Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Messages to my Dad

I'm still struggling with not having my Dad around anymore.  I'm starting to feel pretty crummy and want to be able to cope without him.  I start feeling the worst when I want to call him and tell him something, and as I reach for the phone or think about when I'm going to call him next, I remember he's not going to be there to answer the phone.  I want to start writing down what I wanted to tell him as a way to get these things out.  I know he's not ever going to answer, but keeping it inside is tearing me a part.

October 30, 2013

Dad, I wanted to call you today and ask you about something and talk about the Cardinals game with you.  As I write this, I can't even remember what I wanted to ask you about.  I really miss you Dad.

November 3, 2013

Hey, Pops.  I still miss you a ton.  I figured out this weekend that I'm mad you're gone and I want to direct my anger at something, but there's nothing to direct it to.  What happened to you just really sucked and it isn't anyone or anything's fault.  I'm trying to figure out how to resolve these feelings, but haven't found a good solution yet.  Still miss you, Dad.

November 8, 2013

Hey, Dad.  The last few weeks have been busy.  I think I've been ignoring what has happened because I still want to call you about things and I still think of referring to you in the present tense which sometimes takes my breath away when I remember that you're not here anymore.

November 19, 2013

Dad, I still think you're around and what's happened is a really bad dream.  We all miss you a lot.  Love you!

December 21, 2013

Dad, I've been keeping myself REALY busy, but I think it was because I wanted to avoid thinking about what happened with you.  The past two weeks have been a little tough.  I completely lost it again.  I didn't intentionally try to ignore how I'm feeling, but I didn't really acknowledge it either.  I'm supposed to go home to spend the holidays with Mom and the boys tomorrow.  I'm a little afraid to because I'm not sure how we're going to deal without you there.   Thanksgiving kept us really busy and Mun was in China, so we were missing more than just you.  I just never anticipated you not being there, and now that you're not it hasn't really sunk in.  I haven't talked much to Mom about it because it still just makes me really upset and there isn't anything to say about it that everyone doesn't already know.  I'll have to eventually have to talk to her about it, but I don't really want to think about that.  I'm thinking about bringing you home.  Sometimes I miss you so much that it takes everything in me to not take you out of the container and just sit and cry with you.  I'm afraid to do it because I know that it won't make things better and honestly, it seems a little nutty.  Miss you.

January 6, 2014

Hey Pop.  The car crying has significantly gotten better, but it doesn't mean that I miss you any less.  The holidays have come and gone again.  It was a bit rough to not have you around.  I think we were all trying to not think about everything that has happened.  It has snowed a ton here today and as I was looking out the window, I saw a bright red cardinal sitting on the tree outside my window.  I hope it was you checking in.  I'm not sure if it was just Josh's way of humoring me, but he thinks it might have been you because he's never seen a cardinal in weather like this (though, he might not even know what the weather's like since he's in Orlando).  We also decided it may have just been a really stupid bird that didn't realized it should have flown south.  You won your survivor pool at work and we got the money and message over Christmas.  I'm still confused as to how your pool worked, but I hope you really won and they weren't just trying to be nice.  Mom split the money up and we each got $10.  What should I do with it?  My anxiety is pretty bad and I'm trying really hard to work through it by myself.   Honestly, like what happened with you, I have nothing else to say about it other than it sucks.  It makes me sad that I can't just call you like I used to when I was having trouble (even though I never really told you what was happening).  They say that sometimes after a significant loss, it can a profound effect on a person's life.  I'm not quite sure what it's done to me so far, but I want to be a better person and someone you would have been proud of.  Josh is traveling a lot now, and I'm home by myself and I hate it.  Not because I can't handle being alone, but I just hate having to deal with my thoughts alone.  I know this is no surprise to you since I have never liked to be alone in a room by myself.  Dad, where should we take Mom on a trip?  Love and miss you.

January 24, 2014

We finally got the autopsy results back.  Nothing really surprising, but it makes for a sad day.  I needed to read it to see if there was anything we could have done, but it was really hard to read it since it was very detailed and cold feeling.  It was almost like having to relive what happened in written form.  Missing you a lot today, Dad.

March 1, 2014

Dad, we're getting ready to move.  It sucks.  I hate it and I just want to call you to talk to you about it.  I've got to get ready to go and don't really have time to get upset about it right now.

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Dad Died

October 28, 2013

My Dad has died.  He died on October 12, 2013.  I'm writing this because I think it will make me feel better and because I don't want to forget what happened.  I don't really want to constantly remember what happened those last few days, but those are the last memories that I'll have of him.  My Dad got sick about a week and a half before he passed.  I don't think anyone thought he would digress as quickly as he did.  We found out he had a rare disease called amyloidosis along with multiple myeloma (plasma cancer).  I barely had time to process the diagnosis, and then he passed.

Those last few days were terrible.  In a way, I'm glad we were all with him at the end, but for selfish reasons I wish I wasn't there.  Watching his body shut down and having cardiac episodes were some of the worst moments I have ever experienced.

When Josh and I arrived to see him on Friday, I knelt by his bed and he just rubbed my back while I cried by his side.  I knew deep down that it would be the last time he would really do that.   He was still  acknowledging people at that time, but was just really weak and tired.  He seemed to be getting better as the day progressed and I was just hoping that this was just a rough patch that we needed to work through, but could look back on as the beginning of his long hard fought battle.

I miss my Dad terribly and it has been a little over 2 weeks.  The nights are the absolute worst.  My husband is doing an outstanding job at comforting all of us.  I don't know how to explain to him how I'm feeling.  It's the little things that get me.  Sometimes it is writing on here.  Last Saturday it was the National Anthem during game 3 of the World Series while we were at Busch Stadium.  Last night it was because I saw some pictures of him that we had put together for his visitation.  The thing that upset me the most about the pictures was that the guy in the photos was not the same guy that we saw in the hospital a few weeks ago.

I can't find somethings that I really want that my Dad gave me.  There was the letter he wrote me on my wedding day.  We've moved a lot and I can't remember where I saw it last.  I thought it was in one place and it isn't.  I'm frustrated I can't find it.  I want something of his to just hold and cry.  I'm afraid to actually get something and do that.  I'm afraid I won't let that thing go.  I'm afraid it won't make me feel better because I acknowledge that he won't come back.

I think the two week mark is hard for me because I had been regularly calling and talking to him at least once a week (even while he was in the hospital the first week at St. Anthony's I called and spoke to him twice).  I have his voicemails to listen to, but it isn't the same.  Sometimes it makes me want to talk to him more after hearing his voice.  Really, life isn't the same without my Dad.  I struggle because I don't know where he is.  I don't truly know that if I speak out to him, he'll hear me.  Do people say that their loved ones are "watching over them" to make them feel better, or do they truly believe that?  The only thing I am certain about is that I wish he were still here.    

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Project Update

Well, it has certainly been a while.  I intended on blogging regularly.  It hasn't happened.  I have been thinking of new things to try and do though.  My latest idea has been to utilize the tools I already have in the kitchen, versus trying to get new tools.  I set my sights on my trusty rice cooker! 

Stay tuned for different recipes to make with your rice cooker!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It is your birthday? Here's a gift on us.... Gifts and discounts for you on your birthday!

Birthdays are supposed to be pretty darn special.  Heck, most places usually use that date as a way to identify who you are!  Why not take advantage of some of the perks associated with birthdays?! Here's my list of special offers or gifts for you on your birthday!

Cost: FREE!  

Materials Needed:
  • Computer
  • e-mail
  • Printer
  • Smartphone (optional)
Approximate Amount of Time:
  • ~5 minutes per submission 
How to do it:

All you really need to do is keep your eyes and ears peeled during the year for free reward clubs or e-mail subscriptions.  You may end up with a few extra e-mails in your inbox throughout the year, but hey, if they're going to give you a gift on your birthday that isn't so bad is it?  Just make sure you keep your address updated, as some stores only send you your gift through the mail.

Anthropologie sends you a discount card to use the month of your birthday if you are a member of their club ANTHRO.  The discount is even applicable to sale items!

Pirate's Dinner Adventure has a discount code on their website that allows free admission during your birthday month.  There are restrictions that are listed on the website. 

Sephora changes their gift yearly.  Last year it was a Philosophy body wash.  This year it is two mini Sugar lip balms.  Drop in to Sephora and show your Beauty Insider Card (click to sign up) or give them the e-mail associated with your account during your birthday month and the gift is yours! 

Benefit cosmetics offers a free brow service to you on your birthday!  Visit any of their Brow Bars for your gift.  No membership or subscription is necessary for this one!

Swagbucks gives you a few extra bucks if you are already signed up (see my past post about this little gem here).

Panera loads a birthday gift good for 60 days on your MyPanera card.  You must have a MyPanera card and have it registered. 

Godiva Boutiques gifts you with a free piece of chocolate during your birthday month.  They will also send you a coupon via e-mail for $10 off a purchase online or in store to use during the month of your birthday. You must be part of the reward club in order to get your gifts.

Bare Minerals gifts you with a free FULL sized eyeshadow (the color is predetermined) if you're a member of FAB.  You can redeem your gift online or in one of their boutiques.      

Ulta sent an e-mail out letting everyone know there would be a gift for 2014.

I'll keep updating this list and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Before there was Pinterest, there was this website...

I'm not going to lie.  I waste a ton of time on Facebook and Pinterest.  Before there was Pinterest, there was a website titled, "This is Why You're Fat".  The title is pretty horrific and possibly offensive to some.  Nonetheless, I find the content utterly mesmerizing.  I could look at this site for hours a day.  The site is a compilation of photos of outrageous food accompanied with captions.  Some of the items aren't that far fetched (really? McDonald's holiday pies?! Those are just delicious, not food cray cray!) while others are just gross (like the the Bacon-copia that contains 1 pound of scrapple and blood sausage).  There's even a wikipedia page for it!  Now, if you've visited the old site, you'll see that it no longer exists :(.  I have to say that this tumblr page isn't as great as the original, but is still entertaining.  If you're looking for something else to waste some time, I highly suggest perusing this site.   

Friday, October 5, 2012

Earning an unconventional income

Life is a journey right?  Right now, mine has put me in a bit of an unusual situation.  For a quick recap, my partner in crime (aka husband) graduated with his PhD and got a job (yay!).  It is an awesome opportunity for him professionally.  This new job has my crime buddy working in various site locations for one full year.  Housing and vehicle costs are covered for this one year!  Unfortunately, I don't have a job that will allow me to be out of the area which means unemployment for me :(  We're almost 4 months into the first of 3 locations and I've found that I really need to feel like I'm contributing to this household with a job.  I've needed to figure out creative ways to get around our temporary living situation to find work.  I'm not making nearly as much as I was with my more traditional job, but something is better than nothing, right?

Materials needed:
  • Internet
  • Various profiles (one per site being used)
  • Time

Approximate Time Needed: Varies 

oDesk is pretty straight forward.  You are either a client (individual who is posting a job) or a contractor (individual looking for a job).  You set up you profile, take a few online tests, and then start applying for jobs.  When you apply for the job, you are basically trying to outbid others for the position.  They have both fixed rate jobs or hourly jobs.  There are pros and cons to both types of work and their website does a pretty good job of explaining what type of job might be best for you.  I've been hired for one job so far.  I'm not going to lie.  The jobs aren't hard, but it can be a little tricky getting the job.  I wouldn't expect to easily get a minimum wage job that you can do from home.  There are people who bid on jobs all day and are willing to do the work for $1-$2 PER HOUR.  Coming from a salaried position, that can be quite a bit less than what you may be used to making.  The company does a good job of giving you pointers during your first few applications and when you create your profile to help you become successful.  If you're persistent, you could easily make a couple of bucks.  

Task Rabbit is another site where people post jobs and you can apply to complete them.  The application process is a bit more daunting.  I'll be honest, I haven't been successful with this site.  I honestly haven't even set up my account all of the way.  One of the big differences with this site is that they require you to have a video interview as well.  This is the one thing I have yet to complete.  It seems as if the jobs are easier to obtain than they are on oDesk.  It might be easier to get the jobs once you pass the tests, but I'll let you know once I get to that point. 

MTurk stands for "mechanical turking" and is run by Amazon.  They are tasks that need human interaction for and cannot use computers to generate the answers.  You sign up and start turking away!  You can be paid directly to your desired bank account, or you can put the money into your Amazon account.  Their tasks are called "hits".  You won't be making dollars per hit.  You're making CENTS per hit.  There are a few dollar hits, but not nearly enough to make a substantial amount.  Luckily with the hits, there are easy an are usually only a few questions.  You can get quite a few done once you get the hang of it.    

Good luck and happy job hunting!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

DIY Piñata!

This stared when a friend of mine asked me if I knew where she could find a certain destructive-type-bird-game themed piñata. I personally hadn't seen any, but I knew of the shape she was looking for and offered to save her a few bucks (or a lot of bucks because I come to find out that this themed item can run approximately $50 per piñata) and make one. Luckily the birthday boy chose a pig! I had been itching to repurpose some newspaper I had laying around and cut them into strips of random sizes for easier manipulation when trying to build the pig.

Here's how I did it:

Materials Needed:
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Balloon/beach ball
  • Glue (I used PVA glue)
  • Tissue paper
  • Masking tape
  • Bowl
  • Medium paint brush/sponge
  • Box cutter
  • Water
  • Wire/Hanger 
  • Cardboard
Approximate Amount of Time Needed:
  • About a week
First, fill a large bowl with equal parts of water and glue. If it looks too runny add a bit more glue. If it looks too thick, add a little more water. The mixture should look and be the consistency of milk. ***I chose to use a glue over a homemade paste that uses flour because I needed this to hold up for a while and I didn't want it to go rancid*** Place some of your strips of paper in the bowl to briefly soak.  Depending on the type of paper, your strips might start to descinegrate and will be difficult to use.  In the meantime, inflate your balloon or beach ball. I think a balloon might be easier to use because of the removal trouble I had with the beach ball, but the beach ball doesn't have as much waste because you can reuse it. 

Secondly, start covering your balloon.  Leave the spot where the knot/plug is open so you can remove the balloon later.  I would try to place your strips in even layers.  You don't really need to shape your creation just yet.  Keep building your layers until you are happy with the thickness.  You may want to create a few layers, let it dry a bit, and continue with the layers until you've reached your desired thickness to make it easier on yourself.  Hang to completely dry (this may take a few days depending on how many layers you made.  Don't throw everything out just yet!  You might need it to further bring your creation to life.  

Next, pop/deflate your balloon once your creation has dried.  You'll know it is dry because it will feel lighter and have no soft/wet spots.  Pull the balloon out of the inside of the pinata.  If the balloon is sticking to the inside of the pinata, gently pull it away.  Cover the hole with your glue/paper strip combination or use some making tape and paper strips.  Once that has been completed, you can create and attach other features (eyes, ears, etc.) with paper and tape.  

Now,  cover your pinata with your colored tissue paper.  Some people like to make it flat and use squares of tissue paper with glue.  I made fringe out of the tissue paper to give the pinata a little more life and character since this was for a child's birthday party.

Finally, cut a square in the back of the pinata to allow you to put your goodies inside.  Before you fill the pinata, use wire to create a hook for you to hang your pinata.  You may need to anchor the wire on the inside of the pinata if it is heavy or if you are using a weaker wire.  Fill your pinata and whack away!