Flickr Pictures

ScrapAddict74. Get yours at


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.