Just Another Blog

my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

Archive for the category “life”


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.

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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?

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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″.




It’s that time of year again. The air gets cooler, the leaves start to fall, and the kids are finally out of my hair. Finally. There was some question if this was going to happen earlier this week with the fires raging so close to home. The kids were disappointed to learn the flames never left Archer Mountain so school was on as scheduled.


Owen (10th) & Brenna (9th)



Nora (6th) and Meagan


Meagan & Jack (2nd)


Jack showing off his new bookbag


This sums up the first day for everyone

Everyone got off okay except for Nora. Her bus never came. There was apparently a mix-up in the bus times between the high school and middle school. And the driver was new. The bus was supposed to come at 7:45am. At 8am, it still hadn’t arrived. School starts at 8:04am. Nora waited until 8:10 then started walking because she was already late. The neighbor across the street decided to drive the one other kid still waiting (I guess he lived next door to her) and offered to take Nora, but she’d already gotten a ride with a friend’s mom who was on her way back from dropping her daughter off.


The bus did eventually come by–45 minutes late. Which meant it was 15 minutes late to pick up the elementary kids. Not that Jack minded. There were some problems with getting Jack home as well. The bus went all over the place instead of the route it was supposed to take. He was twenty minutes late getting home. The father of the new kindergartener at the stop was on the phone with the school, freaking out. Poor guy. I tried to warn him that the bus is always late the first day.

Everyone had a good day. Jack loved school and Nora was finally excited to be in middle school. She loves her drama class the most (first period so she missed half of it the first day).

And me? I’m enjoying my time alone. Or would be if Meagan was in school. She should be a senior but dropped out and just hangs around the house, bugging me. Hopefully, she’ll find a job soon (I’m not holding my breath, though).


Delayed again

Part three of my Story Engineering series has been postponed on account of Oregon burning to the ground. Washington, too.



(C) whereintheGorge.com


The Eagle Creek Fire spread downriver to within eight miles of my town. Then it jumped the Gorge, lighting a fire on the Washington side. Ten miles from my house. We spent Tuesday waiting to see where the fire would go and if we’d need to bug out.

Thankfully, it stayed close to its origin point. We’re safe for now. The kids are disappointed. They have to go to school tomorrow (first day!).

It’s been a long stressful few days.



I live in the Pacific Northwest–Southwest Washington state, outside of Portland, OR, to be specific. Contrary to popular belief, it does not rain here 24/7, 365 days of the year. It isn’t always gloomy and cloudy.

In the summer, it’s dry and hot.

And do you know what doesn’t mix with dry, hot conditions? Fireworks. We’ve been under a burn ban for a while now. I mean, duh?

But there are always those idiots that don’t get the danger. A lot of them are teenagers. Who light fireworks in a state park in the middle of a dry spell. That’s how you get the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge.

The fire started Saturday afternoon and is now over 5,000 acres and spreading west. I live west. In fact, they have been evacuating towns on the Oregon side of the river to Stevenson, WA. Which is a 25 minute drive from here.


I watched all day as ash fell in the area, covering everything like snow. Black snow.



This was the little bits gathered on our grill around 3:30pm.

The ash: around 3:30pm, around 5:30pm, and almost 7pm.
I’m afraid to see what it looks like in the morning.



These are what we’re calling “ghost” pine needles. They are really just ash in the shape of a pine needle. It’s very sad.

Since this afternoon, they’ve closed the Interstate going through the Gorge and a bridge crossing over to Washington. Several towns have been evacuated. More are waiting and ready just in case. The winds have blown embers, sparking more fires west. Watching the Twitter feed is heartbreaking.

Remember kids: only you can prevent forest fires. By not fucking shooting fireworks off in a forest during a drought.





I meant to post the second part of my Story Engineering series on Friday. I truly did, but my fifteen-year-old son decided to have a severe asthma attack as I was writing it. So inconsiderate.


After a call to 911, cleaning his room, and doing laundry all day, I didn’t have the energy to do anything else. I’m still recovering (and still doing laundry–who would have thought five kids could create so much laundry?).

I’m hoping to have the post up by Monday and resume the regular schedule with part 3.

Can it really be considered a schedule if I’ve only made one post?

For the record, my son is fine. It’s the worst attack he’s had since he developed asthma last summer, and all of his inhalers were empty. My husband left work early to take him to urgent care, but in the end, he couldn’t wait that long. I ended up calling 911 because he could barely breathe and was nearly passing out. The EMTs gave him a breathing treatment and his stats returned to close to normal, so my husband took him to the doctor after that.

He came home and slept for a while. Every inch of him was sore, especially his chest, but he was feeling fine by evening. He even helped me cook dinner and was wrestling with his little brother.

Still, couldn’t he have at least waited to nearly die after I was done with my post? Hmm? Teenagers… always thinking of themselves.



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