If my life was a game right now it would be called

Strip & Go Naked! I’ve been having hot flashes since I was 31. When a nurse told me that I was too young to get hot flashes I laughed to myself. Oh really?! Then why is heat rolling off of me like a smelting furnace? Granted they were few and very far between and very doable as far as intensity & duration goes. They’ve accelerated slowly as I strolled my way through my 40’s and entered my 50’s. The last 3 years the night sweats started, still…not a major problem. Not at all like the horror stories I’ve heard that other women were having; poor women & their crazy sweatiness! Well, in the last 5 months my hormones have cranked up the thermostat and are blazing like an inferno that could start a brush fire. One recent day at school I was totally bundled up in winter wear heading outside onto the frigid, windy playground; whining because I forgot to put my Cuddleduds on under my slacks that morning.

Not 3 minutes later a 500˚ wave of heat rolled off of me and was trapped inside all my warm, protective gear. In less than 10 seconds I had my hood down, scarf & ear muffs ripped off, wool mittens torn off, zipper undone from my coat, zipper undone from my sweater and facing my body into the relief of the winter wind. Ahhhhhhh, sweet relief! After about 3 minutes when the sweat had sufficiently evaporated from most of my body I resumed dressing myself again because it was really cold out!

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I can’t wear the snuggly sweaters I love so much because I need to be able to strip down when an inferno rolls off me and then be able to add warmth back on because I’m cold again. Same goes for sleeping even though the heat vent is closed & the window is cracked open. I’m pretty sure the lack of a good sound sleep will affect me eventually. Fortunately, all 3 of us are taking it in stride…that whole strip & go naked & then getting dressed again. How long before I break is anyone’s guess. I’m sure I’ll let you all know when I no longer find humor in this. Until then I’m heating the house with my hot flashes!

Twas the night AFTER Christmas…

I was hoping to post stuff throughout the excitement of our holiday adventure but there weren’t any quiet times. It was a continual blur of activity. All four girls & their guys along with our 5th pretend adopted daughter were here by 3 PM on Christmas Eve and started pitching in to help finish getting the house & the food ready & ornaments on the tree. Two of the kids had never seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation so that was a priority on my list. Of course the kids are still sort of kids (if you compare them to an 80 yr-old) so they wanted to open gifts and do Yankee Swap first.

From the front, she looked like a normal Christmas tree.

From the front, she looked like a normal Christmas tree.

Anytime Christmas tree lights are added...it becomes magical, especially at night with Christmas music playing!

Anytime Christmas tree lights are added…it becomes magical, especially at night with Christmas music playing!

Dressed up in all her sparkling finery, it's almost like she's taking a bow to her admirers.

Dressed up in all her sparkling finery, it’s almost like she’s taking a bow to her admirers.

Our tree's empty space is being 'filled' by a talking Santa & a large star I received as a gift. We envisioned a large disco ball there but, surprisingly, we don't own one! Our living room screams for a disco ball.

Our tree’s empty space is being ‘filled’ by a talking Santa & a large star I received as a gift. We envisioned a large disco ball there but, surprisingly, we don’t own one! Our living room screams for a disco ball.


Gary & the kids got the cool stuff they asked for but more importantly, let’s talk about what I got! I got my winter boots & Cuddleduds but can you believe Santa forgot to bring me snow pants?! I’ve wanted them since last winter and I cannot believe, with all his magic, that he forgot them. I guess he was too busy concentrating on the boots & long underwear. I also got a Tree of Friendship glass ball, a bunch of warm cuddly socks, lots & lots of headbands (I shouldn’t run out for…forever!), a huge bag of pecans, a jar of raw honey, a magnifying glass & along with some DVD’s from the family pile…Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure! (to go along with the classic Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special that we already own) Gifts from the kids include a big kickass LED TV from daughter #1 (now the lights won’t dim like they did when we turned on the big old ginormous one!), a gift certificate from the delicious Teavana store & a wine accessory kit secretly hidden from burglars inside a pretend wine bottle from #2 & her PoohBear, a Charoite stone & a gift certificate from a goddessey new-age store I adore from #3 & her OsoBear, #4 & her new sweetpea gave me a DVD & a 10 pk outdoor solar light set for when we get around to making the far-far back yard look pretty this summer (*crossing my fingers*). On Christmas day everyone slept in except me because I was determined to make breakfast recipes off my Pinterest boards; Apple Cider Pancakes & Bacon in the shape of hearts (don’t bake them crispy because they break REALLY easy!). They were obviously delicious! Our final adventure before all of the kids were gone for work or significant others’ family celebrations was sledding down the town’s snow hill. (This is where those snow pants would have come in handy) Elizabeth wasn’t too keen on going but Betsy & Tebazilena were already bundling into snow gear so she didn’t have a choice.
Snow Tube 'Island' Adventure! The trick is to make sure you hang on tight to another tube (as well as your own). We try putting the youngest in the back so they have a better survival rate in case there is a tubing mishap.

Snow Tube ‘Island’ Adventure! The trick is to make sure you hang on tight to another tube (as well as your own). We try putting the youngest in the back so they have a better survival rate in case there is a tubing mishap.

It was GREAT FUN!!! We assembled all the tubes into a mass island, hung on to each other’s handles & inched our way to the top of the hill and…….adults just need to do that at least ONCE in their lifetime. It really brings out the kid in you!
Sometimes the 'island' becomes a 'peninsula!' At least we're all in the same general area. Looks like someone lost their mitten in the adventure!

Sometimes the ‘island’ becomes a ‘peninsula!’ At least we’re all in the same general area. Looks like someone lost their mitten in the adventure!

It was a great Christmas! We should be relaxing now but #2 & #4 informed us that we need to have a New Year’s Eve party here. Why? Because THEY don’t have anything planned to celebrate. I guess we need to enjoy having the kids spend time back home while we’re all young.

Home Alone for Christmas~All 9 of us!

I’m beside myself with excitement that all 4 girls & their boys will start coming this afternoon for Christmas. We have a list of activities to do and food to eat. I only have to behave about 12 more hours so I don’t get put on the last minute naughty list. I mean, yeah, I’m already on the naughty list but I’m on the ‘good’ naughty list. There’s a huge difference between the good one and the bad one. You still get presents on the ‘good’ naughty list. Even when I’m bad…I’m good! I’m pretty sure I’m getting the stuff I asked for from Santa. Maybe not EVERYTHING because that’s not realistic but at least some snow boots & more Cuddleduds for when I have recess duty on the playground in Siberia. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE KIDS TO GET HERE!!!! (I feel better now). I still have a crapload of stuff to do before the partying starts so I’ll have to post the rest (decorated Charlie Brown tree picture included) later tonight. Merry Christmas Eve! (just in case it becomes Christmas day before I get back)