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Steps Toward Healing ~ GYST

26 May

One of the things I’ve picked up on very quickly in learning how to heal from a painful loss is to LIVE. Put one foot in front of the other and MOVE. That can be difficult when you feel as if you are betraying the memory of your loved one by the fact that you are alive and they are not, but it is important.

I talked in another post about cleaning out the bedroom mom would have had and decorating it, changing it around and making it mine. She wanted me to take it to begin with so I would not have to change it later, I think she knew she wasn’t going to live here more than a few days or weeks. She didn’t even make it to 24 hours so I had to force myself to accept it was never her bedroom.

Today is another first for me, a moving forward. I cannot afford to continue buying take out even if it is something on my food plan to stay healthy. So, hoping the stove actually works I went to the grocery store yesterday and bought a spaghetti squash and some ground turkey, a can of diced tomatoes and some taco seasoning. I am making it right now. Thankfully the stove is working, by the way, and dinner is in about 20 minutes. I’m totally loving it! I LOVE cooking healthy foods, which is a big step for someone who hated cooking at all.

I also decided that it is time to start getting happy mail! As in mail that is not a bill, or political ad or whatever else is unwelcome in the mailbox. Or an empty one which can be equally depressing. I posted a live video on Facebook suggesting it is time to return to sending cards and notes, and that I was looking for others to do the same. I have 3 addresses and I’m going to begin sending notes and cards to these people at least once a month. That will ensure something fun shows up in the mailbox for them. I’d welcome anyone else who wants to do this just contact me and we can exchange addresses.

Reading is also therapeutic so I pulled out my Kindle Fire and started reading a book again. And I did a bunch of work for my health coaching business.

gystI feel good! I feel accomplished! I did not waste the day sitting around feeling sorry for myself because mom is gone. She used to let us wallow in our pity party for a while before she would tell us, “You need to get your sh*t together!” and that is now a thing everyone in the family is doing, putting #GYST in texts and snapchats to keep her memory alive and remind each other we cannot unpack and stay put we must move forward.

Love ya, mom, miss you bunches but going to make you proud!

 

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Contouring Made Easy With Avon

18 May

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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One Last Snow Before We Go

23 Mar

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!

 

Unpacking My Big C

3 Mar

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…

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

9 Feb

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.

Sleeping In Is Overrated

2 Feb

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!

 

Saturday Coffee Musings

28 Oct

Close up of cup of coffee with pink roseI’ve become dependent on water. Okay, yes, our bodies do require it to function, but I have developed an addiction to it. Perhaps more like a dependency on feeling great, which has a lot to do with the amount of water I drink when on plan, 100+ ounces a day. Give me one day of not drinking enough, then the next day (like today) getting even less, and this girl isn’t feeling all that marvelous. My brain gets fuzzy and I feel like a hangover without the party.

This goes for not eating healthy too. Yesterday was just a mess of not eating the right things and not getting enough water. It was day #2 of 16 hour shifts so to say I suddenly don’t feel so hot would be understated. Thankfully just a big tumbler of water and I’m starting to feel great again.

The pause button was pushed on my health journey the past few weeks. Thanks to continuing in a mostly healthy vein of food choices I’ve not gained  back a single pound, but I haven’t taken anymore off. One resident I care for informed me I needed to stop because she feels I’m “too skinny”. I’m not stopping and in fact my schedule is set to push the play button again on November 1st. I want to reach transition and maintenance by Thanksgiving. I want to roll through the holidays a yet better version of the already improved edition of me!

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Nana’s Super Heros

Today I had planned to spend my entire Saturday curled up in a chair with a crochet project and ongoing coffee. Instead the day was even better. My work community hosted trick-or-treating for resident and associates families and it was so sweet! The residents really enjoyed it and 2 of my grandchildren made it up for the event! So, now I’m going to curl up and crochet while I catch up on last night’s episode of Blue Bloods!

 

We had a touch of snow in Cincinnati in the wee hours of the morning. Just some wet flakes that  vanished upon impact with the ground, but still it was snow because it got THAT cold. NOT a good thing and this needs to stop at once. I’m not ready to be cold even if I do enjoy curling up in front of the fire to crochet.

Just when I was debating taking this fashion gingery color to a bit more brown, I received half a dozen compliments on it and how good it looks on me. Guess I’ll just refresh it and my roots and keep rocking the more red than brown locks! 🙂

 

Wine & Cheese ~ Getting Colder Edition

25 Oct

wineandcheese2Some Wednesdays 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 search past postings. Sit back and join me now for a serving of some whine and cheese!

 ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

 WINE WHINE

😦 It is chilly in these parts, Autumn has finally arrived. Colder winds are now blowing, leaves crunching under foot, and dreary skies are the norm. I really dislike it, this is really depressing!

😦 I currently work a mix of first and second shift, and it is messing with my sleep cycle. When on second shift I would sleep until at least 8am. First shift means getting up at 5:30am. When on first shift I go to bed by 9:30pm to ensure adequate sleep, and on second shift I would get home and be in bed by midnight. Now that I’m all mixed up I’m awake at 6am on days I have to work until 11pm and that is frustrating to say the least.

😦 The next two days are 16 hour shifts, because I’m crazy and actually volunteered to do this to myself. I love the over time but sometimes I have to question my sanity when I say “sure sign me up!”.  I’m NOT getting any younger.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

CHEESE

🙂 Thankfully I am feeling amazing with all of the energy I have now that I’m not lugging around 38 pounds of excess, less than marvelous, fat! 16 hours of caring for elderly, dementia residents doesn’t always go by fast, can be exhausting both mentally and physically, but when you have energy you can pull it off, even at 54 years old!

🙂 I got to snuggle with my youngest grandchild today! Nana is a happy camper and her baby-fix meter is on full.

🙂 Along with the colder weather, which sucks, comes fire place season! YES YES YES!!! We’ve already made use of this wonderful feature in our home, if it has to be cold then we might as well enjoy a warm fire in the evening. If only we could find a way to get to work without going outside.

🙂 Coffee. Seriously if you love it, then you know that is enough said right there. (says this girl who has her cup sitting right here full of this delicious, hot, black, liquid wonderful!)

🙂 Days off are the best! Don’t get me wrong, I truly love what I do, it is my passion through and through, but a day off to just veg, do laundry, help mom get her errands ran, see old friends at a previous employer while dropping things off to dad…days off work are rejuvenating. Batteries recharged, full steam ahead!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

DESSERT

If you are not familiar with Sweat Pants & Coffee, you really should get acquainted. She is funny and her insights on life shared through her illustrated memes surrounding coffee are just great! If nothing else follow her Instagram!

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Wine & Cheese ~ Red Head Edition

18 Oct

wineandcheese2Some Wednesdays 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 search past postings. Sit back and join me now for a serving of some whine and cheese!

 ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

 WINE WHINE

😦  I am just not as time organized in my personal life as I am at work! I really need a handle on things so I can take time to write on my blog! ARGH!

😦  I dislike this time of year. Oh I LOVE the smell of fire pits and fire places burning wood to keep warm, but not the chill in the air or the changing of the leaves. Brings us to such a dreary time of naked branches and dead everything.

😦  I cleaned my closet and found so many nearly-done projects for the shop that it frustrated me. Guess a bit too much AD/HD, jumping from one to another. Time to finish them!

Okay, enough whining….

CHEESE

🙂  I’m kicking butt today! Yesterday I cleaned my closet and rearranged my room. Got rid of a bunch of clothes that no longer fit (I shrunk out of them YAHOOOOO!), and reorganized the closet so I can get a grip on all of the projects I want to finish and get in my shop. Today I’m attacking Mt. Washmore and if it is laying around it is getting washed and put in my niece’s room. Yes, it is mostly all her things but she is out of town for a week so I’m on it! Random act of kindness.

🙂  My coaching business has been going along well. Not only does it help me stay focused on being healthy, but I’m helping so many others get healthy and lose the weight. It is exciting to be a part of the positive changes in people’s lives.

🙂  Got on the scale today, after a few weeks of not really sticking to plan and found I had not gained anything back! No doubt because I tend to opt for healthy choices now out of habit. It feels so good to be in skinny girl clothes an feel so amazing.

🙂  I watched 3 of the grandkids this past weekend. Me and the granddaughter, Little Red, binged Harry Potter movies. The entire series! It was awesome.

🙂  Winter hair is here! I decided that despite the effort required to get back to blonde or my own dark grey, I wanted to be a red head again. Red is fun, spicy, sassy….just fits!

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DESSERT

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Product Review: Native Deodorant

30 Aug

I sweat at work…a LOT. Menopause + hot shower room while bathing residents = sweat. And I never stop moving so I keep the body heat going quite well. Old folks get cold sitting in the shade on an 85 degree day so if the air conditioning is set to make employees comfy, well the residents are very cold. They don’t live where we work, we work in their home, so it is set to their comfort level. It makes for sweaty care givers and if the deodorant fails, smelly ones at that.

Recently I noticed by the 3rd hour of my shift my deodorant was indeed failing.  Later that same day, while wasting precious moments of my life browsing Pinterest I saw an article from Women’s Fitness And Style about the 5 best deodorants for women. I took that as a sign and decided to give the top one a try, Native.

When I saw that it was $12 I nearly passed, but knowing I needed something that really works I read up on it. ALL natural ingredients, no aluminum or parabens or other chemicals. I liked that part so I decided I’d give it a shot. Here is where it gets fun.

nativeOnce you submit your order you receive an absolutely hysterical confirmation email from the company. Then it is followed by another once the order ships, equally amusing. I’m not yet sure of the product but the purple cow marketing they are using rocks. And finally the product arrives and the packing slip again had me cracking up.

The day after receiving my product, I showered and followed the directions. 3 swoops is all you need, a little goes a LONG way, per Native. So I gave it a shot and went to work. AMAZING! I still smelled like my wonderfully scented Native deodorant at the end of the day and not like a sweat bomb.  And this girl’s glamorous pits were dry.

SOLD! I have a new deodorant and I like it so much I had to share.

I went with the coconut/vanilla scent, and shipping is free. I totally endorse this product and plan to purchase more.

You can check it out by clicking HERE and that will also earn me a free travel size of their product.

I was in no way compensated for this product review.

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