Categories
Simplicity Wardrobe

Old Pants, New Tailor

“Grandma, can I spend the night?”

It has been ages since I’ve heard those words from my beloved grandson. Risk or no, I could not have refused to save my soul. I reasoned that since we’d both been at home (and not exposed to potential nastiness), that we should be okay.

He was fascinated as he watched me sewing masks. Question after question was asked while I worked until he finally discovered my bag of sewing scraps.

“Grandma, can I sew on this fabric?” Grandson asked.

Once I gave permission, he announced that he wanted to make pants for his G.I. Joe doll. A few minutes later, he reappeared at my side with the creation in the top photo.

Those pants would barely fit upon his fingers.

I praised his attempt and reassured him that his next attempt would get better. The next morning, I discovered his first attempt at making a pattern:

Grandson’s second attempt

It was time to find the kid a pattern. He was obviously determined. After a quick online search, I found a basic pattern to work from. I printed it out and we went to work.

Grandson cutting out the pattern.

Since I didn’t have the doll available to check the pattern, I sacrificed a pair of my old sweat pants to the cause. I’ve widened a bit over these past few months so they’d gotten a bit tight and they won’t be missed. The stretch in the fabric would compensate if the pattern happened to be a bit small, I reasoned. We cut out the pieces and then started sewing.

Grandson sewing his first pair of pants from a pattern.

While he worked, I told him stories about how men who sew are called tailors, and how tailors used to be much in demand for sewing men’s clothing. I made an effort to discuss male fashion designers as well because I know in this area many consider sewing to be the exclusive realm of women. I wanted to mentally prepare him to know that it’s okay for guys to sew.

He was so proud of his creation!

Grandson’s finished pair of doll pants.

I am so proud of him! He did really well on those pants. I told him to let me know if we needed to alter the pattern, so the very next evening after he left Middle Daughter messaged me. She’d had to buy him a sewing kit and he was happily creating an entire wardrobe for his G.I. Joe. I gather she’s trying to locate a small sewing machine for him because she asked if I would teach both of them how to use it if she found one.

I readily agreed.

Back in the day before corporations trained us to buy their mass-manufactured garbage we used to make the clothes that we wore and the clothes we placed on our children’s toys. We made our own curtains, sheets, quilts, and anything else we wanted. We even knitted our own socks! My grandmother was so skilled at it that she didn’t even need a pattern; she could just look at an item and “know” how to re-create it at home.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately as I sew on those masks. We would sew what we needed, wear it out, re-purpose the fabric into quilts and other items, and then make more, so we didn’t have a lot of excess clothing. Even better, we appreciated the clothing we had, but due to the mental programming we’ve received we now look at clothes as disposable. We buy it, wear it once or twice, and then pass it on to someone else, donate it to a thrift shop, or toss it in the trash where it ends up in a landfill.

What if we changed that? What if, instead of giving money to the corporations who have programmed us to buy and buy, we started making things for ourselves to wear instead? It would cost a bit more to buy the fabric but each individual piece would have a part of ourselves in them, and they could be tailored to fit us properly. We could even select fabrics that reduce the harm to our environment by avoiding synthetics. If we wore those pieces out, re-purposing them into quilts or other items, we could reduce the burdens on our landfills even more.

I believe that I am going to do that. As I wear out the clothing I have already, instead of replacing them with commercially sewn options, I believe I may make some instead. When I mentioned that to my daughters, they were delighted. Middle Daughter wants me to teach her how to sew and Katie has already placed a few orders with the shop of Mom. As I become more comfortable with that, I do believe I may be able to take it a step further by re-working hand-me-downs and thrift store finds, which would reduce the environmental impact even further.

Time will tell how far I take it but I like the thought of reducing my reliance upon mass market goods even further. I like the thought of preventing the greedy corporations from receiving financial encouragement to treat workers as disposable objects so this is a thought I am definitely pursuing.

Have you given any thought about reducing your reliance on mass-produced goods? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
Frugality Simplicity Wardrobe

A Mother’s Work is Never Done

My Katie managed to score a day off from work yesterday, so we had the rare treat of sipping coffee together as we started the day. The conversation turned to brainstorming, since a relative had called to request some masks for herself and her son; she wants to pay and I don’t feel that it’s proper to accept money from her.

As we worked out a solution that would make everyone satisfied, Katie turned somber. “I know you’ve got a lot of masks to make, but if you get time would you mind patching one of my shirts? I love it but I can’t wear it now because of the holes.”

“Let me see it,” I grumbled good-naturedly.

At some point my daughter had acquired a camouflage button down Army Surplus shirt. While it was well-made, the years had made themselves known in the form of two holes that had appeared in the fabric. Katie wanted to patch the holes but she didn’t want the repairs to be too obvious. Fortunately, she had recently picked up some mask fabric in similar colors, so I offered to use that to make patches. She readily agreed.

I spent the remainder of the morning stitching those patches upon her shirt. She was so delighted that she made plans to wear it today:

Close up of Patch #1
Close up of Patch #2

While the images above make the patches seem noticeable, when she dons the shirt you can’t even see them unless you know where to look. I was quite pleased at the fact that I was able to repair that shirt using bits of fabric that I already had on hand.

Once that task was completed, I settled down at the sewing machine and worked on the masks. After a while I decided to take a break. I felt grubby so a bath was in order. Just as I began to relax in the soothing warm water I received a phone call from Middle Daughter. She had picked up some more fabric and was on her way to my home.

I didn’t even get to soap up. I climbed out of the tub and quickly toweled off, barely managing to pull up my pants before she arrived. She displayed her fabric finds, looked through my fabric stash, gushed over her excitement at being able to have Mommy make her some more masks (“I want to wear a new one every day!”), and asked how soon I could have them done.

“Let me finish my current batch, okay?”

“But Mommy! I want to wear a new mask! I like showing off your masks! No one else has masks as pretty as the ones you make!”

I ended up compromising. I would cut out the material for a single mask and whip it up along with the current batch, but she’d have to wait a day or so on the others. At 2 am this morning I’d just finished up, so, knowing that she was excited, I snapped some quick photos and sent them to her:

One side of Middle Daughter’s Mask
The opposite side of Middle Daughter’s mask

So my butt is tired today. Once I publish this blog post, I’ve got to finish up this current batch, arrange to ship the ones to my elderly relative, and start the batch of masks for Middle Daughter. At some point, however, this old woman is going to attempt to take another bath. I didn’t even get to soap up during yesterday’s attempt.

~#~

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I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Personal

Chaos

Due to pregnancy complications, at first one of my children and her newborn daughter were hospitalized. Now, my daughter has been released but her newborn has been taken to UK Children’s Center.

It has been a chaotic few weeks as I deal with this issue. While I would like nothing more than to talk about it here (I could use a shoulder to cry upon), I do not want to disrespect my daughter by sharing more than she has chosen to share publicly.

As I sit here, running on caffeine and adrenaline, the urge to bare my soul is intense but my morals disagree. This affects my daughter and my newest granddaughter; it would not be respectful for me to share this piece of their life without permission. Even as I have shared stories of those around me over the years, this is one story I cannot.

One bright side to this story that I can share is that I have been able to spend more time with my middle daughter and my other grandchildren as a result of this chaos. I spent a portion of time yesterday playing peek-a-boo with my toddler granddaughter. She would play that game as well as kick off one of her shoes and ask me to fetch things to her as part of the game, giggling every time that her grandma patiently participated in her antics.

That has been an immense bright spot in my recent days.

For now I have to sort some things around the home quickly. I am going to spend the night in the hospital this evening, so I need to sort things here before I leave.

Once the chaos settles I promise to return to my writing. In the meantime, I hope that you will bear with me.

Peace,
Annie

Categories
Life Personal

New Beginnings

This is it.

Last night I said my final farewell to the kid. The very last call was scripted, just letting me know that she had arrived safely and that she would be out of contact for the next couple of weeks.

I am now officially free of the full burden of motherhood.

It started a few days ago. We had a farewell party for the kid. Here are a few photos to mark the occasion:

With my grandson, her nephew.

Once the party was over (I didn’t show photos of others to protect their privacy), Katie made one final trip to say goodbye to her best friend who died. She left here on the 2 year anniversary of Emery’s death:

After her farewells, we kept it normal until the recruiter drove up to carry her away. She gifted me with some earrings to wear while she was gone in order to keep her close. I donned those to watch her pull away.

With her Recruiter.
Driving away.

I had quietly arranged to take the next day off, to see her one last time at MEPS. It was going to be a surprise but her uncle spoiled it when he saw us walk in. Darnit!

.I would include a photo of her uncle but he’s a rather high-ranked member of the military so I’m unsure of the wisdom. I will take the cautious route and not. I hope you understand.

Waiting at MEPS for Katie with her sister.
Katie’s final, official swear-in. She is now an official member of the US Navy.
One last meal together before we part ways.

I thought Katie was going to cry when we gave each other our final farewells but we all stayed strong. I’ve spent the past few days with tears streaming down my face so for now I believe I’m cried out.

Her last call was late last night. It was scripted. “I’m here. I’m okay. You will get a package in the mail soon. You will hear from me in approximately 2-3 weeks. I love you. Bye.”

So it is over. The 29 years I spent as a parent with kids at home have come to an end.

I intend to take the next few days to decompress. I want to get in the proper headspace before I move forward.

It is time to take a deep breath, relax, and to move on.

That is all any of us can do when we reach a turning point in our lives. We just need to breathe, realize that it is not the end of the world, and figure out what we want to do next.

I’ve already gotten the bones of that path started so I doubt much will change aside from my living circumstances. Just in case, however, I don’t intend to make any sudden moves until I know I am okay. While I’m a bit more okay than I was the day I watched her drive away, I know I’m not there yet.

We will all be okay at the end of the story. We can survive more than we realize.

I’ll write more when I can.

Categories
Holidays Personal Simplicity

Family Tradition

Once upon a time when Katie was small money was really tight. I’d spent most of my cash on Black Friday in order to afford to give my baby the best Christmas I could afford.

Katie wanted Christmas candy that year. In order to keep her happy I promised her that on the day after Christmas, once candy went on clearance, we would stock up and eat until we couldn’t.

True to my word we went out the next day. We not only bought several boxes of clearance Christmas candy; I also stumbled upon a discounted copy of the movie Forrest Gump.

I had just enough to buy it.

When we got back home Katie suggested that we eat our candy as we watched our new movie. I agreed. I had heard about the dorm scene so I made sure to distract my baby girl when it came up that evening.

The very next Christmas we went out after the holiday to stock up on candy; at Katie’s request we watched Forrest Gump once again.

And again.

After we moved into this tiny little house our after-Christmas routine fell to the wayside. I didn’t think much of it until the other day when Katie asked if we could follow our tradition once again.

I didn’t even realize that I had started a tradition.

I dug through my collection of DVDs, searching for the copy I’d purchased so long ago. To our immense disappointment, the movie had disappeared. We couldn’t locate a copy locally so Katie sprung for a digital copy in order to enjoy our tradition one last time.

We snuggled in her bed with the cat. The lights went down, the movie went on…

…And I cried.

Tears streamed unchecked down my face for the entire film. I cried for the purity of Forrest Gump, the sweetness of Bubba, and the pain of Jenny. I cried over the mother’s love for her son. I sniffled over the trials of Lieutenant Dan, the magic of their friendship, and smiled when he walked to Forrest’s wedding.

I cried for so many things but mostly I cried over the end of an era. I cried because this is the last time I’ll be able to share such a simple thing with my beloved daughter and I cried over the fact that I’d inadvertently created a tradition during her childhood that she had grown to cherish.

The tears of this mother are still falling as I type.

***

Do you have any traditions? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Decorating Holidays Life

Making Christmas Memories

Christmas dawned bright and early in the Brewer household. Katie had been sad since it was the first Christmas since her father had passed so I wanted to make it memorable. We invited a few friends to come visit with us so it was time to start cooking!

It is amazing what you can whip up using a toaster oven, a microwave, and a hot plate. The evening before, Katie made a white chocolate and Macadamia nut Christmas cookie. She ran to the store as it cooled, daring me to touch it, so guess what I did?

I took this photo and sent it to her:

The next day we set to work. Two Cornish hens, a bunch of Deviled eggs, and assorted sides later we ended up with our Christmas feast.

Assisted by our friends, we ate ourselves into a food coma by evening’s end as we listened to the Christmas music I splurged on for the event. To my delight, we had just enough room in our tiny fridge to store the remaining leftovers for the evening. Dishes were left until the next morning.

At one point, my childhood friend and I started discussing the artwork we’d made in the past. She mourned the fact that she no longer possessed any of the pictures she’d drawn as a child. With a smile, I ordered them to stand up and help me scoot the kitchen table to the center of the room. They watched me curiously as I tugged down the attic ladder and climbed up to retrieve a large tote. I’d saved a sketch she’d given me when we were kids. The expression on her face was priceless. I wanted to take a photo but she’s a bit camera shy, especially where my blog is concerned.

I became lost in memories as I went through the photos. I stumbled upon an old 8×10 that we’d had professionally taken years before Katie was even born. It was the best photo I’d ever seen taken of my ex-husband, so I gave it to Katie for her memories.

I retrieved a number of the photos, filling what frames I’d collected over the past few weeks and sticking them up on my walls. With the next round of frames I purchase I intend to start filling the walls in my kitchen. Here is the current layout:

My Main Photo Collection

Honoring Dad

Ignore the notes on the wall. As I read books late at night, I write down important things to store them until I transfer them into a notebook. If I pull them down before I transcribe them, I’ll misplace them. I don’t have many photos of my mother (she detested photos), but I intend to frame several photos that I have of her as time goes on. I have one gorgeous black and white photo of Mom in her youth that I may get enlarged into an 8×10 when I’m ready to make an honor wall for her.

Before it’s all done my home will be filled with my little treasures. My walls will be filled with photos of memories and people I’ve loved, my shelves will be filled with books, and my windows will be overflowing with plants. I can see my future home already; it will essentially be a giant library. I’ll have an old stereo, one with an old record player and old albums that I acquire here and there. I’ll have older radios, older clocks, and whatever older technology that I want to preserve. My furniture and appliances will be a mix of antique and modern. I am hoping to acquire a home with a large dining room that I can line with shelves from floor to ceiling to fill with books. In one corner will be a reading nook and the dining room table will be a place for me to spread out my research as I write my future books except on the random occasions when I invite friends over to entertain.

This house will be my haven.

It feels so good to finally be able to close my eyes and see where I’m going. It feels so good to be able to make small steps where I am, using the few things I already have.

And it felt like heaven to make yet another memory with my beloved Katie before she leaves the nest.

I am luckier than I ever imagined.

***

What memories did you make over the Christmas holiday? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Personal

End of an Era

My ex-husband died tonight. I was in bed when his brother showed up, banging on the door.

“Get dressed!” he ordered.

Katie was running through the house, frantic, so there was nowhere to change. I had the man turn his back so I could throw on some pants. I finally realized that the bathroom was empty so I darted inside to toss on a bra and a sweatshirt before we ran out the door and raced to Middle Daughter’s side.

When I got to the hospital it was to see my middle daughter holding his hand as she cried.

I knew this was coming. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. Even so, when he’d rallied all summer, blossoming in the care of Middle Daughter it seemed like he would outlive me.

There was so much blood. He’d aspirated and had been rushed to the Emergency Room. Middle Daughter hadn’t wanted the nurses to clean him up. She wanted to stay with him so she’d told them she wanted to do it.

I couldn’t leave him like that. Couldn’t let the kids see him that way so I grabbed a towel from a stack the nurses had set aside, lathered it up, and started scrubbing.

I couldn’t get it all off. I tried, I really did. It was the last thing I could do, you know? I had his brother’s wife take the kids out of the room so his brother could lift him and we could remove the bloody shirt, and I scrubbed and scrubbed. I scrubbed as hard as I dared because, illogical as it was, I didn’t want to hurt him.

Once the kids left the room the nurse came in and removed the thing in his mouth they’d used to try to revive him. I think it was a thing that helps them put tubes down their throat or something. I thanked her and washed his face again the best that I could but he had a beard so it was really hard.

And now I can’t go to sleep because every time I close my eyes I see him laying there, his hands growing cold as I try to get them clean.

We had our issues but I’d set them aside the best that I could for the sake of everyone concerned.

And now he’s gone.

At some point tomorrow (today, since it’s after four in the morning now) I may have to go help my kids make the arrangements. After that, I have no idea what will happen. I’ve got to be strong for my kids because I know what it’s like to lose your parents when you’re young, so I need to get a grip on my personal emotions before dawn arrives.

Please say a prayer for my daughters and my ex-husband’s family. This is going to be hard on them.

As for me…I’ve got a few posts already scheduled, so you will have that to enjoy while I recover. If there is a pause once they run out, I hope you will understand.

 

Categories
Personal

Counting Down the Days

It is finally starting to hit my daughter that she will be moving soon. This morning she wandered around the house a bit before asking when I had to leave for work. As soon as she discovered that I work the evening shift she offered to treat me to my new favorite place, the Main Cup coffee shop.

We settled down in our corner spot to enjoy our drinks and relax for the remainder of the morning. Katie immediately whipped out her phone and started snapping photos.

“Why are you so picture crazy these days?” I asked, intrigued by the fact that here lately she’s been snapping photos of me constantly.

“I want to have something to remember this time,” she replied. “This way we will both have something to remind us of these last few days.”

It is comforting to know that I’m not the only one facing the emotional upheaval of our eventual separation. While I am thankful that she is moving out to start her own life, we’ve spent almost 20 years together. That’s her whole life and a good portion of mine as well. This is going to be difficult on both of us, I’m afraid.

While she did her thing I pulled out my journal and started writing. It felt so luxuriously wonderful to hang out in a coffee shop sipping an espresso while I journaled. It has been years since I’ve had the opportunity. Memories of writing my very first books and articles in the coffee shops of Paducah danced through my head as I poured my soul upon the pages until Katie captured my attention. She turned her iPad around to show me what she had been tinkering on.

It was this photo.

I’m going to really miss her when she’s gone.

Categories
Decorating

Honoring Memories

My dad kept a magic box filled with memories from his life. He rarely opened it; I didn’t have a chance to really look through it until after his death. I’ve kept the contents undisturbed, looking through them whenever I felt myself missing him.

The inner dialogue with my future self caused me to realize that his memory should be cherished, honored in some way so that I could have him close by. I’ve always admired homes with their memories displayed; they seemed to hold a window into the soul of the person who displayed them yet I’d not gathered the courage to do the same.

I’ve decided to change that.

I gathered up the small collection of photo frames I’d used to display pithy sayings and decided to put them to a real use. Instead of simple decorations, they are now a window to my past. I may not be ready to truly decorate until the kid moves out and I properly rearrange things but it would be a start.

The first thing I did was decide to honor my dad.

I opened his box, admiring the photos he’d collected back during his Army days, selected some from his Airborne training in Fort Benning, Georgia and mounted them near my bed. I didn’t have enough frames (or the proper size) but I had enough for a small start. I’ll add more photos to the montage as money allows.

It will take a bit of time to get the placement absolutely correct; I’ll doubtless move them once the kid moves out and I rearrange but for now I can snuggle up at night with him close.

Dad would probably shake his head at my sentimentality.

In time I intend to dig through my memories and fill this old house. I want to honor the past even as I focus on the future. We can’t know where we’re going unless we remember where we’ve been.

Have you ever honored the memory of the past in a similar manner? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Finances Investments

Investment Update

The other day I closed out my books for the month of August. Here are the numbers:

Beginning Balance: $1,340.61

Dividends received: $20.46
Personal Investment: $286.00
————————————————

Total Invested in the stock market: $1,647.07

August was a tight month. I had to set aside some funds to celebrate my daughter’s 19th birthday. Since this very well might be the last chance that I have to spoil her I wanted to do something memorable, so in addition to her birthday gifts I treated her to a meal out and consented to get my nails done with her. She’d never had her nails professionally done before and didn’t want to go through the experience alone.

It was a first for me as well. Never in my life have I splurged on those fancy nail coatings so while I choked on the $35 fee it was worth it, not only to make my daughter happy but to see what all of the fuss was about. As long-time readers are well aware, I’ve always been a bit vain when it comes to nail care. It didn’t hurt to try it once, especially since it made my daughter so happy.

Even with the birthday splurge I was able to chip in a bit more than just my book royalties towards my investment goal. It wasn’t much but every little bit counts. As soon as the funds hit my account I will make my next stock purchase.

I am looking forward to it.

Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to get my nails done without having to choke at the price. I’ll have enough money coming in on a regular basis so that I can afford to treat myself to the occasional manicure. Who knows? Regardless, it was a fun experience to check off of my bucket list.

In the meantime I only have $58,352.93 to go in order to attain my goal of investing $60,000 into the stock market. I am quite pleased with my progress.

Did you make any progress towards your goals last month? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Inspiration

Wisdom of Uncle B-Bob

Meet Uncle B-Bob. He was the husband of my beloved Auntie. He died from cancer a few years back but his words live with me to this day.

He was always busy but he would never fail to spend time with us kids anytime I came over to visit. Memories of riding in the back of his pickup truck as he drove us to the fishing hole are among my fondest memories.

Uncle B-Bob was a soft-spoken man who was wise beyond his years. I remember him telling us kids that if we started saving money when we were 18 and started working that we could retire by the time we reached 40.

He said that he wished someone had told him that when he had been younger.

Of course, none of us really paid attention back then. We were too busy fishing to think much of it. I filed the memory away and went on with my life until my Auntie reminded me of his words the other day. My 20-year goal was so similar to his advice that she is convinced he is behind the idea.

Regardless of the truth in that, I can see him in my mind’s eye nodding sagely, saying “you can do it. Just get to work. You may not make much progress at first, but you’ve got to get started.”

Time to get back to work.

Categories
Personal

Katie’s Prom

My daughter’s growing up. It’s hard to believe that she is 18 and on the verge of graduating high school. She even has a boyfriend now. He’s leaving for the Army in a few months so he’s resolved to spend as much time with Katie as possible before he leaves. He even gave her a promise ring this weekend.

Here are some photos of them at Prom the other evening.

I am in awe of her beauty, of how wonderful they both look in these photos. I am in awe of how quickly she has grown up. It seems like yesterday I started blogging as I searched for a way to be the best mother I could be; to spend the most time I could with her while she grew up.

I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that it’s been ten years since my very first post on that very first blog. What’s next? This can’t be all there is in life. I’ve spent the last 28 years focused on raising my children…what do I do now?

I’ll figure something out. I always do. In the meantime I’ve something else to focus on: how did someone so beautiful come from a woman as ugly as me? 😀

Categories
Personal

Love Shave for my cousin

Hello all!

Here are the pictures of the love shave I promised my Cousin Dani. She had to have her head shaved for an operation to relieve pressure on her brain so I promised to go through baldness with her.

Before

So far I have gotten a combination of shock, support, and a lot of “are you crazy” comments. Such is life. If this makes my cousin laugh and lets her know that she is loved, it is worth it. Every bit of it.

Already the hair is starting to grow back, so it itches a bit. Yesterday I was outside all day and so wore a bandanna to keep from getting sunburn on my newly-shaved head. I had to take it off for a moment, and ended up shocking a couple of people LOL!

Gotta love being different!

The first few pictures are after I let my daughter scissor the length of my hair off, and the rest are after it was shaved. I’m posting a before photo as well.

Categories
Health Personal

My cousin looks like a borg…

…now that she has had her surgery. I wish I could post photos but she is a bit embarrassed at her appearance.

They shaved the whole entire side of her head and there is a tube running from the top of her skull behind her ear, down her neck, across her chest and into her abdominal cavity where the excess fluid will drain away. The tube is just under the skin so it is really obvious especially after the surgery. Behind her ear is this circle where a doctor will place a magnetic device that he will use to dial up or down how much pressure is needed to trigger the shunt, and should the issue be resolved, will be used to turn the shunt off.

Already she has had the rest of her long hair trimmed down to about an inch in length, and plans to shave it down to match the rest of her head when the swelling goes down.

This is my baby cousin, guys. She is as close to a blood sister as I really have, her and her siblings. Even though she was always taller than me and bigger than me I was the elder one. I always tried to look out for them when I would go spend summers at her house growing up.

Here in a few days I’m getting my head buzzed out of love and respect for what she is having to go through. If people don’t like it, tough! She is half a country away so I can’t be there physically, but at least I can be there spiritually.

I’m going to try to find some bandannas that represent me to wear during the interim while my scalp adjusts to the extra sunlight. Any ideas? One friend says biker bandannas would reflect my attitude best, and another says Native American ones. I dunno.

I love The Secret, and perhaps that is why I feel kinda strange here lately. I have my younger adopted sister who walks with a cane, my cousin who just had this surgery to have this tube implanted into her skull I gather permanently, and various friends who are diabetic and have a slew of illnesses.

You know what I have? A hormonal imbalance (controlled by birth control pills) and an annoying reaction to milk.

That’s it. Despite all the things that have happened in the past, I’m in the best health of my life at age 39, and here are all my friends and family so ill around me.

I love my health, I love this ability. Still at times I feel guilty because it’s like I’m some sort of superhero who is trying to learn and master their power and who feels great and wonderful yet those around her are ill and you know there’s a solution but you can’t force them to take it, cause no one is ready for it.

When I buzz my head I’ll post pictures here so all of you can have a good laugh. If Dani gets a good laugh out of it then it is worth it!

Sigh. I cried when I saw those pictures of my cousin. I worry about her so! She has already battled cancer and won, and now has to deal with this! As a result, she has left medical school after all of her hard work to excel.

Regardless of what happens, I am SO proud of her! She is fighting. She hasn’t given up. Even posting the pictures she talks about how “cool” it was that the doc would use this one device to control her shunt, and she wouldn’t have to have another surgery as a result.

Cuz, you are one brave chick, and I love you!

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Personal

Going bald for a cause

My cousin has to have a shunt put in her head for high intracranial pressure.

She’s worried about having a shaved head as a result.

This is a cousin whom I spent many a lazy summer vacation with, playing dress up, roaming the hills, watching the tube with.

I’m shaving my head in solidarity with her.

I know it sounds kinda crazy, but I will donate my mop to Locks of Love, and post a few pics of it. What’s a shaved head among friends, right?

Before anyone asks, it was my suggestion, and my decision.

My other cousin, her sister, is thinking of doing it as well.

Hair is just hair to me, but she is my cousin, whom I love very much.

I have about a week/ week and a half before her surgery. She has a couple of pre-op appointments to go to first.

Place her in your prayers, my friends. Please. semi