bags did I take the elevator to our third floor room. I used the stairs every single time after that!

We had breakfast/lunch with Em and Scott today and then got right on the road. We had a good drive back, I rested a little - my bad hip is in agony - then went to a concert (ouch! more sitting!) , that was a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Josef Gingold's birthday. It was amazing. Josh Bell played a fancy rendition of Yankee Doodle Dandy with the highest, clearest harmonics I have EVER heard. Look HERE:
to see something similar. I think he dressed it up even more tonight.

One really cool part was that a speaker traced Gingold's "lineage" of violin teachers back to the "father" of modern violin technique/ teaching. It's great to know that Emily has that same linage, having had April, who studied under Gingold, as her teacher! Ms. Gouker sent Emily a violin for a graduation gift. She wouldn't play for us 1) brand new bow has to be rosined for a long time before it is sticky enough to use 2) she said she wouldn't be good anymore and needs to practice first. I am so happy that Emily has a violin now! Like Ms. G. said, "She's too good to not play anymore."

Okay. I have to get to bed very soon and also get off my ass.... the hip is way in pain and I think I need the real pain meds for it. I'll be sitting on my ball at work tomorrow and standing and walking whenever possible to keep the pain away!

Good night!