Category: family (Page 1 of 22)

Folding and unfolding, the universe is origami

“Origami is a metamorphic art form. You got that piece of paper. You don’t add to it – you don’t take away from it, you CHANGE it”- Micheal Lafosse

While I was on blog ‘hiatus’ our family grew. Her name is Origami.

I had last seen her in 2004 – I took her to the beach and she was just learning to walk. 1932249_10152259835199767_201427886_nNannygoat and Lloyd had brought her to California for a visit. They were living in Utah, working out the details to move out here to us. Nannygoat adored Origami and was quickly learning the ins and outs of motherhood, despite the fact that she was not Origami’s biological mother. Bio-mom had agreed to Lloyd having sole custody and actually hadn’t seen Origami in months, when on Mother’s Day of 2004 she asked Nannygoat if she could please have a little visit she would sign the custody papers and it would be finished. Nannygoat and Lloyd were young and trusting, they had no reason not to let bio-mom have a visit, despite the fact that she hadn’t seemed to care for months.

And then she was gone. Disappeared.

For 10 years we hunted, searched, and scoured the earth. But we could not locate our little lost Origami. All we could do was hope and pray that she was happy and healthy.  Unfortunately, that was not her truth.

By a stroke of luck (and public arrest records) in early 2014, we located bio-mom. The excitement for Nannygoat and Lloyd was almost unbearable. Eventually, they were able to find out where Origami was and following the proper channels/laws and began the process of bringing her home.

The little toddler was so grown! But she didn’t know we existed. Didn’t know that we had cared and searched and mourned her loss. She didn’t know she was going to live with a Dad she didn’t know was alive and three half-sisters she’d never dreamed11037222_10153262685489767_4164099669592052339_n of. Her life while away from us was what I consider quite harsh. We had no idea what she would be like, after living that way for 10 years. In fact, until the day Nannygoat and Lloyd showed up, she didn’t even know her real name.

Now, we know. She is unique, creative and beautiful. She is one of the best big sisters I have ever met. Her soul is pure, unadulterated love. She loves magic tricks and anything art. Her hugs make my world. Her laughter is a gift.

The quote says origami is a metamorphic art form that you don’t add to or take away from – you just change it. Our family was missing our paper folder, our Origami, and now that she is here we are changed into something even more wonderful.

All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time


I remember the day Ladybug started kindergarten. I took the morning off work, we put her on the bus and then her mother and I drove as fast as we could to the IMG_0946aschool to meet her and walk her to class. My first granddaughter started school.

This year, Watermelon would have started kindergarten. My first grandson. Another first added to the scrapbook in my mind. First smile, first step, first words, first day of school. All those firsts that can only exist in our imagination and wishes.

I remember him in perfection. I envy his utter joy and peace in Heaven. I have complete faith that I will see him again and it will be glorious. But I suffer while I wait. My arms ache to swing him up into my arms and cradle his body against me.


Not any easier than the others.

Happy Birthday, Collin. Grandma loves you.

Oh Rats!

I do have garden updates! And Easter crafts! If only I could get them posted before they are irrelevant!

Sorry I am missing (again). Mr. Vixen was taken by ambulance to the hospital on Wednesday and remains there. He has diverticulitis and an abscess. They are trying to avoid surgical intervention; so they are treating with antibiotics and antifungals. It is very slow going and he is in a lot of pain. Also factor in the fact that he is a ‘man.’ He doesn’t sleep well unless I am sitting there next to him, sigh.

It turned out not to be SLUGS, but instead we believe it’s RATS. Which is worse. Before he got sick, Mr. Vixen made some rat protectors for the strawberries. You have to see these. They work great, except when the giant puppy from hell digs up the entire planter because her man left her alone. Heavy sigh.

I hope I can find somewhere to eat Easter dinner….I don’t have time to shop or cook and Mr. Vixen is NPO! He can’t even have water sips!

Everyone have a blessed Easter. And feel free to send your positive thoughts and prayers his way!

Strawberries and Sweaters and Slugs, OH NO

First Strawberry

I promised some picture of my wonderfully, successful strawberry adventures in the SuperGarden. I took these on Thursday. My pride and excitement at not one, but TWO 020 nearly ripe berries made me giddy.

The next morning I went out to discover the reddest, ripest of strawberries had a chunk missing out of it!! I was devastated (do I take this garden stuff too seriously you think?). I thought perhaps it was a bug…I went out in search of organic bug spray yesterday and coated my poor babies.

Flash forward to this morning…the other nearly ripe strawberry had a CHUNK missing. My friend Google immediately located similar pictures online and the suspected culprits? SLUGS. Eww. Or snails. I have seen neither, but guess where I am going now? That is right, to buy some organic slug/snail stuff (that is so a technical term). I must save the 022strawberries!!!

I ‘ve been home from work the past two days, hanging out with my niece and sister-in-law. They came from AZ to stay with us so Nannygoat could work her photographic magic with a senior picture session. My niece is an identical twin to Bear. It is amazing how much cousins can look alike. Please go check out the beautiful pictures Nannygoat took HERE.

Now you are probably wondering about the sweater part of the title? Well, if I can’t kill the slugs I was thinking of crocheting them little sweaters for our cool, damp mornings….

Kidding. I am making a super cute little sweater for Big Blue! I am nearly half way through, you can click this link and see my progress (and the pattern picture). I am thinking it may be completed before Easter, so I will post the pretty girl in her new sweater soon!! Also if you are on Ravelry, look me up –  crochetvixen.

Up tomorrow on the blog: SuperGarden fencing and planting!! Easter crafting!! Anything else I think of!!

This post linked up to the Homestead Barn Hop #104 Barn-Hop



Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.

QHSGetting ready to knock another item of the bucket list. Going to take the girls (and their parental units) on an Urban Scavenger Hunt!


CP San Diego Skyline CP San Diego Little Italy

Experience the fun of an Urban Scavenger Hunt in downtown San Diego.  This Smart Phone guided adventure lets you and your family experience the fun of the Amazing Race in 2-3 hours.  You solve clues and complete challenges while learning about the city in a fun new way.  This family friendly adventure is appropriate for ages 7-70 and is perfect to get the family out on a day of doing and learning. Start on your schedule and play at your own pace.  Register on-line at

Cost: $39.20 for a team of 2-5 people after Promo Code: USFamily

When: Play anytime during daylight hours

For More information and to Register visit: CP San Diego Skyline


Rejoice While You Are Alive – Thoughts From My Jubilee Year

    1. I will continue to strive to become the cowgirl I’ve always dreamed of being. I want to spend at least 2-3 hours a week just working or communing with my horse. Ground work, saddle work, grooming work – whatever I do, I am committed to creating a deeper bond with my beautiful beast. I want to have a deeper spiritual experience with this way of life that I have fallen so deeply in love with.
    2. Save more, spend less. I spent the first half of my life (yes, I plan to live to 100) trying to overcome deficits and rebound from the unexpected. Someday I would like to retire…and I think I will need some kinds of funds? I think what I really am trying to say (to myself) is: I need to become more responsible with my money. I can almost guarantee that 85% of my money troubles are because of my lack of self-control.
    3. I will attempt to become a healthier version of myself. I am fully aware my body will never be the same. I am never going to be 20 or 30 again. I will never have a pre-baby body, because I am post baby (x3). I will never have normal function of all my body parts, because I have broken things, pinned things, torn things, slipped things and generally gotten some serious use out of my body these past 50 years. I am still in shock that I was able to quit smoking on November 1, 2012 after 34 years of that addiction. I am even more surprised by the fact that quitting so has been so much easier than I ever, ever thought possible! I am not sure what the difference is, anyone would have thought being pregnant (x3) would have been motivation, but it was not for me. This time it is almost like I just adopted a new stance. My brain and I got together and decided I am a non-smoker. Not a quitter, not an ex-smoker. I am going to try to apply this new self-mind-control to other aspects of my health. I need better control of my diabetes and I truly, truly must lose about 30 pounds.
    4. Meditate, appreciate, enjoy. Try to find something every single day to really grasp and enjoy for the moment. Forgive, move on, find peace within. Have faith, preach faith, feel faith every second of every day.
    5. Find my voice. The voice inside me, always longing to get out. Make note of it when I hear it, allow it to flow and be savored.
    6. I am going to go heavy on following clichés/quotes. I will try to find every cliché or quote I’ve ever heard/read. I have ever liked and try to do it, best I can. Today I am starting with:

Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think ~ Horace

New Year, New Effort. Oh wait, that is tomorrow.

Well, if 2012 was notable for anything, it’s that I had ALOT to blog about and yet all there is on my blog is blank pages. It is my sincere hope that I change that in 2013. Not for you, for me.

Today, I saw a post from PB&Jazz and I was inspired (we’ll see how long that lasts, LOL):

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Break a bone (or six). If any of you have made it to 49 years young without breaking a bone, I must say I don’t recommend it.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I have no recollection of making one last year. I also don’t recall ever keeping a single resolution I made in the past. I am now making an executive decision to not make any more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! My son and DIL (MacDougal and Funsize), gave birth to my fourth granddaughter in August.

4. Did anyone close to you give die?

This year we suffered the unexpected and sudden losses of my dear Uncle Paul and my too-young-to-be-gone brother-in-law, Kenny.

5. What countries did you visit?

I don’t even have a passport, LOL.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

The winning lottery ticket. Or a money tree.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Wow, this year was filled with etchings…the birth of baby J, Ladybugs first bike ride without training wheels, heartbreak, candy skies, riding with Bear, new people and new places.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I was able to not only make the best out of a horrible situation for my daughter, it turned out to be one of the best things I was able to do for my family in many, many years.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I allowed myself to forget how short and precious life can be. And I let fear deep inside; still trying to kick it all the way out.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

See above, LOL. Broken bones, torn ligaments and surgery. All from one little, bitty fall off a horse.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The best thing I spent a large amount of money on was the new place we got a two-year lease on. I wish we could buy it. That would be a dream come true.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My kids have come through some truly difficult times this year. They were always there for each other and they make me so proud.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Fishboy. But we are working on moving on without him.

14. Where did most of your money go?

MOVING! So damn expensive…first, last, moving vans, time off, etc.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

MOVING. Ha, ha. Never thought I would say that. But we are so happy and in such a better place physically and emotionally because of it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Mmmmmotorboatin’!”Pontoon” – Little Big Town

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? I don’t think happier is a big enough word for how much better I feel this year than last year.

b) thinner or fatter? Fatter, but working harder on it!

c) richer or poorer? Poorer, but so better off!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Riding. Ground work. Chasing dreams.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Recuperating. Working.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

My mom and dad were here for the holidays. All the kids and grandkids came over for Christmas Eve. We opened one gift (pj’s) and Great Grama read Twas The Night Before Christmas to all her great-grandkids.  RolyPoly, being 2, was hysterical during the reading and we all laughed until we cried. The next morning we went from house to house seeing what Santa had delivered, then back to my home for dinner. This was the first Christmas I have been with my Mom in many, many years and it was so wonderful to share it with her and all our grands!

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

No, but I am learning to love myself again.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

No contest, Parenthood

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

I read too many books. I can’t choose just one!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?


26. What did you want and get by year’s end?

I didn’t know how much I wanted our own place in the country, but I got it and now I don’t know how I survived without it.

27. What did you want and not get by year’s end?

I really wanted to be comfortable enough to ride out on the trails every single day.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I really enjoyed the Dark Night Rises opening with my kids.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

This year I turned 49. Since I worked and my birthday is so close to Christmas, we didn’t do anything.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I truly believe winning the lottery would be immeasurably satisfying. I would at least like to try it.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Ha, ha ha hahahahahha. I just try to find something clean that I can still zip up.

32. What kept you sane?

Calypso, my four-legged equine BFF! Ok, my husband helped too.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I don’t think I will ever stop pining a bit for Brad Pitt. I can’t stop myself.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I hate how divided our country seemed this year. It was disturbing.

35. Who did you miss?

I miss seeing RolyPoly every day. And I miss Bear since she got so busy.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My new co-worker and friend Ms. Iowa.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Be prepared!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Life ain’t always beautiful
Sometimes it’s just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart

Life ain’t always beautiful
You think you’re on your way
And it’s just a dead-end road at the end of the day

But the struggles make you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has its own way of takin’ it sweet time

No, life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it’s a beautiful ride

It’s Getting Crowded Up In Here and I Love It!

The den has welcomed yet another new face! Say welcome to Bumblebee, our newest granddaughter. Born to MacDougal and Funsize on Aug 31st, the chunkster weighed in at 9 lbs. 8 ozs.! Her big brother RolyPoly weighed 9 lbs. 5 ozs., so she has moved into second place as biggest baby in the family, directly behind her father (MacD was 9 lbs. 11 ozs).

Stunning beauty though she is, apparently my grandchildren have some unspoken agreement in which they torture their parents and I by never making things easy. Within moments of her birth, before we could see her or hold her, Bumblebee tested with a very low blood sugar, rapid breathing and a very rapid heart rate. While the blood sugar came up with an IV, the heart rate continued to be very high. She added an abnormal EKG to the mix and she was off…transported from the local NICU to Children’s Hospital.

She has atrial tachycardia, but after testing, observation and medications the specialist believes the cause to be “one of those things” and she will be on medication for approximately 4 months with testing and monitoring along the way. If all goes well, she may never have another issue. But let me tell you, she scared the CRAP out of us. They were talking about external conversion (the paddles, people!) and possible congenital abnormalities and other scary as hell crap.

However, she spontaneously converted to a normal rate on her own and only had three very short events the first night she was in the NICU. Today she was released and we brought her home. We thank God and all the people who prayed and wished us well. As I have said a million times before (see Ladybug), miracles to happen.

And my miracles are pretty damned cute too. (also if she looks familiar, she looks exactly – like identical twin exactly – like RolyPoly.

Flashdance….err I mean flashback…

On this day, 30 years ago….

  • On primetime TV: Matt Houston, CHiPs, The Jefferson’s, One Day At A Time and Trapper John, MD (also the Sunday Night Movies)
  • Playing in Vegas: Bill Cosby, Rich Little, Shelley Greene and Tom Jones
  • In fashion: shoulder pads, shell suits, Lycra leggings, leg warmers and Deelyboppers
  • Fads: Smurfs, Valspeak and Valley Girls, Chia Pets, Space Invaders, Atari, the Walkman, CB radios, and the keytar.
  • Top of the charts: Eye of the Tiger – Survivor; Hurt’s So Good – John Cougar; Hold Me – Fleetwood Mac; Even the Nights Are Better – Air Supply; Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band; Keep the Fire Burnin’ – REO Speedwagon;
  • Top Movies: Friday the 13th Part 3; E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial; An Officer and A Gentleman


yours truly marries her sweetheart (Mr. Vixen) in a lovely full mass ceremony at St. Matthias Catholic Church followed by a spectacular reception at a local country club.

Happy Anniversary to my best friend and lover.

Thirty years later and we still got it.


The Fourth Year

Collin Michael 8/9/08
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you.
Love, Grandma

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