Friday, March 23, 2012


Wow, It's been over a year since I have written anything here!  Where did that year go?  As some of you who are my friends on Facebook know I had to say goodbye to my precious little dog, Maples, yesterday.  This blog is dedicated to my furry friend of 15 years!

Those of you that knew Maples know all too well that she was not the sharpest tool in the shed.  She was not smart, at all:)    She did make up for this in her sweetness and loving nature and the fact that everyone knew she wasn't too bright made you love her even more.  A comment was even made by her groomer that, "Bless her little heart, she is just the sweetest thing, just not very smart."  She didn't say it to be mean, I find it hard to believe this woman has a mean bone in her body!   

Maples was born on March 7, 1997.  She became a part of my family in May 1997.  I had been wanting a little dog to love and saw an ad in the newspaper for some poodle puppies in Chapman, KS.  My sister and I went over to look at the puppies and the place was appalling.  It was a single wide trailer that housed 6 adult dogs and I believe at that time they had 3 or 4 litters of puppies.  The owner opened up her door far enough to squeeze out with this flea infested, emaciated, very dirty and smelly long tailed poodle puppy.  I wasn't 100% percent of her actual color due to all the dried feces on her body.  She was not my ideal puppy choice and the fact that they had the nerve to want money for this animal was shocking.  However, there was no way in hell I was leaving that precious little girl in that environment.  So, home she went with me and after a very intense bath I could tell she was not Apricot colored as I had guessed but more white/cream colored.  After going to the vet and getting healthy she quickly became my sweet little dog. I named her Maples Ann ( her color reminded me of a maple stick) and over the years she was referred to as:  Mapes, The Mapes, Mapers, Mapies, Mapie Bo Bapies and I believe that's all:)  

 My parents had a poodle, Inky, who was extremely smart as poodles are known to be.  Inky had been taught many tricks and had learned them very very quickly.  However, when I began the agonizing task of trying to teach my little girl, I was greeted with a blank slate stare.  It was the most frustrating and hilarious thing I had ever witnessed.  I mean this dog would not engage with me at all!  After several several months, maybe even a year or 2 I just gave up.  She was house trained and a cuddler, what else could I ask of this little dog?  She had devoted herself to me and was always right beside me in our chair.  She listened to me, made me feel better when I was sad, was happy when I was happy, checked on me when I was sick loved to "play" with her collection of toys.   Who cares if she couldn't learn to shake?  I loved her the way she was and she was devoted to me.  She was 100% my dog.  My son loved her too but she was my dog. 

Over the past 15 years she has just been a part of the family.  She wore Halloween costumes, wore sweaters when it was cold, cheered for KState basketball and football all the while wearing her KState jersey!  Always, always happy to see me whether I had been gone for 2 minutes to take out the trash or been at school or work all day.  She went to birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas and most all family celebrations.  Over the past few years I could see her age creeping up on her.  She became a little hard of hearing, didn't play as much and arthritis began attacking her already compromised joints.  Another note about Maples, she had horrible conformation.  You really had to see her to understand but those of you that knew her know EXACTLY what I'm speaking of!  Then this past year things began getting pretty bad for her and me.  She lost almost all her sight.  After laying for a while she had a hard time getting her legs to "work" again.  She would get "lost" in the yard when she was turned out to potty.  One day she wondered off and it took my husband about an hour and a half to find her.  If he wouldn't have found her she would have froze to death that day.  She also no longer really knew where she was relieving herself which was very hard on my carpet.  This past Thanksgiving I told everyone to say goodbye to Maples then Christmas rolled around and she was still here!  I was holding on to my little friend which was in no way fair to her. 

Last week I had her outside with me and she got disoriented and kept walking into the side of the house.  Then the other day in the house she woke up and was attempting to get her legs to work to go get a drink.  She finally made it to the water dish and then her legs gave out on her.  That was it, this was no longer about me not wanting to lose her it was about me being a responsible loving owner and letting her go.  It was agonizing for me and I put it off for about 3 days.  Yesterday, I met my husband at the vet's and they helped me relieve the pain and confusion Maples had been suffering through.  The doctor was so caring and compassionate which made me feel better that she cared about my little dog too.  Thank you Dr. B!  I of course was a total mess.  I held my little girl while she slipped peacefully away and I then put her in her bed.  She was buried by my husband in her bed with her collar and sweater.  We buried her by some blooming tulips.  Around 7:45 last night there was a full rainbow after the rain had stopped.  My husband called me out on to the front porch to look at it.  It was a very clear full rainbow over our house.  I knew as soon as I looked at it that it was Maples letting me know she was okay and no longer hurting or confused.  It made me smile and cry at the same time.   I made a very hard decision for me but the absolute best decision for my dog.

Goodbye Maples.  You were and always will be my precious little Mapies.  There will NEVER be another one like you. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Past

Wow, I can't believe it's been over 2 months since I've written.  Time really does fly by very fast.  The fact that I have a 2 year old daughter and an 18 year old son graduating from High School in May really hits that home.  It is sad that at one point the 18 year old needed and depended on me as much as the 2 year old and now it seems he can't get away from me fast enough!  I understand he is just trying and needing to find his place in life but it is still sad for me:( 
Something else I have realized or maybe I should say have become more aware of, is what I have learned and gone through in my now 37 years.  People DO and CAN change.  Can you change the past?  No.  Can you take back some things we wish you never said or did?  No.  Did you make some very stupid decisions?  Yes.  At least for me.  Did you judge people to harshly?  Yes.  At least for me.   Did you treat some people really badly?  Yes.  Again, for me at least.  People can change and if you can accept that, it is a personal decision.  Sometimes, you just have to say your sorry and you made mistakes.   As I said before, you can't change the past but you can change the person you are now and accept people that have changed.  Chalk your mistakes up to immaturity, inexperience, misdirected anger, unacknowledged fear,  lack of life experience or just plain stupidity! I think I can use each one of those for something in my life I have done, said whatever.  Now, of course not everything has to be forgotten.  You may never forget or forgive some things but if a sincere apology, and it does have to be sincere and not the 3rd, 4th or 5th, is sent your way it really is in the best interest to you and your mental health to accept the apology.  Now, if someone has done you wrong and this is their 5th apology I would be a little leary that it is in fact sincere.  All of this has a little bit to do with common sense and self preservation.  All I'm saying is, and this is my blog so it pertains to just me, is that at this point in my life it is important to forgive people and yourself for mistakes you made just because, well, you didn't know any better and weren't in a place in your life to look at the BIG picture. We have ALL made mistakes and if you haven't I would really like to meet you and see what the perfect human being looks and acts like.    And yes, we have ALL had really shitty things happen to us.  Every experience, argument, decision (bad or good) has made us who we are today.  There are people who I believe try to deceive when making a statement that they have changed.  However, I do believe that most people are sincere in seeing that they made mistakes too and they are sorry.  I can't take back or redo anything in my past but I can say to people and myself I'm sorry and hope that they believe me and move forward.  Not having to forget, just accepting the past is what it is, the past.  Life is just too short to hold on to things that can't be changed.  I'm not perfect and still make mistakes everyday.  However, I'm now to the point where I accept the fact that I will make mistakes.  I've just developed the maturity and life experience over the years to deal with the mistakes differently.    So, look at your past, deal with it however you need to move on to the future, remembering all the while the past is what made you strong enough today to put it to bed and look ahead.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Season Part 2

I'm not a real sentimental type person but the older I get the more I am leaning that direction!  I discovered something tonight.  I was doing some baking and I put in a  Christmas CD of one of the LP's my parents used to play this time of year.  As I was baking and singing along to every single song that played I realized how absolutely calm and happy I felt.  It just took me back to the security I felt as a child.  I think back to me just being in the house and Mom and Dad doing whatever they were doing whether that was actually decorating for the Holiday Season or Dad just sitting in his chair listening to the music that was playing.  Makes me really appreciate the calm I had as a child.  Some kids home life is an absolute roller coaster ride and a scary one at that!  I am one of the lucky ones to have had a wonderful childhood.  I am also lucky enough to still have both my parents and I know there are those of you reading who do not have that blessing and I'm sure you miss and love the ones you've lost.  To make you feel closer to them and maybe bring back some very happy memories, ( not that you don't already have lots of happy memories!) get a copy of the music you remember hearing this time of year even if it's not the type of music you particularly like now.  The two main cds I remember are Elvis and Brenda Lee Christmas albums.  Just let yourself take in the music as you go on about your business.  I bet a few songs into it you will feel a calm come over you.  I was amazed at the feeling I was having.  Some people have comfort food I guess I have comfort music!  Okay, I'm done rambling for tonight.  I'm off to put the little one to bed, put my music back on and wrap some presents.  Take care and thanks for reading.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Season

Hello everyone.  I've been busy with Thanksgiving, holiday shopping and decorating!  How exhausting.  Decorating takes a lot of time but worth it in the end.  If your not the decorating type and you would like to do something you could replace your porch light with a red or green party bulb for the holiday season.  Just a little something if you don't want to do a lot!  I only have 1 gift left and my stocking stuffers and I'm done shopping this year.  Once again, don't feel guilty about not spending a lot of money on your kids, sister, brother, husband or whoever.  Gifts are not what the holiday season is about.  A good substitute that I've done in the past is baking cookies and other items and give to friends.   That's all I'm gonna say about that! 
 Let me see, I was talking about decorating.  I save money on decorating by shopping the day after Christmas.  My sisters and I get up and head to the department stores the day after Christmas.  Everything is at least 50% off.  I get  ALL my wrapping stuff, garland, lights, cards, gift tags and whatever else I need that day.  I even buy tape then, it's 50% off too!!  I haven't had to buy decorations in several years because I already have everything when the season rolls around.  Some people don't like the crowds but it really is worth it when you save all that money.  Something I am trying this holiday season is to not feel rushed.  I always feel like I have to hurry and finish what I'm doing to get to the next thing on my list.  I'm trying to change my mind set and take more enjoyment in things and not worry about if I'm out shoppping with someone that I need to get home and dust my house!!!  Life goes by so fast.  I may be thinking this way because my son is turning 18 tomorrow and just yesterday I was rocking him and reading him a book!    Well, I think I will sign off for now.  I think next time I'll talk about time saving meals.  Make the crock pot your new best friend!!!  Take care and don't get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season.  Enjoy your family and friends.  Take care and again thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fabric Softener Sheets

I have a few random uses for fabric softener sheets I'd like to share.  Just a little tidbit to keep things smelling clean!  After I go somewhere, which is VERY rare, and I use my luggage I always put a new fabric sheet in the suitcase before I put away then when I get it out the next time, it smells fresh. 
My 2 year old has very smelly feet!  So, when I take her shoes off at night I put a little square of softener in her shoes.  Since her feet are small I cut a sheet in fourths and just put a square in each of her shoes.  I change the sheet about every 3 weeks or so.  It keeps her shoes from not stinking so bad.  She has even figured out the trick and when she takes her shoes off she goes to her room and puts them away and puts the softener back in!  What a mini me!!! 
I also put a sheet of softener in my closets and hampers.  Just set it on a shelf or something in your closets and throw one in your hampers.  The hamper ones can be replaced more often but I bet I don't replace the ones in my closet for a month or two. You can also put one or two under the seats in your vehicle.   
Those are just a few things I do that my sister says, "I would never have thought of that."  I guess I don't think of it that way, I just do it.  So, I shared.  Hope it was useful to you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Feeding the Family!

Hello again.  I'm sure everyone is gearing up for their Thanksgiving Dinner.  It adds up quickly depending on how many you are feeding!!!  Months like this are an exception to my grocery shopping but I usually stick to a pretty rigid list.  I can feed my entire family for under $400 a month easily, usually around $350.  Do we have a lot of prepacked snack foods?  No.  For "treats" I buy 2 packages of choc chips a month and make cookies.  When I make cookies it's my husband and kids choice how long they last.  If they eat 6 a day then guess what, they won't be around much more than a day.  When they are gone, they're gone.  Period.  Same with Pop-Tart (which I buy generic, Best Choice).  My son loves them.  I buy 2 boxes a month.  When they are gone, they are gone.  I "big" shop once a month.  Right after I get paid I go to the store and spend approx $230.  Then throughout the month I go back for bread, milk, eggs and on occasion that one thing I don't have to make either a meal that is out of ordinary for me or just something I hadn't planned for.  I pretty much buy the same things every month.  Of course there are those months someone wants a special meal or you feel like treating your family to something special.  I'm simply stating in general this is my philosophy on grocery shopping.   If you feel like your family isn't getting full I have 2 words, Bread & Potatoes.  We have potatoes at almost every meal whether they be, baked, fried, mashed, french fries or scalloped.  Make them a part of every meal, they are fillers!  Also, bread butter and jelly.  If you have leftovers take them with you for lunch the next day.  I work full time so I take my lunch a lot.  If I don't take lunch my local grocery store deli has a $1 item every day, so I can literally eat for $1 + tax every day!   When you are in the grocery store most of the time their is a store brand (generic) product that is the SAME THING!!  Really it is.  I very rarely buy named brand and I save a ton of money.  Now, I have found certain things that aren't as good if not named brand like diapers and feminine products but even baby formula is the same!  If you don't believe me ask your pediatrician.  The store brand is the exact same thing.  You just aren't paying for the advertising and fancy labels the named brands have. 
Another great saver is coupons.  Sometimes I can save up to $10 in coupons and sometimes only $1 or so.  Just depends on what I need and have coupons for.  Most of the time even with a coupon the named brand is still more expensive.  Also, I don't buy my shampoo, toilet paper, kleenex and other such products at the grocery store.  Go to a place like Target or Walmart for those things.  I make a trip to the grocery store and Target every month.  I always make a list once again taking note of the needs and wants and I stick to it.  My younger sister, who gave me the idea to start this blog, is usually with me and can testify that I stick to my list MOST of the time.   Of course there is always those times when you want to buy something for yourself and or your kids or splurge on an item.  I do that too!  but I always make sure my families needs are met first.  It's just a simple change in mindset and it will save you money.  Okay, done rambling for today I think!  Everyone have a great day and thanks for reading!!! 

Oh, one more thing before I go.  If buying holiday gifts online, research research research.  You can save tons of money by searching websites for the same product! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm new at this!

Well, where to start.  I'm not sure how to do this blog thing but my younger sister thought it would be a good idea to share my ideas about kids, running an efficient house, saving money and lots of other little things that I didn't really think anyone would want me to share.  So I guess I will try this out and see if anyone pays attention!!  With one warning to readers:  I have been know to get a bit worked up, so if you don't want it given to you straight, then stop reading!!!  If I feel the need to cuss to express myself I will use *^#+ to not offend!  Just please be warned. 

I don't want to say I am cheap but frugal and efficient.  In this economy saving money is key.  Do my kids and family have everything they need?  Yes.  Do they have everything they want?  Absolutely not.  Kids do not need half of what they have, my kids included.  Parents should NOT feel guilty about their teenager not having the latest iphone or their toddler not having those high dollar clothes.  Be real!  The toddler has no idea what brand her clothes are and the teenager will learn to appreciate what they have and learn that they have to work very hard for things.   My teenager hasn't had a cell phone for 6 months now.  He abused the privilege so guess what, no privilege.  Did he hate me for it??  Probably.  Did he get over it?  Yes.  Would I let him yell at me and tell me it's not fair and blah blah blah like I see other teenagers do to their parents, mostly mothers, in public.  No way!!!  You are the parents!  Act like it!  Okay, I got that out.   I'm just saying there is a huge difference between needs and wants.  Don't feel guilty for not meeting all your kids wants.  Do I want those $100 boots?  Of course!!  Do I need them?  No.  Do I settle for the $20 boots?  Absolutely.  Same concept with kids. 

Well, I feel like this was mostly rambling.  Hopefully, I get the hang of this blog thing.  Before I complete my first blog I have 2 ways I saved money this holiday season I would like to share.  If you have car payment, MOST banks and loan institutions will allow you to defer 1 payment every 12 months.  So, you can go to your bank and fill out a form for the deferrm ent.  You then have your car payment to spend of holiday gifts with no penalty on your loan.  Another great idea I had for my toddler was at  My toddler has just started to color, with Crayola Washable Crayons ( a life saver!!), and loves all the characters on NickJr.  So, I was going to get her all these  different coloring books for xmas.  At they have a printable pages portion where you can print of pages for your kids to color.  They have a huge selection.  I printed off enough to make my own coloring book.  Print them off, hole punch them and put them in a 25 cent folder!!!  There's your coloring book!!! 

Well, thank for reading.  Hope I didn't bore you and I will try to keep shorter next time.  Happy Holidays!