Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's difficult to believe....

Another year is winding down. This year has been a lot of things: difficult, wonderful, scary, pleasant, heart wrenching. There really aren't words to describe, adequately, all the things this year has been.

The highlights: I quit my job, took 4 months off and then went back to my job. It was really the best decision I could have made because honestly? I love this job and I'm good at it and the people I meet intrigue me and I keep doing and learning and it's good.

Chris quit his job of 12 years to take another position  and he's really liking it.

We started a business of sorts and that's a bit scary but we are learning as we go and so it's good.

My mother joined Facebook which is just completely weird in a variety of ways that I can't even put into words. I thought she never would but she surprised us all and did. This next year should be interesting to say the least. If she ever joins twitter, where I spend the majority of my social media time, I will be shuttering all of my accounts and going into hiding.

The lowlights: Several people who are dear to me are having health situations. Several others passed away all in December. December was a bad month for losing people and my heart is a bit bruised with it all.

I am hoping that 2015 will be better on both a personal and professional level. I have plans (as always!) and can't wait to be able to implement some of them and share some others.

I am waffling over my word for 2015. I've never picked one before but suddenly, I'm all about wanting/needing/desiring/must have a word. I'll do the eenie meenie minie moe thing in the morning and then post which word won. ;-)

In the meantime, I have pizza to order for a little girl's sleepover that is being held at my house tonight while we watch the ball drop in Times Square (just before I crash and sleep for 12 hours.)

Enjoy the last few hours of 2014 and I'll see you next year. (So cliche... but also true.)


Sunday, December 28, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 97

Things I am grateful for today

1. Christmas is over. I love the holidays; I truly do. I also breathe a sigh of relief when it is all said and done and things can get back to something that resembles normal.

2. Making some serious decisions for the upcoming year.

3. Elizabeth who never fails to both irritate the life out of me and make me laugh hysterically.

4. Chris. For a whole variety of reasons.

5. flowers for no reason other than "just because". 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

GIST - The Christmas Edition

Things I am grateful for today

1. Sunshine. It has rained for the past few days and just been dreary so the sun shining brightly outside the window at work is a balm to my sensitive soul.

2. A short work shift today that will allow me to leave at 6 and be able to spend the evening with my children eating chicken enchiladas and maybe watching a movie while the Christmas lights twinkle in the background.

3. Chris, Nick and Elizabeth.

4. A good book to read

5. Having enough. (This could be a post all to itself and maybe I'll make it one later in the week.)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 96

Things I am grateful for today

1. coffee

2. snuggles from Hijinx the wonder kitten

3. Elizabeth is starting to feel better after several days of sick that had her missing the last 3 days of school before winter break.

4. Medicine because whatever she caught, I now seem to have.

5. a thoughtful co-worker. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 95

Things I am grateful for today

1. I got to spend some time with my mama on Friday.

2. Over the past several days a lot of people have complimented me about my hair (of all things). I guess I did a good job with it when I did it over Thanksgiving weekend.

3. My schedule for this coming week is not overwhelming on the work front. My schedule away from work, however, is insane and I am hoping to be able to get most of it accomplished the first part of the week.

4. My truck is fixed. Chris replaced the rear brakes and the other wheel bearing today. I just have to save money to get a new set of tires now and it should be good to go for a minute or two.

5. It's a slow night tonight and while I wish it was busier, it has given me time to do some stuff that I normally have to rush to do while I am here.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 94

Things I am grateful for today

1. It was a busy week and I had lots to keep me occupied. Between work and taking care of the house and stuff, I didn't really have much down time.

2. Japanese food for the first time in months on Saturday.

3. A weekend off. My first in months. I can't complain because I make the schedule so I could have taken some weekends off prior to this; I just haven't. It has been nice to have the time off to relax and not have a schedule to keep.

4. Chris started a new job on Monday. It's been both wonderful and bit anxiety inducing in the lead up to his accepting and then starting this job. I can actually take a full breath now that it is all a done deal.

5. Hijinx the wonder kitten.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 93

Things I am grateful for today

1. Thanksgiving went well. Everyone was happy and well fed and Chris got to do some hunting and some resting and it was just a generally good week.

2. Making time to read a book.

3. New beginnings start tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited.

4. Good friends.

5. A job that I (still!) enjoy.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

GIST - The Thanksgiving Edition

Things I am grateful for today

1. A short work shift today. I'm scheduled 12 to 6 and I got here a few minutes early because I despise running late and it's been really quiet so far. I have tomorrow off because I have some business to take care of (nothing related to shopping thank goodness) and after I leave here today, I'll go home and finish cooking and sit down to a Thanksgiving meal with my family.

2. I am grateful for my family. My immediate family and my extended family. I am grateful we have made it through another year together and everyone is reasonably happy and healthy.

3. Friends: new and old. I don't make friends easily so I am grateful for the new friendships that have been cultivated over the past year as well as the long standing friendships and the renewed ones. I am blessed.

4. I am grateful for having enough. I have a roof over my head, food to put in my stomach, heat to keep us warm and an abundance of love. 

5. I am grateful for new beginnings. (More on that soon.)

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

There's no room for silence

I watched the press conference announcing there would be no indictment of Darren Wilson and I cried. I knew this is how it would turn out but I had harbored a vague hope that I would be wrong and the grand jury in Ferguson would do the right thing and indict him. Even I, someone who has no education in aspects of law, know that there was enough evidence to charge him and send this case to trial. I can't wrap my head around how the members of the grand jury couldn't see that as well in spite of the prosecutor. Please, don't even get me started on the prosecutor. He should have recused himself and a special prosecutor should have been appointed and I am aghast that none of these things happened and that Darren Wilson is a free man today.

Facebook and Twitter reactions were swift. I broke the number one rule of the internet by reading the comments on posts and blogs and my faith in humanity dive bombed out the window. The sheer ignorance being displayed made my stomach hurt and my heart shatter.

We have to do better. America in 2014 (almost 2015) should not look anything like America in the 60s but sadly, it looks worse. It's like America as a country is steadily going backwards.

I don't have answers. I have a lot of questions, I have thoughts, I have ideas but I don't have answers as to how to dismantle this privileged system. All I can do, at this point, is keep moving forward, have the difficult conversations with my daughter, keep fighting against the cruel injustices and hope like hell that her generation does a better job with race relations than ours has or the ones before us.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 92

Things I am grateful for today

1. busy nights

2. working property management systems (after this past week, it's a big deal)

3. friends

4. Hijinx the wonder kitten

5. hot coffee and a good book to read

Friday, November 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes # 18

I failed NaBloPoMo because life was insanely crazy Monday through Thursday of this week thanks to the property management system blowing itself up. It went down Sunday night around 1am and we didn't have access to it again until Wednesday at around 3pm. I spent all week working the desk old school and while that was actually fun albeit a bit stressful, I was not amused when we had to input 4 days worth of business into the system after it came back up. Susan & I, however, rocked it in 4 hours which is really good considering we were handling Wednesday's business as it happened at the same time. I really hope I never get this experience again. 

So blog entries didn't get written, I barely looked at Facebook and for most of that time didn't even tweet. My brain was tired ya'll, seriously. I went home at night and fell into the bed and slept. I think I took more than my share of advil during this past week.

Chris is on vacation until the end of the month. Big things are happening and I want to talk about it so bad that I can barely live with myself. It's not time yet though and so I keep zipping my lips. 

I found the prettiest tangerines at the store today and ended up buying half a dozen of them. Then I remembered that I probably shouldn't eat that many tangerines so I reluctantly hid them in the fridge and am rationing them to myself. It's rare to find good looking tangerines here and I only get them this time of year and I really want to eat.all.the.tangerines. 

I fell last night in the kitchen and today my entire body hurts. There's already something wrong with my spinal area and I'm sure this didn't help the situation any.

I am a quarter of the way through Gray Mountain by John Grisham and really loving it. It'll probably take me a few more days to finish it because I only read at work for some reason these days. He did a really good job with this book (as with all of his books.)

Next week is Thanksgiving and I'm not ready. Christmas is not too far off and will seem shorter since Thanksgiving is so late this year and I'm not ready for that either. Could someone slow down time for me just until I get all caught up?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 91

Things I am grateful for today

1. It's my mama's birthday. I got a chance to talk with her which was nice.

2. A freezer full of venison. I could have done without the hefty price tag that it ended up costing because somebody (named Chris) took 3 deer to cold storage at the same time but live and learn. 

3. Chili made with some of that venison. He made the chili and it was all gone tonight. The only thing he did different was not use so much spice. It was really really good.

4. Heat (because it's cold outside and only supposed to get worse.)

5. A hot cup of coffee and a good book. I'm going back to both now. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

......

Today has been busy and hard and so many adjectives that basically all describe "suck".

I am so ready for 11pm to be here so I can go home, climb into my pajamas and go to sleep. I don't work tomorrow so I have an entire 24 hours to unwind and de-stress (if that's even possible.)

I'm tired of being tired.

Friday, November 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes # 17

Things are still rather up in the air about a variety of issues that I'm not currently free to discuss which has me censoring a lot of the things I am writing about/talking about/posting on various social media accounts. I'm hoping that it will be something that is resolved and that I can discuss in the next couple of weeks. I am working my way through the uncertainty by taking deep breaths and reminding myself that everything happens for a reason, even when I'm not clear on what the reason is or what is exactly happening.

You ever see something happening in someone else's life and knowing it is a train wreck waiting to happen but you can't say anything about it because a) it would be unappreciated, b) it's not technically any of your business and c) the person you would say something to about it is very very dear to you and hurting them is the last thing you want to do even though you know their situation is about to hurt them? Doing that now with my sister. I think my tongue has permanent tooth marks in it.

My mother's birthday is on Sunday. I wanted to throw her a party but she wouldn't let me. Instead, I'm going to invite them to dinner. I decided not to do any kind of a "surprise" thing because I don't want to accidentally scare her to death on her birthday. That wouldn't be good at all.

I have had several fascinating conversations over the past week with various people. I sometimes forget that people as a whole are fascinating. (It's easy to forget when people are being jerks.)  

I read the story of the New Jersey who successfully sued her parents to have them pay her college tuition. I have so many thoughts on that but the main one is this: I paid my own way through college by working and getting scholarships and financial aid. I would never be so entitled to assume that my parents "owed" me anything towards a college education. I really think it sets a bad precedent and I hope the appeal for the parents is successful. Because that young woman sounds like an entitled brat. 

My plan to not eat after 9pm is going really good much to my surprise. The only drawback is having to remind myself to eat dinner in the evening before 9 rolls around.

The holidays are approaching and I have done zero shopping for holiday meals or presents. I may need to start thinking about that here in the next day or two. I think Amazon is going to be friend this year because the thought of braving a bunch of people to shop gives me heart palpitations. Now if only my daughter would tell me what she would like for Christmas, I'd be all set.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

frustrated

I am frustrated with a variety of things about which I can not write.

Plus there is some anxiety going on for reasons related to the things about which I can not write.

Basically today sucks and tomorrow isn't looking much better.

I'm a bundle of sunshine aren't I?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesdays are usually wordless but I have stuff to say

I don't watch a lot of tv but I listen to a lot of news. The television at work is always on in the breakfast room and it's always programmed to a news station. You can't help but listen to it even if you can't actively watch the screen. And I listen to a lot of NPR because well, I'm strange like that. I've noticed a conspicuous absence of news as it relates to what is unfolding in Ferguson.

 I catch links on Facebook that have been cleverly disguised because the people I pay attention to have figured out that Facebook is pretty much burying any mention of Ferguson and Mike Brown and the impending verdict of the grand jury. Several groups thought the verdict would come yesterday while the country was busy honoring veterans. Others think the verdict will be released on a Friday evening when it can be effectively buried by other news items and when government offices have closed for the weekend. Thanksgiving is coming up and that would be an ideal time for the verdict to be released. Wednesday evening just after 5 pm. The police have been training for crowd control and riots and something shady is going on in the St. Louis/Ferguson area. Just watch. People really need to be paying attention.

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I did three things recently that I think are going to make a major difference for me, personally. The first one was to make a concerted effort to not eat after 9pm. This is odd (for me) because I typically was waiting until I got off work at 11 to eat dinner and I realized this was not doing me a bit of good. So for the past few weeks, I have been carving out time between guest interactions to eat dinner and I've been packing it myself from things cooked at home rather than grabbing a fast food item or a quick microwavable item or ordering something from one of the few places that delivers. I've not been snacking at all at work. I stopped doing that a long time ago because I came to the realization that I wasn't eating because I was actually hungry but because I was bored. Now I read or write or walk around the lobby and act silly. :) 

The second thing I did was program my phone to not allow wifi or mobile data after 1am. I get home from work anywhere between 11:30 and 12 depending on how late the night auditor is on any given evening and I was staying up until 2 or 3 am every day. So a few days ago, I decided to basically force myself to go to bed by 1. Making my phone inaccessible is a perfect way to remind myself "hey, you need to sleep." Obviously it's something I can undo at any time if I *absolutely* need to but so far, I've had no reason to do that. My phone gives me a warning at 12:50 that it's going to hibernate at 1am and I take it as my cue to go crawl into my cozy bed and close my eyeballs.

The third thing: I removed most of the games, email, and Facebook from my phone. I'm not quitting Facebook; I'm still capable of accessing it through my mobile browser or the tablet but having the app on my phone was a continuous time killer for me. I would find myself checking Facebook out of habit and not really because I wanted to check it if that makes any sense. I removed my email form my phone too. I couldn't figure out how to disable the stupid thing in a way where it would check it only when I asked it to and so I finally I just took all email off it. I spent the better part of 2 months unsubscribing from some really random junk that I never remember subscribing to in the first place and really, my email just became a big time suck. I check it twice a day and anything in between those two times can wait. 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I stopped by the library today and once again, proved that I can't go to the library without leaving with a book (or 11). Or half the library. Maybe I should just start my own (which Chris swears I could do with all the books I happen to own.) 

People are starting to actually need things from me so I'd better stop typing and put my smile back on. ;-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A picture for Tuesday

Hijinx the wonder kitten likes to sit on my shoulder & go to sleep.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Randomness is all I'm capable of right now.

A sign on one of the churches I pass on my way to work reads:

Those who are thankful
for little
Enjoy much.

I have read it every day for the past week and I think they left out a word. Either that or the meaning of the sign is deeper than I have to capacity to extrapolate.


I took Dylan home today before work. He's been at our house since Thursday evening. He wanted to go home yesterday but he & Nick slept until after I left for work and I guess his parents couldn't be bothered to make the 45 minute drive to get him. More likely, he didn't ask them to come get him knowing that I would take him home before I went to work.


Chris cooked last night and so I have a dinner plate for tonight. A pork chop, some macaroni and cheese and field peas. I offered to let him have the plate to carry to work with him tonight but he refused and I didn't offer a second time. I was being nice and would have let him have it if he had said yes but I'm no fool and that man can cook so I have yumminess to fill my stomach with tonight. (Also, apparantly "yumminess" is not a real word.)


I have a day off tomorrow and Elizabeth is out of school for Veteran's Day so I plan to spend the day with her, cleaning and baking and being silly. We do a good job of being silly.


I stopped by the library today to return some books and made the mistake of going inside since I still had 45 minutes before I had to be at work and I left with 6 new books. I don't have the capacity to go to the library very often and NOT check out books. On the rare occasion that I go and don't get anything, I'm always really surprised. I put a couple of books on hold too and probably won't get them until next year (seriously) because I'm like #59 for one book and #82 for the other. 


I very rarely watch television even though it is on at work all the time. Last night, I turned it to CBS where I thought the football game was being played and then got enthralled in an episode of Madam Secretary. Now I want to check to see if I can find it streaming somewhere because it was really good and I'd like to see the previous episodes.


Right now though, I seriously want a nap. I can't have one but it sounds really good.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 90

Things I am grateful for today

1. The sun came out after a gray, depressing morning. It was only out for about an hour before it started to get dark outside but still, the sunshine was a boost that I really needed today.

2. Elizabeth asked me if she could have some money to go get chicken soup from the grocery store because she really wanted some chicken soup. She comes back with a can of chicken soup and a miniature coconut pie for me because she remembered that I said (almost 2 weeks ago!) that I really wanted a slice of coconut pie. I brought it to work with me to have after I eat my supper.

3. Turtle earrings. They have just enough whimsy to make me smile and I've already had a couple of people make nice comments about them. I will probably give them back to Elizabeth (they were her earrings and I gave her a pair of mine for them but I'll probably still give them back to her after tonight.)

4. The influx of children with the pilgrimage is over. They all went home today. They were very well behaved this year but as with any large group of children/teenagers, it gets loud when they are all together and moving about. The younger ones (about Beth's age) all amused me because they haven't yet reached the point where they are anything but unfailingly polite when asking for something. I'm sure they give their mamas some attitude when they are at home but here, they were on their very best behavior. 

5. Thanksgiving is coming up really soon. I still have to get all the necessary things to make dinner that night but I am so looking forward to it. I'm off the day before and after Thanksgiving and am working a 6 hour shift Thanksgiving day. I can hardly wait for it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

floundering

The last few weeks have been hard. I can't really pinpoint any one specific reason even though everyone I have mentioned this to has all asked the question "why?" So I stopped mentioning it and I stopped being truthful when someone asks me how I'm doing. "Fine" has become the new patent response even though things are far from fine.

*******************

Tonight has been an exercise in biting my tongue. All of the hotels in the area are full because of the pilgrimage and people who are traveling through without having the foresight to make reservations somewhere have been incredibly rude. I have made reservations in 3 states tonight for people to make sure they have  a place to put their head and only one person has had the decency to say thank you. Making reservations in other states is not part of what I normally have to do so I am actually going out of my way to be extra helpful. A little gratitude would make things better. I almost told someone earlier, after he cursed at me, that his failure to plan was not an emergency for me but instead I bit the inside of my cheek and found him a room. 

**********************

I cooked before going to work tonight so I would have something to eat and then haven't made time to eat it. I really need to get back on track with making real meals and eating real meals. I can't remember the last time I ate breakfast or lunch. I typically only eat dinner and a small pack of crackers. This has to change but I seem to be stuck in a rut of not being hungry at all and by the time I remember that I need to eat, it's late at night and I don't feel like eating much of anything that has any nutritional value.

************************

I don't even know what I'm doing here anymore.

Friday, November 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes - # 16

Big changes are on the horizon for our family, none of which I am allowed to discuss in detail just yet. Know that I am both scared and excited at the same time (and no, it has nothing to do with babies.)

It is the Methodist Youth Group Pilgrimage weekend this weekend and if you can imagine 200+ children running through the hotel without having a nervous breakdown then I need to borrow your strong will for the next 48 hours. I am searching for headache medicine now.

People have been looking at me like I was crazy when I would tell them, as they are standing across the counter from me, that we are sold out for the weekend. And when I went outside to get a breath of fresh air, I realized why. There were 3 cars in the parking lot. Mine was one of them.

I am disappointed with the way the elections turned out but am watching to see what happens next. I don't have the highest of hopes just yet.

I am on a soup kick here recently. Tonight will be clam chowder with pretzel chips. Sounds disgusting but I promise it is so very good.

I really want to take some pictures but I never seem to find the time to do so. Maybe on one of my days off next week, I will take my dslr and go to the woods.

It's suddenly quiet here again. I think I'm going to go read a book until the next group comes.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

phoning it in (sort of)

You ever have a day so busy at work that you can't take 6 minutes to breath let alone write? That's how my day/night has been. Then I had to pick up Dylan which means I'll get home some time tomorrow.

Real post tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

election day & other things

I'm glad today is election day for no reason other than I am so sick of the advertisements. They are on the radio, the television, in the mail box. And none of them are pleasant. I really wish the money that all the candidates spend to get elected was put to a better use.

I went and cast my vote before going to work today. The campaign workers were all milling about just beyond the yellow caution tape that was put up with the sign that read: "No electioneering beyond this point." I really wonder why they bother to come out on the day of the vote because I would assume most people already know for whom they are voting before they approach the building. At least, I always know but then I do my homework and pay attention. The only thing that ever gets me is when there is a constitutional amendment on the ballot. No matter how much I study the proposed amendment, it's always worded in a way that makes me second guess for a minute whether I was going to vote for or against it. They really should word them better.

The time change is not being nice to me. I keep thinking it's later than it actually is in the evenings and I haven't managed to wake up and stay up before 11am yet. I was up for a few minutes this morning while Elizabeth was getting ready for school and she fussed at me for reminding her of the time. I had to laugh afterwards because she was absolutely correct and I should have just stayed in bed and let her do her thing.

She got her report card yesterday and minus a conversation that I need to have with her teacher about math, the report card was really good.

The news is on in the breakfast room at work and all they are talking about is the election. I'm sure that will be their subject matter all evening. I'm tempted to just go turn it off. I'd rather listen to silence than to the FOX news cohosts (which is where we HAVE to leave the tv.)

Yes, turning it off to save my sanity.

Monday, November 3, 2014

It was definitely a (Monday) morning

I woke up not feeling all that great; a combination of the cold front that is sweeping through and made it 29 degrees this morning (and we didn't have the heat on in our bedroom) and not sleeping well. I won't blame the not sleeping well on any one thing in particular because I've never really slept like most people do but last night was an endless night of tossing and turning and fragmented dreams so when I woke, it was as if I would have been better off to not sleep at all.

I decided to make coffee (not really much of a decision since I do this every.single.day that someone hasn't already done it for me) and the crock pot that Chris filled last night before bed was sitting on the counter: cold and not bubbling. We have taken to making things in the crock pot overnight since we are both working 3 to 11 and then they are done in the early morning hours and we have plates to take for work. Last night, he filled the pot and turned it on and we both went to bed. This morning, I assumed that the pot was broken and I cried because hello? This crock pot is my lifesaver at times. I unplugged it and plugged it into another receptacle and flipped the switch all around and cried some more because even if I could, miraculously, make it come on the food in it was trash after having sat in there not cooking all night long. And then, I realized the plug I was frantically unplugging and replugging belonged to the toaster. The crock pot plug: sitting behind the pot, not plugged in at all.

The coffee pot beeped to signal it was done and I got out a cup and poured the coffee and realized that I didn't have a bit of sweetener in the house. And I cried again. (I have been overly emotional the past few days/weeks) So I through a couple of teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, something I have not done since 2007 and I drank it and the world did not stop spinning on its axis.

I sat down on the sofa with my sugar sweetened coffee and picked up my phone to scroll through facebook and the internet was sporadically working. The cable modem was working; all the necessary lights were up and lit. I re-set the router and was able to tinker on my phone for a few minutes before it stopped working again. I figured it was my phone because it acts wonky sometimes but Nick told me earlier that it's not working very well on any of the devices and he thinks we probably need to get a new wireless router. (The only reason I didn't cry at that was because I was at work and people were standing in front of me.) I had him do a hard reset and he said it didn't help so I'm thinking that he is probably correct and I just need to go buy one soon.

My day really hasn't gotten any better. I'm holding onto the fact that I have one more day of work after tonight and then I'll have a day off, that tomorrow is election day so there will be no more negative ads on the tv or the radio, and the day after is the 5th of November. I intend to watch V for Vendetta (only fitting I think) and do nothing much more than carry Nick to school and cook a meal.

I really need a break.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 89

Things I am grateful for today

1. The ability to not say what I am thinking sometimes because this past weekend would have been littered with dead bodies from my sharp tongue if I didn't have a good handle on things. People can be so rude and irritating and I think I may have permanent puncture marks in my cheek.

2. Coffee. Without which I would not be standing here with somewhat of a smile on my face.

3. Good books. I read a few of them in October and enjoyed everything I managed to finish reading.

4. It is definitely autumn. The trees outside are a mix of red, yellow, orange and gold. It is gorgeous and I smile every time I see the brilliant colors.

5. My new sweater. It's been getting cold outside which means it's pretty cold inside my house to me and my sweater is warm and toasty. I haven't owned a sweater in years and this one is perfect.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Let's do this

So.... it's that time of year again (also known as November) where I attempt to write on this blog every day for a solid month (NaBloPoMo) and attempt to write a novel (NaNoWriMo). This is not my first go round with either endeavor. I have actually completed NaBloPoMo on more than one occasion (even in months not named November) and this will my 6th or 7th time doing NaNoWriMo.

Yes, I am crazy. In addition to all of that, I have a full time job where I am averaging 6 days a week for now and I have a ton of reading to get done before the library revokes my card for overdue fees (none yet but I imagine I am well on my way to forgetting a due date) and someone pleaded with me to do a photo a day challenge.

I am passing on the photo a day challenge for the month of November because let's face it: I have to have time to do things like eat and sleep. And I'm not the greatest at deadlines and challenges.

Also let's not forget that Thanksgiving is coming up and so is my mom's birthday and my sister's birthday and suddenly I need a full size calendar to keep track of everything.

I have a feeling, by the end of 30 days, I'm going to be sick of myself.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 88

Things I am grateful for today

1. Sunshine. While we could use some rain, days that are filled with sunshine make me happy and less prone to cry at the drop of a hat. We've had some really nice autumn-y days here lately and my heart is happy.

2. After I get done at work tonight, I have 3 days off in a row. I plan to use them to catch up on some stuff I have neglected to do and to rest because for some reason, I have been extraordinarily exhausted as of late.

3. Books that captivate my attention. The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner has done just that. I have the 3rd book of the trilogy left to read and the prequel and then I'm going to have to find another series to dive into.

4. The changing colors on the trees. Autumn is in full swing (even if it is almost 80 degrees today) and the leaves are glorious shades of red and yellow and orange.

5. Chris and my children.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 87

Things I am grateful for today

1. A husband who understands my moods.

2. Elizabeth asking me a "serious" question and really listening to the answer instead of just doing whatever she wanted to do in the first place. I know she won't always come to me for advice so it touched my heart (and made me cry a little).

3. An easy night at work. 

4. Books that I am enjoying. (I haven't been doing much reading in the past few months and I have really been able to get into these books and I'm glad for that.)

5. The leaves are changing colors and autumn is really getting into full swing. It is supposed to be in the 40's all week for night time lows and I am loving it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes # 15


Today was completely busy with errands, phone calls and things that I have been putting off for weeks now. I managed to get it all done though except for a trip to the US Cellular corporate store which I plan to do tomorrow because it's over an hour from my house and I didn't feel like doing much of anything else today.

I went, this evening, to spend a few hours with my sister. I don't get to see her much because we live so far apart and have insane work schedules so it was nice to be able to spend some time with her.

Bojangles is, hands down, my favorite of the take out chicken places. I picked some up to have for supper tonight since Chris was working and I got enough for there to be leftovers for tomorrow. As much as I love their chicken, I simply adore their biscuits and wish I could find a suitable recipe.

I intend to not spend much time on the internet tomorrow because the news is overwhelming and in some ways, depressing. I think everyone should unplug on occasion and I am taking my own advice and doing just that.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner is the book I just finished reading. It was so good that I read it in the course of two and a half hours. I have The Scorch Trials to read next and then I can't find Book 3 in the trilogy and this is bothering me. I may order it on my kindle instead of trying to find a paper copy of it.

Chris is working on my truck on Sunday. I took it to get an oil change and inspection today and the guy gives me a list of things that need to be fixed on it which of course they can do for the small price of an extra $400 or so dollars. Everything on the list is stuff Chris can do so we bought the parts and he's doing that on Sunday. I am most grateful that he knows how to do these things and is willing to give up his Sunday afternoon to do it for me so I don't have to pay someone else to do it.

I really need to get into a better sleep schedule. I don't go to bed until almost 2 every morning and then by the time I finally fall asleep it's almost 4. I spend most of time in a state of exhaustion and it's getting to the point of sheer ridiculousness.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gist - The Sunday Edition # 86



Things I am grateful for today

1. A date day with Chris.
2. A day off from work when he is also off.
3. New books to read.
4. A new cross stitch to do.
5. Elizabeth & Nick

Friday, October 10, 2014

7 Quick Takes # 14


I love my job, truly I do. Nights like tonight though make me wish for my own deserted island and no way to communicate with civilization. Between complaints about things that have nothing to do with my place of employment or myself, people being rude and the telephone ringing nonstop plus people not understanding that it is easy to change a $20 but not a one hundred dollar bill, I am ready to hide beneath the desk or in the back room or off the property altogether. 

I was so thrilled when I read today that Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi. I had hoped that Malala would win last year and was disappointed when she didn't. I think the Nobel Prize committee got it right this year.

I am flabbergasted that the family of Eric Duncan is claiming racial disparity in treatment because he was not offered a blood transfusion from the doctor who has been voluntarily giving blood to patients after overcoming ebola. The reports say that it was considered as an option until they discovered the blood types didn't match and they couldn't use the doctor's blood. I don't know how that makes it a case of racial disparity and I'm thinking there is more to the story than I have been hearing.

I heard, but can't find confirmation, that the constitutional amendment passed in North Carolina banning gay marriage has been overturned and that same sex marriages can start any day now. I really hope this is true. I am so sick of hearing "but the voters said...." The amendment was voted on during a primary where voter turnout was abysmal and the whole concept sucks to begin with. Here's to marriage equality.

It's common knowledge that I can't go to the library without checking out a book. Today's selections include a biography about Elizabeth Smart, Michelle Knight and the book Adultery by Paulo Coelho. I am trying to read more because I love reading and have gotten away from it in the past several months.

The story of Brittany Maynard makes me cry and I have watched it several times. Life is frequently not fair and this is one of those instances. 

I intend to take my husband away this Sunday since we both have the day off and we need to have a date night. I figure if I spirit him off early, he won't have the opportunity to do anything that resembles "work" because I swear that's all he's done for the past few months. I hope I am successful.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 85

Things I am grateful for today

1. It was 46 degrees this morning. The return of crisp, clean autumn air is not unwelcome. We were able to turn of the air conditioners and open some windows. There isn't anything not to love about that.

2. I have Tuesday off. I will have worked a 6 day week and I was worried it would be more like an 11 day week before a day off so Tuesday off is very much appreciated.

3. This week has a golf group and 3 buses in it so at least it won't be as slow as it has been. I like slow days on occasion but this time of year, they happen too frequently for me.

4. I have several books waiting to be read and I am actually finding/making time to do some reading.

5. Compliments from random strangers. That helped make my day today.

Friday, October 3, 2014

7 Quick Takes # 13

Today is Chris's birthday and we both had to work. He went in early so he'll be off early so he can go hunting tomorrow and because of vacations/drill schedules, I had to work my normal 3 to 11. I'm not complaining though because a) steady employment for us both and b) I gave him his present before my birthday and all he's going to do when he gets home is gather his stuff for tomorrow, shower and go to bed early.

The weather has been hot and humid the past few days. Tonight, it's supposed to thunderstorm and over the weekend the lows are supposed to be in the 40s. I will take it because I'm tired as I can be of summer. I'm ready for some real autumn weather. 


Work has been a mix of busy and slow and I know I shouldn't complain about it because while it's slow right now I have the opportunity to do some things that I don't normally get to do. It will get busy again soon and I won't be able to take a full breath without someone interrupting me and I'll be wishing it was slow. It's a never ending cycle.

My 5 year anniversary at work is coming up soon (even though I took 4 months off, the time still carries so my 5 year anniversary is a few weeks.) This is the longest I have ever been in one place that paid me to work since staying at home is wonderful but unpaid in the monetary department.

I stopped by the library this week and loaded up on reading materials because I'm finding myself picking up books instead of electronics whenever I have a few spare moments. I'm absolutely happy about that because I miss reading when I'm not doing much of it.

I'm also doing a bit more writing than I have been. Maybe some of it will make it's way here instead of just in my notebook.

I got my truck back. It looks better than the picture I posted the other day because Chris sent me that picture while they were still working on it. I am very happy to have it back and not crushed and running. I think, though, that I may save up some money and get a paint job first of next year. I'm thinking black?


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Musings: odds & ends

Watching bits & pieces of the news while the rain pours out the window of the hotel would seem to be a recipe for a sad evening but instead, I am bright and happy today. I don't guarantee I will remain that way all week because I have one day off this week (that one day being tomorrow) and then I work the next 6 days straight but I have no complaints. Christmas is fast approaching and trucks are coming out of the shop and that will require payments so overtime is not a bad thing.

I left home early today because I needed to take some pants to the dry cleaners to have them pinned and hemmed and the woman who helped me was just so full of light that she made me smile. I got done early so I went to the library (never turn down a library trip!) and then I got myself a salad for supper since we didn't cook today. We are going to start cooking at lunch time so Chris and I can both take a plate to work with us.

There is a mosquito in here with me approximately the size of a helicopter (that's what it feels like when he lands and starts sucking out all of my blood!) He's quick because I have not yet been able to kill him although I have smacked myself about 9 times already. I think I am being laughed at by the mosquito at this point.

It's slow-ish in here this evening which is perfectly fine with me because the weekend was busy and this coming weekend is going to be busy so a little downtime doesn't hurt my feelings.

I finally ordered checks with our new address on them. We've only been moved for over a year... I think it's past time for the updated checks. The only reason I went ahead and ordered them now is because I only have 5 checks left. I tend to procrastinate. ;-)

I think I am going to spend the evening in between guests reading the book I picked up at the library today. It seems like a good thing to do.
.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 84

Things I am grateful for today

1. I have a job that I love and I am good at what I do.

2. I will have my truck back sometime before the weekend and it will no longer have a caved in roof.

3. My children who try to do the right thing always and who are both empathetic. We have great children although one of them is technically no longer a child.

4. My birthday was all I could have hoped for and more and I enjoyed it immensely.

5. Things are starting to look up.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Because my creativity has left....

You know things in my world are not on an even keel when it's been almost 2 full months since I posted anything on the blog, 3 full days since I last posted on twitter (where I spend a majority of my time) and a few weeks since I posted anything on facebook that wasn't a share for my sister's Mary Kay business venture. Life hasn't been good or bad... it's just been and muddling through left no room for much of anything else. I imagine a touch of depression may have had something to do with it too.

So I'm borrowing a set of prompts somewhere on the internet (bad me for not remembering to remember where I found them) and today they will have to do.

Outside my window…. A parking lot. It's mostly empty because this is a slow time of year for the hotel business when the hotel is not near/on a beach. There are only a few cars in the parking lot. Beyond the lot, blue skies with a few puffy clouds and a cemetery. Earlier it looked as if it was going to storm and while it stay might, the sky has cleared up for now and it is gorgeous looking outside.

Giving thanks…. For being employed again. (That's a long story that I might relay one day that isn't today.) For having two children in school (one in his first semester of college and one in the 7th grade. They both seem to like their classes and while it's early, they seem to be doing really good. For having a husband who is amazing in so many ways and still puts up with me after all these years.

I am thinking about…. Elizabeth's upcoming birthday (in only 4 days!) She's going to be 12 and she's feisty and independent and so very social and I can't believe it's been 12 years already. Time flies. I'm also thinking about how there are some changes I need to make (and some that I've already made)  and how I really need to carve out some "just me" time in these hectic days that I have going on.

In the craft area.... I have so many things I want to do and no defined time to actually do any of them. That's my fault, I know, and I'm hoping to fix that soon. I want to get back into cross stitching (maybe finally finish that one project that I've been avoiding forever) and I have some scribblings laying around the house on various pieces of paper. Elizabeth has been enjoying my darby smart boxes as much as I have. We made soap with Codi from one box. We made our own stamped jewelry from another box. Elizabeth and Aliyah made candy mustaches and lips from a different month's box. Elizabeth and her daddy made a bracelet from another box. I still have a clock and some wood burning material from two separate boxes to make and then unrelated to the darby smart boxes, I have some painting things gathered together to do sun catchers. Too many projects, not enough time. 

From the kitchen….  I've been cooking more since we decided to eat out less and so has everyone else so there are always leftovers in the fridge for those nights we decide we are just too tired to cook and for me to carry supper to work with me. I finally learned how to make homemade cornbread in the frying pan (it's something my mama used to do and I could never get the recipe right) and I have plans to try my hand at homemade bread.

I am creating…. new routines and recreating some friendships that I thought were long over. I like being wrong when it comes to that idea. 

I’m working on…. learning to take care of me while continuing to take care of everyone else. I'm learning organizational skills and attempting to learn some better time management because it seems like I'm always leaving something undone. I frequently think "there's not enough time for...." but I've come to realize that I have plenty of time; I just haven't been using it in the best way possible. I'm changing that.

I am reading… Save the Date by Jen Doll and Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.

I am hearing…. an episode from Food Network's Chopped


One of my favorite things….. flowers. There are some beautiful ones blooming at the hotel and they never fail to bring a smile to my face.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 83

Things I am grateful for today

1. Almost having the house the way I want it

2. Decluttering is therapeutic.

3. Not losing my mind with Nick even though I really wanted to tell him a thing or three about himself.

4. coffee

5. long drives in the evenings where Chris and I talk about everything and nothing all at once.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 82

Things I am grateful for today

1. knowing when something is off with my mental health and taking the necessary steps to correct it.

2. copious amounts of coffee

3. newborn puppies (they are so preciously adorable)

4. taking some me time and also some "us" (Chris and I) time

5. reconnecting with old friends.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 81

Things I am grateful for today

1. I got wonderful cards from Chris and my children and flowers for Mother's Day.

2. Being made to feel really special.

3. The vitamin B supplement I am taking that hasn't done doodly for weight loss like it claims but has left me with plenty of energy.

4. Apple Orchard candles

5. thunderstorms

Sunday, May 4, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 80

Things I am grateful for today

1. a semi set schedule that doesn't have me up until 2 or 3 in the monring

2. REAL sleep

3. being able to cook supper every evening (even if people do complain that said supper contains vegetables.)

4. coffee

5. being loved and knowing it but not taking it for granted

Sunday, April 27, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 79

Things I am grateful for today

1. An entire week of not having anywhere to be.

2. getting to spend some real quality time with Chris and the kids

3. the flowers are in full bloom.

4. The pets (even when they annoy me.)

5. home cooked meals

Sunday, April 20, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 78

Things I am grateful for today

1. Today was my last day at the hotel. It went pretty well and while I will miss everyone with whom I worked, I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to move on. Very excited to see what the next chapter of my life holds.

2. tissues (because yes, I did my share of crying but I did it after I left work tonight and not before.)

3. coffee and chocolate. Together

4. The rain that we got that we very much needed

5. my children

Sunday, April 13, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 77

Things I am grateful for today

1. the ability to sleep in before having to go to work

2. people who make me laugh

3. a house that is slowly coming together

4. interactions on Twitter

5. knowing that I am loved

Sunday, April 6, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 76

Things I am grateful for today

1. A husband who is supportive of my decisions.

2. Sandpiper on Sundays

3. pretty weather

4. blooming flowers

5. coffee and lots of it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 75

Things I am grateful for today

1. After almost 2 days of rain, the sun has peeked out this evening, even though only for a few minutes, and put a smile on my face.

2. the cup of coffee Chris poured and put together for me this morning.

3. a new book to dive into on my days off this week.

4. Japanese food for supper tonight at work.

5. being in love and being loved. There's little else that feels as good.

Friday, March 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes # 12


Having typed out an entire 7 quick takes only to have it disappear when I hit publish, I'm not going to retype it all. I'm irritated now. Suffice it to say you can find some properly done Quicik Take links at  Conversion Diary!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 74

Things I am grateful for today

1. a busy evening. A golf group and a bus full of tourists on their way home from Phillies spring training. The lobby is lively and full of laughter.

2. Coming to what is, hopefully, the end of this cold that I have been carrying around for the better part of a week.

3. The Bradford pears are blooming and so are some of the cherry blossoms and it is a gorgeous sight to behold.

4. Being able to upgrade Elizabeth's phone to a brand new one. She's always had our old phones when we have upgraded and she's done such a great job with them that I thought she was responsible enough to finally have her own.

5. Coffee and sunshine.

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 175

It's been awhile since I have done one of these although my offline gratitude practice remains on point. In no particular order, here ar...