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Mary, we do love you so and I don't think it's weird to feel relieved in a way. When you've been dealing with chronic and debilitating illness for so long, it makes your weariness go soul-deep. This is a heavy price to pay for having your burden lifted but there is still a small sense of relief because the challenge ahead of you will be the last one you have to overcome and then you'll have your life back. Compared to what you've been going thru for so many years, the surgery and recovery will be easier because at least you'll know that when you get past the hardest part, you won't have to fight anymore. Life can be good for you again dearheart and because of that, I share your relief. You can do this.

CJ, you need to change the locks on your door and stop those people from showing up.........or at least insist that they bring a bucket of the Colonel's chicken along with them so you don't have to cook dinner! LOL! Hugs to you and your sweet mother too.

Kathie, it's not much consolation this close to Christmas, but when a package isn't claimed at a PO, they send it back to the return address in 13 days. I've tried to get stuff shipped back sooner when it went to the wrong place and that's what USPS has always told me......it's a long waiting game but at least your mixer won't be in a snow drift. And such a pretty red too!

Holly sweetie, is your finger okay? Hopefully it wasn't a bad cut and you're not bleeding anymore. If it's not too deep, squeeze some onion or garlic juice on it and it'll speed up the healing. You'll cuss for a few seconds but it'll heal much faster.

Roxie, if you've had the flu all week and could still bake a cake, my hat is off to you!!

I had a dr appointment this morning that didn't go well at all. Fired another one for being a twit. She refused to run a blood test to check my TSI even tho I told her I've been working with my team of doctors in Denver on this for years. She said, "I can run it if you're just curious but I won't treat it". Curious??? CURIOUS??? I'm not a violent person but I almost belted her upside the head with my cane for that. We're talking about an auto-immune condition that's destroying my skeletal, muscular, neurological, and systemic functions and she had the gall to call it curiosity. <deep breath> She also "forgot" to order TSH, T3 and FreeT4 on the blood work last week so I don't even know where that's at. My TSH has been in double and triple digits for the past 18 months and she doesn't consider that important enough to monitor even tho I stood at the front desk and insisted that they do it. Worst of all, she completely missed the fact that my red blood count and hemocrit are both high.......signs that the MGUS (pre-lymphoma) is escalating. So I start all over again with doctor number.....<pausing to count>....oh, somewhere around # 64 . Leetle bit frustrated tonight. Does it show? <sheepish grin while scuffing toe in the dirt> Don't mind me. That storm moving in has me puffed up like a blow fish and the pain meds aren't working so I'm a little cranky tonight. Tomorrow I'll be fine.

BTW, a flock of yellow rumped warblers has moved into my back yard. They are SO adorable! They're a little larger than a chickadee but they're carnivorous..........well, if an insect eater is a carnivore that is. They think they're miniature raptors and the way they swoop and dive to snatch gnats and mosquitos out of the air sure looks like a mini hawk in motion. They're also dining well on the fire ants in the back of the yard so they're most welcome. Best of all is that their name describes them well. Not only do they have a cute yellow rump, but they're sweet little songbirds. One of them flew up and perched on the patio with me for awhile and didn't seem afraid so maybe they'll hang out over the winter with me. I've had them come and go but this flock-ette has been here for a week or so already.

Finished my Yule shopping and wrapped a few gifts this afternoon. Is it weird that I wrap gifts for my cats? LOL! Napoleon used to love the paper and that's why I got into the habit of doing it. He loved the paper as much as he loved his new toys. Frankie and Deano are starting to look at Christmas the same way Napoleon did..........they love it! I finally got a train to go under the tree this year and Deano has appointed himself to be the Toll Cat on the line.

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They're both pretty fond of hanging out under the tree in the great room. Deano is on the left and Frankie is on the right. Handsome fellows, aren't they!

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Two hours standing at the "Guest" counter at Target. The customer service rep at the store was as helpful as she could be, but her hands were tied. She went to the store manager, who told her to tell us he guessed we'd just have to eat the loss. (He was too chicken to tell me that to my face.) The rep phoned the Guest Services' 800 number --- Jeez. If I treated my guests the way we've been treated ... just sayin' --- anyway, the good rep phoned the 800 number and then re-dialed and punched to robot "go to" buttons when calls were dropped. I finally got to a supervisor, who said she couldn't help and then said she'd call UPS and see what she could do. She was the only one who asked for a call back number, despite the recorded messages that said they'd been having problems with dropped calls. But then that probably didn't matter, as one of the reps told me they didn't have the ability to phone out. However, after another eon on hold, the supervisor came back and said she was having trouble getting through to UPS and promised to call me back. Well, that was a couple of hours ago. My phone isn't ringing.

I just checked the UPS tracking -- the package is in Tucson, heading for Michigan.

This is almost as much fun as tracking Santa's progress on Christmas eve.

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Roxy, dear... To whom are you speaking? I've searched the last two pages and can't find a Kathy or something relating to Target. Am I missing something (I miss alot.).

I'm pretty sure MK has put me on ignore, which is probably why she missed the post. :D

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We finally heard back from the Kia service center this morning. DW called me at work in a panic, saying they told her it would cost close to $4,000 to fix the car, and then transferred her to their sales department, which offered her $600 on the car as a trade in for a new car (we still owe over $2,000 on it). She and I were obviously livid. So I took an early lunch break to go down to the stealership and find out if they really think we were born yesterday.

It turns out they think they have found the problem (maladjusted timing chain and camshafts, (which I told them to look at 9 days ago) and about a mile of wiring to inspect. However, it would require removing the entire motor from the car and taking it apart, which would cost $2,200, and possibly another $2K to fix it and put it back together- about a week from now. We're already $1,500 out of pocket for the two previous repair shops, the car rental and the 7 hours they're charging for the previous 9 days of scratching their heads. They denied transferring her to the sales department, but I told them if Kia was the last manufacturer of cars on earth, we would buy matching Huffy's for the family before buying another one of their apparently impossible to fix cars. Ironically, the repair would have been covered by the 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty- IF we were the original buyers. Since we're the 2nd owners, the warranty was cut in half, so it expired about 2 years ago.

As soon as I finished work I met DW at the credit union to see if we could either get a loan for a new car (not likely) or a small loan to get the car fixed, which is far beyond our limited means now. If we don't get the car fixed or replaced, DW will most certainly lose her job and we won't have a way of taking our kids anywhere. It really fries my bacon that two full-time working adults with college degrees, can get this close to homelessness because of low wages and one non-functioning car.

If we do get a loan, I should be able to pay it off quickly next year. I'm waiting for the clearance on a V.A. background check so I can start my new job as a contracted Appeals Auditor at the local V.A. hospital. The company that recruited me is an entity started by a retired General. They staff Federal jobs with contract employees in over 2 dozen states. The best part is I'll be back at my old salary, which is far more than I'm earning now.

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...Holly sweetie, is your finger okay? Hopefully it wasn't a bad cut and you're not bleeding anymore. If it's not too deep, squeeze some onion or garlic juice on it and it'll speed up the healing. You'll cuss for a few seconds but it'll heal much faster...

As soon as I felt the slice I grabbed a tissue and wadded it and pushed it against the cut whilst heading for the bathroom where we keep the first aid stuff. I grabbed a sterile dressing and some stick-to-itself tape and doused it with peroxide and made a pressure dressing. The "nonstick" dressing sticks to the dried blood,, so every time I try to remove it for a bandaid it starts to bleed again; so I'll be sleeping with the pressure dressing tonight. I'm a total klutz so when I cut or burn myself around the house, I don't fool around; and I'm very good at first aid treatments.

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Kathie, I am too far from the Marshall post office to offer to go there, but it is a small town and I would suggest you try calling them yourself. Hey, you never know. If they catch it, they could forward it to you or maybe to me (I am directly east of there a couple of hours)? I could send it to you then.

Deb, I am so sorry about the doctor. Wish you could come here to mine - they are so good to me.

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Kathie, I am too far from the Marshall post office to offer to go there, but it is a small town and I would suggest you try calling them yourself. Hey, you never know. If they catch it, they could forward it to you or maybe to me (I am directly east of there a couple of hours)? I could send it to you then.

Thanks, Deana, that's kind of you to offer. I have a friend in Marshall who can do this if it's a possibility. We'll follow the UPS tracking info and see where it's headed. If it is, indeed, going to Marshall MO (and not Marshall, MI), I will for sure call the post office. It is a small town, and they know us. :)

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I only left you all alone for one day and you have been so busy! Slicing and dicing of the fingers :ill: - hair-pulling frustration due to funky cars - doctor visits - and tracking one package :detective: from here to the moon and back! Whew! I'm exhausted!

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I only left you all alone for one day and you have been so busy! Slicing and dicing of the fingers :ill: - hair-pulling frustration due to funky cars - doctor visits - and tracking one package :detective: from here to the moon and back! Whew! I'm exhausted!

See what happens when you miss meetings?

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I don't fool around; and I'm very good at first aid treatments.

Which is a handy knack for a nurse to have! :stretcher: As long as you're okay, that's the main thing. Being a kitchen klutz is yet another twin thing coz while I'm a good cook and not a klutz with knives anywhere else, I can almost whack off a finger slicing bread or chopping onions. I've been told that I'm not allowed to play with knives but I do it anyway coz it's hard to slice bread with a spoon.

I only left you all alone for one day and you have been so busy! Slicing and dicing of the fingers :ill: - hair-pulling frustration due to funky cars - doctor visits - and tracking one package :detective: from here to the moon and back! Whew! I'm exhausted!

CJ, we were thinking of having a barn raising and square dance later but everyone was too tired. :lol:

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Which is a handy knack for a nurse to have! :stretcher: As long as you're okay, that's the main thing. Being a kitchen klutz is yet another twin thing coz while I'm a good cook and not a klutz with knives anywhere else, I can almost whack off a finger slicing bread or chopping onions. I've been told that I'm not allowed to play with knives but I do it anyway coz it's hard to slice bread with a spoon...

Well, now, I don't slice myself cooking since I got my paws on a steel and keep those carbon steel knives sharp. I'm a fair cook, according to the people I feed on a regular basis, so I get lots of opportunities; no, my kitchen klutziness is directly related to heat injuries and burns and the ice maker in our fridge is my first aid treatment for those. No, these days I cut myself in the workshop. I blame this one on fatigue.

As for the twin thing, you may have autoimmune issues, but I have the cardiac and respiratory "stuff".

Oh, and DH took us out to The Egg & I for breakfast, since the pressure dressing wasn't letting me cook, much less wash up and since we were in town it made sense to spend the day shopping I found two different packets of gear wheels in the bead section at HL for steampunking, and at BAM I found Tuscan Style magazine that had so many GORGEOUS inspiration pictures for the Lily I had to shut my eyes at the price and get it. There is a painted stone bathroom sink that will make up nicely in poly clay.

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This morning I'm considering the glory of pumpkin.......specifically when it's turned into something yummy like pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. Given a choice between doing a load of laundry or whipping up a double batch of pumpkin bars, I think that the choice is clear. I'll be dressing funny today but there will be delicious baked goods for Bruce, his coworkers, and our neighbors. The baking section of my kitchen counters is already stacked with the ingredients and a pile of festive tins so I just need to do the assembling part. LOL! Yesterday I unloaded the dishwasher and set out all my bowls, pans and utensils so I'm as ready as I can be. Bruce even hauled in one of his guitar stools for me to sit on while I'm mixing batter and whipping the frosting. <grinning> It's not the 35 pounds of fudge that I used to knock out every Christmas, but the sentiment is the same and you can still taste the love. That's all that matters.

<chuckling> Yesterday I heard the doorbell ring and since I wasn't dressed to answer it and wasn't expecting a delivery, I asked Bruce to go to the door. He opened it and then slammed it shut, turning with a grin and saying, "I think it's for you. Go look." So I did and there in the manufacturer's box with a great big picture on all four sides was the routing table and router combo that I'd ordered for Bruce's Yule present. <cackle> Obviously there wasn't much point to wrapping it and as long as Bruce was hauling it in, I told him he might as well go ahead and put it in the garage instead of under the tree. It may have been early and not the way I'd intended for the surprise to happen, but in a way it was more fun to see the look on his face and for us to share a big laugh and a new Christmas memory of how the routing table surprised him at the front door. He spent the rest of the day happily rearranging his woodshop to make room and admiring his new toy. I love to see him so happy in his new creative niche!

Oh, and since he got one of his gifts early, he gave me one of mine......the Michael Parkes print that I've been wishing for and requested this year before it goes out of print. It's a nude so I won't post a picture here but if you're old enough you can google "Michael Parkes Puppet Master" and see. I'm a huge fan of Michael Parkes and have three framed prints in my morning room (The Mask, The Deva, and The Creator) already plus several books with illustrated plates. I find that his work seems to represent how my mind processes life experiences so it resonates deeply with me. I also love the surrealism in his art. The symbolism is almost hypnotic. The next one I want to add to my collection is The Stalker. She's an amazing representation of the strength in women that can still be present even when we're vulnerable........and sometimes how we are at our strongest when we're confident enough to show our vulnerability without showing weakness. We lift our head to bare our throat and breast with the assurance that we are perfectly capable of protecting ourselves. That's a recurring theme in Michael Parkes' work and something worthy of being reminded of in beauty and grace every single morning.

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I bought a set of 2 baby dolls for my granddaughter yesterday, and an extra change of clothes for each of them. Boy, was I glad I decided to open the package and check them out before I wrapped them. The bigger little sister had no panties! I know that had my own daughter received a dressed dolly with no panties when she was 3 or 4 would have immediately taken note of the fact. "Mommy, my dolly needs panties!"

I found doll clothes patterns online and am adjusting a pattern to make panties that will fit Emmy's doll. I might make some more clothes for both of them, so I'm taking measurements.

The littler baby doll didn't need panties, she has a soft body with a set of clothes sewn on.

I haven't bought a dressed, vinyl baby doll in about 9 years, and the last one had panties. Have some of the companies quit completely dressing them to keep costs down?

Anyone need a joke?

A cop pulls over a carload of nuns.

Cop: “Sister, this is a 65 MPH highway — why are you going so slow?”

Sister: “Sir, I saw a lot of signs that said 22, not 65.”

Cop: “Oh sister, that’s not the speed limit, that’s the name of the highway you’re on!

Sister: Oh! Silly me! Thanks for letting me know. I’ll be more careful.

At this point the cop looks in the backseat where the other nuns are shaking and trembling.

Cop: Excuse me, Sister, what’s wrong with your friends back there? They’re shaking something terrible.

Sister: Oh, we just got off of highway 119.

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A cop pulls over a carload of nuns.

Cop: “Sister, this is a 65 MPH highway — why are you going so slow?”

Sister: “Sir, I saw a lot of signs that said 22, not 65.”

Cop: “Oh sister, that’s not the speed limit, that’s the name of the highway you’re on!

Sister: Oh! Silly me! Thanks for letting me know. I’ll be more careful.

At this point the cop looks in the backseat where the other nuns are shaking and trembling.

Cop: Excuse me, Sister, what’s wrong with your friends back there? They’re shaking something terrible.

Sister: Oh, we just got off of highway 119.

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

Jokes like that just crack me up!

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Dolly, like any typical toddler girl, keeps lifting her skirt to show off her new cotton bloomers.

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I am so out of practice with sewing doll clothes, and of course, my spool of thread somehow wound tangled up on the spool. Halfway through sewing I found I had 2 ends on it. Fortunately I had another spool of white thread.

I found a dolly dress pattern for a cute sundress exactly like one I made for my daughter 30 years ago. Maybe I'll give it a shot next week. I also found an old prairie style dress with matching pinafore and bonnet in a storage bin in the basement. I think they used to belong to one of my daughter's stuffed animals, but I can't remember which one. They sort of fit Dolly here.

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I needed a good laugh, Grazhina.

We were denied the loan. My soon to be EXW had a complete meltdown and gave me the paper work for a divorce as an anniversary present today. Apparently it's my fault the car broke down, the repair shop wants so much $ to fix it and we weren't able to get any help from the credit union.

Although the mortgage company found our payment that they credited to someone else, it's already on our credit report as a missed payment, hence the loan refusal. Obviously we don't have $4,000 lying around for the repair and just spent an additional $200 for this week's car rental, so fixing it before we get our income tax return in 2 or 3 months is out of the question. We will have to return the rental soon, Soheila will lose her job since she won't have a way to get to work, and the car will be repossessed. I explained to the loan manager that they will be the new owners of a non-working minivan and they can pick it up at the Kia dealership if we don't get a loan.

It feels like the universe has been busy taking a dump on us for the past few months and despite how much more we work or cut back on necessities, we're destined to become homeless. I know it will happen because it has happened to me before. This time, I won't be the only one to suffer from the stars aligning to put me on the streets. The only thing we haven't been hit with yet is one of us getting diagnosed with terminal cancer or getting killed in a car wreck, but I'm sure one or the other will happen in the coming days or weeks.

Sorry for venting.

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Oh Jeremy, it just sounds like one punch after another. Do you have any family who could help you out? Perhaps move in with for a while and just walk away from it all and recoup and start over? I am surprised there are no government agencies that can help you out with a grant of some kind.

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Are there any free or sliding scale family counseling services available that could help you all work together better as a team from within and help to diffuse some of the stress and anger that has built up? Hope your wife can get on board with working together instead of fighting within.

Do you have any public transportation or on call services to use for getting to work?

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Jeremy, my heart is with you. Just don't give up hoping that miracles can happen. I know that sounds simplistic and sorta silly in light of all that you're going thru but even in the darkest hour a light can suddenly break thru the clouds and show the way. That's what I'm wishing and praying for with all my heart for you my friend.

I made four pans of pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting yesterday and today I'll package them up in tins and make the rounds of the neighbors. They came out sooooooooooo good but I learned that it was almost a bridge too far energy-wise. The main thing is that I accomplished my goal to do some holiday baking this year even if it's the simplest form possible. I won't be making 35 pounds of fudge like I used to, but I can do this and that makes me very, very happy. Small steps=big goals if I'm only patient.

Grazhina, I'm lovin' those dolls and the adorable clothes! You're such a wonderful grandmother because what you're doing is an investment of love into the future memories of those girls. My grandmother made yarn dolls for me when I was a toddler.....and they had frilly pantaloons that she embroidered and trimmed with hand-tatted lace because not even a yarn dolly could go around without underwear! Fifty years later I still have those dolls carefully and lovingly preserved altho every other childhood toy or trinket is long gone. I'm sure your granddaughters will feel the same some day because a Grandmother's love shows in every single stitch........and it lasts a lifetime.

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Well, I made a land grab for the back bedroom, HAHA. He took the bed apart this weekend so we can take it to Warrensburg for my oldest. Makes it easy to get Christmas presents to the grandkids. I moved out a couple of tables this morning and moved the treadle sewing machine in. I am going to get a workbench sometime and it will go near the window. That is the only room in the house with a ceiling light so I am going to enjoy being able to work with real light not four floor lamps. Put together my turntable for the San Franciscan this morning and moved it so there is a space for the TLC. Yep I've been a busy bee this morning, not bad for being up all night. Think it's time for a nap. Can't take the packages for the other grandkids. It's raining and I don't want them to get wet.

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