Saturday, March 31, 2012


I've run across a few blogs out there that are doing a monthly "Currently" post. It's a neat idea...especially since I have not been taking any pictures to document the days as they go by. So if I can remember, I am going to start ending the month with a "Currently" post also.

Right now they will be rather depressing, but I hope there will soon be a time when I can look back and see how it all worked for the good.

So - my March Currently

relieved - that we have the retirement check numbers and I think we can keep our heads just above water. We might not thrive...but we will survive.
running - on faith alone
determined - to make ends meet on the retirement check
addicted -  to soda and wishing I wasn't
loving - not much of anything at the moment
making - things for camping season
noticing - that my youngest needs some tough love about being where she has been given permission to be, and nowhere else
thankful - that we got help with the girls lunches at school
proud  - of the things we did prior to retirement that are helping us keep afloat now
watching - nothing!!!! My Walking Dead is over for the season. Arghh!
anxious - for the paycheck that is 28 days late to show up
happy - to have made a big purchase that you will hear more about later
ready - to see my husband find work and to move on into a new life.
working - on downsizing our belongings
marveling - at the mild winter and early spring. LOVE IT!.
wondering - when we will get the missing check, when there will be a job, where we will end up next and how much longer it will take

So what is your life currently like?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cheap Eats

With grocery money coming out of the savings account at this time, we have had to make our food stretch as much as possible.  Its back to coupons, sale flyers and making double sure we use up all those leftovers.

One cheap food that we all can find in our grocery stores is cabbage.

But its CABBAGE.  How boring.  And it has a tendency to make everything its paired with taste like cabbage also.  How boring.  And its a boring color.  And sometimes it smells depending on how you cook it.

I don't dislike cabbage luckily.  Its just not in my top ten veggies.  Or even top 20....

But its cheap.  And it is really really healthy.

While digging through my "to try" recipe binder, I ran across a recipe with cabbage that I have been holding on to for years. Because lets face it, its cabbage.  The recipe was rather inexpensive for us as we always have rice and we had some Rotel in the pantry already that needed to be used.

So we tried this recipe, which I had clipped out of a Taste Of Home magazine years upon years ago.

And when we sat down to eat we had a surprise.  We all liked it.  And Songbird isn't big on cabbage at all. But in this casserole the cabbage doesn't take over.  As a matter of fact, the cabbage didn't really taste at all.

It was actually a little funny how surprised we all were and looked.

So anyways, I'm going to share this recipe with you. It is directly from Taste Of Home magazine and the link to it on their site is HERE.

Cajun Cabbage Recipe


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each white, black and cayenne pepper
  • 4 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby cheese


  • In a skillet, cook the beef, green pepper, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice and seasonings.
  • Spread into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with the cabbage and cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 65-75 minutes or until the rice is tender. Yield: 6-8 servings.

One recommendation - if you have kids or anyone that doesn't like spicy, make sure and taste your Rotel first. You might not need those extra drops of hot sauce if the tomatoes and chili's are hot enough for you.

So who has some other cheap meals they can share?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pinterest Project #2

I found an actual sewing project that I had the stuff for. Its actually been sitting there waiting to be done for months upon months. I needed a sewing break after the amount of quilting I did last year.

But I was itching to get back into the sewing room.  Sewing is  de-stressing for me. Except when I mess up. Then I get all kinds of cross. LOL.

Knowing camping season is upon us, I thought I would do a project related to that.  I pulled the box of already waiting supplies out and went to work. I LOVE it when its all there and ready and I don't have to go buy anything.

This project is a dish mat tutorial for a absorbent dish towel to drain your dishes on after washing.  Takes up much less space when packing for camping that a traditional dish drying rack and is very light weight also. Actually I used heavy bath towels from the rag bin so its not a light as all that.

I used an internet tutorial that can be found at Fly Through Our Window.  I like it better than some of the other tutorials because it had a little extra touch of piecing the top and doing some triple stitching to make it look fancier.

So my two mats:
A vegetable print and a honeycomb print. I'm not big on yellow but I had a hard time matching the vegetable print from fabrics I already had on hand.
This one reminds me of the 50's. It doesn't come across well. The pink has tomatoes in dark and light pink and aqua. The plain strips are aqua.  Very retro.

I decided to make two so one could be hanging up drying while the other is in use.

Start to finish these took about 2 hours each.  It could be done quicker but I cut each strip one at a time instead of layering and I was watching movies while I did it.

I altered the pattern a bit.  It called for 5 of the larger strips and 4 of the smaller.  This was too large for camping. It also started with the smaller strips on the outside and I changed it to the larger.  This left me with a size I liked.   The pattern also called for the strips to be longer than I made them.  I went with the measurement of the shortest material I had - which ended up being 19 inches and I am happy I did.  Somebody must have some huge counter space to work with to use the original dimensions.  

Easy project with clear instructions. The possibilities are endless on your fabric choices. I beginner sewer could do this.  The hardest thing is the hand sewing from where you pull it all to the right side after stitching.  I just did a temp stitch and when I top-stitched over the whole thing I pulled my hand stitches out.

So what have you done from Pinterest lately?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pinterest Project #1

Like many people I have a Pinterest account.  I use it mostly to store sites that I want to return to -- tutorials or idea's I am interested in.

Since I am pretty much stuck in limbo I thought I would check out my links and see if there was anything I could do that I already had the supplies for. After all, using the info is supposed to be why I have this Pinterest account, right??

I knew I had to go through the file cabinet and purge. We keep most bill statements and banking stuff for a certain amount of time. With a move coming up I knew it was time for a major paper purge.  After going through the various files and making a mountain in front of the shredder, I looked at my ever growing warrantee and owners manual files.  I was up to about ten.

I though I remembered tagging something to help organize these better so I checked my Pinterest and sure enough, there was an idea.  And all I needed were empty three ring binders and plastic sleeves.  I had both of these since I recently went through all my scrapbook stuff and got rid of many things.

The finished result is that my 10 sloppy file folders taking up too much space in the file cabinet turned into three binders on the cookbook bookshelf. Nice, neat and tidy.  And oh so easy to find what you are looking for.

I ended up separating into kitchen, garage tools/bikes and everything else.

The booklets that are no longer needed due to broken or given away products have been purged now and that will be much easier to keep up with.

Project number one was a definite help. If you don't have a good system for your booklets I would highly recommend it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just Sitting Here

Living in limbo is not fun.

I don't even know what to do with myself half the time.

Things are still a mess.  Our 1st of the month paycheck is still not here on the 21st.  Really people? It's reached the point of "you must be making this up".

We were turned down on the replacement life insurance.  Well - not exactly. They wanted a few more tests but we weren't going to be able to get it all done before the official retirement date so we ended up saying never mind and taking the military survivors benefit.  Which we found out yesterday is twice as much as expected per month. But that is still $50 under what we thought the civilian insurance would be so we still come out ahead for now. We can revisit all of this in two years and get it fixed like we want. No biggie.

We finally have our numbers on what the pension check will be each month.  I'm happy to say that it was almost $200 more than expected.  When Hubs hears back from the disability board it could be even more...but that will take until like July or something. Stupid amount of time. But again, its government. It couldn't go any other way. For now we have our numbers and we can live until school is out on them.  But that's with hitting our savings.  June will bring big changes with our without a job. Without a job we can't sustain the rent/electric and will have to move out. We are working on that eventuality right now.

With the numbers we were able to apply for the kids to get reduced lunches. They were approved yesterday and that is actually a huge thing. It was costing me $25 a week for school lunches for both girls. Even with them packing on days they didn't like the food it was still about the same with groceries.  The reduced lunches ensure the girls will get to eat on school days -- occasionally a decent meal. Not that the school lunches are great.

I do a whole lot of nothing. We don't have the money or the gas to even go do something free. That leaves me here at home.  And there is no money for little projects or anything so I have the internet (thank goodness for a high school student and a man using the internet as a job hunt tool) and plenty of books.

I always feel like there is something I should be doing and find myself wandering the house or just taking a nap out of boredom.

Songbird does not appear to have walking pneumonia like her sister. Just a virus.  This is good.

The truck is acting up and needs to go back to the transmission place. This is warranted work.

So day-by-day things tend to balance out.  We keep our heads above water anyways.  We don't have it bad -- we just don't have it good.  But we have it.  LOL.

So keep us in your prayers. And if you need some extra prayers out your way let me know. One thing I've got is plenty of time on my hands for extra prayer time. LOL.  And that can't be bad, right?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Murphy Update

Wouldn't it be sad if this became a regular Monday post? Although as my wonderful friend Amy points out -- God is bigger than Murphy -- apparently Murphy has been given permission to have his way with us for an unknown amount of time. update.

1.  Still no job. Nice emails telling Hubs he has an impressive resume and passing it around...but no jobs. The job search has now been widened to anywhere instead of just Texas.

2. Mouse went in for a follow up (5 days after we were supposed to as we are retired and don't get timely appointments now because of that fact) and it turned out she now had pneumonia in both lungs and needed yet a different antibiotic.  So the delay in getting an appointment was actually a good thing as I don't think they would have caught it just 2 days after being released from the hospital.

3. Songbird is now coughing, has a sore chest, fever and aches and pains. Afraid she might have the same thing as Mouse. Tomorrow looks like another try to get an appointment.

4. Paycheck has been missing 18 days now. And a call resulted in being told that they TOLD us it would be 7-10 days from normal time. Umm.  17 is more than 10.  Even if you count the weekends.  That must be some new government math I'm not familiar with.

5. Truck had to be taken back to the transmission place (from a new transmission 10 months ago),   BUT it was under warrantee so they fixed a seal and made sure it was good to go for hauling.  So really this worked out in our favor also.

Seems I'm missing a few things. But that's enough misery for one post. LOL!!

Let's see what this week brings!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fatsak Surgery

Geesh I hope that title doesn't bring in a bunch pervs.

Obviously we are living on a very very tight budget right now. Which means we aren't just replacing things -- we are doing our best to fix them or reuse, etc.  You know, the way we really should all be living anyways?  Although I was once a major pro at this, I'm a little rusty right now.

So this is the Fatsak.  It has been part of our family for about 5 years.  The only reason we own it is because when we bought our new living room furniture we were just under what we needed to get free financing for 18 months.  So we threw this in to get to that amount. And yes we paid it off in less than the 18 months so it was a free loan.

The Fatsak has become an essential part of our living room ever since. And many people have enjoyed it (and some even went out and bought their own.). It is extremely comfortable.
One of the things that makes it so comfortable is the type of stuffing inside.  It is fibers instead of Styrofoam or some of the other synthetics you see in most beanbags. So its a little more solid yet it still forms to your body and hugs you.

Anyways, this last week one of the dogs had an accident on the Fatsak.  And we aren't sure exactly what kind (it was obviously not poo). Whether it was retch or wet didn't even actually matter at this point. It had to be deep cleaned.  And that was the dilemma.  The Fatsak is larger than the washer and we didn't know how much penetration there was into the stuffing and lets face it, it was clean the whole thing or throw it out.

And throwing out a $200 piece of furniture that just needs to be cleaned is just not in me.  And taking it in to be cleaned somewhere is just not in the checkbook.  And a surface job was not going to get it for this.

So we brainstormed.

And this was my super frugal answer to this problem:
We started pulling the stuffing out of the cover and stuffing it into pillowcases.  As you can see, Cinder is very upset about this. She has claimed it as her bed.
And we used every pillowcase in the house and it wasn't near enough. In this case you can see a more sold batting also.  Whenever I have leftover batting from quilting I stuff it in the Fatsak to keep it...well, fat.
Then I ran a quick (and sloppy) seam across the opening to keep all the stuffing in.  I suppose I could have safety pinned them all close but that was too time consuming for a lazy person.
We washed the cover in the washing machine -- micro suede rocks!! Since it is 5 years old we had a few seams that were loose and pulled looking.  This is a hazard for a big comfy pillow looking thing that just BEGS to be jumped on.  Ask any person under the age of 20 that enters my house.  Anyways, I went ahead and reinforced all the seams on the Fatsak since I had it empty. Whether they needed it or not.
And we ran OVER 20 pillowcases through the washer and dryer.  It was an all day process, so if you have more money than time take it somewhere to be done.  Personally, I can find a day out of my life to save the money. This wasn't hard, just time consuming.
And then we ripped the seams out of the top of the pillowcases and stuffed all the stuffing back inside the Fatsak.  And he is huge now after all the dryer time.
And all is well again in Cinders world.  And all the rest of us have been enjoying it also. When we can get the dog off of it.  And sometimes even when we can't.

And the whole point of this boring post is just to  point out that we all normally have the answer somewhere in our homes to fix problems that need to be handled with no or little money.  And it has reawakened in me the thought processes of how to do with what you have.

And right now I need that!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hey Murphy, How's It Going?

Anybody who knows us, knows that we just can't do things easily.

Not in a tragic way....but in a "you won't believe what happened THIS time" kind of way.  An eye rolling way.  A "you have got to be kidding" way.  (But again, not in a tragic way -- through everything we remain incredibly blessed.)

And transitioning from military to civilian status has been no different from anything else. (Anyone remember Anatomy of a Frymark Move?)

So lets count the ways that Murphy has shown his presence this time around.

1.  Yes I did pay for the full years premium of health insurance. After all we had the money and I know that I know that if I didn't something would happen and we wouldn't have the money for the quarterly payment and we would have a huge problem.  No. Let me save us that.

And of course when we tried to use said insurance it was in the computer as the wrong kind. As in the "you can't have an appointment because you have the kind of insurance that you have to use off base".  Uuummm.  Nooooooo.

To make a long story short, it turns out they denied us as ineligible (!!) BUT they cashed the check and kept the money.  Now, that's theft in my book. How about yours?

But after a wasted afternoon on the phone that has been fixed....which is good because....

2. Child number three decides to get good and sick and be transferred to a civilian hospital. And it was very hard for me to sign those forms KNOWING they will somehow be denied or processed wrong and we ARE going to be hit with a bill that we should not be hit with.  You know it. I know it. Murphy knows it. Another time waster on the horizon.

And what makes that extra scary is....

3. The jobs that were available for Hubs when he retired, Disappeared when the 500 Million in Defense Cuts were announced.  We went from having choices to having nothing overnight.  And to date have been unable to find anything.  No job.

Which is scary because after three months

4. The military paycheck is now all gone.

Well, actually we got shorted our last check.  It never hit our bank.

Which means rent and life insurance are not paid.  Need I say more?

And sure this will be fixed.  If Murphy is distracted maybe by next week.  And they were all kinds of sorry and have no idea how this happened.  But that doesn't pay the bills my friend.

5. And  I still have no idea what kind of money we will have to work with when we start our retirement check next month. Which I fully expect to get lost somehow also.  Why stop now?

If we have it figured out right we will be able to pay all our bills.  And have $26 left over to live off of.  That means food, gas, school lunches and everything else under the sun.  But the bills will be paid.

If our numbers are right.


And finally

6.  We are having problems replacing Hubs life insurance.  We lost most of what we had the day he retired. We are in the process of replacing it with civilian insurance.  Its been one error or question after another.  So my safety net is gone.  And I know many people don't even have a safety net, but I have no college degree and am worth about nothing in the job market in this economy.  The safety net is important.

Luckily we are pretty familiar with Murphy so we do have anti-splatter protection.  We are fine financially for a little while so the money issues are more of an annoyance that cause a lot of wasted time fixing them - but otherwise do not cripple us.

The hardest part of all of this is really how it affects the girls to go from a normal life to being very restricted on everything...including food. They have never had to live anything other than a carefree existence up to this point. Now the dinner menu is dictated by cheap foods (And if you know Mouse you know this mean lots of tears and agony at each meal).  There are no extra's for going out with friends or other things that come up. So if you think about it, say a little prayer for peace of mind for my girls.  They could use some extra love.

And since this is on a schedule to post, I'm hoping I will be able to update it with some kind of good news when it posts.

A girl can dream, right?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Leave it to Mouse

I managed to make it 44 years in life WITHOUT an ambulance ride.

Leave it to Mouse to ruin my perfect records.

She is so good at rearranging things in our lives. LOL.

Due to Mouse's autoimmune disorder, a simple cold is never just a simple cold.  Thankfully she doesn't catch colds often (a mystery to me with her awful diet).  But last Friday I took one look at her when she got off the bus from school and knew we were in trouble.

A fever and a cough.  That's all it takes. No runny or stuffy nose. No other symptoms. Its enough to set off disaster music in my brain.

So by Tuesday we were off to the ER.  I had actually made an appointment for her to be seen that day at 2, but she was doing so much better and fever free by 11 that I cancelled.

I know better than that.

Because 4 is her witching hour of spiked fevers.

Anyways. We did the whole ER thing.  And by the time we had her in the chair taking vitals, you could see the extreme rapid breathing. And her oxygen stats were way low.  So after a round of labs and xrays and a few failed attempts to get a heplock in her....
We were informed that we would be taking a trip.  Yes, we were to be chauffeured to Children's Hospital. Don't pass go. Don't collect 200$. Put an oxygen mask on that kid and get her over there.
So I made it 44 years without ever seeing the inside of an ambulance. But Mouse only made it 7. And she was thrilled because she thinks she wants to be an EMT at this point in her life.

So we took a midnight ride.

And by 4 in the morning we were in our own little room with antibiotics and amazing nurses. And realize I have only had two experiences with civilian hospitals in my life -- when I had Bones and when hubs had back surgery. So all this good care is foreign to me.

And everyone got to see why Mouse is not invited to sleep in my bed and has a sleeping bag under the bed when she needs to join me in my room.

And she was off oxygen after a couple of breathing treatments.  We were home by 4 that afternoon.

I was running on less than two hours sleep so I crashed hard for about 15 hours while daddy took over.

And Mouse will be returning to school next week.  We keep her out a little longer since her immune system is already compromised.  Because pneumonia is just a part of her reality. And we have to learn to work with that.

And that was my fun week.

How was yours?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blast From the Past

The Blow in her almost made me pee. Or was it the beer and baby one?  This was from my Cook'N newsletter this month. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Military and TBI's

Just a short one today friends.  Since the other area of my life that is touched by TBI's would be our military members, I am posting some quick links for those wives that may need some help with information on injured husbands (or vise versa).

And if you would like to help spread the word and get this information out, the CDC is happy to have you copy it directly from their site, or use your own words.  Please, especially if you have a story to tell of a loved one or friend - help us get the word out.

Who Can I Contact for Support?
Several groups help people and their families deal with concussion and more serious brain injuries. They provide information and put people in touch with local resources, such as support groups, rehabilitation services, and a variety of health care professionals.

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) works to ensure that active duty military and veterans with brain injury receive the best evaluation, treatment, and follow-up. You can reach DVBIC by calling toll-free at 1-800-870-9244 or by visiting DVBIC’s website

Learn more information about TBI in the military, including an interactive website for service members, veterans, and families and caregivers.

  Heads Up TBI Film Festival:

Stay safe!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Take Concussions Out of Play!

Yesterday I shared a little about how TBI has touched my life.  If you could see this family and the damage they live with it would be so much easier to get my concern across to all my friends and family.

If you have a child/teen with a TBI, you have a child/teen that LOOKS completely normal.  But they act anything but normal.  Because this injury is invisible in most cases, your child will be judged extra harshly not only by other parents and peers, but by HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS that are not familiar with all the new information and break throughs on this condition.

Imagine having a teen that is more susceptible to depression and acting out due to a brain injury. Now imagine needing to medicate the child to work with the depression that is CAUSED by the injury -- not by having mental issues.  Now imagine that many of these drugs will not work on a person with a TBI because of the changes in the brain.  Now try to get a doctor to take you seriously when they work with mental teens on a daily basis.  Your child  looks just like another kid with mental issues.  Yet, that is not what you have.  Now imagine having to run through drug after drug to find the one that will work -- and those drugs causing serious suicidal issues.  Now try again to get the doctor to believe your child is reacting to the meds....not acting out because she has mental issues.


So, educate yourself on what to watch for.  From the CDC:


AWARENESS - What is a concussion? 

According to the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes your head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can literally cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. (Curious to see what a concussion looks like? Check out a video on CDC’s homepage at: What you might not know is that these chemical changes make the brain more vulnerable to further injury. During this window of vulnerability the brain is more sensitive to any increased stress or injury, until it fully recovers.

Most people with a concussion will recover quickly and fully. But for some people, signs and symptoms of concussion can last for days, weeks, or longer. It’s important to be familiar with concussion signs and symptoms so you can respond appropriately.

It’s important for parents, athletes, and coaches to know about concussion. Sometimes athletes, parents, and coaches believe that it shows strength and courage to play when you have a concussion. Not only is the encouragement to “shake it off” wrong, it can put a young athlete at risk for serious injury. It is important to let athletes know that when it comes to concussion, toughing it out, means sitting it out. An athlete may feel frustrated, sad, or even angry about having to sit out. Parents and coaches should talk to them about it and be honest about the risks of getting put back in play too soon. It is also important to explain how taking time to rest will actually help them get back to play more quickly and as the days go by they should expect to feel better.

Education Resources

The CDC's Heads Up program provides a free online training program on the awareness, signs and symptoms of concussions for parents, coaches and anyone helping with sports programs.

Through CDC’s Heads Up concussion education program, a similar poster educating young athletes about concussion in all sports is also available, at no cost, to display in team locker rooms, gymnasiums, and schools nationwide. This poster lets athletes know that all concussions are serious and emphasizes the importance of reporting their injury.  It also provides athletes with a list of concussion signs, symptoms and steps they should take if they think they have a concussion. It is the result of a joint effort between the NFL, CDC, and NFL Players Association, as well as 16 National Governing Bodies for Sport.  Contact us for a poster about concussion signs for your school's locker room.

The NFL worked with the CDC to create educational posters and fact sheets on concussion that are now hung in every NFL professional team locker room. To learn how the NFL is working to prevent and treat concussions at the professional and youth level, visit the NFL Health and Safety site. There you can also find a map that includes information about your state’s laws or policies on concussion in sports.

To learn more about concussion and to order CDC’s Heads Up educational materials at no cost, including materials for parents, athletes, coaches, and health care and school professionals, visit:

Action Steps for Protecting Your Athlete:

What should you do if you think your teen has a concussion?

You should contact your health care professional and keep your athlete out of play. It is important for parents to watch for concussion signs and symptoms, as well as the danger signs if their child experiences a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after an injury or may not appear or be noticed until hours or days after the injury. It is important to watch for changes in how your child or teen is acting or feeling, if symptoms are getting worse, or if s/he just “doesn’t feel right.”   

CDC developed the following 4-step Heads Up Action Plan 
to help you protect your child or teen if you suspect they have a concussion:
  1.  Keep your teen out of play. If your teen has a concussion, her/his brain needs time to heal. Don’t let your teen return to play the day of the brain injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says your teen is symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)—can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.
  2. Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your teen to return to sports.
  3.  Teach your teen that it’s not smart to play with a concussion. Rest is key after a concussion. Sometimes athletes wrongly believe that it shows strength and courage to play injured. Discourage others from pressuring injured athletes to play. Don’t let your teen convince you that s/he’s “just fine.”
  4. Tell all of your teen’s coaches and the student’s school nurse about ANY concussion. Coaches, school nurses, and other school staff should know if your teen has ever had a concussion. Your teen may need to limit activities while s/he is recovering from a concussion. Things such as studying, driving, working on a computer, playing video games, or exercising may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse. Talk to your health care professional, as well as your teen’s coaches, school nurse, and teachers. If needed, they can help adjust your teen’s school activities during her/his recovery.


Don't hide it.  Report it.  Take time to recover.  
It's better to miss ONE game and than the WHOLE season!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Autumn Asks: How Much Do You Know About TBI's and Concussions?

I am not much of a football fan, but I have to admit I am very thankful to the sport for bring awareness to the public about concussions and permanent Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI's).

If you are a parent - especially of a child in sports - you really need to learn about TBI's and how they can cripple your child. For years you heard nothing of this, but with the new attention the NFL is paying this injury it is now being researched and treated and recognized for the injury it is.

My life has personally been touched by this monster due to a child that I am very close to having a simple bike wreck.  Yes, she was wearing a helmet.  And she was taken to the hospital and treated for a concussion.  When she was better she returned to playing basketball on the school team only to be hit in the head with the ball and re-injured.  More than once.  And she feel out of the bed and re-injured.  More than once.  And what began as a concussion ended with a diagnosis of TBI.

For a couple of years we all held out hope that the brain would heal and she would return to normal.  But after a couple of years the doctors gave up on that.  Let me tell you, seeing a teenager wake up and act like she was 8 all over again is weird.  The years and memories after that age just weren't there. Every day it was different. One day she was her 8 year old self. The next day she was her 10 year old self.  The next day she remembered everything except the accident.  Now think -- how do you send a child with that issue to a school?  You really can't.

And now the CDC is trying to get the info out to more parents to be able to recognize the injuries and dangers.  Hearing this, I volunteered to do a post to try to bring some more attention to the subject.  So here is some information they want you to see:

What is the most important thing for parents to know about concussion?
Most kids and teens with concussion get better quickly and fully. However, how quickly depends on many factors. In particular, rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal. Explain to your child or teen that ignoring concussion symptoms and trying to “tough it out” often makes symptoms worse. Only when his or her symptoms have reduced significantly, in consultation with their health care professional, should he or she slowly and gradually return to your daily activities, such as school. If his or her symptoms come back or new symptoms appear as he or she becomes more active, this is a sign that your child or teen is pushing his or herself too hard. Your child or teen should stop these activities and take more time to rest and recover. As the days go by, he or she can expect to gradually feel better. Parents can learn more about concussion signs and symptoms, what to expect, how to help kids and teens feel better, and additional support resources  
Remember: children and teens with a concussion should NEVER return to sports or recreation activities on the same day the injury occurred. They should delay returning to their activities until a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion says they are symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. This means not returning to:
·        Physical Education (PE) class,
·        Sports practices or games,
·        Physical activity at recess,
·        Play at home or weekend activities.
For more information on helping your child safely return to play, visit:

This is very important. Realize that even this may not be good enough though.  Butterfly was kept home as long as the doctor thought she should be and released to return to sports when they felt it was safe.  This was not rushed.  But a ball to the head caused re-injury.

Concussions can also affect kids and teens in the classroom. When a child with a suspected concussion is returning to school, parents should watch for and ask school professionals to keep an eye out for problems like inability to pay attention, remember or learn new information; inappropriate or impulsive behavior during class; or other concussion symptoms such as fatigue or headaches. For more on what to do after a concussion, visit

As needed, help your child or teen get appropriate support when returning to school after a concussion. Talk with your child’s teachers, school nurse, coach, speech-language pathologist, or counselor about your child’s concussion and symptoms. Your child may feel frustrated, sad, and even angry because she or he cannot return to recreation and sports right away, or cannot keep up with schoolwork. Your child may also feel isolated from peers and social networks. Talk often with your child about these issues and offer your support and encouragement. As your child’s symptoms decrease, the extra help or support can be removed gradually. Children and teens who return to school after a concussion may need to:
·        Take rest breaks as needed,
·        Spend fewer hours at school,
·        Be given more time to take tests or complete assignments,
·        Receive help with schoolwork, and/or
·        Reduce time spent reading, writing, or on the computer.

                        For more information on helping your child safely return to school, visit:                                                                         

Realize that if the injury is bad enough, returning to school might not work out too well. Butterfly needed excessive sleep time for a year.  This does not go well with a school schedule. All of the above suggestions were tried and more. In the end it was determined that it was much better to take the child out of her private school and home school her around her sleeping.  The brain needed the rest.  This alone should grab a parents attention enough to take this seriously.

Also, learn more about CDC’s TBI and concussion activities and join the conversation at:

Tomorrow I will post more on exactly how to recognize a concussion. The CDC has an awareness program to help parents.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Embrace Life Starting Today

I am going to share an article written by Skye over at Embrace Your Life.  I read this back in February and it really struck a cord so I asked permission to share it with all of you.  You can find the original article here. Embrace your life is a fairly new blog that was created to encourage women in their daily lives. There are several writers and they are still taking applications for new writers.  Go check them out.

embrace life starting today

By Skye - Her blog is Neathering Our Fest. You can read more about her here. You can find all posts by Skyehere. 


someone should write a manual:

how to embrace living and prosper in the good life.

it would include things like:

don't have a boyfriend/girlfriend until you are out of high school. you will miss out on too much and no one that young really understands relationships.

college just isn't for everyone no matter what they pound into your head in high school. some people go & some people don't and that doesn't make either of them better than the other.

if you do go: have lots of fun but but remember that when your old (i.e. 25+) employers only care about that magical piece of paper and not what social circle you were in or how many beers you could shotgun before passing out.

your 21st birthday isn't an excuse to act like a total idiot. but do it anyways. it is the only time it is socially acceptable to puke on the bartender as you ask for another shot "because it is your BIRTHDAY".

dreamy hair

don't believe the myth that you have to "do it all" while you are young.. like travel and see the world and have a fancy car and all that. the doors to europe don't close when you turn 30 and you will have the rest of your life to enjoy that expensive car. live debt free as long as you can.

live with friends. live alone. live with your parents. don't live with your boyfriend if you can help it.

listen to your mom. hug her WAY more often and write down her spaghetti recipe.

these are all things i would go back and tell myself could i travel back in time ten years. okay - more than ten years. but i can't. and i kind of already did all this stuff so i can't change it. i can't go back and start embracing life and living it differently ten years ago.

but i can start today. and today seems as good of a day to start as any, right?

don't live in the past saying that you wish you had done this or that. somethings you can't change. but you can always change where your future takes you.

interview for that dream job even if you think you have a snowball's chance in hell of being considered. it's better to embrace life and go for it, right?

get off the couch and go for a walk today. i know you don't normally walk but today might be the day that you start walking every day, right?

go to that red carpet movie premiere in town just because it will be fun and you know you will regret it if you don't go.

just start

take a deep breath and do the thing that haunts you. the thing you know you really want to do but it just scares the bejeesus out of you. your truest desires reside between you and God so put some faith in Him and yourself and embrace life.

starting today.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives


  [si-vil-yuhn]  Show IPA
a person who is not on active duty with a military, naval,police, or fire fighting organization.
Informal anyone regarded by members of a profession,interest group, society, etc., as not belonging;nonprofessional; outsider: We need a producer to run the moviestudio, not some civilian from the business world.
a person versed in or studying Roman or civil law.

Civilians live here now.

Unemployed ones.......but whatever!

Unfortunately I can't do this cool post about how great it is or something poetic and anything because we are still in limbo.

And even though they start the paperwork like 6 months prior to this day...its not like we got that pension check on the first like we should.  Oh heck no.  Six months is no where near long enough to get that right.  Wish I could use the same excuses to my creditors that the government uses on us.

So we have made a guess at what the pension check is.  And if we are correct, we will have $26 to buy food, gas and anything else each month from that check. The rest will pay our bills.

And I am above thrilled that we have enough to at least cover the bills (if we have it right).

Being that we are Dave Ramsey fans, we also do not have to worry about the $26 right now.  After all, this is exactly why you have an emergency fund.  To pull you through a time with no or not enough income.

Of course I am still going crazy over the fact that what we will spend to live is not INCOME. That is a scary place to be.  But we have so much more than so many in this horrid job market. So even if you see me with my head between my knees, or breathing out of a paper bag, know that it is my own hang-up.  Really we are blessed beyond words and doing just fine.

Its the waiting that is the killer.  But that is a whole different post rolling around in my head.

Even with that...waiting as a civilian is far different than the type of waiting we've done as a military family.

Its a whole new world.