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Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream is making a stop in Pittsburgh #ad

Disclaimer: I am an FEI Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment, Inc. or one of its affiliates has provided me with complimentary tickets to its shows and opportunities to attend its private pre-show events. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although I received some form of compensation and this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

You guys, the holidays are upon us and I haven’t even started yet. Like all of you I am dealing with a “to do” list that doesn’t end and no idea what to get my son. What do you get a 5 year old that has more toys then Toys R Us? Why not show tickets? But what show will a 5 year old like that won’t drive me crazy? Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream is the answer to my prayers.

Rapunzel Crew©Disney

Rapunzel Crew©Disney

Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they follow four of Disney’s most inspirational princesses on their adventures to fulfill their dreams in Feld Entertainment’s newest ice spectacular, Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream. Combining the contemporary stories of two modern-day princesses, Rapunzel and Tiana, with the classic elegance of Cinderella and Snow White, Dare to Dream whisks audiences away on exciting journeys where dreams really do come true.  

Cinderella and Prince©Disney

Cinderella and Prince©Disney

Audiences begin their magical, musical voyage in New Orleans celebrating the story of The Princess and the Frog with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, and then escape into the enchanted forest with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The trip continues to Cinderella’s kingdom in her search for true love and follows Rapunzel as she discovers the world beyond her tower on her quest to see the floating lanterns. The Disney Princesses then come together for the first time on ice during the finale, to welcome Rapunzel into their royal court in the ultimate princess experience.

Snow White and 7 Dwarfs©Disney

Snow White and 7 Dwarfs©Disney

Show dates/time:

Friday Dec. 9 – 7pm
Saturday Dec. 10 – 11am, 3pm, 7pm
Sunday Dec. 11 – 12pm, 4pm

To purchase tickets click here

Tiana and Set©Disney

Tiana and Set©Disney

I might actually be more excited then the child but Shhh don’t tell anyone. Who doesn’t love Mickey and Minnie right? Since it is the season of giving,  I have a special promo code for my readers.  Use Code MOM16 to Save $5 off on Select tickets. AND…. If you click below you can print out Mickey or Minnie ears to wear to the show. You are welcome 🙂

Mickey Ears Crown

Minnie Ears Crown

Mickey and Minnie©Disney

Mickey and Minnie©Disney

Better hurry, tickets are going fast. I will be there on opening night December 9th at 7pm, maybe I will see you. Stay tuned for my show review.

– Carol

 

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A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL #ad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although I received some form of compensation and this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post is brought to you by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Dylan Boyd as Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story, The Musical. Photo by Jesse Scheve.

Dylan Boyd as Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story, The Musical. Photo by
Jesse Scheve.

“You’ll shoot your eye out kid” ….. If you grew up in the 80’s like I did, you know those iconic words. I remember sitting in front of the tv, fixated as I watch this average family, navigate through the holiday season full of ups and downs. Ralphie had his heart set on getting a official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle. But everyone was against it. Poor guy, he thinks he can’t get the one thing he wants. Or can he?

The Cast of A Christmas Story, The Musical. Photo by Gary Emord Netzley.

The Cast of A Christmas Story, The Musical. Photo by Gary Emord Netzley.

This holiday season, for the first time in Pittsburgh, the award-winning Broadway hit, A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL, brings the beloved classic movie to life at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, from Tuesday, November 22 through Sunday, November 27, 2016.  This tour is part of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, a presentation of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.

Christopher Swan as The Old Man and the Cast of A Christmas Story, The Musical. Photo by Gary Emord Netzley.

Performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday evening at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  On Wednesday, November 23, at 6:30 p.m. PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh patrons are invited to join us for a free pre-show talk, Know The Show Before You Go, held at the Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  For more information visit: www.TrustArts.org/KnowTheShow.

Chris Carsten as Jean Shepherd and Myles Moore as Ralphie in A Christmas Story, The Musical. Photo by Jesse Scheve.

Chris Carsten as Jean Shepherd and Myles Moore as Ralphie in A Christmas
Story, The Musical. Photo by Jesse Scheve.

Tickets ($26-$77) to A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL at the Benedum Center are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources: www.TrustArts.org, by calling 412-456-4800 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.  For information about the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh subscription series, visit TrustArts.org or call 412-456-1390.  Tickets for Groups of 10+ are available online at TrustArts.org or call 412-471-6930.

Opening night is tonight and I wouldn’t miss it! Maybe I will see you there? Stop to say hi 🙂

– Carol

 

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Free Store Coming to Penn Hills

Disclaimer:  This post is brought to you by the At Home and Free Store Penn Hills. Although I received some form of compensation and this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2

This is one of my favorite bible versus. These 15 words sum up what “Love Your Neighbor” is all about. If we would do what it says, I think the world would be a much better place to live.

As a poor girl who grew up on the Northside and who still resides there, I have seen my fair share of hardships. Everything from hungry children, homeless veterans, and dilapidated buildings. It’s a lot for a child to comprehend. I was a quiet kid who watched life happen, taking  mental notes for the future. I remember thinking, when I grow up I want to help people. That is why when fellow blogger Heather from Diary Of a First Time Mom asked for help promoting a new Free Store that she was opening up in Penn Hills, I jumped at the chance.

The Kid’s Corner at the Penn Hills Free Store.

The Kid’s Corner at the Penn Hills Free Store.

What is a Free Store you ask?

Imagine a place with everything from clothing and books to toys and toiletries. But instead of paying for these items, you get them for FREE. Founder Heather Hopson, along with Tamara Cox, Janica Estes, Jesse Marie Haskins, Deborah McKenzie and Fawn Washington (Past & present Penn Hills residents) inspired by free stores in Braddock and Wilkinsburg, decided to open a Lincoln Park location in hopes of addressing the recent rise of suburban poverty. All amazing women who are doing God’s work.

At Home has everything you could ever want/need for your home.

At Home has everything you could ever want/need for the holiday season.

At Home sponsored the beautiful store design, creating a warm, welcoming space for children and families. The new At Home store in Pittsburgh, located at 3000 McIntyre Square Drive, is a more than 91,000 square-foot retail destination that allows customers to affordably turn their house into a home. With winter just around the corner, At Home has everything shoppers need to decorate for the season. At Home is open seven days a week. MondaySaturday, it’s open from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

And of course, Free Store founders want their customers to feel “at home” in their stores.

To help achieve this, Luca Paganico Designs served as the interior design consultant on the project.

open seven days a week. Monday-Saturday we’ll be open 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Open seven days a week. Monday-Saturday we’ll be open 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Free Store Penn Hills will hold its grand opening ceremony this Saturday, November 19th at 10 a.m. at Lincoln Park Community Center, 7300 Ridgeview Avenue, Penn Hills, PA 15235.

Following the dedication ceremony, community members will shop the store, and enjoy refreshments provided by The Cupcake Crew, Doughnut Connection and Frankstown Road Giant Eagle V. The Consumer Health Coalition and Healthy Together Mascot Enroll-o-bot will be on site to help families enroll in quality, affordable health insurance. Children’s activities include arts & crafts, a face painter and stories–books provided by Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and DVDs donated by PNC Grow Up Great.

The theme of Free Store Penn Hills is to Love Your Neighbor.

The theme of Free Store Penn Hills is to Love Your Neighbor.

Starting November 19, 2016, Free Store Penn Hills will be open to shoppers and donors Mondays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Shoppers from across Allegheny County and elsewhere are welcome. On Saturdays, the store will host the Confident Kids Craft Club and interactive and educational workshops for families, such as financial literacy programs and breastfeeding information sessions. Interested facilitators can contact Heather Hopson at dearmomdiary@gmail.com.

15046338_10155458571507564_1742560032_n

Look at all those blessings.

 

We all have items in our homes that are just taking up space. You know those boxes in the basement that you have been meaning to drop off at the thrift store? Donations accepted include books, book bags, clothing, diapers, home décor, luggage/purses, school supplies, school uniforms, toiletries, toys and games. Due to safety concerns, Free Store Penn Hills is unable to accept cribs, car seats, furniture or other items subject to a recall. Personal items, including bedding, pajamas, toiletries and undergarments, must be in new packaging. You can also purchase something from the Amazon Wish List by clicking here.

Have a blessed day!

–  Carol

 

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Giveaway: Children’s Theater Series #ad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although I received some form of compensation and this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post is brought to you by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. 
Pittsburgh was rated as Best Places to Travel in 2016 by Travel + Leisure. The Steel City is transforming itself into the Arts City, with all the wonderful musuems, galleries and theaters. We are very lucky to have access to all of this. Children’s Theater Series is one of the those great opportunities to expose your little one to theather without overwhelming them as these shows are geared to the younger audience. Steel City Mom is working with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust again this year to giveaway tickets, keep reading for more information.
 

dogs

Dog Loves Books


Dog loves everything about books. After opening his own bookstore, Dog decides that the best way to sell books is to act out all kinds of fun stories for his customers–everything from dancing dinosaurs to funny fairytales! This delightful new musical, based on the New York Times best seller by Louise Yates, celebrates the power of the imagination and the satisfaction that comes from sharing books with others.

Age Recommendation: 3 – 10 years old
All ages allowed. Children under two are free but require a lap pass ticket for entry.

Animals make reading fun! Thanks to Animal Friends and their PALS (Pet Assisted Literacy Services for their support of the November 13 performance of Dog Loves Books.

 

pete the cat

Pete the Cat

Pete the Cat never loses his cool. Jimmy Biddle never strays from his routine. That is, until the groovy blue cat moves in with The Biddles. Can cat and boy ever be friends? When Jimmy draws a blank in art class, Pete proves to be the perfect pal to help Jimmy find his inspiration. Based on the popular series by Kimberly and James Dean, join Jimmy and Pete on a new musical adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus.

Age Recommendation: 3 – 9 years old
All ages allowed. Children under 2 are free but require a lap pass ticket for entry.

 

L1K8740

Galumpha

We galumph when we hop instead of walk, when we take the scenic route instead of the efficient one, when we are interested in means rather than in ends. We galumph when we create obstacles only to enjoy overcoming them. Combining stunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy and inventive choreography, Galumpha brings to life a world of imagination, beauty, muscle and merriment. Three performers create a sensory feast of images ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Age Recommendation: All Ages
All ages are allowed. Children under 2 are free but require a lap pass ticket for entry.

 

Carousel_Circo-Comedia

Circo Comedia

Unpredictable thrills, side-splitting comedy and daredevil stunts are the signature style of Circo Comedia starring the fantastic duo Jean Saucier & Patrick Cote from Montreal as they perform their distinctive style of humor, acrobatic tricks, daring feats, magic and eccentricity. Following in the tradition of the Quebec Circus, Jean Saucier, master equilibrist, juggler, trick cyclist, acrobat and magician performs his feats from dizzying heights while Patrick Cote, clown, expert roller skater and drummer, innocently tries his best to be the (imperfect) assistant. Delirously funny. Filled with unforgettable moments.

Age Recommendation: Best for All Ages
All ages are allowed. Children under two are free but require a lap pass to enter.

 

Elephant-and-Piggie-002-Photo-by-Teresa-Wood

Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In a Play!

Elephant Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense in Elephant & Piggie’s WE ARE IN A PLAY! This vaudevillian romp of a musical is based on Mo Willems’s beloved, award-winning, best-selling children’s books. Together, these best friends face fundamental questions like: What do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And how can two friends play with one toy? Backed by the nutty backup singers The Squirrelles, the duo even gets the audience involved in the action. You’ll be doing the “Flippy Floppy Floory” dance all night long!

2016-2017 Children’s Theater Series locations

Performances take place in six locations surrounding the Pittsburgh area. The suburban locations are high schools and middle schools in the North, South, East, West and Butler areas. All City productions take place at the Byham Theater in the downtown Cultural District. Locations and times are subject to change.

  CITY
Sundays
2 pm
EAST
Wednesdays
7 pm
NORTH
Thursdays
5:30 &
7:30 pm
WEST
Fridays
7 pm
SOUTH
Saturdays
11 am &
2 pm

BUTLER
Tuesday
7 pm*
Sundays 2pm

Dog Loves Books

Nov. 13
Byham Theater
Nov. 16
Penn Hills
High School
Nov. 17
Marshall
Middle School
Nov. 18
Cornell
High School
Nov. 19
Mt. Lebanon
High School

Nov. 20
Seneca Valley Intermediate High School

 

Matinee at Byham Theater I Monday, November 14 at 10:15 am

Pete the Cat Jan. 8
Byham Theater
Jan. 11
Penn Hills
High School
Jan. 12
Marshall
Middle School
Jan. 13
Cornell
High School
Jan. 14
Mt. Lebanon
High School

Jan. 15
Seneca Valley Intermediate High School

 

Matinee at Byham Theater I Monday, January 9 at 10:15 am

Galumpha

Feb. 19
Byham Theater
Feb. 15
Penn Hills
High School
Feb. 16
Marshall
Middle School
Feb. 17
Avonworth
High School
Feb. 18
Mt. Lebanon
High School

Feb. 14
Seneca Valley Senior  High School

Circo Comedia Mar. 5
Byham Theater

Mar. 8
Penn Hills
High School

Mar. 9
Marshall
Middle School
Mar. 10
Avonworth
High School
Mar. 11
Mellon Middle
School

Mar. 12
Seneca Valley
Senior High
School

Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play!

May 18-21 I All Performances in the Cultural District
part of the EQT Children’s Theater Festival

Individual tickets ($12 at the door; $10.50 in advance) can be ordered online at www.TrustArts.org/kids, by calling 12-456-6666, or in person at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue. Group tickets can be ordered by calling 412-471-6930.  Subscriptions and Flex Ticket Packages to the Pittsburgh Children’s Theater series are available by calling 412-456-1390.

Steel City Mom is proud to announce I have 4 tickets to giveaway to one lucky winner. These tickets may be used for any of the amazing shows.

This giveaway will only run from midnight 11/4/16 – midnight 11/11/16. Click below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!!

– Carol

 

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FINDING NEVERLAND in Pittsburgh #ad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although I received some form of compensation and this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post is brought to you by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Life has been so busy as we prepare for baby boy #2 to arrive, I almost forgot that opening night for Finding Neverland is tonight at 7:30pm! How exciting is it to have a Broadway show come to the steel city.

Laura Michelle Kelly (center) of the Original Broadway Cast.  Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Laura Michelle Kelly (center) of the Original Broadway Cast. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday evening at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. On Wednesday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m. PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh patrons are invited to join us for a free pre-show talk, Know The Show Before You Go, held at the Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  For more information visit:www.TrustArts.org/KnowTheShow.

Sawyer Nunes and Aidan Gemme of the Original Broadway Cast. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Tickets ($26-$80) to FINDING NEVERLAND at the Benedum Center are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources: www.TrustArts.org, by calling 412-456-4800 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. For information about the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh subscription series, visit TrustArts.org or call 412-456-1390.  Tickets for Groups of 10+ are available online at TrustArts.org or call 412-471-6930.

For more tour and casting information: www.FindingNeverlandTheMusical.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FindingNeverlandTheMusical

Twitter: @NeverlandBway Instagram: @FNLmusical

. Laura Michelle Kelly and Aidan Gemme of the Original Broadway Cast. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Laura Michelle Kelly and Aidan Gemme of the Original Broadway Cast. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Press Release: 

Based on the Academy Award-winning Miramax motion picture by David Magee, and the playThe Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, FINDING NEVERLAND follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up – one of the most beloved stories of all time. Directed by Tony®-winner Diane Paulus(Pippin, Hair) with book by Olivier Award® -nominee James Graham, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow (Take That) and Grammy Award®- winner Eliot Kennedy, and choreography by Emmy Award®-winner Mia Michaels (“So You Think You Can Dance,” Cirque du Soleil’s Delirium), this new musical, packed with mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs and plenty of laughs, is a timeless story about the power of imagination… and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up.

The production features scenic design by Tony Award®-winner Scott Pask (PippinBook of Mormon), lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Kenneth Posner (The Coast of UtopiaPippin), costume design by Suttirat Larlarb (Of Mice and Men), sound design by Tony Award®-nominee Jonathan Deans (PippinLa Cage aux Folles), hair and make-up design by Richard Mawbey, projection design by Jon Driscoll and casting by Stewart/WhitleyFINDING NEVERLAND is Produced by Weinstein Live Entertainment and NETworks Presentations. 

Aidan Gemma and Laura Michelle Kelly of the Original Broadway Cast.  Photo by Carol Rosegg

Aidan Gemma and Laura Michelle Kelly of the Original Broadway Cast. Photo by Carol Rosegg

In Pittsburgh, FINDING NEVERLAND premieres at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, October 18-23, 2016, as part of the 2016-2017 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Broadway Across America. The ensemble includes Cameron Bond, Sarah Charles, Adrianne Chu, Calvin Cooper, Dwelvan David, Josh Drake, Victoria Huston-Elem, Crystal Kellogg, Melissa Hunter McCann, Connor McRory, Thomas Miller, Courtney Ortiz, Noah Plomgren, Matthew Quinn, Corey Rives, Dee Tomasetta, Lael Van Keuren, and Matt Wolpe.

Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Better hurry tickets are going fast so don’t procrastinate. Hope to see you there! <3

– Carol

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Smoking… It’s not a disease. It’s a crutch

With the latest tobacco tax, the brand of cigarettes I prefer went up to twenty cents shy of a ten spot. Enraged by this gouging, I chose to go back to Roll Your Own cigarettes, or RYO’s for short. Now before I go any further, I must add my consumption rate averages around one to two packs per day, and I’ve been smoking for twenty years.
From the very first smoke I rolled, I started not feeling well. I would get waves of nausea, lasting upwards of an hour or more. I would also fend off random bouts of dizziness, and a general feeling of blah.

I smoke for the enjoyment, flavor, and it’s calming, soothing effect. Now I have only nausea, dizziness, extra tightness in my chest, and a general dread of smoking. I even went so far as theorizing, my beloved is poisoning me. Thoughts raced through my mind, bordering on insanity, and conspiracies. I knew she wanted me to quit, but would she actually go so far as to slip me Chantix or something in my sleep? Was I becoming diabetic? Do I have cancer? I’m going to die. I don’t want to die. Yes, these were the thoughts bouncing around inside my head. And this is the reason I not only decided to take the initiative to change my life, but to also write it out as a diary so all of you can understand what addiction feels like. It’s not a disease. It’s a crutch.

Day 0: With these bouts of feeling like crap going from near the time I wake up to going to sleep, I spend most of the day in a constant state of having to have one but afraid to because I’m tired of feeling like crap. Early afternoon, I make as though I am going to get some food and pick up a box of patches.

At 19:30, I break down and light one up while leaning against my truck. I spend several minutes fighting back the mouth watering, rigid back ralph feeling, and then flick my fag after just two drags.

Fast forward to midnight, September 22nd. I light my last one, and remind myself why I am about to do this. After only a few puffs, I snuff out my snipe, and slap a patch on my arm, then off to bed. The dreams I have are more nightmares than anything, and extremely trippy.

Day 1: I wake up soaked in sweat, feeling hungover, and gulping for air. A little too cliché I know, however this is the case. With the patch on my arm, I spend the day in a constant cold sweat. My heart pounding in my chest, sounding like a drum in my head. I deal with the constant desire for fresh air, and feeling like I’m going to explode if I sit still, even though I can’t breathe. I think several times about 911ing myself, just to get some oxygen. No, I’m not being dramatic. I’m being honest. I end up laying my head down and closing my eyes, listening to my heart pound. I check my heart rate. Resting was 93bpm. By the end of the day, I can barely stand. I’m exhausted coming home from work. The patch fell off sometime late evening. I’m not sure when, but after I get home, I find myself pacing back and forth, staring at my last pack on the bar. Not even realizing what I’m doing, I have a lighter in one hand, and a smoke in the other, still pacing. I slap my arm repeatedly where I think the patch is, until the skin stings. This is when I look down and notice no patch. So I open another and put it on. Oh. My. God. I’m a crackhead!

The head rush is intense. It’s minutes later when I look down at Chewie barking his mad ass off, and my eyes fight to look straight. I’m drunk off that patch and have to sit down. I put the cig back in the pack, empty my pockets and crawl into bed, as light as a feather.

Day 2: I slap a fresh patch on, and start my day, feeling better on almost every level. As best as I can describe it, it feels like I just got up after having the flu for several weeks. That burning sensation with each breath in my chest is a constant. Kind of feels like I have two lungs full of razor blades. My throat is sore but serviceable, and my glands are swollen. But! The jitters are almost completely gone. The driving force behind my every movement for years has become almost manageable. Yes, it is still there but I actually want to sit still and look around. And… I don’t feel like crap, for the first time in over a month. No nausea. No dizziness. No lack of O2. No manic jitters. The cough is still here, with a slight pressure in my chest, and an occasional moment of breathlessness, but nothing like before. It just feels like I’m getting over a cold.

Fast forward to bed time, I swap out patches for a fresh one. The burning sensation is something I’ve begin to look forward to. I slap the patch a few times and it’ s a step shy of an orgasm. Just before bed, my heart rate is 80 bpm. I’m figuring it’s going to take at least three weeks for my heart to slow down.

Day 3: I’m finding it difficult to explain but it now feels weird breathing through my nose. The air feels super cold, like I’m breathing frigid air. I feel the air through my entire sinuses, like this is something new to me. Around noon today I stop over my uncles house to work on his van. While I’m under it, Chewie, our lovable mutt gets loose and bolts. I react and sprint after him. I caught the dog… running… let me rephrase this. I chased down a hyper full sized dog… on foot… and didn’t die. Chewie had no idea what to do at this point, sits down, and just stares at me. I’m barely winded. Hmmmm, perhaps there is something to this whole not smoking and breathing thing.  About Midday, I just about have a panic attack. No way to calm down, I begin planning out nicotine alternatives, such as snuff. While I wait for Jessie in the car at the grocery store, I give up and walk inside. By the time, I make it to the door, I change my mind and head over to the pharmacy. A last ditch effort is to find a stronger patch. Double up, or give up. I can’t keep up. The heart pounding stress has become too much. The pharmacist at Giant Eagle on Rt. 8 is The Man. I love this dude. He got me a heavier patch, and I feel like I’m drunk. My heart immediately chills out, and every muscle in my body feels as though I’ve been turned into a boneless pile of goo. Cigarettes what?
Right at bedtime my heartrate is at 84bpm

Day 4: I have a few things to mention concerning near asthmatic symptoms. Twice I notice while running around the house, doing chores, I find myself with a severe tightness in my chest. My heart pumps harder and harder until the cacophony of drums resounds inside my head. I slap my arm where the patch is, for one to scratch the skin because these patches itch terrible, and two to restick it to my arm.  Note: Who was the crackhead that thought a non-breathable plastic patch would stick to human skin while working.

I have to be now proactive in maintaining these patches stay in solid constant contact with my skin. I found myself twice today, once with a friend where I’m reaching for theirs, and second at a gas station where I’m staring at the cigarette rows behind the counter. Only after the lady asks which ones I want do I snap out of it, and pay for my drink then leave. This happens every time the patch loses its magic and starts to fall off.

Fourteen patches is two weeks worth, my ass! I go through two or three a day. And I have to stop waiting until the drums start pounding to put a new one on. When the patch kicks in, I don’t care if someone’s blowing smoke in my face or not. In fact, when the patch is doing its thing, I prefer it. I just want to sniff it a little.

I’ve noticed a few weird cravings that have started. Anything salty and sweet, and I’m on it like a fat kid on cake.
Lightening bolts in each and every joint in my body have me tossing and turning until well past 4am. I quick down several mouthfuls of vodka, and go lay back down. Odd, it doesn’t burn my chest, going down.

Day 5: Last night was super rough. Fell asleep after 4am. Everything under the moon annoyed me. I had lightening bolts in every joint in my body so I couldn’t lay still. Only way to get rid of them is to move. I’ve been up for near an hour and haven’t wanted to attack anyone. My body feels a lot calmer now. I noticed just a bit ago, my patch came off during the night, and immediately I feel a slight tension in my chest. The occasional cough still exists. I come in to work, and start joking around with our mechanic, and swapping stories. I bust out laughing so hard, a red flag goes off in my head. (I should be gasping for air right now. I need to settle down) I decide to push the envelope and push on. I want to see when I will start hacking and doubling over. Nothing happens beyond a slight tightness in my chest. My nerves go on instant edge. I ignore them and continue the conversation. Now typing this out, I feel the tightness again, and shortness of breath. Mental… much?

My sense of smell is getting stronger. I can smell the smoke coming from the people behind the bar, across from work. At a rough distance of one hundred yards. Yes, it’s upwind of me. Oddly enough, my belly has begun to growl. I finished a full lunch a few hours ago, and just the smell of it is making me hungry.
I jus’ wanna sniffz it a li’l. Mental note: Buy tobacco in the future and burn as an aphrodisiac incense. I feel like Homer Simpson staring at a box of doughnuts.

Fast forward to the end of the night. With a few good big boy sized stiff drinks warming my belly, I started to get that tightness, so I checked my patch and noticed it amongst the missing. Slap a fresh one on and pour me another.
The biggest question I find myself constantly asking myself is… what do I do with myself and my time now?
Coming into day 6 now and I feel I’m getting close. Maybe 4 days or so away from going down to the middle patches. The tightness of my chest, and manic heart pounding comes in greater and greater intervals. Lightening bolts again. I’m up pacing until 5am.

Day 6: I wake up with no patch, so I don’t know when it came off. I decide then and there to try an experiment. To see how far I can go without one. I make it to mid-day before the tightness in my chest becomes nearly unbearable at such an extent, I gasp for air. But! That’s lightyears longer than I expected. The panic is gone now. I put on a smaller patch in an effort to begin weening myself down. It takes about ten minutes for my chest to relax, and nerves to settle.

Essentially, it’s been a week without a smoke now, and yeah the weird is still hitting me, but at a much lower level.
I’ve always had trippy dreams, and yes, these are magnified a bit but have become enjoyable. My hope is to settle my blood pressure, and heart down, while dropping fat. I’ve been a big boy since I was seven years old, and had my accident. Perhaps thirty three years of being a wild eyed tobacco using, alcohol drinking hot head is enough? I dunno. I have a head full of questions and not many answers. Maybe it’s time I relearn how to walk again, but this time without a crutch?

– Tim

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Fun Slides Carpet Skate Park Special Offer #AD

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although I received some form of compensation and this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post is brought to you by the Fun Slides Carpet Skate Park.

Heads up Pittsburghers!  A new and exciting attraction has just landed in our great city. If you have a child aged 2 and up, you gotta check this place out. I haven’t been yet but this place will defiantly be a highlight for our family.

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LIMITED TIME – EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS OFFER FOR MY READERS!! Just mention BLOG16 and my blog upon booking or arrival!!
$4 off per skater up to 5 skaters & free spectator passes for non skating adults.
$25 off party and
10% off a STEM field trip (up to $100).

Not valid with other coupons or offers.
Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark & Party Center www.funslidespark.com is a family owned and operated entertainment facility known for our unique brand of blacklight sliding family fun, excellence in providing awesome birthday party experiences for our customers ages four through teen and skate staff that love to teach people how to carpet skate and do cool tricks.

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What is Carpet Skating you may ask? From the makers of EZ Moves Furniture Slides, this unique and cool type of fun is so easy to learn. Skate instructors strap plastic skates on the bottom of your athletic shoes, give a demonstration and then teach you to slide in minutes. Kids and parents alike love to carpet skate because as our motto says…”You Were Born to Slide!”

Now you can have even more fun at Fun Slides with our Xtra Activities. Plus when you add one or more of these attractions to your skate time we add an XTRA HOUR of skating automatically (time permitting).

Xtra Activities include:

Super Ninja Challenge- How fast can you go through this super cool obstacle course of speed and agility? Remember to #Tweetyourtime (for skaters 185lbs or less)

Dodgeball- Kids get your team together and have a blast or parents take on some kids and show them who rules. (for skaters and non skating parents)

Bounce House Area- Two giant inflatables, a glowing bounce house and slide make up our new Bounce ‘N Slide area. Combine it with our Butt Slide area for toddlers or special kids to sit and slide for an awesome time of indoor fun!

Purchase a 2 hour skating session for $11.99 plus $2.49 for skate rental. Add an Xtra Activity ticket ($2.99 each or 4/$2.49 each) and you get an Xtra hour of skating! (time permitting).

Hours vary during the year so check the calendar on the website for details. Open most days when school is closed.

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Coming soon…Special Kids Nights, Birthday Parties and Field Trips
Fun Slides owners and staff are in the process of completing training from Autism Village, an organization that helps businesses become Autism Friendly. It is our goal to support families with children with Autism by becoming aware of their needs and making accommodations to our business to meet those needs. When a family with special needs children is looking for a good place to go which is safe and makes them and their children feel comfortable, they will know they can choose Fun Slides Park which is staffed by understanding and helpful people.

Special Savings for Steel City Mom readers: LIMITED TIME – EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS OFFER FOR MY READERS!! Just mention BLOG16 and my blog (Steel City Mom) upon booking or arrival!!

$4 off per skater up to 5 skaters & free spectator passes for non skating adults.
$25 off party and
10% off a STEM field trip (up to $100).

 

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Press Release:

(Pittsburgh, PA~ July 26,2016) – Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark and Party Center is excited to introduce a new STEM fieldtrip program that will be implemented at their park this fall. Kids now have the opportunity to study class material such as Newton’s Laws of Motion while learning and applying it to the activity of carpet skating. Elementary schools from all over the Pittsburgh area are now invited to schedule their STEM fieldtrip for the 2016-2017 school year- a fieldtrip teachers and their students won’t want to miss.

STEM is a nationally recognized curriculum focus based on the idea of educating students in the four disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Various STEM programs have been created world-wide as a learning aid to engage students and to help them apply the material they learn in the classroom to everyday activities. The U.S. Department of Education states, “The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex… it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math”. Educators may be able to apply for one of the many field trip grants that are available from numerous organizations.

“We have teamed up with an educator who has created and mastered an awesome and fun STEM program for kids” says Candy Holsing VP of Operations, “we are excited to tell the story of inventing FunSlides – our own ‘science project’ and to put together the ultimate STEM lesson plan”. Students will have an interactive lesson with STEM teacher, “Professor Slyde” while learning how each educational discipline is crucial to the operation of their business. “President Obama has deemed STEM programs a national priority and getting children interested at an early age is key” says Holsing, “and our program for elementary students is interactive, intriguing and fun!”

Simtec, Co. the inventor and manufacturer of Fun Slides Carpet Skates, has operated its own successful family fun centers for over five years. With carpeted ramps, rails & blacklight atmosphere, Fun Slides Park quickly became the area’s popular birthday party and family fun spot. Other activities include blacklight dodgeball, Super Ninja Challenge- an obstacle course of speed and agility using Fun Slides and a glowing bounce house area. For more information visit www.funslidespark.com or call 412-364-9400.

Can’t wait to go! Check back for my review coming soon.

 

– Carol

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KINKY BOOTS 2016 #ad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although I received some form of compensation and this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post is brought to you by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

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KINKY BOOTS is Broadway’s huge-hearted, high-heeled hit! With songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, KINKY BOOTS takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. And guess what? We have it in town for 6 days!!!

Opening night is tonight. You know I wouldn’t miss it, hope to see you there! Complete show listings below.

Tue, Sep 20, 2016
7:30 PM

Wed, Sep 21, 2016
7:30 PM

Thu, Sep 22, 2016
7:30 PM

Fri, Sep 23, 2016
8:00 PM

Sat, Sep 24, 2016
2:00 PM
8:00 PM

Sun, Sep 25, 2016
1:00 PM
6:30 PM

For ticket information click here: https://trustarts.org/production/49406/list_performances

Press Release:

Pittsburgh, PA— Back by popular demand, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces that KINKY BOOTS, the smash-hit musical that brings together four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Book) and Grammy® Award-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper (Tony Award-winner for Best Score for Kinky Boots), opens at the Benedum Center on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. The show will run through Sunday, September 25, 2016. KINKY BOOTS is part of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, a presentation of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.

In Pittsburgh, KINKY BOOTS performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday evening at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Single tickets (starting at $31) are on sale now and available for purchase by calling (412) 456-4800, visiting the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue) or online at www.TrustArts.org.

For more information about the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh subscription series, please call (412) 456-1390 or email: subscriptions@TrustArts.org. Groups of 10 or more may call (412) 471-6930 or email: groupsales@TrustArts.org or www.TrustArts.org/groupsales.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, KINKY BOOTS has won every major Best Musical Award and is represented around the world with the Tony Award-winning Broadway company now in its fourth year, a North American First National Tour that launched in September 2014, a London production that opened in September 2015 (where it won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Musical) and a Japanese production that opened in July 2016. A Melbourne production will open in October 2016. Previous productions include extended runs in Toronto and Korea, where a return engagement is planned for 2016. The Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of KINKY BOOTS is available on Sony Masterworks Broadway.

KINKY BOOTS took home six 2013 Tony Awards, the most of any show in the season, including Best Musical, Best Score (Cyndi Lauper), Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell), Best Orchestrations (Stephen Oremus) and Best Sound Design (John Shivers). The show also received the Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Broadway.com Awards for Best Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Album, along with many other accolades.

Inspired by true events, KINKY BOOTS takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

The creative team for KINKY BOOTS includes Tony® Award nominee David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony® Award-winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design), Tony Award-winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), Tony® Award-winner John Shivers (Sound Design), Josh Marquette (Hair Design), Randy Houston Mercer (Make-up Design), Telsey + Company, Justin Huff, CSA (Casting), DB Bonds (Associate Director) and Rusty Mowery (Associate Choreographer). KINKY BOOTS features Musical Direction by Ryan Fielding Garrett, and Musical Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations by Tony and Grammy Award-winner Stephen Oremus.

KINKY BOOTS is produced on Broadway and on tour by Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network, CJ E&M, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams, Yasuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergere, Allan S. Gordon & Adam S. Gordon, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Lucy and Phil Suarez, Bryan Bantry, Ron Fierstein and Dorsey Regal, Jim Kierstead/Gregory Rae, BB Group/Christina Papagjika, Michael DeSantis/Patrick Baugh, Brian Smith/Tom and Connie Walsh, Warren Trepp and Jujamcyn Theaters.

– Carol

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If you are pregnant you need Spand-Ice!™ #ad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although I received some form of compensation and this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post is brought to you by Spand-Ice.

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Being pregnant can be tough, especially if you have other children to look after. Trying to keep up with your adorable kid while dealing with back pain and the heaviness of the baby pushing down on your body can make your mood turn from “happy mommy” to “grumpy mommy”. Well, I have a solution that will help with all your back and leg pain.

Introducing The Maternity Relief Wrap by Spand-Ice. The ice / heat therapy is now made exclusively for expecting moms in a comfortable, safe, and easy to use design. Relieve your back aches and pains and support your growing baby bump throughout your pregnancy.

SPAND-ICE™ PATENT-PENDING TECHNOLOGY:

– Two therapy pockets target low and mid back pain and discomfort

– Long-lasting reusable packs provide cold or hot therapy (Up to 3 hours)

– Adjustable compression straps secure the therapy in place for maximum coverage, comfort and belly support

– Unique design allows for fast and easy wear and removal, and sits comfortable over or under clothing

– Specially insulated fabrics protect your body from therapy temperature extremes

– Lightweight and contoured design for a custom personal fit even as your belly continues to grow

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This state of the art product is must a have for all women, especially if you are pregnant, and guess what it is Made in America. What more can you ask for? The Maternity Relief Wrap has been a Godsend. I can’t tell you how many times I used it. Since the weather has been hot as hell, the relief wrap has allowed me to get things done around the house.

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The 2 provided ice packs helped so much, on not just the back pain but they actually kept me cool. It was like having a personal fan pushing against my back. In fact when I went inside, after completing the yard work and took off the wrap, my body temperature rose by at least 10 degrees. Oh yeah, and the belly support was amazing. There was no way I could have leaned over that long if I wasn’t wearing the wrap. The comfortable support almost made me forget I was pregnant, well at least until I tried to get up. Mommy can’t move like she used to lol.

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Another feature is there is an extender that you can use when your belly gets bigger that you can get. This will come in handy soon enough. The only issue that I had was, it didn’t push against the middle of my back when I stood up straight. But that was because I didn’t have the straps tight enough. Problem solved!

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So my friends, if you are a women and pregnant you must get this product ASAP! It will be the best money you ever spent.

To order your Maternity Wrap click here http://spand-ice.com/product/the-maternity-relief-wrap/

Happy Wearing!

– Carol

 

 

 

 

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RIP Grandma….. I LOVE YOU!

Ever have a family member who embodies everything you are, and strives to be? My Grandma Violet, or as I called her, Grandma, was that person for me.

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Me admiring Grandma 1985

With the Great Depression around the corner, Grandma Vi (she always signed cards like that) was born on Cinco de Mayo, 1926. The eldest of five siblings, she acted as caregiver to all. It was these difficult times which molded her into the woman she was to become. She gave up on finishing high school as taking care of her family was more important. She rolled up her sleeves and got to work. Even though, her first job was her last “job,” she worked hard to pitch in where she could.

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Wedding Day 7/18/1947

In 1947, Grandma Vi married her husband, who gave her nine children. NINE CHILDREN! I don’t know how she did it. I’m exhausted dealing with one kid, and one on the way. To say she was Superwoman, is an understatement. While Grandpa worked at the penitentiary as a guard, she stayed home and just ran the house. “JUST” ran the house, with nine kids. She cooked all meals, cleaned, did laundry (It’s not like today people. She worked to get all those clothes clean), got the kids to school and home again, washed walls, changed diapers, referee, coach, packed lunches, and so much more. I doubt she even sat down. She once told me, “That’s just what women did, and I did my best. Women didn’t work. They stayed home where they belonged.”

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Atlantic City 1980s

As the years passed, they bounced around a bit. (I remember Grandma once telling me her fondest memories were when they lived in the projects. People really stuck up for each other then. Everyone pitched in and helped each other, and Grandma Vi didn’t always know the names of people sitting at her dinner table when she served them, nor did she care. If you were hungry, and she knew about it, you were in trouble until you sat down and ate at her dinner table. Regardless of color or creed, all were welcome. (I now sit here looking at pictures of her children. All with blonde hair, and blue eyes, healthy, well fed, and strong. They’re all easy to pick out. Pictures of her from that time are rare as either she was a ninja, or she was taking all the pictures.)

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Christmas 1986

Now jump ahead to 1975. When Grandpa passed away, Grandma Vi found herself a widow at the tender age of 49, with 4 grown children, and 5 still to care for. The youngest only just turned 7 years old. Did she panic and fall apart? I’m sure she had herself one heck of a cry in the bathroom, but according to family members, she stood tall, dug deep, and handled business. She bought a house and settled in. This house became my childhood home which I will always cherish. I would like to stop and apologize to its current owners. If you see me slow down and stare at your home, please understand I’m not a creepy serial killer. I’m simply reminiscing about the good ole days.

Grandma and Me 1979

Grandma and Me 1979

From the age of 2, when I moved in, I watched Grandma and took notes. I was forever in awe of her strength, her fortitude, and her courage. She made the craziest holiday get together seem like a walk in the park. I can’t even compare myself with 1 kid. Whether she was cooking a big meal for the family, (remember people. 9 kids!) or throwing a Christmas party, I’ve never seen her sweat. Her house was Grand Central Station. She was the “Don” of the family, for sure. It didn’t matter if you were family or friend, you ate, danced, laughed, cried, or just relaxed. It was better than being at Disneyland.

Me, Grandma, Sister Jennifer 2011

In a bittersweet moment in 1992, she was reluctant to sell her house, and move into a small 2 bedroom apartment. The money just wasn’t there anymore for her to keep the house, as it seemed to grow larger and larger, as children grew up and moved out. This is maybe 1 of 5 occasions when I saw her cry. But even then, only a few tears at best, and she didn’t sulk for long. Grandma Vi just kept on steppin.’Even though her new apartment was small, she was still the family “Don,” and had the only place to be for family get-togethers. We would pack ourselves in to the point where we spilled out into the hallway. Guys, I’m not joking, we took over the hallway outside her apartment too. I’m sure her neighbors hated us, but oh well. That little apartment was the place to be every holiday. Funny how that works, right? During quieter moments, she would say how she missed the house. So many memories, and emotions were had there. A lifetime of highs and lows.

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85th Birthday 2011

19 years later, in the early winter of 2011, we began to notice little things that shot giant red flags into the air. Little things like forgetting to go shopping, asking the same question time and time again, and why she was standing in the middle of a room.  I took her out to get some tests and the results were expected but still shook me to my core. My invincible superwoman, Grandma Vi had Alzheimer’s! I’ll never forget hearing the doctors voice tell me the diagnosis. The disease is in my opinion the cruelest of all. It slowly strips everything away that makes you… You. Memories, names, dates, situational awareness all steal away little by little, leaving nothing more than a shell of who you once were. My Grandma Vi spent her whole life making memories with the family and loved ones, to only have them ripped from her. Very scary, and cruel.

My wedding day 5/14/2005

My wedding day 5/14/2005

Not long after, she moved into her oldest daughters house Connie (who is awesome for doing that by the way) where she remained until a few months ago when her condition required her professional medical care. Yet even then, my aunt was by her bed every day, fighting the good fight. My mother and I helped where we could, but it was my aunt who did the bulk of the heavy lifting. She gave her all the care she needed and more, making her remaining years as comfortable as possible. There are no words I can say to thank her enough.

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My High School Graduation 1998

Grandma Vi died on the 9th of August, in a retirement home, and now it’s time to lay her to rest. I’ve been preparing myself for this day but dammit, it still sucks! Jerry keeps looking at me like the pregnant crazy lady is at it again as I keep mumbling to myself that she’s better off now, and no longer suffering. It’s the “should’ve, would’ve could’ve’s” that are driving me crazy right now. Why didn’t I do more when I had the chance? That’s just something I will have to live with.

7/20/16

Last Photo 7/20/16

Violet M. Riddell leaves behind 1 sister, 9 children, and 8 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. All loved her in their own way. Her legacy of strength, get up and go attitude, and perseverance will continue on in the Riddell bloodline. I pray everyday to be at least half the woman she was.

1975

1975

May God grant you peace, Grandma. Please watch over us as we lay you to rest, and continue your legacy.

Violet M. Riddell
May 5th, 1926 – August 9th, 2016

– Carol