31 Days – Crochet Business Blogging Challenge

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I recently agreed to participate in a blogging challenge.
I thought it would be an excellent learning opportunity and a way to help myself become more comfortable with the blogging world – rules, guidelines, does and don’ts – that kind of thing.
I have to admit I am very nervous to begin this endeavor as my life as a stay-at-home Mom to two ‘toddlers’ is already very busy – so please keep your fingers crossed for me!
I decided to tell you a little bit about myself – in case you are interested – if you aren’t interested you can mark this post as ‘read’ and move forward 🙂
Before I begin – I want you to know the plan for my blog (going forward) is to be 99.9% crochet related – this post is really just to give you a wee bit of background on me and where I am ‘coming from’….
So let’s begin….
My name is Rhondda. I live in Ontario, Canada. I’m a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother.  I’m the oldest of 5-children, all girls.  I have a BA in Psychology, with an unrecognized minor in English.  I’ve been working since I was 15-years old.  I was an Instructor/Guard at my local swimming pool for 4-years before going to University.  While in University I worked at MarineLand for one summer and in retail for the remaining years.  I moved back home after I graduated, for 1-year, worked in the Fast Food Industry, fell in love with the brother to one of my highschool friends …we bought a house together, got married and so on, and so forth….After University I worked in retail again, this time as a Customer Service Manager, before switching to the Insurance Industry – where I remained (happily!) until my son Andrew was born in 2011.  I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2001.  Darla was born in 2009.  I am currently a stay-at-home Mommy to my two amazing “littles” and the ‘plan’ is for me to return to work full-time after both our “littles” are in school full-time.  Phew! Now that you know all that fascinating information 🙂

Things I like

I love to read – some of my favorite authors are:  Kelley Armstrong, George R.R. Michael, Christine Feehan, E.L. James, Rachel Vincent…I love the book “The Good House” by Tananarive Due…with my children so busy and active, reading has become more difficult, so I now use my ipod and audiobooks to get my ‘fix’.

Some series shows I love to watch are: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, True Blood, Ripper Street…

My favorite movie of all time is Aliens and my favorite movie ‘series’ is Lord of the Rings.

You may have noticed a bit of a trend there…I love series…above stand-alone books/movies 🙂

Favorite foods: 

Peanut butter, cheese and chocolate….not necessarily together!

Favorite hobbies (not yarn related):

Photography, Scrapbooking, Cardmaking, Gardening, Baking…

I love genealogy and I have been actively researching my family tree for more than 15-years.  I love to research…that is probably why I enjoy searching for patterns for you all, so much!

Here is some more stuff that is a little bit more personal…
My Wedding 2003 – Dad, Caitlin, Becca, Me, Kelley, Alanna
(all the lovely ladies are my sisters).
My Dad fought and lost his battle with metastasizing kidney cancer – in 2007.  It was a horrendous battle and the memory of his strength will stay with me forever.

Some photos of my Dad and Me:

Me and Dad, October 2003.

My family is, and always will be, my first priority.

Nana and Darla (2009)
Gramps and Darla (2009)
I was extremely close to my maternal Grandparents – so close that we invited them to live with us when they could no longer maintain their own home.  We purchased a home, with an above-ground in-law suite and moved into the ‘country’ – from the city.  They were able to live with us for almost 5-years – and I was able to be there for them as age and health took their toll.
Gramps and Nana, 65 years married. (2008)
My Gramps was moved to a nursing home in November 2011 – when his advancing Alzheimer’s disease made it impossible for him to be cared for in our home.  He is still being cared for at the Nursing Home – visiting him has become more and more difficult, as he no longer remembers who we are.  He is no longer ‘present’ in his own body…if that makes sense.
Gramps and my Mom, 2012
My Nana continued on with us until her death in March 2012.  Right up until the very end she was self-sufficient and lived on her own, in the in-law suite of our home.  She cooked and cleaned and stayed mentally active.  She visited with friends and family, went to bingo, shopped, visited Gramps in the nursing home and played with my children.  She loved life and refused to waste a single moment.  She didn’t give up, evening knowing that it was only a matter of time.

Her death had been expected – she had an inoperable heart condition – the Doctors had told us this just before we were forced to put Gramps into the nursing home.  The strain on her heart, to continue caring for him (even with the help of CCAC and the other agencies) was too much. The Doctors insisted, for her health and because of how far advanced the Alzheimer’s was, that Gramps be moved to the Nursing Home.

One tip you may need if your loved ones have a “do not resuscitate order”  (DNR) – make sure it is very easily accessible – like in your purse, or on the fridge.  Nana’s was in my filing cabinet.
Nana didn’t feel well on March 11 and called me to assist her.  As we were getting ready to go to the hospital, she fainted into my arms.  I held her until the ambulance arrived but she never regained consciousness after that ‘faint’.  I watched her slowly stop breathing, become still and completely lifeless, for the colour to drain from her face…knowing that her wish was for me not to ‘assist’ with CPR, or mouth-to-mouth…and each second seemed like a minute waiting for that ambulance to arrive.

Once the ambulance arrived the Attendant informed me they needed to have the DNR “in-hand” (which totally makes sense in hindsight) in order not to begin resuscitation.

I had to run upstairs to grab it and by the time I had returned, they had already begun resuscitation (the machine had read a very low level of ‘life’ so had commenced resuscitation).  She was placed on life-support and taken to the hospital.

The Doctors examined her and said she had extensive brain damage and was not responsive to any stimuli – the Doctors felt there was no hope for physical or mental recovery.  We had to have her removed from Life Support (as was her wish).  It was a terrible process – I only pray that she was unaware and not in any pain.

Even when you know it is only a matter of time, you are never really prepared for death to claim someone you love.  I miss her desperately every day – she was my friend and companion – and my Nana.

Here is a photo of her with my son from June 2011 –
Nana and Drew (2011)
After Nana’s death I really began my crochet journey – I needed something to occupy my mind and to distract me from the grief.  Crochet successfully distracted me – and after a time, it became something I loved.
I guess that pretty much brings us up to date 🙂
I have had some struggles in my life and I am sure there will be more around the next corner – but each challenge has made me a stronger person – I try not to concentrate on the darkness – but on the light that has shone through.
Now, let’s move forward and concentrate on the crochet 🙂
Happy Crocheting!
Oombawka Design

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