Shameful

In my last post, titled Shredding The Past, I mentioned one of the projects I’ve been working on from my “to do list” was cleaning out closets and giving everything we no longer use to Goodwill. I ended up with nine trash bags full of clothes,  shoes, and even purses Shantel left when she moved out because she can no longer wear and/or use them. I also had clothes I no longer wear all bagged up and clearly marked for the Goodwill truck to pick-up today.

In addition, we were donating this corner unit computer cabinet we no longer need.

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It too was clearly marked Goodwill on the back facing the street so the Goodwill truck, or anyone else can see.

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When I scheduled the Goodwill pick-up for today I was told the truck will come sometime between 7:00 A.M. and dusk. We were told to have the items clearly marked and sitting at the end of our driveway, which we did, and NOT on the sidewalk or street so the items would not be in the way of cars driving down the street, or people walking down the sidewalk, AND, so anyone who saw the items would know they were for Goodwill. And since they were set out on our property, and not the sidewalk or street, they remain our property until Goodwill came to pick them up…

Bill and I followed all the instructions we were given by Goodwill, trusting everything would go as planned. Then we went along our merry way this morning as we left the house to go to Total Wine and Costco…

However, when we returned home, Bill said I see Goodwill hasn’t been here yet because the computer cabinet was still sitting at the end of our driveway…BUT, all the clothes etc. were GONE!!

I was so upset when I saw someone came on our property to steal the bags of clothes etc. we set out for Goodwill. I told Bill how can people stoop so low as to steal from Goodwill? Bill said “let’s just hope they needed it more than the people who would have benefited from it at Goodwill…” I said ” I will try to hold that thought, but it really makes me angry because I see visions of whoever took those items just selling them at a yard sale…” Bill laughed and said “well, we did see that Goodwill was having a 50% off sale today… maybe the people that helped themselves to our items decided what makes more sense… 50% off everything at Goodwill or FREE at our house…?”

Personally, I don’t care what the reason was for the people that helped themselves to our items clearly marked for Goodwill, I think they ought to be ASHAMED of themselves, because that, in my opinion, is shameful… just SHAMEFUL!!!

I think Happy Hour is calling me now… 🙂

Stayed Tuned!

 

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Shredding The Past

After our daughter, Shantel, moved into her new apartment, I made a list of projects  I wanted to tackle. Things like shred all her High School individual education plans (IEP) papers, all emails regarding issues pertaining to follow-up issues when the IEP plans were not followed by the school and district, all court documents from when we had to take the school district to court to force them to adhere to the IEP as written, and all her college paperwork related to her special needs and accommodations… Oh what memories are held within those documents.

In addition, I am on a quest to shred all unnecessary papers related to my mother’s insurance and/or banking business as well as any and all unnecessary papers my husband, Bill and I have accumulated over the years. I have been told, by various people, that I am the “document queen.” and that served me well when I was fighting the school and district for Shantel’s rights, or taking care of my mother’s personal business etc. but now, I know I can free myself from the burden of managing all that paperwork. And it is very freeing to clear out all that paper. I have made a good size dent in the shredding project, but still have a lot of shredding yet to do… this could take weeks, and has become almost a full-time job.

I say almost a full-time job because the shredding project is just one of many projects on my “to do list.” In addition to shredding our past, I am also in the process of cleaning out closets and getting rid of anything and everything we don’t use and giving it all to Goodwill. I have the first Goodwill pick-up scheduled for tomorrow morning..

I also decided we no longer need the older refrigerator in the garage. We only used it to store drinks, and now that Shantel moved out, we don’t need to store all her soda’s, vitamin water, bottled teas etc. so I moved the beer and wine into our kitchen refrigerator, cleaned out the garage refrigerator, and scheduled it to be picked up by SRP’s recycling team on June 7th.

One reason it is taking me so long to complete my “to do project list”, is because I keep getting interrupted with things like Shantel calling to ask me to take her to get her groceries, and to spend the day with her at Social Security and DES offices. I can not believe how long it takes to get anything done at these government offices. Shantel had to go into the DES office to get finger printed before she could begin receiving services she has been approved to receive. We were told we needed to arrive at the office early as lines begin forming at daylight… I picked Shantel up at 5:30 A.M. and we arrived at the DES office by 6:00 A.M. The office doesn’t open until eight, but there were already 75 people in line ahead of us at 6:00.. are they kidding me? There was nowhere to sit down so we just had to stand in line outside the building in the parking lot. To make the time spent even more fun than I could have ever imagined… two LARGE pit bull dogs were running up and down the building terrorizing all of us. There was nowhere to go to get away from them and no one was going to step out of line for fear of losing your place…I mean these dogs were growling at us and just kept patrolling the line back and forth. One black man got so scared he started to run and the dogs started chasing him. OMG!!!  I was so scared they were going to come after Shantel and I, because they kept coming by and pushing up against Shantel’s cane. I kept trying to get between the dogs and Shantel but every time Shantel stepped behind me the dogs followed her..

Finally, the DES office opened and we were ushered inside to take a number, have a seat, and wait, wait, wait… After several hours, Shantel’s number was called, she was finger printed and we were on our way.. However, later that day, Shantel called me to say one of her Facebook friends said she and her daughter were at that same DES office in the afternoon and both she and her daughter were bitten by the pit bull dogs in the parking lot. An ambulance had to be called and both the mother and her child we taken to the hospital. Also animal control, which was contacted early that morning, eventually came and apprehended the dogs. All I can say is I was glad to get the hell out of there and hope I never have to go back..

The next day, I’m back to working on my projects when Shantel calls me to tell me her friend, Jaz, was at her apartment helping Shantel do her laundry at the apartment laundry room. As they were walking back to Shantel’s apartment, Jaz saw some kittens on Shantel’s patio. Jaz wanted to pet them but when she got close to them, they started hissing and swiping their claws at her. Jaz said the kittens were hanging around Shantel’s storage room door so she went over there and opened the door and found the mother and more kittens hiding behind the water heater. The mother cat started hissing and started towards Jaz so she slammed the door and started back into Shantel’s apartment. However, when she opened Shantel’s sliding patio door one of the kittens ran in and hid under the sofa. Jaz tried to get it out but it was hissing and making all kinds of noises at her. She finally was able to use Shantel’s cane and get it out from under the sofa and put a laundry basket over it but even with the laundry basket over it the kitten was running all around the room sliding the laundry basket with it… Jaz directed the kitten and basket towards the door and finally pushed the kitten out and shut the door… OMG!!! What next? Shantel called the Humane Society but was told they would not come out and trap the cats. They said Shantel would need to trap them and bring them into the Humane Society .I told Shantel she needs to call the office and ask if maintenance can come by with a net or something to get the cat/kittens out of her storage room because Shantel would have no way of knowing if one was by her door and would run into her apartment anytime she opened her door…

After all that excitement, as if I needed more… I went to visit my mother. I stopped by McDonald’s to get her a caramel frappe, but their frappe machine was broken so I ordered a chocolate milk shake thinking it would be a close second… NOT so much… Mom was excited to see me and very happy to see I brought her what she thought was a McDonald’s frappe. However, when she found out it was a milk shake she said she wasn’t hungry and didn’t want it…by this time I was too tired to care. I just thought to myself “if you knew what I’ve been through with pit bull dogs, and furrow cats terrorizing my daughter and I, you would just take the milk shake, smile and say thank-you, even if you threw it out after I left… Oh well, I tried… 🙂 🙂

Stay Tuned!

Enjoying Family

Yesterday, Saturday, my niece Chante (daughter of my late brother, Stephen), and her daughter, my great-niece, Josie, came to our house for lunch and a fun-filled afternoon in the pool. Chante and Josie just left San Diego were they lived and are  making their way to Oklahoma, where they will establish their new home. Both Chante, and her husband, Roger, served in the U.S. Navy, and have been stationed in San Diego for the past seven years. Chante has been discharged for some time now and Roger will be discharged in July, then he will join his family in Oklahoma.

When Chante and Josie arrived at my house we enjoyed smoked pulled pork sandwiches with homemade coleslaw and multi-grain chips and salsa. Little Josie could hardly wait to get outside and into the pool. She was so excited she hopped down from her chair as soon as she finished her last bite and started asking if she could help us push our chairs in as soon as we finished our last bite…

Josie will be four years old in July and is an absolute delight.

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As soon as Josie had her swimming suit on she was off and running towards the pool with mom and great-aunt Virginia following close behind… Josie’s wanted to know where the pool toys were and all I had were pool noodles so her mom, Chante, showed her how to float around using a pool noodle which Josie thought was pretty fun…

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It wasn’t long until Josie decided she wanted to jump off the side of the pool and into the water with her mom catching her.

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Fearless, Josie never even hesitated to take the leap.. Then, she decided she wanted me to catch her when she jumped..

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After each jump, of course, she wanted to “do it again..”

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So, back to the side of the pool we went to do it over and over again..

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As Josie gained confidence, we had to remind her to “wait until I was in place and ready to catch her..” Her mom, Chante, said “I’m a nurse and I could give you CPR, but I don’t ever want to have to do that…  But, again, fearless, and kid-like, she made the leap before I was in place… and both her mom, Chante, and I rushed to pluck her from the bottom of the pool..

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Scared the heck out of me, but when we pulled her up and I asked her if it scared her, she laughed and said “no, it just gave me a wedgie.” Then she laughed and said “I always have a wedgie..”

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What a crack-up this precious little girl is. 🙂

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After swimming we sat on the patio and visited until it was time for Chante and Josie to go. I so enjoy spending time with family, and look forward to the next time Chante and Josie come to Arizona. Hopefully, next time, Roger will get to come with them..

Safe travels to Oklahoma Chante, Josie and Roger. Your always in our thoughts and prayers.

Stay tuned!

Strawberries For Mom

Today I went to visit my mother at the Care Center where she lives. I took her two baskets of fresh strawberries because that is one of her all time favorite treats. She was very excited to see me, and even more excited when she found out I brought strawberries for her.

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Today’s visit was very different from my visit with her last Sunday.

Since my weekly visits with my mother got off schedule when my family went to Colorado for our granddaughter’s graduation from High School, I told my brother, Danny, that I would take his Sunday visit this past week so he wouldn’t have to make the hour drive from his home in Maricopa Arizona. He agreed and thanked me for letting him know. However, when I arrived at the Care Center Sunday to visit my mother, much to my surprise, there sat my brother, Danny in the activity room helping mom play bingo. I asked him what he was doing there and he said he had to come into town anyway to pick up a few things so he just decided he would stop by and see mom and visit with me as well. How nice and thoughtful of him. I don’t get to see Danny as often as I would like because he lives so far away from me and often has to work weekends..

I brought my mother a McDonald’s caramel frappe and placed it on the table in front of her. Then I bent down to say hello and give her a hug. She let me hug her but didn’t say anything. Then she looked at the frappe and asked “where did I get this?” I said “I brought it for you.” She looked at me with a blank stare and said “I don’t think I know who you are.” I said “you don’t know who I am? Mom, I’m your daughter, Cindy, I’m married to Bill and we are Shantel’s parents.” She said “no, you’re not my daughter, so who are you?” This was not the first time mom hasn’t recognized me but it was the first time she said she didn’t know who I was in front of Danny, and her friend, Joan. They both looked surprised and I said “it’s OK, this has happened before, just give her a few minutes and she will remember.” Danny, being true to his usual quick wit form, said “she didn’t have any problem recognizing me right away when I walked in..” I laughed and said “well, we both know she always loved you best..”

However, I was a bit concerned that mom was not coming around and acting like she knew who I was so I excused myself from the table saying I would be right back. I went to find the duty nurse, Judy, who I know well and reported the incident. Judy pulled me aside and said “the first time your mom didn’t recognize you was real and often times patients with Parkinson’s will have episodes like that. However, the last time your mom said she didn’t know who you were, she didn’t know some of her aids or nurses either… but this time she is just pissed off at you because you went to Colorado.” Judy told me, they, the staff, heard about how upset my mother was about my leaving all week.. If that is true, all I can say is “oh, the games people play…”

After mom had a few strawberries, I asked her if she was ready to go to the dinning room for lunch. She said she was so off we went. The choices on the menu today were roasted pork with twice baked potato, or fruit plate, with Boston cream pie for desert. Mom always loved roasted pork and twice baked potato so I was surprised when she said she would have the fruit plate. I asked her why she didn’t want the pork and potato? She said “they don’t make it like dad did.” I said “well you’re not gong to get that again but that doesn’t mean this wouldn’t be something you could like too…” She said “no, I’ll have the fruit plate.” I thought to myself… suit yourself… 🙂

While I was sitting with mom as she ate her lunch I just couldn’t help but notice Lois, one of the full-time aids working at the Care Center. Lois has been working there for 12 yrs and is always smiling and spreading joy to each and every one of the residents… She is absolutely AMAZING, especially when you realize she is older than many of the residents she cares for… Lois is 82 yrs old.

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I asked around, and found out Lois has never missed a day of work, she is supposed to be on “light duty” now, but I’ve seen her helping to lift residents in and out of bed, wheelchairs, and she is always in the dinning room helping to feed residents. .. God bless her sweet soul… When I grow up…, I want to be just like Lois!!!

Stay Tuned!

 

Graduation Day

In my last post, I shared how my husband, Bill, and I helped our daughter, Shantel, move into her very first apartment last Friday. Then, Bill and I spent the weekend reclaiming our home…

On Monday, Bill,  and I picked up Shantel at her new apartment, and were pleasantly surprised to find that she was up and ready to go on our turn around trip (Mon-Wed) to Grand Junction Colorado to see our granddaughter, Alex, graduate High School. A trip we have looked forward to for months.

It was a 9 hour drive to get there…but we saw some of the most beautiful views along the way… like this, as we traveled through a section of Utah…

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Hard to get good pictures from the car window while moving down a bumpy highway… but you get the idea.

Upon arrival in Grand Junction, we dropped off our bags at the Hotel, then made our way to our son, Patrick,  and daughter-in-law, Celina ‘s house for dinner. Pat and Celina always do such a great job of welcoming everyone into their home, even after they both worked all day…, and always provide such great food!!! Thank You Pat and Celina… you work so well together… 🙂

After dinner with the family at Pat and Celina’s house, Bill, Shantel, and I, went back to our hotel to rest, and get ready for the graduation ceremony at 8:30 the next morning.

Bill’s daughter, my step-daughter, Katie, of course was very emotional as she helped her oldest daughter, Alex, with  last-minute preparations. Of course, as a teenager… , there had to be that constant checking of the phone…

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My heart ached for Katie as I so remembered the pride, and sting, of not only getting your daughter, ready for graduation, but also getting her ready to leave home…  Both Bill and I are pleased, and proud, to announce that our granddaughter, Alex, has been accepted into Seton Hall University.

Finally, after the preps were done, and last-minute whispers of “I love you, I’m so proud of you…” were done…, Alex was ready to leave for her graduation ceremony , confident and ready to face the world….

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The day after the graduation, Katie, and her husband, Josh, hosted a reception at a local park. Again, family and friends gathering one last time to wish Alex well before she goes off to college many, many, miles away from home. This is the last picture we had with Alex at the park..

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But before Alex leaves for Seton Hall in August, Bill and I are bringing Alex out to our home in Arizona, in July. Then, Shantel, Alex, Bill, and I will travel to Coronado Island, San Diego, to celebrate, Shantel’s graduation from college, Alex from High School, and Bill and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary from September 6th of this past year..

On the way home from Colorado, what would be a 9 hour trip turned into a 12 hour trip…because, we ran into road work delays… But, again, we saw beautiful views like this Mexican Hat view in Utah…See the little “hat”, perched  in the center of the picture on top of a hill of rocks? That is the Mexican Hat…

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We also saw the exact place where Forest Gump stopped running…

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However, I couldn’t get a picture of the sign, because there were FOOLS, lying in the road, without a lookout, trying to get the picture of the sign… We almost ran over them…!!!

When we finally arrived in Phoenix, we had to take Shantel to the store to get a few things to hold her over until I get there tomorrow, Friday, to pick her up for a doctor’s appointment…

After her doctor’s appointment, I will take her to the grocery’s store by her house ,and help her buy enough groceries to get her through the weekend, and until I pick her up again to buy groceries next week when hopefully we will get on a weekly grocery shopping schedule…

So very pleased and proud of our granddaughter Alex graduating High School and going on to attend Seton Hall University… and equally as proud of her mother, Katie, who did such an amazing job of raising, coaching, and guiding Alex along the way… Great Job Katie, and Alex!!!

Bill and I are sooooooooooooo  happy to be home after a VERY busy weekend/week of moving Shantel into her apartment… Then traveling to Colorado to see Alex graduate High School and wishing her well as she moves on to her higher education at Seton Hall University..

Love to all… Dad/Grandpa, Virginia/Grandma…

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shantel’s Apartment

As promised, here are some pictures of our daughter, Shantel’s, new apartment.

We left our house at 5:30 A.M. Friday morning with our car loaded to the top with Shantel’s personal belongings. The back seat was so full, Shantel had to hold some of her belongings in her lap.

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Shantel was very excited to finally be able to start getting orientated to her new home.

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I had already seen the apartment but my husband, Bill, had not, so Shantel was happy to show him all around starting in the kitchen, equipped with all new appliances.

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The bathroom countertop had just been resurfaced.

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Her bedroom,

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and, walk-in closet.

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After Bill got the tour, he stayed at the apartment to wait for Shantel’s new furniture to be delivered, and for Cox to come and install her service, while I took Shantel to Wal-Mart to buy supplies for her new home.

Another full carload as we headed back to the apartment with the necessary items.

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While we were shopping, her new sofa and coffee table were delivered.

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as well as her new queen size bed

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and chest of drawers

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We stopped by Ross, on our way home from Wal-Mart, and Shantel bought this cute table for her TV.

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After everything was all set up, Bill and I took Shantel out to lunch, then took her back to her apartment and said our good-bye. Shantel’s best friend, Jaz, was coming over later that afternoon to spend the first night with Shantel and help her set up her kitchen…

Yes, I cried, but over all I think I handled it very well. And of course, I had a plan to help me cope once I arrived back at my little ranch… I poured a glass of wine, gave Bill a beer, we toasted “to us” and started reclaiming our home…

In the family room we got rid of the corner computer cabinet and moved the desk into what is now the guest room. We laid down the new area rug I bought and rearranged the furniture to suit us…

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We rearranged Shantel’s room and set it up as the guest room which now comes complete with a desk, printer and free Wi-Fi… When company comes, of course I will just move our laptop out to the family room, but for now it is nice to have a place to sit quietly and work on my blog…

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I bought new bedding for the quest room bed and now have a place to showcase the beautiful, hand-made, bed topper my sister-in-law Bea, made. I have three of them in all different colors so the guest room can look different for each guest. Our granddaughter, Alex, who lives in Colorado, will be our first guest, and will spend a week with us in July. Then in August, my cousin, Kathy, from Pennsylvania, will spend 10 days with us… Oh what fun we will have. 🙂

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I also reclaimed the hall bathroom. I hung my favorite lace shower curtain (don’t know why but Shantel never liked it and asked me to please not have it in the bathroom while she lived with us).  I also put out the handmade soaps, my cousin, Tracie, made. I think our guests will enjoy these. I love the way the bathroom looks!

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By the time Bill and I finished putting our house together the way we want it Friday evening… we were exhausted and just wanted to go to bed.

Saturday morning I was pleasantly surprised when Shantel called me just to say hello and tell me she misses us but loves her new place. I really didn’t expect to hear from her that soon but I’m so glad she called.

This morning, when I woke up, I had two Mother’s Day cards waiting for me on the kitchen table from Shantel and Bill. Then, Bill and I went to Mass, came home and cooked our breakfast together just like every other Sunday, and around 11:00 Shantel called to say Happy Mother’s Day again…

All is well that ends well…

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers..

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

Day One

And the final day of the ten-day countdown of our daughter, Shantel, moving into her own apartment.

Today Shantel got the keys to her first apartment. It’s so hard for me to believe that the same hand that held my arm as I walked sighted guide with her all these years is now holding the keys to her very first apartment. But it sure enough is true, and she moves in tomorrow morning. She says she wants to be there by 6:00 A.M. Funny, she never wanted to be anywhere that early when I wanted to go somewhere… 🙂

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On the way home from picking up her apartment keys, I finally convinced Shantel that she is going to need at least a few moving boxes to put things in that won’t all fit into the precious, clean, garbage bags she thinks can hold anything and everything… So we stopped by U-Haul and she bought four boxes saying she will use them for her dishes, pots/pans etc. but only after she puts them in clean garbage bags first… I guess I can claim that as at least half a victory…??

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Before we went to pick up the apartment keys, Shantel and I had a bowl of homemade chili for lunch. I was completely satisfied and won’t eat again until dinner. But, not our girl. No, as soon as we left the U-Haul store she asked me to take her to McDonald’s so she could buy a McDouble hamburger, large caramel frappe, and a large milkshake!!! She said all the stress of the day made her hungry. I said “you don’t even know what real hunger is. We just ate 2 hours ago so you couldn’t be really hungry.” I told her I thought she was a stress eater and addicted to food and sugar… she said “no one can be addicted to food…” I said “oh, yes they can, and you are. Your just lucky you haven’t gained 700 lbs in the process (yet).” Shantel just laughed and said “I wouldn’t mind gaining a little weight as long as I can eat what I want…” Famous last words!

Tomorrow I will take and post pictures of Shantel’s apartment. She is beyond excited but said she is feeling stressed thinking of all the packing, unpacking, and work she has to do when she gets moved in. Like washing all her bedding, dishes, etc. I laughed and said “if you think that is stress, I hope you never have to pack and move a whole house for an entire family…”

Ahhh, to be young, and clueless… Ha! 🙂 🙂

Stay Tuned!

 

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