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Archive for April, 2011

Musical Interlude….

Courtesy of the Norah Jones station on Pandora….I found THIS adorable tune!

Joy Williams-What Can I Do

There you were and there I was
Was it fate from above?
Either way I found just what I need

All I do is think of you
Close my eyes and fall into
a world totally made for you and me

Oh don’t you know, I love, love ya
I’ll never let go, oh, i love ya
In all of my dreams, you’re all I see
What can I do, but love you

Now I got someone to hold
To keep me warm while I was cold
A little scent to melt away the gray

It happened in the nick of time
Unexpected, sweet surprise
With one whose love will never be the same

Oh don’t you know, I love, love ya
I’ll never let go, oh, i love ya
In all of my dreams, you’re all I see
What can I do, but love you

Oh don’t you know, I love, love ya
I’ll never let go, oh,i love ya
In all of my dreams, you’re all I see
What can I do, but love you

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Nothing Like WORK to Cure What Ails Ya

It appears my anger has subsided…..it was replaced with sadness the following day then I basically just got over it….working yesterday helped a lot…..and venting to my mom….she always calls at just the right time! ha ha! I suppose this is just to be expected….this rollercoaster of emotion…….

It helps when I dig my nose into some work…….being self employed there is always LOTS to be done……but there are other things as well….calls to the VA….resheduling doctors appointments….dealing with my car window…..crappy financial stuff and calls to insurance companies……things I don’t “normally” do but have taken on while Paul is incapacitated…….

See, we have a division of labor here in our house…….there are Paul’s “things” and there are my “things”…..sometimes I have to tell the kids “You are asking the wrong parent”……like if it’s a Math question, that’s a Paul question……I handle English……He takes care of anything involving engines….I don’t even like to pump my own gas but I will…..but car repairs or anything I can’t stand doing……they are greasy and gross….ha ha ha! BUT I take care of the entire household maintenance…..grocery lists, kids chores, cleaning and laundry so that is a pretty fair trade as far as I am concerned…..but I am finding I am having to take on more and more……I am out of my comfort zone…..

Truth be told, it’s not like I CAN’T do it……I mean, I have spent MANY a year single and self-sufficient and caring for my own vehicle and paying my own bills, etc. I refurbished an entire home so I can do pretty much any kind of home repair project and I have mowed many a lawn……..not that I can’t……I just don’t “Like” ha ha ha! guess I need to suck it up and just do it!

One thing I AM getting excited for is getting through this weekend and focusing more on Little Dog Entertainment. For those that don’t know, Paul and I are both small business owner’s. Little Dog Entertainment is our booking agency. When Paul went into music full-time 15 months ago he went out to hustle up gigs and spent time working with event planners and wedding planners. They would often ask if he “knew of a classical guitar player or a string quartet?” so our booking agency was born! Just like we did as Realtors, we are bringing buyers (event planners) and sellers(our musicians) together and the musicians pay us a little off the top for finding them work. It’s a win-win and everyone is happy! We LOVE working this company….a LOT!

I also run LolaBelle’s Treats, my dog treat/food business. We work Farmer’s Markets and have many regular customers who see us for our homemade dog treats and out homemade dog food. We also do some boarding and sitting and we have a line of hand-made dog sweaters and toys. We have been giving some thought to being a distributor for Blue Buffalo as well. The whole idea behind this was to generate enough money to eventually open a store front in Portland with doggie daycare. I have never been interested in the grooming aspect but there has been a bit of a void since Critter Love shut down and this town could DEFINATELY support a doggie daycare/retail store. So that has been the ultimate goal……funding being the main issue of course….

When I lost my “real” job last July we decided to make a go of this full-time. We were both receiving our unemployment benefits and if there was ever a time to “go for it … it was then. We agreed that if one of the businesses really started to take off we would work together on that business. The fact of the matter is, Paul and I are dynamite when we work together. Working real estate as a team for all those years proved it. When we work together we are AMAZING….so we knew eventually one would pull us in…

…we have spent this entire time giving that decision to God……I would even speak it out loud……that we would look to Him to lead us in the direction we needed to go……and we really feel pulled towards the booking agency……

I love LolaBelle’s and all our wonderful customers and we WILL continue to run it as a part-time venture just like I have been doing for the past 3 years…..besides, it’s still a sweet little money-maker so I have no intentions of giving that up…..I may hand it over to the kids in 6-12 months and let them work it while I supervise and manage their money….but again, we will still be working our markets just like always…..but things like putting my food into vet’s offices and going retail…..that has to wait…..

So this Saturday is the Rockport Market Days and they are also having the Nautical Market next door so we anticipate LolaBelle’s Treats making a big HAUL this Saturday! And LOOK! Lola fetched this article from the Rockport Pilot showing the Maritime Museum if offering very inexpensive nauticle antique appraisals! Cool! I offered Rachel a cut of the profits and she has been making my Peanut Butter and Chicken Chip Treats. Her Grandma has taught her GREAT cookie making skills so she is a natural at baking. Nothing would thrill me more than to hand the reigns of this over to her in a year or two so I am giving her an opportunity to step up if she wants it. If not her brother might want it…..or not….and that’s ok too……

So for now we stay small 😀 and we will continue to take care of all our regulars and maybe a few more new customers too! But our big expansion dreams are being put on the back burner….and that’s ok!

When Paul was in the hospital, I had the opportunity to work Little Dog Entertainment more than I ever had and let me say this……I LIKED IT!…….talk about a blast from the past…..I was talking to people and making DEALS…..and there is nothing that gets this girl’s blood pumping MORE than working a business DEAL…..Paul gets it…..I was smelling the blood in the water…..I wanted to book that event…..we were talking numbers and possibilities on how to make this bride’s event even BETTER!……I was in my element…….and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until that very moment sitting in the hospital parking lot……

I am not sure I even realized how devastating it was to me to lose our real estate business. Paul and I poured our heart and soul into it and built it up to tremendous success and to have it all end so quickly was shocking and devastating….emotionally….financially……it was a sad day when we decided, together, that we HAD to cut bait and move on…..we let our licenses (including Paul’s Brokers License) expire…..we ended all our advertising contracts…..and it died……it was horrible……

and that’s how I knew LDE was the way to go……I had that same feeling I had when Paul and I still worked in “The Shack” in Rockport…..our friends remember……that was one of the GREATEST times of our marriage was working together in The Shack at Coldwell Banker in Rockport…..and how I felt sitting in that truck in that hospital parking lot was the EXACT same feeling……and that’s good enough for me……

So plans are in place….my marketing campaign is starting to come together…..and we are going “old school” here….I am talking “shaking hands and kissing babies”…..I know how to work it…and Paul can come with or Paul can stay home and work the phones……this WILL work….I KNOW it…..

So, now after reading this entire blog post this is where I insert my Shameless Self-Promotion of which my fans know I am the QUEEN of!

Visit our website  www.LittleDogEntertainment.com

“Fetching” the Best music in Coastal Bend!

 We provide musicians for weddings, corporate events, private parties, memorial services and more! Best of all, our services are FREE! (our musicians pay our fee!) Vocalists, Flute/Piano, Absoflutely! Quartet, String Quartet, Classical Guitar, Jazz, Salsa, Tejano, DJ’s…..we have it all…just give us a call! Paul-361-563-3539 Lisa-361-230-0631

Musical Interlude…..2…..

Musical Interlude……

My doctor said there’d be days like this

After  feeling so good, I think I’ve been knocked down a rung or two.

Yesterday I was really tired all day, which I expected.  After running to San Antonio and back in one day, I expected to be tired.  I pretty much took it easy all day.  Despite that, I still felt good.  I went all day without taking any pain medicine at all.  I felt as if I had hit a milestone.

I spent the evening laying in bed watching TV.  After all, there was a new episode of Deadliest Catch and the season finale of Top Shot!  Lisa was at rehearsal and the kids were doing their own things, so it was a nice evening.

When Lisa came home from rehearsal, she came with one of my favorite surprises!  Chocolate Milkshake!!!!  Just a small one, after all, I can’t eat all that much these days anyway.  As it turned out, I was only able to finish about half of it.

Before long I started to not feel very good.  I made several trips to the bathroom and finally decided it was time to go to sleep.  Since I had not had a nap all day, I went to sleep immediately.  That only lasted for about 2 hours though.  I woke up just feeling bad.  I had some of the worst reflux I can ever remember.  So I went into the living room and propped myself up on the couch so I could sleep upright.

I have a couple of ideas why this may have happened.  One of them is that I may have become lactose intolerant.  Another is that Lisa made this great dinner; Pork Chops and Rice Pilaf with Green Peas.  There’s a chance that I may have eaten too much.  I may never know what the actual answer is.  In the mean time I feel like crap!

During my first meeting with Dr. Halff, he told me that I would have good days and bad days.  I’m just going to chalk this up to a bad day.

Why am I so ANGRY??

I almost didn’t write this….I have labored for days trying to decide because #1 I don’t like to bitch….it really isn’t my nature….#2 I hate to bitch publicly about my family……I don’t air dirty laundry…PERIOD…..ask my mother, she will tell you! My divorce from my first husband caught everyone off guard because they had no idea anything was wrong…..because I just deal with it in my own house….and I am a pretty private person these days…..and I can’t stand people who just go on and on and on about how miserable their life is…..so I tend to go the other direction and not go into much detail at all….

Now that’s not to say I don’t have people I can talk to…..my mother has been my ROCK through this entire thing. Sadly, she went through the same experience with my beloved step-father almost 20 years ago….so she has “been there and done that” ……and I visit with a therapist through my church Methodist Health Ministries….it’s a good place for me to go and say all those things that you CAN’T say to someone you ‘know”…you know? ……

But even with all that…….I have been “bent out of shape” since Paul came home…….actually, I take that back……it didn’t start until late last week…..when things got “back to normal” for the children……that’s when things start to lax around here…..made a specific request “feed the dogs, now please” as I walked out the door Saturday night….come home several HOURS later…dogs fed? Of course not…..assign someone a load of towels…they wash them, dry them then leave them in the basket in the middle of the laundry room. Seriously, I want to CHOKE them…..

I mean, my kids aren’t BABIES….they are 17 and almost 13 for crying out loud! Am I expecting too much when I look at a destroyed kitchen and say to myself “no one could take 10 minutes to load this MESS into an empty dishwasher?” I sure as hell NEVER would have left something like that for my mother……

And it isn’t just that……it isn’t just the kids……a lot of it is me…..my stress level is through the roof and I just want everyone to sit down and shut the hell up so I can take care of my husband…..that’s all I want……just BEHAVE for Christ’s sake……Keep your GRADES up….I am spending $150 a MONTH on ADHD meds for 3 F’s…..yea, that makes mom pretty happy…..

And we just lost Paul’s unemployment benefits……so yea……we are really under a lot of pressure to get Little Dog Entertainment back up and running.  That’s a whole other blog post in itself…..the downsizing of LolaBelle’s Treats and pouring our energies into LDE. But again….pressure…..Pressure…..PRESSURE>>>>>>>>>>

I suppose all of this is normal……but damn……it’s intense…….

____________________________________________________________________

NEXT DAY-

So after I wrote this blog post I had a sit down with the kids and they seemed to get it…..there were lots of offers to help….a few excuses…which I made very clear I don’t want to hear anymore…..and a general “let’s all work together” feel to the entire thing. Hopefully that will get them back on track otherwise I made it clear I was going to “shut their shit down” (that translates to: Mom will TAKE your COOL STUFF like your stereo and video games unless…)

I hate to admit it but I have gone almost militant around here. I don’t give them 50 million things to do but the 2 or three chores I DO assign I expect to be done…..and not done half ass either……

The bottom line is if I want this house to continue to run smoothly….I am going to have to do it…..manage it I mean…..I don’t want Paul worrying about anything other than getting better……

OMG, I’m exausted!

This morning we were up and out early.  I had a 10:00am appointment with my surgeon.  On one hand I was really looking forward to the trip because they are all such wonderful people.  On top of that, I’m really doing well following my surgery.

Once we got checked into the transplant clinic they took all of my vitals.  My BP and pulse were all good and I’ve lost another 15 pounds since I went into the hospital for surgery.  That, if you’re keeping score, was just 2 weeks ago!  Once I was all checked in, the nurse took a look at my incision.  Upon looking at it, she stated, “Those staples are ready to come out!”

About 5 or 10 minutes later, Dr. Halff walked in with the nurse and started taking staples out of me.  It wasn’t entirely comfortable, but it wasn’t awful.  With what amounted to little more than needle nose pliers, he would turn the staple to the left until it came loose, then he turned it to the right.  It was that easy.  Once he was done with the staples, he took off my last drain.  More specifically he capped it off.  I still have one more tube sticking out of me, but I can keep it taped up so it’s out of my way.

I asked why they were leaving the tube in.  I was told that as the area that the tube goes into heals, it’s going to build up scar tissue.  They leave the tube in there so that as the scar tissue is built up it leaves an opening.  I’m sure that’s the layman’s term for what they’re doing, but it’s good enough for me.

I want to show you something…  Around Christmas when I first got sick, it was because the tumor was blocking my common bile duct.  For the first 3 months this year I felt like crap.  In fact, I lost 40 lbs during that time period.  In March I went in to have, what we thought at the time was a Gall Stone, removed.  That’s when they found the tumor.  What they did at the time was insert a tube into my common bile duct so that it could drain properly.  Within about 2 weeks I felt great!

As time approached for my surgery, the doctors suggested that I put on a little bit of the weight I lost.  Following a Whipple Procedure it’s not uncommon to lose up to 50 lbs.  So while I was waiting for my surgery I felt like I had a free pass to eat whatever I wanted!!  It was a little obscene.  I did put back almost 20 of the lbs I lost.  As of this morning I’m about 35 lbs lighter than I was when all of this started.  Here is a picture of me from this past summer below that is a picture from this weekend:

At the moment, I can only eat a fraction of what I used to be able to.  In addition to that, I am scheduled to start Chemo and Radiation in about 5 more weeks.  I fully expect to lose up to another 35 lbs.

You know, I feel great.  I have to admit, I love the effect it’s having on my body!  I still don’t have the stamina that I used to.  This trip this morning completely wiped me out!  6 hours driving (round trip) and several hours in San Antonio are still an awful lot for me.  With that being said, I’m going to wish all of you a good night!

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