Weekly Weigh In: YIKES! What Was I Thinking????

Recently my daughter got married.  It was a small, private affair based on her desire to live out her faith and not live with her fiance without being married.  The big fancy wedding is next year.  In looking through the photos I realized that ARGH what was I thinking?

Thinking about my hair for one.  I had changed from my spiky ‘do’ and went with a pixie cut I had seen.  Actually my spiky look is a form of a pixie but I wanted to try something different.  THAT was a mistake.  Even once it grew out I didn’t like it so I am back to my “wild arse hair” as a guest writer, Chuck (see The Dating Diaries) had called it.

I also wore white pants to that wedding.  I needed something simple but pretty to wear but wow white was not a good idea.  They made me look really bad.  I’m 12 pounds lighter than I was in those photos but good grief that was not one of my better choices either.

I’m thankful I started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge, and hoping to continue along with the downward progression of the scale. When I finish this challenge I am going to look at the Lean In 13.  I refuse to give up now that I’m on the right road, feeling good again and slowly gaining more energy in addition to starting to fit into my clothes again.

I’m also incorporating my coffee into this and it is helping!  I drink Javita Weight Loss Coffee and green tea (over ice with a bit of lemon juice).

I’m bold (and wacky) enough to say I weighed in at just under 200 when my daughter got married on 6/13.  I am just under 188 and dropping.  While some say I was carrying the weight pretty well, I still know it needed to go.  I’ll keep you all updated, not that anyone is just dying to follow this, and let you know the progress.

NOT my most flattering look! Hair and weight are a real bad deal for me.

NOT my most flattering look! Hair and weight are a real bad deal for me.

10544854_665063380245856_759571677_n

Me 17 days ago at the start of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge.

Side view

Side view

100 Updated Random Facts About The Marvelous One

I just stumbled on a past post from 2011, 100 Random Facts About Me, and realized that it is a bit out of date.  So with a lack of creativity flowing through me today I’m updating it.

  1. My favorite color is still pink, followed closely by purple.  Always has been.
  2. My favorite flower is lavender roses, followed closely by yellow, then pink.
  3. My favorite vegetable is corn, prefer it on the cob.  Yes it means I will need to floss but wow it is SO good.
  4. I am a natural blond but once in a while I sport auburn, or temporary pink sprayed throughout.  Currently auburn.
  5. Peppermint iced tea, lightly sweetened, is one of my favorite drinks, year  round.
  6. I never had any desire to be a Disney Princess when I grow  up. (note that says WHEN, still haven’t!)
  7. I am terrified of the  dark and sleep with a night light of some kind (an actual night  light,  FeBreze Luminary, laptop screen saver…).
  8. I sleep with a stuffed Teddy Bear (don’t judge).
  9. I am very much afraid of storms.

  10. I am afraid of heights.
  11. I’m also afraid of fire.
  12. I cannot  stand to sit with my back to  the door when out.
  13. I’m not a glass half full person, I see mine as 95% full.
  14. I chew on my bottom lip, it is a habit that I have found impossible to break.
  15. I wear contact lenses for distance and cannot drive without them.
  16. Because of the contacts, I need readers when the contacts are in my eyes.  I am wearing bifocals at the moment.
  17. I REALLY do want a Butt Freckle, still don’t have one.
  18. My favorite time of the year is Christmas, and the only time of year I like snow and cold.
  19. I have 3 tattoos, and plan to have my whole back done want to get a sleeve eventually.
  20. I have both ears triple pierced, and my left has a fourth up top.
  21. My nose is pierced and I wear a tiny diamond  nose  ring.
  22. I LOVE to read.
  23. I LOVE to crochet! especially baby blankets and booties. If I make a blanket  for you, then you are very special!
  24. My favorite beer is Mich Ultra, but it gives me migraines no matter  how  many or few I drink, so Bud Select 55 is what I drink.  Actually at the moment IF I drink it’s wine.
  25. I love coffee!  Flavored ones even better.
  26. Chocolate is great, dark chocolate is even better (Hershey’s special dark!)
  27. I had a hysterectomy when I was 40 years old, YEAH!
  28. I have had a tummy tuck and the twins enhanced.
  29. I’ve been married twice, both times to fire  fighters.  Never again to that profession!
  30. My favorite job is what I am currently about:  Fire/Water/Mold restoration company (I manage it), Avon, SwissJust Essential Oils, Javita Coffee, Jewelry In Candles and Advocare!  I am somewhat of a direct sales junkie
  31. I’ve been in roughly 40 of  the  50 states, but  never lived further  than a 5 square mile area of where I am now.
  32. I was born under the sign of the bull, and fit it to the letter!
  33. I started playing Farmville on Facebook,  what was I  thinking???
  34. I love my smart phone.
  35. The first child I gave birth  to I placed  for  adoption.
  36. I hate wearing shoes, prefer socks or bare footed.
  37. I  go through a LOT  of little footie socks because I don’t wear shoes.  I have 18 pair of Hello Kitty footie socks.
  38. Diet Coke is better than Diet Pepsi.
  39. I love rings, and over time will have one for every finger, thumbs included.
  40. I wear a set of wedding bands  I  bought for myself, keeps the flies away so to speak.
  41. I will get married again, one day.   I enjoyed being someone’s only one, and having someone be mine.
  42. I’m a reformed cat hater.
  43. My second  favorite holiday is Halloween.
  44. But I hate haunted houses and scarey movies.
  45. I love watching football – Bengals, Colts, Bearcats and Buckeyes.
  46. I enjoy Bearcat basketball too. (can’t stand Xavier)
  47. I am NOT a fan of the fighting Irish, sorry Notre Dame
  48. I totally hate shopping, a root canal  is more pleasant (they drug you!).
  49. I love scented candles, especially WoodWick and Jewelry In Candles, candles.
  50. I do NOT like surprises as in parties.  Don’t do it, I’ll be upset.
  51. I boycott Valentine’s Day (Single Awareness Day), even when married/attached. If you want to get me flowers, do it for NO reason, not the pressure of the mass marketing.
  52. I can cook…but I HATE  it so I  don’t do it.  I actually have started to enjoy this.
  53. Meat is not murder, it is dinner. Pass the steak sauce,  please.
  54. I do not text and drive.  I  will at a red light but if moving the phone is put down.
  55. I am not currently in a relationship.  Just not sure it’s what I want at this time.
  56. I like putting a pink streak in my hair sometimes just because I can.
  57. I used  to have my nipples, belly and south of the border piereced, and I might consider it again.
  58. At Christmas time I LOVE UDF (United Dairy Farmer) Eggnog shakes!
  59. I have a tough exterior but get my feelings  hurt very easily.
  60. I rarely let anyone see me cry.
  61. I miss grandpa Fred very much, even after 14 years.  Sometimes when my life is over whelming or I need to think, I go sit by his grave and talk to him.
  62. UDF Homemade Brand Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, with chocolate syrup drizzled on it and walnuts is the ultimate PMS food.
  63. I read my bible, often, and find much comfort and guidance in it’s pages.
  64. I love my kids and grandkids.  And I’ve long since forgiven and gotten past the bitterness toward the ex.  He married an awesome lady who is perfect for him and I’m happy for them both.
  65. I have just the 2 blogs for the moment, and barely have time to write on either of them.
  66. I stopped playing Angry Birds, now I’m hooked on Candy Crush Saga.  What was I thinking?
  67. While those looking from the outside see me as outgoing, I’m painfully shy and hate situations where I don’t know anyone.
  68. I am directionally challenged, I get lost even with GPS.
  69. Sometimes I think I should have gone into marketing, I seem to ‘pimp’ things very well.
  70. I am torn about returning to school to finish my degree, not sure I want  to be an interpreter but wish I knew American Sign  Language better. Thinking returning just for the language parts
  71. I totally support concealed carry and gun ownership.
  72. Gun control = taking very careful aim so you don’t miss.
  73. I always vote.
  74. I never vote party lines.
  75. I try to donate blood regularly.
  76. I am an organ donor, take it all if it can help someone else.
  77. I am a procrastinator and do my best work in the 11th hour.
  78. I love my Bengals.  Yes they suck but they are my team.
  79. Very rarely am I ever seen outside without my face on, too self conscious.
  80. I used to smoke, quit when my son was 2years old (28 years ago!) cold turkey.
  81. When I am least huggable is when I need a hug the most!
  82. Fleece blankets right from the dryer when I am cold are just amazing!
  83. Nutella on 12 grain toast is a great breakfast or snack.
  84. If you hurt my feelings I am quick to forgive.
  85. If you hurt someone I love, I will become your worst enemy and nightmare.
  86. I like my bedroom to be cold when I am sleeping.
  87. When I need one, nothing beats curling up on the bed and taking an afternoon nap. Even better with someone wrapped around me.
  88. Fountain soda pop is by far the best way to drink pop of any kind.
  89. Microwave popcorn is snack crack to me.
  90. Sometimes kisses really DO make boo boos feel better (especially the ones of the heart)
  91. Hugs for no reason are the best kind.
  92. Actions do speak louder than words, but sometimes I just need to hear the words.
  93. I get a flu shot every year, and never get the flu when I do!
  94. If I find Toll House Chips in the pantry, I will open them and just eat them right  from the bag.
  95. I would far rather be hurt by the truth than by catching someone in a lie.
  96. Sometimes I like to do dishes by hand, the hottest water while wearing rubber gloves helps the arthritis in my hands.
  97. Sometimes I just want to sleep in until I wake up and feel like getting out of bed.
  98. I have an addiction to jammies, I will buy every cute (not sexy) pair that I can afford.
  99. I like to color and blow  bubbles, it’s just FUN.
  100. I color outside the lines sometimes, because it is how I like to live my life.

Sunday Afternoon Coffee Musings: Gifts

Coffee cup with steamToday in church, in the continuation of the “Oh The Wonders I’ve Seen” series, our campus pastor, Greg, was talking about the wonders in each of our lives.  Those things we are so busy we miss but are gifts and blessings from God.  He used a verse that came to him last weekend while celebrating his 30th birthday:

James 1:17New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

We were challenged to really look around us this coming week at the gifts we are given, the good things in our life.  It got me thinking of the many things each day that pass by me that I don’t even realize are just that, good things, perfect gifts from God.  If I believe (and I do) that nothing touches our lives that is not given by or allowed by God (and if He is indeed omnipotent then of course He has to allow it or it cannot occur), then everything good is a gift.

Have you heard that question, “what if you woke up tomorrow with only those things you thanked God for today”?  It really makes you think!  Most nights I fall into sleep forgetting to take time to pray and give thanks.  I could try just giving thanks in prayer throughout my day for things if I just take time to stop and be thankful.  The attitude of gratitude, as mom said while I was sharing about this morning when I was on the deck earlier with her.

Just so far today I have SO much to be thankful for, so many great gifts.

I had a great night of sleep, woke in a comfortable bed.

I was running late because I had not properly set my alarm on that kick butt smart phone of mine, a wonderful gift of technology and connection with the world.

Transported to services in the adorable little car that I so love that I was able to purchase because of a great paying job to back my credit and my Avon business is supplying enough money to pay for it each month.

After the services, which thanks to the gifts of sight and hearing I could enjoy, I went out to lunch with my kids and their spouses.  I love that we attend the same church and can enjoy this time together.  Much laughter and fun.

My grandkids were along and that part is awesome too, I adore them!

When I came home, the Divas were on the deck, enjoying the weather and I joined them.  I love it out there, so pretty and relaxing.  It is one of the things I love about this huge, wonderful house we have.

Just in this day so far I’ve so many ‘gifts’ and blessings to be thankful for that I often take for granted.  I’m wealthy beyond measure with so much goodness in my life.

Yes, there are so many wonders and gifts, I need to take stock daily and remember to give thanks for them!

Friday Confessional

OH YES!

Time to get your confession on!

*beebopping down the aisle the confessional to let it all fly*

Join us by clicking the little girl above and link up!

I confess…

There is a distinct possibility that one day soon I will never get out of bed again. I purchased one of those memory foam mattress toppers that keeps you cool while cradling your sleeping form.  I put it on over the mattress then the sheets.  It is awesome!  My cat has her spot on it, and my dog also has found it to be the ultimate in comfort.  Good thing she is a Yorkie.  Sadly the two cannot enjoy it at the same time, the dog thinks she is protecting me and runs that cat off if she tries to bed down with us at night.  So kitty relaxes on the bed during the day.  I also now own an Isocool pillow.  Menopause sucks but I’m fighting back and winning a few small battles to stay cool and comfy.

I confess…

I gave the whole pixie hair cut thing a chance.  I hate it.  I’m going back to my spiky do!  Hopefully Tuesday evening after work I can squeeze in with my stylist and go back to the funky look I loved so much.  No clue yet when I will change hair color again, but loving it where it is in auburn at the moment.

I confess…

Finding time to get my direct sales businesses to the next level has been difficult.  But this weekend is wide open and I’m going to be kicking things into high gear.  Know anyone who could use an extra $300 a month? That is super doable in Avon (I make my car payment with my Avon income), have them contact me here or sign up online at http://www.startavon.com and use code:  martigardner I will help them out!

I confess…

I am really excited that my Fitbit will be here today.  I have wanted one for some time now and I cannot wait to get it!  I’ve learned that I can connect to friends and family who have them to compete toward fitness goals?  This will be fun!  If you use one I’d love to hear from you in the comment section!

I confess…

I got my email today from the church running group. YAY!  I will be starting out walking then walk/run then run as I train for that 5K in November with the rest of my team at work.  Even if we would not do it for some reason, I want to be able to run one anyway.  I love the idea of making new friends through the church group like this!

Wine & Cheese ~ 82nd Serving

wine n cheeseWelcome to Wine & Cheese, my weekly, Wednesday whine session.

 

Every week on Wednesday I devote a blog to whining. Despite being a really happy, positive person, I do have things that annoy me at times. I never let anything grate on my nerves for long but thought it would be fun to vent them periodically in my blogs. I also feel that good things, the cheese in life, should be acknowledged as well. I’m even going to throw in a bit of dessert, a piece of virtual chocolate, something that made me laugh or smile just a bit more than normal. If you’d like to read the past editions of Wine & Cheese just click HERE for all of the past postings. Sit back and join me now for the 82nd serving of some wine and cheese!

 

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

 

WINE

 

:(  I am on the verge of totally giving up on the male side of the species.  Seriously.  I re-activated my dating profiles on a few sites recently and I’m beginning to think I might be far better off S-I-N-G-L-E.  My profile is so crystal clear about age, location and other criteria.  No one pays attention at all.  When I mention that I am not interested and why, things turn ugly.  I give you the most recent of these exchanges.

July 13, 2014

A sends me a picture of a wine bottle and 2 glasses:

A – 4usOK?

Me – Um, you are 91 miles away, that really isn’t local.

*He then sends me a ‘gift’, a virtual red rose*

A - small price for my prize

Me – sorry, just not into long distance

A - yes u r

Me – no I am really not

- ???????

Me – what is it you aren’t understanding?

A - nothing your done

Me - exactly

July 15th, 2014

A - your a bitch

Me – LOL because I don’t want to deal with long distances and set some boundaries for my relationships and life that you don’t happen to line up with you resort to name calling? Then you sir are certainly no gentleman.  Good luck in your search for your prize.

A - I want you ok, u want me

Me – I am not interested.  You have already shown me your true colors.

A – No, i’m yours get over it bitch

Me – Good bye

At this point I blocked him.  I seriously question the sanity of this individual.  He had responded but once I blocked him it all vanished.  Thankfully I made screen shots of it all and his profile.  Just wow.  He also needs some English lessons.

You can see why I am discouraged with the male population.  Most who contact me are WAY too old, WAY too young, still legally married (not an option), have no photos and are too far away.  Some talk of relocating if I’m “the one”. That just freaks me out and sends red flags flying all over the place.

 

CHEESE

 

:)  It is SO gorgeous here!  Windows open all night, crickets singing in the dark and a gentle breeze coming in the window.  I slept like a downed tree.

:)  The good sleep can also be attributed to the new memory foam topper on my bed.  HEAVEN!  It was all I had to get out of the bed and get ready for work.

:)  Day 6 of the 24 Day Challenge from Advocare and I’m down 6 pounds.  I am doing a serious happy dance.  I have talked to many personal friends who have and are using this challenge and the products with great success, so I am more than happy to endorse this!

DESSERT

76986159e02b3fd34f8891b11c40bff2

 

 

 

Friday Confessional

IT IS TIME, ONCE AGAIN FOR:

 

 

Time to unload the confessions, get it all out in the open!

I confess…

I joined/re-activated my dating site profiles.  Now I’m wondering what the heck I was thinking.  Seriously, either the majority of the male side of the species cannot read or they think when you list various criteria it doesn’t apply to them personally.  Maybe they feel that they are such a perfect specimen that I will find them irresistible and won’t mind that they are 40 or 78 (my age specs are 48-58), live in Albuquerque (I am crystal clear that you must be LOCAL) and have 3 kids under 15 living with them (I spell out that I am done raising kids, I’m a grandma now and not up for mom/step-mom of the year though we all know I’d get the crown).  I try to respond nicely but I’m running out of patience and beginning to think that I’d be better off remaining SINGLE.

I confess…

Today is day #1 of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge for me.  I signed up to be a distributor for the purpose of getting the products at a far less expensive price.  In the process of talking to my brother, who happens to be my sponsor, about the product line, I learned of the challenge.  It sounded like my kind of gig so here I am.  My son also signed up but didn’t know I had or he’d be under me but that is okay.  He doesn’t need to lose any weight, he is very buff, lifts weights etc, but he loves their products for muscle building etc so it was a good fit for him.  He now has 3 folks he knows doing the challenge too.

I am down 5 from a few weeks ago which could be because I’m drinking no beer of late.  I’m also trying not to eat a bag of microwave popcorn every night while reading, opting instead for herbal tea to help me fight off the menopause induced vampire hours (in other words I find myself awake in the night unable to sleep). NO one believes me when I tell them what I weigh, but it’s true.

I confess…

I cut back my claws this morning.  I have not had time to hit my favorite nail tech (best tech in the world) and they needed filling so bad they were lifting.  Instead of going I just cut them down and now slowly removing them the way you are not supposed to remove them, kinda peeling them off slowly.  I will get a new set on payday, but for now I’m without my back scratchers for the dog and cats.  They will live.

I confess…

I now have a business coach!  While I more or less do Advocare, Jewelry In Candles, SwissJust and Javita as hobbies, I am sold out to Avon as my business of choice for direct sales.  I signed on with a coach and last night had my first coaching call.  It rocked!  Working with a coach is such a great way to go, wish I would have thought of it sooner.

 

 

Wine & Cheese ~ 81st Serving

wine n cheeseWelcome to Wine & Cheese, my weekly, Wednesday whine session.

Every week on Wednesday I devote a blog to whining. Despite being a really happy, positive person, I do have things that annoy me at times. I never let anything grate on my nerves for long but thought it would be fun to vent them periodically in my blogs. I also feel that good things, the cheese in life, should be acknowledged as well. I’m even going to throw in a bit of dessert, a piece of virtual chocolate, something that made me laugh or smile just a bit more than normal. If you’d like to read the past editions of Wine & Cheese just click HERE for all of the past postings. Sit back and join me now for the 80st serving of some wine and cheese!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

WINE

:(  Okay so it hasn’t been weekly.  In fact it has been since April that I have ‘wined’ about anything.  I got very busy, and I needed a break.  Trust me that it wasn’t anything to do with a lack of things to write about, as life and people will never fail to feed me what I need.

 

:(  I have whined about this before, but I’m going to do it again.  I truly hope to learn that this is not  problem unique to my neck of the woods.  Sunglasses.  These are NOT about being fashionable, though I do choose when I purchase mine with the hope that they will enhance my appearance, my primary reason for them is TO SEE IN THE SUNSHINE!   They are not for looking cool, they are not an accessory to play up an outfit.  Sure, they can be those things but their purpose for existence is the protection of eyes from the sun.  Especially when traveling behind the wheel of a car as in DRIVING it.  Every single morning the same folks drive up the same stretch of highway knowing that as they round a particular bend they will be hit dead in the face with light brighter than flipping on the bedside lamp at 2am.  And yet they do not wear sunglasses.  Instead they slam on their brakes because they cannot see!

 

:(  This brings me to another peeve.  Turn signals.  These are not an optional feature, you did not have to pay extra for those.  Standard on every car, you are highly encouraged to USE them, preferably in advance of turning or changing lanes.  It is not recommended, when the sun hits your eyes on the highway that, in addition to hitting the brakes, you suddenly change lanes unannounced.  The sun is equally bright in my lane, hence the sunglasses perched on my nose.  Common courtesy and safe driving would be turning on the turn signal, making sure you can change lanes without hitting anyone around you BEFORE entering the lane.  The signal is not a guarantee that you are able to change at that moment that it strikes your fancy.  It does not mean that when your driver’s side door is even with my front bumper that I am going to brake suddenly and allow you to join me in my current lane.  It also does not mean that because there is a car length between me and the car in front of me that it is wise to attempt to squeeze in between us.  There is this concept of assured clear distance.  If you squeeze in, I have to slow rapidly, upsetting the numb skull behind me who also has no concept of assured clear distance and is now tailgating me even closer for causing him to have to brake because he was following too close to me and this is somehow all my fault. :(

 

CHEESE

:)  I start the Advocare 24 day challenge this weekend.  I cannot wait.  I have 40 pounds I want off this body and that seems like a good way to kick start things.  I’ll be walking nightly too which sure won’t hurt the process!

:)  I am finally feeling good again after a run with the flu.  Seriously who gets that in summer? Seems it was going around these parts and I got it.  But back to my normal, quirky, weird self.

:)  It is hot.  And humid.  And NOT snowing and cold.  This makes me happy.

 

DESSERT

I saw this on Pinterest.  If you’ve ever been the victim of a lunch thief at work, here is the fix it for that.

fed1ad44d3697881cd2d620f39e2891b

Sunday Evening Wine Musings

10528037_661869007231960_1756530536_nIt has been a beautiful past few days, and regretfully the holiday weekend is coming to a close.  The weather has been completely perfect, in the 70’s with blue skies and lots sunshine and breezes.

I love where I live for many reasons, not the least of which is the house full of crazy, fun other women in my family.  Friday evening we sat on the front steps watching neighborhood fire works, then moved onto the deck.  It turned into karaoke until 2 am when we all went to bed.  My family is so much fun.

10516943_661129657305895_661815101_nAnother reason I love it here is the park like atmosphere.  It is so peaceful to sit on the deck and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee. There are woods behind us and therefore we have plenty of deer that come through.  I went to let the dog out that next morning and found this doe laying between the trees, near the deck, enjoying the sunshine.  Later that afternoon a fawn came prancing through the backyard.  They are beautiful creatures, dumb as bricks, but quite the sight.  I admit, I wouldn’t mind having her in the freezer come hunting season.  I don’t hunt but both of my kids do and I am always happy to take some venison off their hands.

It was a great message in church this morning, which just topped off the weekend.  I have trust issues with God, I see that after today.  I need to ask Him to help me with that.  I also signed up for the running group at church, but with the walkers.  I need to start walking then I can run.  I also ordered the 24 Day Challenge from Advocare (did I mention I sell for them too? – Direct sales junkie! I might need and intervention).  I have to get serious before I end up with health issues so now is the best time and they say the best exercise is the one you will do.  Well that would be walking!  Eventually running.

I will be returning to writing something of substance this week.  Need to learn to block my writing time and then actually sit down and do it.  That and everything else I need to do.

 

Seriously, Just Flush It!

Have you ever noticed that when walking into a public restroom, folks look in every stall?  Why? To first make sure it is at least usable, I get that.  I’ve seen my share of them where it looks like someone failed “Hovering 101″.  Just use the paper seat protectors for crying out loud, unless you can hover without sprinkling everything.  If those are not available then put toilet paper on the seat or carry them in your purse.  Oh, sorry, addressing the ladies here, fellas.

But more than seeking a potty where it doesn’t look like the Titanic sank and left water everywhere, the gals in the washroom are checking to find a commode that has been flushed.  God forbid that someone maybe walked off and didn’t not send their sewer pickle on down to the river or wherever turds go when flushed away.  For that matter, if someone has simply sprinkled golden joy in the bowl (ie: they urinated, pee’d etc) and forgot to flush, the stall will be deemed unusable.

There can be a line out of the door and halfway around the block and women will stand there and wet their panties before venturing into that otherwise usable, personal toilet space and FLUSH THE TOILET!  Sometimes, yes, the little flushing mechanism is broken and that frankly sucks.  But 9 out of 10 times it is that everyone is afraid of the contents of the porcelain bowl.  Now, I’ve seen my fair share of horror movies in my younger days and I’m huge fan of The Walking Dead.  I won’t walk through room in a funeral home that has a dead body in it unless I am with others because it MIGHT just rise up like in the movies and I’d passout and become zombie fodder.  But never in my life have I seen a film or heard a ghost story round the camp fire of a poop monster in a public potty attacking anyone.  Granted I’ve seen some logs floating in a few places that I swear waved too me, but nothing attacked.

So what is the fear of just sticking one’s foot up and flushing the toilet so the offending sight swirls around and vanishes?  This frees up that toilet for another user!  Instead of doing the potty dance for 10 minutes we can cut the time to 6 by using that almost-ready-for-the-next-nature-calling-soul-latrine and possibly save someone from piddling down their leg!

I noted today that cats are much like we humans.  Well female felines that is, I cannot speak for males as all 3 of ours are girls.  If the litter box is getting a bit full, and there isn’t another one next to the one they pick first (I used to have 3 cats and 2 litter boxes), then they will opt to poop on the floor next to the litter box.  I’m not positive but I think this is the same as passing the stall with the used and unflushed toilet.

It must be a female thing.

Don’t forget, hover, use the toilet seat covers, or put down paper.  Or mom will know and she will lecture you.  FLUSH IT ALREADY!  And wash your hands, with SOAP people, and sing the ABC song slowly to ensure you have washed long enough.  Don’t touch the door handle with your bare hand on the way out in case germs are left behind from a previous user or didn’t wash or just let water trickle over their dainty little fingers.

You’re welcome.

I Am Wealthy Beyond Measure

Originally posted on A Prodigal Daughter's Return:

The message this morning at church was about wealth.  The world’s defining of it, and then true wealth.  While it isn’t something new to me, the message was so good and so rock solid that I felt compelled to evaluate some of the wealth that I have.

Nothing that I have is truly mine.  God grants me everything that I have and so often I forget to be thankful for those gifts.  No doubt you have seen, and if you haven’t then ponder this, “what if you woke up tomorrow morning with only those things that you thanked God for today?”  To be honest I would not have anything most mornings.  I am guilty of putting everything else ahead of my spiritual life on pretty much every single day unless I remind myself to be thankful.  Even my life struggles are something to be thankful for as they…

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Book Review – What Dreams May Come

dreamsI recently stumbled on a post about a book for young adults.  I was intrigued by what I read so I set out to explore this love story with a paranormal twist.  This was so very much worth the read!

In a boy meets girl, high school romance, we are introduced to Ellie and Gabe.  Ellie is what I would term a misfit.  She flies beneath the radar whenever possible, trying to avoid drama and the homeroom bully who seems to have it out for her.  Her favorite place to seek comfort is in her dreams at night, where she finds her best friend, Gabe.  He is always a comfort and support, helping her navigate her life and emotions.  Her family and friends see Gabe as her imaginary friend who should have been left behind in childhood, forcing Ellie to cease mentioning him and even denying his existence.  This is all well and good until one day he walks into one of her classes, the new kid at school.

This story is SO well written and I very much related to the character of Ellie.  The paranormal element is worked into the story in such a believable way that I finished the book wondering if there could be any truth in such things.

Nothing about the tale is at all inappropriate, clean language, no sex or sexual situations.  Completed rated ‘G’ and such a great story that moms will enjoy it as much as teenage and young adult readers.

What Dreams My Come – by Beth Honeycutt is available in Kindle format from Amazon and currently priced at a very reasonable $4.99.  Money well spent in my opinion.

 

The Pink Slip Trilogy – Part 1

imagesI always arrived very early, when it was quiet.  I preferred that to the noisy, busy time of day.  In those first 2 hours before the rest of the working world at our company arrived I could achieve a far higher level of productivity than once phones began ringing and people wanted to hang out and talk.

I stopped in the kitchen, put my lunch in the fridge and started the coffee.  Once it began to brew I made my way through the dark cubical farm to the other side of the floor where my desk was located. Once there I turned on my computer, stashed my purse and grabbed my coffee cup, heading back to the other side of the wing to fill it up.  The coffee maker was one of those industrial types that puts out a full, thermos style pot in about 2 minutes.  Plenty of time for it to be ready when I returned.  I pulled that pot out, and started another, because I was the coffee fairy as one coworker called me.  He also would arrive early and that was his great joy each day, finding fresh coffee waiting for his empty cup.  Those who arrived very early kept the lights off and only used our under cabinet lights on our desks to see.  This created a quiet environment and seemed to help with the focus, as if you were the only one really there slaving away.

Back at my desk I pulled out my breakfast and logged on to my computer.  I had a few minutes before my official starting time so I pulled up the online edition of the local news paper to see if anything important had happened over night.  I vaguely recall hearing the door from the stairwell open and close, but since it was over by the kitchen I could not see who it was, and assumed it was one of the other early birds.  I had just pulled out what I was going to work on first when motion in the little review mirror I had fixed to the monitor caught my eye.  Turning around I saw my boss in the empty workstation behind me taking hold of a chair and wheeling it toward my area.  In his hand was a large white envelope.

To this day I am not sure how I knew what was coming.  Maybe because the company was once again in that stage of downsizing, but I always had kept my job in the past.  I did a lot of work and knew that what I did would be difficult to handle by another person who was already busy, so never would I think I might be on the chopping block.  They say when you are about to die your life passes before your eyes, and while I was not about to depart this world, events of the past few years were going through my minds eye in fast forward.  The rapid recollection of certain events no doubt were the real reason behind my being selected after such a long time with the company, yet I still could not wrap my head around what I knew was about to happen.  I was always early, stayed over if needed, rarely actually took lunch but instead ate at my desk while working.  AND I actually worked!

My heart was in my throat and I started shaking.  I could NOT afford to lose my job right now.  I had student loans, a mortgage and a kid in college.  I hadn’t finished the college at night because we had taken in 4 foster kids and our finances were so depleted, we were butt deep in debt from it even though they were back with their daddy, and my not having a job in an economy that was circling the toilet bowl was not going to be good.

But that was exactly what was happening, at 6:30am on a Friday.  The boss talked on about how he was sorry he had to do it but cuts had to be made, and some other nonsense I wasn’t processing.  I was fighting to just breathe, not cry, and not pass out.  When he said I could maybe pursue the sign language interpreting I had been in school for, it was evident he was shocked when I said I had not been able to finish and could not afford to return, especially without a job.  He then said we could transfer to the husband’s medical with the fire department, and again I could see the surprise when I informed him that my spouse did not have a full time position, so no, we would not have medical, but that we did have a daughter in college and she was required by the university to have insurance.  I did open my mouth and ask, “why me?”.  He told me that there were other admins in the department so he had to make a cut.  I bit my tongue, wanting to say “really, so why not YOUR direct admin?  You know, the one who shows up 45 minutes late, takes 2 hour lunches, and is always standing at someone else’s desk talking” but I knew it was not worth it.  I wanted to part with some dignity.

He left my cube, telling me he did it early before the rest of the crew arrived so I had time to compose myself and pack my things.  For that I was grateful.  I began the process of emptying my desk and file cabinets of what was mine to take.  26 years worth of accumulated stuff that I now wondered why I had kept at all.

You learn quickly who your friends are, and who really has your back when something like this happens.  I picked up the phone while I packed, and dialed my husband at the fire house…..

…to be continued

 

Songs Of Importance, At Least To Me

Our prompt today for our Writing 101/Blogging University June 2014 is about songs.  Specifically 3 most important songs in our lives.  At any given time in my life this could change, and does, as one is released or I stumble into a new tune that speaks to my soul.

Before I share those, let me make one thing very clear:  do NOT judge.  I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ, and while I try hard to stay on the path I haven’t always been where I am and I’ve fallen off of it in the past.  I do not do anything half-assed in my life, so when I fell off, I rolled down the mountain taking out foliage along the way as well as a few other folks, before coming to a rest with a cannonball style splash into the swamp of sin.  I’m a bit of an over achiever in that regard.  So, while this song and this woman may not match up with what some of my bible believing friends think is acceptable, try to get past that and pay attention to the words and what is being said.

That being said, one song that really speaks to me is laden with the ‘F’ bomb.  As in the BIG F word:  FUCK.  Well okay, fucking.  As in P!nk’s song, Fucking Perfect.  I relate to the song because, as stated in my post yesterday, I was a misfit.  I was an over achiever at it too.  We all have to excel at something! So this song could be me belting it out except that I cannot sing.  Really, it scares off zombies so the apocalypse of the walking cadavers will not be an issue for me, I’ll just break out in song.  I’ve wrestled with my own share of demons, insecurity etc., been through a whole lot of crap (yes some was my own poor choices), and I’ve fought my way out of it all and I’m still going forward.  No longer covering up the parts others don’t or did not care for, but instead flying my freak flag proudly and if you don’t like it, move on along because you are blocking the folks who want to be close to me.

Song number 2 is my all time favorite hymn.  Many know, and now you do too, that I want this played one day at my funeral.  Hopefully that is so far down the road that it may require digging deep to even find the sheet music for it.  The hymn is Be Thou My Vision.  It is my heart’s prayer without a doubt.  Everything I so wish my walk with God reflected is in the words to that song.  The verses keep me humbled in knowing that I, in my own strength, will never be the woman I should be, and thankfully don’t have to do it on my own.

A 3rd very important song to me is Somewhere Out There from the animated movie “An American Tail”.  That was the song that was popular when I was married to the now ex-hubster and pregnant with our daughter.  He was working out of town and only home every other weekend.  I would sit outside at night and look at the stars, missing him something fierce and knowing if he looked up we were both seeing the same stars and moon even though we were far apart.  If I hear it, this song brings back some of the good memories of my marriage, and the warm fuzzy feelings that went with those times.  Even he said that our marriage was 90% good, and I choose to recall the good rather than dwell on the negative.  The past makes up who we are today, and therefore it is important.

I’m including the words and Youtube videos of the songs below, in case you don’t know them, to give you a peek inside of the marvelous one.

Made a wrong turn, once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that’s alright
Welcome to my silly life

Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss, no way it’s all good, it didn’t slow me down
Mistaken, always second guessing
Underestimated, look, I’m still around

Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than, Fuckin’ perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing you’re fuckin’ perfect to me

You’re so mean when you talk
About yourself, you are wrong
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead

So complicated, look how big you’ll make it
Filled with so much hatred, such a tired game
It’s enough, I’ve done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons, I’ve seen you do the same

Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than, fuckin’ perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re fuckin’ perfect to me

The whole world is scared so I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in lying and we try, try, try
But we try too hard, it’s a waste of my time

Done looking for the critics ’cause they’re everywhere
They don’t like my jeans, they don’t get my hair
Exchange ourselves and we do it all the time
Why do we do that? Why do I do that? Why do I do that?

Yaa, pretty, pretty
please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than, less than perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you are perfect to me
You are perfect to me

You’re perfect, you’re perfect to me
Pretty, pretty please if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than, less than perfect
Pretty, pretty please if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you are fucking perfect to me

This one has the words with the video/music

 

And last but not least, this one has the lyrics too:

 

A View From The Porch

Growing up I didn’t fit in, wasn’t one of the cool kids.  I was completely certain my birth certificate said I was born on the Island of Misfit Toys from the Christmas show, Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer.  Friends, the few that I actually had in grade school, were all card carrying members of the dork and nerd society as well.  The fat girl, the tall and lanky one with huge boobs before anyone else even needed to begin considering a bra.  Summer time was like an escape for me, no more being picked on and bullied, I was free from that agony for 3 months.  We actually had 3 months off back then, but I digress.

I had one sort of friend who loaned me her Nancy Drew books, and Harlequin Romances by the box full.  As soon as I was able I would slip out of the front door to my magic kingdom.  7 foot wide and 21 feet long, this was my refuge, my safe place.  A wooden porch on the front of our little, wood frame house.

In bare feet, even on the hottest summer day, the surface of the porch felt cool.  The boards beneath my feet were painted gray, I am certain from the blemishes under the current layer, there were as many more coats of paint as I was old.  A wood railing ran from the yellow shingles of the house to a square, red brick pillar, then from that one across the front of the porch to the next brick pillar.  Steps descended to the sidewalk, then another pillar with a railing along the other side and up to the face of the house.  My parents bedroom extended over so the ceiling of the porch was wood.  Every spring a robin would build a nest on the inside, top corner of the brick pillar, protected from the rain and wind, and if I sat really still she’d come and feed her babies.  Sometimes I would climb up on the rail and lean on the pillar by the steps so I could see the babies more clearly.

We lacked central air conditioning, so every window of the house was open on a summer day.  Sometimes when sitting in one of the lawn chairs on the porch, in front of the living room window, I could feel the breeze on the back of my neck as it blew through the house.  It was there, in that lawn chair, with my feet up on the railing, that I would make my escape.  In the pages of one novel after the next, I lived in far away lands being loved, desired and adored by billionaires and princes of make believe kingdoms. Sometimes I was a gorgeous model with long tan legs, a tiny waist and perfect, white teeth, other days I was Nancy Drew, creeping across attics in cute flats and peddle pusher pants, searching with my flashlight for clues to solve a mystery.

For 3 months in the summer of my 12th and 13th years, I was able to be someone amazing and leave the insecurity behind me as I traveled the world through pages in those beloved books.  My love of reading and writing was nurtured in that chair, in the shade, with a view of my special little world from our porch.

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Unlocking My Brain

iStock_000003891912XSmallI need running shoes.

Mind you I am NOT a runner, but I’ve accepted a challenge to run a 5K in November for the Run For The Troops. Working for a veteran owned company means we do things that support our military whenever possible.

This started out our staff meeting when our sales and marketing manager brought it to the table.  The joking started about who could actually run this before some bets were placed and we all accepted the challenge.  Now comes the training part.  I have a “couch to 5k” app and schedule but it would be better to find a “from nearly in the grave out of shape to 5K” schedule for training.  But I’m in all the way so we shall see how it goes.  I want the weight off and to get in shape for my daughter’s wedding a year from November so might as well jump on this as a means to that end.  I hate running.

Good grief what am I thinking?? I’m 51, and SO out of shape and have zero desire to run 5K.  Barring the house being on fire or the sirens sounding the approach of a tornado, it is most unlikely I’d run anywhere! This is going to be hard, really hard.

I am somewhat motivated by the fact that I am down 6 pounds thanks to my coffee.  I recently started drinking Javita burn+control coffee and without changing anything I managed to shed 6 pounds in just over 2 weeks.  Not bad.  I am so thankful that I joined up to sell because the price is better as a rep.  I also enjoy parties so I will have to host a coffee party and maybe even build a team.

Anyone else have a daily drive through a school zone or 5?  I am all about the 20mph speed, but having to cross through multiple such zones is a pain.  This is especially true when I need to turn right on a red light after 7am.  And of course the crossing guards are a good thing, except when they wander back to the curb like they have all day and only 2 or 3 cars can turn before the light is red again.  The other highly annoying school issue is being behind a school bus picking up a child and the mom stands there yacking to the bus driver.  All the while the red lights are flashing and traffic stands still. I am not talking about a short chit chat either, these are several minute conversations in which the driver and mother are oblivious to the horns beeping around them.  I am so glad school is out for the summer.

As I am wrapping this post up I am debating walking the dog.  The first half of such stroll is the little 9 pound yorkie pulling with all her little might to go faster.  The second half she is dragging along about done with the entire thing but doesn’t want to stop.  She loves being outside walking every chance we get.  I suppose I should just do it, I need the exercise if I am going to even make an attempt to start training for this 5K.  I start next week, as I need something to actually jog in and jeans will not cut it.  Anything that resembles workout attire long since stopped being able to move up past my thighs without me looking like a sausage in a shrunken skin with a rubber band around the middle.  Not happening, I do have some self respect left.

Okay I talked myself into it, I do want to see that scale continue to move downward so might as well get moving.

Post #1 for Writing 101

Being Vulnerable

As I am writing my non-fiction book about my “getting religion”, the fall from what I knew to be the intended path, the living in the swamps and cesspools of sin, to divorce and finding my way home again as a prodigal daughter of God, I’ve discovered this is going to make me very vulnerable.  I’m opening myself up, being extremely transparent and hiding nothing, and knowing there will be those who judge me and rather harshly.  But my hope in sharing it all is that the message that we can go home again, back to a loving relationship with Christ, will help another claw their way out of the pig sty and back on the road.

christian-quote-1I had one of those light bulb moments the other night, while setting aside time to read my bible and pray, a true enlightenment.  This was no night light wattage but a full blown 3-way bulb kind of eye opener.  I remember having wanted to walk away from the “lifestyle” we were so entrenched in, and being told that he didn’t know if he could be faithful to me if we did.  His honesty, in hindsight, was a good thing.  95% of our friends were from that way of life, so even walking away from the wrong would have kept us exposed to it and I know would have caused me to slip back down into the familiar.  At that point I was praying for help from God to impress it upon my ex to get us out, find us a church since neither of us wanted to return to the former one, but he was having no part.  His words were that the next time he was in a church would be his funeral.  When I prayed for deliverance I had no idea what was headed my way.

I’m not saying that God condoned my divorce or the way it came about.  He hates divorce and it wasn’t what I wanted at all.  I lost everything that was important to me with that marriage ending…my husband, living with my daughter, and soon after my son, my home…everything.  My entire world was striped away and changed in a matter of months.  I still clung to that life for a bit, going back to a club alone a few times before realizing that I did not belong there.  So called “friends” turned their backs on me and others distanced themselves as I suddenly became single and a perceived threat.

I buried my pain and tried hard to keep a positive outlook, find the silver lining in all of my storm clouds.  I learned there is a very thin line between love and hate, because to preserve oneself when their heart is shattered a person steps over onto the hate side and channels all that broken emotion into one equally strong but very detrimental.  I lashed out and fired every mean and nasty thought I could at my ex to cause him the pain he had caused me.  It would be months before the prayers I shot heavenward would start to be answered in ways I was able to see.  No doubt because they were sporadic and I still had much to learn, there was so much more to be pulled out from under me before I would finally stand still long enough for God to help me out of the muck and back on the road toward Him.

During that time I returned to my old church twice for brief stints before deciding I could go it alone rather than subject myself too the judgmental eyes and attitudes.  I had never really fit in there in the past, being a pretty independent thinker and one who questions the establishment at times.  But I also found that going it alone was not working either.  It was then that I began to seek a new place to worship.  Even during that time I found myself living in sin with someone.  We had tried a church that I enjoyed but it wasn’t mutually appreciated.  I took it in a few times while he was working, and during those last months knew I needed to get over that final hurdle toward the life that is honoring to God.

Back in the Diva Den I’m still working on areas, like my potty mouth, but God is faithful to deal with the layers one at a time.  My church home is a great place as I simply changed campuses and now get to be at the service with my daughter and future son-in-law rather than hearing the same message at another location.  My prayer is that my son and his family might make it their home too.

As I am writing the story of all of this in great detail in the book, it is making me realize how far from God I had been, and how blessed I am to have lost all that I thought was important to be made right again and be able to stand before Him knowing that I am free from the darkness and walking, ever so imperfectly in the light of my Savior.  And even the ex has left it all behind and gone back to church and his faith, minus the death and casket part, along with his wife.

Beauty from the ashes.

 

Friday Confessional

FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE

Confession IS good for the soul, and what better way to end the work week?

I confess….

It has been a long, busy, difficult, stressful week at the office, resulting in edgy nerves all around. Thankfully we all have an outstanding sense of humor so we often joke around and laugh, a lot.

One morning this week I walked into the ladies room to discover a fresh roll of toilet tissue had been placed on the roll…as in sitting on top of the empty roll.  I wrote a post-it note and the rest is sticky note history.  So for your enjoyment I will post the photos.

 

 

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I LOVE working here.

Sunday Evening Wine Musings

iStock_000006082518XSmallYesterday I celebrated my 51st birthday.

No big to-do, just an ordinary day for the most part.  Spent it serving my community with 8,000 others, doing 450 projects around the greater Cincinnati area.  It was called GO Cincinnati, through my church, Crossroads  and it was awesome!

After serving a meal to homeless men living in a medical respite center, and helping with some cleaning projects there, I had dinner with my kids and 2 of the grandchildren.  It was a fantastic day.

Last weekend, for Mother’s Day, I had the joy and blessing of sharing church time with my kids and their significant others.  It was really a good message, and we shared the row with the ex-husband and his wife.  Many have asked me, “wow wasn’t that kind of awkward?”.  No, not really.  No more than his wife (I’ll call her the wife-in-law) coming up to me at church this morning and giving me a hug along with birthday wishes.  Okay for many that would just be flat out bizarre I suppose, but it wasn’t odd to me at all.  Nor was it strange that we sat together for the services and talked a bit.  Frankly, in my opinion, it is kind of cool that it happens that way.  We share common love for my kids and the grandkids.  And she loves the ex, and he will always hold a special place in my heart.  I am pretty positive I will never love anyone like I loved him.  He is not an easy man to love, so my hat is off to her and I am really very  happy that HE is happy and in love again.  Make no mistake it took a lot of prayer to move past the hurt and bitterness but wow what a liberation once I did and could actually smile when I saw his wedding photos on my daughter’s Facebook and be happy for them.  And yes, I actually came to embrace the character of Zelda in her book, the one supposedly based on me.  I still want an autographed copy from her, so if you happen to read this, miss Maggie Fields, or someone who knows her reads it, I would love to have it.   :)

Speaking of books, I’m still plugging away on my own.  I’ve gotten lax this past week but I’m blocking time each day to get to it.  One of these times when the publisher calls I’ll be able to say “YES it is finished and ready to for first edit!”.

Time to refill the wine glass.  Hope you had a really great weekend!

Meet Scooter

I have to admit that when my son posted this I didn’t believe it really ran on TV.  Seems he saw it one evening watching Wheel Of Fortune (don’t judge).  Then not to many evenings later, we Divas in the Diva Den also saw it while watching Wheel Of Fortune (seriously, don’t judge, we watch Jeopardy too).

So, for your amusement I am posting it.  There is a billboard locally of Scooter as well, and I’m told more to come!

Friday Confessional – Boogers Glistening In The Sunshine

FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE

YAY IT’S FRIDAY!!!!!

Took forever to get here.

I confess…

I have been so busy working on my book writing, and working in general, I have neglected by blog.  Not to worry I am still here and will keep adding things.

I confess…

I’ve made the adjustment to being back in the Diva Den.  A few things still need to be worked out, but that will happen as soon as my new vanity arrives for my room. I cannot wait to get things in order again.

I confess…

Last night at dinner, my niece glanced across the table and did something so many folks would NOT tell another person. “You have a booger on your nose.”  It was on the top side of my nostril, as she said “glistening in the sunshine” that was coming in the window, like a diamond in the light.  Only it wasn’t a diamond.  Thankfully she was willing to let me know this and not let me sit there looking gross.

I confess…

I cannot wait to go home today and relax!  It was a stressful week at the office.