Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's been sooooo looonngggg!!!!

I can't believe it's been so long since I last blogged.  I have no excuse, except to say I just wasn't up to it.  I got into a rut and couldn't seem to find my way out.  Once I started dragging myself out, life got crazy again and so busy I didn't have time for anything.  I have barely even touched my clay since November, either.  When I say I was in a rut, I mean more like a hole and wanted to pull the top in on top of me and just shut out the world.  That isn't normal for me, which just seemed to make it snowball.  So, what have I been up to?  It's more a question of what my family has been up to.

Kids and grandkids are all doing well.  B & M and family are still in Virginia, although they have recently gotten orders to Japan for January 2013.  With B's seizure disorder etc. they aren't sure it's a 100% go, but they are extremely excited about it.  They are coming home to visit Illinois, this year, so we look forward to having them home for a short time in June.

N & M and family are back in Illinois.  M received a medical retirement from the AirForce and they have moved back in with us until they get back on their feet.  N just got a temporary job offer today, we hope that is a foot in the door that will lead to more permanent employment eventually.  He has been so discouraged.  He worked so hard to get that Bachelor's degree and it's been 6 months and still no job.  He's been out of work for about a year and a half now and with M no longer being in the AirForce, "things" have been rather tense.  So, they moved the girls back to Illinois and we served as guardians for a couple months until M's final  retirement date.  Now they are all home and together, again.

Unfortunately, Allergy or something hit early this year, and I've been battling my "COPD" VERY badly this year (which has not helped my state of mind).  It's horrible to not be able to breathe properly.  It has caused or exacerbated anxiety and panic attacks which just makes it worse, but I can't seem to stop the reaction.  So, this has not been a good 6 months for me no matter how you look at them.  I keep trying to count my blessings and I know we are incredibly blessed, but it is a real effort to remind myself sometimes.  Anyway, enough on that. . .

So, since kids are either living in IL or visiting IL, that freed up our vacation time this year.  I wanted to go to a special Polymer Clay workshop on making canes with Carol Simmons, but have developed some severe arthritis and am changing my focus to sculpture, as I can't reduce the canes as well as before.  That has been a real challenge for me.  So, I had to cancel that class, but we had already made plans/reservations for vacation time surrounding that class, so we kept those plans.  In fact, we are presently in the middle of those plans, as we are in sunny Gulf Shores, Alabama.  
My wonderful Mr. C also planned a very special surprise for me for our second vacation, but I"ll tell about that later.

It is especially nice having N & M at the house, as they are taking care of home and chickens for us while we are gone.  We will be here in Gulf Shores for 15 days and then moving to Tunica, MS for about a week before heading back home.  Not real exciting world changing events, just calm, peaceful, relaxing days in the sun.  Of course, this year has been such a lovely, unusual winter in Illinois, that we hardly needed to go away to find some warm sunshine.  But we're here, never the less and it's beautiful.  We're in Gulf Shores State Park, camped along a canal
where there are supposed to be alligators, but we haven't seen any yet.  Although today, after returning from the beach, I looked into the canal and saw a BUNCH of bubbles in kind of a V formation, so maybe an alligator had just submerged??? after taking a breath of air???  Who knows, but I'll keep looking.

Today we went to the beach, but it was kind of a bust.  It is a very steep beach, so walking along it was like walking with one leg a foot shorter than the other.  Between my back injury from last year and my legs and weight, it wasn't much fun.  The water was fairly warm, though, although we didn't go all the way in, just waded and got splashed.  There were no real shells, just little broken pieces, although the beach itself is beautiful, white, soft, silky sand (very hard to walk in, LOL).  But the sun was shining, the short little waves were breaking, the birds were calling and it was still a lovely day.  I got my Vitamin D in for sure, as well as a very sandy behind.

We figured a half hour in the sun, after no sun for the winter, would probably be enough for the first day, so we came back to the trailer after I wore myself out, LOL.

On the way back, we stopped for a picture of a big bird's nest and 2 big birds.  At first, from a distance, I thought they were Bald Eagles, but I think they were Ospreys, instead.  We also saw a whole area of trees that were FILLED with buzzards, couldn't get close enough to get a good picture, but it was kind of eerie.

So, now we're back in the trailer, relaxing, I'm blogging, we just had lunch and it's a lazy dazy kind of day.

Oh, my surprise vacation, you might be wondering about????  Mr. C is taking me to Vegas for Clay Carnival again this year, in October.  We even have time to take the 5th wheel.  We'll drive out, stop in Albuquerque for 2 days at the Balloon Fiesta, which I've always wanted to go to, then to Vegas, then back to Albuquerque to see Mr. C's Dad and Step-Mom, a couple days in Branson, MO, and then back home.  That will be so much fun, but lots of driving.  Sure hope that drive is less exciting than this first one has been.  (We had another blow out on the way down here).

So, that's all for today, I'll check in again, in a day or two.  Smiles

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