Saturday, May 20, 2017

Depression

I have isolated myself from the outside world lately. More and more I have a fear of opening my front door and even stepping out to take my dog outside.

What has happened to me? 

I used to be this vibrant, happy, life loving person and now I am a person who isolates.

What bring on depression, anxiety, panic and fear? Is it my age?

I clean my beautiful small home daily. When I am done, I sit and crochet and crochet and dream about where God is leading me in my journey.

This week, I donated 8 hats and 4 scarves to my church for a homeless project as well as a backpack and other items.

I have 10 baby beanies made for the pregnancy center.

I have another 3 beanies for the homeless shelter.

I am blessed to not sit idle. That I have something to do, to keep my mind from wandering from the past to the now to the future. 

Today, I have to remember to live in the moment, the here and now. I have to actually remember to take my medication for my diabetes and fibromyalgia and check off I took them. I have to remember to eat breakfast and lunch and check off that I did that as well.

Why you might ask? Why must such mundane daily tasks be logged?

Because, I suffer from depression and at times, I just forget to take my medication, I forget to eat because I don't remember things as well as I used to when I was healthier.

No one knows the pain of depression unless they have suffered. No one understands the triggers of PTSD unless they have suffered. No one understands a family members depression, unless they have suffered.

To one day be happy, have your life planned out, see your family doing well, making plans for their future, to get up in the morning in spite of pain, make breakfast, send the kids off to school, get chores done, shopping, plan snacks, dinner, go for a walk, feel the sunshine on your face and then "poof!" In a NY second it is all gone.

Gone is your life, the purpose you had for getting out of bed each morning. Gone is your home and you are left with your life sitting in a storage unit where you open the door and then close it because you have no idea what to do with the stuff. 

Check in today with a friend you know or maybe you suspect has depression. Call them and just say hello, how are you? 

Isolation is our way of not knowing what else to do. Not believing that anyone cares. Reach out!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Little Bit of Yum!

I think I am the Facebook recipe queen in our family. Seriously, every yummy looking recipe that comes across Facebook, I am either passing along or making it.

This week alone, I made a delicious Asparagus/Provolone stuffed chicken breast that was easy to make, easier to cook and it got high raves from the family.

Today, I made these flourless pancakes for my breakfast. 
I chose to try them because I have issues with my blood sugar and eating a regular pancake for some reason causes my blood sugar to drop drastically within about 30 minutes of eating them.

This quick and simply recipe did not do that.

It is simply:
2 mashed bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup blueberries

Mash bananas, add eggs vanilla beat, add oatmeal and I added blueberries you can do without for just banana pancakes.

Cook them as you do a regular pancake. It does take a few minutes longer and they do have a bit of a crunchy bite due to the oatmeal, but I really enjoyed them.

The above recipe made me 2 pancakes with batter left over for 2 more.

This wonderful recipe is one I will make often as I have to watch my diet and eating eggs all the time gets old.

**The recipe was taken from a Facebook post from the Tasty Vegetarian @ https://www.facebook.com/tastyvegetarian/?pnref=story 

 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

How Do You Deal With Teens Attitude?

So, I am struggling a bit today with a certain teen in our family that is truly a great kid, however her attitude bothers me and I am not sure how to deal with it? Do I ignore it, try to reason with it, argue with it?

My grand that I raised for most of her life with the exception of the past year and half or so, turns 16 soon and if you don't think that is a milestone, let me tell you, she fluctuates from not wanting anything for a gift or party but cash to wanting to know if we are doing something for that day?

I had set it up for her to help with a friend over this past Sunday and she cancelled on her after planning this out for the past few weeks at the last minute. I tried to reason with her, but she shut me down and out quickly. Was I to ruin a surprise and tell her she was working with her to find out what type of cake to make her?  No! I just let it go.

Her dad is now working out of town this week and has left his girlfriend in charge of there place and the kids. However, she has no paperwork at all should they get hurt, she doesn't drive so she can't pick them up from school functions, etc.., it still falls on my shoulders.

This morning, I advised her a young man who has hurt her in the past was not who she would be hanging around with. Her reply?
'You can't tell me what to do, you aren't my parent.' I told her I understood that, however, I was the family adult and driving her to school and back and I did have some say. Her reply? 'If my dad wanted you to be in charge, he wouldn't have left his girlfriend to watch us.' 

Then she accused me of not getting her home in time to shower last evening (she was home by 830) and that taking a shower in the morning isn't an option because she sleeps in and I can just stop talking to her.

I'm hurt and more than disappointed. 

She has recently taken drivers education and now is telling me she will probably fail the test because I don't let her drive enough. I laughed! My car got hit a few weeks back and was in the shop and she could not drive the rental.

She puts no effort to drive when I am available, wanting to hang out with friends instead, so I am confused.

I guess the real question is, how do I just let go?
I no longer raise her and her siblings. They no longer live with me. How do I just let go and learn to tell them no?
 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Refreshed, Revitalized, Hope is Alive

Time for Us
WOW! 

Can you believe it? I am back to blogging?

Things will be changing around here and I truly hope you will stick around and enjoy the changes I am making and that I have made not only to this blog, but to myself, my commitment to God, my husband, my family and friends!

Where have I been you may have wondered?

I have been lost, flailing around in a pit of depression, extreme sadness and drowning in changes that happened to suddenly for my mind to comprehend and adjust to and somewhere in all the change, I lost myself, who I am and that is...

I am a Child of God, my mom and dad's daughter, wife to the most incredible and amazing husband, mom to 4 sons, grandmother to 10 grandchildren and great grandmother to 1.

Over the period of the past two years, I have lost so much of myself that I became withdrawn and isolated with the exception of attending church on Sunday's or going to dinner with the hubby, I stayed inside with the curtains drawn and the door locked tight.

The person I once was that was happy, let her hair down, laughed, made crazy jokes, enjoyed life, reached out to others, quilted for others suddenly found myself a complete opposite.

I quit laughing, became sad, lonely, controlling or trying to control everything around me because I was afraid to see in front of me for a minute, an hour, a day, every time the phone rang, I expected bad news. 

Simply put, I was in a bad place!

What is worse than being in a bad place is the fact that I am the mistress of deceit, so I could smile to others, reach out to others, tell everyone I was doing great and behind the smile was a person so broken, so lost all I wanted was find peace.

My family could see something was going on, however, I am a very stubborn and strong minded person, they could not get me to see it for myself.

Things like bathing daily became difficult. Eating properly if I ate at all was a chore and my husband after working 12 hour days would come home to no dinner or frozen dinners. Bedtime for me was non-existent, I would stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning and be right back up at 6, I wasn't sleeping.

This may be a difficult read for many of you, but it is important for me to show a side of mental health you may not know about and that is the side that shows up when a person entering their older years feels they are no longer worthy.

When I was raising my grandchildren, my life had an amazing purpose, I had a beautiful home, the kids were happy, we were happy and it was always the goal of ours to see them grow into productive adults.

Then overnight, they were gone  out of our lives. Living with their dad and living close, but wanting to live with us, their loved and trusted grandparents.  

We tried to do what we could, stay in their lives, be a part of their transition, but it seemed all they did was concentrate on the bad things (kids idea of bad is not bad at all), so they would call to talk to me and tell me how bad life was which sent me spiraling deeper into despair and yet, I didn't recognize it.

The more I tried to help out, the worse it became and the more I found myself in competition with the things of this world so I ran up my credit cards to their max, I quit buying anything for myself and only bought for them because I thought buying them things would make them happy.

What a crazy woman I was. There was no amount of name brand anything that was going to make my grands happy, because they didn't want things, they wanted life to go back to the way it was, to being a family and being happy.

I believed time would change things, I would become Ranny and be able to be a grandparent, but that wasn't going to work either because we raised these amazing kids and they wanted us back as a family.

That is where the problem is. We are not, never claimed to be their mom and dad. However, we have always been the stand in parents they never had, we raised them, fed them, clothed them, took care of them when they were sick, paid for and attended band functions, school functions, sports functions and were just there for them, always a constant.

You expect to see them grow up, become amazing citizens and then in the midst of their growing up, they are no longer there with their smiles in the morning, their tales of school during after school snacks and most days, you don't even hear from them.

My heart was broken, we had lost our home, 35+ years of accumulating possessions that held so many memories, my husband and grand daughters prized boat that not only took us all fishing, it took us on hot days to the lake watching the kids being towed on a raft behind the boat, the laughter and fun times, it was gone...all gone in an instant!

More about that later!
 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Single Dad Needs Vehicle

I can get on my blog thousands of times over and over again and ask for quilts, fabric, etc. for those families in need during times of tragedy and I have been so blessed to reach over 1000 families since I started helping 911 personnel and emergency responder's and their families.

However, to ask for a need of my own, I feel awkward and undeserving and self serving. I was raised to take care of my own, not accept charity, but the last 2 years have really knocked our family off its axis so to speak and I find myself not just asking for help, but imploring others to please help.

My son has been out of prison for just over two years and he has had an abdominal and inguinal hernia repair and has been out of work over a year due to a fractured back.

My son has turned his life over to God, is a mentor to youth in the schools, has been asked to work with men in the jails, he presents his testimony, he is a co-leader and board member of the men's group at our church and his closest friend is an amazingly spunky 86 year old woman who has adopted him and our family as her own.

My son was living with his girlfriend and sadly yet honestly, the more he attended church and church functions alone or with his family, the more withdrawn his girl friend became. Said girlfriend quit attending church or any church functions from family nights to concerts and finally, she told him and his 3 children to get out of her home.

My son was just getting ready to start vocational rehab so he can return to work as something other than a laborer and now he and his children are wondering what to do. 

My son needs a vehicle to get his children from where they live now in the next town over to school and back to their current housing situation. He needs to get to vocational rehab 20 miles away and while I have a vehicle, I cannot always be available to take them places due to my health and doctor visits.

I have set up a Go Fund Me account:      https://www.gofundme.com/er-family-vehicle-needed
and I am asking for anyone to search their hearts and make a donation to help us reach his goal of $1500. 

I know this goal sounds lofty, however, we are thinking a reliable cheap car, his title and tags and then 3 to 6 months insurance and that will be high because he hasn't had any due to not driving.

We have already raised over half of the amount we need, we just need to complete the goal and get him back on his feet.

Any amount, $5, $10 or whatever you feel would be comfortable would be helpful and it can remain anonymous.

Please, wont you help us help our son get back on his feet? He is really trying to do what he needs to do and according to his old corrections officer, he is doing great as several people have left where he was after he left and are now back. My son does not see that as an option.


Please, help my grands and their dad. If you would like more information, please feel free to post a comment with your email and I will get back to you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Where Are The Quilt Posts?

If you are new to my blog you are probably wondering where are the pictures and posts about quilting? Why is my blog called the Quilting Ranny if there isn't any quilts?

If these are your thoughts, you are spot on and the explanation I have is that my blog is a huge part of me and my family and it includes so many posts on quilts and collecting quilts.

However, in February of this year, our entire families lives began to unravel in a way I would never have seen coming and I am still at times living in a state of confusion, chaos and profound and deep sadness.

We had to sell and turn our backs on our blessings and begin to look for new blessings where we could find them.There are still days I am to afraid to walk outside, go to the grocery store or even spend time with my grandchildren.

We live in a fifth wheel now and I have no room for quilting. But I crochet hats and scarves for people living on the streets. 

One day, I believe God will bless us with another home. One day I know God is going to reign blessings upon our family for our faithfulness.

All I can say, is for now, I will post when I can and never ever take for granted your job, your home, what you have. Because in an instant it can all be taken away from you!
























Friday, November 18, 2016

Living Large in a Tiny Home

It has been almost eleven months since moving out of our beautiful home and into a fifth wheel and I would be lying if I told you I didn't miss that home, my garden, my quilting, but most of all, I miss my daily routine with my grandchildren and daily they tell my husband and I, how much they miss us!

We had a morning routine, an after school routine, nightly sit down dinners at the dining table and a bedtime routine and now, our morning routine is done via texting and while I write this, I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes.

We knew the time would come when they would transition to living with their dad or going off to college, but we didn't expect the abruptness with which it happened. Ahhh, but this isn't about 'THAT,' story.


There were things I absolutely had to have living in our new home:
1- Photos that sat on our night tables for over 30 years are now in our living room.
2- Photos of all our grands, are now taped to a small space on a living room slide and as I get more pictures, I will find a space for them as well.
3- My Kitchenaid bright red stand mixer, is in my closet.
4- My books and bibles are stacked neatly in a pile on the floor and on a small box in our bedroom and as I read them and complete them, they are donated to others as they were donated to me.
5- I have taken up crochet as I can't quilt and it is NOT the same and not a day goes by that I do not miss my quilting and it is all in storage as I cannot bear to part with it.

What works and what hasn't?

The small RV dish drainers are to small, so we finally broke down and purchased a full sized drain rack. I hate to admit it, but with only two of us living here, I don't wash dishes every day.

While our fifth wheel is insulated, the floors are cold even with carpeting, so we have rugs down and that truly does help. We are also purchasing styrofoam insulation to place under the slides.

Windows are single paned, but applying bubble wrap to them using the removable hooks tape helps immensely. We can't use the shrink plastic because our interior windows have screens and the plastic won't stick to them.

Absolutely the best money spent thus far was for a cyclonic vent cover for the plumbing vent for less than $25. It works by sucking the odors out of our holding tank in the bathroom. When hubby went to put it on the vent it took less than ten minutes. When the wind blows, the vent changes directions and we haven't had the smells since!

I am not advocating you shop at Tweety's if you have an RV, but I am just placing a link to the type of vent we have should you want to invest in one. http://tweetys.com/sewer-vent-cover-cyclone.aspx you won't be sorry and you will save yourself the money that the more expensive ones sell for and do the same job!

I have learned no matter what I am cooking, keep the vent fan on as cooking is the #1 cause of humidity in an RV and humidity is NOT an RV's friend. We also use a regular house sized dehumidifier and when it rains in Washington we can empty out over 2 gallons of water a day!

The heating vent for the bedroom is under the bed of all places, so we purchased a vent deflector and now the heat blows into our room instead of being blocked by our bed.

Investing in magnetic vent covers helps force air to the areas you need heat to be and blocks off the ones you do not need such as the one under the dogs kennel.

Keep a back up supply of light bulbs, you will need them when you least expect them and our RV uses specific bulbs, not your regular house bulb because our lights even when connected to power, operate solely off batteries!

Before you find yourself locked in as I did, do a trial run with someone inside and have someone lock the doors from the outside. In our RV, once the doors are locked from the outside, no one inside can get out. That was a huge thing to learn and at that time, I was so grateful we had a key put up for the grands if they needed to come by.

We have all we need in our fifth wheel and I keep bins in my closet to hold extra toothpaste and items I can find on sale. I do NOT go overboard as I have no place to put things.

Do not settle! Do not make a snap decision!

We made a list of the things we absolutely had to have, a list of things we wanted to have and we knew what we did not want. Look on line on Ebay, check out your local RV lots, RV shows and take your time.

We knew we wanted:
  1. A place to have 2 recliners and our television to be in front of those and not like so many RV's are and have them on a wall in the back of the RV where you have to turn your head.
  2. A walk around bed, it was important to be able to stand up and make my bed or get in and out of my bed without having to crawl in. 
  3. Queen sized bed/platform. We paid good money for our amazing mattress and I was taking it with us. Our RV came with a huge king sized foam mattress and we found a family in need and gave it to them.
  4. Cabinet space! We still have empty cabinets. I have 2 pantries in my kitchen, a large dish cabinet, a cabinet for my trash bin, lots of cabinet space for my crock pot, toaster, cooking pans, etc. In the living room we have a total of 8 cabinets, 2 desk drawers and a writing space if needed. The bathroom has a small overhead cabinet and our bedroom has more closet and drawer space then we find we use.
  5. Forced air! We did not want a small electrical wall unit. Our heat is forced air, our A/C is a single unit with vents throughout the house.
  6. Slide covers. If you get slides, you will want the covers to protect your slide from the elements. Just periodically check the to ensure birds haven't made nests under them or in our case, yellow jackets. We do get an occasional tree frog serenading us as well!
  7. Hooks and silicone! We found early on our hooks didn't stay on the wall long, so the ones we use for keys, mirrors, robes, hubby siliconed them to the walls. We do not use nails or screws.
  8. Windows! I wanted light, so we have nine windows in the living/dining area with day night shades. 
  9. Have a place to keep laundry hampers. We have 2 of those netted pop up types, 1 next to hubbies side of the bed and another in my closet.
We wanted an expandable dining table, so when we have company, we can pull the table out and our extra chairs are kept under the belly.

One thing I wanted or so I thought was a washer/dryer combination, however after talking to other Rver's, checking out reviews on these we discovered that:
  • They put out way to much humidity in the RV
  • They do not dry your clothes well
  • They are expensive to run
  • They are expensive to buy
After looking at the costs associated with them, we figured it would take over six years in laundry costs to break even. We could purchase a stackable as we have hook ups for them, but it would eliminate hubbies closet space and he needs it for work uniforms.

Once a week, we gather our hampers, laundry supplies and head out to the laundromat. We have two that are local, kept very clean and we get there early.

Hubby and our oldest son go and carry supplies in. While I load the washers, they head off to our local dump and take our trash and my son's trash as it is cheaper than having trash pick up.

In less than 2 hours, we are in our two loads of laundry for the week are washed, dried, folded and done! Total cost? $9 to $12 depending on if it is bed sheet washing week.

The other thing you need to remember is to check the payload on your tow vehicle. In our case, we can have a few things loaded in the trailer, but when we move, most of our things must be binned up and put into my vehicle.

DON'T LEASE an RV space! If you are going to be full-timers as we are, do not jump into a lease right away. Rent the space for a few weeks or a month to make sure it is the right fit.

Important to us were several things:
  1. Noise levels from dogs, neighbors, roads, trains, etc. (Our first spot we rented for awhile had neighbors that fought day and night and many times outside next to our bedroom window and there were dogs that barked frequently and a train, but I got used to the train!) Where we are now, is peaceful.
  2. Space. How much space do you have? Our first lot was to small, my vehicle had to fit between our place and the neighbors, hubby truck had to be next to the trash bin and he had no place for his work van. Our new place has plenty of parking.
  3. Utilities. We get charged for what we use here and in our old place, but some RV parks charge an upfront fee for so many KWH and then gouge you for anything over that!
  4. Animal parks or runs. Our old place had a small patch of grass we could take the dog to our walk her to local school, but our new place has an actual fenced in yard for her to play in, the kids to come play in and feels more like home. If you have a small dog or cat, yard space may not matter, but we have a larger dog who loves to run!
What are you parking on? Our old place was solid pack dirt and mostly mud when it rained, the drives were loaded with pot holes. Our new place our RV sits on a sold concrete pad, we have enough space for a patio section, the dirt road is solid pack and gravel so as good as asphalt. My only issue is the pine needles, but a broom and hose works great!


We are blessed to live close to my son, so if I don't have something I need and I know he does, I go over and borrow it. If I need to bake or cook large items, I use their kitchen. Many RV parks have a common kitchen space you can reserve and use.

Bottom line is, it takes adjustments, it isn't for everyone, but don't jump in with both feet until you have done your homework.

Oh and one more piece of advice, you will either have to pay cash or find a bank or credit union that will loan to full-timers, most will not if you reveal to them up front that is your plan.

Be flexible and learn all you can about your RV.

I have a notebook with how to empty the tanks, what size bulbs we need, how to change propane, etc..

It isn't a bad life, get a hobby, find something to do and don't just sit around!