Monday, February 29, 2016

Combining Two Earrings for One Fabulous Result -Earrings For Prom

I posted in my last post about how I was able to shorten Princess Five's necklace for prom in an easy way that looks good as well. 

Princess Five wanted some earrings to match and we had several pair but she didn't like any with the necklace that she liked. She wanted the earrings to have a large crystal at the bottom of the earring to match the necklace that has a larger single crystal at the bottom. 
We had one that had long triangular crystals at the top that were small and then had the larger round crystal at the bottom. She liked the crystal at the bottom but not the triangular smaller crystals at the top. 
We had another set of crystal earrings that had more simple tops but had a cluster of three crystals hanging on the bottom and then a larger silver circle with three little diamonds at the bottom of the circle. 

She thought that if I took off the silver circle and diamonds, the maybe she would like the rest of the second set of earrings. I took off the circle and then had her try them on. 

After trying them on, she decided that she didn't like the cluster and wanted the single larger crystal at the bottom from the first pair of earrings and the top more matching from the second pair of earrings all put together into one earring.
The pin like finding that goes into the center of the crystal looks like a small sewing pin but is much thinner and is easily bent. The one on the first pair was gold but the second pair of earrings is silver. 

This meant that I needed to get a silver finding and put it in the center of the larger crystal and then loop it through the little hoop on the bottom of the second pair of earrings. 

Once it is through the hoop, I then used pliers to create a loop that allowed it to dangle from the tops of the second earrings. 

This created a pair of earrings that matched the necklace that she wanted to wear with her dress and then I was able to use the extra crystals from the clusters and make a bracelet for her to wear matching the set! 
Princess Five is getting excited for prom as I finished her dress today, her jacket the day before and will iron it in the next few days as I can. 

Tonight we worked on some hair designs that may work. She looks so beautiful in the dress that I am getting excited as well!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Shortening a Necklace Without Removing Beads

Princess Five was looking for jewelry for prom. Since her dress is a lighter green color, she didn't want to wear a dark necklace or pearls. The jacket I am making for her to wear with the dress is a light grey color so we tried some grey pearls but they were heavy looking. 

We tried some diamond type necklaces but they weren't light or flowery enough for the beaded pattern on the dress so we thought we would try crystals. 

We both liked the necklace shown above but didn't like how long it hung down by the dress. I lifted it up and we liked how it looked more like a choker on the neckline. 

I didn't want to cut the necklace and have to remove crystals. I wondered if I could just have the crystals  hang down the back but since the center crystal is attached and not loose, it made the part hanging down off center so the crystal wouldn't hang in the center of her neck. 

I then had the thought to just clip the one side to the necklace like the other side. I attached a jump ring to one side and then added another clip to that and was able to clip both ends to the necklace between beads and it then made the back look decorative and even with an "up-do" it will look beautiful from the backside. 

Yahoo for quick and easy fixes!   

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Third 111 in a Row

I was going to blog on other things today but I have had another long day. I have bunko at my house tomorrow so I have been shopping and cleaning all day and I am so tired.

I had a long day yesterday and another long day today and I am sure another long day tomorrow. This is going to be one of the shortest blog days. I got a "Thank You" on one of my Parasite videos today as the guy was helped by my information.

I got online to read what he wrote and I smiled when I saw how many minutes were watched on my youtube channel last month. It was the third day in a row I have seen the number 111. I know God is just reminding me that everything is going to be "OK." It has been a long few months with my mother and it doesn't look like it is going to get better any time soon so I appreciate God letting me know that everything will be ok.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Longest 111 Day of My Life

My mother had to visit the cancer specialist at a far away city so she was a bit anxious last night and couldn't get to sleep. She was still up at 1 a.m. and I still had to blog etc after that. I finally got to bed about 3 a.m. and had the alarm set for 6:30 but my mother was up and making noise before the alarm so I got up and started the day. 
After getting her ready, my sister and I drove the long haul and as we neared the hospital, I notice a white van with a phone number on it with a 111 in it. I smiled as I drove hoping it would be a good day. I took Princess Five's prom jacket I am working on thinking I would have time to hem it while my mother got blood if needed. That never happened.

It took three people and three sticks to get an IV in and take blood. It took an hour for that. The Dr. Visit in itself was good from not having to wait long and I have been REALLY impressed with the staff at the Dr. office getting labs ordered, calling with the results, ordering blood etc. 

I can say with vigor that they have been the best experience I have ever had with Dr. Staff in my life! From the patient side anyway. 

I get my mother to the IV unit and this was where it got bad. My youngest sister was at her apartment taking pictures of everything she could so we can put them on a facebook page with a description so people in the family can say what they are interested in before we clean out the apartment so that we won't have chaos when we have to vacate.

My older sister comes to the IV unit while we are waiting for hours on the blood and drops a large sack of mail. I spent about three hours sorting mail! I was so tired and wanted to sleep but felt like I should help with the mail and she went to get some dinner for us as I didn't dare leave my mom alone as she had such a rough day. 

Good news is, that my mothers white count went down again! Bad news, is that her red blood and platelet count also went down so she is at risk for bleeding again and needed blood. She will now be on weekly blood draws to make sure she doesn't bleed out checking her platelet counts.    

I was tired and stressed and knew after being gone all day, we still have a VERY long many hour drive home. We were there for hours after the last other patient in the IV therapy unit which had about 40 beds in it. 

It really made me miss our small town hospital where they stick her once for the blood and we can go home until they call us the next day with a time when the blood is ready and take a five minute drive to the hospital for the blood. 

The unit at the large hospital is amazing but less personal and less private. There are pluses to both.

While I opened her mail, nearly every other envelope I looked at while opening my mothers junk mail, bills, accounts etc had a 111 in it somewhere. I think God was telling me to "hang in there" today as I was VERY frustrated with each person in my family having different ideas as to what should happen with my mother and my mother only wants to have a social life! 

Going there didn't make me feel any better about her situation. If anything, it made me more stressed in dealing with such a large family and everyone wanting something different for my mother. It made me write in my journal tonight that "I hope that I die quickly and early rather than putting my children through the stresses I have had to deal with trying to help my mother." 
That may sound harsh, but when you look at the posts of how many hours of time I have spent on healing my mom, sorting her stuff, moving her stuff, scanning her stuff and the thousands of hours I have left of her stuff to deal with, I think perhaps my mother isn't the issue but her "stuff" is! 

When we went to leave, they took out the IV finally and put on a gauze and wrap and withing the time it took for her to get up and get in the wheel chair, blood was gushing from her bandage and was on the chair, her clothes, the floor, the wheelchair, the blanket etc. 

It scared me that she could have bled out in the car on the ride home. It took a good five minutes or more for three of us to clean her up and rebandage her site and make sure she wasn't going to bleed on the way home.

After seeing the 1,111 number on my blog last night that I posted about, I was hoping today would give me so peace as to what I should do with my mom but the only thing I ended up feeling peace about was that my Heavenly Father is in charge. Can you believe all the 111 numbers we saw. We get to the IV unit and my mother asks what channel the "classic movies" are on and they hand me the TV station chart and on the left side as we sit down is "Press 111" etc. I couldn't help but take pictures as I just keep seeing the number as she was getting blood so I know God is in charge and pray that I get some sleep so I can face the questions I have with some clarity tomorrow! OK, really it would be later today as it is now 1:36 a.m. my time. ;-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Money For Nothin - Rewards For Free

 For years I have shared how I make money paying my bills. Here is a post where I collected my cashback checks at the same time for several of my cards.

I got a letter for a credit card from Citi card giving 2 % cash back for each purchase. I had TWO Citi cards at the time and I only got 1% cash back on each purchase and then up to 5 % on certain categories. The problem I have with category cards is that I live in a small town and never go anywhere. 

They give 5% on theater, travel etc and we have one theater that doesn't get the cash back. Even on grocery stores, we have one store other than Walmart and they won't give cash back on groceries at Walmart so I can't get cash back for that. 

Also, one of the Citi cards I have had probably the longest of my Citi cards and many of the other credit cards I own and it has a $300 cash back reward limit which I can often reach quickly if I use the same card for all my bills. 

I called Citi Card and asked that I consolidate both of my other Citi cards into the double cash back card. You get 1% when you buy the item and 1% when you pay it off. AND, my favorite part, there are NO cashback limits on the card so I can use it for EVERYTHING and not have to worry that I may have reached my limit. 

One year I was using the Citi card with a $300 limit and I had reached that limit and wasn't getting any cash back because I hadn't paid attention and switched to another cash back card. I love the new Citi card as it is flat and has no raised numbers on the front of the card and is blank on the front other than my name in flat black ink on the front. Everything is on the chip and strip on the back of the card! It is wonderful.

I don't like Discovers cash back as they work you up a percentage as you spend more and I have given them feed back about that over the years but what I DO like about Discover is that if you don't use their card for awhile, they will send you a notice saying they will give you a bonus if you use your card 5 times in a month or at 3 different stores and sometimes it is $20 plus cashback just for using it a few times. I do like that they will give you your FICA (credit report) score for free every month so you can see if something is amiss in your credit.

I got nearly $300 back from my Citi card cashback when I closed the two cards for the new double cash one and forgot to copy or photo the check before cashing it so I don't have it but it was within the last month. 

I then just called on getting my Discover $280ish back and they won't give checks to you but can only direct deposit it into your bank account but if your account isn't linked to your credit card, they can only deposit $199. So, you have to get several deposits into a new linked account or they credit your card with the amount and they can't carry a credit so they mail you a check that way. 

I also stopped at the recycling center today where I got my last recycling check for things I collected over the past year or so. If you mention to friends and family or on a local facebook site that you are collecting metals, sometimes people will support your fund raiser for whatever cause. The friend that allowed us to collect had some health problems and is no longer doing the recycling but it has been a great help over the years for different fund raising situations. 

I have another $130 on my Chase card and probably some on my other Chase card. So, in a year, I usually make anywhere from $500 - $900 using my credit cards to pay off EVERYTHING! I NEVER pay cash if I can help it. I use credit for everything and then pay off the card each month getting cash back which usually helps pay my house taxes. When the check comes, I will put it directly toward my house taxes and then hopefully, they won't be overwhelming when they are due in November! 

I thought I would share the new Citi card with those of you who enjoy cash back. All my girls get a credit card as soon as they are eligible and learn to do this. Princess Two has over $300 cash back on her American Express Card at the moment. She has a card that she gets 1.5% on everything which is better than any of my cards until recently. The good deals are out there if you look for them! It really is "Money for Nothin" as you have to pay your bills anyway, why not make some money while doing it! 

I also wanted to share how God has been quite wonderful in sharing 111's with me this past few weeks while I struggle taking care of my mother and dealing with my own health issues and getting Princess Five ready for prom etc. 

Last week, three of my videos on youtube had 111 in the numbers of views they had. Today, I was looking and smiled when I noticed that my "homemade diffuser" video got 1,111 views in the past month. It made me happy to see 111 several times today but that was right at the end of the day as it is nearly 2 a.m. and I have to be up and take my mother to the cancer specialist driving 6 hours tomorrow and maybe up to 7 hours at the hospital getting blood etc. I am hoping all goes well and I don't have to get her blood in the city and can bring her down her before she needs more blood. Tomorrow's blog may be short. ha ha 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Making Straps for a Strapless Gown or Dress Using the Hanging Straps

We found a bunch of new dresses at a second hand store about a year ago. Princess Five picked out four dresses she could wear to different dances at the school. They were between $15 and $20 each but still had the original tags on them. Some were samples and others were maybe overstock and others still needed mending somewhere. 
The dress she wants to wear to prom is a light green dress. It didn't come with any straps but has the snaps and hooks for straps. Matching the color of green of the dress would be extremely difficult as I tried not only at our local stores but those in the major cities near us. 

The dress is a bit large and needs to be taken in at the sides. Here is a link to me altering another of the dresses we bought that day for her to wear to Winter Ball a few months back.  Here is a link to what the finished dress looked like on her date to the ball. 

This dress only needed to be taken in about an inch on the top of the dress tapered to the waist so it was easy. In doing that, I realized that I needed to remove the straps that are on the inside to hang the dress on the hanger. They are the same color as the dress which isn't always the case. 
I was able to take them out of the inside lining seam and then just loop them through the thread "hook" catch near the plastic snaps. I stitched the front ones on the sewing machine making sure the stitching didn't show.

I then tried the dress on her and was able to pin the straps to the right length on the back snap / hook area and then stitch it once it was off using the machine. 

Even though she doesn't want to wear the dress without a jacket, she wanted straps so she didn't feel like she needed to pull the dress up all night. 
Even if you needed to use a different color fabric for the straps, you could then bring that same color in by making a belt or sash of the same color or a "rosette" of the same type fabric for her hair or something to tie the color in some how. 
I am working on a jacket at the moment and hopefully can get it finished soon as we want to start working on her hair style. We tried a loose one today but want to try a few others before the dance to make sure she has the hair style that is just what she wants to feel like the Princess she is.      

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Nosebleed That Wouldn't Stop

My mother has leukemia. With that, she has a low red blood count and low clotting factor. She has gotten red blood about 2 units every 2-4 weeks. She has had a few issues with getting huge bruises when she bumps something. This past week, she got a bloody nose and it wouldn't stop.
She already had an appointment with the Ear, Nose, Throat specialist from her hearing issues and her ear infection that she had when she arrived. It was great that we already had the appointment but we were sad that her nose bleed wouldn't stop. 

It wasn't really heavy but was quite constant for about 32 hours on and off depending if she would blow her nose. 

I called her cancer specialist and we checked her blood counts again just to make sure she was doing ok. With that, we were able to find out that her white count has gone down which is great and her other counts we both OK as well. It was great.

We went to the Dr. and he was really good with her. He shared some tips with me that were very helpful and I thought I would share them on here in case anyone has an issue with nose bleeds.  

He said that if you get a small cotton ball and drench it in "Afrin" and put it in the area that is bleeding, it will cause the vessels to constrict and that can stop the bleed.

He shares that pinching the nose for ten minutes after putting the "Afrin" in it can help stop the bleeding. He also said the purple boxed "Afrin" has some moisturizing ingredients in it.

He commented that sometimes bleeds can be caused by dry air. He thought maybe her oxygen could cause drying but it is humidified so I don't think it was that.  

He prescribed an antibiotic nose ointment to keep it moist as well. He gave her a prescription for a cream but it wasn't covered by her insurance so the pharmacist said as long as you used a non-cream triple antibiotic ointment, it is VERY similar to the prescription one but cheaper.    

Her bleed had stopped when we went to the Dr. but he checked and saw the spot that had been bleeding and cauterized it anyway just to be safe. 

We see her cancer Dr. next week and hope that her numbers continue to get better and we will go from there. 
On a good note, her memory is the best it has been in years and the pressure behind her ears isn't showing up on the instruments he used to check it but her hearing is stuffy again after getting better for a few days last week. I think she may have had some type of bleed in her sinus which clogged her ears and then it drained but then filled again with the blood from the most current bleed. 

It is so difficult for her struggling for air, being tired all the time and not having her independence. I am not sure what we are going to do with her now that she is getting somewhat better. Taking care of a parent isn't quite the same as a child but it has given me opportunity to really help her let go of many things she hasn't before been able to let go of as she is facing death and knows that her time to forgive and ask forgiveness and speak final words is coming to close. 
As I have dealt with my mother, the same stories of regrets or people who have hurt her or things she wished she had cleared up have come up often. I thought to myself, "What would be the things I would regret and constantly bring up if I were getting close to death?" 

Those are the things we should take care of now because truly, we don't know when our time is going to end on the earth and I for one would like to face God with a clear conscience and no regrets. 

Speaking with my mother the past week or so, she has been able to forgive someone who traumatized her as a child. Perhaps God gave her this time of clearness of mind to be able to deal with these things that have haunted her and to ask forgiveness for the things which she wished she had done but didn't etc. She has seemed more at peace and happier the past few days and I am VERY proud of how she has chosen to spend the past week working on healing herself not only of the physical things going on but the emotional things as well. 
I am grateful for the time I have had to spend with her and pray that I can deal with all those things which would haunt me in the future now so my children may have less to deal with when I am older. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Friends With Amazing and Inspirational Timing

I have been having a VERY long and tiring week. I was up until 5 a.m. and woke before 7 a.m. and had a full day. My mother has been having some issues and I have not been feeling all that well.

I was taking out the trash and praying while I had a few seconds to myself about a friend of mine named Charlotte. I wasn't sure what to do to help my friend and have been so tired and behind in so many areas of life with everything going on that I wasn't sure I could help Charlotte.

After I took out the garbage, I grabbed the mail and there was a card addressed to me. I opened the card just after I had said that prayer about the situation with Charlotte and image my mouth dropping reaction when I opened this belated Valentine Card from a friend of mine. With the Monday holiday, I didn't get the card until Tuesday. If the card had made it on Saturday, It wouldn't have had the same meaning to me.

I am grateful that the mail was lost or not sent before Tuesday as I NEEDED the insight in the card on TUESDAY!

The little message at the top isn't part of the card. You can see that it was cut out of another card or printed on card-stock and then put on the "note" card.

I know that my freind could NEVER have known I would be struggling about what to do with Charlotte and couldn't have knows that the little message about just being a friend was what I needed. It let me know that I didn't need to do some fabulous and wonderful thing to help her. I just needed  to be her friend and love her that way.

I think sometimes when others are struggling with something, we tend to want to take away the trial or burden from them or "fix" whatever is amiss in their lives but in reality, most of the time, they aren't looking for someone to "fix" them or their problem. They are just looking to be heard. That was all that Charlotte needed as well. I took the advise and it was a blessing in her life and mine!

I am grateful for thoughtful friends who follow inspiration to send Valentines cards to their single friends and add a cute little saying from "Charlotte's Web" so I could get the inspiration I needed to help Charlotte! I am truly BLESSED!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Announcing Grand Prince Number ONE!!!!!

Princess One announced today that they are expecting a boy in July! Of course all the Princesses are extremely excited to have another "toy" to play with when we get together.

I thought this picture below was so funny when Prince One stated that now he will have a full basketball team! Princess One seemed a bit tired when I called her to talk about the news. They purchased and moved into a house last month and have had some plumbing issues so not only did they find out about having a boy, they had lots of plumbing fixed today!

She was also asked to be a teacher to the adults in her new congregation this past week and her husband was asked to work with the scouts. They have moved more in their short marriage than I have in my adult life!

I know she is ready for things to calm down but I dare say that in July, it will be anything but calm with a 2 year old and a new born! Happy thoughts of seeing the two of them together. We LOVE seeing Grand Princess One.

The other day, we face-timed her and she said, "Hi Gamma!" It melted my heart. I am so excited to be getting another grandchild! 

We are truly blessed as everything seems to be normal with the baby! Looking forward to seeing what they will name him!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Belated Valentines With My Girls

My sweet sister said she would take my mom for a day and she got my mom to give us a gift for Valentines of a date day. It didn't work out to be all day but we did squeeze in as much fun as we could in the short amount of time we had. 

The sadness of the realization that I have never taken my younger girls bowling that they remember came to me when we went bowling today. 

I think in some ways, it made them have mixed emotions. I did so much with the older girls and they had some fun vacations to Disney each year and eating out all the time, at least weekly and shake or treat stops at the dairy etc.

After the divorce, my financial drain for lawyers and other expenses drained that "fun" fund making it rare that we ever ate out as a family or spent money on things such as bowling. 
It isn't that I haven't tried to take the girls to do those things, they always just say that they would rather rent a movie or such. If we all go to the movie, it is $60 where we could buy a few new movies for that. 

Going to a movie and buying treats is very rare and usually only happens at the dollar theater. It isn't that I am complaining because we truly have everything we want and need but time out doing different activities is a wonderful thing. 

My sister got enough that we could go bowling, to a movie with treats and dinner. Since I had the unexpected treat of having Princess Four home as well today, she got to enjoy most of our fun before driving back to college.

We went to Mexican food and enjoyed some great salads and I forgot to get a picture there but grabbed one in the car with our "to go" plates. 
We then went bowling where I was the big looser and Princess Five who has bowled maybe once or twice with school groups was the big winner with at "Turkey" at the end with three strikes in a row. 
Since we are in a small town, the movie options aren't great, she chose to rent a few movies she wanted to see and we picked up shakes at the local drive-in to enjoy while we watched the movies. 
Princess Five made it home safely and guess what we found walking out of the restaurant? Yep, a penny to remind us to "Trust in God." 

Thanks Sis for "Mom Sitting" today so my girls and I could enjoy a Valentine Day out together as Princess Five has given up much of her time with me so I can help my mother. Thanks Heavenly Father for the reminders today to "Trust in you" and carry on with what is going on in our world.

It was a fun enjoyable Valentines day with the girls!