Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Organizing

I love seeing things organized. A place for everything, and everything in it's place. Sometimes life gets busy & chaotic (as it's been around the last 4 months) and you start with putting something down where it doesn't go. Then you forget to put it away and pretty soon it starts snow balling! I'm following Becky's prompts this month for short 15 minute organizing challenges to get back on track. You can get more on this challenge series HERE on Becky's blog. Not to mention all the other great information she has to offer. :)

I'm playing catch-up with my posts. Luckily Day 1 was just an introduction with information on the challenge and how to share your picture progress with Becky and her followers via Pinterest and/or Instagram. You never know what other great ideas you might get just from viewing others' pictures.

Day 2 was a drawer. Becky provided some shirt-folding ideas to not only make more space in your dresser drawer but it's so much easier to see what you have. Below is my before and after of my shirt drawer. I discovered two things... okay three things. 1.) I now have room to get more shirts. Yay me! 2.) I apparently like grey. and burgundy. And 3.) I am beginning to acquire as many Oklahoma Sooner shirts as my husband, who is a die-hard fan of his home state's team. :)

Before I at least had them folded somewhat but all stacked on top of each like they were makes it impossible to know what my options are without taking several out to see what's underneath.

Following Becky's folding technique I can see them all and make a choice without having to take several out. 

Day 3 (today) was the Undies drawer. I already had my simple drawer organizers from the Dollar Tree and had it all nice and neat before. But of course in my rushed, busy life as of late with the medical care of my sweet little Abby, I let things get out of control. But she needed me. Below is my before and after pictures of the Undies drawer. In the process I purged old socks and undies that were getting pretty worn. I have a few more of these $1 drawer organizers that I look forward to using in another drawer soon. :)

My drawer organizer are under all that mess, I swear! But in my rushed time I felt successful to keep the laundry done, and put away. Who needs folded undies anyway? :)

But again, just like with the shirts drawer, I can see everything easily now I love the clean organized look.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Our lives have recently been turned upside down with the loss of our precious Abby.

 Abby passed away two weeks ago on September 17th, just 3 weeks away from her 5th birthday. She wasn't just a pet to our family, she was our baby girl. We still cry daily and miss her terribly. The depth of our love is hard for some to understand. As is the lengths we went to, to try and save her life.

Abby somehow contracted a serious condition known as Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP. It's both an animal and human disease in which the immune system attacks the platelets. Often the source or 'reason' is not known. She was very sick and critical before we ever knew it. She never acted sick and was a lively as ever. She never acted sick until she was diagnosed and began treatment. We just noticed some red spots on her belly that we initially thought was a harmless rash but by the next day was bruising and very scary looking. These pictures are still painful to view, but doing so might help make others aware. If you ever see anything like this on your pet, please don't ignore it or assume it's just a rash or allergy to something.

Her treatment was very aggressive including high doses of steroids to suppress her immune system so her platelets would  begin rebuilding. She also had to take pepcid to help protect her stomach from the steroids, and medicine for the bleeding ulcer she had developed as well. After a week of these medicines the blood tests showed only a fraction of difference so a second immunosuppressive drug was added to her twice daily routine and a one time dose of chemo which, oddly enough has the side effect of telling the bone marrow to release a considerably larger supply of platelets. There was a risk with the Vincristine chemo drug of bone marrow suppression in which the bone marrow stops producing white and red blood cells, as well as platelets. She was so young and healthy up to this point and the treatments have worked (though not 100%) in large numbers of cases. I've always been one to educate myself on health issues and be well informed. I did my research for Abby as well. We chose to go ahead with the one time chemo treatment to try to get much needed platelets rushed into her system. She did develop bone marrow suppression and was hospitalized and given two blood transfusions to buy time and wait to see if the bone marrow resumed it's job after a few days. It did and we continued meds and weekly blood tests to monitor the slow but stead climb of the low levels.

Abby reached normal levels after a couple of long months of treatment. The vet began the long process of tapering off the steroids slowly and again monitoring her blood work to see if she would retain her normal number of platelets. The steroid battled constantly with the medication for her bleeding ulcer so it was a fight to try to get it healed. Unfortunately Abby developed Pancreatitis from all of the medication cocktails, specifically the steroids. She was hurting and didn't want to eat or drink and just wasn't acting like herself. She was hospitalized again for 4  more days and put on IV therapy with most of the medications on hold to let her recover from the painful pancreatitis. It was the only choice and a risk because of the potential plummet of her platelets with the sudden stop of the steroids. Abby did have a relapse and because she hadn't completely recovered 100% it proved to be a fatal relapse. The vet suggested another blood transfusion to maintain again and said that she has seen complete recoveries before after relapses and there was still a chance, given her young age. We again decided to go with the transfusion. But my last visit with her at the hospital she looked so tired, and miserable. All I could do was sit and hold her and cry. I couldn't bear the thought of losing her but I would never want to her to remain in pain and so sick, just for me.

After leaving her in the hands of some wonderful techs that last day I went home with only a vague sense of time and surroundings. I went to bed that night and prayed a painful, but sincere prayer. I prayed that if this was all too much for her and that if she wasn't to eventually survive this battle, then to take her now so her pain and sickness could end. I received a phone call at 5:14AM on Tuesday morning the 17th from the vet that she was gone.

I've never known such love of life and people. She absolutely LOVED belly kisses and was as smart as any young child. We spelled so many words around her because she was so smart! All I had to ask was "wanna kiss?" and she immediately rolled over for belly kisses. I still find it hard to believe she is gone. Sometimes when I come home from work I forget and look around, wondering why I don't see her running to greet me. And when I wake at night I look around the room to see where she is, because she isn't curled up next to me. We take things one day at a time and will no doubt be able to love another little fur baby one day. She was truly the light of our lives! I found out recently that Abigail means "father's joy". She couldn't have had a more fitting name as she brought her father (and mother) an abundance of joy daily. Her memory will continue to do so.

Rest in Peace little girl. We'll always love you!

Giving Abby her belly kisses.

Abby loved her toys, as you can see in the background. But she let you know when she needed your attention. And she always got what she wanted. ;)

Visiting Abby at the hospital. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pause, Fast Forward, Play

I had push Pause on the blog for a couple of months. Life stepped in and brought a whirlwind of change, totally out of the ordinary. That happens to all of us. My husband had a bypass surgery (femoral artery bypass). Can you believe they use polyester material to make prosthetic arteries these days? He's recovered and is doing fine but is was a rough little bit.

As you can see I've decided to change things around a bit on the blog. I am going for a softer feel these days. I think that's in part due to another BIG change in our lives. We are now Grammie & Grandpa! Our first grandchild was born in early March and things have been hopping! I'm working both on new blog colors and graphics and working on some digital scrapbook pages. I'll load a few of those I've done over the next few days but here is a quick sneak peak of the beautiful addition to our family. Meet our first grandchild.... our beautiful grandson... meet Matthew {aka Matty}

I need to finish my new blog button and post divider/signature. So those will go up later tonight or tomorrow. But for now, another little one is demanding some attention, so it's off of the computer for me for a bit. Our little Abby is done being patient with me. All of her toys you see scattered on the floor in the picture, have ceased to entertain her. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kitchen Cabinets - Beginning Organization

In my last post I set myself some goals to be organizing my home, which will in turn create some much-needed organization in my life. This post was the beginning of my God-Sized Dream that I shared as I read and study with Holley Gerth and her readers. Organizing your house doesn't seem like much of a big dream to most people but it's what I need emotionally, mentally and spiritually... much more than physically. Let me explain why.

I read a few words recently posted by Becky on a great blog that I follow, Organizing Made Fun. I can't find the post now after stalking so many of her posts but it was something about the places her family has lived, both rentals and homes they have owned. She made a huge impact on me when she said even while living in a rental, she did what she was able to do to make that house their home. That was definitely inspiration to me because we live in a rental home. Because of health issues, my husband is disabled and isn't able to work now. If I was being realistic, renting is better for us right now. This allows us to not have the stress and worry of repairs and maintenance around the house. I've cheated myself out of enjoying that blessing for far to long.

We have lived here since 2006. It's not big but it's big enough for us. But because it isn't ours, and I plan to live in a home we own again one day... I've not allowed myself to feel "at home" here. My mindset has been, for a long time, that I'm leaving, I'm not staying here. In other words, "don't get too comfortable Diana, this isn't your home." And that's not a bad thing from the perspective of planning, dreaming, hoping for something more. But it's been bad for me. Because I make myself feel unsettled in this house, other things in my life feel unsettled. Because I'm always trying to get away, I miss the opportunity and potential I have for the here and now. I go through too many steps of making do... with where I live and how I live. And I'm tired of not feeling at home. So this God-Sized Dream of organizing... not only my home... but my life is a road I'm ready to travel on.

The first step photo I share in the last post isn't ready for and "After" post yet. I've decided to not only organize but rearrange. Some things in my home will find a new place to reside. Instead I'm showing another before and after cabinet space that I started with. It's not 100% complete but still a huge change. See for yourself...



I found these pantry supply images and printed them on clear shipping labels that I picked up at WalMart. I have a few more to do. These were pre-made images but I have a few more I will make myself with Photoshop. This was a wonderful feeling to open the cabinet door and actually see everything on a shelf without digging behind things to see what I have and what I'm out of. And will make creating my grocery lists much easier. I can't wait to tackle another cabinet now. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Mustard Seed Goal

I'm beginning the "Do What You Can" Plan and with the help of Holley Gerth's eBook I will be on the road to discovering and achieving my God-Sized plan.

My God-sized dream isn't anything that will make a big impact on anyone but me and my small home and family. I want an organized life. That's a big dream for a girl who likes "stuff". Maybe it's from growing up with very little. But when your surroundings are cluttered, your whole life feels cluttered. And when you're whole life feels cluttered, you can't be the person God means for you to be. And you can't accomplish the things he has for you to do. When there is so much to do, sometimes it's hard to know where to start. And that's where the breakdown occurs... you don't start. You spend your days sitting, and thinking about it but not very often acting on it. 

When change of any kind is needed, I find myself trying to look ahead to the end result. Not that the end result isn't worth the effort but knowing the distance between beginning and end... from A to Z... I feel overwhelmed. But I need to remind myself that there are many more letters before Z. If I can just look from A to B and succeed in that first step, it will be easier getting to the next. Start small. One step at a time.

My Mustard Seed Goal is to simply de-clutter and purge just one small area. Not even a whole room. I will share my first step, my step A tomorrow. I have one kitchen cabinet that makes me crazy. Who am I kidding! I have more than one. But I'll start with just one. I'll show you what it looks like now.

What a mess huh? Cookbooks, Tupperwear, paper plates & bowls, Pampered Chef prep bowls and chopper. ziploc bags. This will look totally different tomorrow! My goal is this one cabinet. We'll see what tomorrow brings.