Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm a Proud Sister and Daughter!

Exciting news in the Busey family last week with the long awaited release of the product of the last 4 years of my brother Travis'  (and father John's) research.....................their book was officially released.  It is not a novel, but a historical reference book...information that has never been compiled in one place before!  Woohoo!!  This reference work chronicles more than 23,000 Union casualties at Gettysburg by generlas and staff and by state and unit.  Thirteen appendices also cover information by brigade, division and corps; by engagements and skirmishes; by state; by burial at three cemeteries; and by hospitals.  Casualty transports, incarceration records and civilian casualty lists are also included.

Some publishers thought this work could not be would be too large....but Travis connected with McFarland Publishers and they were supportive and excited about this 3-volume set.  This is definitely not a novel, but geared to historians, schools, and genealogists. The guys have another contract and are hard at work on the companion book of Confederate casualties.

And another great thing for my brother, Travis - his artwork (the tattered flag) is on both the front cover and the back cover. 

I am the proudest sister and daughter in the world!  Way to go, guys!!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oh, yeah, I do have a blog.......

My how time flies! :)  With the holidays and work and work and more work the months have gotten away from me.

I have been busy with my day job, trying to find a new day job (please, universe!), my home businesses (ebay consignment and craft business), my beloved four-legged furry children and so, sadly, my blog took a back seat.  My intention is to blog more intentionally and with some regularity.  I think I tend to get so overwhelmed that instead of doing anything, I just stand still.  I am working on that.

First and foremost, please meet Zeke, the newest member of my family.   He came to me on Thanksgiving weekend and is just a real lovebug.
He is a real sweetheart and likes to stay super close to me, much to my sweet little Freida's dismay (Freida is my shadow). They have learned to tolerate each other...they can both touch me at the same time as long as they don't touch each other! LOL. Speaking of touching, this is a usual scenario as I sit and work at my laptop in the evenings...(excuse the blurry picture)..

And my beloved Freida looking on from behind my head.....she looks as though she is saying "oh mom, what have you done and why is he here?" :)
And finally a bit of a picture marathon to catch you up on my life of late....I am still eating well, but have incorporate aspects of Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet, and am including lots of green smoothies, juice and raw foods.  I made an amazing creamy raw ranch dressing....yummy!  I love the taste of my green smoothies and coming up with the different concoctions, but I must admit that I do have a hard time getting past the that normal?

Me at an almost 70# weight loss....
What to do if you get a cute rug for Christmas but with so many cats, you can't use it as a rug or the cats would use it as a scratching post.................well, you hang it on the wall of course!
And I am in my studio creating new crafts all the are just a few...

Well, I guess that is the update for now.....I am off to a get-together with friends this evening and then to Walmart (I know....the excitement is killing me!) 

See you soon!


Friday, October 29, 2010

My sweet dog-child, Lily

My sweet dog-child Lily passed away when I was at work yesterday. I had my TOPS meeting right after work and after that my mom followed me home to see her - but she was already gone. She had been going downhill this week. I had told Lily all morning and she knew that my mom (GaGa) was coming over and I believe that she waited to pass until she knew that I wouldn't be alone to find her.
My girl was so amazing...she fought back from heat stroke, hydrocephalus, COPD, enlarged heart, arthritis... but her little 8 pound body just couldn't fight anymore.

My heart is broken and I can't stop crying, but I am also remembering how very lucky that she and I found each other and that I had her in my life for 7 years.
A quote that I love that gives me comfort in times of loss of my 4-legged children:

"We who choose to surround ourselves

with lives even more temporary than our

own, live within a fragile circle;

easily and often breached.

Unable to accept its awful gaps,

we would still live no other way.

We cherish memory as the only

certain immortality, never fully

understanding the necessary plan."

— Irving Townsend


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Etsy, Cat Illness, and Cat Bite!

I love the Etsy website for handmade goods.  Soon I will open up my store again and I just reopened my mom's Etsy store (she is a brilliant artist, but not good with the online business aspect of it so I am her business manager!).  I am so proud of her and her creations that I just wanted to share a few here.......her etsy site is GaGa's Sewing Room.  I just love how she combines cool fabrics and vintage lace, doilies, or hankies.

Here are some of her latest them!

Last week, one of my dear sweet cats, Buddy, was hospitalized with a complete blockage - he was near death.  He survived and came home and on Friday morning, I was trying to pill pop him his meds and he gave me a big, strong bite on the finger....OW!!!  I was happy that he was feisty, but OMG, the bite REALLY hurt.  By Saturday morning, it was swollen and bright red and had spread to my whole hand (pictures below are on Friday the following morning, my right hand was twice this size).  My doc on Saturday morning took one look and told me that this was VERY serious.  I guess that cats - all cats - have a specific bacteria in their mouths (Pastuerella).  I was given a super strong big dose of antibiotics in a shot in the behind :) and  was told to elevate my hand and put on a heating pad all weekend.  If it was not better on Sunday, I was to go immediately to the hospital to be admitted because I could lose sensation in my hand or worse!  Yikes....this was scary stuff - all because of a cat bite.  I am happy to report that I am now on the mend, although I am on strong antibiotics for 10 days and will have to continue to have the area monitored. 

 And this is my beloved little culprit, Buddy.  :)

I will be back more regularly with blogs on my weight loss (more than 50 pounds so far!!), recipes that are super yummy, crafts, giveaways, and of course more beloved cat photos of my four-legged furry children!



Sunday, August 1, 2010

I am a work in progress...

I am a work in progress... in all aspects of my life - health, weight, happiness, hope.

I have been on Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live eating plan for not even two months and I have lost almost 40 pounds.  I truly feel that I have found the perfect way to eat for me. 
 I have had many scale victories, which is great, but perhaps the most exciting thing for me right now is the non-scale victories I have had.  Specifically and most importantly, my health is getting better.  While I don't want to admit my weight here yet, I do still have more than 100 pounds to lose (that's the not the health news :) but just an FYI).  For many years, I have been on the highest dose of an expensive blood pressure medicine that also contained the highest dose of a diuretic.  Well, several weeks ago, I was feeling dizzy a lot and nauseous for reasons I couldn't identify.  I went to the doctor, and he feels that my blood pressure meds were too high and it was making me dehydrated and my electolytes were all off.  So, he put me on a new medicine, HALF the dose and NO DIURETIC. While not super low, my blood pressure is 120/70, which is the lowest it has been in at least 10 years.  WOOHOO!!  So far, no more dizziness.  I go back to the doc on Wed to confirm that my blood pressure is still under control but I think it will be good!

Another great victory occured at my TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meeting a few weeks ago. This is a weekly weight loss support group and we meet every week and weigh in at the scales.  Well, I hit a number on the scale that I haven't seen in more than 15 years.  I'll give myself another WOOHOO for that!

I love this eating plan.  I am eating three big and delicious meals each day (no between meal snacks) that include wonderful fresh vegetables, luscious fruits, yummy beans, plenty of water and more!.      

I feel energized lately which is fantastic and has also been a long time coming.  Seriously for the first time in a long time, I feel hopeful!  Hopeful to lose the remaining weight, hopeful for today, and hopeful for what the future may hold.

In previous "diets" - and believe me, in my 45 years there have been too many to count - I have initially done well and if there was a setback, or whatever, I would give up and go back to my old eating patterns.  I have gained and lost so much weight over the years that I have lost count.  At times, just thinking about the amount of weight I need to lose has been overwhelming but no more.  I am taking one bite at a time, one decision at a time.  And this amazing Eat to Live plan is helping me.....I no longer have insatiable cravings, no longer have the desire to be obsessive compulsive with my food.  I am learning to feel at peace and at home in the body that I have right now at this very moment.  I am learning to cultivate kindness toward my body not only in the foods that I feed it, but in the thoughts that I have about it.

My next step in this journey to wellness is to start exercising.  Any movement is better than no movement! :)  I have osteoarthritis in both knees and currently use a forearm crutch.  As the weight comes off, I have less and less pain.  Although I know that cartilage won't grow back, my goal is to put off knee replacement for years and years and build up the strength in the muscles around my knees.  Actually my goal is to not have to use the crutches except for when I have flare-ups.  So...movement starts this week!

Now that I have rambled on, I will leave you with another gratuitous cat picture.  This is my sweet Marty sharing a joke with Baby Spike.  LOL.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


My house a/c is broken and I am not a happy camper.  It broke last night and they can't come to fix it until Monday afternoon.  I just had a brand new a/c heat pump etc put in 3 years ago (thousands of dollars!) and now this.  Ugh.  I am lucky, however, to have a home protection insurance that no matter what needs to be done, I only pay my deductible of $75.  That is such a provision right now.  Three years ago when my a/c broke and I got new, I bought about 4/5 fans - luckily I kept them (note the massive dust on the black one...clearly I never thought I would use them again!).  But that is another thing I am grateful for...the fans not the dust! :)

The cats, pup and I are too hot to do anything today but lie around the house.  Being hot = no energy. I had big plans to get things done around here, but they will have to wait!  Oh darn, I can't do laundry tonight!  LOL
I have been enjoying lots of fresh fruit today!  These strawberries and blueberries are just AWESOME and so wonderful.  I bought so many that I am freezing some as well.  I used to just stick them in the freezer and they were just never right.  I read on another blog to put them on a cookie sheet/tray and stick the sheet in the freezer.  Then once they are frozen put them in their individual baggies and freeze them.  Works like a charm....who knew (well probably everyone, but now I know too!!).
Hope you all stay cool and I hope come Monday eve I am cool again too! 


Monday, July 5, 2010

Staycations are great...

Wow, the weather here in Virginia is brutal today.  This is the last day of my 4-day *staycation* and I have literally not left the is about 98 degrees, with tomorrow and Wednesday expected to be in the low 100's.  Ugh.  Even the squirrels are hot.

Friday, I had the girls - my nieces Mallory and Courtney, and my mom - over for our monthly scrapbooking party.  This time we concentrated on making their mom and my other sister birthday cards (my sisters are twins) as well as lots of fun bookmarks.  These girls - all three of them - are so talented and we have such fun!!

This is Mallory (age 9) being silly.  She is just learning cursive writing - note the sweet sentiment she wrote on Amy's card.

Sweet Courtney (age 12) contemplating her next creation.

My beautiful mom (who is also my best friend!).

My sweet little girl, Lily.  She is getting so old and has so many medical issues (COPD, Hydrocephalus, Arthritis, enlarged heart) and yet she just keeps doing so well.  She had her regular checkup at her vet on Friday morning and she is doing great.  She is 9 pounds, a little heavier than she should be, but that is due to the prednisone that she takes and is to be expected.  Boy she is such a little lovebug and so devoted to her mommy.  I literally stayed home Saturday, Sunday, and today so when I head back to work tomorrow, she will definitely be sad.  She is having a bad hair day here, but boy is she cute!!

A lazy Monday at home....

and this moment as I sit in my big overstuffed chair with my feet up on the ottoman, this is what I see (my sweet Freida)....