Tag Archives: family

My Granddaughter Neurosurgeon Appt on Monday!

Well, this blog is several days late, and probably a couple dollars short as my Paw-paw used to say, but here it is!
My youngest granddaughter, kristie, was diagnosed w/ a chiari malformation in mid May 2013.

What brought us to this point is the fact she was having migrants so bad, that she was turning purple crying in pain! She was sent to Oschners hospital in New Orleans to see a neurologist who was going to diagnosis her migraines after viewing her MRI.

The neurologist is a very dry man in the fact, he says what he has to say rather bluntly then leaves out! My daughter, Becky, had taken her BFF to this appt as I had a pain management appt that I couldn’t miss. Come to find out kristie, had other chiari symptoms that we had taken her to our local pediatrician for before, yet it was always brushed off!

Symptoms off top of my head was her choking on a cup of milk, to the point where I was ready to dial 911. Her body aches and pains were called growing pains. Her speech going from very clear and understandable to barely understandable at times, was diagnosed as her “being silly”!
The neuro surgeon wants an MRI of her neck, if her spinal fluid is backing up there, then surgery is our only option!

If the spinal fluid is not backing up into her neck, even though there’s not treatment for chiari, we do have options!

We didn’t get the “misdiagnosis” that we were so hoping for, but at least now, we do know what we are definitely dealing with, even tho kristie future is still unknown!

Thanks for letting me ramble on,

How’s Your Tuesday going?

Hello World! Greetings for the swamps of Southeast Louisiana. How’s your Tuesday going? I hope this post greets you in the best of health and spirits. Today started off bad, I had my GYN appointment, which was very painful on many levels, but that’s behind me now.

My hysterectomy is scheduled for 6/5. I am trying to get everything done and ready to go for me to be down for about two weeks. I am hoping that my granddaughter’s Chiari brain surgery can wait at least til I have recovered enough to go to the hospital to stay the length of her hospital stay. Kristie will see the neurosurgeon on 6/3, so we will know from there, when the surgery will be and what we should expect.

Lauren has another art class at the library tonite, so I am sitting outside on the deck, typing this blog. Again, weather is nice and warm, light breeze blowing, sun is going down and no mosquitoes are out, so yea at this moment life is good today.

Dinner will be either egg or grilled cheese sandwiches, depending on what Lauren wants when we get home. I usually throw something into the crockpot on days when I know I won’t be home most of the day, but the day started off late, since Lauren and I both overslept, so we had to dress, eat breakfast and out the door we went for me to make my doctor’s  appointment.

I am not a Mom to swear off processed foods for my child, although I do monitor the amount she has because so of those additives in the processed foods have been known to cause allergies and with her mental state, I don’t need any other problems. So, 90% of what is fixed in my house is fresh or at least out of a box. I tend to stay away from those tv dinners. Not only due to the additives, but with Lauren growing so much, so fast, it would take at least two of the smaller dinners to fill her up.

Ok, I guess that’s about it for this babbling session,
I hope everyone has a great evening,


My Day Thursday..Went from Bad to H#$L PART 2

Hello World, Reba here again. Yep, as promised I am back to write about my day Thursday, which was just terrible on so many levels, even though, it started off like any other normal day, in pain, but I was moving getting household chores done.

In the last blog post, I had just left the pain management appt for myself, I walked out of the clinic when the phone call came in. My vehicle transmission had gone out, completely. The minimum to get the transmission fixed, at minimum, is 350.00 plus labor and the cost of fluids.

Yep, with that news, I was just outdone. First my pain is over the top, then some, now the only vehicle my family owns has bit the dust. I questioned myself, as to what else could go wrong, eventually I will learn not to ask that question.

My oldest daughter, Becky, took her daughter, Kristie, to New Orleans to have an MRI done. Kristie has been having some pretty massive migranes. I couldn’t cancel my pain management appoinment, we are in groups, and to miss an appoinment, I wouldn’t get seen for another 6 months. Becky didn’t want to have to wait for Kristie’s MRI, so, against my better judgment we decided to go our separate ways and conquer both appoinments. I never miss New Orleans appointments. I hardly ever miss local appointments unless I am stay home to babysit Kristie. Again, separating and attending both appointments was against my better judgment, but it must be done. I knew what my doctor’s appointment held in store for me and I thought that Kristie’s appointment was going to be a diagnosis of migraines, meds would be prescribed, and that would be the end of the appointment. BOY was I ever wrong.

My pain management appointment ended, the call about the transmission came in, then Becky called. In her voice, I can hear where she was fighting back tears, my heart sank. I feared that they had been in a car accident, millions of things went through my mind, but the words that came out of her mouth next, my heart sunk; Literally!

The next words out of her mouth will ring in my head forever, “Mom, Kristie has something called Chiari malformation, it’s a birth defect, and she needs brain surgery.” I had to make her repeat herself again. I just knew that I didn’t hear my grandbaby was going to be needing brain surgery, I was wrong, I did hear her right.

In my head I was thinking, birth defect? Kristie will be 5 years old in June, how is it we are just finding out about a birth defect? And what the heck is the Chiari malformation? And what is this brain surgery going to involve? And why is it my grandchild? Oh I had a million of questions going through my mind. Questions that we had no answers to because Becky was so stunned with the diagnosis, she was speechless when she was with the neurologist. I am not sure that I would have been any less speechless.

So once Becky and I were able to be face to face, I learned that Chairi malformation is a birth defect that is a bone at the base of Kristie’s skull. The bone in question is about 3 inches longer than what it needs to be. Oh and that’s not the worse of this whole darn (at this point I don’t mean darn) fiasco, the neurosurgeon will not be removing the bone from her head, but they will be making room in Kristie’s skull for the bone.

Becky is still in shock over the diagnosis, but she has started doing a little research here and there, my son in law is just outdone. I am trying to find out as much as possible. Using a social media network, I have found several post op moms of kids with Chiari, they are helping me with what I don’t know, what I need to know, what I need to do research on, what the symptoms are, what’s the best area hospitals w/ the best neurosurgeons. The list of what I don’t know is still very long, I am figuring I will never know everything there is to know about Chiari malformation, but I do hope to be at very least an informed Maw Maw, when it comes time for Kristie’s Neurosurgeon appointment.

I am praying that the diagnosis is wrong and is all a big mistake, but I am still going to be prepared in case.

Thanks for letting me rant,

My daughter's two cats (i.e. demon seeds)

My daughter has two cats, Oreo will make a year old in May, Arizona, the Siamese, is about 7 months old, both females, both terrible.
They cause one disaster after the next and she has them quite spoiled. BUT the cats do have a purpose, they serve as therapy cats to help Lauren in her recovery from PTSD.
Don’t let the cuteness fool ya, they are as bad as they are cute.

My Life Changed Forever

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

My brother was always my Mom’s favorite child, I was treated as a red headed step child, yet he was the child who could do no wrong. No matter what I did, I could never earn her respect and acceptance.


I tried and I tried still, I figured she loved me, but yet, I never felt the love. No matter what I did, didn’t do, said, didn’t say, I was always wrong. If I got an A, I should of gotten an A plus. You know where this is going.

My childhood growing up was very happy as long as my Dad was around, but after Dad took sick and we moved out of state to “be safe from Dad” since the stroke left Dad with impairments.


MOm became more abusive after we had left town. Her weapon of choice for discipline towards me was the wooden cooking spoons. The reasons for her to hit on me became more and more frequent, sometimes it wasn’t even anything that I did or didn’t do, it was just her taking out her frustration at a current situation.

Also, something that was beyond my control, and certainly not my fault, Mom was abused as a child. Psychically, emotional, and sexually, he Mother left a lot to be desired at best. Since the relationship wasn’t exactly healthy w/ her own Mom, I felt my whole life that she took that out on me. Heck, even several point of my life, I asked the aunts and uncles on my Dad’s side if I was adopted. They all told me no, each of them saying they saw Mom pregnant with me, besides, I look just like my Dad.

The last time I accepted physical abuse from my Mom, I was 21 years old. I was still living at home and an unwed mother, but the child’s absent father and I were trying to work out our trials and tribulations.

My ex boyfriend and I had gone ride to his job interview, it’s about a 2 hour drive. I told Mom that we would be back about 2pm.

Well we were about an hour or so late at getting home, but we were home before dark. The ex boyfriend dropped me off and left. I went into my bedroom to put down my purse and coat. Mom came in there with her weapon of course, the wooden cooking spoon. She asked why we were late. The fact that we were lost, didn’t matter none.

She smacked me with that spoon across the face so hard that I was knocked off of my feet. I just missed hitting my pregnant belly on the bedside table by inches.

At that moment I decided that the abuse from her upon me was going to stop and she was never going to treat my child as such, EVER! That moment empowered me,  to personally never be abused again, but also gave me the nerve to tell her that she would never strike a child of mine. Due to the strained relationship between she and I she has been out of my life more than in it for most of my adult life, but that was her choice, not mine. And to this day, she has never struck one of my children, neither have I. I know what I felt like when she would hit me, I would never want to put that feeling onto another person, much less a child I birthed.





Today’s prompt was concerning pets, if we own pets, or why not!
This is our cats, Oreo and Arizona. They are my daughters therapy cats to help her recover from PTSD!
In my life they bring lots of trouble and causes more than thier share of disarray, another words, don’t let the cuteness fool you!
This is being sent from my cell phone for double points!

Feeding Us on Little Money

Hello world! I am here to talk food, mainly meats. With today’s economy as it is, the food prices are going up. Around here we are paying 4.00 for a gallon of 2% white milk, can’t afford the chocolate milk anymore.

I am a stay at home mom, not by choice. Lauren is a handful between the seizures, the PTSD, the homeschooling, and her other issues, that I couldn’t possible get a job that would pay me enough to pay a sitter to keep her. Remember Lauren is 16 years old and still requires around the clock attention. From the time my eyes open in the morning until the time I close my eyes at night, and many times throughout the night, I am dealing with Lauren.

So rather than cry over spilled milk, I just go on and make the best of the current situation. One of the ways I make the best of the situation is by shopping sales. When I shop the sales, I buy in bulk as much as possible, then come home and freeze the purchased meat flat. Yep, I put cookie sheets into the freezer with my meats on there and let that freeze, then I put all of it into Ziploc bags. Like that if it’s only me eating, I can take out just one serving of meat, if we have company, I can take out an extra serving without taking out several extra servings. Lauren will not eat leftovers for the most part.

Today alone, I bought pork sirloin chops at .97 cents per pound, 8 chops per pack, whole package cost me 7.50. A family pack of ground chuck at 2.47 per pound, a 3 1/2 pound package, I paid 8.46 per package on the ground meat. I got these deals at our local grocery store.

Since the package of chops has several in there that are too big for just one of us to eat, that one chop will be a meal for the two of us, probably smothered in onions, with a brown gravy, served over white rice with a vegetable on the side. The whole meal will be less than 1.10 per serving, can’t beat that. The smaller chops I will eventually do shake and bake with those, since that is Lauren’s favorite or I can add two to the crock pot and let it cook like that with a gravy over creamed potatoes.

The ground meat. I will make us 6 patties, freeze those flat, then use the rest of the ground meat to make 1 pound packages that I will throw into the freezer. So the hamburgers are less than .50 each at best. Add some French fries and corn on the cob then we are good to go.

From our local wholesale club I get great deals on meat. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is 1.77 per pound, I can usually get about 5-7 per package at 14.00 per package. I freeze those flat as well. Those will later become chicken spaghetti, chicken alfredo, chicken casserole, chicken fingers, the list goes on. I get as many meals as I have chicken breast because the breasts are big enough to where one is enough for a meal and we both have adequate amounts of meat.

At the wholesale club I also pick up on bone in chicken legs. I can usually get say 10-14 legs per package and I pay like 6.00 for the package. Lauren loves her chicken legs, so this is a treat for her. I usually do the chicken legs in a stew, shake and bake, smothered, or baked. Again, one meal per week, will be chicken legs. I am at 5 meals per week with meat and my cost for the meat is right at about 45.00? Again the chicken legs are frozen flat, so I only take out what I need for a meal. I hate to waste food with food cost ever climbing.

I buy the Bar-S sausage at the local grocery store for about 4.00 for a package that contains 16 sausages. I freeze those flat as well. When dried beans are for dinner, I take a couple of sausage links out of the freezer, chop those up, and add those to the beans. This will make the servings of beans pennies on the dollar. I serve all my beans over white rice.

I also buy the big packs of Bar-S bun length hotdogs, I freeze those flat as well. Like that I can have a quick meal for Lauren and I without wasting a whole pack of hotdogs, remember, Lauren does not eat leftovers. I know hot dogs are bad for us humans, but Lauren doesn’t like the turkey dogs, I am not a fan either.

At the wholesale warehouse, I find great deals on pork. I bought a lean pork roast, cut that in 1/2 and we have at least 4 servings in each portion. I do the roasts mainly when we are having company. Same time I bought the roast, I bought the pork stew meat, it was priced 2.20 per lb, paid 8.30 for the package, so I was able to squeeze four 1 pound servings out of that one package.

Also at the wholesale warehouse, I also pick up the Tyson chicken patties or the Tyson chicken strips. I alternate the bag I buy per month. Since the bag is so big, we can’t eat the whole bag in one month, so I alternate what I purchase so I can alternate meals.

There’s a list of the meats I buy per month, my meat purchases per month are right at 50.00 give or take per month. Of course, I do try to shop our local little grocery stores for the best sales possible. I already posted the blog about our monthly menu of ideas for meals for Lauren and I. I will go and re-blog that for anyone who missed the original post.
Thanks for the read,

Update on the Wolves Flooding Our Apartment

Well, it’s going to be a week in just a few hours of when my apartment was raining in. The maintenance crew was upstairs most of the day Monday hammering on the floors. I can only assume that the water from the overflowing tub must had buckled up the wood tile floors upstairs.

The owner of the building told upstairs they must come downstairs to come talk to me and settle up the bill. Not only has that not happened, the wife runs from me. So, this week I am going to the city court and file small claims suit against the husband and wife. I mean, I am out of a lot of money and I am on fixed income attempting to raise a child safely.

The bathroom ceiling has fallen in twice this week on Lauren while she’s trying to bath. Management has not come yet, has not sent maintenance yet, but upstairs’ wood floors are fixed…Love how that works out huh?

I am going to have to go to the office on Monday and let them know my place needs to be fixed ASAP. I understand that ceiling tiles no longer contain asbestos, but the fact the tiles are falling in on my daughter is not a good sign either. A close friend said to tell the owner that “we need a hotel room til this place is livable”. Since it is the responsibility of the owner/management to ensure our health and safety.

About tired of cleaning up on mess after the other. Just hoping something changes soon for us, I am becoming very annoyed.

Freaky Friday…of sorts

Hello World. I hope you day is going well. Things here are as hectic as always. Becky and I took Lauren to the psychologist yesterday, that’s a whole other story in it’s own, but I will do a blog later.

I am working on housework that hasn’t been touched since Wednesday morning. Our on site laundrymat is down to one washer, I am going to be doing laundry all day. Still have to pass the vaccumm and mop, but I do already have the dishwasher going and one load of laundry started.

Lauren is with Becky since the appt yesterday. Becky is going to be a part of a big garage sale tomorrow, so Lauren is helping with Kristie Lynn (Becky’s child) and helping Becky price items and pack stuff for tomorrow.

I am not here to talk about how much housework I have to do, as I am sure all of us have lots of housework to do. I am here to let my faithful readers know that I am going to go thru your blogs and read your blogs and at least like the blog, and leave comments if necessary. I have been liking all my the blogs that are coming thru my reader and not doing the same for my faithful readers. I am going to work on that this weekend.

Thanks for being faithful readers,

Who Else “De-junks” the House to Add More “Junk”?

Hello World! I hope your morning is pleasant and bright. While you are enjoying your morning coffee or quiet time alone before the family wakes up, I thought that I would ask a pertinent question.

My whole life, I have always saved things “cuz one day I am gonna need this”. Eventually that pile of stuff gets to the point of falling over and I have to de-junk that pile. I am famous for doing that with crafting supplies, material,fleece, my t-shirts, and buttons. By my t-shirts, I mean the t-shirts I physically wear on a daily basis. I don’t work, the farthest I go is the grocery store, so I love my t-shirts. No matter how thin, frail, and holey, my t-shirts get, I still wear them. When the t-shirt is at the brink of me looking like some sort of homeless person and I must give up the t-shirt, it’s almost like I have lost my best friend. Of course, the t-shirt is not trashed, rather up-cycled into something else usable.
I am also here to confess that I have a button fetish of sorts. I will purchase a top or coat at a thrift store just to cut the buttons off. What am I ever going to do with all these buttons? Probably leave em in my will to my kids as I can’t ever use them all, but for right now I am using them as crafts to make headbands and bracelets with. When we ruin a shirt or it becomes to thin to wear, the buttons are cut off, along with any other useable part of the shirt. If the shirt is just too cute of a print, I will cut that into scraps as well.
I am a crafter of sorts, I sell my wares to help support Laure+n and I. We attend several craft shows during the year and I also sell on Etsy.
Many of my items are hand me downs from friends and family, I am also a member of freecycle group, which main purpose is to keep the landfills free of re-usable items. I am a big fan of shopping thrift stores and garage sales, so if I have to pay full price for an item, you know I am desperate and can’t find it anywhere else.
I will make of post of items I have created in the past at another time. Right now, I am dealing with a very important question.

Who else here “de-junks” the house, only to bring more “junk” in. I am not referring to old newspapers or magazines or just junk. I am referring to items that I can use to create other items and even upcycle. “Upcycling” has become very popular in the last several years in order the rid the world of excessive waste. I use old blue jeans for several projects including blue jean quilts, purses, and headbands, old t-shirts are used to make dog toys, and hand me down scraps of material are used to make everything from quilts to hair bows, if it’s usable, it doesn’t get thrown out.

But eventually my craftiness takes over the house and I have to start decluttering. This week, I am decluttering the house of anything useable, including old clothes because my oldest daughter Becky is having a yard sale. So perfect time to declutter and help her make some extra money since she does so much to help out Lauren and I.
What does not get packed up for Becky’s garage sale is going to be packed up for a pet rescue group who is having a garage sale the middle part of April. I am doing dog friendly toys as a donation for the garage sale to send home with any animals which are adopted that day. Yep, that’s where my stash of old t-shirts, fleece, and that fabric I have been hoarding comes into play. As soon as I have several items ready to donate to the pet rescue group, I will make a post w/ instructions there as well. A couple of items require no sewing, the rest of the items, are just basic sewing skills needed.

As I am decluttering I have a long time friend texting me telling me that she “has a pile of stuff with my name all over it”. So the clutter around here may become more manageable but will never be completely gone.

As the old saying goes “one man’s junk, is another man’s treasure”.

With that I am off, to do what I do all day, which is everything, I be back later,