Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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Where Have I Been?

It’s time to play catch-up.  The past few months have been a wild ride.

As you know my mom is sick. The good news is she is not progressing downward. She is maintaining. That is a relief on all of us. Mom still has some bad days and is still getting weak. She has fallen a few times over the past months, but thank goodness there were no major injuries or hospital visits.

In the upcoming weeks she will have a procedure done to try and help with the fluid building up in her stomach area. We are hoping this will make Mom more comfortable and feel much better.

Dad is doing well. We had a scare with him about a month ago. He passed out and went to the hospital. Come to find out his pacemaker/defibrillator was not working right. He had a heart Cath done to make sure all was well. Thank the good Lord above there was no issues. The doctors corrected the pacemaker/defibrillator and he is good as new, well as new as can be at his age.  J

Now onto “the kid”. After he lost his job he fell into a deep depression with anxiety attacks. After months of him trying to cope by himself, he finally reached out for some help.

He is now seeing a therapist and through those visits we have discovered that he is just not a ‘quirky’ kid. He is on the Autism spectrum, very high functioning. Considering ‘the kid’ has gone to college (out of state), can hold a job and take care of himself.

All these years I thought I was raising a ‘quirky’ kid. Come to find out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This tore me apart. Finding out my parenting skills have been all wrong for him for the past 25 years.  Realizing I was blind to the things right in front of me.

The best part is I can change my parenting skills and he is finding the help he needs. The therapy is helping with is depression and anxiety. In August he is going for testing to verify where he falls in the Autism spectrum.

I love that he has not changed through this journey of discovery about himself. He has a few fears about what all of this means. The biggest fear is he is afraid others will treat him differently or less than. He is still the same quirky and smart kid we all love and adore. We now have an explanation why we raise our eyebrows at times with him.

About the job: I made it through my 90 day probation period. I am finally doing my job. The awkwardness is still there but I am either getting used to it or conforming.

The job is boring but at least I don’t take it home with me. I am still learning and the learning process stresses me out because I feel like I should have this job down by now.

The company is working with me with all the family issues going on. I am very grateful for that.

My supervisor is warming up to me. Killing her with kindness seems to be working.

The past 2 months I have been working 10 hour shifts and overtime on Saturdays. The stress of my finances is getting to me. Working all these hours gives me less time with my parents and ‘the kid’. I don’t like that at all.

At least I have a job to go to and complain about.

Even with all of this going on, it still doesn’t explain why I haven’t been blogging. You would think that I would/should have been writing about all of these issues and doing my own writing therapy. Sharing with others to help them and to get this stuff out of my own head and get some support.

Well, here’s the truth. I was not in a position to write. My brain was/is on overload. Writing was the furthest thing in my mind. Coping with my mom’s illness. Just wrapping my head around that issue was hard enough for me. Let alone the new job. Then discovering ‘the kid’ was falling apart. It was all too much for this little brain to handle.

I was not coping well. I was crying all the time, not sleeping, feeling run down and I felt yucky all the time. I finally broke down and went to the doctor. I was hoping that he would give me a ‘happy’ pill and I would be on my way.

Instead, I got a full work up. I had blood work done and few other tests. When all the test results came back, I found out that I have depression and anxiety (already knew that). I guess ‘the kid’ and I are too much alike. I have high cholesterol, I have developed type 2 diabetes and I have neuropathy in my feet.

WOW, I went to feeling crappy at 40 something to feeling real crappy and 70 in just a matter of minutes.

I did get a ‘happy’ pill, along with few more medications. I am not on insulin injections, thank the Lord for that.

Making the adjustments to taking medications every day and testing my blood sugar was a big deal. I had major side effects to a couple of the medicines. For a few weeks I was completely out of sorts. The side effects have worn off and the ‘happy’ pill is working and so is the diabetic medication. The high cholesterol med is still something the doctor and I are working on. That type of pill is not good for me….the side effects are too bad.

Because of all the stress I lost almost 30 pound before I even went to the doctor. I have changed the way I eat and I have lost a total of 47 pounds in the past 4 months.

My goal is to be off the diabetic medication in a year and be 100 pounds lighter.  Wish me luck.

So there you have it in a nut shell.  A little glimpse into my world the past few months and now you know why it’s taken me so long to get back to writing.

I am hoping that I will add a post a week till things get even better.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I have missed writing and I have missed all of you.

Please keep checking in. Leave me a note of encouragement or ask me a question. I could really use the support.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad – The Little Things

the little things

You don’t realize how important the little things mean till you watch someone else find joy, peace or pleasure from those little things.

Watching my mom during her hospital stay for the last three weeks was tough. The first few days were the hardest for all of us.

The little things, like watching Mom brush her teeth for the first time after 2 days in bed. She gave me a nice smile and an AHHH!!! I know that had too feel good even though she was still confused and agitated at the time.

My sister doing mom’s hair. That gave her a few minutes of contentment. Mom is always concerned about her hair. My sister did a great job helping mom feel better after her hair was combed, teased and fixed the way she likes it.

Getting a bath. Even if it’s not a real bath. Just having someone clean you up and give you a new gown to sleep in. The nurse was so loving during that time and I could see mom relax a little.

Resting on clean sheets. We all know how nice it is to crawl into a bed with clean sheets. Mom would have a few minutes of peace whenever the nurses or techs changed her bed.

Giving Dad a break from the hospital and seeing his smile when he walked back in the room.

I never knew how much pleasure could come from someone eating ice cream or whipped cream. My mom has a sweet tooth. She eat sweets over any food you put in front of her.

Through her confused state Mom could not order food for herself. We always ordered something sweet, fruits, Jell-O with whipped cream and/or ice cream. She loved the fruits but when we ordered Jell-O with the whipped cream, she would reach for that first, scoop off a spoonful of whipped cream and you could watch her face relax and she would be happy. She did the same thing with the ice cream.

Finally after days of restlessness watching my mom find a comfortable spot on the bed, cover her head with a fuzzy blanket and fall asleep. There is nothing like finding that right position and sleeping soundly. Having a peaceful sleep does the body good.

Hearing your mom snore. That brought all of us peace and joy. Knowing mom was getting the rest she needed was fantastic. We would stop worrying for a while and she was resting peacefully.

Having someone hold your hand and pray for you. Anytime there was a prayer we all held hands and I could see my mom relax a little. If you were holding her hand she would start out with a good grip but by the end her grip had loosened and her body would relax during the prayer.

Lip balm brought relief to mom. If you have ever been in the hospital, you know lip balm is a must. For whatever reason your lips get chapped. We did have to go through several lip balms to find the right one for her. Once we did, she was happy and she felt better not having chapped lips.

Having a pillow and fuzzy blanket from home. We all sleep better in our own bed. When you can’t sleep at home you bring your pillow and blanket with you. It’s like watching a sleeping baby. It brought a smile to my face knowing my mom was comfortable.

The little things are so important, they may not seem like much at the time but if you are sick those little things add up.

***Mom is finally home from the hospital and physical therapy. She is doing better. There’s nothing like the comfort of your own bed and relaxing in your favorite chair. Being surrounded by your loved ones and setting in the house that you worked so hard to make a home.

I am so thankful this little ordeal is over and Mom is back home. Thank you all so much for your love, support and understanding.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad – Blessings

blessingsAs Mom’s hospital stay began to get better I was able to look at the week and reflect on the blessings we had.

I am thankful she fell. If she would not have fallen we would not have known that her blood pressure would bottom out when she stood. This could have caused more damage than the fall or worse it could have killed her. So, yes, I am thankful she fell so the doctors could find the problem and fix it.

We were blessed with some good doctors in the ER. Dr. Padgett was the one that decided she needed to stay overnight. If it weren’t for him, Mom would have come home and maybe fallen again and we would have never known about the blood pressure issue or her being dehydrated.

We were blessed with some amazing nurses and technicians. These ladies were God sent. They were so attentive to mom and my family.

The first tech we had, Trish went to the same church that long time family friends attend. She prayed for my mom right there in the room. Trish prayed several times with our family as she attended to Mom.

The night nurse, Melissa was fantastic. She was the nurse on duty when I spent the night with mom. We ran her to death. Melissa was in Mom’s room every 30 minutes making sure everything was ok, trying to settle mom down or taking mom to the bathroom. Melissa did this with a smile and had the patience like none other.

Hanna, Sue, Alice, Amber, Angela, Jenny and Taylor were all amazing. Taking care of Mom and even us. They all went above the call of duty. My family was blessed to have such a great team of care givers. Not one nurse or tech was unpleasant. They all walked into the room with a smile on their face and treated Mom like a queen.

I was blessed to meet the ‘environmentalist’, Martina. She came in to clean Mom’s room. She and I had a nice chat. I discovered that she missed Church Sunday morning because she switched shifts to help a co-worker. I said I missed Church too. She asked why mom was there. I shared our story. She cried with me and asked if she could pray for us. I gladly said ‘yes’. Martina mentioned that she would add Mom to her church prayer list.

We are blessed to have such a great family. So many calling to check on Mom. A lot of emails have been sent with their concerns and prayers. Many of them coming to the hospital to visit mom and to check on us.

My folks are blessed with great friends. Many calling almost every day to check on both of them.

Blessed that my folks church family is so supportive and for the continuous prayers.

We are blessed with the jobs my siblings and I have, that allowed us to stay with Mom anytime we needed to.

There have been so many people involved over the past week that we were blessed with. I know I am not remembering all of them. If I left anyone out, just know you have been a blessing to me and my family.

I am blessed to have readers like you that support me and show your love and understanding with likes and comments.

I am humbled by the out-pouring love, concern and prayers for my family.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad –Scary Week

hospitalLife sure does throw you some curve balls sometimes. Last Tuesday I got a phone call at 4:30 am. It was my mom telling me she fell. Hearing this woke me up very quickly. I asked if she was ok, and she begins to tell me what happened.

She woke up to go to the bathroom, once she was there mom got dizzy and fell. She hit the counter top of the sink and landed in the bathtub. She hit her back, belly and her head. I could hear that she was scared. I got dressed and drove straight over. When I arrived Mom was setting in the living room, she was white as a sheet and scared.

I called the squad. They arrived within 7 minutes. That’s pretty quick since mom and dad live about 6 miles away from the nearest town and the fire department is all volunteers. The EMT’s scooped her up and we were on our way to the hospital.

Dad and I were so concerned for her.  When a person is 70 something, has cirrhosis of the liver and is a heart patient, a fall is scary. She could have a concussion, broken bones, internal bleeding or any number of things.

The doctor and nurses checked her out thoroughly and ran a few test. Thank the good Lord she did not have any head injuries or broken bones. The ER doctor decided to keep her overnight for observation since she fell and hit her head. They wanted to make sure nothing would develop.

My sister spent the night with mom on Tuesday. Since dad had been up with mom since she fell early that morning. Overnight mom became very confused, anxious, agitated and restless. She was not resting and not acting like mom.

Boy did my sister have her hands full. Mom was so restless she did not sleep at all. Mom was more confused and very upset. My poor sister didn’t get any rest, mom was running her legs off.

In hindsight, I am so thankful the hospital doctor did not release her that day. By Wednesday things turned.

The doctors ran more test and those came back negative. We could not figure out what happed to make her so sick. It’s scary to watch your loved one suffer. You feel so helpless.

Thursday the hospital ran a couple more tests and found out that mom was dehydrated and her blood pressure would bottom out every time she stood up. This was the cause for the fall. The doctors began to make some changes to her medicines and began to hydrate mom. We were hoping to see a change. That did not come on Thursday. Mom hadn’t slept in almost 48 hours and she was still very confused and just not a happy camper.

Thursday Dad spent the night with mom. Another sleepless night for both of them. Mom was still confused and not happy. My Dad worried all night and did everything he could to help her but mom wouldn’t have any of it. It didn’t matter what any of us did she was not going to rest.

Friday was more of the same. But she was beginning to sleep a little. I do mean a little. She slept for a couple of hours but during her sleep she was very fidgety. She would pick at her blanket, move her pillows, roll from side to side and mumble.

Throughout the week mom would share her dislike by giving us the evil eye as Dad calls it. If looks could kill, my sister would be dead at this time. Mom would curl up her lip at a nurse she didn’t care for or roll her eyes as a doctor would leave the room. Mom may have been very confused but she sure could communicate what or who she didn’t like.

I spent the night Friday with Mom. I got to see firsthand what my Dad and sister were contending with. I found out quickly I was one of those people she didn’t like. I got the evil eye and mom informed a nurse that I was the meanest kid she had.

I know my Mom loves me and this did not offend me. She didn’t know what she was saying, she was just communicating her dislike about the situation and I happened to be there.

Friday night was another sleepless night for both of us. Mom didn’t rest at all. She was constantly fidgeting with things, throwing her blankets and pillows to the floor, playing with the bed rails, mumbling about things and people that weren’t there.

What a scary thing to watch. Seeing your mom is such a state and you are completely helpless. That messes with your head.

Saturday was more of the same but Mom did sleep a little bit. Still restless but sleeping.

My sister spent the night Saturday. Things were a little better. Mom slept for an hour and a half during the night. Mom was still running our legs off and sharing her dislikes.

Sunday was different story. By 8:30 am Mom was sleeping soundly, no fidgeting and no mumbling, she was snoring. As my sister said, I never thought the sound of snoring would be so peaceful.

It was a good day. Mom slept most of the day and when she was awake, she was no longer confused or agitated. She finally ate more than 4 bites for dinner. It was so nice to see my mom and not the ‘sick’ mom.

Mom slept all night Sunday and almost completely back to her normal self.

Mom will go to physical therapy to help her gain strength and learn how to use some helpful tools to get mobility so she can come home. She is on her way to recovering from this scary ordeal.

I have to thank all the nurses, doctors and technicians for all their hard work in getting my mom feeling better.

Thank you to those who are praying for mom and our family.

Thank you to my readers for your understanding and patience as I juggle the new job, my family and trying to write blogs.


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Music Monday: LaPorsha Renea

AMerican idolI have been an American Idol fan since season 3. I haven’t always enjoyed the show or some of the judges but I do enjoy listening to all the singers.

I have had my favorites over the years but none that has struck me from the beginning. That would be LaPorsha Renea. Her back story is sad but she has the spirit of a survivor. I love that. To top it off she is an amazing singer.

I am a fan and thought I would share.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpt_kGf5LWE  “Diamonds”

She received one of the longest standing ovations and cheers for the song Diamonds. Just amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zQHXa7Pt-M “Summertime”

La’Porsha Renae & Fantasia what a great duet. Summertime is the song Fantasia sang in her season to win American Idol.

I hope you have a great week. Keep your radio on and keep singing that tune in your head.


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Sorry for the Interruption

I have missed blogging this week. Trying to get things in order and organized. Lots of list making this week. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy making lists?

Tons of little things to take care and you never know how much time and effort those little things can take when you add them all up. Before I know it those little things will be the stuff that weighs me down later. No time like the present to get motivated and check a multiple items off the list.

Sorry I haven’t posted anything new this week. I’ll be back….This coming Monday with some music and a couple new posts for the week.

Thanks for being patient. You guys are the best.

Side note: Being an adult is not what it’s cracked up to be.

I hope you are having a beautiful week. Have a great weekend and see you on Monday.


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40 Things Money Can’t Buy

It’s been another busy week. As I am finally settling down to relax, my mind shifts to my surroundings and I think of all the money I have spent on ‘stuff’. Stuff that really has no other purpose than to make my home feel aesthetically pleasing.

I look around and realize that most of the “stuff” I have I don’t need. I can live without the mirror in the hall, I don’t have to have a picture/photo on every wall. I really don’t need all these trinkets/knickknacks on every shelf. I don’t even need the shelf.

No Money

This made me think of things that I don’t spend money on and how much joy I have by NOT spending money on “stuff”.

  1. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.
  2. Listening to the leaves blow on the trees
  3. Seeing “The Kid” smile
  4. Spending time with my mom and dad
  5. Listening to dad tell a funny story
  6. Listening to mom talk about her siblings
  7. Laughing with my sister
  8. Listening to music with my brother
  9. Seeing a beautiful sunset
  10. Having a great conversation with one of my cousins
  11. Learning something new
  12. Spending time in prayer
  13. Watching my great nephew play with his Papaw
  14. Watching the ducks/geese play at our local park
  15. Sharing a meal with a loved one
  16. Accomplishing a task  
  17. Helping my neighbor with a chore
  18. Opening up the windows and doors on a beautiful spring day
  19. The smell of a freshly cut lawn
  20. Watching the success of my niece and nephew
  21. Listening to my Mom’s siblings sing from old recordings
  22. Hearing a great sermon preached
  23. Taking a long hot shower
  24. Going through old photos
  25. Singing, even though I sound terrible
  26. Dancing in the kitchen with “the Kid”
  27. Making my mom laugh
  28. A good night’s rest
  29. A good day’s work
  30. People watching
  31. Making my “To-do” lists for the week
  32. Quiet time to reflect
  33. Taking a drive…..Yes, I know I spent money on the gas.
  34. Taking photos on my drive
  35. Taking a walk
  36. Writing a blog
  37. Seeing my family having fun and making memories
  38. Getting organized
  39. Listening to music
  40. Being surrounded by God’s creations.

As I write this, my house is open, the sun is shining through. I hear cyclist on the bike path, children playing on my street. A soft cool breeze is blowing through the house. I smell someone grilling out for the first time this year. I also smell one of my neighbors baking a cake or cookies. I hear “The Kid” laughing in his room while he plays an on-line game.

I have heard a great sermon and listened to some great music. I have made mom laugh today. I have achieved a few tasks and now off to fix food for my loved ones.

Could my day be any better?  I don’t think so. And I didn’t spend a penny. I have had a full enriched, joyful day. The best part, it’s not over yet.

How do you find your joy without spending any money?


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My Journey: Mom and Dad – Music At Home

To set the stage: As most of you know my mom, her brothers and sisters sang in church or whenever there was 2 or more of them everywhere they went. I grew up listening to my Aunts and Uncles singing, in their homes to us kids (cousins) and in church. We were surrounded by music.  I loved it.

When my Aunts and Uncles were sick in the hospital, nursing home or at home a few of them would gather and sing to the ailing one. This brought joy to all that was in attendance. It brought peace and joy to the one in bed. It brought comfort to the ones singing and joy to the ones listening. It was a beautiful, inspirational, moving and heartfelt moment.

A couple of weeks ago Dad had an appointment and needed someone to set with Mom. None of us kids could do it since it was during the day and we were all working. Dad called a family friend from their church, Ms. Rhonda. She graciously accepted the invitation to be with Mom a few hours.

Mom and Ms. Rhonda shared a lovely visit but Ms. Rhonda went above the call of duty. From her visit she walked away with a request my mom had and took on that challenge. My mom told Ms. Rhonda that see wanted someone to come sing to her. Within hours of their visit Ms. Rhonda was on the phone contacting the Dye family. You remember the Dye’s? I featured Daniel a couple of Mondays ago.

Shortly after the call, I have Amy reaching out to me asking what Mom’s favorite hymns are. Amy and I chatted a few minutes and I met up with her a couple of days later to share my mom’s family music with her and provide her a list of songs.

Within 24 hours of our meeting, 6 Dye family members were at Mom and Dad’s house singing for Mom. That’s right, I said 24 hours. The Dye’s prepared 7 songs and learned a new song within those 24 hours. This family is amazing to say the least.

The Dye’s visited for a while, shared some stories and listened to a few stories as well. We all laughed and even cried. They were there for about an hour but what an uplifting, spiritual moving visit it was.

The Dye family singing for Mom

The Dye family singing for Mom

I am forever grateful for Ms. Rhonda making that phone call and for the Dye family excepting the challenge. You all are a gift from God and my little family is forever blessed to know you.

Thank you Ms. Rhonda for getting the ball rolling and for taking the time to spend with my Mom. You are a sweetheart and a true servant of God. If it weren’t for you our family would not have had such a special visit and a wonderful spiritual uplifting.

Thank you Dye family. Thank you for bringing joy and music into my mom’s home. You gave her something our family could not. That was a family singing to someone that is sick. Since my mom no longer has her sisters to sing to her and there are only 2 brothers left, it’s hard to have them sing to her. You warmed her heart with song. Thank you for that. Thank you for the kind words and loving my family.

I want to thank the Dye family for allowing me to record their visit and allowing me to share this story and music on my blog.

Here are few songs The Dye’s sang for mom. I hope you enjoy.

https://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/id-rather-have-jesushttps://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/blessed-assurance-this-is-my-storyhttps://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/the-sun-will-rise

 


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Music Monday: Joey and Rory

Photo By: countrymusictattletale.com

Photo By: countrymusictattletale.com

I came across this song a few weeks ago and it reminded me of how I grew up. Some may think this is an awful song but for me this is my foundation. My folks were raised this way. They raised all 3 of us kids this way and I raised my son in this manner too.

We were raised to do the right thing, meaning the Christian way. We were raised on the word of God, to show respect to our elders, to be honest, be forgiving, to love with an open heart, to help others in any way we could and to love the Lord.

I am grateful for being raised this way. I am a better person because my parents didn’t spoil us.

Joey & Rory: A Bible and A Belt: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yESgfK5Lqk

Sorry if this offends anyone. Just sharing my views.

I hope you have a great Monday and a beautiful week. Be grateful in what you have and go hug your parents.

 


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My Apologies

To my readers:

I am so sorry that I did not post anything Saturday. It has been a very busy week and I was unable to find the time to write a blog.

While you’re here, check out the tabs above. Take a look at some photos I have taken or go through the archives and read an old blog or get caught up and leave me a comment if you would like.

I do hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and a very loving Valentine’s Day.

I will have a Music Monday post that I hope you will like.

Look for a blog this Wednesday. I have another story to share about Mom and some blessings.

I am working hard to keep up my blog. Thank you for your understanding and a huge thank you for reading my blog.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad-Getting Organized

ducks in a rowWhen a family is going through the tragedy of preparing for the final stages before the passing of a loved one, you tend to be overwhelmed and consumed with more important things. Being organized is the last thing you are thinking about.

The past few weeks have been chaotic to say the least for me. Just for my own sanity, I need to get organized. I NEED to have that sense of being in control of something, well anything. Getting my ducks in a row helps me do that.

Here are some things I am currently working on.

This past week I have gathered photos of mom, her family, Dad, us kids and the grandbabies to make a photo slideshow at Mom’s viewing (when the time comes). I have scanned all photos into my computer and have edited each one to make them better.

This was a hard task to do. But also very enjoyable. I got the chance to talk to mom about each photo, listen to stories I’ve never heard before. The best part was, it was like I was seeing these photos for the first time. Looking at them with new eyes. I never realized how pretty my mom is. She and my dad made the cutest couple. The biggest surprise was, I didn’t realize how much my sister looks like mom.

Now the only thing left for the slideshow is picking out a few songs to play while the video is scrolling through. Another tough challenge but I am up for that one. It should be fun listening to some beautiful piano music. Mom just loves a great pianist.

The other thing I am working on is a guest book (so to speak) for Mom/Dad’s house. Since all of kids work, we miss out on visitors to their house during the day. It’s nice for us to know they are not alone.

I was also thinking this is a great way to remember to thank the ones that have stopped by, brought food, helped out with chores or just volunteered to set with Mom while Dad ran some errands.

Not only that, if I don’t send Thank You cards out or miss someone, Mom would be disappointed with me. Mom is very proper when it comes to these sort of things. She always sent out hand written thank you notes within a week. I have some big shoes to fill.

I figured a guest book for their house would be a great easy way for me to stay up on all the visitors. This way the guests can sign in, let us know if they brought food, visited or helped in anyway. And I can be sure to thank them properly.

This weekend I will be bringing a notebook and pen to keep at their house so we can take notes on any arrangements that need to be made, write down songs she would like to have played, jot down anything we deem important or would like to remember and leave notes for the siblings.

I know all of this seems trivial in the grand scheme of things. I will be honest, I thought it was kind of odd too. But I’m here to tell you, it helps. I am not searching my home or purse for that one little piece of paper that had a note on it that mom wanted me to remember.

I will not be rushing around the last minute trying to go through photos (that will tear me apart) to make a slideshow. I know for a fact how hard it is to look through photos just after a death. I have helped a couple of cousins with this. 

I won’t have to worry if I missed someone for Thank You cards. I will have my list. And you all know how much I love lists.

This is just the beginning stages. There will be more challenges ahead. But for this week. I feel like I am on my game. I’m probably not but I do love the sense of control I have with these steps I have taken this week.

I hope in the weeks/months to come I can stay on top of all the balls in the air. Only time will tell. For now this is good thing.

If you have any helpful tips I would love to hear them. I can use any help I can get.


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Music Monday: Daniel Dye and The Miller Road Band

Photo by: Jennifer Crews Photography

Photo by: Jennifer Crews Photography

My sister and I went to school with the Dye family. A great family full of musical talent. Daniel Dye is one of our local artist. I wanted to share his music with you all. He’s a great songwriter.

Recently a city in my home state was named the saddest city in Ohio. This is also the same city that was named one of the top 10 ghettos in Ohio. To be honest. It’s not that bad but this city does have its moments.  Click he link to read article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/welcome-to-springfield-ohio-the-unhappiest-city-in-the-us/article4612263/

I remember growing up and going to this city to shop for clothes and shoes or to go to a restaurant. So many of those places are closed and the buildings remain empty. So I guess you could say it’s sad to have watched a thriving city at one time diminish too quickly.

Daniel wrote this song about the saddest city in Ohio. Take a listen. I think you will find Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band a nice addition to your collection. I know I have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuR4v8NoTpw


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Taking a Breath

time outWith so much going on lately I decided to just set and take a breath. I needed to reflect on….. Well, everything.

The past few months have been a wild ride. I started a new job, getting adjusted to job, there was a death in the family, Mom and all her health struggles, “The Kid” and all his indecisiveness, unfinished projects and this roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s been overwhelming to say the least.

I realize that what is on my plate most people can slide on by without missing a beat. I do not have that type of personality. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders by choice. I don’t know why but I do. So here I am…Needing that minute to catch up and catch my breath.

I needed to get some perspective, grieve, get caught up and just breathe for a few minutes.

The past few days have been good. I have been able to get a few projects done, started a new project. I gave myself the opportunity to grieve for my uncle and really think about what he had done for me and the family. I had a great conversation with “The Kid” that was long overdue. I am getting more comfortable with the job.

I need to practice what I preach more often. I forgot to reflect on everyday and find the joy in each moment. I was being selfish and only thinking about what I was feeling or doing. I was having a pity party for myself. That is no place to be when you have so much going on. You forget about the little things and focus on the weight you are carrying.

That is not good for anyone. We all need to reflect and take a moment to breathe through the junk so we can find some peace in the crazy around us. 

Once I began to settle into my reflections I realized that I had missed a few blessings this week.

Mom, my sister and I had a great visit the other day. All 3 of us laughed till we cried. I hadn’t seen mom do that in years.  It was a sweet moment to watch and be a part of. It warmed my heart listening to my mom, my sister and I joke around, laugh and have a fun time. I’m going to miss that.

I had a few cousins and some family friends check in on me, just to see how I was doing. What a blessing to have people care for you that they take the time to show you how much.

My new friend at work has been very supportive. She listens to me while I share stories about my family and laughs with me at our goofiness. She is a sweet heart. What a blessing to have a new friend.

What a blessing to have one of my fellow bloggers reach out with such kind, loving words of encouragement. Thank you nopassingfancy.  Check out her blog at…….. https://nopassingfancy.wordpress.com/. 

I am hoping and praying that this week coming up I will be able to stop, take a breath and reflect on the good moments and not hold onto the heaviness of my emotions.

I encourage you to join me on taking a breath to enjoy the things around you.


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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Sharing The News

newsThis past week was a little better for me. The week before had me on a nasty emotional roller coaster ride. I would get up in the morning, get ready for work and everything was fine. After being at work for an hour or 2, thoughts would overwhelm me and I would be weeping at my desk. The next day seemed to go fine but on my drive home I would be in tears again. It was like this the whole week. I was exhausted.

So many thoughts and emotions go through my head, I can’t help but cry. Which leads me to this blog.

I was asked by mom to inform the family that she was in stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver. I was glad to take that burden off her shoulders. She didn’t need the stress of telling the same diagnosis to 30-40 family members.

Mom also asked me to inform their friends that she and Dad have known for 60 plus years.

For the family I knew it would be too hard even for me to make those phone calls. I decided that I would send one email to everyone.  I know it’s not very personable but I just couldn’t go through those emotions at that time. That was a tough email to write. I am just an amateur blogger. Sometimes words do NOT come easy for me. That email put me to the test.

I was able to conjure up words that made sense and inform almost all the first cousins. (Sad to say that I was only informing cousins because out of the 14 brothers and sister mom has there are only 2 brothers left. Mom informed them of her news). I received many phone calls and emails letting us know that they are thinking and praying for our family.

Within hours of sending the email, I was full of love and support from so many responding. Many telling me that if I needed anything that they would be there for me. That gave me great peace of mind knowing there are so many that are willing to be there for me (mom/dad).  So many shared their love and concerns. So many were heartbroken for Mom and our family.

Shortly after I sent the email, I decided to call Mom and Dad’s friends. These are folks I have known all my life. People that went to school with my parents. A long line of history is there.

Our families would get together and all of us kids would play while the parents would play card games eat, and have a great time. I have so many memories with these families.

My sister and I even had a couple of these ladies helping in our school.  These ladies watched us grow up and helped us become the people we are today. Thank you.

I knew that call was going to difficult. The first call I made was to Mrs. B. I didn’t beat around the bush I just blurted it out……”Mom is in stage 4”. I know I took her by surprise but she was great. Mrs. B helped me. She was saddened by the news but she was very uplifting to me. She took the burden off my shoulders and informed the other friends in the group about mom.

What a blessing. Thank you Mrs. B for lightening my load. Thank you for being so kind and supportive. Thank you for informing others and carrying that load for me.

Once I got off the phone, I was on overload with emotions. The emotions of having to inform so many of such awful news. Worrying how this news would affect them. Saddened by the sorrow so many were feeling that night. Realizing that I had just upset some households, I was beside myself.  My dealing with my own emotions on the severity of this reality.

It’s hard for me to put into words the range of emotions I am going through daily. I am hoping, someday I will be able to vocalize those emotions into written form. But for now, I will stumble through the blogs and my emotions.

Thank you to my readers for your loving and supportive comments, likes and shares. You are fantastic!!!! I know the last few posts have not been the most positive in nature (I’m working on that), Thank you for your understanding.

Just a reminder to myself. I may be a raw emotional wreck, but I have people that love me and want to help. Remember to reflect at the end of the day and look for the little things that made you smile or better yet lightened your load. There are blessings out there, sometimes you have to search for them. Take the time, it will always be worth the look.


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Music Monday: Leon Russell

Photo by:  commons.wikimedia.org

Photo by: commons.wikimedia.org

I love 70’s music. Leon has to be a staple if you listen to 70’s rock. He has performed for and with so many. A wonderful performer, a beautiful songwriter and a magical piano player.

I hope you have a wonderful week. Keep searching for the little things each day that bring you joy.

Leon Russell A Hard Rains Gonna Fall:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvXj_WjTU5Y


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I Just Didn’t Realize

confussedThe other day I asked “The Kid” to look over a blog that I had written about my folks to edit. (He’s my proofreader). He just stood there, silent with a sad look on his face.

I was puzzled by his reaction. I was thinking, well he’s just being a brat and didn’t want to help me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I asked why? His response surprised me. He said “I can’t” Why not? “It makes me sad and heartbroken.” My heart dropped to the floor. I didn’t realize that for him editing the blogs about my folks hurt so much.

He is a great help to me and the folks. He is always there to lend a hand. He has been checking on me to make sure he is there for me. Always asking if I’m ok or asking if I need anything. So, his response surprised me.

He continues to say that he’s not strong like I am. That it’s not easy for him to read in black and white what is happening to his grandparents and reading how this is affecting his mom.

Poor kid. I didn’t even think about how deeply this was impacting him. I knew he was hurting but I didn’t know how much.

He has watched me have sobbing breakdowns, He has watched me stress, listened to my emotional outbursts all the while staying calm, listening, handing me a tissue and hugging me so often that I’m almost bruised. J He’s the strong one. That’s a lot for a young person to carry.

I am not the strong one. I feel emotions deeply. They cut me off at the knees. I cry in the silence of my own home so no one will see my weakness. I put on a brave face to get through the emotional roller coaster I am on. I smile and joke so I won’t feel the sadness or pain. I blog to get those emotions and thoughts out because I can’t handle them bouncing around in my head.

“The Kid” is stronger than I am. He has been dealing with the news of his grandma (Mimi) very well. Or so I thought. On the outside he is helpful, talkative, kind, loving, and supportive but on the inside he is falling apart. I guess neither one of us are that strong but I know that going through this as mom and son we will be right.

They tell you that that the passing of your parents is painful. I had no idea how much my heart would hurt and they aren’t even gone. This journey will be one of the toughest things I will endure.

Some of you that have already been on this ride, and it’s lingering after effects, know the pain I am talking about. It physically hurts and your brain feels like it’s on fire. Accepting those emotions is another small journey in itself.

You think you are mentally prepared for this journey, But you are not. There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the wide range of emotions and thoughts that run through your head. It consumes you in every way.

There is some good news. That is I have a fantastic support system. I have a wonderful family that loves me unconditionally. I have some of the best prayer warriors out there. I have a son that loves me so much he’s afraid to share his emotions with me because he doesn’t want me to worry or add to the stress level. My folks are the best parents any kid could want. And, I still have time to spend with them and love them even harder than I did before.

I am blessed with riches that some people only dream of having. Every night I am amazed that I made it through the day. With the grace of God, a wonderful family and amazing friends I know tomorrow and the next day will be better. And I will continue to strive to do and be better for my son, my folks and loved ones.

I’m sorry Kid, I just didn’t realize how much you were hurting. I promise to do better and to help you through this. I love you!

P.S. Sorry for any errors on this blog or the past few and future blogs. I no longer have an in house editor.


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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Accepting

hugs

 

Onto the next journey which has already been in motion for a while. That’s the journey I am on with my parents.

As we know, when our parents get older the roles can be reversed and we begin to care for them instead of them caring for us.

If you have read my blogs about my folks you know that Dad is a heart patient and Mom has stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver (non-alcoholic) and a heart patient. Both are in their 70’s, their health is declining and things are getting harder for them to do.

It’s sad to watch such strong, independent, self-assured, and capable individuals decline. Even if it’s just a little bit and one thing at a time.

My parents have always done things on their own. They have remodeled their home, built a garage, taken care of their property, repaired things around their home, planted gardens, raised 3 kids, taken care of 3 grandkids, helped others, worked in their church and have always been the ones called upon for assistance. My parents have been there for so many.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Now my parents are the ones needing assistance. Granted they are still very capable of doing so many things, but need some help doing others.

As their child I am heartbroken for them. I know neither one of them want to relinquish their independence or admit that they need help sometimes. It has got to be difficult to ask for help when just a year ago they were capable. What a difference a year makes.

I can only imagine their own struggles they have. They say growing old is not for the weak. I am beginning to understand that statement more and more each day.

This journey I am on with my parents will be tough and heart wrenching. The one thing I am sure of is, I will not regret going on this ride. There have been rides that I have taken in the past and regret but this will not be one of them.

With their permission I will be sharing this journey we are on. Granted most of the posts will be about my journey and sharing a glimpse of theirs. I am not looking for sympathy or kudos. I just thought this would be a good outlet for me and maybe a way to help others that may have to jump on the same type of ride.

 Stage #1 (for me)-Accepting the fact that my parents are not invincible. As children and even adults we want to believe that our parents will be with us forever. The reality is most likely they will not.

Accepting that they need your help. I didn’t want to help because I was holding onto my parents were invincible. If I helped then I had to let go of the dream that they would never perish.

Accepting that my own personal priorities will change. My folks come first and everything else is second.

Accepting that my role as a daughter has changed and will continue to change.

Accepting the new emotional roller coaster ride I am on.

Accepting the reality that they are very sick.

Accepting responsibilities that my folks bestow upon me with grace and love.

Accepting hugs out of the blue.  

Accepting the blessing that will come from this journey.

Yes, I did say, “blessings” I know there will be because I have already had a few.
For right now it’s learning to accept whatever is thrown at us.

I know for me, I will do my hardest to find the blessings even in the emotional craziness that may consume me. I will do my best to accept whatever roadblock, downfall, bad day, funny moments, quite times and quality time I have left with my parents.

Sorry this post is not the most positive, I will work on that. I will do my best to keep you updated once a week on this new journey.

Please feel free to comment or share your journey with me.


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Music Monday: Gordon Mote

Photo by: gaither.com

Photo by: gaither.com

I was planning on doing my family’s favorite music this month. But you know the past week has been a challenge. So here’s one of my Mom’s favorite songs. I hope you enjoy.

Reminder: Look for the little things in your day that bring you joy. Call you mom/Dad and give them big hugs.

Mom’s favorite: Gordon Mote- Mercy Walked In  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShVKTFS4CSs


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Birthday Surprises and Blessings

Birthday

Today is my Birthday. Where did the last 47 years go? I’m getting old and doing my best to get wiser. I wanted to share with you the surprises I have had this past week.

I got a very nice surprise when I walked into the office on Friday. My desk was decorated and I had a card signed by my whole team. One of the girls that I have become friends with brought in the best doughnuts on the planet to share with the team.

What a pleasant surprise! I loved it!  It was very heartwarming to know that I haven’t been at this company very long but yet they showed me they care. Almost brought me to tears.

When I got home I was surprised to find I had a couple Birthday cards in the mail and a package from some cousins. Got to love my family. They are the best!

The “Kid” even fixed me a great dinner. I got to enjoy a pork roast with potatoes and carrots. That was so yummy. I had no idea he even knew how to cook this. Another great surprise!

 The “Kid” even had a card waiting for me with my favorite candy bar. He picked the most perfect card too. It made me cry. I didn’t know he felt that way. Just another wonderful pleasant surprise.

I awoke this morning to my phone blowing up with texts from family and friends. My Facebook page was a surprise too. Never had so many Birthday wishes before. Just another wonderful surprise.

The last surprise I got this week was not a happy surprise. My mom was diagnosed with state 4 Cirrhosis of the liver (non-alcoholic). She was informed “to get her papers in order”.

It’s been a sad week but yet I have had so many blessings this week as well.  Blessed to have a job and a few wonderful friends from that job.

Blessed that I have so many friends and family that love me enough to show me how much they care.

Blessed that “the Kid” has a kind heart.

Blessed I get to be on this journey with my folks.

Blessed with a loving, supportive and caring family.

This Birthday may not have been one of the greatest for me considering the bad news but it will be one that I remember for a very long time. This Birthday brought in some new blessings, new realities and a new journey. I am blessed.

I will keep you up to date on this journey I am on.

Thank you all for reading, taking the time to comment, like and share my blog. Your support is overwhelming.


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My Journey: New Job-17 Blessings

blessings

The job is going good. Still very slow progress in the actual ‘doing’ my job. But it’s getting better.

This may not be my long-term career and I am ok with that. But while I am here I have to say I am blessed. Here are my blessings:

  1. Slow progress is a good thing. Slow and steady wins the race and it gives me time to really learn the job and shine.
  2. No Stress: I walk out the office door and the job stays there. No a lot of people can say that.
  3. It’s paying the bills. May not have any extra but I am blessed to have my needs met.
  4. Not a big commute. I drive less than 30 minutes one way and only on the freeway for 2 miles. Got to love that.
  5. Close to home and family.
  6. No weekends. This is the first job I have had that started out with no weekend work.
  7. The hours are great. Normal working hours during the day.
  8. Medical benefits. They may not be great but they get the job done.
  9. Attire: Dress casual. I couldn’t afford a brand new wardrobe, but was able to afford the clothes I needed.
  10. No contact with the everyday public.  That’s something new for me. Kind of like it.
  11. No more customer service phone calls with crazy people.
  12. Vacation time already started. I didn’t have to wait 6 months to a year to have time off.
  13. No headset glued to my ears for 8 hours a day.
  14. Fast paced but very doable.
  15. Different type of work environment. This gives me the opportunity to handle something new.
  16. Making a few new friends.
  17. Opportunities to learn new things.

 I am very blessed to have this job. It may be awkward at times but the blessings outweigh the awkwardness. Who knows what the future holds for me but I continue to find the blessings in everything in my life.


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Glen Frey

I didn’t post any music on Monday. So here’s a little something to say good bye to a magical singer, songwriter and composer….Glen Frey of the Eagles.

I grew up listening to the Eagles. The harmonies those 5 men put together was/is magical.  You will be greatly missed Glen, but your music will live on forever.

 Seven Bridges Road

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7Li1ez-iQ4


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Sticks and Stones

 

Photo by: rossrightangle.wordpress.com

Photo by: rossrightangle.wordpress.com

 I am a short tempered girl. I want to fly off the handle as soon as my feelings are hurt and I want to speak up and let the other person know what they did. I want an apology, I want acknowledgement that you hurt me. I want you to know that you hurt me.

There’s a couple things wrong with this action.

One, the other person may have no idea what they have said to cause me pain. Do I really need to be defensive and blow my top at them over something they have no clue over?

Two, even if that person meant to hurt my feelings. I don’t have to react in that manner to feed into whatever the other person is looking for.

Getting your feelings hurt is not fun. We’ve all done it to others and have had it done to us. This is just human nature. It will continue.

The one thing I have learned is we are the only ones in control of our reactions. Reactions to getting your feelings hurt can open a big can of ugly worms (did I mention I hate worms?) that you were not ready for. Our reactions can help others see the errors of their ways (or not). Our reactions can be nothing at all.

Why do we feel the urge to react so defensively when our feelings are hurt? When our feelings got hurt as children, we would cry, seek comfort (parents) or punch the other kid and run.

We are no longer children and our reactions are a little different. We may still cry and seek comfort but punching someone will lend us a stay in the pokey. Now as adults we have the opportunity to let the other person know what they did and why it hurt us so deeply in a calm and polite manner. Or we can stay silent.

But is that really the answer…to let that person know what they did to hurt us?

The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” are very true. They are only words falling out of a person’s mouth. In reality they cannot scar us for life. Yes words are powerful and hold so much meaning, but it’s how we react to those words and how much power we allow those words to hold over us.

If we feed into the hurt comment then we are allowing those words to hold power over us and that person wins. Especially if that person meant to say something hurtful.

If we don’t react, that allows us to figure out if this is a can of ugly worms (did I mention I really don’t like worms?) we want to open. Or the chance to let whatever was said and realize they are just words and does it really matter that my feelings were hurt.

We are adults. Feelings are going to be hurt but we do not have to react as children.
We are adults, it’s our job to be forgiving and love others. Even if they do something that may hurt us.

For me, I am not willing to ruin a friendship because my friend hurt my feelings. I will let it slide, forgive them and move on with my day.

I love and care for that person more than any hurtful thing they can say to me. More than likely my feelings won’t change about them because they hurt me. I am willing to look past the ugly and see the big picture of that relationship.

Now don’t get me wrong, there will be times where I (we) choose to open that can of ugly worms (Yuck!!! Worms). We just need to be prepared and willing to accept the consequences that fall afterwards.

Pick your battles carefully. Smile and forgive or just ignore the ugly stuff. There are more beautiful things to look at or be involved with than to stress over hurt feelings.


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Music Monday: Daily and Vincent with Jimmy Fortune

Last Monday I posted one of my brother’s favorite groups. Today I want to share one of my dad’s favorites.

I love this type of music. Reminds me of being a kid and hearing my Aunts and Uncles singing. Reminds me of being in the car and listening to this on the radio.

Enjoy some southern gospel/bluegrass.

Dailey & Vincent with Jimmy Fortune: I Believe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etcT7VRIAWA 


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2015 In Review- One Year Anniversary

WOW!!! It will be one year tomorrow since I started blogging. The love and support I have is amazing. Your encouragement means the world to me. You all ROCK!!!!

I am amazed that I have over 300 followers. I have posted 152 posts including this one. The blog has been viewed almost 5,000 times. I have reached over 50 countries. I am shocked that so many have taken the time to read this simple blog.

I am blessed to have you in my blogging world. You encourage me to do so much more.

I have no idea what the future holds for me and the blog. I can’t wait to see what happens next and where this journey takes me. I also hope you join me on these little adventures.

Thank you so much for all the comments, likes, shares and pins over the past year. I wouldn’t be doing this good without you.

Here are some stats from WordPress for  you to review my/our progress.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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Searching For The Positive

postiveWe are surrounded by terrible stories, events and personal tragedies every day. Stories that make you weep for others. Personal issues that would make others wither.  These things can either soften your heart or harden your heart.

The way I see it, we have become desensitized towards things that we either don’t care or don’t bother to get involved.  We have become so sensitive that everything offends us or we are looking for things to offend us just so we can be heard.

That is no way live. Yes, there are terrible things going one in our world and personal lives, but this does not mean that we have to succumb to the negative things around us. We don’t have to be numb about everything and we don’t have to be so sensitive either. There is a middle ground called positive thinking.

Positive thinking allows us to be in the moment to weep for others but also be blessed knowing that, that ‘story’ could be us.

Now don’t take that the wrong way. I don’t want you to think I don’t care. Because I do. Let me put it this way.

My mom is very sick. It’s hard for me to watch her health decline. It’s an emotional roller coaster with lots of low thoughts. You know what, I would not have it any other way. Because I know it’s my turn to take this journey. I am grateful that I don’t have to be on the path by myself. Grateful that I have family to help me. Grateful for everyday my parents are still here.

Where there is a negative there will ALWAYS be a positive.

I am a realist at heart. It’s easy for me to see the negative first. But, I also search for the positive in any situation. If I can deal with the negative, I know for a fact there will always be positives too.   

We just have to stop and search for the positive. We may not always see the positive at first. That’s why we search. For instance: if you are working on a jig-saw puzzle, sometimes it’s better to turn the picture on the box upside down or the puzzle upside down to get a new perspective. It doesn’t always work but we were able to fit a few more pieces together in the puzzle because of a new perspective.

Searching for the positive takes some energy if you are not used to doing so. But I will tell you, it is well worth the effort.

Practice this the next time you are in the car and find yourself frustrated because the guy in front of you is doing 45 in a 55.  Think of it this way, now you have the time to enjoy that beautiful sunrise, or maybe that is God intervening and saving you from an accident. Either way that is a positive. It will be fine that you are a few minutes late for work.

Things happen and it’s up to us to deal with those things in a positive manner. Which means we have to search the positive first in order for there to be a positive reaction.


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Music Monday: Blackberry Smoke

Photo by: en.metal-tracker.com

Photo by: en.metal-tracker.com

This is one of my brother’s favorite groups. He has seen them a few times in concert and has loved every show. A great band that reminds me of the 70’s. A  southern rock feel. With so much talent. They are fun to listen to.

Have a great week.

Blackberry Smoke: Ain’t Got The Blues

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgpA1UCUQ-w&list=RDcgpA1UCUQ-w


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Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New YearWOW!!! 2015 was a roller coaster ride for me. Lots of highs and lows. As I look back on 2015 I realized that I have grown. I have been challenged spiritually and emotionally. I may not have come out of these things the victor but yet I have managed to grow.

2015 had more lows for me than I have ever faced in the past. A couple of deaths in the family that hit me really hard. There were a few cousins that had some illnesses that were/are very scary. My parent’s health is declining.  The struggles of being a parent of an adult child living at home. Not working for over a year. There were lots of reality checks in 2015 that I wasn’t ready to face. Several bouts of depression. The struggle of finding a job.

2015 also had a few highs. A cousin that had two surgeries back to back and recovered nicely and is cancer free. Another cousin changed his life by trusting God. I started the blog and wrote a book. I found a job. I realized that I am tougher than I thought. I have found out that I have so many praying and supporting me.

As I look back on 2015 I realized that I am blessed to have gone through all those emotional high’s and low’s. I am blessed that I have survived all those things. I am blessed that my parents are still here. I am blessed that my cousins love and support me. I am blessed to have the ‘kid’ home with me. I am blessed that I have found a job. I am blessed to have such wonderful siblings and in-laws. I am blessed to have a fantastic niece and nephew and a great nephew.  I am blessed to have amazing Aunts and Uncles in my life. I am blessed to learn that I am strong and I will survive. I am blessed to have had some great adventures in 2015. I am blessed that I have followers and supporters for the blog.

Overall 2015 wasn’t so bad. It could have been so much worse. And I know some would have given anything to take over my highs and lows.

Just like any other year, we think that year was either the best or worst yet. I am blessed that I do not know what this earthly world has in store for me. I am up for the challenge. I can’t fail with so much support and love surrounding me.

I am looking forward to a new year, new challenges, new adventures, new beginnings and more blessings.

I do not do resolutions. But what I want to strive for in 2016 are things that I know will make me a better person.

  1. Recognize my blessings more quickly.
  2. Forgive others and myself more frequently.
  3. Have a servant’s heart.
  4. Be more patient

There are a few other things that I would like to see happen in 2016 (for me).

  1. More followers/supporters for my blog.
  2. Write another book
  3. Grow in my photography skills
  4. My photos will start to add actual income for my family

I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed and fulfilling 2016. Tell me some of your resolutions or hopes for 2016.


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My Journey: New Job-Figured It Out

puzzle As I mentioned before, this work place is odd and awkward. No one talks to each other, there are no cliques on the team and no one seems to care.

I have been developing a couple of friendships, which has made the work place a little nicer. I have been asking lots of questions, listening and watching closely to everything around me.

I’m beginning to figure out the office politics, and who are the ‘go to’ people.

I have been talking to others outside of work about the awkwardness on my team. I’m trying to get different perspectives on the issue.

When talking this over with a cousin, she mentioned that it could be the supervisor we have. The supervisor may be the one that is causing the tension. I wasn’t sure if that was the case.

I went to work the next day and began to study everyone’s body language and facial expressions when she would communicate with them. I also began to ask specific questions about the supervisor to my team-mates.

WOW!!! That was it. The supervisor is the one that is causing all of this tension and awkwardness on the team.  Now I understand why no one is talking or laughing with each other.

I figured I can work with this. Knowing where all of this yucky stuff is coming from, I know what my role is.

I have taken it upon myself to try and befriend my supervisor. I am going to take the advice of a very wise person, my mom……….I am going to kill the supervisor with KINDENSS. I know this will take time and some energy on my part. But I think it will be worth it in the end. I am hoping the supervisor will lighten up, even if it’s a little bit. That’s got to be better than what we have now.

Even if the supervisor does take a liking to me…well at least my head may be off the chopping block. Can everyone say…..kiss up? Yes, I will do whatever I have to do to make this job better for me.

Which by the way, I think it’s working. This morning while the supervisor as making her rounds, I got a “Good morning, Shelly”, she called me by my name and not just the good morning.  To me, that is progress, I have not heard the supervisor give a personal ‘good morning’ to no one. My plan is working.  I hope.

As for the job itself, things are getting better. I’m still doing busy work but not as much as I was. I can now do a portion of my actual job title.  I still don’t have my log-ins for the computer program to fully do my actual job. There is some progress there too. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Trying to stay positive and work hard at the busy work. I want to leave an impression. Hopefully befriending the supervisor will go a long way or at the very least, make things a little easier.


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Music Monday: Beatles

Beatles

Here’s a fun song to start the week.

Another short work week. I hope you have a fun and safe week. Remember to look for the little things that make you smile.

Beatles: She came through the bathroom window:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJvxXzmgugs  


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Not A Typical Christmas

candy cane

This Christmas was a different one for the ‘Kid’ and I. Since I just started a new job there was no extra money for us to buy for each other. We made the decision not to decorate the house or put up a tree. There wasn’t even a candy cane in the house. There was no traditional Christmas morning breakfast because we both slept in.

This was the first time since the ‘kid’ was born we did not celebrate Christmas in our home. I have to say, this broke my heart. I realize that he is 25 and no longer a child, but I always want to do right by him and that includes having presents under the tree. I want him to have wonderful memories of Christmas and not give him a memory of that ‘one’ Christmas we did nothing.

Not being able to buy for each other this year helped remind us that there are worse things in the world that could happen. It also reminded us to be grateful for what we do have and not focus on what we don’t.

I have a new job.

We were able to be involved in our family gift exchange.

We had a wonderful dinner and in excellent company on Christmas Eve.

We were able to prepare food to take to my folk’s home for our family on Christmas day.

I was able to help my mom out since she wasn’t feeling good.

We realized that the best gifts are not always ones you unwrap. We have the gift that my parents, his grandparents are still with us and we got to share another Christmas with them.

We have the gift of our health and capabilities to go to my cousin’s home and have a delicious dinner and lots of laughter.

We have the gift of hearing, to hear the laughter of my great nephew, the laughter of my brother, sister and extended family, laughter of my parents and kid. Listening to music. Listening to conversations.

We have the gift of sight even though mine needs help with glasses. Seeing all the smiling faces and joy in my loved ones eyes.

We were gifted with friends and family that love us.

We have the gift of our cousins that we love dearly and are grateful for the joy, love and support they show us all the time.

We have the gift of the best Aunts and Uncles a family could have. They love us unconditionally and that is an amazing gift.

We were given the gift to look at things in a new light.

We have the gift of a roof over our heads and food on our table.

We also have the greatest gift of all, a loving, caring and a protecting God. He always meets our needs.

When I look at this year and how it was a different Christmas for the “kid’ and I. I have to say, it was a great Christmas. We were surrounded by people we love and that love us.  You really can’t ask for more than that.

Here’s my suggestion to you: If you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas, or your plans didn’t turn out the way you had hoped, don’t be a Scrooge about it, be grateful for what you already have.

Remember everything you have whether it be material possessions or not, is a gift. Be grateful because not everyone has what you have. There will always be someone that would love to be in your position (good or bad).

If you have a grateful heart you will ALWAYS be blessed.


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Christmas Music: Part Two

Christmas music

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

I hope you are having the best Christmas ever my friends.

Enjoy some music and don’t forget the reason for the season.

Mark Lowry: Mary Did You Know:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXmfkFoX-PE

Michael Buble: Cold December Night:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGpvLR-XKcA&list=PLdakRkpsmtJE_kafGRK4QwjAF2u2TaHvN&index=12

Anthony Burger:  Hallelujah Chorus:        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUBpff5zrV4


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Christmas Music

xmas music

Sorry I don’t have a regular post for you. It’s been a hectic week. I will share next week about the new job.

Christmas is just 2 days away. I hope you have all of your shopping done. Happy to say mine is done.

 I do enjoy Christmas music. Here are a few that I can’t go without during the Christmas season.

 Michael Buble & Shania Twain:  I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upx15Gpv5NM&list=PLdakRkpsmtJE_kafGRK4QwjAF2u2TaHvN&index=4

Charlie Brown Christmas Dance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1LUXQWzCno

Anthony Burger: Sleigh Ride:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEoFh6Otfk4&index=1&list=PLGGZQ7jbz1a076BQeEAdCaCgMOmRH4DQB


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Music Monday: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

TSO

Good Morning, Just a few days till Christmas. This is a group that The Kid” and I listen to while we are opening presents. It’s not your typical Christmas music but fun to listen to if you like lots of electric guitars and drums.

I hope you have a great day.

TSO: Wizards of Winter       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWBjl-jPcVM&list=PL17C986CA3CEED034&index=39


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Guest Writer: Jennifer-Christmas Time Is Here

Photo by: holiday.filminspector.co

Photo by: holiday.filminspector.co

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year.

If you grew up in the 70’s, you probably recognize those lyrics from the beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas movie.  This simple song by Vince Guaraldi melts my heart every time I hear it.  It is not so much the little cartoon (though it is a great story of the true meaning of Christmas) that makes me wax nostalgic, but just the memories of a simpler time.

I have always been a pretty simple person.  I prefer Vanilla ice cream over Razzle Dazzle Berry Crunch.  I have worn the same fragrance for 10+ years.  I still have the comforter that my mom bought me in high school.  I use Ivory soap.  You get the drift.

The sound of those Peanuts kids singing the sweet Christmas song takes me back to when Christmas was just Christmas, not the fast-paced hoopla it is today. Our holiday was not jam-packed with extravagant parties, excessive shopping, and over-the-top decorating that began even before the Thanksgiving turkey left the table!  The song always brings to mind my own little family, my huge extended family, my church.  All those traditions we just called Christmas and did them out of love for Jesus and each other.

Photo by: lambfood.blogspot.com

Photo by: lambfood.blogspot.com

My mom and dad did a fabulous job of “Keeping Christ in Christmas” even before it became a thing!  Not one gift was ever opened on Christmas morning until Dad read Luke 2.  We had one Christmas record that contained only carols.  No “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” was ever heralded in our home! The entire holiday revolved around praising Jesus and helping others to do the same.  In a very real way it mimicked the very first Christmas where the angels, shepherds, and wise men worshiped Christ, the newborn king!  I am so grateful to my parents for instilling in me, that simple approach to this time of year.

I have so many other memories of Christmas, yet the simple ones remain my favorite.  My Aunt Brenda’s pumpkin cookies, Aunt Jane’s old fashioned decorations, Grandma Sherman’s house every Christmas Eve.  I can still hear the laughter, smell the ham, and feel the excitement of seeing all my cousins!  Christmas Eve was definitely crazy and loud, yet still quaint and…simple. The Christmas story was always read. A Charlie Brown Christmas was always watched by some of the kids.  Lots of hugs and “I love you’s” exchanged.  Lots and lots of simple happiness and cheer. Just the way I like it.

By Jennifer Michael

I am so glad Cousin Jennifer has decided to write another post for us. Thank you Jennifer for being a guest writer. I enjoy your perspective and writing skills. Can’t wait till the next one.

Leave your comments to let Jennifer know how much you have enjoyed her post. Let her know you want more.


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My Journey: New Job-Still Waiting

hourglassAfter a month or so of “busywork” on the new job, I still have no clue on what I’m doing. Or what I’m supposed to be doing.

Weeks into the job, I finally got an eight-hour training session on one of the four programs I need to run. The trainer was great, full of energy and kind of funny. She knew her stuff, and when she didn’t, she brought help in. I liked that about the training class. She did move through the training quickly, which I didn’t like, I wish she’d slow down for us old folks to catch our breath.

A handful of us (semi-newbies) were thrown into this training class that had been in process for a week. We were only there to learn the one program.

I was thrilled to finally have some training, even if it was only for the one program. I was excited to learn more about my job, and it was a great change of pace from the mindless work that I’d been doing.

After the training, I go home having a sense of accomplishment, thinking ‘great! Tomorrow, I’ll have the opportunity to start doing real work!’ I even took a few minutes to review the course work that was handed out, and I was pretty confident about starting the “real” job.

Boy was I let down. I walked into the building, thinking, ‘today is finally the day I get to work on the computer program for real.’ NOPE!!! My supervisor informs me, that we are swamped and she cannot pull a person from their job to sit with me. So, back to the “busywork” it is. (Bubble popped). They are unable to provide a timeline for starting the ‘real’ job.

Don’t get me wrong I will do “busywork,” all day, for the next twenty years, as long as I know that is my job. But knowing I was hired for a different position, makes me feel less productive than I should be. I am very grateful for this job, and I will continue (with a smile), with the “busywork” till they are ready for me.

I can’t wait for the chance to shine a little. Until that day, I will continue to make friends, learn as much as I can from my co-workers, do what I am told, and do it very well.

Abiding my time, grateful for new experiences, adventures, lessons to be learned, and leaving my comfort zone. Before I know it, all of this awkwardness will be in the past and everything will have worked out the way it is supposed to.

AS A SIDE NOTE: The team is beginning to warm up to me, or I to them. Things are still a little odd at times, but they are getting better. People are beginning to carry on conversations with me, and a few are even laughing at my sense of humor, or maybe just me. Either way, I’m okay with it.


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Music Monday: Gayla Peevey-Christmas

hippo

Here’s a fun song to start the week. Have a great week. Sorry if this song gets stuck in your head.

 

Gayla Peevey – I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEmjp5P23nA&list=PLyn1b86Ad_a5sgiXKIyLwB2WIxQGndU9q


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Contest!!!! 12 Days Of Christmas- Your Way

12 days of ChristmasHere’s a challenge for all my readers. I want you to make up your best 12 Days of Christmas song.


Here are the rules: nothing rude, crude or overly distasteful. Make it kid friendly, no cuss words please. If you can’t sing it front of a 7 year old, please rethink your lyrics. It can be themed or just all over the place like mine.

Get the kids involved and have a fun night.

I and a few friends will be the judges. There will only be ONE (1) winner.

Entries must be e-mail no later than the 19th of December. One entry per person please.

The winner will receive 3 Greeting cards (Blank inside) and a free 8×10 Photo print I have taken (at random).  AND…I will post your song on my blog (with your permission).

The Winner will be announced on Music Monday the 21st of December.

Enter your rendition of the song along with your name and add your e-mail address so I can contact you if you are the winner. My blog e-mail: motherofnecessity1@gmail.com

On your mark, get set ….write.

 I want to thank, my brother for the great idea and for helping with some of the lyrics. He’s a nut and I love him.

Thanks mom for your contributions. I was able to complete this madness with your help. Love your ideas.

Thanks to “The Kid” for helping me remember the tune when I was trying to get these silly things to match up to the song.

Enjoy and sing it loud.

Mother of Necessity’s version of the 12 Days of Christmas

                                                                              On the first day of ChristmasGet Happy
my true love gave to me:
A Partridge Fam-iii-leee

On the second day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

On the third day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
3 Little Pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
4 Angry Birds
3 Little pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
5 Million Dollars
4 Angry Birds
3 Little pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

Kevin Bacon
On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon
5 Million Dollars
4 Angry Birds
3 Little Pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
And A Partridge Fam-iii-leee


On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
7 Bridges Road
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon
5 Million Dollars
4 Angry Birds
3 Little Pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
8 Elves A Cleanin’
7 Bridges Road
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon
5 Million Dollars
4 Angry Birds
3 Little Pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
9 Kitty Lives
8 Elves A Cleanin’
7 Bridges Road
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon
5 Million Dollars
4 Angry Birds
3 Little Pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
10 Little Indians
9 Kitty Lives
8 Elves A Cleanin’
7 Bridges Road
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon
5 Million Dollars
4 Angry Birds
3 Little Pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
11 Herbs and Spices
10 Little Indians
9 Kitty Lives
8 Elves A Cleanin’
7 Bridges Road
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon
5 Million Dollars
4 Angry Birds
3 Little Pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee

last supper
On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
12 Disciples Dining
11 Herbs and Spices
10 Little Indians
9 Kitty Lives
8 Elves A Cleanin’
7 Bridges Road
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon
5 Million Dollars
4 Angry Birds
3 Little Pigs
2 Chocolate Turtles
and a Partridge Fam-iii-leee


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Wanting To Help, But Can’t?

free hugsSomething on my heart.

Have you ever been in the position that you know you can’t help someone or comfort someone in need. Especially when your heart is breaking for that loved one(s)? The past month or so has been that for me.

My heart aches that so many of my loved ones are hurting and there is nothing in my power to help or comfort them. Which breaks my heart even more.

As you already know I am a control freak and I want to help others. Not being able to assist them in anyway makes me feel like I have failed them in in some way or that I am a bad cousin, friend, Aunt, sister, daughter and/or mother.

I don’t like seeing loved ones (anyone) suffer or struggle. It truly saddens me to the core that they have to go through the pain. I realize they have their own support. But I’m not helping. I am not contributing in the help.

How do I help someone when there’s nothing you can say or do to help take away the pain?

Here is what I have concluded. There is something you can do to help. It may not be cleaning their home, or even being that should to cry on. You can be there with your love and support.

  1. Make that phone call. Let them know you are just checking in. Sometimes that opens the door for a conversation that needs to be set free.
  2. Text them and let them know you are thinking of them.
  3. Send an e-mail. An e-mail allows the other person a chance to open up and share when they can’t actually talk about the struggle.
  4. Send a card (handwritten). Take the time to write down your love and concern you have for them and make sure you open that line of communication. Sometimes just knowing that someone is in your corner is enough to get them through the day.
  5. When/if they reach out to you….listen to them. They NEED to talk. It doesn’t matter what the content is, LISTEN. They NEED you to listen.
  6. Be there. Just be present for them.
  7. Hug them, sometimes a hug breaks down the barrier. Hug them till they stop hugging you. Let them hold on for dear life if needed.
  8. Prayer is something you can do to help comfort them in a way no one else can. God is the only one that has the power to bring peace to a hurting soul.

Your actions do not have to be large gestures, just your love. I know the above do not sound like a lot of help. But, I have been informed by others that sometimes the smallest act of kindness/love is the greatest help. Supporting hurting individuals is tough because it never seems to be enough. You just being there for them is enough.


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Music Monday: David Phelps-Christmas Music

Christmas music

For the month of December I’m posting Christmas music. I love Christmas music, traditional and not so traditional.

Be prepared for more music this month. I think I will post Christmas songs throughout the month and not just on Monday.

Here is another one of my favorites. David does such a beautiful job on this song.

Remember: Christmas is not about the gifts, it’s about Christ. Remind yourself of the little things that Christ has done for you and rejoice knowing He is there to take care of you.

David Phelps: O Holy Night:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElJ0fiD0lkc


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Are You Ready For Winter?

My answer….never. I do love the change of the seasons but my least favorite is winter.

When I got up this morning there was a heavy frost outside. It was beautiful but cold. I don’t enjoy the cold. I took a walk and snagged a photo hoping it would change my outlook. It didn’t….still don’t like the cold or winter even though it is pretty.

Photo by: Mother of Necessity

Photo by: Mother of Necessity

There is a four letter word that I swear is a cuss word and I cringe every time I hear it……..SNOW.

I am never mentally prepared for winter. I’m probably going to jinx Ohio for saying this, but I am grateful that it is December and we have yet to see that white fluffy stuff falling from the sky. Grateful that it hasn’t been so cold yet that I haven’t broken out the winter garb.

It’s coming, I know it is, so I might as well get prepared for the inevitable.

Here are a few things that I do to get prepared for that dreaded yucky winter.

  1. Make sure I have hat’s gloves and boots.
  2. Dig the snow shovel out and inspect it, so I know it will work.
  3. Buy a few bags of salt for my sidewalk and path to my car.
  4. Put a bag of salt in the trunk of car. I can always use it in an emergency. I can use it when it’s icy in any parking lot. I can use the unopened bag under a tire if I get stuck and it’s added weight to the car to help with traction.
  5. Keep an extra pair of gloves, hat, a pair of socks, jacket, a blanket, bottled water and a few snacks in the car in case I get stranded.
  6. I never let my car get below a quarter tank of gas. I want to make sure I have gas to stay warm if I get stranded or if I get stuck in traffic.
  7. I put plastic on my windows of my home to keep the warmth in. It saves on my fuel bill too.
  8. Kerosene heater with 5 gallons of fuel. Just in case the electricity goes out. This will keep a couple rooms warm, it will prevent my pipes from freezing and it’s another way to cook food if there is no electricity.
  9. Stock up on canned goods, bread, snacks and water. If I’m not able to leave the house I want to make sure I have something to eat while I am waiting for the snow to stop falling.
  10. Get my car inspected and fix whatever problem there is. I have the oil changed, and get new wipers. I want my car to be extra safe in the winter. I am too old to be setting in a broken car waiting for a tow truck.
  11. I keep lip balm and lotion in my purse. The winter does a number on this old menopausal skin.
  12. I get an extra box of tissues and stock up on cold/sinus medication. It never fails, I always get the flu, a bad cold or have a sinus infection this time of year.
  13. I open my blinds during the day to let the sun help heat my home. It saves on fuel and can brighten you mood too.
  14. Last:  I pray that this winter is mild and I don’t have to use any of the above items.

I hope this winter passes without incident for all of you.

What do you do to be prepared for the yucky winter months?


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My Journey: New Job-Fitting In

The past few weeks have been tough ones for me. I started a new job, helped with our family Thanksgiving dinner, we had a death in the family, and I helped organized and cook for the funeral lunch.

The new job has been hard enough for me to deal with let alone all the other things going on.

I am not used to getting up so early. Not working for a year had my sleeping habits skewed. Buying clothes and going through that torment was rough.

friends

Now trying to fit in at a new company. This has turned out to be a challenge for me. I am not used to that, in the past I have been able to make at least one connection and made a friend by the 2nd day.

This has not been the case this time around. I have been struggling trying to make new friends. I know I am a goober and have my own unique ways. But really??? Still no connections. I think I have lost my touch.

The company I am working for is one of the most different and odd places I have ever been in.  There are no cliques. Everyone pretty much keeps to themselves. It took 5 days before I heard laughter in the office. That just blows my mind.

I know this is a workplace, but come on….no laughing? Even outside where the smokers gather…no one talks to each other.  Just weird.

I have never been in an office setting where there is silence and you can hear every cough, sneeze and phone conversation. Did I mention this office holds around 100 people?

I have been trying to make friends by jumping into light conversations with a joke but they seem to ignore me. I have introduced myself to over 50 people and I get nothing in return.

I was beginning to get paranoid, thinking they don’t want to have anything to do with the ‘fat’ girl or the old woman. Yes, I am the oldest person on my team. Even my 3 supervisors could be my children. I was thinking maybe I was the smelly kid in the classroom or my attire didn’t fit in.

I know none of those are true. I am not the only ’big’ person there, I am not the oldest person in the facility, my clothes are just as nice as everyone else’s and I shower every morning.

What am I doing wrong? I may not be the most social individual but I can carry on a conversation.

Today something happened. I was setting with one of my team members shadowing her. We began to talk and she was sharing all kinds of information about her family and baby. I let her do all the talking and didn’t share one piece of personal information.

What I did though was share my personality as she spoke. I made sarcastic comments that directed back to my behavior and listened carefully to her stories and asked questions.

After a few hours setting with her, one of our team members jumps into the conversation. He looks me in the eye and says…..Can I ask you a person question? I said, sure just ask long as it’s not my weight. We all laughed at that one.

He asked me how old I was. I responded honestly. He had a big grin on his face and said, thank goodness, I am no longer the ‘old man’ on the team, we now have an old lady. I had to laugh. I know how he feels.

That was that. I made 2 friends within minutes all because I gave them the opportunity to share with me.

I have been doubting my choice by accepting the job offer after the past couple of weeks. But now, I think I will hang in there a little longer to see where this weird ride takes me.

You are never too old to learn how to make friends.


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Monday Music: Gabe Dixon

An excellent piano player, good story teller and smooth sound. Check out his website.  http://www.gabedixon.com/

 

Gabe Dixon:  Find My Way

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wez59kjsPk


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I Hope….

 simple flower

I didn’t have a blog post planned for today. I owe you an apology.

I’m so sorry. It has been one hectic week and I have not had the time to work on a post.

 Here’s a little something.

I hope you have had a great week.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.

I hope The Ohio State Buckeyes beat that team up north today. GO BUCKS!

I hope you had/have safe travels

I hope your Turkey was moist and plentiful.

I hope you didn’t eat too much, as I did.

I hope everyone survived your ‘Black Friday’ shopping spree.

I hope you found great deals and no one lost a limb in the mad dash.

I hope you are relaxing today and recovering from a busy week.

I hope you remembered to be Thankful for all you have.

I hope you have all your needs met.

I hope you didn’t spend too much money shopping.

I hope you hugged your loved ones.

I hope you are hugged often and loved deeply.

I hope you have laughed this week and everyday.

I hope you told your family and friends you love them.

I hope you looked for the little things that made you smile.

I hope your next family gathering will be the best one yet.

I hope you are taking care of yourself.

I hope you are enjoying this weather (Ohio folks).

I hope you are finding your joy.

I hope you forgive me for not having a post.

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I will leave you with one of my favorite renditions of a song.

I “hope” you enjoy.

Joy to the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRIYrQFwqyU&list=PLkW_qeRTF9XX2tJ4webh4rG9i_Vf6peF7


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75 Things I Am Thankful For

thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I love this holiday. It’s always full of love and loved ones. I just want to share what I am thankful for.

  1. Family: I love my family deeply and I am so grateful for each one.
  2. ‘The Kid’. The best kid a mom could have.
  3. Siblings…Love you knuckleheads.
  4. New job.
  5. Having a year off from actual work.
  6. Discovering new things about myself this past year.
  7. A beautiful sunset.
  8. The changes of the seasons.
  9. A spring breeze blowing through my home.
  10. My niece and nephew
  11. My great nephew and new little nephew or niece on the way.
  12. Prayer
  13. Prayers answered
  14. The right to serve my God.
  15. Music
  16. The ability to hear and see.
  17. Starting a blog….a great outlet to share with others.
  18. All the men and women that serve our country.
  19. New adventures
  20. The capability of learning new things.
  21. A tall glass of sweetened ice tea.
  22. Cousins: you all rock.
  23. Friends: Thanks for loving me for who I am.
  24. A working vehicle.
  25. The sound of rain on a tin roof.
  26. Waking up every morning.
  27. The flow of a good pen.
  28. My Bible
  29. A roof over my head.
  30. Food in the fridge.
  31. Loving and forgiving parents.
  32. The internet
  33. Grandparents that spoiled me as a child.
  34. All my in-laws and extended family.
  35. The ability to read and write….Thank you teachers
  36. Humor…..nothing better than having tears run down my face from laughter.
  37. The smell of cut grass in the summer.
  38. The state of OHIO
  39. The colors of autumn leaves.
  40. Sunshine
  41. Blue skies with big white fluffy clouds.
  42. Hearing a child laugh.
  43. Not having to do laundry by hand.
  44. A ripe tomato from the garden.
  45. A summer rain shower
  46. All the mistakes I have made…they made me grow.
  47. Photography….outlet for some creativity.
  48. Heat in my home on a cold day.
  49. “The Kids” quirkiness, even though they aggravate me sometimes.
  50. My parents staying together for over 50 years.
  51. Hearing and knowing the Word of God.
  52. My family photos
  53. The collection of family music.
  54. The ability to help others
  55. Knowing how to organize
  56. Ordering online….so convenient.
  57. Watching trees blow in the wind.
  58. The sound of a piano, mandolin, violin, guitar or banjo.
  59. The trash man. He takes away all the unwanted things from my home, so     I can have a clean home and street.
  60. I know how to play Euchre and Marbles.
  61. My mom & brother taught me how to play baseball.
  62. The Ohio State Football team.
  63. Daisy flowers
  64. For all of you that read my blog.
  65. Being curled up in a comfy blanket.
  66. A handwritten note/card.
  67. A shoulder to cry on
  68. The sound of the ocean.
  69. Having an external hard drive to save all my photos and music.
  70. A GPS…I wouldn’t be able to get from A to B without one.
  71. Police and firefighters
  72. A place to lay my head at night
  73. A good haircut.
  74. For eye glasses so I can see clearly.
  75. Chocolate

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

What are you thankful for?


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Music Monday: Elton John & Leon Russell

Photo by: klangfuchs.com

Photo by: klangfuchs.com

I love this combo. Some great music these two have done over the years.

I hope you enjoy your week and don’t forget to be “Thankful” for the little things.

Elton John/Leon Russell:  A Dream Come True

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsQYcGJv9ck


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Holiday Tips & Reminders

snow

It’s that time of  year. The holiday season has begun. Time to start prepping for visitors, big dinners, and lots of shopping.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for the holidays.

VISITORS: If you are making your rounds and making impromptu visits, keep in mind people may not be prepared. No judging their homes or actions.

If the home is dirty or they don’t have anything to offer you (drinks/food), don’t be mad. You are surprising them.  Remember why you are visiting. You are there to check in with them, have conversations and see if there is anything you can do to help. These are people you love and adore, please do not judge. Be kind and offer your help.

If you would like to, you can always bring a small gift when you go visit. The gift could be your help around their house, such as helping with decorations or cleaning. You could also gift them with coupons to help with cost of the upcoming events. A nice small centerpiece is always good. Bring your own snacks and drinks.

Bringing a small token is a great gesture of kindness and love.

When you have folks come to your home to visit, I recommend on Thursday or Friday night before the weekend or the day or 2 before the holiday, go through your home and do some light housekeeping.  

Make sure the bathroom is clean, dishes are done and you living room is picked up. Maybe go to the grocery store and get some snacks and extra drinks. This way you are prepared for any visitors.

Visiting is a great way to reconnect with loved ones and everyone feels good when you are able to connect.

DINNERS:  If you are hosting the dinner, make sure you have everything you need. Making that last minute grocery store run can be awful or the store may be closed and you are out of luck.

Ask for help. No need to do this by yourself. There are others that would be grateful to assist you.

Relax: Don’t pressure yourself to make everything perfect. If something doesn’t work out the way you planned, it’s ok. Remind yourself why you are hosting. It’s not for the glory of compliments (even though compliments are wonderful) but for making memories with the people you hold dear. Trust me, your guests don’t care that things are perfect, they are happy to be surrounded by folks they love too.

If you are going to someone’s house for dinner, remember your etiquettes. Be polite (please & thank you), offer your assistance, clean up your mess and play nice with others.

If you are helping with the dinner by bringing a dish (pot luck style) please bring what was asked of you or what you committed to bring. Your friends/family are relying on you to do your part.

If you are not bringing a dish you might want to bring a small gift for the host or for the home. If you are like me and can’t afford a gift, make sure you help with the cleanup. Your host will be so thankful for the help.

Send a nice “Thank You” card after the dinner. It shows your appreciation and the love you have for that family.

SHOPPING: Just a few helpful tips.

Fill up the car with gas before you leave. You don’t want to interrupt the shopping spree by getting gas. Travel with your car lights on. Even during the day. 

Have a list of people you need gifts for or a list of gift items needed. It helps keep you on your budget and reminds you who/what you are needing to purchase.

Keep your money secure. Keep your purse in your hand at all times. Wear a cross-body purse (less likely to be set down or stolen). Carry you debit/credit cards in your front pocket of your pants.

Charge your cell phone or have a car charger. You don’t want to be out shopping and not have any service to retrieve those online coupons.

Carry a small amount of actual cash. Some of those small business do not accept credit cards. It’s also nice to leave your lunch tip in cash for the wait staff.

Set a budget for how much you are spending on your spree.

I hope you have a safe, happy and stress free holidays.


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My Journey: New Job-Orientation

orientation

The new job has begun. First day is orientation day.

This is the boring part about starting a new job. The first day is always a unique experience.

You have to hand in your paperwork in order to get you parking pass. Then you get the privilege of some young pup take your photo for your badge.

The waiting begins. Waiting on everyone to get their badge just so we can leave the lobby. Waiting on the facilitator to start the show. Waiting on the late-comers, so everyone can begin.

Now it’s time to listen to security  run through their lists of the most common sense things, like if three’s a fire…..leave the building. Don’t leave your badge at your desk, because you won’t be able to get back into the building. If you see a strange package, don’t open it, move it or taste it. Yes, I said “taste”. That was actually in the PowerPoint.

Having to fill out all the paperwork for the W-2, direct deposit, emergency contact information and beneficiary information on the computer. I am so used to doing this on paper. It was nice just typing the information in and knowing someone else wouldn’t spell my name incorrectly.

This is when I realized I was the ‘old’ person in this group of 18 people including the facilitator. I was amazed that some of these folks that had a family didn’t know what a tax exemption was or how it worked.

I was surprised that over half of them didn’t know what/who a beneficiary was. The facilitator had stepped out and the class started asking me their questions. By the time the facilitator had come back all forms were filled out but mine. The class was now waiting on me.

The sad part about helping all of them (which I happy to do) was, only 2 people thanked me for helping. Where did common courtesy go?

The fun begins. It’s time to learn all about the company, what they do and what our obligations are. This is all done on the computer with a module base learning. Which is nothing new to me. That’s how my old job did all their training.

Setting in front of a computer screen with headphones on for 3 hours, watching/listening to some real boring information. A module on harassment, any type of harassment. Another one on keeping your desk clean. Yes, that’s right…how to keep your desk clean. A module on fraud, what to look for and how to report it. A module on confidentiality and how to secure your computer and paperwork. And the list goes on.

If you have worked for any large company you realize this is some of the most common sense things to remind us all. Then I was thinking, these kids have no clue what they are doing and they have to be taught these things.

It’s sad really that these young folks don’t know work place etiquette and how important all of those boring modules really are.

Even though it was a boring day for me, I have started a new job and I am on my way to a new adventure in my life. I am grateful this company has given me the opportunity to shine.


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Music Monday: Sheryl Crow/Doyle Bramhall II

This song was originally done by Citizen Cope, these 2 did a remake. I like this version. If you don’t know who Doyle is. Please look him up. He’s pretty good guitar player.

Have a great week. Remember to look for the little things that make you smile. Start with this song.

Sheryl Crow w/Doyle Bramhall II: Sideways

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-YUqdbWCH4


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Don’t We Have Something Better To Do?

social media

 

I do not post things about what is taking place in our world. I want to make my blog fun, entertaining and educational. I don’t think I can hold my tongue any longer.

The world we all live in is unraveling in front of our faces. We set back observe, judge, call names but yet we do NOTHING about our own lives and problems. I know I have something better to do with my time.

Why is it news that a cup is now “red”? Why do we care so much about the color of a dress? Why do we waste our time watching a family on TV do things that are just ridiculous? Do these things impact our way of living? Why do we judge a business that is closed on Sunday or that the business is helping the homeless, all because the social media put it out there?

I understand that social media is the norm. It should not be our point of education. Why are we allowing just ‘crap’ be such a large part of our day?

I enjoy social media as the next person. I use it as entertainment for a minute or when I am bored. But I do not spend hours connected to it. I have too many things to do.

My mom would tell me my face would stick like that, when I made an ugly face as a kid. I think there is some truth to that statement. If we do something long enough we become that (whatever “that” may be). 

If we feed ourselves with junk food we become fat. If we feed our minds with junk, than our minds become mush. We will lose rational thinking, the ability to think for ourselves and decipher the difference between what is really right and wrong. Do you want to give that up? I know I don’t.

We are intelligent human beings (for the most part). The longer we get involved with the nonsense, we all will become meaningless to each other, because we will forget what is most important in our lives.

No it’s not money, a career, our home or material things. I have news for you all. It’s family and loving one another with an open heart.

Having a kind heart takes work. If you are willing to invest 4 hours a day with the “junk” than you have time for something meaningful in your life.

Take that time you would spend on social media and go connect with your loved ones. I bet your mom/dad would love to see you and spend time with you. How about your own kids? Go play a game with them, help them with their homework or better yet have a conversation with them.

Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty from time to time too. I have realized that by watching/listening and reading this junk, it is not good for me. It can cloud my own thinking, get me aggravated or even stunned by the stupidity because I am letting worldly influences fog up my thinking.

I have had to remind myself that this ’junk’ is just that…JUNK. It does not play a part in my world, nor should it. I remind myself that I am smarter than that and “junk” has no part in my mind. I have enough useless information in my head, I don’t need any more junk.

I am asking you kindly to step away from the Twinkie (junk food) and grab an apple instead.


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Shopping As A “Big Girl”

Big Girl

 Since I start my new job soon and have not bought any new clothes this past year. I am now clothes shopping. Something I dread doing.

As I said in a prior post I am not skinny, I am a “Big Girl”. Shopping as a big girl is not a fun task. First of all since I live in a small town there are no ‘big girl’ shops close to me. I have to travel an hour to even get to one store and 2 hours to find more than one store to shop at. You know us girls, we never find what we are looking for just in one store.

I am overwhelmed before I even get in the car. I have to be prepared to drive to places I am not comfortable with. I have to prepare myself mentally, that I may try on 50 pieces of clothing and come home with nothing.

I have to make sure I have the right clothes on so I can take them off easily so I won’t get all sweaty in the dressing room. I need to have slip on shoes so I won’t have to bend over so much to tie my shoes. Tying your shoes is a chore when you are a big girl. There’s a lot of prep time and thinking before I even get in the car.

Once I’m at the store, I am already in a sweat. Just knowing I will be trying on 3 different sizes of the same blouse is daunting enough and still not have the right fit in any of the sizes. But now I am in public and being judged just by walking into a “big girl” store. I have no idea if the sales people are judging me, which I’m sure they are just by the looks I get walking in with my t-shirt, jeans and hoodie on.

I need to have blinders on and get past the judgmental looks and stares. I have a job to do….get new clothes. I take a big breath and trudge forward.

Now I’m in the store and realize that every shirt/blouse has some sort of crazy design, sparkles and multi-colored on them. WHY??? Who, in their right mind, thought it was a great idea to have a wild print in 4 yards of material and make a shirt for a big girl? I have never talked to a big girl and they said they loved all the sparkles and prints on their blouse. We, as ‘big girls’ already stand out just because we are big. We DO NOT need or want a blouse to make us stand out even more.

Our size is enough for us to catch your attention we do not need the apparel experts help in this area. We need their help to make us blend in with the other women in our fashion.

There is no fashion in a blouse that has 5 colors on it that look like a 3 year old put paint strokes on it. Then they told the 3 year old to add some sparkles to the shirt that is 10 inches longer than it needs to be and the neckline is so low you have to wear a tank under it so your boobs/bra don’t show. Crazy!!!

Big girls do not have the option for a perfect fit. It’s either too big in one place or too small in another. We have to get creative in order to wear any of the clothes we buy. Maybe I can wear a scarf with this shirt to help cover my cleavage. How about a jacket/blazer/sweater to cover that awful design on the sleeves. I could even sew a piece of material there so my boobs don’t show. I could have the sleeves altered so I won’t have to roll them up. I can have this taken in or I can add a panel to the back and wear a sweater.

Being a big girl you have to be a seamstress or at least know someone that can do the alterations for you.

I am a short, fat girl. I cannot wear a V-neck t-shirt because no one wants to see my bra or my cleavage. Shoot, I don’t want to see that either. Where is the modesty in ‘big girl’ clothing? There has to be a designer out there that can design the perfect ‘big girl’ T-shirt. One that the neckline covers the bra strap, one that doesn’t gap open when we bend over and one that the armpit area doesn’t show our bra when we raise our arm. It can’t be that hard.

You are professional designers. Put your college degree to work and make the perfect T-shirt. PLEASE!!! Or am I asking for too much from the designers? Maybe they are wanting all of us to look silly just in the hopes we will lose weight. Or are we being penalized because we are not the norm?

Can we talk about the prices for ‘big girl’ clothes? They are outrageous. There is one store I love and I can usually find something I like and it fits.  They sell regular sizes and plus sizes for women. Which is great but their mark up on the plus size is nuts. Generally the mark up is 20-40 % higher than the regular sizes. I understand that there is more material in the item but that is no excuse for such a huge hike in the price.

On average the plus size clothing can be as much as 40% higher. If you are shopping for a typical white t-shirt, regular sizes are $10-$20. But for me, I am paying $25-$40 just for a stupid t-shirt. Might I add, that the t-shirt still doesn’t fit right.

I expect to pay a higher price just because of the material and labor that goes into making a plus size item. But 40% higher…no. We are getting ripped off in my opinion.

This is all for the blouses/tops. Don’t even get me started on jeans and dress pants. Needless to say…..I have to hem even the petite cuts. That means every pair of pants I own or buy will and have been hemmed.  

Just more money being spent so I can go out in public and hopefully not be laughed at from my lack of choices and the horrific choices I get to choose from.

It’s hard coming up with an outfit that won’t make me look like a clown with all the colors and awful designs. Now I have to come up with at least 7-10 new outfits just so I can go to work. Stressful and exhausting.

I too want to be fashionable, cute, and comfy in my clothes. I may be a “big girl” but I deserve to have descent fashion as well. I don’t think I am asking for too much. Do you? I know that the plus size fashion has come a long way but it still has a way to go.

I have resorted to online shopping. I can order the sizes I think will work and can always return what doesn’t. I can shop at multiple stores in just a few hours. I get to try on the clothes in the comfort of my own home without some small girl trying to assist me in the fitting room. (She just doesn’t get it anyway). I don’t have to waste my gas on traveling to a store to come home with nothing.

I may order 6-7 items and keep 3-4. To me, that’s a good shopping spree. And I got to do it with less stress than going to the store.

Granted, yes it takes time for the items to arrive to my home. But it is worth the wait when I finally have an article of clothing that works for me.

Just as a side note: Those catalog girls are a size 14-16. These girls may be big girls, but they are not the BIG GIRLS. They still look good in almost anything and can still get the perfect fit. The rest of us struggle more to find the right clothes.

Tell me what bothers you about shopping.