Stella

It happened fast. You were okay on Saturday, your normal self. You got sick Sunday morning about 10am, and you were gone before noon on Monday.

This hurts. You were there during my strokes, as a companion when everyone else had to leave. You were only cuddly on your terms, but you were a constant. We had much the same personality in that way.

You were there through my dark days last year, when it felt like the world was crumbling from beneath me. You were here every day keeping me sane, when all I could do was be stuck in this house. There wasn’t a night or day I slept without you curled up by my side. I couldn’t be in a room without you right there … even the bathroom. You were right there with me almost every time I went LIVE on Facebook.

When I was on my bed, you would nose and dig the covers until you were right next to me. When I was in the kitchen, you stood guard on a towel at the doorway. When I was getting a shower, you would wait patiently on the mat for me to get out. When I was folding clothes, you would knock them all over and get on top of them, EVERY TIME.

I know you were just a dog. But, you weren’t. You were my constant companion. My tiny rock. I could depend on you to always, always be there with your sassy attitude, and your unwavering, unconditional love.

You chose me three-and-a-half years ago, and although people thought I was insane, I’m so glad you did.

We all have already shed countless tears, and I’m sure we will shed countless more. We love you. I love you. I don’t know what we will do without you. I don’t understand, I can’t fathom, why this had to happen, but you were in such miserable pain at the end. I hope you were okay with the choices we had to make, some of the toughest we’ve ever had to make. I hope you know exactly how much you were, and always will be loved. I’ll miss you tonight as I sleep without you here, and I’ll miss you always. 💔

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Disney Dreaming …

It has been over a year since I have been to Disney World. So much has changed since I have been: the hat was taken down at the Studios, Avatar was added (is that what it’s called?), Wishes was replaced, the Caribbean hotel got a refresh … I’m sure there’s more.

I have the itch though. Anyone who loves Disney knows, and has felt this itch. I want to go back home. Of course, I mean Disney World.

I thought I’d be back to work by now. We promised the kids, the first thing we would do when I was better is plan a trip to Disney World. We all know how that has turned out. Boo. Instead of wallow in misery, we’ll talk about my top 5 things to do at Disney World. Top 5 will be hard, because there is so much greatness there. Here we go:

1) Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long — I think they have this every night? We’ve never stayed at Fort Wilderness, but we’ve gone to this “free” event there multiple times. There are a couple fire pits, and you can buy “kits” to roast s’mores (Make sure you take cash!!). Chip ‘n Dale come out with camp counsellors, and everyone sings! There is then an outdoor movie you can enjoy under the stars. I will mention that this is weather dependent. We have been there when they have had to cancel for weather. Bummer!!!

2) Eat at Boma, Enjoy pool area at Animal Kingdom Lodge — Boma restaurant is located inside the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is rather expensive, but I am pretty sure it’s considered a moderately priced hotel. We eat there at dinner time. It is a buffet that has all the different flavors of Africa. It is absolutely delicious!! My kids did not like it … but they hate everything. Before (or after, if we are running late) our reservations, we go back to the pool area. There are a lot of “hidden Mickeys” back there, as well as many overlooks for animals on the savanna. It is very cool, and even the kids lived that part!! It’s a must for every trip.

3) Used to be Wishes, but I imagine the new show is cool too. Of course, this is magical in the park, but watching it from the white sands of the Polynesian resort is amazing!! They turn off the lights outside, and play the music over the loud speaker. AMAZING!! And they have a lighted floating parade on the lagoon while the fireworks are going on. It is rather magical.

4) Splash Mountain — This requires a ticket to the Magic Kingdom park. This ride offers both a whimsical character story (Song of the South) and a thrill ride (the log-ride like hill at the end). It is so much fun! Word of advice: you will probably get wet! Plan for this. Also, this ride often has a LONG line. Fastpass it if you can!! Head there FIRST THING when the park opens, or hit it during Magic Hours if your eligible (and if you’re not eligible, you SHOULD BE STAYING ON PROPERTY).

5) Fantasmic — This show requires tickets to the Hollywood Studios. Get there EARLY for a good spot. Good spots are smack in the middle. Lower seats WILL get wet. This is the closing show at Hollywood Studios. It features Mickey Mouse and a movie scenes shown on spraying water. There are also canoes and a “parade” on the water. Be prepared for loud music, a gun battle, and brief fireworks at the end. So so magical. If you’re a sap like me, be prepared to tear up. 

There are so so many more things to enjoy at Disney World! What are some of your favorite??

Slime … maybe?

It’s official, I am the worst slime maker in the history of slime makers throught the entire world, ever. I bravely and confidently tried two recipes. If I was going for a big mess, YAY, I succeeded. If I was going for actual slime, not so much.

The first try was a recipe that included bottle of glue, food coloring, and half a cup of laundry detergent. No. We ended up using 3 bottles of glue, some Modpodge and a LOT of cornstarch. We couldn’t get it to come together. It stayed the consistency of the laundry detergent.

Lots of glue, food coloring, and laundry detergent.


The second attempt was surefire, or so I thought. It consisted of two cups of corn starch, food coloring, and a cup of water. Better, but nope. It made a brick on the bottom, and a sort of watery goop on top. Luckily, the kids think it’s the coolest thing ever! But, slime it isn’t.

The second attempt! Better, but fail none-the-less.


I give up. Not only am I now out of supplies, the kitchen and front room are a gloopy mess! I’m like the antithesis of the slime whisperer. I am the crazy mess maker. 

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Keep On Keeping On, Real Blogger

I want to be a real blogger. I mean, I know I have a blog (that like 3 people read), but I mean I want that to be part of my career. I want to be followed by hundreds … okay, thousands … okay, if we’re being honest, a million people. I want to write books and inspire. 

I guess, alas, that is the goal of many. Only a select few hit the “Big Time.” And sometimes it takes them years. 
I don’t even care so much about money (okay, money is pretty important), I just want to be followed, and interact, and somehow inspire. 

I, know, I sort of need to find a niche. Some people hit it big with makeup sites, some hit it big blogging about all things kids, some do well posting about Pop Culture. I feel like I got nuth’in.


I guess I could be one of those “behind the scenes” people … but where’s the fun in that? I want to be able to do big giveaways and give hundreds of dollars to charity. I want to be a Colleen Hoover or Holly Homer or Kaleigh Baschall. 

I just noticed one thing all these people have in common: they have great personalities, are gregarious in their own way, and have a branding that almost comes naturally to them. 

I’m just over here like the awkward step cousin who gets invited to things because people feel sorry for me. LOL!

At least the kids love me …. most days! 😂


There really is no moral to this story. I am just the broken person who can’t walk right, can’t talk without slurring, stuttering, and getting completely hung up on words, can’t drive, can’t play capture the flag or sharks and minnows anymore with the kids and friends, sleeps a lot, shakes sometimes, has bad nerve problems down my “good leg” …

I will persist. The only thing I CAN do is write on a computer (okay, mostly my phone). Thank GOD for my friend Mary, who came along just when I needed her, and gave me a chance. She continues to be an inspiration and positive force in my life.

Btw … I think I’m writing a novel. I think that is slowly happening. LOL! Me. The chick who has never been good at writing fiction (I would like to thank one of my teachers at Guilford for squashing any confidence I had in myself … which was admittedly slim to begin with).

Rocky Top


We got gifted a stay at a condo in Tennessee last week for 4 days. I love the mountains of Tennessee. They make me immensely happy.

Blue Ridge Parkway


It’s funny, I didn’t realize how down and depressed I felt, until i was completely away from this bed, this room, this house, this town, this state. I can’t even begin to describe how refreshing it was just to be away.

Kid picture!! Outside the condo.


I was still stuck in a dang wheelchair, which SUCKED, but at least I got to be there. I can’t explain to you how hard it is not to be able to do simple things I used to do … Like walk the Gatlinburg strip.

Chilax’in in the chair


I was still able to go in a lot of my favorites shops, even though I didn’t even have a dollar to spend.

Paula Dean’s (it’s really a good thing I didn’t have money here!! It would have been gone anyway!)


My favorite spot on the strip. Unfortunately, Monroeville, my favorite blue-grass band, was not playing while we were there.


We still had fun just playing on the strip.

Cool man-hole cover thingy


We got to look at the cool stuff outside instead of paying to go in.


It was fun watching the kids.


Everything was decorated for Christmas.


We met Mom and Dad there.


It was peaceful. It was relaxing. It was what we all needed. 

Nat looking at the view from the balcony.


I’ll be paying for it for a week, but totally worth it!!

Relaxing at the condo.


**********

This was less of a blog, and more of a slide show. At least you got to experience it a bit too!!

When kids don’t know the games actually turn on with money, they have simple fun!!

Nothing like free photo opps.

They wanted to look like Santa coming down a chimney.

The Village

Fat belly like Santa.

Parents, Halloween, and Netflix

Hey parents! I’m talking to you today. 

It is the week before Halloween. It kind of snuck up on me this year. I don’t know if I’ve just been busy, tired, or oblivious. It is JUST NOW starting to feel and look like Fall here in NC. That might be part of the delay of recognition.

Nod to Fall in my backyard

Anyway …

I have younger kids. They are nine and five years old. They like to “celebrate” Halloween, as kids (most people, really) do. One of the things they LOVE to do is watch Halloween shows and movies.

The kids

I don’t like them seeing scary or gory Halloween, and luckily they don’t like it either. Truth be told, I don’t let them watch anything with ghosts, Witches, Wizards, spells, ect. I’ll probably get some hate mail for that, but that’s my perogative. 

This makes it really hard to “celebrate” Halloween here. What they watch on TV this time of year is next to impossible!! That being said, I have gone through Netflix to see what they have to offer viewers, aged about ten and under, to watch this week before Halloween. (Let it be known there are PLENTY of gory, scary, child-inappropriate Halloween shows to watch on Netflix, if that is your thing.)

I am obviously not endorsing all of these, nor have I seen them all. From their descriptions on Netflix, some are CHEESEBALL CITY, but none seem too scary or gory for the young viewer. Use your best judgement as a parent.

Here we go:

1) Curious George a Haloween Boofest, TV-G, 56 minutes  

(2) Room on the Broom, G, 26 minutes  

(3) Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein, G, 1 hour 18 minutes  

(4) Mickey’s House of Mouse Villians, TV-Y7, 1 hour 8 minutes  

(5) Goosebumps Series (Based on the books), Live Action, TV-Y7, 21 minutes per episode  

(6) Hotel Transylvania 2, PG, 1 hour 29 minutes  

(7) ET, PG, 1 hour 54 minutes  

(8) Pac’s Scary Halloween, TV-Y7, 44 minutes  

(9) The Little Ghost, Live Action, TV-PG, 1 hour 31 minutes  

(10) Alpha and Omeg The Legend of Saw Tooth, TV-G, 45 minutes  

(11) Goosebumps the Movie, Live Action, PG, 1 hour 43 minutes  

(12) Escape to Witch Mountain, Live Action, G, 1 hour 37 minutes  

(13) Spooky Stories 2 TV Series, TV-PG, 12-13 minutes per episode  

(14) Children’s Favorite Halloween Treats (this is just episodes of Barney, Bob the Builder, Rubbadubbers, Angelina Ballerina,  Kipper, and Pingu strung together), TV-Y, 1 hour 37 minutes  

(15) Casper’s Scary School, TV-Y7, 1 hour 18 minutes  

(16) Nanny McPhee, Live Action, PG, 1 hour 38 minutes  

(17) Disney’s Spooky Buddies, Live Action with Talking Dogs, G, 1 hour 28 minutes 

(18) Disney’s Girl vs Monster, Live Action, TV-PG, 1 hour 28 minutes

Honorable mention goes to The Corpse Bride. It’s rated PG and runs 1 hour 17 minutes, but I know Tim Burton films are too dark for some kids.

There is noticeably a lot missing from this list (like Hotel Transylvania, the original movie). I have only included shows that can actually be streamed from Netflix this week.

Hope this helps!

Gratuitous family shot

Now this Momma has to go watch The Walking Dead. 🙂

School Lunches

Pimg_8447I feel I am alone on the school lunch front. I have two kids: one girl nine, one boy five.

They are just about the pickiest eaters you will ever meet. One will eat peanut butter sandwiches, the other will not. One will eat Jell-O, one will not. One will eat yogurt, one will not. One will eat veggies, one will not. Neither one will eat sandwich meat.

There are all kinds of great websites out there that have cute bento lunches and fancy school lunches for kids. I am a regular mom. I have no time for this. Does that make me bad?

My kids have lunch in the middle of the day. Things like cheese, yogurt, and cream cheese (which they won’t eat anyways) will not stay cold.

There is no way I could get them to eat soup or pasta, even if I could keep it warm.

What’s a mom to do for lunch? That is my question to you. I love all these kids’ lunch sites, but they are unrealistic for me.

Help a mom out.

*Just an example of what they had today:  Potato Chips, Granola Bar, a few Grapes, a Fruit Cup, a Juice Box. Mom fail.