Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thanksgiving was great. Mark, my hubby, made a turkey for
Thanksgiving dinner. He is such a good cook. We had all the
trimmings but not too much.
On friday, we decided to try our hand at a little shopping later
in the day. We hit a few stores and of course, being in the
Pittsburgh area, we went to Sarris for lunch, kind of lunch.
Sarris is actually a candy shop but they also have an old
fashioned ice cream parlour. Lunch was yummy !
Lots of hot fudge. We also picked up a few candy gifts
for people on our very short list this year.

We will hit the road back home tomorrow. Hopefully the
weather will be better. They are predicting snow in
some areas we will be going thru and I hope everything
goes smoothly. I know our vehicle can handle it. I am
always concerned about the other guy who is impatient
and in a rush and is not paying attention.

We will fill all orders when we get back home. Everybody
seems to understand the extra time for the holiday.

Traveling by car is indeed a challenge when you have
Multiple sclerosis. Your body seems to freeze up after
sitting for so long. I have been trying to do some stretching
exercises to keep me functioning. When I get home I will
be in better shape with all my exercise gear.
Will talk to you when we get back home. Not sure when
we are picking up the doggies.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Well we arrived in Pittsburgh. Alot later then we had planned.
Getting out of Milwaukee was bad with alot of traffic and the sun
just coming up so it created some problems with glare.
Of course, we expected to hit traffic in Chicago.
Once we hit Indiana the speed limit increased and we were
cruising right along. However, when we got to Ohio the weather
turned bad very quickly. We made a last minute decision to
have an early dinner. We weren't really hungry so we split
a sandwhich. Got our hot drinks and headed out.
We called mom to let her know where we were and a few miles
later everything stopped.
The highway(the Ohio turnpike) came to a screeching halt amidst
the snowy, windy, slushy roads. Trucks, in the wrong lane, came
to a stop alongside us.
We sat there for several minutes and then saw a wrecker trying
to make it down the shoulder of the road. A few mintues later
a second wrecker was on the shoulder.
Still we saw no accident, which meant the accident was a good
distance away.
After moving very slowly, if at all, for the next half hour, a police
car came up the inside emergeny lane and we new we were hosed.
We finally crept forward and saw the accident. A fuel truck
on top of a Lincoln. The Lincoln was horizontal against the back
wheels of the vertical fuel truck.
It was not a pretty site, except it appeared the drivers side was
fully intact and the door was even opened. This meant, hopefully,
that the driver walked away.
After we passed the accident we were back on our way.
A few hours behind schedule, and the snow started to let up.

We finally arrived after being in the car for 14 hours.


Monday, November 24, 2008

getting ready for holiday

We are all packed and ready to hit the road first thing in the morning.
We are headed to Pittsburgh to visit Mark's mom for Thanksgiving.
It is about a 10 hour drive not counting bathroom breaks,meals, traffic
We are both very excited. We dropped the dogs off at the kennel aka
the sheltie rescue. Noelle seems to be so insecure lately. They were
both so exhausted because we had some errands to run and they ran
themselves silly.
We woke up to "a dusting of snow" which means 5-6 inches. Oops ! I think
you guys blew the forecast. I can't wait to see what we wake up to
tomorrow because they are predicting that same "dusting of snow."
It was one of those heavy, wet snows. It was like scooping up lumpy mashed
When we get back home I go for my 23rd infusion of Tysabri. I'll be ready for
it and probably needing it badly.
The Packers game is on so I'll finish watching it before I go to bed and throw
the last things in my suitcase.. I'm pooped and ready for a good nights sleep.

Have a good one everybody


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mark's home

Well Mark came home from Europe on Friday and I am on my last
load of laundry. Yippee ! Now, we both have to pack for our trip to
I used to travel on business and basically lived out of a suitcase but
now I get so confused as to what to bring and I always forget
Tuesday early early morning we are heading out for a driving trip to
Pittsburgh to visit Mark's mom. We are both excited. Usually we
always like long drives but since this MS thing showed up I am much
more leary of driving and the bathroom situation. I will just have to
plan ahead.
It's probably about a 10 hr drive, not counting bathroom breaks and
meals along the way. We will be packing snacks but if Mark is tired we
will have to stop for a real break. I can't help with any of the driving so
unfortunately he is on his own. I get to be the entertainment committee,
which includes a box of cookies and my pillow.

We should have a good time visiting mom. And hopefully I will have time
to still post. I'd love to hear about your Thanksgiving.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Nice email

Today I got an email from a woman who has been following my
blog. It made my day. She thanked me for sharing my life so
publicly and honestly. I don't have the most exciting life but I
am determined to have a full life.
It was nice that someone is reading my blog and even better
that they were enjoying it.
It took me some time to get the courage to start but now I am
really enjoying it. It is a great release for me to write and even if it
is so public it still feels good.

Mark is on his way home from Europe. He called from the airport.
Believe it or not his luggage is with him. Generally, we wait for
United Airlines to deliver it but not this time. Yeah, no midnight
luggage delivery !!
I just had a glass of champagne so I'm feeling a little like I am going to
tilt over so this will be short. I'm such a cheap date. One glass and I'm
done for the night.
Oh, the dogs are barking. Which means Mark is home. gotta go ....

Have a great day everybody ! I would love to hear from you.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

MS Support Group

Yesterday was my multiple sclerosis support group meeting. We meet every month
over at the hospital. When I arrived, early as usual and intentially early, I found the room
set up like a classroom.
I let out a big groan knowing that I would have to rearrange the room by myself.
We like to meet with the tables arranged in a circle. So, I started rearranging chairs and
moving those heavy tables into the right position. There were two people already there
but unfortunately neither was in a positon to help me except cheer me on. They kept
encouraging me to sit down and I did a few times. I finally managed to get the
tables in a circle, more or less. One table was propped on top of another.

I'm sure I will hear complaints that I didn't leave the room the right way. It's okay
that the hospital didn't arrange the tables properly though. After all, The great and
powerful Cathy, who has MS, can lift and move the tables by herself, which I did.
I was so exhausted and completely out of breath. At least, I didn't have to work out
last night.
The meeting went well. We talked about nothing. Sometimes it is good to just
talk and have no real agenda. The cookies were good, as always.
The Handi Van driver had to walk me to my front door. I was so pooped.

Right now, I could use a nap. It's snowing a bit. Of course, they predicted dry weather.
It is really windy and it sounds like something keeps hitting the house.
My conference call for this afternoon got postponed so maybe I will go take a nap
with the dogs.
Have a good day. Stay warm. Maybe a nice cup of hot cocoa, maybe a shot of Bailey's?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MS Walk Meeting

Last night was suppose to be our second MSWalk (National Multiple
Sclerosis Society event) meeting.
I got a phone call mid day from our NMSS rep who is in charge
of this event that her husband had lost his job. I didn't even know
what to say. 22 years with the same company. Her hubby, like mine,
is in a business that has been really hit hard by the economy.

I asked her if she wanted to cancel the meeting. She was trying to
call someone to make arrangements for me to get there. In the midst
of all she had going on she was worried about me.
I told her I would make the call and get the meeting cancelled, which
is what I did. I'm not sure we would have gotten anything done without
her being at the helm.

She is a very strong person and I'm sure they will be okay. They might
need help from family with the finances and I hope they come thru if
called on. I know she is very organized and could probably cut her families
budget in a pinch. She is very creative. My concern is Christmas for the
Trust me, Mark and I have been living on a very tight budget since our
North Carolina nightmare. We just started to get out from under it and it
has been 5 years. I can stretch a buck and make healthy wonderful meals
for very little money. We rarely eat out anymore ( mostly because we do eat
healthy and that is hard to find anymore ) Christmas for us this year has virtually
been cancelled. We chose to spend the money on our traditional holdiay card
instead of each other. I am dissapointed we won't be going skiing this season.
We'll make it work. He still has a job.

I know there are alot of people out there struggling. If you would like to share,
please post a comment( you can be anonymous) or email me.

I started the morning with a call from somebody in my MS Support group, which
I co-facilitate, needing some info. An hour later I was still on the phone. She is
one of those rare people who would do the same for me so I don't mind spending the
time with her.

Have a good day everybody ! Stay out of the cold ! brrrr!!! Today is my MS Support
Group meeting so I have to go out in it.


Monday, November 17, 2008

First Snowfall of the Season

It's Snowing ! It'snowing ! It's snowing !
Ok, so can you tell I love the snow. I just took the
dogs out and they stopped in their tracks as they were going
thru the doggie door. They looked at each other and you could
almost imagine them saying "what's this stuff? "
Then they both smiled and ran for the yard. Round and round they
went, chasing each other playfully. Noelle tried to catch the flakes
in her mouth until she couldn't see anymore. Ripley had the look
he wanted to roll in the grass. After a few minutes, they smiled
and came inside. I always dry them off and if I forget they will
stand next to the towel by the door. Just reminding me. They
weren't that wet, they just like it when I rub them with the towel.

It is very windy so the snow is going every direction. It is
also sticking to the road. It is only in the 20's so we might be in
for some accumulation. Problem is Mark is in Europe. I'm sure
my friend and neighbor will help me out. I'm not good with a snow
shovel. I do the backyard so the dogs can get thru. The big dogs
never really have a problem. My litte one who died recently always
was vertically challenged. Her legs were so short she could hardly
move some days. Noelle usually made a path for Goldie so she could
go to the bathroom under the tree. Her favorite spot.

It's sad to think of a winter without Goldie running around in the
yard. I think she enjoyed the snow the most, just like her mommy.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Packers Game

I just finished watching the Packers game with the dogs.

I am kind of feeling cold all day so I crawled in bed and
snuggled under the comforter. Although it was a great
game I started to have a really hard time staying awake.

It was just so warm and cozy plus I had two dogs piled
on top of me. Eventually the dogs jumped off the bed and
went to their f avorite corners. I think they were getting
annoyed with me when the Packers scored.
One woke up and followed me into the office. You know,
the one I misplaced the other day. The other is still
sleeping. I don't think any of us slept well last night and dogs
need about 18 hours a day. It must be nice.
I would have loved to take a nap but it was nice to just
lay down for a while.
Mark called about 3:00 from Europe ready to turn in for
the night. It is wierd to say goodnight at 3:00 in the afternoon.

Dinner is made so I don't have to mess with that. I have a salad
leftover from the other night.
I'm glad the Packers won. They needed a win. Of course, it
was better that it was a win against the Bears. Ok, I am sorry
to all my friends in Chicago. I used to live there and know you guys
are as obsessed as we are in Wisconsin.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Adopted" soldier coming home

I just got an email that my "adopted" soldier's unit is coming home. Yeah !

I joined a program several years ago where I can "adopt" a soldier stationed in Iraq.
Regardless of your views on the war, these men and women give up alot for our country.

When I first told my husband I wanted to "adopt" a soldier he was quite concerned.
This program match's single people with single people and married people with married
people. He had some concerns when I told him about the program. I remember him saying
"you are going to adopt a married man. " It was pretty safe, We both would have each other's
personal info but the soldier was in Iraq. Not exactly what I would call a threat.
Anyway, when I got the name of my first soldier, My husband was very silent. Her name
was Amber. She left a year old baby at home. Since then I have " adopted" about 12 soldiers. Last year it was troop rotation and I adopted an entire platoon for the holidays.

My committment is a letter once a week and a care package once a month. I could manage
that. I almost always have two soldiers at any given time. At some times, I had three.

I really enjoy this experience. I think it is something every American should do at least once.
It will change your life. They say not to expect to hear back from them because after all
they are there to do a job. I have heard from many of my soldiers and recieved many
letters back.
I usually write about the Packers, my dogs, where Mark is traveling to, my volunteer
stuff, etc. If I hear from them, they share their spouse's name, stuff about their kids ,etc.
They aren't suppose to share what they do or where they are at and I respect that.
My care packages are mostly food, depending on how hot it is there. If I hear from them,
I always ask if there is something in particular they are craving foodwise.
I have had soldiers wanting rice krispie treats, Hot Tamale candies, beef jerky and one
liked healthy stuff like trail mix and energy bars. Most wanted junk and most were
just so happy to get anything.
In the summer months, I send a box of sunglasses that they can share with other soldiers.
I hear they go thru many pairs of sunglasses from the sand.
So I will send an email off to this organization requesting another soldier. If anybody
wants the name of it you can email me for the info. My email is on my profile or you
can use the one on my website.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas Cards

Today I ordered Christmas Cards online. We always do a fun "family"
picture of Mark and I and the "kids" (dogs). I made them last year and
they were so expensive and took so much time.
I realized this year that I just don't have the time to make them. Although
I really enjoyed doing it. With the business and my numerous volunteer activities
it just wasn't going to happen.
First, we had to decide on a theme for our fun picture. In the past we have done
a boat theme, the Packers and all kinds of crazy stuff. I think this year our theme
is perfect but I am not telling anyone what it is.
We took our picture last weekend. It came out okay. We have a special tribute to
Goldie (our little one who died in June). The dogs are so good about costumes but this
year they seem to be fidgeting a bit. I will post it online, hopefully, around Christmas.
I now have to write a recap of this year and boy, has it been a year.
Our mailing list keeps growing as our lives expand. Last year I think we sent 80
cards. Friends come and go so I will delete some and add others.
I am so excited I can't wait to see them. I can't believe it is already November.
Where did the year go?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where's the dog?

Ok, so this morning I lost the dog. Not literally, like he escaped down the street
but somewhere in the house.
Usually he is always and I do mean always under foot. He's parked under my feet
when I am on the computer. He is waiting in the bathroom for me when I step
out of the shower.
He has been so clingy lately, I accidentally ran over him with my walker yesterday.
So this morning I can't find him. He couldn't get outside because I had the child
gate up and we were all upstairs together.
I thought maybe he heard a noise and is hiding ( he is a rescue dog and does wierd
things from time to time). I searched all his favorite places, calling his name ( he's
old and I sometimes think he is losing his hearing) and still no dog.
So now, I am starting to panic. Where could he be? The other dog was close behind me
as if she thought she was helping with a search and rescue ( I am training her to be
a therapy dog).
I kept talking to myself, reassuring myself that I would find him and he was fine.

Completely frustrated I sat down on the bed. I heard a groan and recognized it was
Ripley. Ah ha, he was nearby. I heard the groan again and turned to find the dog
snuggled under the covers in my bed.
He looked at me as if to say : "what's wrong mom? I've been here all the time."
Grrrrrrr! I didn't know whether to hug him or scold him. Instead I decided
I would crawl in bed next to him. We watched TV for a bit and at least now I know
another hiding place. Of course the other dilemna, do I tell my husband the dog was
on his side of the bed or mine?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today I spent emailing many of the people I met at the NMSS
National conference last week in Chicago. I still have many more
people to go.
I also spent time working on our upcoming MS Walk. Although it is
in April there are so many things to put in place early. So, I had the
phone in one hand and was emailing at the same time. I know. How rude !
At least I can say I was multi tasking.
I also started to put together my personal page on the NMSS site for
my walk team. We have two people listed and I need to add a third. and
hopefully a fourth. Yeah !

I'm very excited about the walk this year. Although our committee has
shrunken in size. ( That's what happens when one person takes credit for
things they did NOT do) People like and need to feel appreciated.
I called those people who chose not to be a part of it this year and told them
how much I appreciate them. I do understand the time committment, especially
now with the business we started.

Anyway, I made some great calls and we'll see how things turn out.
I am interested in volunteering for the Bike event. I just need to see
if Mark will be in town.

I just started dinner. Baby Back Ribs and the house is starting to smell
so good. I like to start them early and let them cook for awhile. The only
problem is I get so hungry smelling them.

I finished up the arrangements for the Christmas Party for my support group
which I am the co-faciliatator for.

My to do list is getting smaller. Yeah !! Now I have to make bracelets for
the business, make the bed and keep tabs on those wonderful ribs. Too bad we don't
a smell button on computers !! Maybe Mark will make me a Cosmo with dinner.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thanks for the business

Hi Everybody,

When I got home from the NMSS conference in Chicago I had seven orders waiting for me.
Wow ! I really appreciate the business and the support.
Unfortunately, when someone purchases from my Amazon link they become the customer
of Amazon. And while a portion of the proceeds goes to the NMSS and/ or MSF I don't have the customer information.
So, I can't say Thank You like I do with my products like the shirts, bracelet etc.
So if you are one of those people who made a purchase in the past week thru my amazon link
send me an email so I can say Thanks.
The shirts will go out tomorrow. Amazon is showing most of their orders have shipped.

Thanks again, everybody. I really love building this business.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

National MS Society Conference

Yesterday I retruned from the NMSS -the National Multiple Sclerosis Society National Conference in Chicago.
My legs got a real work out. I have to admit I am exhausted but not fatigued.
I am pumped. It was a great experience. I will write more about it later in the week.

I learned alot and met some wonderful and inspring people.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the Wisconsin chapter of NMSS for inviting me to
this event. It means alot to me to be included with this incredible group of people.

I felt at ease with being there without my husband because I knew I was surrounded by people
who would help me unconditionally if I needed assistance.

Thanks to Dawn for arranging my last minute transportation challenges. The drive home, albeit
a long one, was entertaining with all the singing and checking out the guys or should I say
cookies. (you had to be there).
Thanks Laurie for driving, Amanda and Kris for making me laugh so hard on the way home. Not
always a good thing when you have a MS bladder.

Thanks Denise and Kim and Jeremy and all the other great people I met from Wisconsin.

Thanks Colleen for spending time with me and really listening. And I did learn to Be Bold.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yesterday was my 22 nd Tysabri infusion. When I showed up at the infusion center
I was not in the best of moods. My right leg was so weak and hurt so bad. I did manage to
stumble in with only my cane. I think the leg thing was most likely due to all the stress I have been going thru.
You know what stress does to MS. Things at my husbands employer are not going well.
The economy has hit so many industires so hard. He is a salaried employee and they are
"furloughing" them for 8 days. Could it be a better time with the holdiays coming?
I guess I should be grateful he has a job still. 8 days without pay will be a challenge.
It will definitely cut into our christmas shopping.

His family was so concerend they offered to help us if we needed. I really appreciate that.
It's just going to be tough couple of months.
The craziest thing about all this is that the company selected two weeks to do this furlough.
The only problem is Mark will be in Europe for one of the weeks. I wonder if he is
suppose to walk into the EU meeting and tell them he can't participate in the rule making because technically he is not getting paid. I wonder if he is suppose to answer his
cell phone during those 8 days without pay. Check his email.
Did anybody think this plan thru????????????
Boy, when the economy is better they plan for a mass exodus. I am starting to really regret Mark turning down this other offer.

So, any way I wasn't in a good mood when I arrived for my infusion but when I left I
was feeling better. Another woman I know, who has MS, was also getting her Tysabri so we talked. There was a third woman there whose son works at the same company my husband does and could relate to what I was venting about.

The staff at the hopsital always makes me feel special. No matter how stressed they are they always have a smile on their faces. Thanks. I really needed your smiles yesterday.