Just Another Blog

my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

Archive for the category “life”

Happy Halloween to My Fellow Dust Warriors from Eloise

Eloise the Literary Raptor is getting in the holiday spirit.


Here she is in her spiffy necklace I found in the bark chips at the playground while Pokemon hunting. It really sets off the color of her… body.

Eloise took a trip to the backyard pumpkin patch while it was sunny and picked out some pumpkins to decorate.



She’s not the greatest artist. I mean, she’s a Literary Raptor, not a Sketching Raptor, but she got the job done.



She really loves her pumpkins, but Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a costume. Eloise decided to be a witch this year. Isn’t her wee hat just adorable?



Eloise is all ready for Halloween with her pumpkin bucket full of candy corn–a Literary Raptor’s favorite treat (of course she hasn’t tried my Christmas kolackies yet).


And for those of you joining me from 4thewords, here’s a photo just for you. Read more…

Permission to Suck

I had a bit of a revelation today. An epiphany of sorts. Or maybe life just slapped me in the face and told me to quit being stupid.

See, back in February or March, I had some bloodwork done that showed I had several severe vitamin deficiencies–iron being the worst. In fact, my iron is so low, my doctor was shocked I was even moving around. It’s the kind of anemia where you do blood transfusions instead of taking a pill once a day.

Suddenly all of these symptoms–the fatigue, the cold hands, headaches, depression, etc–all made sense. I finally had a diagnosis to latch on to. An explanation for why all of my mood stabilizers and antidepressants stopped working. A reason for the bone-shattering, life-destroying exhaustion I feel from the moment I wake up until I crawl back into bed.

But then I ran into a problem. I can’t take iron pills. They make me violently ill after a few days, and at the amount of iron I need, I just can’t do it. My doctor said I’d probably need infusions which would be done at the hospital, but before we could even set that up, we lost our insurance.

So here I am, hanging in limbo, barely able to function. My brain feels foggy on good days and like it’s slowly dissolving into goo on bad days. Getting out of bed is sometimes so exhausting that by the time I go to the bathroom, I’m ready to just climb back in and sleep the rest of the day. I rarely make it through a day without a nap because I physically can’t stay awake. I can’t take care of my family. I can barely take care of myself.

But I keep trying. I get up every day with plans to do the stuff I always did before. Clean the kitchen, make some coffee, get some writing in, laundry and going for a walk. And nine times out of ten, I end up disappointed in myself because I can’t do it. I end up sitting in front of the computer and nothing gets done because I can’t clear the fog in my head or I end up with a massive headache.

That’s what this last week has been like. It started well last week–I walked two days in a row and got a bunch of writing done–and then BAM! all that energy was gone. But I still had these lists of things to do–blog posts, prepping for NaNo, editing Heaven, adding to Uncalled For, writing stories for Girl Genius week–but I didn’t do any of them. The more I didn’t do the things on the list, the more stressed I got. Then the anxiety set in (which I think is causing an ulcer) and the guilt.

The breaking point was earlier today. I needed some black embroidery floss for a project. I have like every color under the rainbow (literally, I bought one of each color twenty years ago) but no black. I decided to run to Walmart, but I barely trust myself to drive in town, let alone the twelve or so miles to Walmart, so my husband offered to drive me.

We picked up a few groceries, and lucky me, there was exactly one black embroidery floss left. Score! On the way home, I’m telling him about the exhaustion and all the trouble I’m having getting stuff done for the week and being overwhelmed so he lets me order pizza so I don’t have to make lunch. Then we’re unpacking the bags and no embroidery floss. It’s not listed on the receipt either which means the cashier missed it when she checked us out.

I just lost it. I was so fatigued at that point, I was having trouble walking straight or thinking clearly. And I used what little energy I’d had that day to go to Walmart for one thing, and I didn’t get that thing. It was too much. I broke down into tears.

Later, after I had my pizza and was trying to calm my racing thoughts so I could actually nap, it hit me. Why am I even doing all of this? Why am I stressing myself out over stories and blog posts and projects? It’s not like I have to do these things for a job. I mean, I guess people that read my fanfic will be disappointed if I don’t update, but all of the pressure is internal.

It’s me making lists and plans like I did before I got sick and expecting to finish my goals like I’m well. What the fuck is up with that? It’s insane.

I’ll say it again… I’m sick. Like mega sick. Anemia isn’t something to scoff at. My doctor was literally amazed I could walk and cook dinner and do anything because my numbers were so low. I should be dead. But here I am, stressing about finishing goals I set when I was feeling better.

So, I’ve given myself permission to suck. I’ve used that phrase before when writing rough drafts. It took many years to learn the lesson (first drafts don’t have to be perfect, you know), and now, I need to transfer that to my life. It’s okay to suck. So, I haven’t updated Heaven in nearly year. So, I’m behind on Uncalled For. So, I couldn’t keep up with my prompt-a-day I wanted to do this month. And NaNo is most likely going to be a flop. In the grand scheme of my life, does any of that matter? Not really. Those things are important to me, but my health should be more important.

So, until we get our insurance back (hopefully in a few months after my husband has his surgery and finally gets back to work), and I can get treatment for the anemia, I have permission to be as sucky as I need. If all I have the energy for is watching Red vs Blue then that’s what I’ll do. If I have enough to go Pokemon hunting, I’ll do that and not feel guilty because I also didn’t do the dishes. I’ll attempt NaNo like I do every year, but I’m not going to be disappointed when I only manage a few thousand words because that’s a lot when I’m this sick.

Why is self-care always the hardest?

Big Cat, Little Bucket


Bellamy is so weird sometimes. He insisted on sleeping in this bucket despite there being two perfectly good boxes with blankets right next to it:

boxes-092219 (2)


He wasn’t amused by my five minutes of laughter either.

New Addition

Finally got some cute pictures to post of the newest family addition.

Introducing Arrow Finnegan…


Born June 7 at 12:47am. 7lbs, 3oz; 19″ long.


His daddy just adores him. Totally wrapped around his little fingers (just like grampa but totally not gramma, not at all).


Mom did great. Eighteen-years-old, and she made it look easy. Started induction at 10pm on the 5th, got the epidural around noon on the 6th, started pushing at 11:10pm, and he was born an hour and a half later. She’s a great mom–I’m so proud of her.

We finally broke down and got me a new phone. I’ve had the same one since 2013, and it’s been mostly unusable for the last two years with most of the screen untouchable. But the camera worked, and with a little trouble, I could get the photos onto my laptop to use, but when I went to upload the pictures of the birth, I couldn’t do it. My DSLR camera broke last year as well, so I was in tears not being able to take pictures of the little guy.

So I got a new Galaxy 10e. The quality is amazing (better than my old phone and the DSLR which is 12 years old). Can’t wait to get more pictures of this sweet boy.


Last week, I had some blood work done. I got the results yesterday. They’re a doozy.

I’m severely anemic. Which I knew. I’ve been dealing with anemia since high school. It’s really bad, though. Normal range is 37 – 145. Mine is 21.

Signs of anemia according to WebMD:

  • fatigue/loss of energy – check
  • rapid heart beat – check
  • headaches – check
  • difficulty concentrating – double check
  • pale skin – I guess I’m pretty pale
  • leg cramps – occasionally
  • insomnia – all the checks in the world
  • pica (in my case the insatiable urge to chew ice)
  • upward curvature of nails – thankfully don’t have that because it sounds weird
  • soreness of mouth/cracks at corners – I thought my lips were just overly dry and causing the cracking

So, um, yeah. That basically describes me in detail.

Read more…


As if my life isn’t stressful enough, my husband brought home a puppy twelve days ago. A puppy!


I am not a dog person. At all. And we already have four cats. As much as I love cats, they’re already driving me nuts wanting in and out of my room all hours of the night. Especially Bellamy since his injury–he just likes to let me know how unhappy he is that we won’t let him outside anymore.

Now we have a dog. And guess who gets to take care of her?

Read more…

Update on Bellamy

It’s been a week since my daughter woke me in hysterics because Bellamy was covered in blood and hiding under the sofa. He was such a mess those first two days that I honestly wasn’t sure he would make it.

But I’m happy to announce that he’s made a full recovery. He’s at about 90%. His jaw is still broken but doesn’t seem to bother him. He eats soft and hard food and finally started drinking water last night (his last hurdle).

The bites on his chest have all healed, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of infection. He no longer has a limp (that was there a week before this incident).

The only thing worrying me now is that he’s started sneezing a lot more. The doctor said that might happen because his nose was jacked up, but he’s doing it a lot more suddenly. My oldest daughter said she’s heard him coughing. And it obviously still pains him to swallow. I think he just needs time with the swallowing. The coughing could be a problem. He’ll need to go get a checkup soon so we’ll see about that then.

I think the vet is going to be shocked at how well he’s bounced back. She listed him in critical condition and gave him less than stellar odds of surviving the first few days.

He really is a trooper. He’s pissed at everyone because we won’t let him outside. Which means he’s being even more obnoxious than usual.

bellamy_022518showing off his shaved chest and leg… also stealing my chair (taken on 2/25/18)

On Hold

Posts are going to be on hold for the week, including new chapters of Heaven Can’t Wait.

Thursday morning, our cat, Bellamy, came home broken and covered in blood. The vet¬†put his injuries down to blunt force trauma probably from a car, but it looks like someone could have kicked him in the face. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that.

His face is a mess. And he has a seeping wound on his chest that she thinks might have been older and abscessed. Whatever happened to him Thursday, ruptured it. It’s pretty bad, and I feel awful that no one noticed this wound. There were no signs that he was hurt besides a limp on that side.

He’s going back today for more x-rays on his face to see if his jaw is broken. He won’t eat or drink even though it’s obvious he’s hungry. He’ll run to the bowl but change his mind once he’s there.

I haven’t been able to concentrate the last couple days so there hasn’t been any writing. I think I’m taking the next two weeks off. Hopefully, but then, Bellamy will be better and I’ll catch up on chapters of Heaven Can’t Wait.

My poor baby when he was about a year old last summer. You almost can’t recognize him–his face is so swelled up and broken.


And bonus… when he was a kitten.

A Conversation with Jack

So this happened with my seven-year-old son.

Jack: When can I have my tablet back?
Me: On Monday after you do your homework.
Jack: But why?
Me: Because you got it taken away for not going to bed when you were told and lying about it.
Jack: But I didn’t!
Me: You were standing right here when I told you to go to bed at 9:30 then you lied to Daddy and said no one told you to go to bed.
Jack: But I didn’t lie. No one told me that.
Me: You were standing right here! You even whined about it.
Jack: No I didn’t.
Me: You’re lying to me about lying right now.
Jack: No I’m not.
Me: o_0


Mine really do crack me up. When they’re not making me want to strangle them. I try to write down as many ridiculous conversations as I can. There are a bunch on my tumblr.

Happy Birthday Owen

My oldest son turned 16 today. He wants to get a job so he can save up to take driver’s ed. Not ready for this.



(taken on the first day of school last month)

Look how tall he is? Almost to the top of the garage door! Getting close to 6’1″.


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