Archive | December, 2014

New Years Eve 2014

31 Dec


IMG_2303 (1)


I was going to go to Lake Wabaunsee tonight to celebrate with friends and enter the WII bowling tournament, but instead I am sitting in the recliner with 2 heavy blankies on me. I have had the chills since noon today. Billie and the kids are gone all night for a sleepover with their friends Scott and Sherry. I think that is a good plan because she had a sad day today. She’s sad that she isn’t celebrating the New Year with Justin and sad that I am leaving soon.
I had the kids all day and they were so good. I actually fell asleep in the recliner for 2 hours and didn’t hear one fight. I ordered a new hairdo and picked it up this morning. The kids don’t quite know what to think about Grandma Birdies alopecia. Elliott came and looked at me and said “your hair isn’t stuck on your head”.
Denny and Larry made it safely to Austin tonight. They are enthralled with Chris’s wonderful home. Chris graciously is letting them stay there even though he is in Park City skiing.
I feel like I should be doing something, laundry or cleaning but it feels nice to be able to sit and relax. Tomorrow we are taking down the Christmas decorations and working in the basement. We’re going to try and make it fun for the kids to go down there and play. Hope to paint also.
It’s our 17th anniversary today plus 2 more years so 19 all together. He sent me the most beautiful bouquet of 17 roses, all different colors. Photo above. It’s been a great marriage and we are totally in love still and have a great new life going on with our rv park venture. He has been so wonderful to my family and all he is willing to do to help. He finished painting Billie’s bedroom yesterday and it so beautiful. I think I’m going to use the same color in our bedroom in La Veta. It’s Sherwin Williams Colorburst. See photo. The photo doesn’t do it justice because it’s a deeper blue. We are now done with all the painting except for a little touch up.
A look back at our year:
January I was iced in twice in Holiday Island, AR. I was there to be with my Mom who was recovering from her heart attack in October.
February, I was able to join Denny in Llano, TX and play some golf, make some new friends, and do some sewing. We came back in time to celebrate my Mom’s 94th birthday.
March, still in Arkansas for a couple of weeks and then we headed back to Colorado to begin getting the park ready to open.
April, sewing many things to have my shop full of products to sell. At the end of the month, Nancy, Ginny and I traveled to Florida to stay with Judy for a couple of days. Then we all drove to Miami and caught a flight to Cuba where we spent a week touring.
May, our friend Dale arrived and spent the entire season with us. He was a great help and was popular with the campers. We hustled to remodel the cabin because we were able to rent it from June-September.
June-August, we had a great summer and our business increased significantly. Mary arrived and helped us for several weeks.
September, we had our first quilt retreat which was a success.
October, we hosted an art retreat which was also a success.
Looking forward to another year. I will try hard not to worry about Billie and the kids. She will be fine but I don’t want her to be overwhelmed.
I have new ideas for some items in the shop. Casserole covers, bowl holders, napkins, sweatshirts with new designs on them and maybe some ceramics if I get my kiln going.
Received many nice comments on FB about our anniversary. I know I sound like a broken record but we are constantly blessed with our many friendships that we have made over the years. We are both very sad about a friend who received bad news today regarding his cancer. Denny was able to talk to him last Sunday. With the passing away of 2 young men, Justin and our dear friend Matt, the year has been full of sadness and many tears. Billie has also experienced the love of her friends and family who have been over the top generous and helpful. Tuesday was a treat from her friend Desiree who treated us to a KU basketball game and we sat in the VIP section, 7 rows back right behind the team. It was great fun and a real surprise to the boys. We didn’t tell them ahead of time because we didn’t want to tell Elliott and have her be mad that she wasn’t going. I have also discovered that I can be a helpful Grandma. I have always felt a little neglectful in that respect, but now I know I can do it. Pretty much love being Grandma Birdie.
Not sure what is in store for the New Year. I hope our travel plans are going to happen. Not traveling in the motorhome but the jeep this year. We’ll put on a lot of miles if it all falls into place.
The rv park is already booked for monthlies and seasonals. I have 13 groups already booked plus 2 quilt retreats and an art retreat. This season looks very promising. I’m very excited about having the green house and growing some veggies.
Thank you all for your support of Denny and I during these last couple of months. Thank also for reading my blog. I received my statistics the other day and I have had over 9,600 views this year. I hope to print out the last couple of years when I get home. I have notebooks full of my blogs which began May 2006 with a trip to Alaska!!
Happy New Year, remember to cherish each moment because life can change in 10 minutes.

Busy week ahead

28 Dec




Above are the photos that I’ve been wanting to post of some of the work we have done on Billie’s kitchen. Tomorrow Denny will begin painting Billie’s bedroom and I’ll finish kitchen touch up and the hallway. We have Monday and Tuesday to finish all the painting. We are on our last few days of being here. It is bittersweet. We need to head home and Billie needs to be here on her own and figure things out, but I feel it will be really hard on the both of us. Actually makes me tear up when I think about it. At least school will begin again and they can get in their routines again. It’s been hard having them out of school and the issues that come up with that. We had a good weekend. Today we made it to church and once again Grandma Birdie had the wrong time. They don’t start their new hours until January. Whoops. But…the boys sat through the service and it was actually a good one for all of us. Elliott wore her Princess Elsa dress to Sunday school. Afterward we went bowling which was fun. One game is plenty and Gage bowl actually has a good special that includes 2 games, and a drink for $5.49. I didn’t bowl but the kids and Billie did.
Afterward Denny and I visited one of our friends who is very ill. So hard, so sad.
Denny has been a busy Gpa this weekend. Twice he took the boys to the skateboard park and sat while they skateboarded. He also put Kylers birdfeeder up. We are anxiously awaiting the birds to discover it and begin having their meals.
Watching the show “Edge of Alaska” tonight. It’s about McCarthy which is one of our favorite places in the world. It’s on the Discovery channel. Some of you have seen my paintings from McCarthy. One of them is of the hotel and the owner of that hotel is the focus of this series. He’s trying to modernize McCarty which is off of the grid but the locals are battling him. I hope the locals win.
Denny and Larry will be heading to San Antonio this week for the Alamo bowl. Luckily it is in a dome because it looks pretty wet for the trip. It is going to be very cold here this week.
I’m looking forward to being back in La Veta. It’s been snowing and very cold. Just like I like so I can get all cozy by the fire. I want to sew, drive to the springs and do a watercolor batik class, see friends, watch my recorded shows, and then pack up to head to AZ for a couple of weeks.
I hope they find the airplane that went down yesterday. I still feel for the families of the missing plane. How does one ever have closure.
Billie took Elliott to see Annie and they enjoyed it.
Feeling a little sleepy so think I’ll head to the basement. Actually Denny and I are pretty cozy down there.

Merry Christmas 2014

24 Dec

We are in Springfield, MO for the night. Had a fun drive down. We stopped in Ottawa and had lunch at the Keims’ Bakery and Grill in Ottawa, KS. It was yummy and we came out with a box of Christmas cookies that are the best bakery cookies I’ve ever had. We will be passing cookies out right and left since she gave us several extras.
After we checked into a very nice Sleep-Inn, we watched the movie “Wild”. My review- I’m not a fan of movies with back stories. She’s walking the Pacific Trail and then the scenes keep going back to why she is doing the hike. Big deal being made in press about Reese doing the acting sans make-up. Big fricking deal. She still looked pretty good. I hate movies when all the actors are cute. Who runs into good looking people who are hiking for 3 months. The she stops in a town and a really cute guy picks her up for the night. Come on……Also, when one is hiking through deep snow why don’t they have gloves and a hat on and why don’t I see their breath? It was an okay movie and the scenery was beautiful and it makes me want to go on an adventure.
After the movie we had dinner at Jimmi’s in Springfield. One of our favorite restaurants. Great Caesar salad and prime rib.
Denny is now asleep and I’m working on website and blogging. We’ll pick up my brother John tomorrow at 10 and head to Holiday Island. for the day. Nieces and nephews and my Mom.
Billie and kids had a good day. Billie was making Chex mix using Justin’s famous recipe. They were spending some time with friends tonight making Christmas cookies. I know it is hard for her. Unbelievable that it is just 2 months now.
Denny and I almost finished painting the kitchen this week. I’m trying to post a photo but it won’t come in on this computer. Can’t wait to get new IPhone because mine is totally screwed up. Dropped one too many times.
Merry Christmas. This has been my least merry holiday. Too many deaths and too many sick friends. Just can’t feel to jolly when so many are having a sad Christmas this year.

Esophagus stuff

17 Dec

I had another day of an extremely sore throat after the endoscopy. Just didn’t feel too great. This afternoon the doctor called which kind of scared me. He had the results of the biopsies for me. Turns out I have 3 things. I have Barretts Esophagus, Mild Dysplasia, Eosinophilic Esophagitis. For those of you who have been around me the last couple of years while I’m eating will be relieved that a lot of my burping, choking and coughing should be getting better. (I’ll never forget Margie telling me on our trip to Paris, that I didn’t need to keep saying “excuse me” after I burped a million times a day. I can’t believe how annoying I sounded)
My treatment for these problems is Prilosec twice a day and now I will use an inhaler twice a day for 3 months. The Eosinophilic Esophagitis can be caused by allergies, whether they be food or environmental.
Bottom line is I am so glad to be getting a handle on this issue. Barretts can get pretty scary and turn into cancer if it goes untreated.
I’m pretty foggy today not having caffeine. I did drink my last Pepsi that was in the refrigerator and now will go Pepsi and Ice tea free. I know I won’t feel to with it for a few days then it will be great. I generally feel really good when I don’t drink caffeine all day.
Denny will be on his way tomorrow. Hopefully the weather doesn’t interfere with his travels. It is supposed to snow tonight and may be slippery. It’s going to get crazy in the Blenden household because school is out Friday until January 6!! Hopefully they be at the sitters a couple of days because we really want to finish the projects before January 6. Also, the puppies will be staying with us for 4 days which will make Sophie and Easton crazy.
That’s it for now.

December 15, 2014

15 Dec

photo (14)photo (15)

As you can see Denny has been working so hard when he’s in Colorado. He has painted and put new wood floors down. I love the floors and am so excited to see them. The only ones who probably aren’t thrilled are the dogs. They have no traction so they are always sliding around Denny says. Today he tore off the counter top that had a very weird tile job plus tore off the tiles from the back splash walls which also were very weird. Anyway when it is all done our house will look much prettier.

I do have a happier post today. Sunday was a good day for the whole family. Billie and I attended a wonderful performance of the Nutcracker in Kansas City. It was at the Kauffman Center which was a beautiful venue. Afterward we had a nice dinner at the Longhorn. The kids spent the day with Billie’s friend Ann. Elliott went to a recital and made a new friend. Cade and Kyler went to Lawrence where this cool place has all sorts of sports equipment to play on so they were happy when they came home. Josh, Billie’s neighbor, put Christmas lights on the house so it was all lit up when we arrived home.

Today was my endoscopy appointment. Several things in my diet will have to change. Fatty foods, spicy foods, citrus fruits, caffeine, chocolate. I have esphagitis, GERD, and a hiatal hernia. The doctor said my esophagus was raw and inflamed. I will take 2 Prilosec’s a day for 3 months and then have another endoscopy. I have an extremely sore throat which caught me off guard. I really need to feel better tomorrow because I have Christmas ornaments to paint and paint a paw. Would also like to paint a wall in Billie’s kitchen. So we will see how I will feel. I’m sure much better. Thank you Ruth for hauling me around to my appointments.

It’s rainy and sleety tonight. Can we please have some sunshine one of these days. That is one thing I love about Colorado is the sunshine year round.

Since I have Netflix only in the basement I’ve been watching series. First I watched Friday Night Lights, now I’m watching The Killing. It’s intriguing.

That’s it for now. It doesn’t feel like Christmas time to me even though we have trees up.

6 weeks and 1 day

13 Dec

Has been a tough week. Grieving is beginning to appear in different forms again. Cade and Kyler seem to be doing better. They have their games to focus on. Apparently 4 year olds show their grief by arguing, crying, not listening. It’s hard not to get mad but we’ve heard this is a symptom for the young ones. Counseling has begun and I hope that it will help all of them. Billie went back to work last Monday. The first day her hair was all curled, she had on her new scrubs and went out to face her new world as a single mom. By the end of the week she was very tired and sad. Reality is beginning to set in. It is very difficult being a single parent and there is a lot of adjustments to make. Some new rules have been set in place which help with some issues. I think everyone finds it necessary to stay busy because when they aren’t, they get sad. I do too
I will begin paint again this week. Billie has picked golden yellow and a shade of green for the kitchen. A turqouisy blue and a darker blue for her bedroom. Big project is to try to the backyard secure so the dogs can’t escape. We thought that had been accomplished until Thursday when all of us were gone all day. When Billie got home both dogs were out and a huge hole was ripped through the galvanized fence. I hate when dogs have separation anxiety which Easton has. We will try a couple of things to see if we can keep them and if it doesn’t work, Easton may have to go to a new home. He is a great dog and we all love him, but the stress of him doing damage in the house and outside of the house is too much. Denny made them a great dog house full of hay and cozy places to sleep.
We made a huge mistake this week. We had plans to go with 3 other couples to the Church of the Resurrection Christmas show in Kansas City on the 19th. It was 3 pm yesterday afternoon when we found out that it was actually last night. Crap. Our brains are beginning to get mushy I guess.
Did accomplish some art projects this week. 5 paw prints and 22 bowl holders. I drove to Tonganoxie and met up with Sherry, Jan and Patty. In 4 hours of assembly line work we were able to do that many. Billie is giving them out as Thank you’s to the many who gone above and beyond with their help.
Also accomplished my little homeless mission for the ones who are sleeping outside. I was able to pack up 10 packs of blankets, scarves and hats in bags and plastic zippered bags. Ruth and I delivered them to the mission yesterday. We asked what else was needed and how many were outside. She said about 35 and that they needed socks and chapstick. So…we went to Walmart and bought that many socks and chapsticks. Now I’m trying to think of something to make that would make their socks water proof. Little booties maybe? We’ll see.
I hate winter in Kansas. It can go for days and days with now sunshine and so dreary. I feel like I need one of those sun lights, so does Billie.
Torrie, Larry and I went to visit some friends who’s wife has cancer. We have 2 very good friends who have cancer and it has been a very tough year for both of them.
On a happier note, Denny has been working so hard on our Colorado house. I think he is almost done with the painting of the living room and putting the wood floors down and putting new trim up. I’m waiting for some photos.
I know it will be beautiful.
That’s it for now. Wish us luck for a better week ahead. As Billie says: “Nothing feels okay, nothing feels right”. It’s very hard.
I am having an endoscopy on Monday morning to hopefully get some relief on these multitudes of stomach issues. I think a week on a private beach would cure it all!

Some Normalcy

7 Dec

Billie will go back to work tomorrow after 5 weeks. I think she is ready. Life has a semblance of normalcy right now. Christmas tree is up and Bob the Elf is keeping an eye on the kids. Kyler loves Christmas, the elf, and Santa Claus. The kids had a busy weekend of hockey and ballet rehearsals. Can’t wait to see Elliott in the Nutcracker as an angel.
Denny is back in town and has been swamped with projects around the house. The big one was installing the french doors on Billie’s bedroom. Now she can hopefully have a little privacy when needed. She also picked out the paint for the kitchen and her bedroom and we’ll get that done in the next 2 weeks. Larry helped Denny with the French doors and Torrie helped me in the basement today. I think by next weekend we will be able to begin painting down there. Very excited about that.
Denny and I drove to Lake Wabaunsee for the Christmas home tour. It was great fun seeing our friends out there and the homes were beautiful.
Busy week ahead. Denny and I will work on house Monday and Tuesday. He will head back to Colorado on Wednesday. Thursday I’m going to meet at Sherry’s in Tonganoxie and with a few other friends we are going to assembly line bowl holders. I hope to maybe get 20 done or almost done. Next Sunday Billie and I will head to Kansas City to see the Kansas City Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker. That’s a gift from Mike and Cathy. We both love the Nutcracker.
My fingernails are finally growing out after biting them all off a couple of weeks ago. I used to be a horrible nail biter. I forgot how painful it is and how tender my finger tips would be. Now I”m dealing with very painful hang nails. I’m trying to think of an invention to be able to keep my fingertips covered in lotion and then have something to cover them with to let them heal. Maybe a bunch of rubber tips.
The kids will go to their first counseling appointment this week. They will each spend an hour with a therapist by themselves. I hope they will be able to share their thoughts and can comforted by getting some insights.
I know my stay is coming to an end in a couple of weeks. I am so happy I was able to spend this time with Billie. I really feel like I was a Grandma. I’ve always struggled being a hands on Grandma and now I know that I can do it.
Billie has good kids who have their moments. They each have own personality. I know Daddy would be proud of them and how they are handling life without him. Very resilient. Billie is adapting to being a single mom. It’s not a path she would have taken but she knows what it will entail.
I’m continuing on with my project for the homeless who sleep outside. We have several blankets, some good coats, hats, gloves and I think I will put in some big plastic bags for wet days. I also might purchase some cigarettes. Since no one has returned my calls or emails, I am going to just make up the bags and take them to the Rescue Mission.
That’s it for now. Think I’ll downstairs and return to my Friday Night Lights Netflix show. I’m really liking that Netflix.