Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Uphill Battle

I believe this whole ordeal I found myself in, 8 years ago, after going through hell, and finally accepting the fact that I needed reconstructive foot and ankle surgeries, (which sealed the deal for this ridiculous RSD), was all for a reason. A few reasons really. Maybe I'll keep finding those reasons or maybe I'm just making this all up in my head? I don't know but even if I am just making them up, I guess it's my way of "coping"? This pain keeps getting worse, and lasts longer, and the things that gave some relief before, don't do much at this point. (No wonder this is called the suicide disease!! NO, I don't plan on ever doing that! But I can understand why somebody would find themselves in that situation, sadly.)
The days in a week that I can walk without hanging on for dear life are getting smaller, the hours in a day that I have to get things done and be without pain, or can even move, are getting shorter. 1 good thing is, it seems to have stopped spreading for now!! Maybe it will stay in my hips, down? I'm not sure..... But, I have days that are a little better then the last and sometimes, if I start to get upset, I end up thinking and realizing that this seems to be some sort of blessing in disguise. (no, this won't kill me, so I don't sit and dwell and mope very often, actually, that's rare. There is ALWAYS somebody worse off)
When I turned 14, (legal working age), on my 14th birthday, I ran to school to get my working papers, and found a job that same day. From that point on, I worked nonstop, sometimes 2 and even 3 jobs at a time. I am a major workaholic, working for everybody and anybody, rarely taking off, for years I'd leave 1 job and have an hour before I had to start the next job.
 I broke my ankles, my feet, sprained ankles, and I'd beg and plead with the doctors to please just let me have a walking cast, I promised to take care of it and stay off my feet, then I'd leave and go back to work.....never allowing for anything to heal properly. I canceled doctor appointments and figured if it doesn't hurt that bad, I'm fine, and invincible........until that started catching up with me. and even then, before we moved, it started to get progressively worse and I couldn't move or lift my feet off the ground all the time and the pain was starting to become unbearable, but, I kept working and tried to ignore it. I always figured nothing can stop me, and nothing will knock me down, so I kept doing it.
 I had to start taking nights off of work at the bar, and tried to cut a day out of my 7 day work week, then another, and another.....then, I finally found a job closer to our new town, and I worked like crazy there, but less then any other job I ever had. That went downhill pretty fast. Almost immediately after working there, it was almost impossible to lift my left foot off the ground, so I just started dragging and limping, causing my other foot to get worse.
So, I gave in and went to the doctor and got more xrays and they were all shocked I was even walking at all......so, surgeries were my only option. We couldn't find a surgeon who would do 2 reconstructive foot and ankle surgeries, we went through 6 of them, and they all shook their heads, or said, "I won't be able to help you. I don't know if there is anything I can do other then amputate, this mess" and I thought this was absurd! Surgeons can do organ transplants, give people a whole new face, how the hell are they going to say they can't fix a few issues with feet and ankles?? (well, lol, I guess it was more like 100 issues) So, I just kept jumping from surgeon to surgeon until I found one who swore she could do it, 1 at a time. The left would be in 2 surgeries, the right in 1. Ok, no big deal....well, it all went downhill rapidly.
Then, 1 day, while I was at work, I couldn't move. (Luckily there were a few friends there at the time, 1 also being a bartender/coworker), and I had to sit in the back, while she helped through my shift. I just couldn't do it. I made an appointment to get more xrays and they pushed my surgery date up since there was even more damage done, and I even tried to put that off. Just the thought of having to be on crutches and in a wheelchair made me mad, but I still went in, expecting to be back to work in 6 weeks.... and then it all went downhill, again. She screwed up my surgery, after a few more months, she said she wouldn't be able to finish it, nor would she do the other, and nobody else would even think about trying, so I was stuck. I called and called, asking for help, and a note to get back to work...nobody would help, again.
 My family doctor called and said I'm going to have to go to pain management, since everything was getting so much worse and all of these new, crazy symptoms were starting, that made absolutely no sense whatsoever......and so, I went, reluctantly, but figured they would say, "no worries! You'll be fine in a couple weeks!" But, they didn't.
 I'm not going to go into even more detail about this nonsense........my point started out as being why I think this happened to me. For one, I know this happened, to slow me down and spend more time with my family, for that, I am grateful for this disease.
 The 1 thing that has bothered me most of all when I get into these nutty moods, is that all my life, I didn't really have the greatest self esteem. I wasn't ever the type to dwell on this and think about it much, but it's the way it is. The problem is, I always prided myself on my work ethic, and skills getting a lot done, always moving, running, being the most efficient and fastest bartender ever, and having cool hair and I was able to wear a skirt without having to hide my damn legs. So, I was content.
 But this wicked RSD started in my feet and ankles, and almost immediately attacked my legs, now, its the whole bottom half of my body. I have to hide all the time, I can't wear skirts, unless I'm wearing leggings underneath, my ankles are swollen, discolored, I can't wear shoes, I have scars everywhere, after working, they turn black, even in summer I can't stand the welts, scars, purple, blue, black, scabs from being ripped open because they itch so bad 24/7, I can't shave my legs half the time, razors feel like they are pulling my flesh off, it's a mess.
But, still, I can deal with it. It just sucks. It's taken everything I had going for myself It's taken everything away, and it's only getting worse. (I only recently accepted that fact, because I firmly believe that a persons attitude and thoughts, have a huge impact on their health), But, even the best most positive attitude doesn't always help reality......so, that was another belief down the tubes. Which leads me to believe, on top of slowing me down and making it that I have more time to sit back and enjoy life and my children, this disease, in it's own psychotic way, is forcing me to find something else to be happy about with myself.......so, I'll be working on that, I guess ugh. But, maybe I'm being punished? Maybe when I find all these answers, (I've long since accepted and became part of the agonizing pain, even though it doesn't alleviate even half of it, but it has helped me deal as best I can), maybe I get the gift of remission????????

Friday, February 21, 2014

Grand Reopening, RSD, OH, and A Giveaway!!

I have a lot of super nifty things planned for this blog and a few others I have been working on, since I was out for a bit, due to health issues..
I am starting a "Grand Reopening" event, which includes giveaways for each week!
I will be posting more about our, "Grand Reopening" and everything we are adding and doing here, in the next few days.
So, for now, I am starting a giveaway, for a box of sample, trial and full size beauty products, that I personally love!!
This will be filled in more tomorrow, or this evening if I am not so busy at work :)
In the meantime, please enter as many times as you'd like, and share with friends!
Most of my readers from this blog, know I have RSD.. which is most of the reason I haven't been here very often in 2013, along with an accident that affected the beginning of the year last year.
No, RSD doesn't seem to disappear, but I am able to function quite a bit better these days, mainly due to medication changes and stopping the treatments that didn't seem to be doing much for me anymore, and a few changes to my schedule with my pt job, and little ones.
Of course, I will always have hopes for a cure, and I am always willing to try new treatments, so any recommendations any of you may have, would be greatly appreciated!!
Enough about that, (more on my life with RSD, some other time).........
I am more than anxious to get back to work on this blog, and I have tons of interesting things to write about and share with you, I am thinking, if it isn't busy at work tonight, lol, I just may be back to chat a bit more!
Please check out the Rafflecopter below, and enter and share with anybody you think would love to win this giveaway!
Our tabs and pages are under construction right now, so if you see a goofy page or an empty tab don't fret! It will be filled in with something so uber fascinating, in just a couple days!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 22, 2013

Right From Wrong

I enjoy talking to children, more then I do, most grown up people.
Somehow, little ones seem to be born knowing right from wrong. They seem to have morals and dignity, immediately, and I am trying to pinpoint where it is, that this starts to change in some children?
I like to start conversations about all kinds of things with my kids, and a lot of the time, they end up coming up with some of the most fascinating ideas and stories all by themselves.
I am amazed at their imaginations, the things they come up with and they always seem to shock us, with what comes out of their little mouths. Most of which is basic, common sense.
The other night, our 10 year old son, Aaron, came into the kitchen, with a notebook and a pencil, and asked, "Mom, how much is an average monthly rent payment for a house or an apartment for one person, until I get married and have somebody else to help pay the bills?" Of course I laughed, and he just sat here at the table, with his pencil in hand, staring at me with his sweet, big, curious, blue eyes.
So, I figured we would do this from an average for our area, and for what the prices are now, and replied with, "I think $600 a month is a fair price, Aaron." and he started writing this down, and asked about monthly bills, utilities, car payments, groceries, spending money for video games and cell phone bills. This was getting to much in depth for me to continue with dinner, so I sat down next to him and helped him with his list. I went by averages, again, for our area, and for present time:
Phone $50
Internet $50
Heat $350 a month for oil/$400 3 times a year for coal
Cell $100
Car payment $400
Car insurance $100
Groceries avg $300 (for 1)
Video games.....ZERO
Electric $150 (for 1)
Cable or satellite $100

Repairs/Upkeep $0 (so far)
And so, he added these up, and started freaking out, and said, "How am I supposed to make enough money to pay for all these bills? OMG"
$2200 est monthly bills....
So, he said, "well, I'm crossing out the car. I can't afford that yet.....and the insurance"
So now we are down to $1700 and he said, "well, I'm going to cut out coupons, how much will my groceries cost?"
I underestimated those, as I hope my kids would shop frugally, like we do now...but I said, "we can cut $50", so, $1650....not good enough yet....
So we cut the tv out, the cell phone, now we were down to $1450......and he said, "how much will I earn to start?"
So, we went into that a bit, and we did an average of $10/hr to start, @40 hrs per wk, $400 a week, or $20,800 a yr or $1730 a month...
So he said, "oh cool! Ill have $280 a month leftover after I pay my bills! I'll use that for video games!"
And I said, "NOT SO FAST! You owe $300 in taxes, per month, for local, state, federal, SSI, Medicare, occupation, per capita, etc etc"
And now you're at -$20 a month and you don't have a car, a tv, a cell phone, video games, what would you do, Aaron?"
My 10 yr old said, "Well, i'll be getting a second job, or a better paying job, that's for sure!"

Oh, the crazy things that children come up with!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reliable, Safe, and Cool Vehicles for Busy Moms

I love when all the ads come out each year for the new vehicles!
I usually look at the ad from a mom kind of angle, and I am a sucker for clever advertising. (The Superbowl ads are great, of course!) But there are witty ads out there.
I also love paging through magazines, like, Car and Driver. I was a subscriber for many years! The same with, Motor Trend.
I know the "dads" are usually the ones who seem to be targeted, and they are the "decision makers" for vehicle purchases, according to some, "old fashioned" people, but that isn't the way it is so much anymore.
Moms like cool cars too! Even soccer moms seem to want something cooler then just the typical, minivan, that we are all associated with. I know I do!
I end up falling in love with a lot of new vehicles each year, I love my pick up the best though. (Although, a newer one would be nice!)
One in particular that I have been paying attention to, a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Big and bulky is what I need for our family! Daytrips, vacations, errands, groceries, (especially groceries!) and just to go shopping with! Lots of room is always important to me.
I have read a lot of reviews of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I am loving the interior and all of the room inside! (Especially with my kids, constantly bickering!) Oh, and the most annoying of all, "MOM!! Deegan is touching me!" 
With this extra, roomy interior, there is plenty of room for them to move around and NOT touch their brother's or sister's arms, or breathing air from their space. It does seat 5, so the "space" for the 3 little ones to breath air from in the back seat should be enough... and there is more legroom in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, then in other SUV's in it's class.
One of the sweetest things I noticed about this SUV, are all of the mommy friendly options! A heated steering wheel?? Now, I have never had that luxury, but I'm thinking a heated steering wheel would be a blessing, while running in and out of stores all day, in the middle of a cold, windy day.
There is also a power adjustable driver seat, which is always helpful!
Leather seats would be gorgeous, but maybe not as "mommy friendly" or I guess I should say, "kid friendly" , but it's still a nice option.
Heated front AND rear seats! Now that is another I have never had the opportunity to try, but I would love too!! The kiddos would be grateful too!
Oh, and did I mention, the front seats are roughly the size of living room recliners?? (as per Motor Trend)
So far, this sounds pretty nice!!
The Jeep Grand Cherokee, also is rated #2 in it's class for affordable, midsize SUV's. That brings me to price...
Price range for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is between: $29,107-$62,728. Of course it would be nice to opt for everything they have to offer, but base price is nice and you are still getting the super spacious interior to fit all of your kids, bags, diapers, groceries, and anything else you can fit inside!
Miles per gallon are going to be a little lower, since it is an SUV, but for somebody like me, I am mostly highway miles, so it isn't so bad.
City 17mpg/highway 25mpg. Which is kind of where I am now, so, that is fine by me! Besides, I love using my shopper cards for gas points, and if I do it right, I can manage a full tank every month or 2 at $30! (This is attainable for our family, especially with all the room inside for groceries!) Less grocery trips per month! What more could you ask for?
Warranty information:
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic limited warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
I would be curious to know what types of vehicles you are interested in?
What is catching your eye?
I have been driving a Ford F150 for about 6 years now, and love it! But, I could definitely go for one of the Jeep Grand Cherokees!
Just in case my husband is reading this, I would like the Maximum Steel Metallic Clear Coat for the exterior, and the heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats! 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Don't Believe Everything on the Internet


It never fails, everyday I log onto Facebook, or Twitter, I am blasted with information, links, memes, ads, politics, the end of the world, Hollywood, sports, it just never, never ends, a constant spiral of information, wrong information, opinions, blogs, websites, books, Youtube videos, it just doesn't stop.
What are we supposed to believe? What is real? How do we know what is true and what is not true?What are websites and bloggers, gaining, by throwing so much disinformation out there??
Are there hidden agendas surrounding every tiny thing in this world?
OR, are there maybe just some things that are just the way they are, the way they seem to be?
I miss books and newspapers I think the most. At least it is printed and can not be changed...
But have you ever noticed that it is real simple for a website or a blog, to make page changes? It really is a bit weird if you think about it. I mean, sure, it is a useful tool when you need to edit something, but some sites tend to make page changes, just a bit to often, and not for good things either.
On the internet, everybody and anybody can be a superstar! We can all start a blog, have a network, own a few sites, we all have influence over somebody, whether it's your Facebook friends, your Twitter followers, your blog readers, your fans, or just some random person who just so happened to Google search a keyword, and landed on your post.
I don't know about you, but this disturbs me, just a little bit.
Giving credit to those who distort the truth, exaggerate, make false accusations and make them viral, makes me a bit sick in the stomach. Especially when, they have ulterior motives...
Ulterior motives, such as: hits, ads, getting to the top of Google, sponsors, page rank, Alexa ratings, paid advertisers, and on and on and on! All of that, just for making up a story and posting it online, and linking it as many places as they can get it.
Why are these people so successful?
Is it because people tend to just glance at something and say, "OMG! I can't believe this!!" ?? It is so easy and quick to hit the share button, and then the fabricated story is shared amongst your friends, and then 3 of your friends share it, and then 2 of each of their friends, and 2 of each of their friends, and BOOM! This to crazy to be true, story, is now viral.
You just helped the creep behind the "fibs", grab a few hundred, or even a few thousand, hits. Well played, Mr or Mrs Creep behind the exaggerated, ok, just plain old, LIE.
What can we do, as internet users, to make sure to not allow such garbage to spread across the universe?
Well, we could double and triple check some sources, before scaring people, or being involved in slander.
A good idea would be to see where else such a story was published, are there links? Click those links once.....where do they go?
For example:
The US Government has now called for Martial Law.
(Really??) WOW!  WHEN????
Well, so and so on this website says it happened yesterday... and he has a link... CLICK IT BEFORE YOU RUN AROUND LIKE A NUT, GRABBING ALL THE CANNED FOOD AND JUMPING IN YOUR BOMB SHELTER!
OHHHHHH, hang on a second! The link goes, RIGHT BACK TO THE SAME WEBSITE, DIFFERENT POST...HMMMMMMMM
So, here is where Google can be your friend. THINK! (your brain is also a very important part of the process!)
If this would have happened.... wouldn't there be something somewhere? Even just maybe, CNN, FOX, NBC, (contrary to what some think, yes, mainstream media may not tell the whole story all the time.... but with something as big as this, they will be on it!!)
So, you don't see anything? Nope?
Ok, well, next thing is, open up your door.... anybody running around? Nope..OK WHEW!!! It's probably NOT happening.
You used your BRAIN, you RESEARCHED, and you LOOKED AROUND YOU, and nothing.
What does that tell you? IT DID NOT HAPPEN!
Cool beans! Because, that would be a mess, eh?
Let's discuss the next example:
(insert your favorite singer here)... said, during a TV interview, (insert something shocking here)
Ok, well, BEFORE you scream and yelp and hit that "SHARE" button, relax, breathe, and remember, you have a BRAIN!!!!
Now, it said, it was an interview, right? So, that should tell you that it has been recorded, somewhere, so use Google, and RESEARCH!
Once you find a video that has (insert superstar), OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOUR EARS AND LISTEN!!
What did he really say? Was it taken out of context?
Once you unravel all of the rumors, the exaggerations, the nonsense, you may find that what was said, wasn't even bad at all. Or maybe, just maybe, was not ever said!
So many people nowadays, only read the headlines, or read a comment, or a memes, and they shriek and squeal and believe every word of it. 
Please, try and stay calm, and think. Commom sense is our friend!
There are many ways to check, and double check everything you see online. Just make sure to do it, before you get yourself in a frazzled mess! (or somebody else)
There are those sites that check for you, you can always visit some of those sites..(even though, some may say, "Well, I don't trust what they say..") and that is fine too. (I don't always either).. but, it will clarify some things for you and maybe send you off on more leads.
Page checking sites are also a plus! Not necessarily needed for everybody, but if you blog, post a lot, share a lot, you may want to sign up for an account and set up specific sites.
Page checker sites, allow you to set up any pages from the internet, to be checked, and they will email you of any and all changes.
This is a very important tool for any website owner, blogger, or anybody who spreads news of any kind.
I have a few sites I check on, 24?7, just to see what they are adding or deleting on specific stories. That way, I know to be very cautious of anything I ead on those sites, or on shared links.
There aren't really any excuses for sharing false information, especially when all you need to do is think and research for yourself.
Be particularly careful with "satire sites". These sites will make up the most elaborate, nuttiest stories, and people, and even newspaper sites and news sites, will sometimes fall for these satire sites and share across the web as well.
If you remember these rules, you should be in good shape to start sharing videos, and stories, and be known as somebody who tries their best to stick with the facts :)
THINK for yourself. DON'T trust everything you see online.
GOOGLE search! RESEARCH! (I often like to check local affiliate news sites and newspaper sites for the location/person/event mentioned)
READ and LISTEN!
Use your COMMON SENSE and your BRAIN and you will be AOK!!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Can Our Little Ones Really Have Low Self Esteem?

Deegan, is my youngest son, he's 3 years old.
He was born with club foot and cleft lip...so, after a few years of surgery, castings, braces, etc, he is pretty much all "repaired"...walks fine, acts fine, just a regular kiddo. (Well, he's exceptionally nutty lol a crazy daredevil actually)
But so, this summer, Deegan started noticing his nose is slightly different then mine or his siblings noses, and he asks why....
He also refuses to look at all his baby pictures, from before his lip surgery, (even though, we love them! The extra giant smile is adorable!)
And now, he's been picking at his scar above his lip, and asking why there is a bump there, and he also asks why his teeth are "messed up"..they're not bad at all, although he may require surgery, depending on what his adult teeth are going to come in as....
The cleft palate clinic mentioned another surgery for his nose, although it doesn't have to be done for anything that would benefit his health..
My decision is that we aren't going to be scheduling this surgery, he can make this decision on his own.
I don't want him to think that he wasn't good enough, and so we "fixed" his nose that he was born with...
When he's bigger, if he wants more surgery to fix his nose, and maybe to make his scar less noticeable, he can if he chooses. Id think he'd keep it the way it is, since its a part of who he is.
My question is, does anybody have any advice on how to get a 3 yr old, to be happy when he sees his baby pictures, or how to help him realize that his nose, teeth and lip are fine?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Password Safety!!!

Sorry, I'm a nerd. I read and study certain things like a madwoman lol, and I have 3 notebooks of notes on hacking.. NO I'm not a hacker, not claiming to be one, not in the least, but hack to learn is my motto. Sure, if you want, I could possibly hack your computer for you, to let ya know what you're doing wrong, but, that's illegal.
So, anyway, after studying John the Ripper, and Cain and Abel, ( password hacking programs), I have come to these, common lil tidbits of advice for a regular internet user....
#1 DO NOT USE THE SAME PASSWORD TWICE
#2 DO NOT USE DICTIONARY WORDS!
#3 KEEP YOUR PASSWORDS AT 14 CHARACTERS, (this will take a hacker 24 hrs to hack), better yet, make it 24 +!
#4 ALWAYS, ALWAYS, USE A MIX! Caps, symbols, lowercase and numbers!
#5 BE VERY CAREFUL WHO YOU GIVE YOUR EMAIL TOO!
#6 NEVER ANSWER SECURITY QUESTIONS! THESE THINGS CAN BE FOUND ONLINE.... FOR INSTANCE; "where did u go to high school?" "What was ur high school mascot?" What is ur favorite color?" And so on... if u must answer them, answer them w obscure answers, oh, idk, like, all the same, lyrics to a song, etc....
#7 KEEP YOUR PASSWORDS WRITTEN DOWN AND WITH YOU! DO NOT LET THESE ON YOUR COMPUTER, EVER!
#8 A GOOD TIP, I THINK, IS TO USE DIFFERENT BROWSERS.....for instance, if you choose to use Windows for your os, (YUCKKKKKKKKKKK! LOL!) USE INTERNET EXPLORER AS YOUR MAIN BROWSER (ANOTHER YUCK!)
And do NOT ever pay your bills, check banks, etc, thru that browser! Instead, grab Chrome or Firefox, and use 1 of those for password related things. Emails, banks, bills.
A good example of a password would be, for instance, maybe all of your children's first words with their birthdates in the middle! Or, maybe a couple lines from 2 favorite songs.
Just be sure to write them somewhere and keep them with you, in a lock box, your wallet, anywhere you think is safe.
I like to hide things in books :D