Posted in Uncategorized

Contouring Made Easy With Avon

LOVE this new Avon contouring stick!

Be Marvelous With Marti

I envied the ‘look’ everyone was wearing, all contoured and beautiful. But after watching a lot of videos it was too complicated and took too long for me. I have a brief window of time to get ready for work and just didn’t have the desire for that much effort to look nice. Well Avon has made it simple, fast and inexpensive with their new contouring stick. Stop by my Avon Online Store to purchase your own contouring stick!

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Posted in Changes

Getting Through The First Of The Firsts

As nature was bursting forth with new beauty and adventure, mom left us for her new adventure in Heaven. We too were busting into a new adventure in our new apartments. And normal would be entirely new now for me, as I no longer have her here to care for each day. I miss so much having to get her things because she didn’t have the energy or strength to walk to the kitchen and twist open something to drink.

Tomorrow marks 3 weeks since mom died. As the initial shock wore off and life resumed we started piecing together time to go through her things, discard what no one would want, donate what someone might use, and figuring out which things we’d all keep to treasure her memory. Oh the finds!

The first two weeks I struggled to do required things like eat. It didn’t help that I was not at all hungry. Struggles with guilt for starting new routines that did not include her needs when I’d have given anything to have her need me! I just want normal to return but even now, 3 weeks out, normal hasn’t really settled in just yet. Still going through things, getting “her” room changed out into my room brought more guilt because it felt like erasing her from my life. I knew she was here one night, barely a guest status, before she left us, but it was hard. But on my birthday I woke up knowing this was something I needed to do, make that space mine and sprinkle mom in the form of things I kept of hers throughout. At the end of that project I felt good about it and had changed it completely from what looked like mom’s room that never really was at all. As I was carting things across the parking lot to the dumpster and back, I was circled over and over by a very beautiful butterfly like nothing I’d seen around before. It continued for a while before it landed and showed off its gorgeous wings then flew away. Call my crazy but I believe it was mom letting me know she was pleased with my moving forward.

Mom had been purging things since July when she was told she had 2 to 4 weeks to live, so there really wasn’t a lot of that we had left to do. I’m not going to lie that was awesome. She kept so much in the way of documents (birth certificates etc) and photos (all the way back to my great grandmother as a child). WOW! Going through them has been so much fun and brought back memories for all of us. And her bell collection…she loved to collect bells from places and events. Those have had an initial go-through by me and my siblings and a few of the grandchildren. There was only one that I wanted, a gorgeous crystal bell that she and I had decided she’d ring if she needed me in the night after the collapse before her death. I had feared I would not hear her if she yelled for me, and couldn’t figure out if the do not disturb feature of my phone was going to work. Fearing the worst if she fell in the night or needed me, we decided her ringing that bell would indeed pull me from my sleep with it’s beautiful, unique sound. It is now a cherished piece in my apartment.

bearI’ve known there would be firsts we’d face without her but didn’t realize just how fast the first two of those events was coming up. Mother’s Day was only 2 weeks after she left us and the idea of going through that without even a place to go ‘visit’ (we won’t have her ashes back for a long while, she donated her body) was difficult to say the least. My daughter and niece were thinking ahead and had snagged some of mom’s pajamas while we were cleaning out her room at the house. On Mother’s Day morning they arrived with breakfast from Panara Bread and memory bears made from those pajamas. Yes, tears were shed! But good ones. My sister and I were so touched by their sweet, thoughtful gifts. My niece found the poem online and printed/framed it to go with the bears. It holds a place of honor in my room and once in a while I hug it close for comfort. I miss my mom so very much, she was my best friend!

Four days after that was my birthday. My mom was there for the first 54 of them, but this would be the first I’d have to celebrate without her. We never really made a big deal of them, cake and/or ice cream and a card, but she would walk down memory lane and share about the day you were born. We’ve since discovered our crib cards and hospital bracelets among her things, just more wonderful nuggets of gold from the past she had kept safely hidden away.

Some days it is hard to just string together a complete thought or words to make a sentence. I go through the motions of life but get to the end of the day and feel like I just watched someone else doing it all. Other days I buzz through with energy and life, then feel guilty that the sun rose, I smiled and laughed and enjoyed the day that didn’t include the one person I felt most important on this planet.

Once the house sells and things settle into a new routine, I know that I will then start to feel ‘normal’, whatever that new normal will be. For now, I just push to put one foot in front of the other and not unpack my pain and live in that spot. It isn’t what she’d want and it is not good for one’s mental health.

 

 

Posted in A Day In The Life, Changes

And Like That She Was Gone

It has been a week and a day now since life as I know it changed dramatically. It has taken me this long to decide if I was even going to share the events, and how much I’d be willing to let others see and know. Originally this was far more detailed regarding the events of April 28th, but I learned several years ago that just because I needed the therapy of putting things into words does not mean they all need to be published or shared. I have edited this and opted not to share some details.

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Friday morning, April 27th, came with a crazy rush of final boxes being packed, movers wrapping up and carting out our possessions into a truck, unloading of said truck and cars full of those things, cable, new furniture delivery, and finally quiet settling in over the chaos. Me and mom were out of the Diva Den and into our apartment.

While waiting for the movers to load up everything, my youngest brother stopped by to give my mom communion and pray with her. He regularly did this when she could no longer attend church. It was a beautiful way to close the chapter of that great house and home, and begin a new journey.  My niece captured the moment they lifted their heads from their individual prayers at the car. Mom was already in the car waiting for my niece to take her to the apartments to wait for our life’s material odds and ends to arrive. What we didn’t know was that this was the beginning of two journeys. One for me, and another for mom.

In a previous blog post last year I had talked about life being a journey down a road with different turn offs, and as each of us reached the spot where we saw a gate with our loved one or friend’s name, we had to leave them there and continue on without them. They entered that gate, exiting the earthly path and entering the spirit realm. We all knew the gate we were approaching, but we didn’t realize that around this bend it would appear.

A week before our moving date, mom and I were sitting in the living room in our arm chairs, just talking about life, the future, how funky she had been feeling that day, how weak she was, and how nothing she could eat sounded good. She got up to get some pudding, walking into the dining room. Seconds later I heard a horrible sound of things crashing to the floor and looked up to see mom had collapsed into a heap knocking things off a side table and was against the wall. I yelled her name and was at her side, still yelling “mom, mom!” to a blank, fixed, lifeless stare. My heart skipped a beat, I thought she had passed away. And just that suddenly she blinked. While she was coming back to me I moved her off the items she had landed on and started assessing if she had been hurt. All the while she was confused and disoriented. She realized she was on the floor but had no recollection of what had just transpired. The last thing she remembered was sitting in the chair.

I got her up into a chair, took her blood pressure (it was a low 88/49) and got her some water. Once she felt okay to move I took her up to my room, put her on my bed and sent texts to my sister and brothers. I didn’t realize this was the beginning of the end, and would prepare us for what was to come.

She was horribly weak all weekend, and the nausea she has fought with for a year would not let up. Her sister Mary arrived the next morning for a scheduled visit, and her other sister, Jean, came that night to spend the night with her, and the next day while I went to work. During that time we devised methods for her to get around for what she needed without a major risk of her falling and getting hurt. At the time I was still thinking it was just fainting from weakness.

Throughout the week leading up to the move she regained her composure and felt great. Weak as a new born kitten but feeling good. My aunt came back for the day Wednesday and helped her continue to pack her things for the move. Thursday when I came home from work she said she felt better than she had in weeks. The STNA in me joked “easy mom, maybe this is the rally before the end!” I see it all the time with hospice patients, right before they die they suddenly are full of life and make you wonder if they were misdiagnosed! Hunger returns, LIFE seems to return, and then just like that they are gone.

Friday she was feeling so good other than still extremely weak. We got moved in, had pizza for lunch during the crazy flurry, and once things were settled she came up to our apartment from my sister’s (sis is one floor below me & mom). I put away as much as I had energy to do, then we all had dinner via Door Dash delivery from Chipotle to kick off the new home of the former Diva Den members. We opened a bottle of wine at the end of the evening, and mom made a toast, mentioning in it that she wouldn’t be around to write this next chapter with us. It caused a check in my gut, a hiccup in my soul, but I didn’t realize how prophetic her words were to be. Before I could drink my wine I got a text that my new bedding was delivered to the old house. To avoid it being pirated off the porch I went to get it. When I returned my sister had gone to her place with my niece, drop-over tired. Mom wanted to watch an episode of NCIS with me but I couldn’t get the Chromecast working. We sat and talked instead. I’m so glad we didn’t get to watch the TV and just enjoyed our time. Then, like every night, we hugged each other, told each other we loved each other, and went to bed.

Saturday morning while she was still asleep I started putting things away and cleaning up. She came out later, dressed and sat at the dining room table while I was putting away dishes. It was hard for her, she expressed how she hated that she was so weak and couldn’t help me. I assured her again, as so many times this past month, that I didn’t not mind at all, just keep me company. I told her one day I’d very much miss being able to take care of her and just have her there to spend time with so she should just relax. At one point she stood up and tried to push her chair in and couldn’t, she got frustrated that she was suddenly so weak not she couldn’t even move a chair in to the table anymore. I noted her speech was a tad slurred at times, but wrote it off to the blood pressure still being rather low and the lack of energy and stamina. I now think I was just in denial.

All that day something just didn’t feel ‘right’ in my universe. Something was totally off and I couldn’t put my finger on it. My cat could sense it too, though I didn’t realize it, I just assumed she was all freaked out over the move. She found a place to hide, under the bathroom sink, having pried open the door of the cabinet and refused to leave getting upset if you attempted to bring her out, so I just let her go. I should have recognized the feeling, I have had it at work, seen residents reacting to it (dementia residents are very sensitive to things in the spiritual realm around us and when death is in the building they are all a hot mess). My cat felt death and hid from it, but I still wasn’t recognizing the feeling for what it was, too preoccupied with things that I was doing.

My sister came up and said we needed to go grocery shopping, so I got a list from mom and we headed out. Mom was sitting on the couch where she has been most of the day. We would later learn from her hospice nurse friend who visited that afternoon that she could sense something was off with mom but could not put her finger on it.

In the grocery store I could not focus on the shopping, I just wanted to be at home. Little did I know that while we were shopping, all of 10 minutes after we left, mom would take some pics of the apartment, go to the bathroom, and as she was exiting the bathroom she exited this earth. No suffering, just gone in an instant. Less than 15 minutes after our departure my niece found her much like I did the day she collapsed, only this time life did not return to her beautiful eyes. She would attempt CPR, with the help of 911, the medics would also make the effort, but mom had been in heaven before she was discovered and wasn’t returning to this earth.

Mom had prepared us for the past 8 years, as she fought this damn cancer, for this day. She made sure it was all done, so we wouldn’t have too. Her words came back to me from the previous night’s toast….she really wasn’t going to be here for this chapter. She made sure we were settled in our new homes, she knew my brothers would be there to help finish cleaning out the house and sell it, but she would be in her new home in heaven. Not a single thing of her own did she unpack, she spent less than 24 hours in this apartment, a guest rather than a resident.

4 days later we had a beautiful memorial mass in mom’s honor. Even in death she was the most giving of souls, having donated her body to the UC Medical School. We’ve received word she was assigned to a student who will further their knowledge with the help of her body beginning July 1st. When finished, they will cremate her remains, return her to us, and we will bury them in the same grave as her mother. That could be weeks to a year or more.

The cat left the cabinet after the funeral home removed my mom’s body, only confirming for me her sensitivity to what we could not see.

Me? I’m wading through emotions, sailing uncharted waters without much of a clue. My faith is solid, so I spend time in God’s Word and prayer, and now anchoring in my work.  Just working through the stages of grief for now, no rushing it just riding each wave as it comes.

Mom is on her journey on the other side, experiencing the joy of Heaven and being in the presence of God.

I’m on my own journey now, learning to navigate life completely solo, something I’ve never done before.

Posted in A Day In The Life, My Journey To Healthy

Being Transparent

*disclaimer – I am not a medical expert. do your research!*

Yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit more and decided to be even more transparent about my health journey. I know, there are some of you thinking “this woman will share about everything from what toilet paper brand she uses to the actual color she uses on her hair, how could she be any more transparent???”, but rest assured there is so much about me you don’t know and I won’t share.

I did a Facebook Live while sporting my favorite hat to cover the bed head, and no makeup. And I talked about the fact that I had gained back 12 pounds of the 38 I had lost. It is NOT because the plan doesn’t work, once off if one opts to maintain healthy choices for eating they will continue to keep those pounds off and feel great. I made some very unhealthy choices, nearly every day for 2 weeks. Opting to eat something unhealthy is not cheating, this is not a diet. It is a choice. I make that choice on a day that was highly stressful and emotional at work, to grab for the cookie in the break room. That led to another cookie, and another. Later it was a bunch of something else and I started playing old tapes in my head of “I blew it today I’ll get back on the healthy tomorrow”. But then it was something else that triggered a poor choice. Old habits came in blowing party favors and tossing confetti.

I wanted to kick myself the morning I got on the scale and saw those very unhealthy pounds had returned. I did this to myself. See, once you are rocking health you can make an unhealthy choice to eat that cookie or drink that iced coffee packing 500+ calories.

You will regret that choice.

You will feel like crap afterward because your body has been free of the junk, but then the cravings start. Sugar is ADDICTIVE! Yes and it has similar effects on our brains to street drugs and is every bit as enslaving. Then you start eating poorly and it mentally it feels good. But guilt is there too. So to feel better the brain wants more sugary stuff. And it is everywhere, disguised as many words like corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, and a host of others. That added sugar is believed to be even MORE ADDICTING than cocaine. I’m here to tell you that is my experience. One bad choice and I start craving foods that seem okay but are really loaded with added sugar. The buns on your hamburger, saltine crackers…start reading labels! High fructose corn syrup (which is now also going by a host of other names) can only be metabolized in the liver, where it is turned into triglycerides and becomes FAT in the body. And your body craves more! Welcome to your bad habit, your addiction you cannot seem to overcome. Get away from it! I teach my clients how to eat again and do away with these addictive substances found in processed foods.

I immediately got off my scale that day and got back on the healthy eating plan and 3 days later 6 pounds were gone. I started logging my water intake and noticed I was dehydrated as well as packing on unwanted baggage. My energy level is returning as my body is back to being a fat burning machine. This is why I love being a health coach, I know what my clients are going through, having tried and failed at every “diet” known to man. They only work, if they work, as long as you continue to follow that diet. Afterward the weight comes back and multiplies. You HAVE to change your unhealthy habits over to healthy ones. Break the addiction and then incorporate healthy choices and a healthy mindset and you are set. And if you do something unwise and introduce that addiction back into your life, well my clients have the tools, like me, to kick it to the curb and cleanse their bodies.

But it isn’t about the weight, it is about the health. Poor choices have side effects too, negative ones. My blood pressure goes up with my weight. My foot starts hurting again, my knees ache, and I feel like a sloth. For years I didn’t know I felt ‘sick’ because my body couldn’t recall what it felt like to be healthy. Now I can FEEL that difference and I do not like it. Give me my energy, great sleep, stamina and along with the side effect of losing excess weight. I LIKE feeling great! Healthy feels amazing.

On that note, here is my dinner for tonight. Lean, green and YUMMY!

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Makes 2 servings
Per serving
1 Leaner protein
1 fat
3 vegetables
2 1/4 condiments

2 medium zucchini – total weight one pound
2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
10 ounces lean ground turkey
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Rotel diced tomatoes
3 ounces 2% reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Just brown the meat and add the ingredients. Cut zucchini in half, brush lightly with the olive oil and bake, then fill with the meat and sprinkle the cheese over it and you have dinner!

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If you want information about becoming one of my clients, just reach out to me. 20 minutes on the phone and we can get you started on the road to a healthier you!

 

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Me before, and after 38 pounds lost in 3 months.
Posted in Changes, Uncategorized

One Last Snow Before We Go

If you follow my blog at all you know that while I think snow is pretty I am NO fan of cold weather. As a child I couldn’t wait for a good snowfall but the older I get the more the cold and snow are just a big pain in the tush.

Our beautiful deck is like living in a tree house in the woods. Deer and red foxes, birds, squirrels and rabbits call our backyard and woods behind it home. But this is coming to an end. Over the next 2 months we will be relocating. The Diva Den is closing. 😦  Mom is edging closer to her last day and while we don’t really have any desire to move, it simply isn’t feasible to stay here. Financially speaking we cannot do it with just 3 of us unless one of us suddenly wins the lottery, which is unlikely because we rarely purchase a ticket. I think the odds of getting struck by lightening on a sunny day are better. We are starting the process of purging the contents of the house that we simply don’t want, need or care to move. The dumpster will arrive and by then we will have it all on tarps in the garage waiting to be loaded up and hauled away.

Life begins new in 2, 2 bedroom apartments in the same building. I had been praying and asking for prayer via the church app and that prayer was answered. Easter weekend the first one will be available and my niece will move into it, her mom will follow and share it with her once the second is ready and mom and I move into our new place

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The deck in summer

 

. By the end of May we hope to have the Diva Den sold to someone who has kids and will benefit from such a large house. We will all be in our new homes and hopefully mom will make it to be relocated and comfy there.

I have to say that it is bitter sweet. We are ending an 8 year chapter of our lives that has been full of laughter, a few tears and battles, but lots of love. Prior to the idea of 2 apartments in the same building, the weight of having to purge and sell this huge house without mom was a tough one to carry. Boo and I have never sold a house, and the thought of doing that while mourning the loss of our best friend and mom was agonizing. We are more than relieved to know that we won’t have to do that and can just focus on the grief when the time comes.

Winter here is gorgeous, that backyard is something to see when covered in snow and critter tracks. I hadn’t really given it much thought until driving home Wednesday seeing all of the trees covered in snow as I approached our neighborhood, awed by the beauty. It was then I realized we’d never see another major snowfall here in this house. Thankfully that didn’t last long because we’re about to get clobbered with a winter storm tomorrow that is forecast to drop some accumulating snow. I’m off work and going to sit and relish every flake as it falls, sipping coffee and crocheting with the fire place burning some logs and chatting with mom and Boo.

As is typical with weather in the Cincinnati area, it may not even happen. I suspect the Ohio River plays a part, but it seems that every storm system that comes at us, with rare exceptions, falls apart just before impact, going north, south or both around this city. The exceptions are the ones that like to throw the big punches bringing severe storms and tornadoes once in a blue moon, or serious snow falls. Wednesday the forecast was 8-12 inches of snow. Then it dropped to 1-3, then it was 5-8 inches and now 3-5. In other words no one has a clue and we have to wait and see. 100% precipitation is a given, but it could even arrive as ice, freezing rain, or just rain. For just this once I’m hoping for the snow, our last big hairy deal before we move. About 3 inches would rock, then with temperatures in the mid 40s the next day it will all go away and good riddance!

So today, I’m busting out a to-do list that is already insanely long, so I can just relax tomorrow and take in the hoped-for beauty. After that it is Katy bar the door we have to purge, pack and go!

 

Posted in A Day In The Life, Coffee

Grounds In My Coffee Cup Of Life

Coffee = life, at least most mornings in my world. The java kicks in and I am magically transformed into Super STNA! Katie bar the door this girl is kicking butt.  Without the liquid from the magic coffee beans I can and have functioned quite well and at the top of my game, but why would anyone want to do that when 32 ounces of sippable dynamite is available? But this is Friday, my standard off day, so the cape and tights are hanging up and my Nana tiara is perched on its pillow, ready for me to pull myself together for some fun.

Today I have a hot date with 2 mega cutie pies, my youngest two grandsons. We have a date at the Newport Aquarium today, and I can’t wait! Last night I was sitting down with my sister, mom and a huge salad to binge watch season 6 of NCIS (we started over at the beginning, can a get a yahoooooo for Netflix?) when I received a FaceTime call from my 2.75yo grandson asking if Nana would accompany his royal adorableness to see the fishes. I have a to-do list as long as my arm of really important things I need to do, but making memories is way more critical. When I’m dead and gone, or bat quano crazy in a nursing home and cannot remember my own name, these times will still be treasured by my grandsnugglers so I cleared my morning. I hope I never forget the sounds of the 2yo’s giggling as we crawl through the stingray exhibit because that is the stuff that warms my heart.

But first: coffee. Because toddlers have more energy than you can get drinking an entire Dunkin Donuts coffee shop.

Today we get to see the newest exhibit, the Octopus!! Or as he so sweetly says, opa-pus. I find them super creepy and yet fascinating. He will be beside himself when he sees it is there and we get to check it out up close. I have to admit I’m probably more excited about this than he will be but that is my inner child, the one who drops her tiara in the grass and goes splashing through mud puddles in the rain.

These are the grounds in my coffee cup today, and if I don’t get moving I will not be ready when the time comes, so this marvelous Nana is out! Have a fantastic day!

Posted in Uncategorized

Unpacking My Big C

That other post I talked about? The one about my journey? Here it is:

The Prodigal Princess

comfort.jpgSo 2 weeks ago our church started this year’s all church journey: Obsessed – Leave Your Mark.  I LOVE it and disdain it all at the very same time. Why? Because like the journey(s) of the past it uncovers things within that need to change, or be eliminated in order to grow in relationship with Christ. And that, dear friends, can be uncomfortable to say the very least.

This past week the message dealt with the 3 C’s that the world uses to pull us from God:

  1. Comparison (the thief)
  2. Comfort (the illusion)
  3. Control (the liar)

In the Crossroads app we do work each week after hearing the weekend message and before meeting for our small groups. And this was no fun at all this week because I had to do an assessment and discovered that my big C of obsession was……Comfort. I was pretty certain it was going to…

View original post 856 more words

Posted in Coffee, Life Lessons, My Crazy Life

Coffee & Brain Dump

Have you ever noticed that when you make a to-do list you are more likely to actually DO what is on that list than if you just keep it mental? Then again if you are like me you might hit a bump in the road and while you keep adding to that list, nothing is getting crossed off. This makes for a long list and that causes anxiety. The list is long, my friends, very long.

My blog is on that list and so here I sit, coffee next to me and I’m typing away. This is good stuff happening, something will be crossed off of my list now. It may only be one item with a line through it but that is one more than the current list displays so I’m celebrating this little victory.

So what is this bump in the road of marvelous? Well truth be told it is a whole pile of debris of life piling up and overwhelming me lately. Is you coffee or adult beverage in a Yeti style tumbler? Because this could get long y’all and don’t want your drink to get cold if it needs to be hot or the other way around.

  • Mom is on a steady decline. Weeks perhaps even a few more months, but the decline is on. I know, since July when she was given 2-4 weeks I’ve been saying this, and the decline has been steady though thankfully slow. But lately she is in pain and nauseous a lot. And tired. She lays down and sleeps a lot. In fact she is in bed more than out of it now. I’ve started to de-plan my calendar, turn down invitations because I’m unapologetically selfish with my down time. She may be sleeping most of the evening sometimes but when she is awake I want to be where she is, soaking up her final days.
  • Apartment Hunting is the name of the game. But not too intense on this just yet because until mom dies there is no moving ut so timing is going to be a big factor in the where and when. Mostly the where at this point because until there is a when on the table it is hard to really locate anything more than where I’d LIKE to be living. I cannot afford to put down a deposit and pay rent monthly until it is time to actually move, and then I have to hope the places that appeal to me have a vacancy. And finding a place that accepts cats is harder than I thought. Seriously they allow birds up to 10 pounds and 50 gallon aquariums but not cats. Birds are nasty, dirty creatures (I had one) so why them and not a sweet, declawed, spayed, 8 year old cat? I won’t rehome her because I’ve had her since she was 4 weeks old and orphaned. You don’t rehome an animal like it’s a set of no-longer-used dishes.
  • Work as in trying to keep my health coaching job and Avon going while working full time and dealing with the above. I’ve really sucked lately at coaching and I just need to focus. I was doing great bullet journaling the coaching business, it kept me DOING the work and in contact with clients, and now dust is gathering on the notebook and I’m a week behind on my bootcamp training and actions for coaching. Seriously need to refocus. And there has been drama at work and I hate drama. Plus my A-team gals all have something derailing our lives right now from physical injuries to personal life issues and it is just sucking the fun out of our job. We are all in reground and regroup mode, kicking around the idea of all taking off the same day and going to an escape room locally. Though we’d prefer to take a few bottles of wine and not escape the room at all! We just cannot seem to catch a break of late. We also had a resident pass away this past week, one we all loved, so we’re a bit raw emotionally. She was the same age as my mom which only made it harder for me than I expected.
  • Etsy Shop needs some new listings. I have 3 blankets that are finished and ready to be listed for sale and have yet to photograph them and get them online. And it is time to tweak descriptions on products but my creative juices have dried up.

Those are just some of the items of life debris piling up. I have to file my taxes (actually have to prepare the stuff, I have a tax guy thanks to all this side business hoopla), finish CEUs for my MA-C certification renewal, clean my closet out, place an Avon order, place a food order for myself so my health stays solid, pay some bills, write my sponsor child in Nicaragua, clean/dust/sweep my room, finish 6 partially complete crochet projects (can’t sell them if I don’t actually complete them), and that is just the top of the to-do list.

Right now I’m ever so thankful I decided to head back to Crossroads for the all church journey. Honestly I tried to love the church I had switched too, the teaching is solid there and all, but it just feels like stale crackers to me. I missed the energy, love, vibe, and teaching (also solid) at Crossroads. It fits me better. And that was a stress producer too, because one of my kids is at one church, the other is at Crossroads and I was trying to attend both! I loved when we all went to the same church, same service. Even the ex-hubster and his wife went there, and while awkward to some, I found it kinda cool that we all were doing faith together. They are now with the son at the other location and I’ve come back home to where I found my way back to God. And I’m happier, and growing again in my walk with the Lord. I’m beyond delighted my kids are both in churches and actively walking out their faith, with Christian spouses doing the same by their sides. What more can a mother hope for really than to see her kids serving God and His people?

So about that all church journey, it is called Obsessed and we are on weekend 3 right now. And to quote my daughter, “I’m not digging this journey”. Oh we are really thankful for it, but it’s not a comfortable trip we are on here. Facing down our obsessions and getting them in line is not easy. I’m uncovering some things I do not like about my life and myself and what I pay attention too. “Pay attention to what you pay attention too” stuck out this past weekend and the work in the app for the week really pried the lid off things I did not care to see.  That is the stuff of another post though.

So, that brain dump felt good. There it is, in a nut shell, because no one has time to write and then have anyone read a 20 volume encyclopedia size dump of ALL that is going on in my crazy, marvelous life right now.

Posted in CNA STNA, Uncategorized

Part II ~ So You’re Putting Mom/Dad In A Nursing Home: Do’s And Don’ts

In my previous post, So You’re Putting Mom/Dad In A Nursing Home: Do’s And Don’ts, I mentioned things like valuables, clothing sizes and socks. Can I mention socks again? Seriously they all need socks, and if they are all the same kind of socks this is even better. I swear socks get lost more than anything else in the facility. Purchase 20 pairs of identical socks and the staff will love you. Mismatched ones are hip for younger folks but on your mom or dad in a nursing home, it looks like they and the staff lack the good sense to put together appropriate attire. Often we are struggling to do just that!

So, adding to other suggestions:

Sports bras. When moving your beloved mother in with us, please forget the lacy, sexy bras, the ones that hook in back, and think in terms of COMFORT. Hooks stabbing them in the back all day while in a wheel chair or arm chair, get uncomfy. Hooks get caught on things in the laundry and get twisted. Sport bras, a size larger than necessary, are comfortable, and much easier to for all involved. Your mom likely cannot hook it herself any longer anyway. If you want to do a hook bra, get one that hooks in the front!

Coats…one is plenty. I currently have a resident who has no less than 6 coats.  Really, one winter, and one spring/light weight one is all they need. Space in the closet is limited, those 6 coats take up nearly half of the space, the rest is crammed full of clothes. That brings me to the number of outfits your parent needs. 14 is good, 2 per day if there is a disaster, for a week. Most facilities are doing the resident laundry on their shower days, and most of facilities have 2 showers a week. If you are not familiar with this, don’t freak out, elderly skin dries out really bad and 2 a week is quite sufficient. We do perineal care daily (cleaning their bottoms/private parts) and apply deodorant etc so they are not going to smell foul, and this cleaning prevents skin break down as well from soiled underwear/adult diapers. Check with the nurse or aides to be sure your parent has sufficient clothing.

Slippers. If your mom or dad don’t wear shoes any longer, then nice slippers are wonderful. I recommend ones with non-slip surfaces if they walk. Slippers protect the feet of those in wheel chairs too, so think in terms of comfy, and protective!

Just a few more things I wanted to share, for those with loved ones in nursing facilities.

Posted in A Day In The Life, Uncategorized

Sleeping In Is Overrated

Hot cup of fresh coffee on the wooden table and stack of books tMy intent today was to sleep in until I woke up natural. Well natural arrived at 6am so here I am with laundry going, coffee, and y’all. Seems my body just cannot go more than 7-8 hours tops.

I might have wasted time laying in bed playing Yatzee on my phone and surfing Facebook but I have a date today with 2 cute members of the male side of the species, as in grandsons. The 2.5yo wants to go to the aquarium so Nana is up, plowing through the “I have to” stuff so I can go make memories.

I have a new addiction!!! I’ve always felt that even with no makeup a gal looks better with her lip color on. But when you are taking care of 16 adults with dementia you do not have time to stop and reapply your lipstick over and over again. Or when you are hanging at the Zoo with the grandkids, sipping coffee during a church service (yes our church has cup holders for your coffee cup..seems they get it that adulting is rough without the caffeine), etc. And leaving a lip print behind on your wine glass or grandchild’s forehead is not cool. My daughter’s lip color is always on point and so I broke down and shelled out the money for a starter kit of Lipsense during an online Facebook party she hosted for a friend-distributor. I’m hooked! Yes, I love my Avon, I’m a #BeautyBoss, but this stuff is AMAZING! SO many colors and I’m here to tell you this stuff is marvelous. NO I will not be selling it but I can hook you up with an enabler consultant if you’d like, just message me! I may need another job in addition to STNA and Health Coach to support this habit.

Any This Is Us fans in the house? OMG did anyone else have this desire to go toss the crockpot in the trash after the least episode? And finally we will be faced with the complete answers to how Jack died, right after the Super Bowl this Sunday. I may need to call off work the next day to mourn. This show is SO well written, and easily is my favorite one I’ve ever watched. If you don’t know what all the fuss is about, find season one and start from the beginning or it seriously won’t make sense to you at all. No fluff and unicorn farts here, this show is so realistic with the family dynamics and characters. You aren’t wishing there were people like the Pearsons in the world, you know them! In all likelihood you are one of them. If I have to DVR an episode I stay off social media until I see it so no spoilers.

Oops, time to go hit the shower so I’m ready to make those memories today! More to come as I’m off ALL WEEKEND BABY!