Friday, January 20, 2023

Claim it - my word for 2023.

Each year I try to find a word and focus on this one word, in hopes it would make a lasting impact on my life. I haven't done too well with it for the past several years.  I so hope 2023 is different. 

This year is already off to a different type of start with good things on the horizon.  In my workplace, they allow 16 hours towards volunteering.  Since I was trying to learn the ropes last year, I didn't even attempt to figure out the "giving back" portion of the company. Thanks to a friend who also works at my company asking me to volunteer with him, I kinda rolled my eyes and said - sure, why not. (Just as a side note here: the number one reason people don't GIVE or VOLUNTEER is because they are never asked.) 

So you have here the newest volunteer math tutor for HEART Math Tutoring!  I've met one of the two students I will be working with this semester and she is PRECIOUS.  Adore her. We hit it off right from the beginning. Now, let me say here, I have a tendency to reverse numbers when I'm tired or stressed. I told my student this - let's call her Maggie - I told Maggie and she thought that was hilarious! :)  I'll meet my second student this coming week. 

Today, I scheduled time with a coworker to learn more about my company's match in giving. Holy smokes, you can give up to $2,000 a year and they match this!! And the match can go to any organization you prefer, not necessarily the ones you gave your money to, which is also awesome! I immediately looked up two organizations that mean the world to me: 
  • Itmann Food Bank in West Virginia.  They have the most creative ideas on how to help people through difficult financial times. Yes, they give out food. But they also have a chicken project that provides a chicken coop and chickens for those who are willing to try it! 35 families now have chickens! And they provide school supplies, clothing, and more. Love them. 
  • The Marfan Foundation.  Likely you have never heard of Marfan Syndrome, but it has a huge impact on my family. This foundation works to advance research, serve as a resource for families and healthcare providers and raise public awareness. I've sat in on a presentation from them and it's amazing where they are taking research and finding new solutions to Marfan related problems. 
So, in addition to giving to these companies, I can also give them my match.  AND I can give my gift in memory of my brother-in-law and Dad! I think that's just AWESOME that I can remember these two loved ones through my gift from work! 

AND FURTHERMORE! I discovered as I volunteer and log my volunteer hours, I can earn Community Care Grants to give to organizations. I earned $50 for signing up to send a card to someone in Maine. I'm so excited about this aspect of my workplace.  This is foreign to me and I love it. 

What else can I CLAIM in 2023? I'm hoping to get my passport and am encouraging Mom, my sister and niece to also get theirs... you know, just in case we should want to travel somewhere! Mom has an interest in traveling and I think I could convince her. And I want my niece to see the world outside of our little state. Or the states around us. I want to have to understand there is so much more to this world and it's so beautiful and awe-inspiring.  For Christmas, I signed her up to receive the magazine, "Faces", which is supposed to be about other countries.  So I hope to instill in her a love for travel and exploration.  

I know this year is going to be tough, going through so many things without my Dad.  Today I found a voicemail on my phone from him and listened to it.  I can't believe it's already been four months since I've heard that voice.  Wow. But he would never want us to sit and mourn. That wasn't him. He loved us so very much, this I've never doubted.  The voicemail was him worrying about me and wanting me to call and check in to let them know everything was ok.  Yeah, 2023 is going to be hard. But it's going to be good, too. Claim it. Claim all the good out there and push through the bad. We got this, right? 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Goodbye 2022 and good riddance.

 Macy said tonight she was sad to see 2022 leave. Of course, Mom, Katie, and I said WHY?!? We are so over 2022. But, I am so thankful Macy sees so many good things that happened in 2022. 

2022 for me: 

— I changed jobs after being at my government job of 12 years. It was scary but so good for me. I worked from home and still haven’t met most of my coworkers, yet developed friendships all the same. 

— I traveled! At least three trips to the NC Mts with family and friends. VA/W Va to see Sherry and a promise to visit Shirley next time!!❤️ (This year’s autumn leaves were amazing!) Dylan and I drove to Iowa, met a few of my coworkers there (Rachel and her kittens!) and saw amazing views of this country. 8 states and another town with my last name!! Rachel came to visit us so we squeezed in Charleston and Folly Beach and a few trips into Charlotte. Hit up North Myrtle for Thanksgiving and enjoyed a quieter Christmas at home. 

— Watched Ellie win Miss Freshman at her high school - she was so confident and poised! I was very impressed! Enjoyed a little time with her and Donna where I was able to see how much she grew up during those Covid years! She’s a teenager now!!! And is such a”good kid.”

— And the toughest event ever - having my Dad pass away in September. Even with this, I saw so many amazing things. How he impacted the medical staff in a positive way. At various times, nurses came in after clocking out to say how much they enjoyed him and his family.  He showed determination. Strong faith. A fighting spirit. So much love for his family. We have loved the George stories, meeting his old friends and coworkers. Seeing family. Yes, these were (and are) very hard days. But for us because our hearts hurt missing him so much. He is healed, happy, with our Heavenly Father! And all the family and friends who went before him. We will see him again. For that, I am so thankful. 

So yes, 2022 sucked. But it was beautiful, too. It took a 10-year-old to remind me of this, but she is often wise beyond her years. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

And in a snap

Four years have come and gone in a snap of the fingers. I wish I could tell you majorly exciting things happened during those years, but not so much. I changed jobs after 12 years and that’s opened up all kinds of new opportunities. And even more change is on the horizon as the office calls us to return from working at home beginning in 2023. I’ve made new friends, met new people, and traveled halfway across this country to see new places and beautiful views. I’ll do a stand alone on that one soon. 

The biggest change, in all of my 47 years thus far, is losing my Dad. September 11, 2022. 

I remember this episode of Grey’s Anatomy where Christina is talking to George about joining the Dead Dad’s Club. A few days before he passed, I couldn’t get that image out of my head. I bawled the whole way home from the hospital because I didn’t want to join this stupid club and I was very afraid I was going to.

It doesn’t seem real. Never seeing him again? Hearing his laugh? Getting his advice? Kissing the top of his head on my way out the door? Hearing his truck coming up the driveway or his tractor in the field? Sitting with him in one of his swings and hearing stories of his family? Eating way too many of his biscuits and taking more to go? How can all of this have ended with one final breath? It’s not real. It just can’t be. 

Mom told me one time she worried about me, that I was still single because I was trying to find a guy to live up to my dad, and that would be hard to do. She is so right. He wasn’t perfect, but he loved God, guided us back to Him, loved his wife of 52 years and respected her, loved his children and steered them on a solid, steady path, and doted on his grandchildren. He dealt fairly or to the other person’s advantage. He worked hard and took pride in doing a great job. And his knowledge was vast, spanning a million subjects and always learning more. 

Dad was salt of the earth, a country boy, with no presumptions and no airs. He didn’t try to be someone he wasn’t and he very much knew who he was. He respected people, no matter their color or standing. And loved to laugh! Always going on with junk and teasing folks. 

Needless to say, the man who meant more to me than any other man ever has in my entire life-he is gone. Will I be ok? Of course. He prepared us for him leaving us since we were kids. His parents died young and he never expected to live to 75. He was so shocked as more birthdays came and went. And he passed 15 minutes before he turned 76. We buried him one day before I turned 47. 

My very wise sweet niece, 10-years-old and lost her dad almost 4 years ago, wrote a letter to her Pawpaw for us to read to him. She said “I am really, really going to miss you and I know this is not goodbye but I will miss you until then.”  Yes sweet girl, we will all miss him until we join him in Heaven above with others who loved the Lord and passed before us. It is this that brings me the most joy, knowing he has met Jesus Himself! He is reunited with his parents, his siblings, and friends. He is fine! It’s we who are left here that selfishly want our beloved husband, father, pawpaw, brother, and friend back. But his Heaven Father has him in His loving care and a host of heavenly beings rejoiced to have him enter those gates. 

Sheesh I needed a place to dump so many emotions. If anyone is out there and still reading this defunct blog, I apologize. 1-for ditching you and 2-for coming back with a truckload of emotions. I’ll end with - go hug someone you love and let them know you care. Heck, it’s literally a handful of days before Christmas- perfect timing. ❤️ 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Dia & Co. Review!

Ok ya'll.

I don't usually do this stuff, but all the sudden, I've become a direct mail kinda gal.

It started with Young Living Essential Oils.  Got my oils in the mail, 16 months later, I'm still ordering every month.  I do love those oils and they do work!

Then it was Monat hair products.  Um... I do like some of their products. I liked what their shampoo and conditioner did for my hair - wow! But then it was like my scalp hated me and it, so no more of that. I do like their detangler, my  mom loves their hairspray and I like the dry shampoo, but it doesn't go very far.

Then, it was Plexus! I've had it a month and am having to slowly get into it. Detox isn't pretty and it tried to kill me (just kidding, I'm just a whimp) but I'm ok.  I am introducing a little at a time. And a new order ships next week. :)


Ya'll, for real, I ordered this on FRIDAY and it arrived at work on MONDAY.  Holy smokes, it was on fire getting here so fast! Right from the beginning, I loved the box it came in.  Purple packaging tape and lined in purple inside! I love purple!

But I'm jumping ahead, let me tell you from the beginning.  I chose Dia & Co because I'm a plus sized lady.  I figured if they specialize in my sizes, they would probably have a better chance understanding what would look good on a chunky monkey like me.  So, Dia & Co it is.

Did the survey, answered the question, requested the items I was most interested in. Picked a price range, asked for no yellow clothing, no dresses and no skirts.  What do I like to show off? Ummm.. nothing.  No legs, no belly, no bust, no shoulders - can I have a burlap sack with eye holes please? But, it's all good, I figure they have seen and heard it all before me.

I sent a pic of what I was wearing that day - jeans and a flowy shirt.  Flip flops.  The only measurements they had were my height and bra size (that I can remember). I was determined to be open-minded and try on everything I received.  I figured this was part of the experience, to lean on their expertise and step out of my comfort zone.  I let my coworkers rate my box and gave a show this afternoon in the office. Here is what we thought:

(One day, I'll add pictures.  Not today)

First - I did receive a dress and I was ok with that.  I wasn't surprised, I'd seen too many dresses and skirts in pics advertising Dia & Co.  But it's all good.  I'm glad they included it.

I received:
--a necklace (everyone in the office LOVED it)

--a dress in kelly green and black (they loved the dress. I was OK with the dress, just not a dress person.  But it did make me consider I could wear dresses in the future, should I want to).  It's going back.  April picks this as her TOP PICK.

--A black soft shirt with crochet sleeves.  We all loved this shirt.  I would not have chosen it becasue of the sleeves, but on, I really liked it! It's a keeper!  Sharon and Cyndi pick this as their TOP PICK.

--An interesting blouse with a sheerish looking white back, light blue and white stripes and florals on the front.  Ther eis no way I would have tried that shirt on ever.  April reaaaallllly liked it.  And I did, too, once it was on.  Debating on this one.

--Bright magenta ankle pants - what a FUN color! The fit in the waist, legs all that was really great.  But the crotch wasn't quite right for me.  So I really appreciate they sent them and the color/size but the fit wasn't super right.

Overall - they did a great job picking the right colors fo rme! The right shapes of clothing and they looked good on (according to the work trio).  They said the tops were a different type of fit than what I would normally wear and they were very flattering.  And Dia included tips on what else to wear these pieces with - items most folks would already have in their closet.  So that was helpful, too.

Count me as impressed.  Items were in the price range I chose, which were a little more high end. But this will give me a chance to learn designer names that look good on me, styles and cuts that look good and help me shop for myself later on! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A New Beginning, Mid-Year

Today I've made yet another commitment financially and I hope it was a smart move.

I've invested in PLEXUS.  I've never been one to do the shakes, the meal replacement, blah blah.  And the options I have chosen isn't about meal replacements or shakes. But about probiotics, cleanses, and pink drinks before meals to help me eat less.  Looking at what all I ate today, I kinda wish it were already here. 

I want to sleep better - heck, sleep at all!  I want my clear mind back, to be able to remember the small details and have my brain function.  And, no lie, it would be nice to lose some weight.  Maybe an energy boost would help with that...

Regardless, I'll let you know how it goes.  Keep you up-to-date on my progress.  Here's to new adventures!

Monday, April 2, 2018

It's not real.

Whew - I've so much on my mind.  Have wanted to dump it all here for a while, but could never summon the energy to do so.  For a while now, I've been addicted to YouTube for entertainment at night.  It started with Santa bringing me a Kindle Fire, which allows me to lay in bed and watch movies/clips/etc forever.  and ever.  Allllllll night.  I'm not sleeping anyway, why not watch videos?

So my dirty little secret or embarrassing indulgence... Vampire Diaries. I can't find full episodes for free so I try to piece together snippets from each episode, sometimes getting them out of order and missing huge chunks of the story.  I thought I had a clue of the story line, only to find another snippet that put me in a tail spin. Ugh.  I'm getting Netflix and binge watching soon.

Let me tell you, though, what I've learned from watching a show on a tablet all the time:

  1. My life is boring. Usually I'm ok with that, but after seeing the glam and excitement of staking out bad vampires and werewolf things, I was getting very disappoint and dissatisfied with my boring self and my boring life. Which I finally wizened up and realized....
  2. No one works, cleans, washes the sheets they all roll around in, showers, goes to the bathroom, suffers from allergies, goes clothes shopping, struggles to find a bathing suit that fits, DIES and stays dead, wonders where these high school students are in the middle of the night... or the next day at school, pays the mortgage, scrambles to pay the electric bill, etc etc etc etc etc...
  3. Everyone looks perfect, even if they've been stabbed, shot, if they are mad, sleep deprived, sad, lonely, confused - they just look so hot doing it all. Even on my best day, I don't look hot. Well, unless I'm outside sweating, and then I'm not happy that I'm hot. 
  4. If you want to look hot, you must pull some of your hair in front of your shoulders. Just something I've noticed. 
  5. When they kiss, they never miss. Never crash noses. Or crash teeth. Or accidentally whack foreheads.  Nope. They are just that good. 
  6. This crap isn't real in any way shape or form. So why did I let it make me feel dissatisfied with my life? Watch the bloopers, see how often the sneeze, burp, flub the lines, miss the target, get frustrated... it's all crap. You know, in case you didn't realize vampires weren't real? 
How on earth did I get wrapped up in this crap? But now I want to know the storyline... so Netflix, here I come. As soon as I finish True Blood (hahaha!) and I'm not a vampire fan AT ALL.  Not a SciFi fan - is that considered SciFi? I don't even know what all is SciFi but I know I don't usually like it. Unless it's Iron Man because... well, it's Iron Man. 

Ok ya'll, I'm headed home.  :)   to do everyday normal people stuff, like clean up my kitchen. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Playing It Safe.

I haven't gotten into the Winter Olympics like I normally do, but I'm sitting here watching tonight. Sounds like the cold in Korea is making unique challenges in some sports but one guy summed it up: everyone is trying to play it safe but it's a go big or go home type of situation. I'll be the first to say, I am not a risk taker. Not at all. -- Random thought: how do the skaters spin like that and not wobble around like a drunken monkey?  And is it just evil to watch these Olympians and then a commercial for a bacon, egg and cheese buttered biscuit combo? Just checking.

2017 became the year of vendor events for mom and I and our business, Pressed Clovers. I use the business term lightly, But mom makes girls' hair bows and I sew baby bibs and burp cloths. We tried selling at a tractor show and did great! And then we went full steam ahead. Who knew there were Spring vendor shows? So here we go again... Winding up for round two! Very excited. You can find us online at Pressed Clovers on Facebook and at Pressed Clovers on Etsy. We are on Instagram, too, as Pressed Clovers and I probably post more there as I'm completing items.

I discovered sewing is the only thing that can shut my brain down after a long day at work. If I think about anything, even about what I'm sewing, I will mess up. So I have to clear my mind and just exist for the sewing machine. Some nights it's a struggle. :)

Since I have the Olympics on, let me just say how much I miss Scott Hamilton. I love ice skating but Tara and Johnny are snarky and rude. They have little tact and it's just annoying.

Ok enough of that. I'm switching between the Olympics and Victoria on PBS. If you don't watch PBS, you are missing out on excellent television. Masterpiece Theater is awesome. Independent Lens also brings great programming, too. And I'm loving Ann Curry's show, We Will Meet Again. Good stuff. Tuesday nights - check it out. You'll cry. At least I cry.

So many things make me cry these days. The Apple Iwatch commercial with the letters from users - sniff sniff. Sad movies - sniff sniff. We took Macy to see The Star and when Mary told Joseph something about God never promised an easy life -- SNIFF SNIFF! And I'm sooo tired. I struggle to sleep, struggle to stay asleep, struggle to stay awake at work. It's terrible. If Spring doesn't get here soon and we can leave these snowy, cold, dreary, days behind I'm going to lose my mind.

I'll come back and add more pictures tomorrow. I'm actually doing this from my poor old phone, screen cracked, washed in a load of clothes and then dunked in the tub. Amazing. :) sweet dreams friends!

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