Happy Father's Day

Here is a poem I wrote six years for my dad and I also made a photo collage for him.  He was always such an amazing man with a good heart.

My Father’s Heart

My father’s heart is strong,
He gives me strength when I am weak.
My father’s heart is full of faith,
He has taught me to find mine.
My father’s heart is full of laughter,
He can make me laugh through tears.
My father’s heart is compassionate,
He taught me to put myself in another’s shoes.
My father’s heart is self-sacrificing,
He raised five children and never complained.
My father’s heart is generous,
He gives all he has to our family.
My father’s heart is forgiving,
He has taught me that forgiveness will set me free.
More than anything, my father’s heart is filled with love.
The proof is in our family and all he does.
My father is… all heart.

All my love,
Karen “Kammy” Jean






 My brother J Dee and his wife Patti decorated Dad's grave for us today and they did a fantastic job!

This hat is one that I gave Dad a few years ago and I figured it should be there by his resting placeMy favorite shot because it shows my sister's bench/marker in the background. I will be buried next to my parents to the left.

Posted on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 11:20PM by Registered CommenterKaren | CommentsPost a Comment

Forgiveness is Power

It's strange how we reminisce about the days of our first jobs and how fun it was when we were able to goof off a little and how fun everyone was.  It's funny how those who were friends at work seem to fade with our memories.  However, those who treat you badly are those you never forget. 

Back in 1986, I got my first "real" job, working for a fabric store and it was a lot of fun.  Tough work being retail and being on my feet all day and all the cleaning and straightening we had to do was never a joy.  I worked there for four years but after a year, I became an assistant manager.  The woman who was the manager, I thought was my friend, and we'll call her "C" because I can't stand to hear her name or even write it cuz I'll have to hear her nasally Wisconsin accent. 

Oh yes, I said I thought we were friends and at the time, we really were or I was to her and I found out later it wasn't reciprocated.  I worked hard for her and was always a good employee.  Any crap management job she didn't want to do, she let me do it.  I didn't really mind so much because it was good experience. 

Through the years, she would let us make baby quilts and other store displays.  Company policy was that the displays had to be done at the store so when the fabric was sold out, we'd sell the display for costs.  Well, she always would let everyone make the things at home and then take the items home when the fabric was sold out.  She always said that we never had time to do them at the store so they needed to be done at home.  She even did the practice at home.  She said to just "not tell the division manager about it and no one would know."  Uh huh.

After about three years of working there, she promoted another gal into an assistant manager (which was fine with me - she deserved it!) but soon, I started getting the shit shifts and I would barely get enough hours to stay on full time.  I sensed that she didn't want me as her first assistant any more so I decided to go to work for my brother part time and still work for her the same amount of hours because I had a car payment to make and the drop in hours was difficult for me. 

She was peeved but I don't know what she expected me to do, I needed the money.  I spoke to her about it and she said she was trying to be fair but when I was first then I should have gotten the hours but she didn't do that. 

I heard she started talking trash about me and she made up gossip that I said about her and made sure it got back to me.  It was a total mess but I just did my job and was nice to everyone and even talked to her a few times about the "gossip" telling her it wasn't true but she already knew.  I actually knew the ax was coming soon because she played the same games with people before, who didn't kiss her ass. 

Within 2 months, she called me and told me that I was fired and the "District Manager found out that I'd been taking home store displays and I needed to bring those items back in or they'd hold my last check until I did." She also said she tried everything she could to help me but there wasn't anything she could do.  (yeah, right!)

The next day, I happened to know that the District Manager was in another local store so I went in to see him there and explained everything.  That it was C who told us to take things home and then we'd get to keep them and that she'd taken things home before herself.  He also said it was all her idea to fire me and he gave me a few examples of the reasons and everything was things that C did.  I had proof to show him on a few things to back up my story.  He believed me and he offered me my job back with another store of my pick and he'd promote me back to first assistant manager ASAP.  He even offered me another month in severance pay along with keeping all the things I made when I declined his generous offer. (I heard later on that she was forced to quit or else be fired... hmmm... wonder how that feels!!)

She called me about five years after the incident and wanted to "bury the hatchett" but I told her that was impossible because it was in my back!  Then one day last week, not knowing why, C popped into my head and I realized that after all these years, since 1990, I was still angry with her and I still had not forgiven her.  How silly is that?! 

I'm so much better off now and there is nothing I want from her so why haven't I forgiven her?  Did I still think I had the power over her because I hadn't forgiven her?  I found myself looking through FaceBook for her and was going to send her a message like "hi bitch, remember me?"

Then I smacked myself up the side of the head!  WTF was that about?!  I seriously need to forgive her and fast.  Knowing her, she probably loves the fact that I didn't forgive her... well... she can't smile any more because I have finally forgiven her.  She no longer holds the power over me and I don't really care about where she is or what she's doing.  I wish her and her family well but that's it. 

I have another story to tell about my job after I left this one.  Another unfair termination but I definitely had a better job than the fabric store.  And so it continues...

Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 12:26AM by Registered CommenterKaren | CommentsPost a Comment

11th Bloggiversary BIG FLOP!

Thank you so much for your thoughts for my 11th Bloggiversary but the game was a big flop.  The one and only player, Dawn, won and she got 5 things right.  Perhaps the questions were too difficult or I should have done multiple choice?!  Or maybe people don't know me as I thought they did... anyway... it was fun even though a BIG FLOP. Oh well...  I had fun.

Here are the questions with answers and the * are the questions Dawn answered correctly.  Thanks for playing, Dawn!

 1. What was the one prank that backfired on my friend Linda and I?  (hint, it was NOT the fart machine) Fart spray got all over our hands and it took us all day to get the crap smell off our hands.  It was hilarious!!  Serves us right...

 2. What is my specific college degree and what honors did I graduate with? Bachelors in Management/Accounting and I graduated Magna Cum Laude. 

* 3. What hyphenated word or a two word statement doubles as something naughty but very few people really know what it really means?  (it can be spelled several ways)  It's actually a favorite source of entertainment of mine.  Gee-Whiz!!!

 4. What did I post every Wednesday for years? Hump Day Hunk!!!!

 * 5. What does my niece/daughter call me? Dude!

 * 6. What are my two favorite seasons? Spring and fall.

 * 7. What 70's sitcom puts me right to sleep?  The Brady Bunch!

 8. Going along with the answer to #7, which I have all episodes, what collection of mine is out of control?  DVDs

 9. What dancing characters did I use a lot in the past?  Bananas and/or penises (snicker)

*10. When Christine hosted me, after Blogspot ate all my beginning posts, what was the domain name?  It starts with an A and it is a word that means a love of both Christine and mine.  Ailurophile, meaning a lover of cats.

11. What make, model, and year is my favorite muscle car?  Hint on the year... not my birth year but it's a favorite number of mine.  1969 Chevy Camaro!! 

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 6:38PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

11th Bloggiversary Celebration! 

I can hardly believe that 11 years has gone by since I began "blogging!"  Back before most the world, or at least my world, didn't have a clue what a blog was.  A blog was my place to write about my life and what was happening.  It was a place to vent and to share stories of things that happened in my life that I wanted to share and hopefully find someone who was going through the same things... or just a place to voice my opinion to no one, just to get it out of my mind. 

Here it is, 2012 and so much has happened in the 11 years, it's almost impossible to go back and name all the things that happened.  However, there are some fun things that I *hopefully* are remembered fondly or just remembered about a woman living her life in Utah, among diversity all around and who has a warped sense of humor. 

OK, so here is where the fun part comes in.  I'm listing 11 questions that have to do with my blog, life, and things that are still very important to me.  I've tried to think of easy questions and I hope those who have read my blog for a long time will know yet some newer things as well to give some of the short timers a chance.  The one person who answers the most of the 11 questions wins a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com.  In the event of a tie, there will be tie breaker questions.  The deadline for the answers is next Friday, June 8, 2012. 

Please send your answers to the questions directly to me via email (so you don't get answers via the comments) to karen6977(at)gmail.com.  I will announce the winner on Saturday June 9, 2012.  Good luck and please have fun!! 

 1. What was the one prank that backfired on my friend Linda and I?  (hint, it was NOT the fart machine)

 2. What is my specific college degree and what honors did I graduate with? 

 3. What hyphenated word or a two word statement doubles as something naughty but very few people really know what it really means?  (it can be spelled several ways)  It's actually a favorite source of entertainment of mine.

 4. What did I post every Wednesday for years?

 5. What does my niece/daughter call me?

 6. What are my two favorite seasons?

 7. What 70's sitcom puts me right to sleep?  The ________  ________

 8. Going along with the answer to #7, which I have all episodes, what collection of mine is out of control?

 9. What dancing characters did I use a lot in the past?

10. When Christine hosted me, after Blogspot ate all my beginning posts, what was the domain name?  It starts with an A and it is a word that means a love of both Christine and mine. 

11. What make, model, and year is my favorite muscle car?  Hint on the year... not my birth year but it's a favorite number of mine. 

Thanks for playing!

Posted on Friday, June 1, 2012 at 12:00AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments3 Comments

No More School and No More Bus

Before I get onto my post, I want to remind everyone to stop by Friday, June 1 for the celebration of my 11th Anniversary/Bloggiversary of me blogging.  There will be a game to play, just answering questions about things you've hopefully learned about me over the years as well as an opportunity to take pot shots at me... not like you didn't have the opportunity before but now I'm giving you full permissions ;-)  LOL  Just remember, it must be tasteful... yeah, I know, gee whiz.  ;-)  Now, onto my post!

Well, school is officially out for the summer, as of this afternoon. I'm happy for the hard-working teachers but at the same time, I wish we could have a program for Elyssa. She loves school but there are no programs, state funded that we can get her into nor is there any private funded that we can afford. She "retains too much" otherwise she would qualify for something the school district offers. I'm happy she is retaining the level she is but I'm sad that their standards aren't lower. Is that right?... no, I want their standards to increase so she wouldn't meet their higher goals. Yeah, that's it! LOL That way there's no pressure on her.

Looking at her "report card"/progress report today and I am quite proud of her. I see all the challenges she faces every day and they're so "every day" to us but for her, they are like climbing Mount Everest every day. That may be a bit much, but she is really so happy for all she struggles with. I realize it's just what she is used to and that she has very special talents in other areas, where it really counts, in my opinion. Her love is definitely pure and she doesn't judge others. She really does have a good heart and doesn't do anything intentional without a medical or behavioral problem behind it. If I could see the world as she does, through such innocent eyes, I think I'd be a lot better person.

Now where was I going with this... oh yes, school is out, now what? I've found a swimming teacher at the local Northshore Pool who is willing to teach her one on one, and I am confident she can handle Elyssa because she taught her own brother who has Down's Syndrome and despite two years, they got him to swim. Elyssa is not afraid of the water and that worries me because she isn't safe. I don't mind her playing in the shallow end but anything over her waist, she just safe because she doesn't follow rules. I would love to leg go of her and let her swim across the pool but I just don't dare when she's not swimming safely. Anyway... other than the pool lessons, my SIL, Joan has offered to take her once a week in June then hopefully other family can help out too so we can let her have some fun in the pool.

It's a shame there aren't any dance classes in the summer. At least none that I've found in the immediate area. I found some DVDs on Amazon that I'll probably buy her, they teach dance to kids and they look like a lot of fun so it couldn't hurt having her stay fresh and perhaps learn a bit more ballet or tap... or even some jazz.

I was watching M*A*S*H yesterday and heard one of my dad's favorite jokes and I had a good little giggle through tears - and I pointed out to Mom so I hope I made her giggle to. Klinger told Zale, "If my dog had your face, I'd shave his butt and teach him to walk backwards!" I'm still giggling about it through misty eyes. I think Dad is too... M*A*S*H was one of his most favorite shows of all time. I don't think he every missed an episode. Growing up, it was on Monday nights and I would always hurry to get my homework done so I could watch it with Dad, it was a tradition. Even if I didn't have my homework done, I'd fib just so I could watch it, then I finished my homework later... I think he knew it. Come to think of it, I think everyone who lived at home would gather around to watch it as well. At my age, most the jokes went over my head but hearing my dad laugh was enough to make me laugh. He reminds me of Alan Alda; he had that infectious laugh and smile.

OK, I better get to bed... this insomniac has a lot to do tomorrow and I think my head is finally ready to quiet down.  I hope I don't have this problem tomorrow night when I have my sleep study to see if a new device called the ASV will work on me to keep my oxygen sats up to where they should be, not in the 60's to 70's.  Yes, Yikes!  CPAP and BI-PAP didn't work so this is the next step and the only remaining, I believe.  Anyway... off to bed! 

Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 2:07AM by Registered CommenterKaren | CommentsPost a Comment

Almost... 11 Years?!!

It's almost been 11 years since I began my little blog; to be official, the date was June 1, 2001.  Who knew that this very shy woman would shout out to the rest of the world through a blog, much like this one. 

I started out as Amethyst85.blogspot.com and changed a couple more times due to a wonderful friend, Christine, hosting my blog after Blogger, in the old days, saw to it that I lost most of my early blogs one dark and stormy night.  No, I really don't know about the stormy night but I do know I was very upset after losing so many posts, I felt as if I'd lost part of me. 

Of course, being what technology is what it is - not 100% dependable, and me, not smart enough to have backups of my posts, my site was hacked once again.  However, being what the web and caches are, I was able to find most of the posts via Google searches. 

After a few months of contemplation, I decided it was time to spread my own wings and buy a domain and hosting and voila... here we are.  It's been about five years since I've been here and I've been very happy. 

Although I lost the drive to want to write for a few months, I'm still here, even if my health is poor.  I try not to let me down but it does make me very tired, which is the main reason why I haven't posted much. 

Now, I'm getting off track of why I really wanted to announce my 11th Bloggiversary...  I'm going to have a fun little contest, the contest being, a $25 Amazon gift certificate to the one individual who *thinks* they know me best and can answer the most of questions about me and my life correctly (answers are most likely in my history here on my blog or on previous blogs).  In the case of a tie, there will be a tie breaking question... and in case of ties again, there will be more questions until there is just one winner.  However, I doubt it will go to that extreme, ya know, cuz my life is *SO* exciting. 

Come back on June 1, 2012 and answer the questions in the comments through June 7, 2012.  I'll will announce the winner on June 8, 2012 (giving you a week to answer the questions).  Hope to see you back here for some fun... or at least a free gift certificate! 

Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 12:00AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments2 Comments

Good News or Bad?

Regarding the previous post about Elyssa and her "attacks," we saw her psychiatrist this afternoon and he had quite a bit of alone time with her before I told him about everything that has been happening. He said he thought her anxiety level was higher from what he observed but it has been increasing a little all the time but that could be her getting used to the medication as well as gaining weight and growing.  

We talked about other things (nothing to be concerned about) then we addressed my concerns and his first thought was that it wasn't psychological but rather neurological.  He explained that it's just something that happens with special needs kids as they grow older, especially between 13 and 18.  She is only 10, coming on 11, but the way she is developing, it's possible.  Especially kids who have a history of seizures (she hasn't had a seizure for about 6 years).

We already have the 6 month neurologist appt scheduled and we will discuss it then.  It is probably time for a medication adjustment.  So we will see what he says. I really hope it's all it is... 

 Her phsych also gave us the name of a social worker who would be good to call too, if we need help.  That scares the crap out of me because that's when they start talking about taking her out of the home.  I need to be prepared in case that ever happens because it is a possibility.  I'm such a worry wart...  Lol.   Hopefully we are far from that conversation though...especially if it's just a medication change that is needed.  

So... Not sure if it's completely good news or bad news if it's neurological and nothing can be done. But I'll keep my fingers crossed and my thoughts positive that something can be done to help.  She's such a special little girl and I love her more than anything.  Whatever happens, it will be what is in her best interest but I also think I'm worrying a bit too much right now because things could be so much worse. 

Thank you to everyone who continues to be in my corner... I'm so blessed to have you all in my life, just as I am blessed to have her and my family.  Love to all!!

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 7:09PM by Registered CommenterKaren | CommentsPost a Comment

Emotions Riding High

This past week has been quite a ride, emotionally.  I had some really calm days and good days but I think the emotional times far outweigh the good.  Or like one step forward and five steps back.

There is one thing negative about raising Elyssa that rips my heart out.  I can only guess at the causes but I honestly don't think it's anything Mom or me are doing or not doing.  I think hormones, pent up rage/frustration, and just part of the Pervasive Development Delays (which also include symptoms of disorders such as autism).  Elyssa will be giving either Mom or me (never at the same time and up until two weeks ago, it was just me) a hug or saying goodnight or he like and it will be as if a switch flips and she turns into Dr. Jeckyl and the hold she has on us turns into monster grips and she is so strong, it takes both Mom and me to prey her hands from our flesh, and even that is difficult and we have to threaten her to get her to stop.  She gets a hold of our arms, hair, necks, and most recently, my cheeks and face.  We can't think of anything we are doing to make her be so enraged, even if it is anger... Or frustration ... Or what.  We have no clue.  We do what her psychiatrist says to do, try to reason with her but when she is in that state, there is no reasoning with her unless we threaten taking her toys away until she can stop hurting us.  We appeal to her kind heart, that we don't hurt her, and ask how she feels when the little boy at school pulls her hair (he is just fascinated, doesn't do it to be mean) and that helps a little.  

Then we put her in a time out and she ends up crying and sobbing saying she is sorry.  Then things calm down and then it's quiet for 4 th 6 weeks then she does it again. At first, she would do it 3 to 4 times at a time but now it's down to one time but we have to get really tough with her and reason with her the best we can.  That is, reasoning with a 10.5 year old girl, going through all those changes physically, not knowing what is happening, and has the mind /emotional state of a 4 year old. As much joy she brings us, the joy still outweighs these tantrums, thank goodness.  

When this happens, it really shakes my belief in myself.  Can I really raise her?  Is there someone who is better qualified?  I know there isn't anyone who loves her more than our family and I do have a lot of support from them, but is that the best thing?  I really don't doubt that love is the most important thing because she is secure and she is happy here.  No.  I'm not going to let these experiences scare me into giving up on her.  I love her too much and I know with all my heart that Kathy wants me to have  her and she does know best, she's her mother and she knows more than I do... and can see more than any of us.  I doubt she will let anything happen to the way things are set up. 

Elyssa sees her psychiatrist again this month so he may want to adjust her meds again because between that and how we handle things, we think it's making the difference of not having it happen so frequent.  We ask recently saw a gynecologist and given her circumstances, we will give her shots of depo-provera every 3 months to stop all periods (pray it works).  She hasn't started yet but will soon given all physical signs.  Again, it could all be hormones causing the problems because it's got to be linked to hormones.  I think the incidences started when she started developing body hair.  I wish we could just get her uterus out because there is no way she could raise a child or even have an intimate relationship.  However, it takes a court order and we don't have the grounds for that.

The reason we're wanting to start the shots before her periods start is because it will freak her out; she doesn't do well with seeing a tiny bit of blood on a finger, let alone what she'd have to deal wit otherwise.  We also have barely made strides in potty training and she still wears undergarments at night so it wouldn't be a good situation.  The doctor, who deals with special needs girls agrees with us, that we should start her shots as soon as possible and see how she does with them.  I know she hates shots but I think she'll get used to it and I'll come up with an explanation that will hopefully make it OK so she doesn't think she is being punished. 

The next difficult thing was Kathy's birthday... The 3rd sine she died but I think they are getting more difficult rather than easy.  I miss her so much and I need her guidance so much through these episodes but I don't feel as if I'm doing what is right the way I usually do... Feeling as if Mom and I are on our own with this one.  That really can't happen because I'm afraid Mom is going to get so upset that it will damage her Heart and Mom feels the same about me.  Just feeling so lost.  I need to keep the faith that I'm doing the best I can . I also know I'm not alone, I just can't hear the answers...  Perhaps not listening in the right places.

However, come to think of it, we have always had to tell Elyssa not to hug too tightly because she didn't know her own strength.  That was to anyone who she hugged.  I don't know, perhaps she became self conscious about it but it also didn't seem to change how loving she was towards others, she still wants to give hugs to those she chooses.  

I speak to Elyssa at times when the incidences aren't happening and I think I'm getting through.  She doesnt want to hurt us and she knows we won't hurt her.  I could see if she came from an abusive home that this behavior would be happening but then again, I've read that special needs kids, especially with behavior issues, will do things like that and it's no one's fault, it's just part of that child that we deal with. 

I love Elyssa no matter what and I won't give her up just because of this and I'll do whatever I can to help her.  As I said, we are making progress and we will see what her doctor says about it next week.  She may just need some adjustments on her medications and it could also be hormonal.  I remember having little rages around the time I "started" as a kid but I knew some of what to do with those emotions... I screamed at Mom... or anyone in the way.  ;-)

Kathy's birthday ended up to be a very special day for her.  Mom, J Dee, and Patti went to an LDS temple and did Kathy's temple work for her (since Kathy didn't do it here on earth) and it's a pretty cool thing to have done.  Although I'm not an active member, I know the importance of having it done, but don't know the details since I've never been to the temples.  It's something that is very sacred to those who go.  I respect that and respect that it's something that Kathy would want done now that she's gone.  It was the best gift that Mom, J Dee, and Patti could have given to Kathy... and now she can be with Dad, completely since Dad was temple worthy when he passed away last fall.  (it's all complicated...)  Just know that's an awesome thing. 

Today... well... Monday... I'm meeting my friends at Moore's Diner, where my sister works and where my new favorite food is... the Texas Beef Brisket sandwich.  It is to die for... it's right up there with cheese enchiladas in my book and it is now my favorite thing at the diner, taking over as my favorite of 30 years, the bacon cheese omelet and cheesy hashbrowns or the French Dip with Provalone.  I may have to take another one home for dinner LOL  It's totally and completely orgasmic... Gee whiz... too bad not everyone lives in Ogden and could try it.  But those of you who do, and live in the Salt Lake or Ogden, Utah area, get your behinds to Moore's Restaurant on 36th and Wall Ave.  It's worth the drive, where ever you are.  Pure heaven...

Posted on Monday, May 7, 2012 at 3:06AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

On the Edge

Recently, I discovered this peom that I wrote about four years ago; not really sure who or what was going on in my life then or perhaps I was just being a dreamer.  I could look it up but I'm too lazy... just enjoy it and hopefully it will make you remember a time in your life when butterflies filled up your tummy at the mention of someone's name...  Enjoy.  Editors note... I did remember who I thought about while writing it and I have to admit he wasn't worth my time but I think a pretty good poem came out of it so I will let it be.

On the Edge

   As I stand here on the edge
   Of my life’s new ledge
   I am afraid I will slip and fall
   But if I don’t take a chance I will miss it all.

   I have been burned before
   But with each burn, I learned more
   I set my goals and reached high and far
   To go and capture my falling star.

   I want to set my passions free
   And to be the person I am meant to be
   I want to experience all of life and love
   With the someone who makes my sun shine above.

   Now as I stand on yet another new ledge
   I want to take a leap off the edge
   But I wonder if this is all a dream
   And all I am feeling is not what it seems.

   I hear his voice and my heart leaps
   And I realize this could be what I seek
   Sharing my life, desires, soul, and heart
   Once kissed, never do we part.  

 Karen J. Rasmussen© 2007 

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:55PM by Registered CommenterKaren | CommentsPost a Comment

Nothing Exciting but Lots of Things

I have fallen behind on blogging, once again.  I don't understand how something that was such a HUGE part of my life has all of the sudden almost gone.  I dunno where the time goes or what has replaced it.  Well, perhaps it's me not feeling well that has replaced it as well as having Elyssa in my life.  I'm also not at the computer much any more, not like I was while working.  I suppose that is really what has made the big change. 

Latest stuff on my health:

*  Breathing test sucked (for Pulmonary Hypertension (PA) and Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)) so doc left me on Diltiazem, 180 mg., but gave me an Advair inhaler.  Very much used for Asthma patients but it's supposed to increase overall breathing capacity.  After 29 doses (twice per day... so just about 2 weeks), I'm starting to feel a difference, mostly when I forget to use it and try to go to sleep, my chest feels heavier. 

*  Sleep study to set up CPAP or BIPAP sucked and I'm still waiting for the powers that be to set me up an appointment for ASV, which is a new method of dealing with sleep apnea and the PHA and PH (as well as other breathing issues) so I'll have to call them tomorrow and see what is taking so long.  Perhaps cuz it's a big deal and a new thing and I'm guessing expensive.  But, it's my last option and I don't like the other option, which is nothing.  Nope, not going to lie still for that.  (aha punny!!)

*  Awaiting my next Rituxan Treatment for my Rheumatoid Arthritis... I'm over do from the amount of pain I feel and they had to even put me back two weeks cuz there was a mix up with my insurance information.  No communication between nurses and office staff is never a good thing.  Hopefully everything will be OK for next week.

Josephine, my Jazzy Scooter!*  Got my new Power Chair from the Scooter Store and she's called Josephine.  I haven't had a chance to take her outside yet; I need a ramp to get her down the few steps that I have.  I also need a basket for the back since my oxygen concentrator isn't a tank which is the type of holder that she came with.  Next big thing is getting the trailer hitch and carrier for my car to take it places.  For now, I'll have to live with the scooters at Wal-Mart and stay out of stores and places who don't have them.  I have a hard time walking more than a few paces between pain and the lack of oxygen and energy that I have.  I tell ya, this Pulmonary Hypertension isn't for babies... neither is RA.  But, all I can do is smile and try to do the best I can not to let it get me down.

*  It's still rough without Dad and it seems that the longer he's gone, the more difficult it is.  Especially when we have things go wrong with the house.  Well, we've been dealing with that for a while now, since he had Parkinson's and was unable to help us for a while. 

Mini Flood!!Last August 1, we had a major flood in the basement, where I live.  A storm drain backed up and flooded the basement with about 18 inches of water.  We considered ourselves lucky because some had two feet!  This was really our first major flood, however, about 7 years ago, we had several days of straight rain and I noticed the carpet was wet along the wall in my TV room.  We had to move a couch and pull the pad and carpet up but we were able to stop the flood from damaging anything and it was only about a 4 foot by 6 foot area that got wet.  We sucked the water up with a shopvac and then dried out the carpet with fans.  We figured there must have been a crack in the foundation.  We always kept an eye on it and although it would get a little damp when we got a lot of rain, it never got that wet again... until Sunday night. 

I first had a panic attack then realized it was coming in slowly.  We had a little sprinkler problem outside, mixed with some rain, so it's no wonder we got a leak in the foundation.  Now we know exactly where it's coming in from outside so now we can have it repaired.  Oh joy...  We are very blessed to still have my brothers, J Dee and Bob to help us get this fixed, but it would sure be nice to have Dad here still.  He had such a way of letting us know everything would be OK.  Not that my brothers don't, but there is just no one who can do it like Dad... I'm sure my brothers feel the same way when they have a problem at their house, their first instinct is to call Dad. 

*   Earlier I wrote about sleeping issues... well, it's almost 2am and I'm up... so the insomnia is in full swing tonight.  Perhaps sleeping a lot today has something to do with it.  LOL  Haven't figured that out ;-).  I am starting to get sleepy though so I'll go give it another shot.  I'd say maybe I should have insomnia more often so I'd blog but that's not a good habit.  I just need to get in the habit of blogging from my iPad. 

*  Ohhhh.... you know what today is?  It's Wednesday....  HUMP DAY!!!  WOOHOO!  I have no hopes but hopefully you all do...  good luck *wink* *wink*

Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 2:20AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

What a Difference A Day Can Make

I used to think that having conversations with loved ones who passed away was crazy, that it was me who was answering the other part to the conversation, however, NOW, TODAY, I finally feel validated, totally.  I've been told by two mediums who told me that I have a gift and that I need to develop the gift to communicate more with those who are on the other side. 

Many area skeptical or don't believe at all and that's OK.  They can even think I'm crazy... I'll laugh along and say crazy is more fun than sane.  You get the idea.  I really do respect others' beliefs and I won't ever force my beliefs on anyone unless they as for my opinion or help.  (then look out!!)

SO, I've always had belief that it is possible to speak to those on the other side.  I believe that I can speak to my loved ones when and if it's meant to be.  If they cannot speak about the subject, then instead, they are there to comfort me in my time of need.  I have strong feelings and dreams of things happening (good and bad) and if I have a strong feeling, I heed that feeling and flee if need be.  I don't care who makes fun of me, if I sense danger to my life, I get the hell out of Dodge. 

Now, what's the difference between yesterday and today?  Today I was watching a show from the TLC (The Learning Channel, a cable channel) called "Long Island Medium," and this woman rocks.  The main message she gives to loved ones of Spirit, as she calls it, is peace, love, and anything the person needs to tell their loved ones still on earth.  She told a woman something that made me sit up and pay attention and that was (not verbatim), "If you feel it's your father, talking to you, then it is.  If you feel as if he is giving you a sign, then he is.  Don't ignore those feelings."

With just losing my dad this past November, I feel as if grieving is real for the first time.  That's nuts, I know because I still grieve the loss of my sister Kathy, and four incredible grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends.  This tells me that living with Dad for so long, having him be my dad, and with him being so ill for his last 3-4 years, changes the grieving game.  It changes the players, rules, objectives, and directions.  Not that it's a game, however, some times I think the grief I feel is playing a game with me. 

Since Dad died, I feel as if I've had a lot of conversations with him and can hear his replies in my head, in his voice.  I'm going to share something very personal because it completely hit me in the gut this evening of how special it was to my dad and that it was not me making up the "thank you for that" in my head. 

After Dad died, about two hours after he passed, we waited for the mortuary to come take his body, each taking turns sitting in the bedroom, where he was, and then going into the kitchen and wondering around visiting, eating finger foods, etc.  There was a time that I sat in a chair next to my dad's bed and I rested on his body and the bed and stroked his thin hair and cooling forehead, then I'd sooth his brow, once in a while, taking his hand and kissing his knuckles or kissing his forehead.  While I was doing that, my mom and niece Nichole were in the room, just behind/to the side of me and Dad.  As I stroked his hair, I turned my hair to the left to respond to Nichole and in that split, blink of an eye, Dad's face turned to me, head never turning, and he opened his eyes and smiled at me.  Then in the same split blink of an eye, he was gone again.

He did that just for me.  No one else saw and no one else needed to see because that was a way that just he and I would know that he was OK.  He had left the building but he'd also arrived.  Almost like a phone call telling him that I arrived at my destination when I was away from home.  In that manner, he knew that was very special to me because my late Sister-in-Law did that for two of her girls when she died a few years ago. 

So, Dad remembered how much it would mean to me if he came back for just that long, and appeared to me, just like that, to say, "I'm here, safe and sound, and my journey was great."  Thanks for that, Dad... I love you... and you are most welcome. 

Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:55PM by Registered CommenterKaren | CommentsPost a Comment

Sleeping Angel

My DoodlebugOne of the traditions we have at my house on Sundays are little cat naps either Sunday morning or afternoons (or both if I'm lucky!).  Elyssa likes to crawl up and sit on my lap and I tickle her back until she is so relaxed, her head gets heavy and she falls to sleep after resting her head on my shoulder.  I love these days... and traditions.  She always wakes up happy and refreshed and I love that connection we have and that it makes her so happy just to cuddle with me for a little while.  I'm so blessed to have Elyssa in my life... my Doodlebug. 

Of course, I still miss Kathy (my sister and Elyssa's mother) so much and my heart still hurts from missing her.  However, I think it was all meant to be that Kathy was needed and so He let us raise her little angel.  She brings so much love into our home and in our lives.  We are very blessed.

Posted on Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 10:47PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments2 Comments

Powers at Work

I have a strong belief and faith that things happen for reasons and that our loved ones really never leave us when they pass away.  Both beliefs were confirmed to me again, in the middle of the night. 

You see, I have been feeling a little it of sorts lately, nothing I could really put my finger on, just off from the usual.  It has slowly developed, so slowly that I didn't even realize it until tonight. 

I'm having a difficult time sleeping tonight so at 1:30am I decided I tortured myself long enough so I would take the allowed second klonopin to help me get to sleep.  I got my key then unlocked my lockbox and took out the medication.   As I took the pill out and was setting the pill bottle back in the box, I found an unexpected thing, a crystal that belonged to my sister, Kathy.  In fact, I gave the crystal to her a number of years ago when she was feeling out of sorts. 

Here comes the kicker.

I had no idea the crystal was in the lock box (of all places!!!) and I have cleaned it out completely at least three times!  I also do not recall getting it back from Kathy's posessions and I would have remembered this and put it on immediately at the time. 

Thank you, Kathy... you always knew just what I needed.  XOXO  I think I'll be able to sleep now...

Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 10:11AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

Klutzy Karen Strikes Again

#947 combination of things that is a danger to Klutzy Karen: carpet with plastic chair mat on top followed by a computer chair on top of that, and then a blanket on the seat of said chair, topped with Karen = Klutzy Karen falling on her butt (thank goodness I had padding) onto the chair mat and the chair and blanket goes sliding across the mat and knocking over a big tub of wall photos on the opposite side of the room.

Remedy Part 1: Klutzy Karen calling for mother to help her sort out how to get up from her rather sore bottom to her knees then to the side table to push herself up. Remedy Part 2: Remove the slippery chair mat and leaving chair to be safely on carpet (pile is really short enough, chair won't harm it). Remedy Part 3: Mom assuring Klutzy Karen that she's loved despite of being a klutz while holding back giggles. Best part of the Remedy, Part 4: Laughing despite being REALLY sore the next day. End note: I'm NOT looking for bruises. ;-)
Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 8:45PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

The New G-Whizz

Woohoo!!!  Just when I thought life was starting to become boring, I read that Google has gotton their hands into yet another area in the business world, the type that me likey.  However, I wondered what the Googles were doing in that type of business because it was clearly different than their other business if you *uh hum* follow my thoughts.  *snicker*

Then I thought, perhaps they would try to make it more appealing to the computer world by making a G-Wiz, with a USB power chord, which was silly because the G-Wiz is battery operated and there isnt much more irritating than a toy with a chord... Seriously... Even if you can't remember, ask you ... Friends who have a G-Wiz... Oh, I mean kids.... Gotta remember I'm talking toys here.  *snicker*. 

Ohhhh, or perhaps the Googles are making the G-wiz computer savvy?  To have all sorts different settings and new... Ummm... Challenges and levels?  Yep, I would buy one of those... Whew... Getting hot in here.  Must have the furnace up too high because it's snowing outside.  *snicker*

Ok, I'm getting away from the real story here...  Uh um, ok.  I decided to Google the new Google G-Whizz ( never thought I'd say that, huh?!). I was so excited that my fingers were slipping on the keys but I finally got to the right page and much to my dismay, the Google G-Whizz is not the G-Wiz that I know and Loooooove...*sniffle*. I shouldn't have let myself get so worked up and excited.  *sigh*

Ooohhhh but the computer geek in me thinks it might be a cool little App for my iPad.  I guess there really is almost always a silver lining... Almost always.   ;-)

Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 8:35PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

Thoughts of Dad

I often find myself wondering how I fill the huge, gaping hole in my soul, which the loss of my father left when he died.  After a lot of thought, I concluded that I would NEVER fill the hole completely because it is impossible.  The hole is not empty; it is still full with all the memories and love I feel for my dad.  The emptiness part comes from the loss I feel because I do not have him here to hold, where I can see him, tell him how much I love him, hold his hand, and hug him.  

I miss his laughter, his smile, the sound of his voice, his hugs, and the look of joy on his face when he saw me after a short or long absence, and most of all, the feeling of knowing he would always be right there.  However, all I have to do is close my eyes, focus, and I feel his presence with me.  I may not be able to feel his touch, but I do not have any doubts he is there.  

Grieving for my dad is completely different than I imagined it would be.  I thought I would cry constantly for the first while, however, although I have cried a lot, I still feel Dad’s peace.  He passed away so peaceful that it is no wonder that the peace lingers still.  

Each day, the peace has begun to fade as Dad’s presence has begun to fade.  I know he is still there if I need him but I do not feel him constantly, as I did right after he died.  It is hard to believe it has only been two weeks as it feels like at least a year.  

I feel fortunate to have Mom here to talk to about any little thing and she understands completely.  I hope she continues to talk to me when she needs to … I want her to know I am here for her too.  She not only lost a husband but her best friend.  However, she told me that the dementia took her best friend away a while ago.  Still, she continued to talk to him but he did not respond.  I understand what she means about losing him a long time ago because we all did… the real man… was lost to the dementia but still, there were lucid times when he came through and we treasure those moments like we treasure the love we share.

Posted on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 6:45PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

Rest in Peace, Dad

Jean R, 77, of North, Ogden, Utah died Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at his home surrounded by his family.

Jean was born April 14, 1934 in Fort Collins, Colorado to Jordan and Mary R.  He married the love of his life, Deanna Lee O. on August 23, 1957 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.  He was a faithful member of LDS Church and held numerous positions in the Church.  His most treasured positions were those that involved the youth and was a beloved leader in which most of the children called him, Mr. Jean.

He retired from the insurance industry after over 30 years in 1998 and looked forward to spending more time with family, especially his pride and joy, his grand children.

Jean is survived by his sweet and loving eternal partner of 54 years, Deanna, their children J Dee (Patti), Robert (Joan), Susan, Karen, 14 grand children, and 18 great-grand children, all of the Ogden area.  He is also survived by his sisters Mary and Gloris, and his brothers Don and Kent, from across the United States.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Keith, twin sister Joan, his daughter-in-law Lisa, and his daughter Kathy.

Dad lived life with a smile on his face and in his heart with a zest for looking for the good in everything and everyone.  He loved and served all humankind in his life and he believed in the Gospel and his Savior with his entire being.  We will never forget the lessons Dad taught us and the unconditional love he showered upon our family.

Our family would like to extend our gratitude to Advocate Hospice for the incredible care given to Dad.  A special thank you to Dr. Glen Biddulph, Nurse Lindsey, Ellie, Kenna, Blake, Rex, Mike, and Sheri.  We couldn't have made it through the past year without you all.  You gave him the loving care and dignity he deserved.

To Mom - who cared for my father tirelessly, never complaining, never leaving his side.  You are the exemplary example of true and unconditional love that Dad carries with him and that we all hope to live by your example. 

Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 19, 2011, at the LDS, North Ogden 10th Ward Chapel, 787 East 1700 North at 12:00pm.  Friends may call Friday evening from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and Saturday from 11:00am to 11:45am.

Internment at Ben Lomand Cemetery.


On a side note, Dad went very peacefully and each of us kids were able to say goodbye to him as well as all his brothers and sisters by telephone.  We, as a family, surrounded him in his last six hours on earth and it was truly an incredible experience.  I mourn his loss and life will never be the same without him, however, knowing he is free of pain and free of the body that no longer let him live life as he wanted is getting me through the pain of losing him.  I love him enough to let him go because he couldn't do all he wanted to do.  Rest in peace, Dad.  I love you more each day...

Please tell your loved ones how much you love them and never let them doubt your love for them.  Live life to its fullest and remember it's important to laugh, even if you are hurting...

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 8:42PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments3 Comments

Tick Tock...

Finally got some good news today about the last finishes on the basement following the flood from August 1.  The carpet will be installed (you were expecting laid, huh?!) on Halloween and will probably get finished November 1.  I imagine we'll wait to move me back in the following weekend since we'll have more help then.  So many people from the neighborhood and family have volunteered to help move it back and I imagine that part will go really fast but the part of unpacking and setting things up again will take the most time. 

Being upstairs the past two months has been nice, really... I haven't had any privacy but Mom has been so good to me and made sure I feel as comfortable as possible up here.  It's been good for me to be up here to help more with Dad and Elyssa loves having my bed up here so she can snuggle with me without having to go downstairs.  LOL  She's so funny about that.  I do love her cuddles; she's such a sweetheart. 

I miss my sister so much and there isn't a time of any given day that I am not thinking of her, however, having Elyssa makes it a little easier to not have Kathy here.  I also know that my life was meant to raise Elyssa.  It's amazing when we finally know what we're really meant to do. 

All the things I missed out on earlier in life, such as never marrying and never able to have my own kids was so I would be available when I was needed when Kathy died, I was able to take Elyssa and raise her.  I also know that it was Kathy's time; the Lord needed her for something only she could do and she was meant to give birth to Elyssa and raise her as far as she did... now it's my turn. 

I definitely am not raising Elyssa alone; I have Mom's, Susie's, Patti's, Joan's, J Dee's, and Bob's help and I know I coudln't do it without them. 

This is getting pretty deep here... especially since I just started out talking about getting the basement finished LOL 

Although it's been nice up here, I am SO getting ready to move back downstairs.  I need my privacy again.  I haven't realized how much I've s it until the time is drawing near when I'll be back down there in my own place again.  I better quit thinking about it before I go crazy and the time goes too slow. 

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 12:43AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

High or Low Road

Since the flood in my basement, where I live in my parents' home, I have thought a lot about what is important in my life and what is just nice to have.  There are a lot of differences between necessary and nice-to-have; we just don't realize what the differences is until our needs are put to the test. 

It's strange how much my needs versus nice-to-haves have changed in the past couple of months and it's quite easy to just go without those nice-to-haves when we don't have a choice but to go without those things. 

I found that a bed, in my condition, is relatively a must-have.  However, when I bought mine, I bought  a bed with all the bells and whistles, one of those really nice adjustable beds with vibration *snicker* and I was sick thinking that I paid over $3000 for this bed and insurance wasn't going to cover it but after sitting in water most the day, my sister did a little blow dry job on it *snicker* and then I held my breath when we plugged it in, prepared to just enjoy the nice mattress but the mattress moved and the vibrator vibrated just as it did the night before the flood.  Ahhh... life is good.  Now, what is the moral of this story?  Oh yes, what is "nice to have" and what is necessary....   OK, bad example, this one.  Except I was prepared to just do with the matress.  Yes, that works.  ;-)  The vibration is definitely a big necessity as well; it helps keep the swelling down in my legs.  Really, it does!! ;-)

When it came down to it, mist everything I had downstairs were important to me but certainly not life threatening if I didn't have the item(s).  Perhaps life altering to not have the item but certainly not going to kill me if I didn't have it. 

Family and friends didn't really know what to think of me because I wasn't stressed out to the point that they thought I would be.  It was all beyond my control and there was nothing I could do to stop the water from coming and  I even had to rely on others to carry my things upstairs and out to the garage or garbage - whatever it needed to go.  I felt relatively calm and even I wondered what was up with me.  LOL  I didn't even have to take Klonopin, which was the big shocker. 

Does this mean I'm growing up?  I hope not!  I don't wanna grow up!!!!

Friday night, my brother Bob and his wife Joan came over to help put Dad in bed and I was in Elyssa's room putting her in bed when they got here.  Bob decided to be a twinky and tried to get me with a joke (we're always kidding each other about stuff like that).  You see, my computer keyboard and screen are right next to the front door and he came in to Elyssa's room and was limping and rubbing his knee.  I asked what happened and he said he was so sorry but I'd left my keyboard out too far and he tripped over my monitor and it doesn't look like it was going to make it. 

I immediately went over to him and asked if he was OK  (not even asking about my computer -which a couple months a I propabay would have asked first) and was so worried about him. 

Then he started to laugh then said, "Wow, maybe I better not laugh because this is a first.  Karen is more concerned about me more than her blessed computer!!"   So I really must be freaking people out  LOL

Seriously, I think it's more about having lost so much but realizing it's not a big deal because those things can be replaced, our loved ones and those we care about cannot be replaced. 

It's all up to us, how we react - or act - towards trials in our lives.  All that happened could have a reason behind it too, which makes it easy to deal with.  For instance, there were some of Kathy's letters and papers that we hadn't gone through yet and they got a little damp so we were forced to go through them.  Strangely enough, there was an envelope that I found with a lady's name and address written on it and it so happened that Kathy had been prompting me to find this lady, to tell her that Kathy died.  Very strange.  Now, I'd be pissed if that was the only reason behind the flood *snicker* but at least it gives me some little good thing came out of the flood. 

Then I hear stories such as Amanda Knox; being  wrongfully imprisoned for 4 years.  As hard as it must have been, she never gave up - she and her family kept it positive. 

When you are met with a challenge, what are you going to do, take the high or the low road?

Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 2:20AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

The Rooty Tooty Stinky Booty

One of the joys of motherhood... or should I say the motherhood of Elyssa is her gas.  She has a very healthy gas system and it's rare that she is constipated.  TMI?  Yeah, probably but it's good to know she's not ill; although she likes to make us ill.  So, when I heard the term, "Rooty Tooty Stinky Booty" on an episode of "The Big Bang Theory," I knew this was the right term for her.

Needless to say, I've been getting more rootie tootie while upstairs more (since my basement still isn't finished).  Ohhhhhh Lordy. 

Ohhhh yes, it's been such a mess.   I'm still upstairs, in the front room for display LOL.  Actually, Mom and I just ordered the carpet this evening.  It's a commercial grade, like they use in schools, that we won't have to put in with backing so that will save a lot of money.  No, we don't have any insurance at all that covers any of it.  Two of my aunts and one of my uncles donated about $1000 between the three for the sheetrock and all the wall materials.  We had to redo the walls from about 3 feet from the floor and lucky enough, my oldest brother J Dee is really good at sheet rocking so he did the entire basement.  He's amazing.  Mom and Dad's church helped a little too by paying the house payment for 1 or 2 months too, to help with the carpet.  Then my brother Bob and his wife Joan came over and primed and painted all of it - but J Dee finished with the second coat of paint. 

So, I figure by Halloween, I should be back in the basement (fingers crossed!!).  I need to buy a few things, like a couple of book cases, a small fridge, and other small things that were destroyed.  I was SO lucky that my bed wasn't ruined since it's an adjustable bed that cost +$3000 and I'd be in big trouble since the insurance didn't cover anything in the "clause" in the insurance.  *yawn*  I'm tired of hearing what they won't cover, I could puke so I'll just stop.  LOL.

I'm so blessed that more wasn't damaged.  So many more people around the country were worse, especially those who lost their entire homes and my heart goes out to them.  I wish so much that I could physically help put my things back but unfortunately, with my pulmonary hypertension and the rheumatoid arthritis, I don't have the strength. 

I am incredibly grateful for all of my family and neighbors who came in and helped clear all the wet things out.  Namely, my mother, brother J Dee, SIL Patti, brother Bob, SIL Joan, sister Susie, Aunt Linda Kaye and Uncle Dale, and Aunt Jan.  Outside my family, there are well over 100 people who helped doing whatever we asked.  There are so many good people still in this world.  Even those who wanted to help but could not , we truly appreciate.  For those of you who knew I'd need your support from afar, you were and knew just when to say the right thing.  In short - or in long - thank you everyone and from the bottom of my heart and I love you.

Posted on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 9:55PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment