Covid-19: Too Close To Home

Hey y’all. I said I would post again soon, but I did not anticipate posting quite this soon and so specifically on this topic. I’ve often written, sharing how we’re all faring while in quarantine. We’re doing this, we’re doing that, I’m rearranging, reorganizing; you’ve read it yourself. We’re doing everything we can to avoid contact. So far, so good.

While relaxing and watching television last night, I received a text from my bonus mom. She’s my ‘bonus mom’ because she was first, my friend, and with many passing years, she has become a strong mother figure in my life; kind of a role model to me. She’s always there when I need mothering advice. A simple text message away.

She was asking how we’re all doing. We haven’t seen her since Christmas Day when she did a drive by to pick up her Christmas Dinner from us. She stayed in her car while we; my husband, daughter, and myself, wore masks and put her dinner in the passenger’s seat and floorboard of her car. The process took all of 5-minutes at most. That’s the good news, that we’re doing fine. In her text message following, she was grateful to hear this. Then she told me, ‘I have Covid’. What? Ouch. Mom… No…

She thought she had a sinus infection, so she went to her doctor. While seeing her doctor, they tested her and she tested positive for the Covid virus. She has been so safe, but learning this makes every effort I have taken to keep my household safe, even if it meant angering select family members, worth the fight and sacrifice.

The holidays were not easy at the end of last year. Normally, we would have had my dad over for Thanksgiving dinner because my mom would have went to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my brother. Instead, we did Thanksgiving food delivery. My husband and I spent the morning and afternoon cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner, then we put together plates for everyone; my dad, my mom, and our friends and neighbors in our neighborhood. When we delivered each plate, we wore masks and glasses, and immediately sanitized after. We did the same system for Christmas dinner. We really didn’t want to do things the way we did, but we had to bend with the pandemic and simply figure out a different way to share. At a distance. I know we aren’t the only people who came to this same conclusion. For example, Dr. Emily Thomas from Dr. Pol, as in ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’. I follow Emily both on Twitter and through her and her husband’s blog. They concluded as well, it was and still is just too risky to spend the holidays with extended family members. Their kids were upset, select family members were upset, but they made their choice and stayed home where they are safe.

I’ll just be glad when it’s all over y’all. When vaccines have been administered to everyone, and we can all shake this Covid era, I will sleep so much better at night. Learning this from my mom last night, it kind of shook me, per say, on the inside. The good news is she is on the mend comfortably at home. If y’all would, add her to your praying thoughts for a good recovery. I’m praying for y’all as well.

In conclusion, as always, thanks y’all for reading. I’ll write again soon!

Surprise! Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Greetings y’all! Since my last post, many things have happened. We found a kitten, I moved into the ‘cover design’ phase of publishing, and Thanksgiving came. It has been an interesting few weeks to say the least.

On Saturday, November 7th, my dad gave me a ride to Macon, to Kitty City Cat Rescue, so I could pick up ‘Maleficent’ and bring her home. The whole idea was to surprise my daughter with her very own kitten. She has had the name picked out for years, though not as long as my husband and I had the name ‘Merlyn’ picked out before we were finally able to establish a home where we could have her.

‘Maleficent’ is proving to be very energetic, with a feisty attitude, but she loves to play. She reminds us of ‘Merlyn’ when ‘Merlyn’ when her age.

The day I brought her home, we absolutely surprised our daughter. ‘Maleficent’ had spent the entire 45-minute car ride, from Macon to Thomaston, meowing, which is normal. Unfortunately, the long car ride mixed with my dad’s driving technique, gave ‘Maleficent’ a queasy stomach. Luckily, I decided to include the blanket you see in the photo, in her carrier, and she only got sick on it. Twice. The good news is she hasn’t gotten sick since.

Having ‘Maleficent’ around has been different. ‘Merlyn’ and ‘Carlee’ are 8 and 6-years old respectively, so it’s been quite some time since we had a kitten around. ‘Maleficent’ is feeling right at home though because she runs the halls with ‘Carlee’ at night and into the early morning, and she gets her roughhousing with ‘Merlyn’ during the day, when she isn’t sleeping. Her favorite early morning activity is to play in my bed, attacking different areas of my bedding, about half an hour before my alarm goes off for work. I admit, it was kind of annoying at first, but what do you do when it’s a kitten.

I mentioned earlier, my book has moved forward, and now I am in ‘cover design’ mode. As soon as my friend whose a retired hairdresser can trim my hair a little, I get to experience my own little homemade personal photoshoot. I’ve never had a personal photoshoot, unless you count glamour shots that sadly fell through due to cost. That’s a story for another time.

Now, Thanksgiving. That was a busy day. I took the day off, meaning I didn’t open any time slots for my student’s parents to book. Instead, I woke up at 4am to begin prepping and baking. A week before this, my husband and I created the menu we had been planning to cook for our family and friends.

As you can see, we offered several choices for Thanksgiving dinner.

Preparing everything was tiring, but fun and worth it. By the time my husband got up at 6am, both pumpkin pies were in the oven, and I was filling the deviled eggs. Afterward, I started in on mixing my no-bake cheesecakes together, then I took a break. All the prepping we did, it reminded me of my mornings when I worked as a prep cook for Applebee’s in Monroe, Georgia. My husband and I learned early on that we work better in the kitchen together than anyone else we know. There are some people who don’t understand how we work so well together.

Now, to say our Thanksgiving day went absolutely perfectly smooth, that would be a lie. We did reach a hiccup in the system plan. First, it rained all morning, off and on, from heavy downpour to light drizzles, back and forth. We might have gotten past the rain, but the hiccup that followed left us without further options. We hooked everything up correctly, the propane tank to the turkey deep fryer we purchased, but there was a hit/miss somewhere because we weren’t able to officially deep fry the turkey. It wasn’t raining when my husband hooked everything together. It wasn’t raining when we set it all up in the spot we designated specifically for it. It began raining as we were trying to ignite the purpose, and because it did, we had to shut it down. So, instead of deep fried turkey, we properly executed a last moment oven roasted turkey. It was delicious!

The hardest part was sending text messages to our family and friends; “Due to inclement weather, deep fried turkey is now oven roasted. We’re sorry for the switch.” I felt like Gordon Ramsey on “Uncharted” when he’s unable to deliver his original dish idea to his guests of their culture. I am so thankful everyone was understanding. Well, almost everyone.

I experienced an additional hiccup, but it was neither food nor Thanksgiving related. At least I don’t think it was, but I don’t honestly know. My husband and I decided to do Thanksgiving this way because, as I mentioned and we all already know, we all have to take caution against Covid-19. I spent Thanksgiving, planning, prepping, preparing, and cooking with so much care, love, devotion, and thanks. Every plate we made, everybody we fed, we did it because we are thankful to have each and everyone we included in our Thanksgiving feast, in our life.

Our delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Well y’all, I think that’s all for now. Christmas is right around the corner and with Christmas comes our Christmas menu. Yes, my husband and I are planning the same kind of theme for Christmas, but yes, a different menu. No turkey. We’re thinking about a spiral ham, prime rib, and colorful side dishes. Equally delicious.

Additionally, it’s not just Christmas we’re planning for, my husband and I were blessed to have a child born exactly 2 days after Christmas. This year, she turns 16, but because she’s a Descendant’s fan, it’s not ‘sweet sixteen’, she prefers her 16th birthday VK (villain kid) style; ‘sinister sixteenth’.

Thanks for reading y’all! I’ll post again soon!

A Little Bit of Everything

Good morning y’all.  I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I last posted, but things have been, for lack of a better word, slightly depressing.  Some changes have occurred where my family is concerned, and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it.  To sum it up, my dad quit talking to me for reasons only he knows.  At first, I didn’t know how to deal with it, but then I had an epiphany.  If he doesn’t want to talk to me, that’s his choice, not mine.  He’ll come around in his own time.

So, moving on.

After more than a month, last week, I finally heard from my publication coordinator, via email, that my manuscript is ready for me to review the edits the editing department has proposed in my manuscript.  Since this past weekend was 4th of July weekend, I took that time away from work, and now, today, I’ll begin reviewing the edits in depth.  This should be fun.

In other news, about 5 years ago, I gave up my Facebook account.  Why?  It was the only way I could disassociate myself from select people I no longer wanted anything to do with.  It was the only way I could seek the solitude I needed to overcome the dramas and stresses of my own life.  While Facebook is a great way to keep in contact and communicate with select friends and family, I didn’t want any part of any of it.  Recently, I’ve been thinking that now might be the right time to regroup and restart.  I admit, part of me is fearful of Facebook because of the people I once knew.  Like the movie “Cyberbully” with actress Emily Osment, I couldn’t escape, but I wasn’t being bullied.  People just would not leave me alone.  However, with my book in publishing and ‘Moore’ Books Free Library slowly coming together, I think those two things are reason enough to restart a Facebook account, but rather than a personal account, I’m thinking more along the lines of ‘Public Figure’ account.  With coronavirus cases still on the rise, Facebook will be an avenue that I would not otherwise have for online book signings and other such events.  Actor and author, Chris Colfer did it, so why can’t I do similar?

The entirety of it will take time, but that’s okay because all of the best things in life take time.

On a totally different note, I gave gardening another shot.  My first time didn’t go so well.  While I tried my hand at growing green beans, cucumbers, peppers, squash, and a couple other vegetables, things were going good until I transferred them to bigger planters, then they all died.  This time, some friends and neighbors gave me a few a tomato plants, and I’m very pleased to say that I have 8 tomatoes producing so far.  They’re still green, but they are growing.  My ‘bae’ has to craft together some stakes to help my roma tomato plant stand more upright, but it’s doing well and that’s all I can ask for right now.  Roma hasn’t yet produced anything, but it’s early yet.  I do have a few pictures to post of my budding tomatoes, and I’ll post them soon, but I have to first transfer the pictures from my phone to my computer.  Then I’ll be able to share them with you.  If things continue to grow as well as they are, this time next year, I’m going to try for a raised personal garden.  Time will tell.

Finally, the Georgia heat has really kicked in full swing since summer officially began.  The humidity is practically through the roof, making it harder for my ‘bae’ to breathe when outside what with his heart condition.  Heck, I’m perfectly healthy and the humidity is even getting to me.  The only time I’m really going outside is to feed and water my plants, or to take out the garbage.  It’s so hot out, we don’t even feel like grilling.

So, that pretty much sums up the essence of my life currently.  A little of this, a little of that, but not much of anything else.  I’m doing what I can, and practicing patience by working on the inside.  More or less cleaning, rearranging, and reorganizing.

Well y’all, I guess that’s it for this post.  As always, thank you all for reading and following my blog.  By the way, is there anything y’all would like me to write about?  I’m always open to suggestions; something new to talk about.

Until next time!

‘A Boring Little Update’

Hey hey, how have y’all been?  Me, I’m taking things one day at a time.  Summer is not yet officially here, but the days are growing more and more humid with thunderstorms looming overhead creating a thick moisture in the air; like walking out your front door and into a sponge.  Though this weather won’t last the entire summer, I still see us using the hose a lot throughout the summer.

My daughter is taking summer school this year because she’s as good in math as I was at her age.  She absolutely despises math, yet she loves earning an allowance.  Basic addition compared to adding letters to the numbers.  I understand her hatred.  She’ll either get it enough to pass, or she’ll retake.  Her dad sits in and helps her, so it’s looking good that she’ll continue on to the 10th grade for next school year.

I took a little time off from writing, as writing an entire manuscript in four months is taxing.  However, I’ve been brainstorming which is now why I need to get back to writing, because otherwise I’m going mental trying to store it all.  With my manuscript currently in the editing phase, I’m moving forward, brainstorming a cover design, and going through my mental files for any additional material I may want to include in my book.  While I’m doing that, I’m also generating ideas for my next book “Y’all Didn’t Hear It from Me: Another Journal of Life Stories”.

Having said that, my husband and I were talking, and I want to celebrate my accomplishment once my 10 copies come.  Granted, my book won’t be to that stage until at least the end of this year, but I can begin planning for it now, right?  Why not, right?  We’re going to throw me a celebration party!  It may be holiday themed, or I might be able to pull it off of my own creative theme, but I’m going to celebrate.  Then, after the party, I’ll post the first vlog, me seeing my book for the first time.  I admit, it’s very exciting to think about.  I’m tickled pink!

Well, y’all, I think that’s it for now.  Is there anything y’all would like to hear about because my book is considered self-help/memoir.  I like being an ear for someone else in a situation.  Usually I can relate and I enjoy the input of others.

As always y’all, thanks for reading!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…

I’ve met my fair share of needy people.  Now, I’m not talking about people that need things like food to eat or a roof over their head, or clothes, I’m talking about needy, clingy, I wave to a stranger in a friendly manner and they misread my friendly wave needy.  I’m doing nothing more than waving in acknowledgement, but they acknowledge it as come over anytime and tell me all about your life.  Having encountered so many who are like this, I submitted myself to hermitage.  Keeping to myself to the point I wouldn’t even go outside.  I withdrew myself from the likes of society.

This has changed.

My husband and I moved into our own place, but we do have neighbors closer in distance to us than the last place we lived.  I didn’t really think about how close our neighbors are as we were moving in, but I swore to myself I wouldn’t walk down that path of friendliness again.  I enjoy having friends, but I also enjoy spending time alone because that’s when I can dive into my creative thoughts uninterrupted.  I lose myself in sketching or writing, or reading a really good book, whichever direction my thoughts take me at that particular moment.  These are my favorite pastimes, but not everyone accepts this, and most of the time it’s because they don’t understand it.  I don’t expect others to understand my creative fulfillment, but I do expect them to accept that art is who I am.  It’s what makes me who I am.  I accept others for who they are and what they do, but I also expect the same in return.  In other words, if you don’t understand it, don’t criticize me for it, allow me to either educate you or leave me alone.

On an evening, within a week after my family and I moved into our new place, we experienced a ‘tiny’ ant problem around our kitchen sink.  I noticed our landlord was across the road, on our neighbor’s porch visiting and in conversation, so I sent my husband over to inquire on some bug spray of some sort.  They didn’t have any bug spray, but they did offer us another solution which helped put an end to our ‘tiny’ ant problem, and because my husband went over to inquire, he also met our neighbors.  My husband is an old ‘hippie’ and he’ll be the first one to tell you this about himself, so he’s able to feel others out.  Not in the touchy-feely sort of way, but he can read them like characters in a book.  After cleaning up our ant problem, we finished cleaning the kitchen from dinner, and then my husband convinced me to go with him to return the borrowed ant killing solution.  As hesitant as I am on a regular basis, I allowed myself this neighborly meet and greet.  I’m glad I did this because in meeting our neighbors, rather than avoiding them like I normally do, I stepped outside my comfort zone, allowing myself a change in socialization.  Before this, I practically closed myself off from the rest of the world because of a handful of people I chose to allow to take advantage of me.

In meeting our neighbors, I did some soul searching, seeking advice from my inner self, and following my intuition.  I have to follow my heart.  By following my heart, I have to accept that I’ve made mistakes in my past, allowing people to practically walk all over me in a figurative manner.  By following my heart, I’m following my husband, trusting that he, who has years of experience before me, can read a person enough to sense whether they’re genuine or pretending to be something or someone they aren’t.  There are too many fake people in this world, but I can’t continue judging others according to those I’ve already met and distrust.

This isn’t the only thing changing in my life either.  I’m changing as an individual person as well.  No longer hesitating to ask about things I’m curious about.  No longer fearing I might offend someone.  No longer worrying about being misjudged or judged for my sometimes eclectic personality.  I admit, sometimes I ask questions that really shock a person, but I don’t expect my questions to be answered.  I’ll be the first one to tell you, if it’s too personal, tell me, don’t feed me a line of lies because my question crossed the line.  Tell me I’ve crossed a line.  As a mature woman, I will understand.  In return, ask me anything, if it’s none of your business, I’ll tell you.

It’s been so long since I’ve surrounded myself with real people, it’s quite refreshing.  I feel renewed hope and real connections.  My husband and I were visiting with our neighbors the other night when the idea to write this blog surfaced my thoughts.  Instantly, I was asking for a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to write.  They offered up both without question and even as I proceeded to spend a good 15 to 20 minutes writing out my thoughts, neither of them questioned me or criticized me for taking the moment to write what I had on my mind.

Changes.

Good and bad, changes come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of importance.  Throughout the last two months, the changes have come as expected and completely unexpected.  Moving.  Exploring an unknown destination at the most inconvenient time thanks to an error in GPS.  Adjusting, planning, and anything else I’ve encountered but am unable to list, the changes have proven to be for the best.  I didn’t understand them at the time, but because they occurred, I had to change, to become a better person.  Each experience is a lesson.  I had to learn that I’m going to be okay, that things are going to be okay, that we are going to be okay.  Most importantly, there are still good people out there, I just have to listen more closely, and follow my heart.

“A Raging Storm to Bring the Spring”

All it took was a strong, loud clap of thunder to wake me from a dream, and bring me to the reality of a thunderstorm.  What a light show!

The noise woke my husband and I out of a sound sleep and scared our daughter slightly senseless.  I don’t know.  Maybe my instincts kicked in, but I didn’t freak out or become nervous like I used to when I was a child.  Instead, I was wandering back and forth between her room and our room watching the skies out the window and listening for hints of possible tornado activity.  One can never be too safe in a storm.

I would say the storm came through our area at it’s strongest (right overhead) around midnight, but our clock read 12:10am when the thunder physically woke me, like a sounding alarm.  As I said, I spent some time walking the hallway between our rooms, but I also watched out my office window, taking a seat on the couch as the lightening was bright enough more often than it wasn’t to light up our entire front yard.  For only a second, it looked like the middle of the day.  I found the view outside our side window that overlooks our largely sloped side yard to be better to watch the sky.  The trees surrounding our property stand so tall, and that wind last night was wicked strong.  In some parts of Georgia, the wind and rain took the siding right off a street of houses.  The houses themselves look to be structurally standing, but they still need help recovering from last night’s raging storm.

I kept watching the sky over our side yard because the view was better.  I admit, it was like a creepy scene in a horror movie.  The whole world being dark right outside your window, until a storm comes rips through on a temper tantrum, lighting the sky with bolts so sharp they make the thunder almost ring instead of rumble–like a tuning fork.  I kept watching for the lightening to light up the sky so I could catch a quick glimpse of the cloud covering, and roughly analyze any activity.  Still a creepy scene.

Luckily, we didn’t have any activity in our immediate area.  It was still one heck of a storm though, and here it is, the first day of Spring!

 

“All in a Week”

I’ve certainly had an interesting week!

Monday, my husband had a doctor’s appointment as well as an errand or two to run before and after.  I spent all morning in Class Connect with our daughter.

Tuesday, my husband had other business to take care of in town, and he had to leave early.  Again, I spent the morning in Class Connect with our daughter, and completing household chores between classes.

Wednesday was our daughter’s doctor’s appointment, so after Class Connect sessions were over and lunch and homework were done, we left, and ran some errands after.

It was Thursday that was the ‘doozy’.  I found myself facing a new milestone, and living it two different ways at once.  Well, three different ways.  I recall my own experience (when I was her age), I’m reliving it through my daughter, and I’m relating instinctively.  It’s awesome, but I also feel as if I’ve aged several years overnight, more so because I discovered it the night before.  We were both tired that day and she didn’t feel up to going to gymnastics that evening.

Come Friday morning, my dad’s brother stopped in for a visit since he was in the area.  It’s been 14 years since I last saw my uncle, and times have certainly changed the both of us.  However, it was interesting, some of the conversations we had during his brief visit.  I learned a lot, about our family, about him, and about myself.  In addition to my uncle visiting, my husband had another business errand to run early that morning, so while he was taking care of that, I was reclaiming my daughter’s attention during breakfast to get her ready for school.  She’d never met him before now, so naturally she would be socially interested.

Now here I am.

It’s Saturday, the sun is shining, and tomorrow’s weather is calling for rain which pretty much guarantees I won’t be able to work outside.  I feel the need to re-energize, and being outside, in the fresh country air, beautifying the yard, cultivating the ground, it’s therapeutic to me.

That reminds me, I can’t wait to get started on my vegetable garden!