My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Monday blanken-style June 1, 2015

Filed under: Animals,Dentist,Military,Pets — blankenmom @ 11:10 pm
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It’s been busy, but boring around here the last few weeks.  Repairs on “that house” have been going on and it’s now up for rent again… so we wait.  School is officially out for the home school portion, so we were busily rushing to get the last of it finished off.  And my dentist man is off saving the world, one mouth at a time… for his two weeks.

.I guess the crazy quiet, like ants quietly working on a hill, wasn’t quite enough for us.  This morning’s shower alone may give us a clue as to what may be in store for the rest of the week.

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After dropping the second-born off at his tech school, I got home and did my usual morning routine.  Let the dogs out, check FB messages, email, bible study, shower.  All according to plan.  Radio is playing, hair is conditioning, one leg shaved.

That’s when I see The Spare Cat run passed the shower with something in his mouth.  Grrrr – it got another one of my birdies….  Well, I’m soaking wet, so I figured I’d get it when I get out.

Then I see the pug race passed the shower to the corner where The Spare Cat is now hiding his treat.  Behind the toilet and trash can I hear barks, hissing and faint chirping.

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Wait, what?  CHIRPING?  *ducks in the shower*

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The Spare Cat brought in a LIVE bird!

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Well of course Lady hears the commotion and wants in on it, so now I have a bird flying around my bathroom, a cat trying to catch it, a pug trying to catch it and the cat and a mastiff trying to catch all three.  And here I am.  Naked, wet, soapy, conditioned and half shaven.

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Anyone else want to come join this circus?  Where’s the old lady cat?

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I grab pants from the counter and throw them on the bird where it’s landed.  Shoo out the carnivores and close the door.  Figuring the bird would be just fine until I was finished, I got the remaining leg taken care of and my hair mostly rinsed, and step out to dry.  Mid shorts leg I see cat claws coming from under the door.  Slowly opening it from the bottom, sliding it, quarter-inch, by quarter-inch.  The bird, who is now resting in the sink in a towel, hears the meowing and clawing and starts chirping, which only eggs on the fur-babies on the other side of the door on.  The door is now fully opened by each consecutively larger head and the bird is now attempting to fly again.

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Quickly recapturing the bird.  Two dogs and a cat removed once more.  And another attempt at putting my shorts on.  Everyone quiets long enough for me to get dressed, hair combed and shoes on.  Now to sneak the bird out?

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As soon as I pick the stinker up it starts chirping again – which alerted everyone that it was time to start chasing each other!  I make sure it’s fully wrapped in its towel, open the door to three drooling quadrupeds, “Meow”, “Wheeze”, “Sniff”.  I rush past them and out a door I know they can’t open.  I deliver the bird a field away and put it under some sage to let it rest a bit more before it fly’s away.

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It’ll fully recover.  But if this was just the first few hours of my week, I’m not sure if I should be scared or excited for the rest?!

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Just finished! April 1, 2015

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I’m finished.  Done.  Throw up my hands in so much not caring any longer.  Throw in the towel.  Finito.  Terminado.  Fertig.  Criochnaithe.  Fartik.  However you want to say it.  I’m finished

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If you want me, I’ll be under my desk… hiding.  Possibly with some wine.  And a coloring book.

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If the best part of your week is “Well, at least no one’s died so far.”, you’re not doing so hot.  Granted, the second-born’s oral surgery went well today and I did get to laugh at him a bit when he kept repeating himself, and petting me.  Not so funny when he keeps trying to open the car door on the way home.

With the insurance company coming out last week to “that house” to try to get us a bit more money from the water company’s insurance company, and saying “Well, we can get you more, but not enough.”, yeah, not cool.

When you’re actually excited one of the repair bills “doesn’t cost over $1000”.

Taxes due.  And in all new and confusing ways because of the new practice.

And when a close family member passed in a sudden and tragic way last week.  Definitely not cool.  Still working that one out.  Prayers would be welcome.

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At a certain point you just look up and say “Really?  I mean really?”

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But a slow progression to getting things done is creeping back in.  A small, but important one is the quilt I had been working on.  I finished it yesterday with its final ironing… and cat hair removal.  No thanks to the cat who then proceeded to lay on it again behind my back.

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Quilting is not my favorite, nor is it what I’m best at.  But I will make them on a rare occasion for someone special.

Mostly done by hand, excluding putting the blocks together, all the quilting, applique and border were done by hand.  A labor of love.  Hopefully the recipients feel it when it arrives.  (The paranoid part of me hopes they don’t look at it and think “Seriously?  What was she thinking?”  But I’m squashing her back into her hiding place and sending it anyways.)  These people have been amazing to us over the last 5 years and I’d do just about anything for them.

She gave me her kimono before we left to see if I could fix it, but wasn’t able to repair the damage because of where it was.  In frustration she just said “Toss it then.”  Bought on a work trip to Japan several years earlier, couldn’t bear to since it was her favorite.  So I kept it all these years and moves until I figured out what to do with it.  And this is what I ended up with.  The flowers are from the kimono and the blocks are all the different shades from the fabric.

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I wanted the flowers to move like they were floating in the wind, like the blossoms in Japan.  One stray even floated to the back.

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Sorta wished I had moved it further down, but too late now.

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With that finished and about 3 other sewing projects lined up to be mailed out, I’m able to move on to a few other projects on the less expensive end.  And a new gift from the hubby to assist in the home reno project will help immensely!  It’s not expensive, but it’ll help a ton.

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The second-born was joking the other day that we should start buying and laying the floor a board a day.  He may be on to something there?

I’m hoping that with a few projects to finish, my heart will begin to mend the loss of my loved one and I’ll start to feel normal again.

And hopefully with some new renters in soon, the nightmare of the last two and half years with “that house” will finally be over and we can start to move on.

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I know there will be a few more hiccups, hopefully with no more major losses anytime soon, and we can finally say were finished.  And smile.

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Saying AMEN! Even when ice skating through the kitchen. January 17, 2015

 

 

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Things are settling into a groove for the new year here in our blankenworld.

 

My dentist man is working solely at his own practice now – even got a write-up in the local paper!   But I can wholeheartedly say it is a bit scary, but the man has never failed at anything, so between him and the good Lord, I’m not sweating it… too much.

 

The boys are back to school and staying ahead of schedule; even starting to talk about getting together with some friends.  Which is nice to finally hear!

 

 

boys

 

 

Trim and more flooring is being removed… none being laid, but we’ll get to that someday.

 

 

neked floors

 

 

The only thing really not moving forward is “that house”.  It’s actually headed in the wrong direction.  I know – you’re shocked!  I mean really, when is it not?

 

 

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While texting a very good friend out there who has been especially helpful after the eviction, a whole thought process started.

 

Through this whole catastrophe, we have found we have some really, really wonderful people backing us.  For someone like myself who trusts no-one (I mean really, why would I?), there really are a lot of people to thank!  However having these three people (and their spouses), bending over backwards for us has been such an eye opener that there really are people that won’t let you down.  And through it, I’ve found that stressing does no more than make me ill, grouchy, grey, wrinkly and not very fun to be around.

 

And those two items all combined this week.

 

Tuesday, one of them discovered a skating rink on the first floor due to the water company failing to shut the water off when scheduled, before the big freeze.  He just happened to be checking in on the house when he found water gushing from two locations.  He climbed through snow and mud to turn off the water valve under the house to stop the gushing water, in his business clothes.  Another one’s spouse, rushed over to try and remove as much water (now frozen) from the floor, counters and filled sink as he could before work.  But the damage from a week of flowing, and freezing water was already done.  The final person, after hearing this, came over to assess the damage for me as soon as he heard.  He is the one who replaced all this just the year before.

And that’s when he found it.  The former renter didn’t think it was enough to steal the power meter (which is why we still have no power) and the baseboard heaters, but he decided to take the pipe that catches the excess gas that comes from the intake valve (or some-such jargon).  Which was fine for their family, since the gas company turned the gas off for none payment.  But had we turned the gas back on before we had found it, the house would have gone up!

 

*BOOM*

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Good for us – we’ve been begging for that house to go away!  Not so good for the gas man… or if delayed, the workmen fixing everything the renters had broken.  Or… our next renters and their children.

I am learning, through this “lovely” house, that God does things for a reason.  It may not be pleasant, but if you’re paying attention even in the slightest (which unfortunately I’m usually not), He is yelling in His loudest whisper, what we really need to know.

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If we didn’t still have that giant money pit, I wouldn’t have learned that I can give, even when things get really hard.

If we didn’t still have that piece of crap, I wouldn’t have learned to trust Him in all things.  Like say, buying a new practice.

If we didn’t still have that stupid house, I wouldn’t have learned to trust people.  Well, not all people.  The renters proved that.

If we didn’t still have that freaking *&$, I wouldn’t have learned that sometimes, a seemingly bad thing, is really a blessing in disguise.

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If the water lines hadn’t of broken, the house would have killed someone.   That is the last thing I ever want to happen!

The water company is paying for the damages and so far are being great about it.  I am taking a deep breath and taking it as it comes.  Stressing isn’t going to change the wet, warped floors, cabinets and walls.  Nor is it going to get the utilities hooked up or the gas line fixed.  It’s not going to make us more money or bring a renter in any faster.

And as I’ve learned this last year, through court dates, nasty texts, repair jobs, skating rinks and theft; the more stink that happens – the more I should give.  The more I give – the better life gets.  The better life gets – the more I want other people to feel the same way.

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Yes, even the former renters.  (You know, once they stop stealing.)

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~So giving I’ll do~

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I’m smack in the middle of one of my friends blankets.

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quilt flowers

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I just finished another round of baby blankets.

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cat - blanket

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And I’m about to work on pillow cases for more foster kids.

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I’m going to say Amen – and start charging money for the skating rink in my kitchen!

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To the rescue! January 4, 2014

Filed under: Pets,Places,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 11:02 pm
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We went over the river, through the woods…. and climbed a large mountain range to rescue our two new fur-babies.

 

Meet ~

 

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Lady

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and Dean

Both rescued from the same meth house, along with two other English Mastiffs who have been homed with other families.  Dean however *needs* Lady.  He doesn’t do well without her, so they were a package deal; which is what made me fall in love with them!

How can we resist such a love story?

Lady has had far too many litters and Dean was neutered wrong and too early.  Neither were properly taken care of and have a lot of health issues.  Who knows what they’ve been through or have seen at that house!  Both are in major need of some serious love – something they will find in ample amounts in this house.  They’ll be spoiled, loved, walked, snuggled, talked to and finally, after far too long, taken to the vet.

And somehow, through all this, they’re both the kindest, gentlest beasts you could ever hope to meet – how people could treat them this way is a mystery to me, but we get the awesome task of showing them just how great life can really be.

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The cat however is less than pleased – she thought we finally bought her a bed fit for the queen she thinks she is!

 

Let the countdown begin! April 19, 2013

Filed under: Hubby,Moving,Navy,Places,Sewing,What's happening — blankenmom @ 10:11 pm
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welcome

 

 

 

Just a bit longer now until my dentist man comes home and we begin a whole new adventure.

 

He has decided after this last crazy, crazy deployment that he wants to stick around a bit more, so he’ll be taking a job with a fellow student he went to dental school with and switch to the Navy reserves.

 

At least for now.

 

The longest we’ve ever stayed in one place is four years, even out of the military, so we’ll see how long he can take it.  *laughs*

 

So while I’m getting the last few items checked of my list that absolutely need to be done before he get’s home.  And checking off the last few items that I want to get done before he get’s home, I’m fitting in a little sewing time to calm my nerves.

 

 

 

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Working hard….

 

 

 

 

“Nerves?” you say?  Yes, nerves.  He hasn’t seen me in 8 months – a very LONG 8 months and I’m not the same person after this “interesting” last year.  Not to mention the upcoming changes.  It’s all a bit much.

 

So while I’m a bit apprehensive about his arrival day, I’m very excited for his homecoming, and our brand new adventure in wide open spaces!

 

 

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Dog’gone it! October 26, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family,Pets — blankenmom @ 6:59 pm
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A while ago I had mentioned that our old lady dog had gotten sick.  I wasn’t quite ready to talk about it.  Silly as it sounds, I’m more upset than I thought I would be.  I’m not one of those people who treated their dogs likes kids, but I didn’t leave them out back either (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing – my dad NEVER let his dogs in the house, but loved each one I swear more than us, they probably listened better after all!)

 

We’ve found out that she has a tumor.  And at 15, just the process to attempt to remove it could kill her, so we’re just enjoying her for the last few months we get her.  In all the years we’ve had her, she’s been exhausting and absolutely wonderful.  One of my constant companions, a “sister” to my oldest and here for the birth of the 3 younger boys.  She took excellent care of each one too.  She went from a dog the pound was leery about adopting out to us at 4 months old, to a dog I trusted completely with my safety and being around even my infants.  We’ve known this was coming, which makes it easier…. just still not easy.

 

 

 

 

This week, we also found out that our big dog will also be leaving us soon.  She’s been diagnosed with bone cancer in her front right shoulder.  And at 4, we could remove her leg, give her chemo for $1000’s and still only get to keep her for a year.  She’s been a huge pain-in-the-butt for the whole 4 years – I admit.  But she was MY pain-in-the-butt, and 4 years is not nearly long enough to enjoy her insanity.  We have just a few months left to watch her be the absolute goofball she is.

 

 

 

 

My sewing room is going to be very empty indeed and our house very stark.  I’m going to miss the fur rolling across the floor and the drool on the furniture… clothes… walls… ceiling.  And what little “girl talk” I do, will have to be done with the cat, who really dislikes it when I  disturb her universe.

 

I know many of you have gone through the same thing, so I know I’m not alone.

 

So for the next few months, my girls will get spoiled like crazy and loved like there is no tomorrow – so you know, the usual!

 

As for the cat – I’ve already told the vet I’m too afraid to bring her in to him.

 

 

 

To brighten my day… month? Season! April 6, 2012

Filed under: Family,Hubby,Knitting,Pets,Sewing — blankenmom @ 10:31 pm
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I got a bit of money recently as a gift – they know me so well.  They knew exactly where I was headed too – straight to the fabric store!

 

 

 

 

 

After about 4 hours… yes, I said 4 hours of fabric shopping, I finally made it back home.  My family thought I had abandoned them; while the thought had crossed my mind as I was walking the isles, I decided I might miss them after a few years.  So back I went with my newly acquired stash – very pleased with myself. 

 

 

 

Did I mention I hit the yarn store on the way to the fabric store?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must admit, the weather here is making me a bit of a curmudgeon.  Constantly grey, never warm and always wet.  What do you sew for weather like that?  Sad part is – I used to love this weather and thought I’d never want to leave!  So my strategy was to just buy fabric and figure out what I was going to do with it later.  Bright colors, happy colors, colors that would make even grey, wet, depressing days exciting!

 

 

Got any idea's - other than a cat bed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also been discussing with my dentist man that we need a new duvet cover.  After 17 years, it’s time!  Granted, it’s a walk through memory lane whenever I see it.  “That’s when the first-born got sick that year.”  “That’s when you had the flu.”  “That’s when we had the second-born.”  Yeah, even he agreed it was definitely time to change it out!

 

Our discussion was along the lines of ~

Me: “Hey Dad – what kind of fabric do you want?  I don’t want it to be too girly for you?” 

Dentist Man:  “I don’t think that’s going to be a problem with you Dear?  Nothing too busy, no orange and something that hides drool.”  (From the dog – goofball’s!)

Me: “Ok, that should be easy enough!”

 

Yeah, 4 hours later…..  This is what I ended up with –

 

Exciting - I know! Even more sad? It's the same thing as we had before!

 

 

My dentist man is out to sea again, so that gives me a bit to get that done.  Did I mention the boys all asked me what trouble we were getting into as we watched the ship float away?  That’s my boys!

The sun has been creeping out a bit more lately (does once a month count?) and it only freezes about once a week now.  I think I see a break in my disposition, maybe the bright fabric will help?  That and dreaming of our next duty station – Guam’s looking really good!  *Wink*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Passover/Good Friday and Easter to you’all!