31 March 2019



It is now 31 March 201NINE!!


until I keyed in and FOUND THIS ONE...



I need to read the last months of this one and see where I left off.

I am on a Facebook under Vanessa Campbell.  There are 3 accounts on there...I need to consolidate...but if it has a RED BACKGROUND PIC it is not the current one!  Geesh...

As a mini update, TODAY IS ROGER'S 83rd birthday.  We lost him on 12/13/14 but not without a gallant fight.<3 .="" 2017.="" a="" after="" back="" cancer="" car="" colin="" died="" have="" herrin="" horrific="" i="" in="" moved="" nbsp="" of="" p="" sept="" september="" to="" wreck="">
It will good to be back at DachshundStrong.
<3 .="" 2017.="" a="" after="" back="" cancer="" car="" colin="" died="" have="" herrin="" horrific="" i="" in="" moved="" nbsp="" of="" p="" sept="" september="" to="" wreck="">
<3 .="" 2017.="" a="" after="" back="" cancer="" car="" colin="" died="" have="" herrin="" horrific="" i="" in="" moved="" nbsp="" of="" p="" sept="" september="" to="" wreck="">Stay tuned.

05 February 2014


It has DEFINITELY been WONDERLAND in Belleville, IL...

There was the snow...pristine and magical.

There was the Super Bowl, its commercials, yummy food and music!  Congrats Seattle!!!

And there was that Metro trip on Wednesday that resulted in seeing my soldier son for the first time in SEVEN months!He had been attending conferences in  the States and given a 
a four day pass to see his family.  He Super Bowl partied with us and is now safely back in Saudi Arabia.

Definitely blessed and still BELIEVING!

25 January 2014


It's been one of THOSE weeks.  Woke up every morning and donned my fireman's gear to put out fires that were 3 alarm by noon every day.  But God had me in the palm of His hand and by yesterday God and I survived getting Kiereney back in the hospital in St. Louis, made inroads into getting her in the new ACA insurance, got my husband's 7 heart meds that he had been without for two weeks courtesy of a major screwup when his insurance changed companies and considered him ineligible (still screwed up but I was able to buy partial prescriptions at the noninsurance price...GROAN), made headway with my disability denial and got my son through 3 flights dealing with military meetings across the US.

Made good progress on organizing my desk, bills, planner and duplex.  
Made beef vegetable soup yesterday.
Reading a great inspirational book by Candace Cameron Burr(DJ on Full House).
Still doing our Bible reading daily.  In a year we will have read the entire Bible.  We bought the Bible that goes with the program and the side notes are so helpful and really makes you think.

The Depression Monster has extended his most unwelcome visit so every day is a winding road.

And I have THE BEST FB/BLOGGER SISTAHS IN THE WORLD.  They are so supportive and I love them with all my heart.


13 January 2014


Since I was here last, we have had 15 inches of snow on the ground, Artic temps and wind chill.  Four days later, Winter turned to Spring, the rain came and the snow is merely a memory.  I see 2014  is not going to play by the seasonal rules either!  (insert STOMPING and SCREAMING here).  

Moving on...

LOVING THE KINDLE FIRE HDX!!!!  Props to my kids for this amazing Christmas present!  Kinda feel sorry for the desktop gathering dust, but can't play my Pogo games on the Kindle so I visit the desktop a few times a week.  I still need to get the Kindle a case so it can go mobile with me...right now it lives in my Nest and then sleeps in our bedroom and, no, Kindle is NOT on the sharing list.  I am OCD like that...

Started some new things for me for 2014~jumped on the faux Filofax planner train and it is my mortal lifeline...appts, birthdays, bills...all in one book.  It is a gray Franklin Covey spiral cover.  Could have chosen a ring binder but the thought of having to deal with hole reinforcements for torn binder holes brought back the horrors of junior high so I went for spiral.  Plus at the end of every year I slide it out of the gray cover and have an instant journal of the previous year!  Some who shall remain nameless have NAMED their planners, decorated each page with stickers and Washi tape, have special pens [Ok, I DID cave to  multicolored pen and each of us have our own color (I am red) and do have a Snoopy sticker on each month to honor Kathy who was all things Snoopy and I have subscribed to Filofax groups just to see how others are decorating theirs]

Roger and I are on the plan to read the Bible in one year and NOT using the King James Version...bought the Bible that corresponds to this program and really enjoying it.

My soon to be Captain son is doing well in Saudi Arabia.  Don't know if they are extending him beyond the original year (be STILL my mommy heart) but he will be TWENTY NINE IN MAY(Is this the little boy I carried...sunrise, sunset, etc.)

In the dawning of my sixth decade in April, I am finally figuring out my place in this life.  Like it took almost 60 years to figure out and the clock is ticking in double time...I have learned to be content in whatever state I find myself in.  Scary!  Who IS this face staring at me from the mirror?

Stay tuned...

Have a PHENOMENAL week and don't stop BELIEVING!!!

08 January 2014

Happy 2014!!!!!!!

Well better late than never... lol

And on the 4th day of 2014, we are having a snowstorm with up to 13 inches and below zero temps.

We are EXCITED!!!!!!!

Now down to my rules of 2014:

Word for 2014...Believe!

Motto...To everything there is a Season.

New Adventures for 2014

Keeping a new planner for 2014.  One stop shopping to have all important dates marked, addresses at my fingertips and having my life plan on Personal Planner.  Music to this OCDERS YEARS.

Also reading the ENTIRE Bible this year with a program that several of my friends are doing .

Freefeel renewed, refreshed and eager to get into 2014 and get into freeing myself.  I have taken off the chains and making a list of all I want to accomplish this year.  Life is SHORT!!!!  I have SO many friends I have to meet

31 December 2013

2013 Wrap

Hi Friends if I still have any here...
2013 was not my primo year.
I limped along until July when Kelli and Jay got married but after that the Black Cloud arrived and I could not get motivated to blog.
The last holiday without Kathy will be NYE and NYD and after that, it's time to turn the page as she would want me to and has expressly TOLD me to do (long story but she came to me one day in the truck like she was there and told me come 1 January 2014 I was to close 2013 and get back to my regular blogging. 
You don't argue with an angel...
Trying to wrap up 2013 so I can start fresh on 1 January.
Michael is still in Saudi Arabia and they want to keep him a while longer.  Hardest thing I ever had to do was give my blessings on that.  So much has happened in 2013 healthwise with us and after Kathy's death, he did not want to be deployed for fear something would happen while he was gone.  So far, 6 months and all is well, meaning Michael hasn't had to be notified by the Red Cross to come home on emergency leave.  He makes his final decision to leave in July as scheduled or extend for 6 months in 2 weeks.  Then his National Guard Unit in VA has to approve the extension.  They may want him back in VA pronto.  After not being able to get a job since his last deployment in 2011 I can see the attraction to wanting to add to his savings.  I told God just to let His will be done.
Kelli's MS and the horrific place she was working got the best of her so she resigned a couple of weeks ago.  She worked in a Dr.s office for what started out to be 1 doctor and will shortly be 5 doctors doing the billing, phones, prescription calls, vitals and literally everything and the hospital that sponsors them said they couldn't afford to get her help.  Plus the Supr. and Asst. Supr are real witches and when the MS got so bad this month that she requested to take a leave they said she was 3 days short of being able to take one so she would be fired.  Not wanting to have that on her pristine working record, she resigned.  Her husband is a delight and they are so much in love.  They come over from St. Louis on Wed. and Sun. to Skype with Michael and eat with us. Michael is up for promotion to Captain if the government can stay working long enough to process the paperwork.
I have few words.
In and out and in and out of hospitals the last few months for spinal fluid building up in the brain and no one wants to do the shunt surgery to put the shunt back in that had to be jerked in Feb. due to infection when we almost lost her which was about 2 weeks before Kathy died.  She is in the hospital as we speak and they are evaluating with fresh eyes and trying to come up with a plan.  She was able to work until October before the Custard Shop closed for the season and plans to go back in April if this surgery can be done.  After 8 years of this condition, she wants resolution so she can have a life and I agree.
Roger is on 100% oxygen 24/7 now and basically all that could be done has been.  It will be a fight to the finish to see if the congestive heart failure or lung disease take him first.  We enjoy every day.
Finally got my Disability hearing in Dec. and will be 2 months before the judge makes her decision.  I was having the right side of my body go numb in Sept and my right eye feel like it was going to pop out so they did an MRI/MRA with contrast and found lesions on my brain so was referred to a neurologist at Barnes Jewish in St. Louis where my oncologist is.  Waiting on his test results although they found the left side of my body is weaker and I have lost most of my balance abilities on the left side.  Whatever will be, will be.
And Colin?  He is my complete joy.  I have recently taught him to sing/howl like Shania did and he did it on Skype yesterday.  Jake, Michael's cat, is alive and well.  Both will be 5 years old in 2014...seems like we just got them.  Kathy gave Michael Jake for his 2008 college graduation present.
That pretty much covers it.  I hope you have had a good 2013 and looking to catch up with you in 2014.

26 July 2013


Jay Elijah Rogers and Kelli Lynne Dwyer were married at the courthouse in St. Louis, MO on July 12, 2013.

(l to r) Tom and Ginger, Jay's parents, Jay and Kelli and me and Roger at our house having a wedding brunch the day after the wedding.

These pics are SO out of order but my OCD is turned OFF for the moment so....this is the cake I had made for them.  Yes, it is rainbow small wedding cake (white as the bride's choice of cake) with chocolate cupcakes (groom's choice).  The rainbow signifies luck of the Irish as Kelli is Irish and this will make more sense later when you see another picture down the page.

(l to r) Ginger and Tom (Jay's parents) Brandy, who is Tina's partner, and Aunt Tina, all from Indiana.

Buying the Priestess a drink after she performed an Irish hand tying ceremony at the Stan Musial statue at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, who they both dearly love!

After the hand tying ceremony at Busch Stadium walking to the bar.

The Best Man, Todd, and the Groom.

Jay, Kelli and Kiereney, who stood up for Kelli.
Todd, Jay and Kelli
Awww....the deed is done!

Mr. and Mrs. Jay E. Rogers
He placed the ring on her finger and kissed it.  Swoon!
As most of you know, Kelli and Jay met 2 years and 2 months ago at a Cardinal ballgame.  Last Fall Kelli was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had no insurance coverage.  Jay was previously married and separated before Kelli met him, but not divorced.  Enter the ignorant divorce laws of MO.  You have to be separated x amount of months and FILE for separation.  They were separated the x amount of months but never filed because they weren't aware of this quirky rule until they went for the divorce.  Then Michael was activated for deployment so the wedding plans stepped up because she was not ABOUT to get married without her brother present.  It got down to the wire with no divorce papers so Michael deployed with the understanding that when he returns in August 2014, his sister's vow renewal and reception will be set for September 13, 2014 (date of her Godmother's (Kathy, my BFF who died Feb. 20 of this year) birthday) and Kelli and Jay would go ahead and get married to get Kelli on insurance to be able to seek treatment for her MS which is getting worse as months go on.
Sometimes you just have to say it is what it is and do what needs to be done.
They are blissfully happy living in St. Louis.
AND in addition to becoming a mother-in-law, I am also now a GRANDMA to 12 year old granddaughter Mati, 11 year old grandson Calvin and 10 year old grandson Quinn.  They were visiting grandparents in Indiana at the wedding so I will post pics of my grands later.
So yes, I STILL BELIEVE in happy ever afters and am excited to help Kelli plan the vow renewal and reception.
Michael has arrived in Saudi Arabia, already weathered sandstorms and Mom is sending off his first care package today and I miss him like crazy!