Posted in by hook and by hand

Hodge Podge Of My Brain


I’m so sore this morning.  More so than most days following a shift, from my toes to my neck. My hallway has gotten heavier, some residents declining to needing more care, the addition of a new one with different needs, and me just jumping in and busting my tail with refreshed gusto results in a morning after of wincing and moaning.  I’m going to be such a treat when I’m on the other side of this arrangement, body all broken down from caring for others and over doing it at 53yo.

As of this writing it is 33 days until class starts and I’m off of the floor for a month. I’m taking the med-tech certification classes so I can pass meds, which is a raise in pay, and likelihood of moving to night shift. But with the shift differential and raise just for being certified, it will be worth it.

Crochet/Shop Talk…

Rough prototype of the face scrubbie coming to today!

I have discovered the joy of cotton face scrubbies!! Removing make-up or just washing your face is uniquely delightful with these little gems. I’ve seen them in shops and hunted down a pattern to give it a shot and I’m hooked. Yes I’ll be adding them to the shop. If you are of the go-green mindset, these are so up your alley. Wash and use again and again! Cotton, being a plant fiber, breaks down quickly in the landfills which makes it environmentally friendly. As these are 100% cotton, it is a win all around. Watch for a deal on an assortment package later today!

Pokemon Go…

Seriously addicting, do not do this to yourself!!! It is insanity and I love it. Nice distraction in a world full of crazy headlines and off the wall concerns. I’ve lost 3 pounds over the weekend just walking in the cemetery and other places to catch virtual beings on my cell phone. While it does have that advantage, I just don’t see myself sticking to this one for long. Life is too busy to be obsessed with anything that doesn’t come to me. Which, I have found some really interesting ones in my family room!  😉


c17Yes, I still sell, though have moved my business to mostly online ordering. This works much better for me as I just do not have the time to go out canvasing for customers.  I always welcome new ones to my family of Avon fans, so feel free to check out what is on sale now!

Posted in Coffee

Marvelous Musings Over Coffee

Hot cup of fresh coffee on the wooden table and stack of books tI have had a lot on my “decisions to be made” plate of late.  With too many irons in the fire some things just need to be trimmed from my life and time in order for me to pursue other things where my passion resides.

Anyone who knows me is aware I LOVE direct sales.  At one point I was a consultant/representative for 7 or so companies.  That was narrowed down to 4, 3 of which I basically keep so I can purchase things at a nice discount for myself.  I share them at times, heck who doesn’t like a nice commission check when one has bills to pay, but they are primarily to get a good deal on things I use.  The only one I ever really worked to any degree is my Avon business.

Now that I’ve launched my Etsy shop, By Hook And By Handalong with my sister, I really don’t want to mess that much with the Avon.  It was good to me, had a team of 52 at one point before I let that all fall apart while racing around the country side on a motorcycle with a 1%er (hey, it was that crazy time after the divorce, we all make mistakes).  I love the products etc, but just don’t want to pour the amount of time into that it takes to build a solid income, time I would need to spend away from home.  I’m moving my customers all to online ordering and mailing out brochures and samples periodically.

My passion is my crochet shop.  Hooks and yarn are like therapy to me, even with custom orders and deadlines, I LOVE to crochet.  And with 5 sales already, while having limited inventory, I see the higher earning potential doing something I absolutely enjoy.  Higher potential being that I can do this truly from home.  Avon and other direct sales rock, but you have to go out and do parties, recruit, sell etc. All good and fine if you aren’t working a full time job that is kicking your tail physically, then want to go out and ‘work’ another job.  I put in my work week in 3, 12.5 hour days, pick up an over time shift a week, sometimes more, so the last thing I want to do is get out there and try to do parties etc.  I want to relax, and hooking things soothes me.  If I can make money on what I crochet, well it is a win/win to me. Hooking just doesn’t feel like work!

Being home means spending time with mom, and that time we have is growing shorter with each passing day. I can crochet my heart out while we talk, sit out on the deck, in front of the fire place (when it is cold), and if she needs to be at the infusion center or doctor, well my hooker bag goes along for the appointment and I keep right on crocheting there too.  It simply makes sense to pour myself into what I love and grow this business.  I’ve started a blog for the shop in case folks are interested in seeing what we are up too.  We’ll also share links to patterns we find so other hookers can enjoy making things, so feel free to follow those writings. And feel free to share it, we love that!

I cannot yet share what the other decision is, but will when it is time.  But prayers for the success of that would be much appreciated!

Well, off to work on the custom order, it is nearly finished and will be delivered next week.

Y’all have a fantastic day!


Posted in #NOEXCUSES, 2016, Uncategorized

Back To Sneeze, Cough, Blow…UGH

Nothing says hello Spring like allergies going nuts.  Mine are out of control.  At least I assume that is it, I really don’t feel bad other than my head is stuffy, nose running, and coughing up yuck.  Oh, and my voice taking its semi-annual hiatus.  I cannot sleep well because I cannot breathe, so I am tired.  This just sucks.

I’ve been working a lot, and when not working just being.  Life is just nuts it seems. I don’t feel like doing a lot to be honest.  But then came the annual all-church journey again, so now I have a direction.  I’m going to be Brave, and attempt to get my non-fiction book finished. I also want to build up my Avon business.  Means I need to focus on my One Word for this year, 4 months into it already, DISCIPLINE.  And that is the very last thing I wanted to do, get disciplined and actually do something.

I believe it is a good thing to mentally and physically just exist, take a  break from everything in life outside of what you must do, like earn a living.  Trouble is being careful not to unpack and live in that space and time.  I’ve cleaned my room, purged my closet, started working on projects for my Etsy store, started ramping up my AVON business again, and now I’m going to focus on writing a book.  Hey, nothing like zero to ninety over night! This is going to be interesting.

Meanwhile? Well work is awesome.  No really, it is.  Sure, I feed adults, change their diapers, bathe them, help them to the bathroom, get them dressed, transport them around the facility as needed, keep an eye on things their nurses need to know, talk with them, love on them…and it really is an incredible job.  I leave there knowing I did something that matters that day.  I only wish it wasn’t so darn physical because at nearly 53 it is killing me!  I log 20,000+ steps in a work day, pull, push, roll folks and their chairs weighing as much as 275 pounds for 12.5 hours. But I cannot imagine not doing it.  I work with a great team of aides, especially the other half of Team M&M (Marti and Marianne).  I’m actually looking forward to going to work tomorrow and Sunday because she and I get it done together.  I wish I had found this long ago!

I’ll keep you updated on the book progress, and if you want to purchase any lipstick, you know where to find me!




Posted in Wine & Cheese

Wine & Cheese ~ 98th Serving

wineandcheese2Welcome to Wine & Cheese, my weekly, Wednesday whine session.

Most 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 click HERE for all of the past postings. Sit back and join me now for the 98th serving of some whine and cheese!

 ~*~ ~*~ ~*~


😦  What is with allergies and my body?  Seriously the weather is such that we can open the windows, turn off the A/C and enjoy it.  But NOOOOO my allergies are freaking out on life and my nose is running like crazy.  And to think I blamed the cats when in fact it seems the great outdoors holds issues for me too. Windows open, nose running. UGH!

😦  Laundry = boo!!!! Really I hate doing laundry and I’ve had to do 3 loads today.  That may not be a lot for you but remember, I only have my own to do and it was piled up in the hamper.  Heading into 5 straight days of working 12.5 hour shifts I will need my scrubs and won’t want to come home to do laundry before bed each night.  So, making sure I have 6 sets just in case something or someone goes sideways (I do mean goes as in poo’s) and I need to change my scrubs, that extra pair will be nice to have on hand.  Living in a large, spread out quad, that laundry room is a LONG way from my bedroom, adding to my unintended workout routine.

😦  I’ve truly neglected so much like my Avon business and my writing.  It took a while to get used to the job and the physical fatigue from those long shifts.  I’m not the spring chicken that I used to be at all.  Thankfully I’m adjusted now.

😦  Nothing like thinking you bought just normal toilet paper, 24 roll pack, the cheap stuff because it IS just toilet paper, and finding out it is 1-ply.  Making that discovery after it is hanging in 3 bathrooms and not wanting to be the laughing stock of the grocery store we keep on using it.  We considered keeping it in storage to use to barter for things during the zombie apocalypse but decided anything that awful wouldn’t get  much in trade other than used tooth picks so we used it up.  We’re too thrifty to just toss it in the trash. UGH.


🙂  We are now about to break into a 24 pack of 2-ply toilet tissue.  Was that a chorus of angels singing?  Oh the bliss!

🙂  I am officially 20 pounds down now and loving it!  Pulled out a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in oh, 5 years now?  YES!!! Slid them right on.  I admit it, I did a bit of a happy dance about that, it felt good to be back in them even if they are old and worn.

🙂  I have so many great books to read!  Just finished up The Drummond Girls, and now reading #GIRLBOSS.  I have a pile of them waiting for me to attack.  I also have to finish up the baby blankets, though cooler weather will make that happen as it gets a bit too warm even under a baby blanket to be hooking my heart out.

🙂  Is it okay if I say again (as in so many posts now) that I just LOVE my job? Really, who would have thought anyone could enjoy what I do in long term care, but I truly love it!  My residents are special to me, I even worry about them when I’m not at the facility.  I leave work feeling like I really made a difference in the little corner of the world in which I exist.


There is so much truth in this one, and I cannot count the number of times!


Posted in Coffee

Tuesday Morning Random Coffee Musings

Hot cup of fresh coffee on the wooden table and stack of books tThe sun is shining, the cat is in the window enjoying the morning breezes and getting her tan on, and I’m listening to the birds singing while sitting here sipping my coffee and enjoying my mellow start to the day.

I am a tad concerned that the first thing I do is look at my planner.  Not because I don’t know what I need to do, I did that last night to check my schedule for the day.  I look at it because I love all the bling and colors.  It speaks to my crafty side, kinda like a crafters high.  Planner crack.

Yesterday was HR orientation at the new job, and sometime this week will be department orientation, then I can work.  I cannot wait.  I will be working full time again, 3 days a week, 12 hour shifts.  It’s perfect for allowing me time to do my Avon business and pick up over time which is very plentiful in the Long Term Care industry.  Aides are scarce and good aides it seems are even more so.  I’m planning on being a top performer, over achiever so to speak.  I don’t see this as a job so much as a ministrey for me.  No one sets their end of life goal as residing in a care facility, needing someone to change their diapers or assist them to the bathroom, help feed and clothe them.  Not all are old either, some residents are young, victims of crippling diseases or accidents that left them unable to do the simplist of personal tasks.  The good facilities have made more of a home atmosphere, as it should be.  This IS the resident’s home and should be treated as such.  Sometimes aides and others forget that the resident is no more thrilled with being changed like a child than the one giving care is excited about doing the changing.  Mentally my focus is on that aspect, how would I want to be cared for in this same situation.  It has really changed my heart and pulled me to want to do this for half of what I could be making in my other field of office management.

Yesterday I babysat 3 of my grandchildren and was just amazed at how fast they are growing up.  SnuggleBug is 2yo, and isn’t all that into snuggling anymore though he talks a mile a minute and I only catch pieces of what he says.  I fully understand his “wuv eww nana” and kisses though!  SnuggleBean is 7 months old and aware that I’m not mom and this didn’t make him all that happy.  SnuggleBerry is pitching softball now at 10yo.  Where is the time going?  I relish these moments, and with my son and his wife.  I look at my daughter, just over 2 months away from giving birth to her first baby, sitting in church feeling him kick her, watch her waddle around (she doesn’t think she waddles yet but there is a small one to her gait now) and cannot believe she is all grown up, married, and ready to be a mother.  I’m nervous and excited, knowing how she thinks about everything in life will change so much when they place this little boy in her arms.  And no words will make her understand that, she has to experience it for herself.  I love our morning phone calls when she is driving home from work, we laugh a lot and solve all the world’s problems in 30 minutes or less.  😉

I love my Avon customers!  In the past 14 hours I’ve had 2 call me with orders that will put about $52 in my pocket (I earn 40% across the board thanks to achieving Honor Society and doubling my sales).  And all it took was providing good customer service and handing out brochures.  That is 2 of my regular 8-10 who consistently order, and I’m growing that number as rapidly as I can.  Also adding at least 2 to my team tomorrow.  I LOVE this business!

Ah look at the time, at this rate it won’t me morning musings if I don’t get moving. Much to do.

Y’all have a MARVELOUS day!

Posted in Friday Confessional

Friday Confessional


Time to get things confessed and off the chest!

I confess…

I am so done with winter weather!  TOO much snow is NOT good for making a happy Marti.  I want sunshine and WARM air, not this cold stuff, not the warming up of the car to go anywhere, it is time.  BE GONE WINTER! It simply is NOT melting and I want it gone, I want to see green grass!


I confess…

Thursday nights I am HOOKED on Scandal!  We Divas get some corn popped and pour some wine into our official, Olivia Pope wine glasses and we kick back.  This pic was from last night, though I didn’t care for the episode.  As the daughter, mom, mother-in-law and girlfriend of a police officer, it’s touchy for me.  I wish the show would let that explosive crap go.  The jury is out around here as to whether we will continue to watch it after last night.  OH, the glasses are available through Crate and Barrel.  23 ounces, and I think $15 each.


I confess…

It is looking like September is the month we move to Sarasota.  I cannot wait.  Meanwhile we are going to be on the beach on Siesta Key come the end of June, soaking up rays.  I cannot wait!

I confess…

While I was hoping for a girl, my daughter let the cat out of the bag, at a fun reveal party last weekend, that she is pregnant with a boy.  Grandchild number 5, the 4th grandson.  My adorable red-headed granddaughter remains the sole grandchick.  She likes that too!  Little baby Jace is due while this Nana will be in Florida, so I’m hoping he comes a week early on my daughter’s birthday, or holds until I get back.  I love this chapter in my life!

I confess…

This Nana is pretty pumped that Avon is coming out with a sterling silver Nana necklace too!  I cannot wait to get mine and wear it.  🙂


Posted in Monday Memos

Monday Memos

Monday MemosDear Self,

It has occurred to me, as I was lying awake the other night listening to one Diva snoring, then the other answering her, also snoring, that we may have misjudged the neighbor we affectionately have dubbed “Schleprock”.  Perhaps it isn’t that his shutters are not properly installed, as we laugh at them randomly falling off his house.  It may not be the fault of his skills that caused the most recent one to detach from his home, cascading to the ground, taking some of his siding with it.  It COULD be that with 3 of us snoring so hard, we’re sucking the shutters right off of his home.  Lord knows we’re peeling paint from various neighbors!  I dare say if we were all sick with a cold and snoring we might start pulling cars from garages on our street.  It might be time for breathing strips?

The Diva Who Is Also The Restock Fairy


Dear Printer,

You suck.  There was a time not so long ago when you and the laptop were best of friends.  All things sent would print as if by magic, remotely or through the USB.  But for some reason you are now acting like a spoiled child and won’t play nice in the sandbox with the laptop.  I dislike you for this, very much.  When I tried to print the workbook for my class  you behaved badly and just stopped communicating at all.  Fine, screw you, the Kinko office is nearby and they were very happy to print the workbook for my class next week.  Keep it up and I’ll just go there and write off all expenses.  Take that lazer brains!

Not feeling so Marvelous


Dear Self,

Stick to your diet guns!  138 days until we depart with The Badge for Sarasota to house hunt.  You want to be sporting that bikini body when you arrive. You are doing great, keep up the good work!  Though you MIGHT want to consider cutting the 30 Day Squat Challenge numbers in half the first round or you may never walk again.

You Are Out Of Shape Sister!


Posted in Coffee

Monday Morning Coffee Musings

Close up of cup of coffee with pink roseHAPPY MONDAY & NATIONAL COFFEE DAY!

What a great day, the day we can celebrate whoever the brilliant soul was who figured out coffee beans, when ground up and mixed with hot water made the most wonderful of beverages known to man!  I’m enjoying mine as I write!

I have NO idea what happened the other day, but my blog readers exploded!  Over 900 views in one day, and over 500 the next, most all to the post about Persimmon seeds predicting winter.  Who knew?  I’ve also heard of some folklore associated with the number of fogs in Autumn determining snow for the winter but I’m still researching that one.

Can I ask you to help a blogger out?  Shameless self promotion here:  Today and tomorrow (thru midnight 9/30/14) any size order ships free on my Avon site.  I could really use some online customer action right now as I am trying to build this business up to make me some money.  Currently it is paying for things I need and use like makeup and shampoo etc, but I’m not making any money.  You could help with that by not only purchasing something (anything) but sharing my site and the coupon code for free shipping on any order that is placed before midnight 9/30/14 (code is:  SHIP2YOU)  So, now is the time, even if all you wish to purchase is a lipstick or pair of earrings, every little bit goes a long way to help me!

Okay where was I before I hijacked my post?  Oh yes, winter. Brrrrr!  Not a fan of driving in the snow, or being cold, but I will say that the snow is gorgeous and part of me still reacts like a child when I see it coming down in huge, quarter size flakes.  I can’t help it, that part is awesome.  Everything following from shoveling to attempting to get to a destination without being tow truck fodder is just no fun.

This weekend brought sadness to my family.  A very wonderful young man of 33 passed away suddenly, leaving behind a widow and 3 children.  He and his wife just celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary last week, and the baby is only 5 months old.  His other children are from a previous marriage/relationship.  He was a police officer, was in my son’s wedding, and his wife is just one of the sweetest people you could meet.  It was a tragic reminder that life is so precious and short, and you can take nothing for granted.  Hug your loved ones and pray for his family please.  If you would like to donate to help his widow, you can at:

Speaking of which, that was the highlight of the week, my new grandson’s arrival into this world.  He is just precious beyond words, like his siblings.  I just love seeing new life come into the world, it is a great reminder that life is full of wonderful miracles and blessings.  The landscape of life changes so quickly, next year it will look so different than it does now.  It is vastly different than this time last year, a reminder of how much and fast things will change.  Embrace it all, feel it all, learn from it all.

Off to get the mail, and get down to the tagging and bagging of several hundred brochures in the hopes of finding new customers this week.

Have a fantastic day!