Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday, sometimes he is so right!

     Hubs and I went to our friends funeral yesterday and hub's spoke.  It was absolutely beautiful.  It was short and it was a very spiritual experience.  Who knew?  He said exactly what needed to be said everyone was awestruck.  Hub's is a social boob of the worst kind.  But sometimes he gets it right.  People were very impressed, even me.  We had a good laugh over it and then went a bought him a new toilet seat.  No use getting a big head right?

     D#2 helped me make a trifle and shrimp salad for the funeral, then she helped me make two cracker,meat and cheese trays, and a small 2 tier lemon cake for Hub's annual work heart's game.  All of the old State retirees get together at the office and duke it out, it is the highlight of the year and just for fun.  Sis and I thought cheese and crackers with hard Salomi was best as it could be put in the fridge and eaten after the New Year.  The trifle only takes 1/3 of a cake mix so I made a two layer 6 inch lemon cake with the left overs.  We are all going on diets after the New Year so no leftovers here.

    D#2 and I deep cleaned the downstairs bedroom and bath.  She is going to vacuum and shampoo the carpets today. It will be nice to have this room back.

     I updated my goals/no goals and debts on my side tables.  I wish I had kept what I owed at the beginning of the year to see how much progress I have made and I am sure I could research it but I am too lazy.  So I decided to just keep December 31st debt #'s up the whole year to compare.  This does not include all of our debts as I am too ashamed to list the CC's.  But I must say we are basically back to where we were last year before I fell off the wagon.  Or I should say I was thrown off.

     Everyone has their strategies and I love them all, I just can't seem to make most of them work, undisciplined as I am.  I also like to blame others and circumstance for my failures.  It is so much easier not to take the blame oneself.

Here is a list of things that came up this year that were very expensive and I have talked about this with my family and we will not let it happen again.  Short of needing a kidney D#2 is cut off.  D#3 will be much smarter.

1. Mom's Birthday was expensive, her 80th Jubilee cost me about $2000.00 much less than it cost my sisters.  Would I do it again?  You bet.

2. We chose to replace D#3's piece of crap dangerous turbo propped car.  With what it cost to keep it running and the fact that she was afraid to drive, it was a joke.  I put $1500.00 down on a safer car and she makes the same payment she made on the old one.  We bought peace of mind.  Would I do it again?  You betcha!

3.  We moved D#2 twice within 3 months.  Both moves were very expensive.  We did not feel good about what she was doing or who she was going to move in with ( a witch of a girl) but we let her make her own mistakes.  Lots of tears were shed and she owes us a at least $2000.00.  Will I do it again NO.  She will pay it back, but we will not front money for stupidity any more.

4.  D#3 just had to go live in a Sorority last year.  We were dubious, but she was afraid to live alone, we felt this would keep her away from her awful boyfriend (and it did to a degree) but we warned her about the hidden costs.  Gifts, t-shirts, fund raisers, fines, fines, fines.  B did not have the money to make 45 gift bags every weekend for her sisters.  So after she refused a gig they made bags for her out of their expensive gift catalog.  You played by the rules or were forced to through fines.  We warned her, but she did not listen.  At the end of the semester she had a bill of about $1700.00 in fines and things that she was forced to buy to make sure she was complying with the nonsense, this bill was growing every week by a $135.00 late fee.  Every WEEK.  We paid it off.  She still feels terribly guilty, but guilt don't pay the bills.

     So you see we could have put this money toward debt, but we did not, we will not have these expenses this year, however I am sure we will have others equally unexpected.  I wonder what they will be?

     I will keep you posted on what my first goal of the New Year will be financially, in a later post.

Even though I feel really down about my finances, most of the bills are under $10,000 and going down, just paying the minimum will pay off a couple in the coming year.  But I have plans.  (plans within plans,  gotta love DUNE)  What are your plans?

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday, rehash goals, ugh!

   My goal right this minute is to not wet my pants when I cough.  Which I think is a grand old goal if I do say so myself.  I need to make up a salad and and dessert for a funeral this afternoon.  Hubby is speaking at the funeral and I have not decided whether I will go or not.  Coughing is so aggravating, but we will see.

     I went to church just long enough to hear Hubby's quartet play and then went home and stayed in bed all day yesterday hoping to knock this cold. My lower back and sternum are sore from coughing.

     I have not posted the numbers for the month and I need to dig out my progress slips. Have been mewling around goals in my head for the new year.  Have not really looked to see how I did on the old ones.  Financially I feel like the year was a flop, maybe not.  I am now going to LOOK!

     I did not achieve one of my financial goals this year.  Not one.  I did not pay off the truck, I did not pay off the credit cards, I did not keep a running total of my money on the blog, I did not, I did not. I am an unorganized financial mess.  Because, because I want to be.  No ones fault but my own.

     I did save at least 10% of my income, our house is below $100,000, I did cut back on the amount of travel we have done in the past, and I also did no outside work for any of the schools or colleges.  So I am trying to slow down.  These are all good things.  I also had Christmas on budget which is the the first time in like EVER!

     I do have new goals for the NEW YEAR, but have yet to really formulate them.  Stay tuned.....

Right now I am going to change my pants as I failed goal at the top of the page!:)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Not the day I had planned!

     Was woken up at 10:30 by my daughter, one of our oldest family friends daughters was moving and D#2 was bringing over her two young kids and taking the truck to help her move.  So I hurried out of bed and cleaned up and now have a 18 month old and a 5 year old in my basement watching Hercules.  I am going to go upstairs and put a pot of Swedish meatballs and new potatoes together and maybe a tray of Martha Stewart squash. Something to feed the starving hoards of movers later in the day.  I also want to try out my beautiful Bosch mixer I was given by my in-laws.

      So much for laying in bed congested all day as was my plan.  The congested part is still with me so the day is not totally ruined. (sarcasm)  All of the Christmas presents need to be stored away and the house brought back to status quote.  There is a bridesmaid dress that needs to be hemmed.  She dropped it off last night and is flying out tomorrow. Laundry from the trip put away.  So I will slowly go room by room and get everything put away. But first I will get my crock pot ready and make some bread.  I guess my day of rest was not meant to be.

    Have a great and productive and restful day!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Belated Merry Christmas!

     Merry Christmas( although it is late) to everyone.  So much has happened and I really don't know where to start.  We had a nice Christmas with my daughters, in-laws and grandson.  Grandson is talking so much more and he was so sweet and cute.  It was a long drive there and back but well worth it.  Our second daughter and her boyfriend broke up after 2 years on the 23rd and that has been difficult.   I really like him, but he does not have the same work ethic as my daughter and I really don't know where things stand right now so it is a difficult transition all the way around.  The way I figure it if you are over 25 and you have been dating for 2 years there had better be an engagement ring.  Daughter #2 is well educated and beautiful and talented.  Her boyfriend is 28 no degree, no prospects, finally was bullied into school for an elementary ed degree, has not been able to find a job for 6 months.  I would rather my daughter did not have to live my life.  I want my girls to have it better than I did and supporting a husband just leads you to resenting them on so many levels.  But I still have to say that I really like him, he is kind, thoughtful.  Just very unmotivated.

     I came down with a very bad chest cold on Monday and did not feel really super all this last week, I just tried not to let it bother me.  I know my family dreads it when I am sick, which is a lot so I just tried not to let it show.  It was really hard not to sleep all of Christmas eve and Christmas day, I was just just so sick.  I mean I was pee my pants sick, if any of you who have had five kids can relate :)  Still coughing but not with such gusto.  Hubby was asking me what I planned to do tomorrow on our drive home and I about bit his head off. "Do I have to have a plan and get something done every day?  Can I just have a day to do nothing?"  I think he was shocked.  I just want to read a book and sleep and do nothing.

     I really cut back this Christmas and no one complained and I plan to cut back even more next Christmas.  If I eat one more cookie of piece of fudge I am going to explode.  We have just eaten and eaten so much rich food.  I got home and the accountant's folio was here.  I did not open it as I don't even want to think about taxes until the first of the year.  The studio does not open until 6th and I want to relax a little and enjoy my break for a few days.  I will still have to sew and earn some money but I just want no real pressure.  I need a break.

     I think it has been a hard year emotionally for many of my fellow bloggers.  So many of you face such incredible challenges and I pray and hope the new year has some healing and peace for all of us.  Life is challenging much more for some than for others.  I wish I had a magic fairy wand and I could just solve every one's problems including my own, but I can't.  All I can do is care and sometimes that seems overwhelming to me.  I worry, I worry about Judy(financially and her grief) , and Rhitter ( her strength to stay strong in her convictions to move to a better life) Sluggy, her health and inability to pass up Mr. Potato head dolls(okay she has mastered the second), Lena(her mother's health),now Jane ( I had such sorrow on her last post.)  What about Misty?  I really miss her and I wonder how is she doing? So many others.

     I know this is supposed to be a financial blog and I must say my finances are not what I want them to be, but I can only keep working at them little by little and maybe this year will be better.  I really see this more as an emotional blog as I gain more from all of you in your support and humor and  I also gain strength from your ability to press on with your problems and sorrows.  I am crushed by your suffering and pray fervently that things will get better for all of us.

     Out My Window:  It is quite warm here and the pets were all happy to see us.   I was petting Rucifee our large long haired black and white cat and our dog jumped up on the couch and sat right on top of him.  No easy feat but she could not stand not being the center of attention.

     I will start to write again tomorrow, I am just a little tired and head achey tonight.  i am sure I will feel better after a good nights sleep.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday, It is snowing!

     You will not believe how much better I feel just 2 days on this new medication for my lungs.  Eye doctor discovered an infection in my eyes. I got up this morning and my eyes were not gooped shut with crap.  I just feel better.  Did not even realize I didn't feel good. I was shocked by my prescriptions $176.39.   I have no  money for this it is Christmas.  Why we have an emergency fund.   I still have a little bit of sewing to complete before the Holiday. Then I am getting ready to leave for D#!'s and our grandson, who by the way can say, "Hello grandma."  Which makes him the smartest 2 year old on the planet.

       Hubby shoveled snow until late into the evening.  He has been out shoveling all morning.  He will go down and shovel out the older people down the street, but I believe he will pull out the snow blower for that job.   We had about 6 inches of snowfall which is a lot for this area.  Fortunately we are all equipped.  We have two vehicles with 4 wheel drive when needed.  D#2 has 4 wheel on demand and the baby had studded snow tires.  Cars all over the rode last night and many accidents.

     I am about ready for Christmas.  Still have not found Hubby a gift will work on that today.  I am also going to wrap all the gifts today and make sure all the laundry is done that we will need for our trip. I have so much laundry to do and house work.  It is so nice to have some free time to do what I want, when I want.

     Monday I have 6 little dance students coming over to cook and craft with Miss Kim.  Two of the dancers come from a home where there is a brand new baby, one just had her tonsils out, two have a mother out of town for a death in the family and dad NEEDS a break, another is the child of a dentist who will be doing community service dental work all day. So we are going to sew pot holder for Christmas, make beautiful sparkly treasure jars, and decorate cookies and make candy.  That should fill the day.  What fun, parents were more than grateful to get rid of the little angels and I am looking forward to the day.

     My mom is having so much fun with Sissie I may not get her back.  Sis put down that Credit Card.  Put it down now I say!  Even though I am looking forward to Christmas, I can't wait to see my mom and my sissie.

     I guess I had better get dressed as it is almost 11:00.  Do little house work and get the laundry started.

Out My Window:  Winter wonder land. Perfect snowman snow!

Have a great and productive day!



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday, seriously?

     Have two doctor appts. today as I am out of medications and options.  It is also hubby's birthday and I still have a ton of sewing to do.  Already went to specialist.  He doubled one med and it has gone generic this month thank goodness. Also added a new very expensive inhaler.    He then said to me, "Kim ,when are you going to start taking this disease seriously?"  My reply, "Seriously?"  His reply, "Because it is taking you seriously."  My reply, "Seriuosly?"  Still thinking about this.

     Eye doctor appointment at 1:30 as the arthritis is now affecting my eyes. "Seriously"

     I had $197.00 in my sealed pot which was a little less than 1/2 the amount from last year. My pig only weighed 14 lbs and it was over 32 last year.  But it was still a  nice little addition.  I am almost done with my shopping.  But I have not started wrapping.

     So far have not used any charge cards so I am happy.

I need to get to work.  Too busy!

Have a great and productive day.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, finally did some shopping!

     So hubs and I finally did some Christmas shopping last night.   He actually skipped a church meeting and I did not even chastise him.  See how good I am?  I had $300.00 cash with me and I  spent about $240.00.  We still have one daughter I have to get gifts for and when I am done sewing today I will go look for her. I also need to get hubs a birthday gift .  I want to get him a Pendleton wool shirt. Maybe wanting to get out and gift shop will inspire me to get my sewing done!

     Also I forgot all about my sealed pot pink pig!  That is how busy I have been.  Sluggy's post reminded me.  So I will take her to the bank later today.  Another thing to inspire me to get my butt in gear.  I can't believe I forgot about that.  I know it will not be as good as last year as we traveled so much and I would save all my change and then put it in the bank.  This year we really cut back so not as much went into her, but every bit helps. It gives me something to look forward to.  We also went to the dollar store to pick up some stocking stuffers.

       I am going into the shop now as I need more Christmas money.  I think I have the bug!

Have a great and productive day!



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday, Enjoying my life...

     I cleaned and organized all day yesterday, still have work to do in the shop and the bathroom.  But well on my way to an organized house, I think!  Hubby was shocked by his clean garage.  He could drive into it.  We have decided that he would take the car every morning as it is cold and frosty and I rarely go anywhere until 3 or 4 then the truck is in the sun and does not need to be scraped.  If I need the car I can just go switch at his car pool drop off.  But I hate to go out and scrape a cold car in the dark when there is a warm one sitting in the garage.  So why should he get up every other week and go out and scrape a cold truck in the dark?  He was almost apologizing to me for taking the car.  I told him I did not care as long as it was cold to take it.

     I really have a to sew today.  I slept in and was awoken by the videographer at 9:20!  Can you believe that?  But I don't even care.  The students are coming to the studio at 4 to watch and have a party.  I am going to finish what is left in the shop.  As hubs took the car yesterday it did not get unloaded and all that stuff is sitting in the basement.  I also brought home a few boxes of things from the studio that belong at home, so I will go through those and find a place for everything.

     Yesterday I went to the studio and my Mistress helped me put away things and then the advanced class taped the floor the little darlings.  One of the moms and a few dancers started to help me to organize the upstairs. There is still a lot to do, but I will work on it tonight and Wednesday. My goal is to get it done before Christmas so I can come back to the studio and not have to worry about cleaning. It was just funny to clean and organize all day yesterday and then go to the studio and do the same thing.  Then go clean a bank. I felt like the Jolly janitor.  At least I was Jolly!

     Still have not really thought about Christmas, need to get crackin' on that I think.  Just don't really care for the stress right now.  I am too busy enjoying the moment.


     Sis and I had started dancing lessons the year before with a French Ballet teacher.  I loved dance, I could not understand her very well, but I loved her.  That year of dance was always fuzzy to me and I am sure it was because I could not see.  Our 3rd grade year we started at a Ma /Pa studio run by an old Vaudeville couple, the Walters.  When I say old I mean OLD.  Like in their 70's.   They could dance beautifully.  Mrs. Walters smoked heavily and I remember blue smoke always hanging on the air of the studio.  Sis and I were very petite, hard workers, we were also terrible show offs.  We were a perfect couple of show men.  By the end of the year we were her stars so to speak.  She took us every where to perform.  We were able to do some amazing acrobatic tricks.  I think because we were twins we were able to think alike and did not mind working hard together.  The only thing I disliked about performing was that I had to take my glasses off and I hated the blur.  I felt so helpless.

     Sis and I developed different sets of friends.  I loved walking to school with my little sister and Sis would pick up her friends Lori and Mary Jo.  I was always very creative and I learned to make sock puppets and to sew on an old treadle sewing machine.  I really liked to sew.  I did so many nonsense projects. Christmas was coming and we were so excited.  Sis wanted a Barbie House and she wanted me to get the Barbie swimming pool.  I was not going to get anything even closely related to sis.  I found a large red and black long haired toy dog, in the toy department.  I knew sis would hate that dog and think it a dumb gift.  Mom tried to talk me out of it also, what would I do with it?  But I persisted.  Sis used all of her persuasion to get me to get the Barbie swimming pool but I really wanted the dog.  Christmas eve Mom laid out new navy pleated skirts and blue and red sweaters.  We had new white knee hi's and black Mary Janes.  We were all going upstairs for Christmas Eve dinner with grandma and the cousins.  I had resigned my self to the Barbie swimming pool.

     There was a lot of action that year  The uncles and dad had a big refrigerator box out in the garage that they were wrapping.  Grandma was used to getting huge packages from my Uncle from over seas.  He was serving on a Submarine the USS QUEEN FISH.  This was Grandma's baby and subs were disappearing right and left at that time, it was very scary.  What could be going into that box?  It was a mystery.  But Uncle Denny had said to get a big box wrapped for a special delivery.  Grandma was beside herself as Uncle had sent her huge ugly statues of foreign gods, huge stereo speakers,boxes of old blown glass fishing floats and nets.  Just really odd stuff.  It was a family joke as to what would be next.

     Well as usual the drink was flowing and the Uncles were out in the garage finishing the final wrapping of the large delivery.  I remember all of us kids going out and watching them carefully pick up the box, whispering and laughing.  "Don't tip it too fast", "Careful", "you don't' want it to spill!"  It was a long struggle to get it out of the garage and into the front room in front of the Tree.  Finally it was upright and waiting for grandma and us kids to help pull off the paper.  We counted to three and out burst Uncle Denny from the front of the box.  He just walked out in his Navy dress Uniform with a martini in his hand.  He had not spilled a drop with all that tipping and lifting.  He was so handsome and Grandma was crying and hugging him.  It was a wonderful Christmas surprise.

     Later that night as we were getting ready for bed so Santa could come, I thought about what I would get.  I knew I would get the swimming pool, it was more practical and we could play with it together, it matched Sis's house.  I said my prayers and told God that I would not be disappointed as I was so glad Uncle Denny was home and safe for now, I was so happy Grandma was happy and relieved.  It had been hard watching her fret as US Subs went missing week after week.  I remember for the first time in my life just trying to be grateful. 

     It was strictly forbidden for us to get up in the middle of the night on Christmas eve. But for some reason I woke and I debated on whether or not to get up.  I lay for a long time and finally snuck into the front room on the pretext of going to the bathroom which was on route.  All the lights were off except for the Christmas tree.  On the lower mantle of the fireplace was a large Red Dog.  I remember sneaking over and picking it up.  It was almost as large as I was.  I started to dance with the dog, hugging it to me.  Imagine a little blond girl with a long braid down her neck, in a blue flannel nightie dancing with a large red dog above her head, dancing in the soft lights of a Christmas tree.  Around and around, I had finally received a present just for me.

     Well I as off to the races.

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, Did someone say Christmas?

     Well I survived Nutcracker and it went very well.  I was very tired yesterday and slept most of the day.  I did not even get out of my jammies.  Hubby was not too pleased with me not gong to church as I was not sick, just very tired, physically and emotionally, but too darn bad.  I know God loves me even if I stayed home.

     I have been running around putting crap away.  Every room I go into has Kim and Nutcracker droppings in it.  I stop and put away a few things and move on.  I have the garage cleaned out, hubby will be so happy.  All of the glitter and spray paint is put away.  I was able to get the Christmas things from the Church Christmas party put away.  I have been tripping over that basket for a week.  I have a basket full of things to put away upstairs when I run up there to do my hair and put on some makeup.  I washed my hair and went to bed with it wet Saturday night.  I have done nothing with it and it is quite scary.

     Now my desk, my shop and the shop bathroom are a disaster.  I have plenty of sewing that has to go out so I need to attack that soon.  There is not one clean cereal or soup bowl in the kitchen and it smells like something died in the trash.  I will need to see to that before I hit the studio which is not put together at all.  My ballet Mistress and I will pull out the floor and tape is the rest can stay until I can get a few volunteers down to help me put stuff away. 

  Hubby's 63rd Birthday is on Thursday and the kids are coming down for dinner.  I will have fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and German Chocolate cake.  I also have to take a meal into a dance mom who had her baby at 10 in the morning the day of the recital.  A lot of excitement at rehearsal I can tell you. Just starting to get the piles of stuff put away is such a relief.  Cleaning and getting back to status quot is calming.

     Put together a deposit for the studio so I can pay the rent.  I think most of the other bills are paid, but I will have to look.  Now I just want a calm inexpensive Christmas.  I will be going to Mom's on New years to spend a few days with mom and sis.  I sure hope little sis can come.

     Even though I have a lot to do, I just feel so calm and relaxed.  Like it will get done, don't worry.  That horrible time crunch pressure is off.  I am getting together with one of my home bound sewing clients to bake Christmas cookies and she is so excited. I am going to sew us Christmas aprons for the fun of it.  Just because I can and I want to.  Oh, to be able to do something just because I want to is so nice.

     I need to go up and get those dishes done, and maybe I can attack to shop and it's bathroom.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday, getting close!

     My lists still keep getting longer instead of shorter, but I think I am making headway.  I need to finish a bolero jacket and then have two Russian costumes to do.  They are cut  out so that will save time.  I moved everything that needs to be trucked out of the studio to the far side and am actually trying to clean things up so we don't come back to such a horrible mess.  It also helps facilitate pulling the marli floor.  So tonight when I get to the studio I will continue to clean and organize when I am not teaching.

     I need to call the high school and talk to the stage manager about bringing in things tonight.  But he is not answering so I may have to stop by on my way to the studio.  High School Drama director is going to pull what I need from they're closet bless her soul.  Now if I can just get those last costumes finished and teach, and move, and set up, and type out a program I can go to bed:)


     I remember 3rd grade as one of the funnest years of my life.  All subjects are introduced in third grade and I loved history and still do.  My teacher recognized my reading level and I was able to get out of the elementary section for books.  This opened a whole new world for me.  I have always been a super reader and so has sis.  I had another big life change early in 3rd grade.  Because we were small we always sat at the front of the class.  Sis was with me in 2nd grade and as we did most things together, I could always rely on her for input.  But it became very obvious when we were moved into pods in my classroom that I could not see.

     I was taken to an eye doctor and could not see the chart at all.  I mean not even the big E.  The doctor called my mom in and asked her how I did in school?  She said fine, that I excelled, he than told her I was legally blind.  Meaning that I recognized bright colors, shapes and could see things held about 10 inches from my face, the rest of the world was a blur.  I had bad astigmatism and warping of the cornea due to being in pure oxygen for so long after birth.  Many preemies were blinded by this treatment.  The doctor wanted to know how I had gotten by this long without help.  I was terribly afraid of balls or anything throw at me.  I still am:)  I also loved the color red.  I was clumsy and hurt myself a lot. All signs of a child that can't see.  But I had a companion that could.  I did what she did, so I got by and I was fine. Glasses were prescribed.

     Mom never said anything to me about what the doctor said but she was in shock.  I will never forget getting my new glasses.  I had chosen light blue frames, which my mom tried to talk me out of.   Light blue was Sis's color mine was pink.  I hated pink and I wanted the light blue ones.  She gave in much to my detriment as I had to wear those things for 4 years and I looked like a dork and people hated the blue frames.  I was made fun of and people talked behind my back.  Listen to your mom on fashion was the lesson I learned.

       The doctor lectured my mother about my glasses.  He said it was a very strong prescription and I might not like the adjustment.  I was not to be chastized for not wanting to wear them.  To give me time to get adjusted.  I was going from a world of blur to a world of detail and it could be very overwhelming.  I put my glasses on and the carpet fibers came up to greet me.  The floor was rolling and everything was so bright.  It was freaky.  As we drove home from the doctor I was so mesmerized.  I remember shouting ,"Mom there are trees on the mountains!"  Mount Jumbo was covered by huge forests.  The leaves were individual.  I was pointing out things and I was so excited.   Mom was crying by the time we got home.  I did not mean to make her cry but I ran around house just looking and looking.  Grandma was an excellent china painter and many of her plates were on display.  I did not know they had flowers on them.  The simplest things like brick work, rocks, distances where you could see a bridge were so beautiful.  I went to school that afternoon and as I walked over the bridges of Rattlesnake creek I could see the water foam and cascade over the rocks.  It was incredible.  I never took those glasses off.  I created quite a sensation in my classroom with my blue pop bottle glasses, but I did not care.  I could See!  I put those glasses on first thing in the morning and took them off when I lay down in bed at night.  They were my life line.  I never broke a pair or lost a pair of glasses.

     But the biggest boon was that now people could tell Sis and I apart.  Relatives, friends, people at church.  It became easier to get into trouble as an individual.  Sis and I took on the new roles of good twin, bad twin.


Well I am off, Like a prom dress as my little sis would say, she is so bad......

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday, still working!

     Believe it or not I was able to kick through all of the those alterations yesterday, plus get the sewing due in the shop done.  Hubs and I went to the store armed with $113.00 as it was all the cash and actually money I had.  I thought for sure we could get the few items we needed with that.  Well, dog food, chickenfeed, soda, cereal, (2 boxes), burger, sausage, hotdogs (1 pkg) popcorn, bread, lettuce, several cleaning supply items and we were over by $23.00.  No wonder I am behind and can't make it.  So frustrating.

     My boxes of ribbon and things came in yesterday to finish costumes, so today I will be busy trying to clean everything up and finish.  I know I won't get it all as some dancers have not been fitted, but at least I will do what is available.  Just keep plugging along.  I have to call Paulucci's and Printcraft this morning. Tuxes, top hats and poster will have to be picked up Friday.  Need to get to the high school to measure the fireplace today so Hubs can finish cutting out Rat lair, it will be painted at High School.  So many last minute details and I am buzzing with worry that I am forgetting something important.  My lists keep getting longer instead of shorter.  That is just the way it is.

     Hubs painted the first coat on the growing Christmas tree.  Artist picked it up yesterday afternoon.  Need to get a star made somehow.(Put that on the list).  Okay I see it is time to delegate.  I will make a list of things to delegate.

     Sorry no story today too busy and when I start writing I don't want to stop.  I feel a book coming on and I could just go on forever.

     Out My Window:  It has finally warmed up here.  Above freezing!

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday, Alteration pile is here!

     I came home from the studio with an alteration pile the size of the shop.  So you know what I will be doing today!  I will complete a few customer orders and then start to tackle the remaining  items.  Still have two jackets and two whole outfits to do, but a girlfriend came over and cut out the jackets thanks goodness.  I actually sat and did all my books yesterday.  I am officially caught up  on my books and I am broke.  For someone that works as hard as I do I think I should be rich.  I guess I am rich in blessings?

     I have a whole list of parents that have not paid tuition but they have until today.  I will deal with that when I get to the studio. Hubs has a doctor appt. today so he is home driving me crazy.  I will put him to work later.  He still has to cutout the mouse lair for the studio as the artist will start painting today! Rehearsal with adults is getting better and better.  I got everyone outfitted except 2 men and one woman.  Should have that done on Wednesday.  Need to solidify my crew for moving and stop in and check with theater manager.  I was at the high school yesterday but he was not in. Called insurance company to fax over a binder.  It is all the little last minute things that drive me nuts.  Photographer from the paper was in last night and I think we got a good shot.  So that will go into arts section on Thursday. Web site designer jpegged the correct picture to the printer  for a foam core poster to put up front of the ticket office.  See I am getting things done.  I think......


     Sis and I are identical twins, often, perhaps as high as 1 out of four sets one twin gets all or most of the other twins eggs.  As the twins split it is not unusual for one to take another's vital organs. Which is why one twin is reabsorbed as it dies in the womb. When I get mad at sis I tell her I should have absorbed her when I had the chance. She may be the oldest but I hold the power.   It is a weird trick of nature.  I likely took most of Sis's eggs, I also took a good portion of her appendix or all of it.   My appendix was 13 inches long.  It had wrapped around several organs including my large intestine and colon.  It had also adhered to several goodies inside.  Anyway complicated surgery for its day.

     I remember waking deep in the night and there was a large machine beside me helping me breath.  There was also a body rocking back and forth dressed in white.  I knew it was a nurse.  I wanted to call out for my mom but the nurse would come and hurt me again.  I was in terrible pain.  So I went back to sleep, only to find out years later that it was my mother, gowned up.  She was allowed to sit with me as the nature of the surgery was so serious. I still mourn the fact that I did not call out to her, I needed her so badly.

     Sis and I had never been apart for any length of time.    I was too sick to really notice, but sis was having a hard time.  Children were not allowed in the hospital at that time.  Visiting hours were very strict.  I saw the Uncles hovering over me once in a while.  Dad would come up and stand by the bed, mom would visit, grandma would come and sit.  I was not much company.   After several days mom had Sis smuggled up to see me.  She was so excited and I was so cranky.  It really hurt her feelings.  But I was just too sick to carry on any kind of a conversation.  Besides the stomach muscles being cut all the adhesion's had to be cut and a lot things moved around and bruised.  I was very sore.  After about a week, I was better and the nurses were fun and kind.  I remember getting my hair washed in bed.  That was a lot of work as I had thick hair clear down my back.  The nurses would take turns brushing and braiding my hair.  They would see who could do the most intricate style.  It was very hard to get out of bed and get to the nurses station. Moving was painful.

     Mrs. Reasmon came to visit with a book of paper dolls and an card from Robbie.  I received many gifts even from the snotty neighbors.  The funny thing out of all of this is that Robby and I became fast friends.  He was still a bully, but he was nice to me.  Mom had me write thank you notes to everyone that had sent me gifts and I wrote in the card that he was my hero.  He showed the card to everyone.  I really think he felt like a hero or a nice guy for the first time in his life.  Robby and I were close clear into college.

     The little boy in the room next to me had a ruptured appendix.  His room was quarantined.  He passed away my third day in the hospital.  I just remember scurrying and screaming.  I was drugged but I will never forget his mother's screams, it was awful.  I finally got to go home and I was so glad.  I was lonely, my roommate cried all the time.  I never cried.  I was in pain but I sucked it up.  After the operation I never cried.  I think this amazed the nurses. I was so happy to see my sisters and brother. But they made a game a out of making me laugh and it hurt so bad.  I would get so mad at them. It got to the point that if sis entered my room we both got the giggles.  She was banished for a few more days.  I recovered just in time to enter 3rd grade.  There was no argument on who got to go to the closer newer school.  I was in recovery and mom felt I needed to have less walking and stress.  Ha ha  I finally won something, but the price I paid was way too high.

     Going to different schools was very good for Sis and I.  We were individuals.  Very few people knew we were twins or that I even had a twin.  It was the same for her.  I loved my teacher and she loved me.  Sis loved her teacher.  My teacher was young and played the piano beautifully.  We would sing everyday after recess and she would play and I would watch her foot tap on the ground as she hit the peddle of the piano, she was so lovely.  Sis's teacher was a very old almost ready to retire heavyset Grandma complete with gray hair in a bun.  She knew exactly how to deal with a child like sis.  Both of us were beyond our years in school, so sis was given extra work and she learned how to behave better.  The only thing I got into trouble for in 3rd grade was practicing my dancing under my desk with my feet, and this was by a substitute. I think so many of our behavior issues were based on our twin ship.  We felt we had power in that and we acted up thinking we could get away with being so" cute." (substitute brats)  Well those days were over.  We were not perfect when together but we were better.

     It did not take me long when walking home from, school that first week to encounter a new bully, Mark Huegot.  He  was the oldest of  7  brothers.  He was a mean tease.  I was walking home and he would chicken and dare people with his bike.  Of course everyone ran away.  But I was not running very fast yet and when you are scared you clench your stomach muscles.  When Mark chicken or dared me I froze.  He knocked me down and rode right over the top of my little pink dress and left a tire mark.  I think he was as shocked as I was.  I just remember the thump thump and then something popped.  It didn't really hurt just left a lasting burning sensation.  I got up and did not cry I just held my stomach and hurried home.

     I did not want mam to see my dress as she would ask questions so I went in my room and changed. She did not notice.  But I knew I was leaking something out of m incision.  I kept my hand over it as it oozed onto my new dress.  I was not eating and mom noticed right away something was wrong.  I told her I was fine.  But when I stood up my dress stuck with ooze was glued to my stomach.  To say all hell broke loose was an understatement.  Dad was working graveyard and he was up and running around the house in his white t-shirt and shorts.  When it was found out what happened, I was on my way to the emergency room and Dad called Mark's dad who was an eye surgeon and gave him the what for.  We were told Mark's dad came home from the hospital in the middle of the day and beat Mark all over the front yard with a belt and then went back to work.  Poor Mrs. Huegot, she had a baby every year(a boy) and the last baby just walking.  The walking baby was put outside to fend off the older brothers.  I don't remember anything about Mrs. Huegot except she was tired and pregnant.  Her boys were monsters.

     I was cleaned up and my incision was butter flied.  I was also given a huge shot of penicillin.  Thank you Mark!  Hit him again.  I was left alone be the Huegots for the years I lived by them, so maybe this was a blessing?


     Out My Window:  I think the cold snap is about to give up it is 29 outside.

Have a great and productive day.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday, So much to do.

    I got through the weekend without killing hubby.  Well actually he was really good.  I raced around Friday and hemmed 17 pairs of jeans.  Also made 3 almond cakes and boiled up some new potatoes and reheated frozen meatballs.  D#2 was home and went to the store for me, she bought the exchange gift and filled the car with gas , she also bought me a new crockpot!  My old one was over ? years old as I had bought it at a yard sale over 20 years ago.  The new one has a stone center that you can pull out to clean and it also is about 2X as large.  Judy would be so jealous.  I just worked on Nutcracker projects and sewing.  I went to studio and checked in, handed out a few costumes and then drove out to Orophino for Hubs work party, which was boring, but I got to see the new boss.  I have nothing in common with these people, however they are very nice.

     Saturday, was hell.  Rehearsal all day, trying to get kids costumes, did not quite succeed, but only the older kids and adults are left.  I think we got all the little ones.  I called hubs to get the crock pot restarted. I was pulling costumes for the Nativity.  Hubs came to studio with the truck to get the stable and manger and helped to load costumes.   D#2 and I could not find out battery operated star lights so we ran to Shopko and found 3 sets on sale for $4.99.  Which was great and I will use them in the Nutcracker.  We got home and she burned a CD, pulled Swedish Christmas display together, ran upstairs and hubs had precooked my potatoes, so I threw everything in the crockpot with cream and salt and pepper.  Made up a double batch of krumkakke dough and off we went.  Arrived at the church just in time to snag a spot for the display and set up our cooking area.  There was no way I was going to be able to supervise the baking of Krumkakke and serving of meat balls and get 60 kids costumes and on stage.  So I left d#2 and her boyfriend in charge of the irons and then Hubs in charge of the meatballs.  I ate something really quick and ran to get kids ready. 

     They were wild!  No help until finally a few sisters came in right before they were going to sing.  Got the little bounders on stage, I was a wee bit snarky.  Okay I was a B^%ch.  The kids were darling of course.  12 cows, assorted sheep, shepherds, kings, Mary, Joseph, donkey, stars, angels, singers.  Just adorable.  Now have to undress and pack all that crap up.  But I think I was nasty enough that others went in and did it for me.  Loaded all into car and truck.  Found out Hubs did not get to eat.  Bought him a burger.  D#2 and I went to Joanns to get material for the last of the costumes.  Came home and crashed.  Up for church and practice with the kids for Christmas Sunday.  Hubs wants to invite Missionaries home for Sunday dinner.

      Has he seen the kitchen?  Did we go get our usual Saturday night groceries for the Sabbath?  Will he cook the meal and clean up?  I about took his face off.  We had no milk, no bread.  So I came home and slept for 4 hours, hubs ate cracker and cheese.  He also cleaned the kitchen with no face, it was a miracle.  I sat and crocheted on my table cloth watched two sessions of Downton Abbey and then went to bed.  It was a day of rest.  Hubs went to rehearsal and stayed clear of me, smart man.

     I have two helpers coming over at 10:30 to cut out costumes. We also need to put the muslin on the growing Christmas tree and get it painted with the first coat.  Then artist will have to finish. I am so glad as I hate cutting crap out.  I need to do my books and pay some bills. I mean I have to, it is getting ridiculous.

     Out My Window:  Very cold here.  In fact the pipe froze but hubs got them going.  I need to run water out to chicken.

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday, I have lived through the work week,

     I had two great things happen yesterday.  My hip-hop teacher came back from basic training.  She has been gone 6 months.  The kids were so excited.  I have been teaching her classes, but I do not do hip-hop. I do Fossi, style cold Jazz or Broadway.  They endured me, but you should have seen the whooping and hollering when she walked in, I made her go to work right then.  Now I only have to teach 2.5 hours on Thursday instead of 5.  My daughter came home and she had bought me a lovely designer purse in scrumptious black leather in Los Vegas.   So nice.  It was like early Christmas.

     I also have taken in $465 toward the house payment this week.  The shop is still not quite caught up but it will get there.  Mother ginger costume parts arrived, I think the base might be to tall, but we can cut it down.  Pointe shoes are all in, I will make someone else sear all the ribbons:)

     I did a quick run through of the house last night, just a pick up as the house keeper is coming today to do the wipe down and scrubbing.   I have an almond cake in the oven and plan to do 4 today, as I sew.  Hubs Christmas party is tonight so we will drive to Orophino and then home.  I have an all day rehearsal tomorrow that starts at 8 and goes until 3.  Then I must be at the Church at 4 to set up a display of Swedish Christmas.  I also have to pull all the costumes for the nativity tomorrow and the set pieces as I have 60 children in a Nativity program at the church.  So I have nothing to do in the next two days.  I am telling you I will collapse on Sunday.

     I plan on getting all the dancers costumed tomorrow this will really tell me what needs to be fixed and what does not.  Also what I need to make.  I know there will be a lot of alterations, but very little making of new which is great as it will save me money.  Actually this year we seem to be getting away with not spending a ton of money.  Hopefully it will show on the bottom line.


          Mom and Dad and Grandparents worked hard to finish the last of four houses my grandmother built up the Rattlesnake.  She would buy a section of land  and then build and sell and move on.  She was a hard worker.  I remember so clearly her getting out of her little Volkswagen and climbing a ladder on one of the houses to show a young man how to shingle properly.  She was tiny and in her restaurant uniform with her hair net and support stocking complete with garters; a force to behold.  She owned several restaurants over the years.  She was also very good at playing the stock market.

     We moved into a large house on a quarter acre lot.  Across the street was a very steep hill/mountain.  There were beautiful homes on either side of us.  Our family had the downstairs, and Grandma and Pa the upstairs.  It was a great house.  We were so excited to be close to more nature and outdoors and we also were able to have a piano.  Mom had sorely missed her piano.  I remember being so shocked because my Grandmother sat down and played this beautiful Waltz and I had no idea she could play.

     Mom and Dad had a nice size bedroom and sis and I shared and lil bro and lil sis shared.  We had a big bathroom with washer and dryer.  The other large bedroom had been turned into a kitchen.  There was a large living room with a beautiful rock fireplace.  We were happy in our new house.  However the neighbors were not happy that grandma had essentially built a duplex and this was a two family dwelling.  Things got nasty very quickly.

     The biggest change for sis and I was that the Rattlesnake school being a rural school only had one 3rd grade classroom.  Mom was not going to ever put us into a classroom together again.  It had caused way to much trouble.  This was a dilemma.  Mom was a teacher and a good one she was able to go to the school district and explain the problem.  There was another school farther away from our house but still in the Rattlesnake.  If mom guaranteed travel one of us would go there.  The fight was on, of course we both wanted to go to the newer school that was closer.  We had neighborhood friends that went there.  How would this be decided?

     We had an old purple Dodge Sedan, one of those that looked like a big old bug.  I realize now it was very old fashioned and ugly.  The neighbors didn't like that car either.   It had brake problems and you had to set the parking break.  Mom would forget and there would go the car.  Here however everything was on hills.  We were unpacking the car and it started to roll, mom ran to stop it, but in her excited state she ran in front of the car that was picking up speed.  It ran over her foot and continued down the steep slope.  Us kids were following it and screaming.  Luckily mom had been able to slightly turn the wheel so the car took the steep curved road  at the right turn and crashed at the bottom of the hill into a horse pasture taking out a good section of the fence.  It could have hit a house and really done some damage.  Mom's foot was broken and she had to limp through the rest of the move.  What a way to introduce yourself to a neighborhood that does not like you already.

     Every small neighborhood had a little store.  We had the Rattlesnake market.  It was probably 1.5 miles away from our house.  We would often be sent on our bikes to the store for a loaf of bread or a 1/2 gallon of milk.  We were always anxious to go because we would get a dime to by candy for our trouble.  I was outside playing and Grandma called down and asked me to go get her some milk.  I was thrilled as she would give me a quarter and sis was not with  me and I could go alone and pick out what I wanted.  Nothing made you more popular with the local children than a bag full of penny candy.  I took off on my bike and bought my milk and picked out my candy.  I remember digging through the sack and choosing a piece but when I got it in my mouth is kind of made me sick.  As I was riding over the Rattlesnake creek bridge, I spit the candy out it just did not taste good.  By the time I had ridden 1/2 mile to the major road turn off to home I was getting terribly sick.  So I got off my bike and started to push it.  Peddling was just too painful. I had probably gone 2 blocks when I saw a sprinkler in a front yard I thought if I can get to that sprinkler and wet my face I will feel better.  I was so hot and sweaty.  I put my bike down on the edge of the road and went to the sprinkler.  The next thing I remember was an elderly lady waking me up.  I was soaking wet, like I had been under the sprinkler for some time.  I was disoriented and embarrassed.  She asked me if I needed help and I said no I just did not feel good.  I picked up my bike and slowly trudged the last two blocks.  When I looked at the hill I wold have to climb to our house I knew I could not do it.  I was just in so much pain.  So I walked my bike to the dreaded house of the one eyed witch Martha and her mean son Robby.

     Robby Reasmon was a mean little boy and he was to be avoided.  Not only that, his mom was a police dispatcher and she only had one eye.  She wore a black patch over her eye like a pirate.  Actually she was a beautiful red haired woman with a nice figure and she would sun her self on her days off in her bikini.  She was just very taciturn and strict.  She needed to be stricter with Robby.  The Reasmon's back yard connected to our back yard.  I did not care about Robby, I did not care if he beat me up.  I did not care if Mrs. Reasmon yelled at me for being on her property I knew the shortest way to my mother was through our adjoining backyards.  I pushed my bike into the Reasmon driveway and of course Robby protecting his turf came toward me.  I looked into his mean bully eyes and ,"I said Robby, something is really, really wrong with me and I am sick, you have to take this milk and my bike to my house, I cannot."  Then I remember screaming, Mrs. Reasmon came out.  I am sure to see what Robby had done now.  Here I was doubled over in pain and screaming and Robby was holding my milk and my candy and my bike.  I tried to tell Mrs. Reasmon that it was okay I just needed help and then I was running up the hill screaming. She followed me and Mom came out of the back door.  She immediately took me to the doctor.

     Blood was drawn and I did not even care.  The doctor gave mom some awful green medicine that would make me sleep and I was taken home.  But when I woke up I was screaming again.  So mom and dad took me to the hospital.  There was much talk about what to do.  They did not think is was appendicitis as I didn't have pain in the right area and I had no elevated white blood count.  A new pediatrician who was a foreigner from India was called in and he wanted an x-ray.  My stomach showed backed up gas at a high level and he prepped me for emergency exploratory surgery at mid-night.  I was poked and prodded and it hurt like hell but I did not care, I was just too sick.  I remember being wheeled into the operating room and I was worried I would wake up during the surgery.  The doctor leaned over and asked if I wanted to ask him anything?  I, said,"Will I wake up during the operation?"  He said ,"No."  His voice was soft and muffled behind his green hospital mask.  He had dark brown skin and the darkest eyes I had ever seen, he squeezed my hand and that is all I remember.


Out My Window:  Still beastly cold and trying to snow.

Have a great and productive day.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday, Nutcracker Hell day 4

     I get more tired every day, but things are getting done.  Our Nutcracker prince sat in the swan sleigh and broke it, so hubs was down at studio fixing it during rehearsal last night.  Rehearsal went even better with Adult dancers, many of whom danced for me years ago when I was with the University.  They were all so excited to come back and do this production with me.

     I was busy sewing ribbons on pointe shoes yesterday and I had a lit candle in front of me to sear the ribbons.  If I use a lighter I always burn myself.  Well the phone rang and I bent over to get it, and singed the end off of part of my left eyelashes.  So I have really long eyelashes(because of a medication I take) and on my left eye right in the middle is a bald spot where the lashes are about 1/4 inch.  Hoping no one would notice, but my specialist is one of the dancers and he notices right away.  "Kim you really must slow down"  Yeah, yeah, I have been listening to you say that for years, they are going to find me dead among the set pieces one of these days.  Hopefully after the show.

     I ran like a raped ape yesterday and still did not get done what I wanted or needed.  I will just keep plugging away.  My house is a disgusting pigsty, I mean really.  Maybe tonight I can do a run through when I get home.  What am I thinking I will be too tired.  Okay I will live in squalor for a few more days. Or maybe I will catch up in the shop and have a few minutes this afternoon before I leave.

     My Sissie is doing the 12 days of Christmas with my Mom.  This is so fun, also a lot of work.  Hey Sis can you say those gifts are from me also?

  Sorry no story today, just too much to do.  Once I get writing I don't want to stop.

Out My Window:  Freezing, I mean in the single digits.  We have a space heater in with the chicken.

Have a great and productive day.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Nutcracker Hell Cont.....

     Woke up today with a sty in my right eye and it is killing me.  Probably from doing all those military uniforms and rubbing my eyes to see if they are perfect.  Hope to not see a dress blue for a long, long, time.  Ticking things off the list daily.  Was able to make 10 doz Swedish meat balls last night between teaching and cleaning the bank.  I froze them.  We have Hub's Christmas Party this Friday evening and I will take meat balls and new potatoes and a Swedish almond cake.  The on Saturday I will take the same menu to the Church Christmas around the world party.  I also have two mother's having babies in the next two weeks so guess what they will get for a meal?  Yeah Swedish meatballs, new potatoes, I will throw in a vegetable and a Swedish almond cake.  The cakes take about 10 minutes to prepare and then 45 to cook so I can do several in a day and freeze.  They are elegant and delicious.  People think you work for hours and really you just go to the freezer.  I am such a con artist.

     I was able to start my swizzle sticks last night and still have to paint and add ribbon.  I am three short but they ran out of parts at Wally world.  I will improvise. The ribbon has been shipped.  I got the puppet theater curtains done and installed.  The dad who is going to bend my conduit for the Mother Ginger Costume came last night to the studio and took away the runner box and the conduit pieces and the bird cage platform.  He will have everything ready for us to run on Saturday at our large all day rehearsal. That is three large things off my mind. 

     Hubs and I will run out tonight after rehearsal to Costco and get a large bag of new potatoes and we have to get a gift exchange gift for his party.    I just realized rehearsal is until 8 so I may be doing that alone this afternoon before I get to the studio.  I also have to make a deposit and do payroll tonight.  I need to pay a few bills that did not get paid last month just because of time and the Holiday.

     I have a boat load of sewing to complete before I leave today.  House payment is do next week and I need $500.  So far I have $260.00  so I cannot stop sewing.  Feel like I am on a tread mill but it will over in 10 days and I will be able to relax.  I just thought I haven't heard from the man that does my videos, I had better call him.  Always something.

     Sissi put down that charge card!  You are doing the 12 days of Christmas with Mother aren't you?  12 gifts one a day that is why it was so important that you get her there on the 13th.  You sneak.  She will love it.  Maybe I will do that with hubs.  Just little things, like a Score candy bar wrapped up in Christmas paper.  I will think about it.  Because I have nothing else to think about between now and the 13th:)


     I really liked living in this house on Rainbow drive.  It was large and mom and dad seemed to get along.  I loved my Grandmother, her husband was another story but I ignored him.  Our neighbors were all nice and there were many kids to play with.  Mom became really active in the Methodist Church and we all went there including 2 of her brothers.  Sis and I were hellions and mouthy.  Mom was so non confrontational, but our behavior was now becoming pretty obvious.  I think the fact that she lived with Grandma and the Uncles were around so much.  She knew our behavior and smart mouths were bad, but she would do nothing.  Now she had an audience and the embarrassment became too much.  We started hiding her wooden spoons under our mattress downstairs.

     Sis and I were both really good students, school was easy for us and I don't remember getting into trouble at school.  But I do believe Sis was boy crazy and of course I had to follow her example.  Now where we got this tendency I don't know.  But we both had boys that we liked and mine was named Jeffrey.  I am not sure how this got to the the teachers attention but we were told to knock it off.  I remember planning my break up with Jefferey.  I had watched a scene on a TV show where a girl had stuck out her hand and tearfully said, "Friends."  I planned the same departure from my true love.  What a drama queen.  I
acted out the scene complete with tears and rushing away.  I am sure if it had been recorded for daytime Television I would have gotten an Emmy.  My mother did not watch soaps, but where I got the soap opera mentality is beyond me.

     Sis and I were growing.  We had always been so small.  I remember for the first time in my life being hungry.  I wanted a whole hamburger not 1/2.  I could eat a whole hot dog.  Mom was surprised we had just not eaten much for our whole lives. She had to adjust our lunches we would come home ravenous.  Sis and I joined blue birds a campfire organization.  Mom was our leader along with a lady down the street.  I loved Bluebirds, but I think it was a trial for mom.  Sis and I were very bossy and wanted our way and mom was constantly embarrassed by our behavior.  The wooden spoon often came out after a Bluebird meeting.  It got to the point that I really did not like that little vest and cap we wore on Bluebird days.  But did I change my behavior?  No!

     Christmas that year was a big deal.  We had 7 cousins to celebrate with us and everyone gathered at Grandmas.  Sis and I had asked for a new doll that walked.  We also had a real fireplace.  I was so excited.  Christmas morning we found our beloved dolls.  Again mine had a note pinned to her.  She had fallen off Santa's sleigh and did not work but he would fix her right after the Holiday.  I remember the Adults laughing about the fact that I had a doll two years in a row that was broken.  My moms retort was, "try having twins."  I was not upset and just played with Sis's doll.  But I determined in my head I would never ask for the same gift Sis did again.  Sis and I loved to sing and that Christmas we sang a duet at the Church.  I am sure it was beautiful, never had two brats received so much praise.

     I was able to get through my second grade winter with only one bad bout of sickness and I was grateful.  First grade had been a nightmare health wise.  We were learning to embroider tea towels in bluebirds.  It was just a simple outline of a bluebird on a white towel. Every damn week I embroidered that bird to my skirt and it had to be undone.  I wanted to do things fast and be first and I was always done first, with a tea towel attached to my skirt.  Every week my Mom would cut it off.  I remember begging her to just cut my skirt and she would not.  I was so frustrated.  Part of the Bluebird promise was: " to always finish what I begin, to help to keep my temper in, most of the time."  So I had to restart that damn towel until it was done.  I still hate embroidery.

     Mom was now dressing us three girls alike at holidays.  Sis, little sis and I were I wore matching dresses.  I was slightly taller than sis and thinner.  Mom would buy three dresses a 7 for lil sis and then try to get two 8's for sis and I.  But she could never get 2 of anything the same size.  I would get the 10 dress because I was an inch taller.  I always looked like a concentration camp victim dressed up in a too large dress.  Mom was an excellent seamstress and so was grandam, but no there I am looking like a freak, while sis and little sis look normal.  Oh and also Mom always wanted to curl our bangs and fluff them up under our hats.  We hated that and sis usually refused.  I was always more compliant so not only were my clothes too big, I had stupid hair!

     I am sure that it was the stupid hair and the overly large dress that made me mad that Easter morning.  Sis and I were in rare form at church.  We kept snapping each others elastic straps under our hats.  It hurt and it was so much fun to see the other one wince.  We were in Sunday School and we were acting up and I left to go tell mom.  She was in the kitchen of the church with some other ladies and she told me to go back to class, I stubbornly refused and started to act like an ass.  I thought I was so cute and smart.  Finally Mom ignored me so I left.  I went back to class and really snapped Sis's hat.  She started to cry and ran to Mom.  Mom was just not interested and I do not know what happened, but I will you that we were yelled at all the way home and we were terrified to get out of the car.  Our cousins were with us and we begged to have them stay but mom took them home with Sis and I shrinking in the back seat.  I was  sure mom was bluffing and usually mom would yell and then calm down.  She got out of the car and went to yank us out.  We locked the back doors.  She got out her key and physically pulled us from the car.

     We received the worst spanking of our lives.  It was horrible. Grandma finally came down in the basement and took Mom away.  She had lost control.  But who could blame her?  We were awful..  It was Spring and warm, but mom made us wear tights for the next two weeks to cover the bruises on our legs.  I am telling you Sis and I were still bad but we were changed brats.  We knew our Mother had a limit and it was too bad she had to go to this extreme. When Grandmas new house was finished and we got ready to move into it, Mom and Dad found 7 wooden spoons under our mattress.  It was a big joke.  We would leave the Cold Springs area at the end of our second grade year and we would miss our friends.  It was such a nice friendly neighborhood. 

     Spring was lovely in the Rockies.  Wild asparagus grew along the rail road tracks and we picked it by the apron full.  Rainbow stables was down the streets and we had horses to watch and feed. There was just always something to do.  Sis and I were really into earning money.  We would shovel walks, dig out dandy lions, help at the horse barn, anything to add a dime to our banks.  Mom stayed home that year and she watched two little girls down the street.  One went to school with us and was in our room.  Her name was Gwen.  I thought she was lovely.  Gwen's mom was beautiful, she looked like a movie star.  Gwen had a little sister who was about 3 named Edith.  She was a whiny spoiled brat.  I did not have to deal with her much as I was in school.  What I do remember was Gwen's house.  It was immaculate.  She had her own room done completely in pink and her toys were precisely placed.  Gwen's dad was a big burly dark man with a permanent scowl.  He was not Gwen's dad but Edith's and he made that obvious.  Edith could do no wrong and was babied and cooed at while Gwen was snarled at and made to behave perfectly.

     I don't know why I was even allowed to sleep over at her house, but I was and Sis was not with me.  We were brushing our teeth and I left my tooth paste spit in the sink.  I never cleaned up after myself and I was a slob in the making. Gwen was so shook up when she saw I had left this mess.  She immediately told me to wipe it up.  I did but I thought she was a weirdo.  When I wiped it up I pushed most of it down the front overflow drain hole.  I never thought much about it.  Well Gwen's step dad went into the bathroom and called Gwen out into the hall, where he gave her two licks with his belt because the sink was not clean.  I remember being horrified.  But Gwen took it in stride like it was no big deal.  I don't know if she did this for my sake or what?  Mom took both of them down with us for Pixi s pinups which was a photo company that took cheap head shots of children.  Gwen's mom took Edith's picture but she did not take Gwen's.  My mom thought that was odd.  There were no pictures of Gwen in the house only Edith.  It was pretty obvious that Gwen's mom was afraid of her step-dad and we heard later that they divorced.  I remember my Mom saying, "Thank God."

     That early summer we moved back up the Rattlesnake to a brand new house.  The next three years would be tumultuous ones for Sis and I.  This was a very wealthy neighborhood, in fact the wealthiest in the area and we were poor relations living with our Grandmother.


     Well I am off to attack my pile of sewing.

Out My Window:  It is really cold I am going to check on my chicken.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday, Still in Nutcracker hell..

     I was able to get two uniforms done yesterday, a deposit made, tickets picked up, some of the desk cleaned, money x-ferred for  for #3's rent, ran to Diamond shop and paid the remainder on the ring, got a note out to parents.  So I felt pretty good when I hit the studio at 3 in the afternoon.  We had our first large rehearsal with the adults and it went well.  We did not finish the party scene but we will on Wednesday. 

     I ordered 4 pairs of pointe shoes for leads and one pair came in too small.  Checked every one's shoes last night and need to order 4 more pair.  No one listens when I call out for shoes.  Then they get to the theater and the shank snaps or the box crushes.  So now I check at least two weeks before the show.  Yeah 4 more pair.  Will do that today.  Little bounders, don't want to break in a new pair, but they will :) (that is an evil smile)

     Hubs came down and put the sleigh together along with the swan pieces and we brought down the puppet theater, which I hope to fix today. I assigned a mom to the ribbon swizzle sticks for the Merlitons, and also assigned a mom to fix and dress all the baby dolls that come out of the toy bag on stage.  Most of them are missing an arm or leg or are naked. I think they have been well used and loved.  I need to run to Jo Ann's and get a few more supplies.

     I am really trying to delegate work out to parents so I have less.  Since I take very little money out of this enterprise and they don't want it shut down, they need to help and they do.  It is amazing how wonderful most of their work is.  I also have a couple of women from my church who are going to come over and help with the sewing and altering of costumes.  I plan to hand out all costumes by this Saturday and then we will know what needs to be fixed.  I believe I only have to make a couple.  I need to take my steamer down to the studio and get a mother to start steaming tutu's.


     Sis and I walked to school every morning at the beginning of second grade.  There were several large concrete basements that were left unfinished on a busy rode that we passed everyday.  These were so fun to play in and climb through.  I always thought they would come and finish those buildings, but eventually they were torn up.  We lived next door to a family that had children our age.  They were very evangelical.  We were introduced to a revival.  It was for kids and in the evenings.  Every night we would go to this big church and be screamed at by some man on the stage, but we got a lot of candy.  If you had a new friend with you you received even more candy.  You just had to listen to the screaming.  It was exciting.  We had a cowboy night where we all had to come in cowboy dress.  You got more candy if you were a cowboy for the Lord and I intended to be the best rooten tooten cowboy they had ever scene.  So I put on a gingham shirt a pair of royal blue tights, then I squeezed into a pair of too small cut off shorts, I took my bros cowboy hat and squeezed into his brown cowboy boots.  I hobbled into the front room with a hair brush and asked Dad to braid my hair.  He took one look at me and sent me into change.  I looked like an idiot. I did not care I wanted CANDY.  I argued and he did not understand.  This was the first real costume I remember putting together and it was a failure.  Alas!

     The family that lived on the other side of our house had only boys.  They had one boy that was our age and the rest were all much older.  Their house was always dark and scary.  Mom told us to stay away from the older boys.  The younger one was quite the Casanova.  He decided sis would be his girl friend.  But then he walked me around the house and said that I was his girlfriend.  I don't remember being boy crazy.  I don't even know why in second grade this would even be important.  He was just such a rough little Marlin Brando type of baby boy.  He must have learned his moves from his older brothers.  I think mom and dad were anxious to get out of the tiny house and away from these neighbors.

     In October we moved to a large newer house in the Cold Springs area of Missoula.  It was still a very rural part on the edge of town.  We had a beautiful house with three large bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs.  There were two full bedrooms downstairs and an unfinished bathroom.  It was plumbed, but the walls were just studded.  We also had a huge unfinished basement room in which to store things and play.

     Sis and I had the downstairs bedroom.  It was paneled in knotty pine.  I loved that room. Grandpa had the other room for his TV den.  There was a huge weeping willow behind the house, whose branches fell clear to the ground.  You could crawl through into a hollowed out area and play.  Sis and I cleaned up under the tree with a broom and rake and made this was our fort.  We played there for hours.

     There was only one second grade classroom so Sis and I were in the same room. If I got a 100 on a spelling test and she did not there was hell to pay and vice versa.  The teacher tried to keep us apart, but we would make smug faces across the room when one of us would do a better job.  This competitive nature of ours would draw us apart.  Sis would not walk home from school with me and I was forced to either walk alone or make friends.  We really had fun with many of the neighborhood kids.  Chinese jump rope and cats cradle were favorite recess past times.  But sis liked to chase the boys.  I loved to swing.

     I would watch the older kids jump out of their swings and I thought that was so wonderful.  I tried it and had a perfect landing.  I was so proud I just stood there beaming and feeling really good about myself, when whop the swing came back and hit me behind the ear.  I didn't get the part where you jumped, landed and then got away from the swing.  I remember laying face first in the sand and a couple of teachers helping me into the school.  Sis and I had long thick blonde hair and it was always in braids.  I was amazed by my braids they had red ribbons running through them.  I did not remember mom putting ribbons through our braids that morning.  She would do this sometimes at Christmas.  The teachers were putting my head over a sink in a room I did not recognize.  They were un braiding my hair over the sink, the water was dark pink.  I never realized I was bleeding from a gash behind my right ear.  Everything was fuzzy.  Mom came and I went to the hospital and had stitches.  I do not remember any of the hospital.  I just woke up on the sofa at home and Uncle Duane was looking at my eyes.  I mean deep into my eyes and he was nice to me.  I remember thinking I was dieing.  Not because my head hurt but because Uncle was nice to me. 

     The Beatles had come to America, Herman's Hermits were popular, Paul Revere and the Raiders were on TV.  Nero jackets and white go go boots were all the rage.  Mom bought Sis and I little white pleated skirts Navy Nero jackets and white go go boots with black heels.  We were the bomb! I remember running over to my friends house across the street and showing her.  She started to cry because of my outfit.  I felt so bad, I did not want her to cry.  I certainly wanted her admiration, it was my first experience with jealousy in a friend and I felt so bad.  But I clomped my way to school and I clomped my way everywhere so people would notice my new outfit.  I made several trips to the pencil sharpener a clomping all the way, until the teacher told me my new outfit was very nice but I needed to be more quiet.  I am sure I simpered as I sat down and smoothed out my skirt. ( Don't you just want to hate me right now?)

     Mom had to press three cotton dresses every morning for school. We had to find socks in the sock basket.  Mom was always hurrying us.  Hurry, and get up, hurry and eat, hurry and find your socks, hurry, hurry.  Lots of yelling.  Grandma and the Uncles would often be having morning coffee.  It is Swedish tradition to join for coffee clatch break in the morning.  Uncles would come from their stores and routes.  This usually happened after we kids left for school.  One morning as mom was yelling and we were scurrying, I was coming up the basement stairs with my white knee highs.  I was hurrying and I fell and smacked my face on the metal coping on the stairs.  I of course started to cry and I held my hands over my left eye brow.  Mom was at the ironing board steaming and pressing the pleats in a dress and she told me to quit bawling and get my socks on, which I did.  I did not remember grabbing red and white socks, but I was not going to not obey my mom she was in a wooden spoon mood.  I put the socks on and blubbered the whole time.  Mom tossed my dress to me and I put it on.  She came over and jerked me around to button it up and tie the bow.  I kept blubbering softly and was told to go get the hairbrush so she could braid our hair and to quit bawling.  Just then Uncle Duane came in for coffee, he was a little early but in the neighborhood on route.  He took one look at me and my mom as she was tying my dress and said, "Je#$# Ch$%^# Madonna what are you doing to that kid?"  I had split my eyebrow wide open and the fat was hanging out and blood was all over.  Mom was horrified.  Everyone else was sent to school and Uncle cleaned me up. He was going to take me in his work Van to the Hospital, I did not want more stitches.  So he butterflied it closed.  He had been a boxer in the Navy and had a couple of these himself.  The cut was right under my eyebrow and it hardly left a scar.  Stitches wold have left a bigger scar.  Uncle to the rescue again.  I got to stay and have coffee and warm cake.  Uncle even gave me two pieces because I had earned them by not crying when he cleaned me up.  What he did not realize is that I was too scared of him to cry.   Then he made me go to school.  I got to ride in his work Van which was full of tools and smelled like grease and machine oil.  Uncle smelled like grease, machine oil and alcohol in that order.  On his days off he just smelled like alcohol.


     Just received another full set of dress blues so now I have two sets to complete before I leave for the studio.  I love my life.  I am waving at Sluggy right now!

Out My Window:  The larch trees are finally losing their needles out back.  One much sooner than the other.  The girdled one must be a little slow for a tree and doesn't quite know how to do winter right. See even trees can be slow and abnormal.

Have a great and productive day.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday, Nutcracker hell begins!

    I have already been online ordering Nutcracker crap.  So I can check three things off my list.  Now I am going to update my totals for the month and get the studio books done and I am also going to get three dress uniforms ready before I leave for rehearsal.  Just ran in to get totals for sidebar and cleaned off the desk of receipts so I will at least have a clean work surface.  I just have so much to do I am buzzing instead of breathing.

     I am really discouraged with my debt payoff.  It just seems to be going no where.  I really need to be able this next year to attack the house so it can be paid off by the time Hubs retires but that is not going to happen.  Don't know what to do.  I can run the numbers until I am blue in the face and it still doesn't happen.  I do like that fact that the house goes down at least $1000 a month and I also see that I can make the truck loan go down by $500 if I pay a little more each month.  After the Nutcracker I will sit down and figure a way to start knocking off bills.  Really that truck and the studio lock need to go by-by.  That would give me plenty to put toward the house, or other bills.  I am going to quit worrying about this right now as I have other things to worry about.

     Jenny and Sarah give me hope as I love to see how they just persevere. Then I look at Judy and think how stressed she is and I am right there with her.  So glad we have each other to feel sorry for as it takes our minds off our own problems.  I need to go to the bank and make a deposit before I go to the studio.

Sorry no story today no time:)

Have a great and productive day.