Thursday, May 28, 2009

Show Us Where You Live Friday - Children's Rooms

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner Blog has her room tour this week with Children's Rooms or Nurseries. Since my kids are almost grown, I thought I'd share something interesting, or maybe ODD would be a better word! lol

Our youngest son Holt has always done things his own way - he loves dark, small spaces.....we've often thought he was part "bat". We also hope his future wife isn't claustophobic! lol

What is THAT, you ask? lol I KNOW it is ugly, but that kid would not let me decorate it!! I begged and begged!! lol

This was created after WEEKS of Holt sleeping in 2 utility boxes retrofitted together. Yes, I said UTILITY BOXES. I requested Andy build him something that would give this crazy kid privacy, but NOT be made out of cardboard. Little did I know he would pick MDF (that stuff is crazy heavy!!), but I digress.....

Found a photo of the utility boxes...

We called it "The condo". It was on stilts with removable sides. The very end had doors that shut magnetically. He could also enter the bed from underneath - you see the ottoman under there? Just at the base of the mattress, there is a large opening through which he could go up or down (or he could use those end doors - whatever he felt like doing.) Also, notice the TV in the upper left corner? Holt could sit in bed and watch TV, play video games to his heart's content.

We lined it with leopard fleece - Holt likes things SOFT, the softer the better. He also had quite a fascination with pillows, and usually had at least 10 or more at one time. Some day I will share a post on how I believe Holt and I both have Sensory Integration Disorder, and soft things comfort both of us.

Here is a photo (with my nephews) from years ago (3 or 4?) and Holt has his game controller in his hands. Notice the light above his head?? He could read in bed, also. This photo shows the side panels removed (there were 3 panels across the side). You can see the little squares of commercial velcro - that is how the sides were connected. Holt would have been happy with non-removable sides, but I had a fit and required there be a way to breathe. lol

Holt finally outgrew this monstrosity, errrr......I mean "neat bed". lol I wasn't too sad to dismantle this, but I think he was. I am sure that if he hadn't grown to over 6 feet tall, he would still be sleeping in it. lol

Previous weeks:

Show Us Where You Live Tour

Living Rooms

Guest Rooms Dining Rooms

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Trip to Dallas - Andy's Family

We made a quick trip down to Dallas and were thrilled to get to go to another Maggiano's, our favorite Italian restaurant, with Andy's folks. I remembered to bring the camera and we had a rare moment all together.

And here is a photo of Andy and his Momma.

The boys were able to golf almost every day and had a blast. We also saw my family, but of course, we forgot to take photos. Ugh. Maybe next time! We were gone from Saturday to Wednesday - with 16 hours of driving. Quick but fun! That's our last trip during swimming season - Andy plans to enjoy every available minute in the pool. lol

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Show Us Where You Live Friday -Dining Room

Kelly, over at Kelly's Korner Blog, is continuing her meme, Show Us Where You Live Friday with Dining Room week.

Easily my favorite color combination........just gorgeous. A sneak peak........

Here is our current rental dining room, one of my favorite rooms in this home. Everything in this room was purchased or I made it years ago, but I still love it all!

I love this shade of green on the walls, not sure what it is. I think it brings out the gorgeous shade of wood on the table perfectly.

I made this floral arrangement several years ago and I still love it. Someday, I will tweak it, but not any time soon. I purchased the brown container at TJ Maxx and the silk flowers at Hobby Lobby, 50% off sale, of course! The wood stand it is on came from Marshall's if I remember correctly.

I snapped this wreath up at TJ Maxx, also. Again, my favorite colors.

This mirror is enormous - would fit over a 2 sink bathroom vanity. Here is a close up of the frame:

Bought this coat rack at Hobby Lobby years ago and still love it. And a final photo - with the doors to the kitchen closed.

I love the white trim, chair rail molding, white doors. I think you can splurge on paint when you have white trim - you can get away with so much more color! Again, this is a rental house, so these colors were here when we moved in. I'm sure you can see, though, that my decorating embraces color and we were thrilled we didn't have to rent a "beige" house. lol

Previous weeks: Click on Photo or Room Descriptions


Living Rooms

Guest Rooms

Thanks for visiting!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How Safe is Your Community?

During the time we lost our 4 babies to miscarriage (their story), we were stunned to learn that our community had a high levels of chemicals known to be Reproductive Toxicants being emitted by a company just down the street from our house. Was it related? We'll never know.

This helped in our decision to later move out in the country, far away from any industry. (It was a rural town of 13,000, a retirement destination, beautiful lakes, idyllic location. No smoke stacks, no obvious pollution.)

Pollution in Your Community
Get an in-depth pollution report for your county, covering air, water, chemicals, and more.

Click Here - ScoreCard

Check your community - type in your zip code and see what companies are responsible for the majority of the pollution where you live. By clicking on the company, you will see the chemicals being emitted. By clicking on the chemicals, you will see what hazards they are known to cause.

Wow, I just clicked on a link taking me to what companies are releasing the most Developmental Toxicants to air in the US. In other words, the most chemicals known to cause birth defects. Check this out: Here

Does this matter to you? Would you move or live somewhere else if you found high levels of certain chemicals being emitted in your town? Have you had any experience with pollution in your community?

Interestingly, I just checked our new town, where we moved almost a year ago. We have since been told that we don't live in the preferred community - the one where it is mostly residential, more like a bedroom community. You know how people get that way, whether it be personal opinion, snooty tooty behavior, whatever. lol However, just tonight I have learned that this preferred community has 8 major companies emitting serious pollution, where our town? None. How ironic! This will definitely impact any future moves.

Information is power!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Show Us Where You Live Friday - Guest Rooms

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner is continuing her fabulous home tours with Guest Rooms this week. Here's you go:

Our current rent house and cozy guest room. I'm sure I got the bedding at TJMaxx or Marshall's.

My husband made this dresser when he was in high school. Isn't it awesome?

nd keeping it real, here is the mirror that will hang over the bed someday. lol I LOVE this mirror.

Here are the guest rooms from our former home:

Love the soothing colors in this room, and love that iron piece on the wall!! There are the crisp and clean "staging" photos prior to selling the house. Wish I had taken more close-up photos.

Never did have a sweet little girl for this cotton candy pink room. Darn!

Are you new to the tours and want to see rooms from other weeks? Here you go:

Living Rooms ...... .......... Kitchens

Thanks for stopping by!!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Good Health news today!

On Monday, I had an EGD, which I believe is just another name for "Upper GI". Since getting the SCS - spinal cord stimulator - I have had nausea and early satiety (feeling of fullness after eating very little). This has caused me to lose 25 lbs since January 5th! Since it was technically "unintended" weight loss, my GI doc was concerned. (I had a follow-up with him because of a horrible episode of acute pancreatitis and resultant gallbladder removal in a 12 day hospitalization last December.)

I do have photos of my insides (lol), but I'll keep them off the blog. lol

He wanted to make sure I didn't have ulcers from the medications I have taken or anything else going on, like gastritis or such. After the procedure, which took less than 10 minutes, he said I might have gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), gastroparesis (delayed emptying of the stomach) or Celiac disease. He took 3 biopsies.

Just got the call that the biopsies were benign and I'm fine. Good to go. Andy and I believe this DID rule "in" that the SCS is in fact an appetitie suppressant. And that's a good thing!! I am nowhere near "too thin", and now that we have confirmed I don't have any nutritional issues, no GI issues........all is well. I guess it is good to have a cautious doctor.

Good news is welcome news around here!!

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Marriage - good or bad?

Marriages are on my mind these days, like a burden I guess. With all the news about "celebrity" marriage can make one wonder - what is up with marriages today?? Are there any happily married folks left in the world? Or does everyone just give up and move on? "Grass is greener" type of mentality.

Our marriage is a testimony to staying together through all kinds of trials and tribulations and I can easily say that we love each other more now today THAN ever before in our 22 years. It seems like each year, the love just intensifies. Only God knew what He had in mind when he let these 2 got together. We met and married in less than 8 months! This photo was taken in 1987. I thought it was a photo from dating but I see a ring on his finger. lol Isn't it amazing we still look like this? lmbo

And I know some of you young marrieds (at whatever age) can't imagine what it might be like after 20+ years, when the kids are almost grown (in our case). But it's awesome. Keeping your sights on God and striving to be your husband's 'help meet' is the greatest gift you can give him.

I saw this quote today and it stopped me in my tracks. Powerful.

"However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]." Ephesians 5:33, Amplified Bible

I've never read the Amplified Bible and hadn't seen it written this way. Read that passage slowly, soaking in every word.

Are you your husband's help meet?

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Bad news/Good news

I had several medical appointments and procedures this week. Monday I had an upper GI, or EGD. More on that in another post once I get the final results. Today I had my Urodynamics test at the urology clinic. I have been having a lack of sensation and don't always know when I need to urinate. I don't have any other issues, thank goodness. It was just bothering me that I can't really "feel" the need to go. (I haven't had any issues with leakage or incontinence at all.) With all my nerve damage otherwise, the doc suggested we do this test to get a "baseline" reading. He said bladder function can change dramatically and quickly, and it is helpful (with nerve damage patients) to have this baseline. Since I'm numb in that area, I knew it wouldn't be uncomfortable or painful, so I thought "What the heck, let's do it".

Urodynamic testing (click HERE for more info on that) allows your doctor to see just how well the bladder is working, the sphincters, really everything they need to know. Of course, I took pictures while I was there. Here is the chair/contraption you sit in during testing:

Doesn't that look comfy? lol

My results? My bladder is dead. Not working. I was actually shocked. I truly thought my bladder was lazy, inefficient, but dead? What caused this? My nerve damage, all the trauma I had with my back and the delay (a mere 5 months) in getting medical treatment. I had this BEFORE I got the SCS - spinal cord stimulator - so he does not think that is involved at all.

It turns out that I have learned a compensatory measure for urinating - I bear down and use my abdominal muscles to void. I knew I was doing this some of the time, but didn't realize I do it ALL of the time.

Other good news is that this "compensatory measure" I use is very efficient, doesn't leave any residual urine in the bladder and that is great. Also, my sphincter cooperates when I do this and doesn't "fight" the process. If it did, I would get high pressure readings in my bladder and then that can cause pressure and damage in the kidneys. I don't have that, thank God!!! Had I had the backup pressure problems, I would have had to learn to self-cath. That's when you have to use a catheter on yourself to get the urine out. So glad I don't have to deal with that at this point.

Here is the equipment that reads the data your body and all the electrodes and catheters provides:

Doc said although it is a worst case initial reading, I have the best case situation. I void effectively and efficiently. My only directions are to now urinate on a schedule, going 3 or 4 hours at the most. If I do this, I should be able to guarantee I won't get any infections caused from stagnating urine. If you can't feel the need to go, you can really go hours and hours. You know, like guys do when you go on a trip and they try to kill us making us wait for a potty break? lol Guess I won't suffer anymore. :)

Will I have incontinence or leaking to look forward to down the road? He didn't know. Maybe, maybe not. He said everything is in such good shape, considering....that he would be surprised if it was anytime soon. I'm going to think positive, like I do on everything else, and continue doing my Kegel exercises to keep everything toned and strong.

Do you do Kegel Exercises? You should be. Click HERE. Many benefits to doing these regularly.

So, in closing, if you have a functioning know, the kind you don't even have to think about it?? Take a moment to be thankful and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't hesitate one minute getting to the doctor if you injure your back. I only waited a mere 5 months, going to a chiropractor, trying to "get better", before I finally sought medical help. I was trying so hard to avoid back surgery. And by then? It was too late. Nerves are finicky - some people have years before they suffer irreversible damage and some people have months. Like me. I have a scary huge pain tolerance, and while I've always been so proud of that, what it got me in this instance was the ability to delay treatment and still walk with a massively crushed nerve. Do you have a high pain tolerance? Be very very careful.

I thought you would all appreciate me not having them take photos while I was being tested and sitting on that chair/thing. Happy to oblige. lol

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Daddy got braces!

Before I start, why does my family run from me when they see me coming with a camera? lol

As I mentioned before, HERE and HERE, Andy found out he needed braces. He thought it would be several more weeks before he would get them "installed", but he got a call Tuesday morning with a recent cancellation and could he come right in?

He did and here he is. He got them so fast, we weren't able to get a "before" picture. I'm sure he's crushed thinking about that. lol

First, I am so sorry this is somewhat blurry. I really thought this one was OK. Chasing him around made me a little jittery. lol He has the "next generation" Invisalign (clear, invisible braces) on the top teeth and "regular" braces on the bottom. So far, the Invisalign are kicking his rear much more pain. Doc said that the Invisalign move your teeth much faster than traditional braces. He currently has in his possession the next 8 weeks worth of Invisalign appliances....he changes them every 2 weeks. The appliances move the teeth really quickly and then "hold" them in place until the 2 weeks are up and the next appliance is put in.

Invisalign Info.

He must remove the appliance when he eats but replace it after brushing his teeth. So far, that isn't driving him crazy. I think it would me. He says the most pain is putting the appliance back in after eating - horrible pain. He can look forward to that for a few days every 2 weeks, apparently.

The bottom teeth aren't bothering him too much, just trying to get used to how they "feel" on his lower lip.

Who knew that at 46, he'd be getting braces again? Not us, that's for sure! We'll have to see who handles it better, Dad or our 16 year old who also currently has braces, too. lol Share/Bookmark

Saturday, May 9, 2009


A photo op with the boys and the "girls".

The boys went to the driving range today on a rare day off for both of them. Not only was I able to get them to agree to a photo, but they left their "good" clothes on too! Woo hoo!! (If you don't yet have 16 and 20 year old boys, you just wait! lol)

When Sweety decided she wasn't getting thrown in the pool, she decided the only other reason we could be doing this was to get a nice tummy rub, which explains her position. Sage just wanted in the house because a storm is coming. She is our weather dog. lol I thought this was a great photo!

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Show Us Where You Live Friday - Living Rooms

Kelly at Kelly's Korner started this wonderful home tour online. Click the link above to visit her site.

Had so much fun last week with kitchens! Before we go forward, I must reiterate a few things:

  • I am crazy hyper.
  • I love to decorate.
  • I was a real estate agent with a staging certification.
  • I love color and may need a color intervention.
  • I must rearrange my furniture every 6 months for perfect sanity.
  • You can click on most photos to see them even larger!
Here are my living rooms, lol.

Current rent house:

We were thrilled when we saw that the paint would match our furniture. I LOVE our red couch!!

We keep our furniture in this position because, although you can't see it well, back by that Ficus tree is my "chair", where I have lived for the last year, prior to my SCS - spinal cord stimulator. It has an adjustable laptop chair that pulls up to it for my laptop. I can be fully reclined (as I am right now) and be working on the Internet. I also have my printer next to my chair, but I keep a gold material over it to blend with the wall.

Hang on..........don't go away. Continue to scroll for the craziness! Do you like color? 'Cause here we go........

This was the living room on the main floor. We originally went with a more formal decor. Beautiful furniture but not so comfy. We later went more casual, as you will see in later photos.

Our living rooms from the previous home we owned - my favorite! Now to recap: We lived in this home for just under 3 years and I am always in the mood for redecorating. Please try to not get confused as you watch all the paint color on the walls change, the carpet change, the furniture either move around or completely change.

We loved the coffered ceiling in this room and the tan painted between the rafters.

The red decorations on the mantle I still do own. Long story with those, suffice it to say they were way over my budget and I drooled from afar. My best friend had enough, bought one for a house warming present and told me to get my butt up there and buy the other one because she was done hearing about it. lol So there you go!

Couldn't handle that tan color in the office and had to change it this beautiful color called Carob Chip from Pittsburgh Paints. My laptop hid behind that floral arrangement/greenery depending on the picture.

This office is my all-time most favorite room EVER.

Then we knew we were moving south, and obviously needed to neutralize the place a bit! lol We put in neutral carpet and painted the walls a much lighter color. We also took the opportunity to make more of a casual living space. We sold the beautiful desk in the office to a former client of mine. I hope she loves it as much as I did!

Almost any accessory you see probably came from Marshalls or TJ Maxx. I made most of the floral arrangements, thanks to Hobby Lobby having 50% off floral stems frequently! When we moved down south, we had a huge garage sale and I sold most everything I owned. I know, it was crazy. I was in severe pain and heavily medicated. Really my only good excuse. I miss most of those accessories. And I'm slowly, ever so slowly, buying nice inexpensive replacements. Remember, I'm disabled and no longer work. lol

This home had a second living room and here are those photos - notice all the wallpaper. I loved that wallpaper and left it up. Normally, as a stager/real estate agent, I would say take it down. lol

That wall unit is actually built in. Made of a lightweight material and then faux painted.

And a few pertinent details: We purchase most of our furniture in Oklahoma City, where you can find awesome deals with 1/2 the price anywhere else. Other items came from a store my mother worked at and had her store discount. (She lived with us for over 2 years.) When we change decor, we sell our items at upscale furniture consignment stores and usually make almost exactly what we paid back!! Trick is to shop for bargains to begin with.

OK, I'm exhausted. Are you?? lol

Thanks for visiting - I can't wait to see everyone else's living spaces!!

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark