Progress Pics

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Girls night out and other news

Hi, Just thought I would get caught up again for the past week or so.

Last Wednesday, a friend of a friend contacted me about an event called GIRLS NIGHT OUT that was a fundraiser for a teen girl named Erica who is a member of 4-H and was accepted into the Youth Ambassador program.

With this program, they go to Europe for several weeks in the summer and stay with host families, visit local politicians and community leaders, etc. It is to promote global understanding and world peace.

I guess they raise their own money for the trip and it's about $6,000

So I was invited to vend the Lakota Crafts and all I had to do was supply an item for them to raffle.

Thing is, I am not yet set up for the pow wow season-- so I had NOTHING tagged or packed, did not have a cash drawer set to to make change, plus I don't have a car right now.

So I spent two days scrambling around and got my BFF & artist Jeanne, to accompany me, and I spent two days cramming to sort, tag, and pack crafts items, set up my cash drawer, get my literature together, etc.

In spite of the rain and wind storm we were having, there was a good turn out and a lot of raffle tickets were sold. I met nice people and earned about $80 for the Lakota kids. I donated $10 back to Erica, plus donated a really nice craft item for the next fundraiser.

There are some pics from the event below and here is the URL for Erica's web page about what she is doing.

This first pic is actually jewelry that my friend Jeanne made out of her art. Too bad there is glare on the art. She makes tiny prints of her own art and it gets adhered to these glass tiles with a special adhesive. She then adds it to a necklace with other charms and sells these for about $15

Her art is stunning and mostly has a native or earth honoring theme. I'm betting that during the pow wow season she will sell the hell out of these.

Just some random shots of the gathering

On other fronts, we had driving wind and rain for three days last weekend and our basement flooded BIG TIME. So we spent most of the weekend trying to stay ahead of the water. Thank God the sun finally came out.

Also, my dr's office called two days ago and said my recent tests show that I STILL have a vitamin D deficiency. So he prescribed a mega vitamin D capsule that I'm to take once a week while continuing with the daily supplements I've been using. I hope this does the trick!

Now that the sun is out, I DID force myself to get outside and I spent all day Tuesday and Wednesday clearing flower beds, cleaning the stone paths and just generally poking around and getting ready for the gardening season.

I will be sure to take frequent photos and post them here as the season moves along, that way you garden lovers can enjoy the progress with me.

I made a commitment to a friend of mine to be on a committee for an annual event she has that raises money and supplies for shelter animals. The committee meeting is tonight but she is picking me up in a little while so we can hang together first and get caught up.

But I didn't want to let another day go by without posting lest you think I disappeared again. LOL

Have a good day everyone! And if it is nice outside where you are I hope that you get to enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blog issue seems resolved

Ok, after having the month from hell I tried to post to my blog and realized that it was being redirected to another site.

After going through all sorts of crap trying to get rid of the problem, I found out that it was NOT a hijacking worm on my computer but something imbedded in a gadget that I had on here.

It was a timer counting down to the new haven road race. Those gadgets have stuff embedded in them that the ones distributing them can hijack whatever site the gadget is on, anytime they want. I got this RIGHT HERE in the gadget area, so beware!

Take my advice, remove any gadgets from third parties off your blog. THis was on there for MONTHS before anything happened.

Here's a web page that helped me figure this out. I was ready to scrap my blog!

Anyway, thank goodness I won't have to scrap my blog!

It is my mother-in-law's 92nd birthday today and I was swamped, I just wanted to let you all know that I FINALLY got this resolved and can resume posting now!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Issues with blog

I have been having a problem with my blog that I cannot resolve. "Someone" has done something to my blog that redirects me to a new page when I try to visit my own blog. If it does this to me it must be doing it when other people try to visit me as well.

Writing to google has done nothing. I may have to scrap this blog and start over.


Back -- (yeah, really!)

Ok, I am back for real this time.

I realized that I cannot get you caught up if I go into everything in detail so I am going over the main points briefly and bring you up to date. Here goes:

#1 -- DEATH OF ELDER, Lakota elder Jerome Yellow Dog was like a father to me for over 30 years. Right around the time of my birthday in early February, his niece called from Nebraska to tell me that he passed away.

To make a long story short, our finances are a mess right now and there was NO WAY that I could fly out there for the funeral. I felt just terrible about this and my guilt over not being able to be there for the family was just as strong as my sadness over his passing.

I never had a father. This man is the closest thing to a father I ever had. That I couldn’t be there to pay my respects just tore me up.

#2 -- Teen Suicide- Within a week after Jerome passed, a teen I’ve been working with on the rez committed suicide. She was an artist and a friend of one of the other teens whom I sell crafts for. I was going to both have note cards made from her art and also sell her original acrylic pieces. The samples of her work were gorgeous!

I sent her a box of art supplies and spoke with her on the phone several times. All of a sudden, I get a call that she committed suicide. The teen suicide rate on the rez is high-- three times the national average. I have been touched by many deaths there over the years because of the health issues and the suicide rate.

For whatever reason, I was profoundly affected by this girl’s death even though I hadn’t met her in person. This is not something I can explain. Maybe I don’t need to…….

But I felt a terrible sense of futility about trying to help the kids and about everything that I do for and with the Lakota. This was awful. I almost gave up. But the enthusiasm of some of the other kids about their craft projects brought me back and I threw myself into listing stuff on ebay and I even started creating an etsy store-- which I am still working on.

#3 -- medical stuff - When I last posted, I’d had a colonoscopy that was inconclusive because the one-day prep was not enough. And I was concerned about the results of all of my (then) pending medical tests because of early deaths of two siblings from cancer.

I did a four day prep for a second colonoscopy which I had last week. Let me be brief with this and say they removed four more polyps and will call me when biopsies come back.

I had my first pap smear in 15 years two weeks ago and got a letter Saturday telling me that was normal! YEAH!!!

Also, I had my mammography several weeks ago and that was normal too!

The vitamin D and calcium supplements that I’ve been taking worked, as my Dr tested my levels at my last check-up two weeks ago and I am no longer deficient.

I am having a bone density screening tomorrow and that will be an end to all of these extra tests. I go back to my primary care Doc in three months for a blood pressure and thyroid check.

So I’ll just keep taking my medications and supplements and all should be well in the short-term. I was extremely preoccupied and stressed out over all of these pending medical tests and procedures, so I am glad this no longer needs to be an area of focus.

#4 -- Finances: We’ve had one disaster after another this winter --- dog emergencies resulting in huge vet bills, appliances dying, vehicle repairs and you-name-it. The end result is that with two kids in college and the other strains on the budget, we are now going on two months behind on our mortgage and we are barely able to keep our utilities on.

We have never, NEVER been in this situation before. We have always paid our mortgage on time our entire married life-- even if that meant we had to live on rice and beans and go without “extras.”

But the disasters were one after another all winter and we got deeper in the hole each week. My husband is terribly depressed and upset.

We’re hoping to have enough of an income tax refund to get us back on track. He dropped all of our papers off at the accountant a few days ago and everything should be ready to file next week. We should have enough of a federal return that we can get caught up.

I am so worn down by everything that has happened that I am afraid to comfort myself. Until we have the money in hand and are paying the mortgage, I can’t be satisfied.

I can’t deal with stress as well as I could when I was younger so I will be glad when we get past this. It is killing me.

On other fronts, I told you in the past about our wildlife garden and had given you a tour of the property which you can view in this post. Well, this past weekend was gorgeous out so Jeff and I spent both Saturday and Sunday outdoors raking and bagging leaves, trimming the trees and bushes, and cleaning up all of the flower beds.

We must have filled 30 of those brown landscaping bags. With everything cleared away, you can see the tops of the daffodils and tulips emerging. The crocus are already up-- it gave us a boost to be out there.

Anyway, when I went for my check up two weeks ago I could not believe that I lost 3 pounds as I have NOT been counting calories and I was SURE that I was going to show a gain. I guess I was eating just under what I needed to maintain.

That’s pretty much what I am still doing.

As this post is already so long, I’ll end for now. It is good to be back and I will be going around to check on all of you and see how you’re doing.