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Reflections of 2006

All in all this year has been a fast and busy one. I feel like I haven't really been "home" all year - and when you really think about it, I haven't. Since the beginning of the year I've traveled back and forth from Elko to Vegas every other month or so for check ups with my doctor, in June when Natalie graduated kindergarten we went on vacation to Disney and San Diego, then traveled back to Vegas when my mom became deathly ill, I continued to stay in Vegas as my husband moved to Louisiana, then moved to Louisiana once the distance became too much to take, we lived in an apartment till our house finally sold at the end of November, bought a house mid December, painted and renovated all through Christmas, and New Years - the remodelling will most likely go on until mid January when we can finally have our things taken out of storage and delivered to us. Of course once again, it's been another year in and out of doctor's offices for me, yet I still have not had my reconstruction surgery done. Hopefully that will be something I will be able to have done in 2007. Christmas was a good one, although it didn't really seems like Christmas to me. Holidays just aren't the same once you've suffered a loss. Doesn't really matter anyway, it's more for my daughter, I have more than I could ever want or need - I just got new golf clubs, a craftrobo pro II, a new Sony Cybershot DSC-H5, a new iPod, and GPS. My daughter's birthday is coming up on the 4th, she will be 7, and it will be extremely hard for both of us without my mom. I can't even imagine what my birthday on the 26th will be like. I think putting 2006 behind me and moving on is the best thing for me. I'm looking forward to getting my scrapbooking room back and starting on some creative therapy, I think it will do my soul some good. I'm also planning on returning to playing golf now that we live in a golf community and Ruben bought me a new set of Hope clubs. Let's just hope that I can still swing them given my condition with the nerve damage in my elbow and the pain and numbness in my armpit and arm from my lymph nodes being removed. So far we have lots of plans for 2007. Not just for remodelling the house, but in February we have our first Mardi Gras, then this spring we are meeting my sister and her family (from Hawaii) at Disney World for a nice vacation, then later in the year we plan to head up to where I grew up near St. Louis, MO. Add surgery to that, Ruben's work schedule, Natalie's school schedule, and it will be another very busy year. I just hope it's a very healthy, happy year - for us and for all!


Christmas plans

What big plans do you have for Christmas and Christmas Eve?
I think we will be opening packages on the Eve and spending the whole week of Christmas painting the inside of our new house. We got an insane estimate of $9000 - which is $8000 more than the paint would cost, and about $5000 or $6000 more than I am willing to pay for paint! We need to hurry up and get the painting done so the carpet and tile can be installed - which we're getting for a bargain price of $10100! LOL. Guess that's the price you pay when you insist on having a bigger house. I knew with being close to 3700 square feet, it wouldn't be cheap, but there is so much more we want to do to this house. That's why I'll be offline all next week while we're painting day and night. Sounds like such fun doesn't it? Who else would like to give up their Christmas to help us paint? Not quite the same as Christmas past, but with no family here, and friends flying out for the holiday, it's just us and the house.
Wednesday while waiting to get estimates, we had fun being destructive and ripping off the old wallpaper. Of course I saved some just for my scrapbook. I will post some "work in progress" pictures as soon as I can, maybe even a few "after" pictures.
Hope you all have wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Public Apology

I have to apologize to everyone, including my dad about my previous rant below. While I'm still not thrilled with the idea that he might be dating, that's just because I am not ready for it, and have my own fears. In no way does any of it have to do with financial gain for myself - My husband and I are "sound" so to say. The only finances I worry about is that of my older brother who is handicapped, and does not earn or get enough money from Social Security to save for retirement, and sometimes doesn't handle his money in his best interest. Actually I'm more upset with my mother for not setting up some kind of trust for him, as he's been this way since birth. I'm sorry for the way I came across. I still have fears that ties between us could possibly be severed if he were to ever remarry. I worry because we are not blood relatives, we are only related by love and marriage - and as much as I worry about being displaced, it has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with his happiness, because I do want him to be happy, and if another woman truly makes him happy, then I am happy for him.

Finally, a new look!

After much time, my hair has SLOWLY grown out to a point where I can blow dry it straight. My only problem is that there is too much humidity here to where it straight. It's been raining non-stop the last 2 days, and before that the temperatures were still nearing mid 70's. I really hate the nappy, frizzy, curls I've been cursed with. I even told Ruben I'm contemplating shaving my head short again. I can pull off a short shaved punk look, but I can't wear frizzy, curly hair. It drives me nuts if my hair isn't perfect. So should I be patient and let it grow longer and see how the curls go then, or should I grab the clippers?

Results from the game

It was a sad, sad day. I'm sure ya'll know we lost the game to the Redskins (by 1 freaken touchdown!!!), but became Division Champs all because both Atlanta & Carolina lost their respective games. So we still have a spot in the playoffs, but the title of Division Champs just isn't quite as sweet when we didn't actually earn the title by a win.


are YOU ready for some football?

I'm ready for some football. today's the big day! We leave in just over an hour to start the mad drive downtown to the Superdome to watch the Saints (HOPEFULLY!) kick the shit out of the Washington Redskins. If we manage this feat, then we'll clinch the division and go onto the playoffs! WOOHOO! This ought to be an awesome game. I've never been to a football game, so I'm really looking forward to buying a hat, a beer, some nachos, and definitely a foam finger! I'll be sure to get some pictures to share with you all, as my Santa Baby (Ruben) bought me a brand new Sony Digital Camera DSC-H5 that adapts to all my H1 lenses and such - so be sure to check back later for game day pics.
Oh, almost forgot the big's official! Friday we got the keys to our house. We are home owners agains! YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!


Times like this......

It's during times like this, getting ready to close on our house, the holiday season nearing, that make me really miss my family. My family is spread too far away with my sister in Hawaii, my brother(s) and in-laws all in Vegas, my (step)father in Mexico, and most of all the recent passing of my mother to heaven. It's not quite been 5 months since she passed on 7/20. First there was her anniversary to mourn, then my sister's birthday, then Halloween and Thanksgiving, but now that Christmas is approaching it is becoming increasingly more difficult.....or maybe it's not just the holiday season. Last night I got an email from my (step)dad that had me broken down in tears. The thought has crossed my mind before, and each time before just thinking about it not only hurt, but made me ill, but now my thoughts were a reality. My (step)dad has began dating again, and while I don't know the details of it, and I don't want to know the details of it, it breaks my heart to know it. Maybe my mom and him had discussed it before her death and this is what she wanted, or maybe he is ready to move on - only he would be the one to really know if after less than 5 months if he's really ready to move on. All I know is that I'm not ready! All I can think about is that one day he'll remarry and all of us step kids will be out of the picture. Who then will help care financially for my brother Billy? The plan was that in the event of my parents death their estate was to be split between all of the kids - his 2 kids, and my mom's 4 kids. While we've already gotten jewelry and other items that she wanted us to have, everything else went to my (step)dad, then when he passes his estate will be split among the 6 of us - but if he remarries, that will screw up the equation as the house he owns in Mexico (that was bought with my mother) and all the savings and insurance money from my mother's insurance and his insurance, will then go to his wife - and my mom's 4 kids will get screwed out of everything....not like there's much to begin with anyway, but it's the point that counts. I don't want to be cut out of someones life, someone that I have considered my father for more than half my life, the only man I actually consider to be my father. I just don't want my mother or her kids to be forgotten and I am scared to death, because if I can't handle this news without a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes at 32, how is my 6 year old daughter going to feel about grandma being replaced?
I miss you mom, I wish you were here - I'd give anything for you to be here!



Gave up on the fact that the damn pictures I just had printed won't fit within the cards I had bought for Christmas. I had the Natalie and Santa photo printed for all to see along with one self pic taken at the park. Wanted to send it out for those who haven't seen me since my hair grew back into the afro-bush that it is. I really hate this curly, frizzy, un-manageable state that it is in. Too short to blow dry straight and style, too long to curl and style - besides, I hate using bottles of hairspray to mold it, so for now I let the fro' grow and wear headbands to hold it back out of my face. I hate it, but it's easy and natural. Wish I had my old hair back, or my hubby would approve the shaven head look full time. Anyway, here's our "holiday" family photo, another self taken pic of our squished faces, and one from The Grand Canyon. Enjoy!

Everything's coming together

despite a few glitches. We've managed to get all our Christmas shopping done. I sent out the package to my sister today. I have all of our Christmas cards ready, however I made a huge error in judgement. I forgot that I had bought an odd sized card this year, and had some 4x6 picture printed for them. We haven't done formal family photos in a few years, instead we've been taking our own. This year I was just going to send out the picture of Natalie and Santa that is posted below, and a self portrait taken of the three of us at a park this fall to just a few family members....but, as I stated, I bought odd sized cards this year and 4x6 photos will not fit into the envelope. Oh well, it happens. I'll just have to buy some card envelopes from Office Depot and send them out separately. But overall, I think the best news is that everything with our house is back on track, and moving along. Our agent had an electrician inspect the house regarding the improper wiring, and to our surprise we found that there will be no holes in the walls or the tearing up of anything in order to fix the problem. Instead, he's just going to replace the breaker switch at the box, so in the event there is an overload on those wires, the breaker switch will trip and prevent any electrical fires. All for the affordable price of $400. A bargain I must say. I'm so glad it's not going to be quite as bad of a headache as I expected. Now we just need to finish escrow, and life will be grand. In fact, Ruben already has the contractor's calling him asking if he's ready for paint and such.
Speaking of paint, I think I have picked up every sample palette from every store, yet we have been unable to chose a color scheme from the paint chips. Oddly though, I was looking through the massive stash of scrap supplies I've purchased since leaving the old house in June, and found the perfect combination. How about that? Scrap paper has inspired the color scheme for my house! Now we already had some basic colors in mind, colors that we're taken from our kokopelli bath & bedding set. These basic colors seems to run the theme for much of the house. Plum purple, Sagish-Aqua color, and Golden Tan, but we've never really seen them all together other than on our comforter itself, that is until I saw these papers. The green is a little off, but the color you see in the flowers will be accent colors while the actual background color, which I can only describe as Butter? would be the main wall colors, or maybe we'll go with the darker one and do the Golden Tan. Take a look at the pictures and let me know what you think, and remember that these pictures don't really represent the true colors of the items as seen in person.


All I want for Christmas is....

our house! After having the home inspection and a termite inspection, we ran into a few problems - some rather small, some not so much. First off there's a small patch of about 10 little holes in a small area on the ceiling that had been caused by termites, but luckily we have gotten the seller to agree to pay for treatment. Ruben will only need to make some minor repairs to patch up the spots. However, the home inspector had found a few items that he thought may need attention brought to them for preventive maintenance reasons, and one thing that "could" potentially be threatening if not corrected. Apparently some of the wiring in the house is too small, and must be re-wired from the breaker box, to where-ever the wiring leads. If left the way it is, and somehow overloaded, it could pose as a fire hazard. The seller's do not want to take the time to have it fixed, so they are turning to us for a dollar amount as to how much we want in order to have it fixed our self, but we have no way of estimating such an item - a licensed electrician would only know, and then there would be the expense of restoring the walls and such back to their original state. So for the time being, our agent is looking into having a professional get an estimate, but at this rate it appears we will not be able to close on time on the 15th. Actually who really knows how far back these repairs may push us, but we're still hoping for a Christmas miracle for all to be fix and be able to close before then.

UGH! Besides all the house stuff, Christmas is nearing quickly and I have yet to send out cards, or gifts to my brother and sister. I have to make that my main focus next week, along with setting up an appointment to see a different plastic surgeon. I know nothing will happen this year, but at least I can get the consultation out of the way. I want to discuss with him having my other breast removed and replaced with an implant, and I should do that now so they can get all the approvals from the insurance company upfront. I just hope it's the right decision to make, although my body seems to think so, so it must be.

In the meantime, enjoy a picture of Natalie with Santa. We saw him the other day when we went to the Disney store at the mall to pick up our preordered copy of Pirates 2.......good flick!


Comic Relief 2006 bitchfest.

Has anyone seen this comedic show to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina? I think it aired about 2 weeks ago on HBO. It was pretty funny, yet very sad at the same time, as they showed a lot of images and spoke with a lot of people effected by Katrina. One of the major themes of the show was to raise money not just to help re-build, but over and over again, they kept saying the money was needed to bring the people back, to bring businesses back, so the economy will raise. Well let me just say this, when it comes to the after effects of Katrina, and living in Louisiana, almost everyone is blind! This includes, celebs, the government, FEMA, and most businesses. While our purchase of a mere $285,000 house may not help the economy re-build much, people need to take into consideration that in order to come here and buy a house, you need homeowner's insurance - which since Katrina, is absolutely freaken ridiculous! Pretty much all the MAJOR insurance companies have stopped writing policies for several parts of New Orleans. We have found only 2 plans to chose from. One is the state plan, which as of 1/1/07, will be increasing 30%, the other plan we found is Republic, and they are charging an arm, a leg, and all of your children and your children's children. It's totally insane. How do they expect people to return here if no one can afford the insurance. And let me just state that the quote we got through both plans, DIDN'T EVEN INCLUDE FLOOD INSURANCE, just your standard homeowner's policy, along with wind and hail. The state plan which will increase 30% next year was roughly $4000 plus $1000 for flood, which will go from $4000 to $5200 next year. The other plan is also insanely priced at nearly $5000 for homeowner's and an additional $1100 for flood. Now I understand a lot of companies lost their ass when Katrina hit, but the house we are buying had no damage from the hurricane as it hadn't even been hit, but due to the hurricane, practically everything down here is listed as being in or near a flood zone. We came from living in northern Nevada and only paying $600 a year for homeowner's, and now we are looking at paying $500 a month. Trust me when I say, I'm not really a tight-wad. I love spending money, and would rather spend more money if it's for a better item, than buy the cheap thing. Ruben and I have this "thing", we no longer settle. After years of getting the cell phone that has a deal on it, or the cheaper printer, or what-ever it is that not quite a year later we are kicking ourselves in the ass for not buying the best, we've decided no-more. We ultimately buy the best to begin with so no more being mad later when something better comes along. So of course we want better insurance, and luckily Ruben is in a position we CAN afford it, we just have to play around with our finances, and maybe not give in to doing the impulse buying thing. With the cost of insurance, we will definitely have to eat more dinners in that what we currently do. But my complaint is for those don't earn a big salary. They'll never afford it, and it's horribly ridiculous. I have to say that besides the cost for gasoline, I honestly believe that the government should step in and try to mandate some of these costs, so regular 'ol Joe's don't get ass raped by these bullies. How else will New Orleans ever be the same?
It's definitely time to do a cost of living survey, and increase everyone's pay up to meet that of the area. otherwise, say goodbye to New Orleans and to Mardi Gras.


Some before pics

We're still trying to get everything together for our loan approval. Getting affordable insurance in this town is a BITCH. With all the wind, hail and flood crap, rates are out of this world, and surely seems as though they will solely be the death of me. So far we're looking at an annual price of $6000 for home owner's. It's crazy. The area didn't even flood during Katrina, but just since we've had 2 major hurricanes in the past 20+ years, the insurance company feel the need to ass rape you in order to provide you with coverage.
Anyway, here are some before pictures. These were taken off the listing for the house while it still contained furniture. Most of what you see in these pictures is either gone or will be going, as the house is getting a major overhaul with new paint, floors, fixtures, fence, and more. Enjoy and let me know what you think about our new home sweet home! The pix below are of the outside, the family room (which will be somewhat of a game room for Ruben) the pool table room (which will be changed to a family/living room), half of the master bath (can't wait to get in that jacuzzi tub!!!), and the over-sized master suite which is so big it also includes a sitting area and fireplace.


Homeless family buys house!

It's perfect timing all around! Just this morning, there was a loud bang on the door. I answered just in time to find the UPS man, as he was about to leave. The package he delivered was the proceeds sent overnight for the sale of our house in Spring Creek. So here we are, officially homeless - but don't worry, it wasn't for long. Shortly thereafter, the phone rang. It was Ruben calling to tell me that the offer we made on Monday (which had been countered, and countered yet again!) had been accepted. So we rushed off early this afternoon to sign papers and to put down our earnest money. If all goes according to plan we should close on our house on December 15th, but despite the rushed escrow, we won't be moving in just then. We have big plans before moving in to have the flooring and paint re-done, as well as a fence, the counter top, and upgrading bath and light fixtures. Yeah, I know it sounds like a ton of work. Good thing Ruben has made friends with the contractors who are re-doing his office at work. They are willing to take on side jobs such as painting, tile, wood floors, counter tops and bathrooms. We would only need to find someone to install a fence and lay carpet. They even will do the work for very decent wages, which is an added bonus. The goal is to get all the work done prior to moving in, and hopefully have it all done soon so we can get out of this apartment and get back all our belongings. I can't wait to be home, to have a home again, to have all my stuff and to have my scrap space again. But the best part (other than getting the house for less than the $350,000 asking price - a mere bargain at $285,000!) will be owning this HUGE house, and living comfortably again!
I will post before pictures soon. I know, I know, I still haven't even posted all the pictures from the drive here, or from the tour of the French Quarters - but I swear, I will post these before and after pictures!


I think we have a winner!

After seeing quite a few homes over the holiday weekend, I'm happy to say we have finally found the one. The house has been on the market for quite a while, so we are hoping to pick it up for less than asking price. The house, which has 4 bedrooms and 3 and 1/2 baths, has a whopping 3,600+ square feet. Of course, we found a few things we will want to replace - but as with any house, you want to make whatever changes are necessary to make it home. It's hard to say what the real selling point of the house was....possibly the 2+ car/golf cart over sized garage, maybe the kitchen with it's endless counter top, the master closet which was big enough to fit a 2 twin beds end to end, was it the 28x17 master, the 20x18 2nd bedroom, or was it the whole golf course community? In any case, we fell in love with it, and are on our way to meet with our agent today in hopes of extending an offer that will be accepted! Keep your fingers crossed!


Happy & Thankful

This year, however hard and difficult it has been with another move, and the loss of my mother - it still has brought to heart how much you should just stop everything in your life and enjoy it and those around you while you can, while they are here. Don't take anything for granted. Life is the greatest gift of all, and I've been blessed with it. I have this awesome gift of love from a wonderful husband, a beautiful child, and faithful canine companion. I'm thankful for having a place to eat and sleep, even if it means living temporarily in an apartment while in between houses. I'm thankful to have plenty of money in the bank to afford a very comfortable lifestyle that we've all become so accustom to. I'm thankful for all the family I have left, regardless of how small it has become. And this year, I am especially grateful for new friends, who in the absence of having family nearby, took us in and invited us into their home for a warm, down home, family style Thanksgiving with all of their family and friends. It's friends like these that make the best, and we've been blessed to have more than a few.
Happy Thanksgiving!


Christmas comes early for us....

Actually, that's not entirely true. We'll still be celebrating Christmas next month, and we'll still get gifts then, but we're all also getting what we want now. Last week was Cash Sharing for Ruben. Always nice to get this little bonus every May and November, but as an added bonus, he also got his Manager's Bonus as well. While his Manager's Bonus wasn't as big as what most Manager's get, we can't complain. After all, he was only a Manager for 1 month before the end of the Fiscal year. Besides, extra money is extra money. While we will be saving most of the money for Disney World in the Spring, some will also go for Christmas, as well as some expensive toys we've been wanting. I made a deal with Ruben that if he let's me have $1000, then he could have $1000 to spend on whatever he wants. Reluctantly, he agreed. He knew that his $1000 would buy the new Klipsch speakers he's been wanting for the surround sound....while my eye has been researching the new CraftRobo Pro my heart desires for all my scrapbooking needs. While I desperately want this machine, the cost made me think twice - but now with all this extra money, why not get it. I deserve it! Now I just gotta find a place that I want to order it from. I can't wait!!
This little goody will also make up for all that I am about to go through.
Now that I've settled in some here in Louisiana, I've started the search for new doctors. I'm going to see a plastic surgeon next week about undergoing breast reconstruction once again. I'm not looking forward to the pain, but it will be nice to put it all behind me once and for all. I also have to find a new pain doctor and a new oncologist. It's been a while since I've had a blood test to make sure I'm still in remission, and I also need a mammogram done...but that will have to wait till we get a house as my past films are packed up in storage. I'm actually thinking about having my other breast removed, even though I said after my mastectomy that I would NEVER EVER go through that again. The only reason why I contemplate it now is because of the fear of cancer returning. I think it would be better to get 2 implants at once, then get cancer down the road and go through all this again. It's a lot to think about and discuss with the doctor. Hell first we've gotta see if the insurance will approve it - which I don't really think will be a problem. But I wonder if I should wait on any procedures until we get settled into a house, which may be a few more months. Our old house hasn't even closed escrow yet, as the date has been put off twice now as the person buying the house of the person buying ours has had problems with the funding coming through.....that and all these bank holidays. Hopefully it will close this Tuesday as scheduled. Keep your fingers crossed, we want this done and over with.
Here's a picture of the new toy I want - look it up and you'll see all the great stuff this machine can do!


I know it's only November, but.....

I cannot wait till next month! Not just because of Christmas, but also because we have tickets, 3 tickets to be exact, to go see the Saint's play in the Dome! I don't think I've ever been this excited to see a football game....hell, I've never even seen a football game in person - only baseball and hockey, so this will be a first. Natalie's all happy that the 3 of us will get to go together. It's gonna be a great day! I for one know that I'm ready for some football!

More than a Halloween

It was more like a party. Ruben had heard from one of his co-workers about this housing area that is elaborately decorated, and known all around as being one of the best spots to trick or treat. We arrived early as told, to make sure we found parking, then awaited the darkness to come. We started going house to house shortly after the sun set. At first it was somewhat slow, but not long after the whole area was booming. There were hundreds of people everywhere, and everyone young and old were dressed up. It ended up more like Mardi Gras than Halloween. Aside from being an upscale neighborhood, we also found that motorcycle cops were regularly patrolling the area to make sure it a safe experience for all. One house had awesome decorations, as well as many people dressed up in scary costumes. I have to admit this house had even frightened me a bit! They had this guy running around as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and another as Pinhead. This other house had all sorts of decorations, but the alien they had enclosed in a capsule is what really scared Natalie. You should have seen the way she jumped out of her skin when the arm moved, it was priceless! But more than the elaborate displays and massive crowds were the houses that gave out the real goods. At one house there were platters of Subway, cups full of soda, and even wine and beer. One house held a concert, as another made snow cones, and the last one had endless hot dogs and soda on tap. All this food and drink were in addition to the sack full of candy Natalie got. Then throw in the entertainment, and all the people, and you've got yourself the biggest party imaginable. That's the way to do Halloween!


What a blast!

Posting pictures from our Halloween party experience. It was awesome! Will post later about the whole night's activities.


Happy Halloween!

This evening should be interesting fun. I don't have a clue as to where we are going, but Ruben assures me not to worry, that he has it taken care of. Not really sure what that means, but whatever it is, I hope it's safe, age appropriate fun. The reason I say that is because there are a lot of events downtown in The French Quarters, but it's much later tonight, and more on the adult side. Then of course there are lots of scary, spooky events going on tonight like Lestat's Vampire party (which of course was the vampire Tom Cruise played in Interview with a Vampire), Haunted Cemetory tours, and lots of Haunted Houses. I did find a Canine Costume event, but poor Lexie has no costume to wear, so that's out. Whatever he has up his sleeve, I hope it provides fun and entertainment for Natalie. This will be the first year Ruben and I will also dress up along with Natalie - although no thought whatsoever was put into our "costumes". I will be wearing leopard kitty ears and tail, and Ruben will be out and about in his Saint's jersey as a football player. None of which really matches Pocahontas, or required much imagination on our part, but at least it's something. I will be sure to post some pictures soon.
Hope you all have a safe and haunting Halloween!


Halloween Ideas?

Hmmm, what to do. Here it is the day before Halloween, in a new town, and we have no plans yet for the day. Of course Natalie already has her costume picked out- she will be Disney's Pocahontas, and since it came from the Disney Store, she has ALL of the accessories. The weather here seems cooperative, as it has still been quite warm, with very few chilly days. I can't wait to see my little Indian (more like mex-american) Princess all dressed up. Just wish we had a plan as to where to go. I will be checking for activities in the local paper tomorrow morning for safe trick-or-treating.
Tonight Ruben brought up the question of going to a Saint's football game on the 19th, which would be awesome. Only problem is his company only has 2 season tickets for the games. So we are on the hunt on how to make this work. I forfeited my right to go as soon as Natalie had a fit. She loves watching football with Daddy, but bathrooms pose a problems for Father's of little girls. But I swear, even if I have to pay over $200 to buy 3 seats, I will, just so we can all experience a game together. It should be crazy fun! But on the flip-side, I worry about attending a game, cause I think everytime I like a team and watch them play in hopes of them winning, they don't. It's like I curse them somehow, and I really don't want the Saint's to lose another game 2 losses are too many already!

Happy Birthday!!!!

Okay, so today my mind lapsed bad. As a SAHM, I forget what day of the week it is, or get stuck on a specific day for several days. As in last week with all the remberance of my mom, I'm still stuck in time. In anycase, in an attempt to make it up to my beloved sister, with whom I've bonded with more than ever since my mom's passing - I am sending her out a huge wish for the bestest birthday ever. We haven't been this close since since we both lived in Illinois, but I was just a kid then, and as time passed we both ended up going our seperate ways. I miss the bond we once shared, and now without our mom, it is up to us to keep the remainder of this family together.
So Happy Birthday Sis, enjoy the day if not the age!
Love, Angi, Ruben & Natalie


Happy Anniversary

If my mom had only lived to see today, she would be happily celebrating her 17th wedding anniversary with my step-dad Vince. I know even though she has left the earth, that she is still with each of us every day that we need her. She's constantly looking over us and protecting us, and today I know she spent the day with her honey. I can only imagine how hard this day must be for my dad. The 20th marked 3 months since my mother passed away in July. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of her or shed a few tears here and there. What can I say, she's my mom and I will love her my whole life - just as my dad will probably end up loving her for the rest of his life. As much as she is missed, I just wish more than anything that she could've made it to today before passing. But I suppose they will always love and live on in each other's heart. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad. I wish you could have had more time together here on Earth. But love is unconditional, and I know one day you will be together in Heaven again.

Cardinal's WIN World Series

Yesterday after seeing that the Cardinal's won the World Series, I remembered all the times long ago that my mom used to take me to the old Busch Stadium to see the Cardinal's play. I remember watching as Ozzie Smith did flips on the field. I remember my mom being at a game the day I was riding my bike and hit a car in a Red Lobster's parking lot. I remember that they won the World Series in 1982. I don't recall if my mom was a big fan of baseball, or if she was just trying to make for a normal childhood experience - but I do remember having fun with my mom as a child, watching games from the nose bleed section.
It's days like this that remind me how much I miss my mom.



YES! FINALLY! We have finally received an offer on our house that we have accepted. There was some countering offers made by us. But all went well, we ended up getting more money than originally offered, AND we also ended up cutting back on expenses out of pocket. So it's good all around. We started escrow this past Monday, and are scheduled to close November 6th. We started looking more seriously at houses here, but in the St. Charles Parish which is known for having the best schools in the district. We also want to make sure we get something that was high and dry, with no prior damage from Katrina - and preferably out of a flood zone so homeowner's insurance isn't sky high!
We finally opened up a bank account here since there are no US Bank's here. We're looking into opening some CD's or something for small investment periods for part of Natalie's money for college and her wedding. They also have investment specialist we can talk to, since part of the money is for school, but all that will be on the back-burner till after we find a house here and close on it. I just want to make sure we are doing the best we can to make the most of her $86,000, so it stretches far enough to put her through med school (she wants to be a doctor to save babies - just hope she doesn't change her mind later in life) and to give her a nice wedding......but more importantly, the education. Honestly, we'd rather persuade her to elope and take the money to use instead as a down payment on a house......but we still have 11+ years before she's 18, so no worries for now, just worries on how to invest it. Any ideas????


Some interesting facts about New Orleans

- New Orleans is located on the Mississippi River
- The City was named Nouvelle Orleans (New Orleans) in honor of Philippe II, Duc d'Orleans, the regent of France under French King Louis XV.
- 1718 Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville and John Law founded the City of New Orleans and named it. The French Quarter street plan was made by Adrien de Pauger.
- The Louisiana Purchase took place in 1803 when Napoleon I of France sold Louisiana to the United States.
- The first Mardi Gras, which means "Fat Tuesday" in French, took place in New Orleans in 1827.
- New Orleans was the third largest city in the United States by 1852.
- Loyola University was established in New Orleans in 1911.
- Xavier College was established in New Orleans in 1916.
- The Superdome of New Orleans was completed in 1975. The Superdome in New Orleans is the worlds largest steel-constructed room unobstructed by posts.Height: 273 feet (82.3 meters), Diameter of Dome: 680 feet (210 meters), Area of Roof: 9.7 acres, Interior Space: 125,000,000 cubic feet, Total floor footage: 269,000 sq. ft. (82,342 sq. meters), Electrical Wiring: 400 miles (640 kilometers).
- bayou: \BUY-you\ n. a French name for slow-moving "river".
- The Saint Charles streetcar line in New Orleans and the San Francisco, California cable cars are the nation's only mobile national monuments .
- Metairie is home to the longest bridge over water in the world, the Lake Pontchartrain causeway. The causeway connects Metairie with St. Tammany Parish on the North Shore. The causeway is 24 miles long.
- Louisiana is the only state in the union that does not have counties. Its political subdivisions are called parishes.


The Tooth Fairy visits again

Last night, after spending the weekend walking around downtown New Orleans and taking in all the sights, Natalie complained about her tooth being more loose than it had been. I really didn't want to end the day by pulling it with all the fun we've had this weekend, but the tooth was bothering her and she wouldn't quit playing with it. I was afraid it might fall out while eating or sleeping and she would swallow it or something. So like the past 2, I grabbed the dental floss, covered her eyes with a washcloth, started to count, and yanked it out before making it to 3, so she wouldn't expect it. She excitedly woke up this morning to another $5.00 from the Tooth Fairy!
Onto a seperate issue. We did so much walking and sight-seeing this weekend, I took over 200 pictures alone, and that doesn't even include the pictures from the drive here from Vegas. I'm going to attempt to post the majority of the with descriptions to my Flickr account, so be sure to check it out. There you will see bridges, rivers, lakes, Cities of The Dead, and much, much more!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

So all you ladies out there, remember to either do a self exam yourself, or find a willing participant to feel you up for bumps and lumps. In all actuality, you should be doing this monthly, and not just one month out of the year. Not only could it save your life if caught early enough, but it could also save your ta-tas! Trust me, it's better to totally bypass all the ins and outs of Breast Cancer if at all possible!
So don't forget to check your boobs - and tell all your friends too!


9/25 practically becomes a Louisiana State holiday!

All last year after hurricane Katrina had hit New Orleans, The Saints were forced to go on the road to play games as the Superdome had been damaged. Well last night, it all came to an end, as The Saints came marching home to a newly rennovated Superdome. And while there may still be horrific damage all about from the hurricane, the completion of the Superdome was something like a healing to many of those affected by the hurricane.

With the house packed & fans going crazy, the NFL returned to the Big Easy, beating Atlanta 23 to 3. It was a very emotional return as Green Day and U2 rocked the pre-game show. The Saints wasted no time in turning their welcome home party into Mardi Gras!

It just may look like we've added a new team to our list of favorites!


Leaving Las Vegas

After living in or around Las Vegas, or at the very least, the state of Nevada for the last 12 years, I'm actually moving on (at least for now). For the past 2 months, I've been miserably staying at my mother in laws, while my hubby was living and working in Louisiana. All this time, we have all been missing each other so much, and we've all been miserable in our current living situation. I wanted to wait till our house sold and we could buy another, but the wait has already been far too long for our taste. So tonight, my hubby flies in and we will be leaving first thing in the morning to start the 1700 mile drive. So I will be out of commission for probably the remainder of the week, but hope to begin posting on the journey home, and this new chapter in my life starting next week!

An early and late wish for a Happy Anniversary!

Last Friday, on the 15th, Natalie and I met with Cynthia (i am a coconut) and her husband Jeff (This is me) for dinner over at The Cheesecake Factory. We had a wonerful dinner! It was full of lots of laughs, thanks to the entertainment provided via my 6 year old daughter! It was nice to FINALLY meet her husband and talk to him in person! Of course as soon as I learned that Monday was their 2nd anniversary, I just HAD to pick up the tab and treat the two lovebirds to an anniversary dinner- or at least save them the money, so they can have a nice dinner on Monday. Which reminds me, I have to remember to get ahold of her and swap pictures!


Today, there is happiness!

No, we haven't sold our house yet. Actually, we haven't even really recieved an offer on it. I'm so flippin' happy because today the 2nd season of Grey's Anatomy came out on DVD and I just went out and bought it! I had to do it just as soon as I dropped Natalie off at school. Now I'm getting ready to get my McDreamy fix on, and cautch up on as much as I can before 3:20. I gotta finish this boxed set before the 21st so I can remember everthing that happened last year! Have you gone out and gotten yours yet? Get it today! Love that McDreamy!


Time to take a moment and pause for reflection

Tears & Tributes for all those involved 5 years ago today, for the families & victims of 9/11, and for all the stranger and heroes who gave their lives to help others, God Bless You.

Finally, we get to see the child no one thought existed!

Suri Cruise makes her big debut in the October issue of Vanity Fair, a full 22 page spead of family pictures, wedding talk, work, and everything inbetween. Yes, when I saw this magazine sitting on the newsstand at Sav-On, I did buy it, especially at the bargain rate of $4.50. The pictures alone made it worth it, but it had WAY too many clothing ads inside! Honestly though, I do have to admit, she is a cute little tomkitten.......


As you all know, September is here...

and in just 2 horribly long days, comes the much awaited, much anticipated release of the 2nd season of Grey's Anatomy. I know I for one cannot wait. And what's more, in just a few more weeks on Thursday, September 21st season 3 comes back with a bang. It's been said that in the first 3 episodes Meredith will choose between Dr. Derrick "McDreamy" Shepard, and Finn the Vet - but wait, there's more. It is also said that Dr. McSteamy, the plastic surgeon, who caused the whole split between Derrick and his OB wife, will be back for a return visit and to stir up more trouble. I smell another love triangle.....although, MY vote is still with McDreamy, even though all 3 are really hot doctors. Tell me how a sweet, but dweeb-like teen like Patrick Dempsey can turn into such a freaken HOTTIE at mid-age? The hair is oh so yummy, and that smile is almost enough to make you tingle all over just by itself! I just can't wait for this new season to begin. I need, I want my McDreamy fix! But for now it's sleepy time - gotta get up early in the a.m. to take Natalie to school, but for tonight, it's sweet steamy, dreamy, dreams.


Vacation's over & it's time to go back to life & school

Here it is, our 1st school vacation......done, over, kaput. No, we didn't do anything for Labor Day, cause lucky me (ha,ha!!) had been sick all weekend with one of those vice-like head colds. Waking up tomorrow should be lots of fun. The first week of school wasn't off to a good start as it was, as someone else at the school scratched the whole side of my Durango with their Le Sabre's DS mirror, by trying to squeeze in between my car and the curb to make a right hand turn - which all traffic was at a stand still due to the cross guard walking kids across the intersection. All this, and it was only the first day of school. Luckily it looks as though I might be able to buff mine out, but this lady was totally psycho and tried to break my camera when I began taking pictures of the damage and her plate since she refused to give me any info - and psycho is just a nice word for the way she freaked on me, this little old lady musta thought she belonged to a gang or something, cause the whole thing was crazy - some 45 or 50 years old and said she would kick my ass or hunt me down and have me killed? WTF kinda school does my child go to. I hope they ain't teaching her how to be a gangster or something. Anyway, I have a great shot of her trying to grab my camera in which she nearly broke my pinkie finger, as it's all black and blue! And pictures of my newly scratched car, which totally bums me out!

In other news, I just can't wait to be at home with my hubby again, and to be a family, in our own house! I have a little less than a year to get my bod in shape with our new BowFlex Elliptical Machine we got last fall, and the few pieces of Pilate's equipment we have. Then yesterday, Ruben bought a Gold's Gym GS 2500 Series home gym to help work the upper body and other areas. The reason why I say a little less than a year, is because we are planning at least 2 major vacations next summer. 1st off we will be meeting my sister, her husband, and my 2 nephews in Disneyland in May. Then in June it looks like we just might be going to Hawaii with some friends from work to a golfing resort, where we will also see my sister and her family again. And in the event that doesn't work for one reason or another, I still have many ideas for the Bahamas or Cancun. But in any event, I want to get my body a little more beach ready, lose some extra pounds, tighten up what little muscles I do have........and hope and pray that my reconstruction surgeries are finished in time!

Anyhow, hope ya'll had a better (last) week & weekend than me!


It's time for school again, please god give me strength!

For the first time EVER, Natalie began all day classes at school, as she is now in First Grade. Man is this transistion going to be hard on both of us! She has never attended an all day program away from some sort of family member, so I'm not sure how she will react, or to be honest, how I will react! They grow up so fast, and it hurt me so bad to stand there all alone and watch her walk off as she prepared for her first big day. Although the school here in Vegas that she is enrolled in is only temporary until we sell our house in Northern Nevada and can move to Louisiana and get settled, it was still a big deal to both of us. It's times like this when I miss my mom the most. She'd be the first to call as soon as Natalie got home from school to find out how her day went. Of course, Ruben will call or vice versa - but still, it's not quite the same as girl talk with Grandma, in which I would get to snitch that Natalie got ahold of a pair of scissors and decided all by herself that she was old enough to cut her own hair. Not to worry, she only cut her bangs, but waaaaaaaaay too short. As for the rest of it, we went and had it cut prior to school, and she loves the new shorter look. Here's some pictures from her first day:


What to do in the meantime

Well it's officially been one month since my mother passed. I am somewhat homeless. Although our house in No. Nevada has not been sold yet, all of our belongings have been packed and moved to storage. Ruben is living out of a hotel in Louisiana, while I remain here in Las Vegas at my MIL with my kids. I really wasn't sure that I would be here this long, so it appears that first thing in the morning I will have to go register Natalie in school here - even though we should be ready to move within the next 2 months (I HOPE!) I don't really care for the school systems here in Nevada, but it's not like I can do much about it at this time. My dad took off for Mexico already. He left last weekend, same as my husband. He came down before heading to LA, and I got to spend 1 whole day with him. I was hoping for more time, but since his flight had to be cancelled due to last weeks National crisis in which they raised terrorist alert and heightened security, he had to drive the 1700 miles to New Orleans. But as a treat for him, I bought him new chrome rims and tires, and he bought me a new iPod as he wanted my old one for the trip. I've been trying to stay away from any of the scrap stores in town, because the more I look, the more I buy, and the more I buy, the more I want to scrap. So earlier this evening I did a little digi-scrapping. This is a first for me, so I hope the LO's don't look too awful. Yeah, I know, 3 in 1 day - but I needed the distraction to keep my mind off my mom.



Today, my Mom's Obituary hit the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Even though some time has passed since her death, the mourning still comes in waves....just not as often as it did at first. Sometimes it's silent tearful rememberances, while others can often be both good or bad dreams about her. My daughhter is taking it amazingly well, which makes me wonder if she's too young still to understand what's happened, or if she's just smarter than I give her credit for. All I know is that even though her death is coming more at ease to me, I still love and miss her terribly......and wonder if I am feeling more at ease, and mourning less, does that make me a bad person, like I don't care, or does it just mean that I am understanding and coping better? In any case, here is the obituary that my Dad wrote........

Published August 09, 2006. BRITTON, LINDA LIKE

On July 20, 2006, Linda June Like Britton, passed away from the arms of her loving family, into the embrace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Born June 10, 1946, in Washington, Ind. Linda was a woman of great faith and love for her family. She loved her music and singing. She also enjoyed scrapbooking. Linda was a retired insurance agent in Fairview, Ill., where she lived most of her life, and met her husband, Vincent Britton. She liked to travel and always wanted to see Rome, Italy. Linda's favorite time of year was Christmas. She was an active member of the Red Hat Society in Las Vegas and Mexico. She was a deaconess of the Full Gospel Las Vegas Church. Linda is survived by her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grand-children. She recently retired to Lake Chapala, Mexico, with her husband, where they enjoyed their retirement activities and many friends. Memorial was previously held.


In Loving Memory Forever & Always

R.I.P ~ Mom, I love you!

Sending a loved one off to heaven is basically hell!

It's been a week since I last seen my mother alive. Although I did not get to speak with her, I watched as she slept peacefully, watching as she took each breath, quietly waiting for her to awake. She never awoke before I left, and I kissed her on the head, lightly squeezed her arm and said I love you, before I left that night. At 11 am the next morning, I had been awoken by a phone call from my dad. He had told me that she was awake, that Deb had called and talked to her, and that the hospice expected her to live a few more days. He asked me to pick up my brother Bill after work and bring him by to see her. I started making phone calls around as I needed to get my car back into service. At one point, my cell phone rang and it was my husband. I told him I couldn't talk and hung up. Then while I was on the phone, I heard the call waiting go off several times to which I ignored. As soon as I hung up with the service dept. The phone rang and it is my husband. He's calling to tell me that Vince just called, and sadly, my mom passed away. Hysterically I cried, because if I wanted to go see her, I needed to hurry and go before they take her to the morgue. Ruben said that he was leaving town soon and would be here later that night. Seeing her so peacefully laying there without pain was a combination of both good and bad. Her eyes had not shut completely, so it appeared as though any minute she was just going to start talking to you, but once you felt her cold hard skin - you knew it was the real thing and there was no coming back from it. I tried to be strong, yet the inner child in me broke down, saying I'm too young for her to die. I still need a mother, yet my husband's words rang true in my heart saying that you can't just keep her here because you want her here, that I have to let go because this is what she wanted - to be free from pain. Walking out of that room and leaving her there alone waiting for the morgue to come get her was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. Over the next day, my father and I began making basic arrangements for her memorial - per her request. She did not want an open casket for fear they would not make her look the way she once did. She did not want a funeral. We simply had a few flowers, some pictures to memorialize her and each of us kids, plus some friends - stood up and gave a brief eulogy type reading, then we prayed, and sung and headed off for refreshments in the rec room.
This is a poem I found online, written by an unknown author. I read this poem in honor of my mother, as I found it so fitting.

The Day God Took You Home
In tears we saw you sinking,
And watched you pass away.
Our hearts were almost broken,
We wanted you to stay.
But when we saw you sleeping,
So peaceful, free from pain,
How could we wish you back with us,
To suffer that again.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God took you home.



Today at 11:45am, my mother passed away from liver failure/liver chirrhosis. I beleive she was (approx.) 59, but I'm NOT certain, all I know is that I am 32 and I was in no way prepared to loose her just yet, but I thank God that her pain is gone and I know deep down she is in a better place.

~-~-I Love and Miss you Mom, and always will-~-~

Linda June (Like) Britton

I hope Grandpa & Grandma Like greet you in Heaven with open arms!

You will be greatly missed and forever loved,


Well it's final

Starting August 7th, Ruben officially starts his new job as the Manager for Louisiana territories. Although we still haven't gotten the written offer, we know it has been approved, and all the details. The only reason he did not receive the written offer this week is because we are in Las Vegas to see my mom. They did not want to bother him with work issues during this time, but honestly it wouldn't have mattered, we've been waiting impatiently for this call.

We've been spending every other day or so with my mom. Her insurance has FINALLY approved her to go to UCLA to get an evaluation done, it seems this news has really brought up my dad's hopes - BUT unfortunately the airline said that she cannot fly in her current condition. I guess she is severely malnourished. Just lightly touching her shoulder to comfort her, I felt nothing but bone - even though she appears of normal size. Basically, she's nothing more than bones, and built up fluid from her liver failing. Seeing her this way had been extremely hard for all of us. Even more so for my daughter, who wonders now if this means daddy is going to die. I'm not sure if she should be taken to anymore visits as she gets worse and worse. I tried making my peace with her, but am unsure as to what to say to her.....I hate just coming out and saying or even acknowledging the fact that she is dying. Ruben had a talk with her, and tried to make his peace. She told him that she doesn't expect to live more than 10 days, a month tops, because she's been hallucinating, she has no strength, and can barely eat or hold down any food - and by barely eat, I mean a pickle slice and an olive fill her up. I really did not foresee this advancing so fast, but she has already made her peace with God, and whatever is meant to be is meant to be. I honestly do not know how my dad can handle this day in and day out. I am trying the hardest I can to remain strong, but nothing EVER prepares you for losing a parent. My only thoughts and prayers for her are that she goes silently, effortlessly, unknowingly, and painlessly - all during her sleep. I guess you really cannot ask for anything more than that.

May peace be with you all !


I'm Back In Las Vegas Again!

I'm back down here to see my mother again. We arrived yesterday afternoon after receiving a distressful email from my dad. Despite all the infections and blood loss my mom had, she demanded that the hospital let her go home, and while she may not be doing any better, we found out that she has been approved by the insurance company to have the transplant and all. The bad news is that she is still very sick, has fluid collecting everywhere within her body, won't eat, won't do her physical therapy, and won't do her labs or go to the doctor appointments she has. Despite the good news, I fear the end is near, as it seems as though she has given up. Although the insurance company has approved her, she still needs to go to UCLA for the Eval (to rate her need and readiness), but she cannot do that until she is better - no more infections or blood loss. It's all a vicious circle.....she cannot live without a new liver, but won't get better until she has a new liver. So here I am with my family, down here to see her and either tell her to start making an effort and fight back, or to tell her goodbye, how much I love her, and that I'm going to miss her. No matter what, it's NOT going to be easy. It's like all of this has come on so fast, much faster than any of us thought it would. And if this alone weren't bad enough, I'm also here to tell the rest of my family goodbye. It's only a matter of time till I too am gone, gone to Louisiana.

Any day now Ruben will be getting his official offer letter, although we already know that it has been approved. He will start his new job as a Manager of Louisiana at the end of this month. Natalie, the dog and I plan to stay here until our house in Elko sells and we purchase one there - which hopefully won't take too long! Moving, buying and selling is all too stressful, and the sooner it's done the better! I just hope we can find the house of our dreams, and that it is never hit by a hurricane! In any case though, this move will not be easy. Neither of us have been so far away from our families......I'm not sure whether we should be proud that we are leaving behind the nest and our families, or to be sad. But in any case, Louisiana here I come.

I'll talk with "y'all" later!

I Wanna Be Done Too!

I stole this from Lora's Blog.........Suburbia Las Vegas.

To do me, pick one word from each pair that you think describes me the best and leave it in the comments. Then copy and post this in your own Blog (if you want to) to see how most people view you, and maybe I'll do you too!

*dominant or submissive
*logical or intuitive
*social or loner
*kinky or vanilla
*cute or sophisticated
*kitten or puppy
*warm flannel sheets or sleek satin
*leader or follower
*quiet or talkative
*spontaneous or planned
*teddy bear or porcelain doll
*hiking or window shopping
*tequila or vodka
*top or bottom
*bare foot or shoes
*jeans or slacks
*tender or rough
*aware or dreamy
*nerd or jock
*brains or brawn
*common sense or book smarts
*pretty or sexy


Well it's officially over.......

As of yesterday Nick and Jessica no longer exist as man and wife. My hopes for them reconciling go down the drain, just like their marriage. But I guess like all good things seen on TV, it must come to an end eventually - kinda like Sex & The City. But at least I still have the fall line-up to look forward to. I'm still holding my breathe for a 3rd season reunion of Dr. McDreamy and Meredith on Grey's Anatomy. Plus I still have 8 more episodes of the Sopranos to look forward to next year, as well as the return of Big Love.
No matter where we live, I will always have HBO as long as they have an addictive original series to watch!

Guess I'm just bored, nothing good to watch on TV, don't really feel like a movie and I've been stuck at home alone all week with my 6 y/o daughter while my husband plays slot tech in Wyoming. Hopefully he'll be back tomorrow, or Monday at the latest since he has to fly out to Louisiana on Wednesday. Maybe once all his traveling is done, I will know a little more about what all is going on and what we're going to do. I can't stand the stress of not knowing whether I should unpack my scraproom, or re-pack it!

Checking in, and maybe moving on?

I know it's been quite a while since returning home that I've made a post to bring everyone up-to-date on where everything stands, but I have so much to tell - and I'm not sure where to start really.

My mother's health hasn't really improved any after having the TIPPS surgical procedure done. In fact, she is having more problems than before, but some are more different. She's back in the hospital again and had to have a blood transfusion. With every email I get from my dad I worry more and more. Her depression is getting worse, and I fear that if she doesn't snap out of it soon and start fighting back, she won't live long enough to even get a liver transplant, or to even be evaluated by UCLA staff 1st to determine her needs for one.
Also, we missed getting to see my sister and family from Hawaii, and my 4 month old newborn nephew Matthew, whom we've never seen. But we had to leave Las Vegas the day before they flew in.

Since returning home I have not yet heard from my plastic surgeon's office as to when he'd like to see me again to perform my procedure. However, we did learn that Ruben did not get that job in Arizona that he interviewed for, and that I had my heart so set on. As disappointing and as devastating as that news was, we rebounded rather quickly when Ruben received a call regarding a manager's position in Louisiana. Now I've been holding off on saying anything about this offer, as Ruben has not yet even interviewed for it. He doesn't fly down till July 5th, but it was presented to him as, come down, look at some house and see how you like the area. He was also told to start looking for his replacement. Now that may not be a written offer - that's why I didn't want to say anything about it, but so far this sounds to be a pretty concrete. Just hope the money is there!

So for the last few weeks we've been waiting excitedly for his meeting, and looking at houses online. We want to find the house of our dreams this time, that hasn't been damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Each time we've moved (5 times in the last 5 1/2 years) we've always somewhat settled on where to live. It all depended on what was available at the time and how much we could afford. Well this time, it won't be like that. Louisiana has a different kind of housing market than Las Vegas. The prices aren't sky high, and from what we've been told, the market is still strong here, so we should have no problems selling our house. We were also told that we should make a pretty hefty profit on the sale as well - even though I didn't get to make all my upgrades to the flooring.
But all this talk about buying and selling homes again is rather stressful, along with the fact that we will be about a 1,000 miles from Vegas and our families. It's going to hard on us, but at 32 it's time to start growing up and venturing away from the nest. It just won't be easy.

Here's to hoping all goes well!



Check this out, too funny not to share! Enjoy!


One crazy trip, and now we're heading back to Elko.

This trip started off with the intent of Natalie, Lexie, and myself staying here in Vegas for the next 3 months while I underwent breast reconstruction surgery (again!) - so in other words having a tissue expander inserted in my chest, saline injections almost weekly, then about 3 months later when the expander has stretched my skin to the right size, they will replace it with a silicone breast, and do a breast lift on my other breast. BUT my plastic surgeon says that after the last surgery mishap I am not quite ready yet. While here, I had also hoped on spending some time with my mother - she's going through liver failure, and I would like to spend as much time with her as possible incase they can't or don't find her a liver donor and these are her last dying days. But for now we're looking at about another 3 to 6 months before I can TRY having surgery again. Ugh! And at this point, I'm not even sure if my mom will still be here in Vegas or if she will have returned to their home in Ajijic Mexico. I had really hoped to put all this cancer/mastectomy stuff behind me and go on with my life. I also really looked forward to the idea of not being lop-sided anymore and having two breast - and one that's NOT fake! But let me say this..... I am very thankful about being in remission for one full year now, yeah!

Since Natalie just graduated kindergarten, we took off Sunday and headed to Disney for a few days. At the end of our stay we decided at the spur of the moment, to take off to San Diego so Ruben could meet up with his cousin and catch a Dodger game against the Padres. The next day - as if we hadn't already walked around enough, or had spent enough money on every thing (cause we went ALL out on this trip, and managed to spend about $1700 in 3 days & that was just at Disney alone!) we headed to San Diego Zoo. We found a hotel and checked in just in time for Ruben to leave for the baseball game. While he was at the game, Natalie and I just chilled out in the room and relaxed. The next morning, we arrived at the zoo at 9 am just as it opened and we didn't leave the park till it closed around 4 pm - yet we still did not see all the animals! Some weren't on display as the cages were being cleaned, others we couldn't find or just didn't have enough time. Afterwards, we drove to LA to see his cousins, ate dinner, chatted for a bit then turned around and left about 10 pm to drive back to Vegas - we didn't get home till around 3 am! I know it all sounds so crazy!

The whole trip kind of started off bad with Ruben hitting a concrete post at Smith's, and ruining the paint on the bumper of my brand new, fully paid for Durango. To which angered him so much, he slammed the door so hard, he not only knocked the window off the track, but he broke it as well! However, luckily when he went to Dodge, he got the window replaced for free under a factory recall - now I just have to tint it to match the others. I don't even want to think about re-painting the bumper, so I am looking for a rather large Dodger bumper sticker to put on it, since my Durango looks kinda like Dodger blue. But even after a beginning like that, our vacation still turned out to be a pretty good one. I spent a ton of money on scrapbooking supplies, I also bought nearly every Grumpy shirt I could find at Disney. Natalie on the other hand got a bounty of toys that only a spoiled rotten single child would or could get. I don't think I could have ever afforded to spend that much money on two kids, no matter how badly I had wanted another one.

As we both had our new digital cameras with us, we have around 230 pictures of the trip to go through and have printed. Fun! I will get some up and posted as soon as possible and the rest on Flickr, so you may all enjoy our trip, as well. Hope your week was as magical as ours - minus all the bumps and broken windows.


Nervous and glad all in one!

Yeah baby, I'm back in Vegas for the summer. First of all, I've got a few doctor appointments to deal with, which one will hopefully tell me that I am all ready to go through with my re-construction surgery again. Then, after seeing all my doctors, it's off to Disney for a few days, before coming back to the sweltering heat of Vegas till August. I can deal with the heat - I think?!?! But I don't think I can handle another reconstruction that gets infected or a hematoma, or one that doesn't get done period. I can't handle another screw up or rejection on my part from my body. I hate going through life feeling lop-sided! I really hope and pray this one goes right, so I can go back to being somewhat "normal".
But on the bright side, for the meantime, I am back in civilization. YEAH!!!! And hopefully, any day now we'll be finding out if my husband got the promotion and transfer to Arizona he put in for. It is something we BOTH want so VERY, VERY badly. The doctors in Elko are just horrible! I am tired of country life - small living. I hate snow, and I need a mall and such. We figure, since I still have to come see my major doctors here every 2 months, it would be nice to drive 4 hours vs. 8 hours! So we are still sitting here as patiently waiting, as we possibly can, with all our fingers and toes crossed - and praying day in and day out, for the decision to come in and the job be his. AZ is something I have wanted for my husband for at least the last 4 years out of the 6 he has been there.
So if you have nothing else to do, cross your fingers and keep us in mind when you making your daily prayers - we would certainly appreciate it!


Graduation has come and gone......

I always knew that one day this day would come, I just didn't think it would be this damn soon! Our little girl is growing up - SHE is NO longer a Kindergartner. Yeah! My baby's a First Grader now.
To be quite frank, I wasn't sure with all my week-long medical trips to Las Vegas over the last school year, that she'd even pass - but lucky us, medical emergencies do not count as an absence for her.
No, I didn't cry during the ceremony, although there were moments that I did get a little choked up. I can only imagine what her High School graduation will be like, I'll be ballin' the whole time! But thank God, that's not for a LONG, LONG, LONG time! But luckily since I won my appeal with Social Security, she now gets $600 a month that goes towards her college savings - and possibly a wedding if the interest pays off. But for now as a Grad gift, we are off to Disney!!!!!


There's Magical fun to be had

And it's soon to be all around us. I just got done making plans and reservations today to go to Disney the week following my arrival in Vegas. This is a SPECIAL treat for my daughter's graduation from kindergarten and we are going all out! We gave her the choice of Sea World or Disney. At first she teeter-tottered back and forth between the two. I know my hubby was really pulling for Sea World and San Diego. But none of it really appeals to me except maybe the zoo, which maybe we'll hit next year, if not later this summer. It's just I've been to the original Sea World in Florida when I was little. I don't think it has changed much since then - and I know this summer will be filled with many, many trips to Mandalay Bay to see the Shark Reef since my MIL works there, and gets us discounted tickets. She went 3 or more times last summer to the Reef. So why go to Sea World when I know she'll be going to the Reef and petting sting rays? Also this summer, as long as my energy is up for it - I have plans to take her to see the Lions at the MGM, the Tigers at the Mirage, and the Dolphins at the TI.
We want this to be way special, and she picked it on her own as there is still so much she hasn't seen or done there. Her first trip we got rained on, the 2nd she got sick and missed all of the fireworks for 4th of July. So this trip is somewhat special for all of us. We all need a break from our lives, but Natalie especially deserves it - not just for graduating, but for everything that she (and we) have had to endure over the last year or so with all of my surgeries, doctor appointments, and the chaos called life. So I booked a nice room at the Disneyland Resort Hotel for a few nights, complete with Disney Park Hopper Passes for the 3 of us, and a Character Breakfast. Now we've been to Disney a few times, as I've said, but this here by far takes the cake as our most expensive trip. The trip with the breakfast alone cost a mere $1,055.00 With a price tag like that I can't wait to see how much we spend on eats, treats, and goodies! It's amazing how much a few days of fun can cost, but it will all be oh so worth it! I so need a vacation, but an adult vacation to some far off exotic beautiful beach away from the outside world, cell bars, and wireless connections!


Finally trying to make a few improvements to our home

We still have been having problems finding someone to replace our carpet and tile at a reasonable price. The last place that came out wanted just over $8300 - which we both thought was ridiculous since the highest offer I had received to date and had been trying to beat was only $5700. Guess I'll be going back to Cartpet One now, but June is creeping up on us fast and I don't have much time to do anything other than hopefully organize scrap stuff, pay bills, and pack for the summer.

Last week we had a tractor come out and sweep down the brush on our near 3 acres. Now on the one side it really looks like we need to fence in our property. Since then I have tried to get into the gardening mood, but dirt and I don't mix. I used the weedeater and 3 times I broke the line, so I gave up on that. Our brand new Craftsman mower is broke, it has oil coming out of the exhaust - and it's only been used maybe 4 or 5 times at most. So all I could really do was to start raking up an old flower bed when I found half-assed newspaper and black plastic weed control along with a few of what appeared to be Hobo Spiders. Hobo Spiders I hear are quiet popular in this area and are very posinous - that's the kind of shit I hate about the desert and about doing yard work. I really, really hate bugs!!! But at least I didn't find any scorpions or anything I couldn't handle on my own. I even chopped down a little tree all by myself! But after finding the spiders, there is no way in hell I am planting flowers there - instead I'm thinking of just putting down some fertilizer and grass seeds in the area. We need to bring the yard back to life and give ths place some curb appeal - BAD. Which mean lots of grass seeds, fertilizer, and watering! We also want to make a nice concrete U shaped drive, but I don't know how much time we have or what our budget will be like. Especially since I would also like to paint the exterior too. Hell I just want a new house, built to my specifications.

Oh, the big news on the home front is that Ruben put in for a transfer for a management posistion, and his interview is on the 30th. I'm practically holding my breathe to hear the decision. We both want this soooooooo bad. The transfer would put us about 3 hours closer than we are now, no snow, but hot as hell. But that's what A/C is for! Plus I can add another state to my "lived" list. I'm not trying to be greedy on purpose, but I want to see my hubby move up a notch on the corporate ladder to go on to bigger and better things - not to mention make more money to pay for whatever treatments I'll be having for the next 5 or 10 years. I also want to be back in a big city or at least a lot closer to one. The doctor's here suck, and are ignorant to boot!

So cross your fingers that we'll keep seeing sunny days this winter in a new house that we love, and above all else, he gets this promo and transfer!


Down on The Farm

On Friday 5/19 - my Daughter's kindergarten class, along with the other teacher's kindergarten class went on a little field trip and lucky me, I got to go along for the ride! Yeah! We took a bus out to Mrs. Johnson's Farm and watched as she sheared one of her many sheep. The kids got to feel what the unprocessed wool felt like (we even got to keep a piece for our scrap page!) and then they pet the newly sheared sheep to feel the skin. Something about the oils in the skin produce lanolin to keep hands smooth and soft. We then went out back were she had a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE Steer. As I learned, a Steer and a Bull are two different things. Bulls are male cows that procreate. Steers are male cows that do not procreate, there main use is for the meat we eat. Ummmm, think of all those tender cuts of steak! I can't remember the exact number, but her steer was near 2,000 lbs. I do believe. The kids also got to pet the steer, who was pretty nice for a cow that size, and they were educated quite well on these animals. Unfortunately though, she did not have any horse, which we had hoped for. Afterwards the kids washed their hands and were treated with Otter-Pops. They played for a while, then it was back to school just in time to grab there backpacks and make the bus.


After months of waiting, we finaly have results......

After months of waiting, my mom finally got back the results to her liver biopsy. They found out from the biopsy that she has VERY bad liver cirrhosis and shrinkage of her liver, and that is what had caused the build up of fluid in her belly - like how she had suddenly gained like 30 lbs, in 2 weeks.

The doctor also said that her current condition was caused by a procedure she had done in 1978 that they were unaware of the side effects it could cause or the aftermath of it. You see in 1978 my mom was really overweight - by then she had 4 kids and was working on her second marriage. Since they didn't offer stomach stapling or gastric bypass back then, they ended up removing a section of her colon to make her lose weight, and she did. At that time removing a section of your colon was the equivalent of the surgeries they perform today. I remember times that my mom has been very skinny growing up, or worse yet she had very thin legs, but a round belly on her - so regardless to say, the surgery wasn't even a complete success or an end to her weight issues. My mom was so skinny when she first married as a teenager, that you could have almost wrapped your hands around the circumference of her waist -that's how skinny she had been before kids!

Anyway, they've done some surgeries on her to get the build up of fluid under control among other things, and now most everything is much better. But in order to keep all of this in control - at least for the time being (until there is a permanent solution made), she has to undergo another surgery called a TIPS procedure, where they insert a Transjuglar Intahepathic Portosystemic Shunt in her. This procedure should help relieve the portal hypertension (pressure on the blood circulation of the liver) because THAT alone could kill her, it will also help reduce fluid production so she won't swell up anymore - and hopefully all this will somewhat ease her pain. Afterwards, the next steps will be to evaluate her for a liver transplant. This sounds as though it may take quite a while to determine and lots more testing. It may be months before we know anything for sure. Then if she is determined to be a candidate for transplant, she'll be put on the waiting list according to urgency. Or at least that is how I understand it. So for now we wait and see how bad it really is, and hope and pray that someone in my family (or someone else's) will be a match for her. I don't know how matches are determined, but I do know this - I am O+ blood and she is O- blood, so I have no clue if that rules me out or not. My sister also has O+, but I don't know about my brother(s) or my husband. I have also since found out that my Uncle Coleman in TN has a clean liver and may be a good match - but then again, I'm not positive if he's a match.

So if there is anyone in the Las Vegas area who would be kind enough to donate half of their liver to a total stranger, just leave a comment or email me at
MLSSBUGS@AOL.COM (yes that IS an L and not an i). I'm only 32 and the last few years have been really rough, I AM NOT READY TO LOSE MY MOM YET. My daughter has already lost one grandparent - my husband's dad to lung cancer. I do not want her to lose another. I know there ARE kind people out there, KIND PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO HELP. Don't be shy, just let me know - and NO, my mom does not drink or smoke. If nothing else, please pray for her - that is something everyone can do! Thank you!


We have cows!

As I have previously mentioned, it's spring here in Spring Creek. Actually I'd almost say summer as I am suffering from my first sunburn since moving here.....and I wasn't even doing anything other than standing outside the school talking with other mothers! When I came back I noticed my neck and arms are burnt bad, and quite painful to top it off!

Anyway, back to the cows. Over beyond the hills, behind our house, there is a rather LARGE cow farm. Day in and day out my daughter and I see these cows as we are heading off for school. These poor cows make this very long hike over all the hills and through the wild brush and grass, to cross over Lower Lamoille Road. Now Lower Lamoille Road runs directly behind our house, and meets up with the highway, Lamoille Road the road that takes us to school, and it's also the only road that goes into town. They hike across the valley and hills JUST to seek out water from this little creek that is near where the two roads connect, then they male the long journey home. During certain times of the day you have to be very, very careful as you drive down the road so you don't hit a cow. So now I am on the lookout for cows and deer.....the coyotes I could care less about. I'm not about to risk wrecking my Durango just to swerve and miss hitting a coyote - on a curvy, bumpy, dirt and gravel road!

So the other day as we were leaving for school, I remembered to take along my camera and ended up getting some really great shots! There were lots of baby cows and even a bull (I do believe but I'm not sure so sure, cause it had utters?.....but it did have horns). Other than that I really wouldn't know as I am not formally educated in the sex of farm animals, or any other animal for that matter. So below are some of the pictures I took. Hope you enjoy them.