A Vac-cinating Week

Hey y’all!  This post is brought to you by me, of course, with news of good things to come.  This week alone, my husband, our daughter, and myself were finally able to receive our first doses of the Covid 19 vaccine.  Of course, my stress and anxiety levels have been up and down, like a rollercoaster lately, so in addition to having a needle stabbed into my upper right arm, I’m also menstrual.  Fun times.

It began with Monday afternoon, when my husband and I left with my mom to get our vaccine shots at our local Ingles grocery store.  We made a field trip out of it, with our daughter in tow.  She watched her mimi get her second shot, then watched her dad received his shot, and finally as I received mine.  The last time my husband was in such a public area was just before Covid struck our nation hard.  When masks became mandated, he didn’t leave the house except to walk with me.  Being in such a public place after so long having not been, he was struck shocked a little by the atmosphere. 

We waited until we were home so we wouldn’t have to wear our masks for the photo, but we’re halfway to full vaccination!

Being our daughter is only 16 years old, I had to schedule her in at our hospital.  On Thursday she received her first vaccine shot, in her upper left arm, and she did a fantastic job.   

I wanted to take her photo while she was getting her shot, she insisted on waiting until after. By the way, she really hates needles, but she’s halfway to full vaccination!

None of us have felt any side effects from getting our shots, except maybe a sore upper arm for a day. It’s going to feel strange when the times comes we don’t have to wear masks when in public. After more than a year of continuously keeping masks hand-washed and line-dried in every effort to keep us safe and healthy, it may be a while before I allow my guard down. I’ll carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with me for the rest of my life. I’ll be like Matteo on the Disney Channel show “Bunk’d”.

One thing I can definitely say about this past year, experiencing the pandemic, I have grown mentally, emotionally, and educationally. However, it is a story definitely meant for another time. Until then, I’ll close with a Happy Mother’s Day wish to all our mothers in the world. I hope y’all have a beautiful day!

A heart in mother nature.

Thanks for reading y’all!

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!

‘When Quarantine Gives You Lemons, Have Some Lemonade’

Hey y’all! Somehow, time got away from me and therefore I unfortunately forgot to write. Sorry about that.

So, how have y’all been getting along with quarantine? Me and the family have been doing well. We’re all coughing up seasonal allergies, but nothing infectious. About a month ago, which is how I know it’s been too long since I last wrote, I suffered a bodily allergic reaction to a flea treatment I gave my cat Carlee. I had first tried an oral medication called CAPACTION. According to the dosage directions, I could give her a single pill every day. Unfortunately, the fleas were so bad, I had to take more drastic measures. I bought a 2 monthly dosage package of Advantage II, and with my husband’s help, applied it to ‘the spot’ on the back of her neck, then thoroughly washed my hands with soap and water. The directions said to wait 24 hours before bathing the cat afterwards, but I gave it 48 hours, and then proceeded to deep clean the rest of our place; bedding, mopping, vacuuming, and spraying down our furniture using an all- natural flea killer. I felt not only accomplished, but like I finally got to the bottom of the fleas. Well, I did get to the bottom of the fleas, I also developed a near full-body breakout. At first, I thought it was my eczema flaring, but my lotions weren’t doing anything to relieve it. I tried cortisone anti itch crème, but all it did was make me itch less, it didn’t clear the red at all. I tried oral antihistamines, taking 2 pills every 4-6 hours as directed, no improvement at all. Four days after giving my cat the flea treatment, I was calling my doctor’s office for an emergency appointment, in hysterics. The night before, I hadn’t slept a wink, forcing me to cancel my first class in 2 years. Long story short, I was experiencing an allergic reaction, it was very red, very angry, and after a single steroid shot in my hip/buttocks area, and another week of z-pack steroid, I’m finally clearing up. A lot of eczema catch-back resulting.  Sadly, I’ve been rather hesitant to pet my Carlee since, but I’ve made up for it using string. She’s 6 years old, but still a kitten with string.

Speaking of quarantine, and therefore Covid-19, does anyone else dream that they find themselves in public without their mask? I’ve been having dreams lately that I’m in public and I realize I don’t have my mask, or that my daughter and I are in town without our masks, and I’m practically panicking which then wakes me up. These dreams are like bad dream level. I don’t let my daughter leave the house.  She does have a mask, but the way I see it, she doesn’t need to leave the house, unless for good reasons, like a doctor’s appointment. I don’t even want my husband going into public because of his heart condition. I’ve been there already, my husband laid up in a hospital bed, barely able to hold a spoon to eat tomato soup. Tired and very sick. I am not going to relive that. Every time I leave the house, I have my mask, hand sanitizer, and my reading glasses for eye coverage. I haven’t let anyone in the house since quarantine, except the gas guy because he had to light our pilot light after turning the gas on from outside, but not before mandating his own mask.  I have to say, I’ll be so happy when I can finally have Walmart grocery delivered to my front door, because every time I leave the house, my anxiety shoots through the top of my head.

Now we’re in the process of adopting a rescue kitten for our daughter. She has wanted a kitten, or cat of her own for a couple years now, but we’ve not been lucky enough to find one yet, so I took a different avenue. First, I looked into our local animal rescue, but they didn’t have anything in our broader criteria, so I google searched for animal rescues and came up with adoptapet.com and a search radius of up to 50 miles from my location. I found an absolutely adorable little girl in Macon, the perfect color gray/blue, the perfect age, and after an appointment to meet her, determined her the perfect fit for my daughter. Little girl, or ‘Maleficent’ as my daughter wants to name her, is the perfect gray/blue, and she is so energetic, I can almost picture goat yoga, but kitten contortionism instead, because my daughter is a gymnast/contortionist. We haven’t told her we’re getting her a kitten, or that we’ve even found one. We’re aiming for completely surprising her. I’m almost expecting her to cry. I might possibly try for a video, provided I remember. I’ll at least post pictures after.

My book, it’s coming along. Right now, I’m waiting for corrections to be made so that it resembles the vision I have in mind for it. First embarking on this journey to and through publishing, my original idea didn’t include images, or photos. However, arriving at Page Design level opened my mind to bigger possibilities. Sometimes, words alone are okay, but sometimes, words with an associated photo, sketch, or even a letter written and signed by a since passed family member helps the reader obtain a better understanding of what they’re reading. Thanks to all the work I put into some artwork I created last year for Christmas and birthday gift giving, I got back into sketching, so when the time came when I learned I could include up to 20 images for free, how could I not see the opportunity make my book better. I got pretty creative too. I’m proud. Once I approve all corrections and I’m completely satisfied with the entirety of my book, I move into the final stage; cover design. This means ‘photo shoot’ to me, like when I had my senior pictures done. Not only will my picture be on the back-cover where you can ‘meet me’, the author, I’m going to star on the front cover as well. I have a very unique idea that includes several factors regarding the world today.

This post would have come sooner, had I not forgot, but also, had my natural monthly visitor not showed up. What a weekend. I didn’t want to do anything other than sit or lay around, because I was so uncomfortable. My dad texted me Friday to ask for help packing because he’s moving across the street from where he has lived for the past year. I told him I didn’t know at the time because my hips and lower back were in severe discomfort. I would have helped had I not just started the monthly crimson routine. It’s always the worst the first 3 days.

Okay, well, I think I’ve caught y’all up for now and I’ll post again very soon.  Stay safe, stay healthy, and as always, thank you for reading. Until next time!

Carlee feels much better after her treatment. I’ve recovered, but not without minor skin blemishing. No big deal.

Summer is Officially Over

Hey y’all!  Good morning!  While it’s not officially the end of summer, but it’s the end of summer in my household.  As I’m typing this, my daughter is in a virtual classroom with her homeroom teacher, preparing to take her first MAP test of the school year… tenth grade.  Where has the time gone, right?

Since school is back in session, I’m back to fully working.  I’m teaching in the early morning, then after my daughter starts school, I’m cracking into creating new bookmarks to promote my upcoming book, brainstorming and creating fliers to promote my free library, communicating with my editor and preparing images to include in my upcoming book, and of course, keeping up with my daughter’s school agenda.

I’m actually glad school is back in session, because my daughter’s attitude, being a teenager and all, has been, per say, through the roof.  She’s at that age where she wants to believe she already knows everything, and as a teacher, I’m trying to educate her about the real world, but she just rolls her eyes or walks away; goes to her room.  I don’t remember ever showing as much attitude when I was her age, but we all say that, don’t we?  All in all, I can say she is generally a good kid.  Like any teenager, she needs an attitude adjustment every now and then.

My tomato garden is still coming along.  I’ve been able to pick three from the original I call ‘Mater’.  My roma, which I call ‘Roma’ has finally blossomed enough to develop a few tomatoes, and the larger of the three different tomato plants I have, I call ‘Allyn’ because she was given to me by my neighbor, an older gentleman.  His front yard is full of potted tomato plants nearly as tall as he is.

Here are some before photos of my tomato plants.

 

Here is what my tomatoes look now.

I’ll be able to pick the two in the single picture soon.  My ‘bae’ and I are looking forward to eating them on tomato sandwiches; my favorite simple summer sandwich.

I also wanted to share with y’all a photo of some ‘Elephant Ears’ growing on their own in my yard.  They aren’t as big or tall as the ones growing in my neighbors yard, but I still think they are a unique plant.

20200803_085532 (1)

Aren’t they cool?  I think so.

Well y’all, I’m going to conclude this post for now.  The good news is, with school back in session, as I mentioned before, I’m ‘in office’ more full time now.  Not that I ever left.

I hope y’all are maintaining a safe and healthy ‘in-home’ lifestyle.  I hope y’all are wearing your masks when going into public, and I hope y’all are practicing the health safety of social distancing.  Remember, we’ll get through this.

Thanks for reading y’all!

Update: Quarantined to Protect, Writing To Distract

Hey y’all!  I don’t know how all of y’all are fairing, whether you’re required to work outside your home, or if you’ve been able to turn the tables and work from home, whether you have children home from school, or you’re children were already in online school, or whether you’ve chosen to follow the quarantine regulations, or not.  I wanted to touch base with y’all, and let you know I’m doing well, my family is doing well, and we’re taking every precautionary measure we can to keep well.

Sometimes I feel like I’m overreacting, cleaning too much.  Other times I feel like I’m not taking the Coronavirus serious enough though I know I am.  The last time I went shopping was last Friday, March 20th, and I took a pair of nitrile with me and put them on as I was walking into my local Walmart.  I took extra precautionary measures grabbing a few disinfectant wipes as I walked by one of Walmart’s many stations, and sanitized my cart the best I could before I began my shopping.  Not once did a I touch my face and I tried maintaining a certain distance from others while shopping.  I was not surprised by the limited stock on most of the food shelves.  Things went well, until I went to checkout.  The cashier who rang me up, she asked me about my gloves, and informed me I was now carrying germs with me on those gloves.  Just so you know, she was not wearing gloves at all.  She should have been.  To make matters more uncomfortable, I was buying a 12 pack of Pabst beer, and she needed to ID me.  I don’t mind showing my ID, but I specifically held my license so all she had to do was look at it to type my birth date in, but what did she do?  She took my license from me, using her ungloved hand, after saying something about my gloved hands.  My honest opinion, she should have been wearing gloves and a face-mask if she has no choice but to work in the public.  With the Coronavirus at large, no one should be questioning people wearing gloves right now.

This whole mess has me nervous, mainly because it scares me to death my husband could come down with it.  With his heart condition, which he is receiving disability for, I’m afraid of losing him.  I nearly lost him in 2015, when his heart condition occurred.  Granted, it happened because he had a mouth full of bad teeth and had them surgically removed all at once, causing the poison from his bad teeth to seep down into his body and attack his heart.  I know there are people recovering from this nasty virus, but I still don’t want him, or anyone in my family, to come down with it.

This is why we’re taking every precautionary measure we can.  I do any shopping solo.  Once I get home, we go into full disinfecting mode.  Shopping bags go on the floor until we unpack them.  I spray what I can spray, wash what needs washed, and we put away.  We throw all the plastic shopping bags out, I spray all surfaces down with cleaning spray and do a wipe down of the counters and kitchen table, and then I get into a shower.  I order everything I can online to maintain social distancing as I would rather deal with one person, the delivery person, than take the chance in public.  At least the delivery drives leaves the packages on the porch, then I take care and dispose of the packages from the porch.  Nothing comes in the house that doesn’t need to be in the house, and I spray the items once I bring them inside, then I wash my hands.  Like I said, I feel like I’m overreacting, but I know I’m not.

I have never been more thankful to work from home than I am now.  The same goes for my daughter in online school.  Believe it or not, this time of quarantine is actually quite nice.  It’s a lifestyle I’m all too familiar with and very comfortable.  With the quarantine in affect, I’m scooting right through finishing my manuscript.  I can’t believe how far I’m come since I began working on it back in December.  My goal deadline to finish it is April 25th, then I’m taking an entire day off, for myself, and on the 27th I’m going to begin work on putting the stories in the order I want them, and then my husband is going to help me convert my manuscript into a single word document so I can then email it to Page Publishing.  I can’t believe it’s finally coming together!

So anyway, what do y’all think about any of this?  Are you as worried as I feel about this Coronavirus pandemic?  Are you taking the measures needed to safeguard yourself and your family?  How are you feeling about quarantine?

As we continue through these trying times, stay safe, stay healthy, and most importantly, please stay home… if you can.

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

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Tradition, and Further Updates

Hey y’all!  I’m posting as promised!  Sadly I have no photos to share because I didn’t take any.  I had a decent day, but wasn’t feeling like photos.  That’s all.

My corning beef and cabbage came out perfectly. I put my brisket into the crock pot after finishing with my 7am class, added a few cups of water, turned the crock pot on high, and let it cook until about 4:30pm.  Fall apart, melt in your mouth, like butter, delicious!  My landlady’s husband is Irish, but he doesn’t like corned beef, so I made her a plate and invited her over. She loved it as well. Said it was ‘the bomb’.  The cabbage I fried up using my wok, a little bit of vegetable oil, and some natural corned beef stock from the crock pot.  Add seasoning to taste; salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy. Cook it down then add hot sauce and simmer. Mouth watering.  I boiled, then baked my red-skinned potatoes.  I’ve never done this before, but wow, they came out as good as my roasted potato recipe.  All in all, a great meal turn out considering I couldn’t get my hands on any Guinness beer to go with it.  Instead, my husband and I enjoyed some Bud Light Platinum.

The day wasn’t as busy as I initially thought and planned for it to be.  My parents are feeling their age and have been tired and achy with the weather, not to mention their own health ailments, so I didn’t have to go clean their place yesterday.  I wouldn’t have minded doing the cleaning for them, but they said it could wait until next week.  I did still go to my doctor’s appointment, a follow up on my eczema, and working to find a medication for it that my insurance will cover.  We tried Eucrisa and it works, really well, but insurance doesn’t cover it and it’s WOW expensive.  It’ll get figured out.

After I got home from my doctor’s appointment, I jumped right into cooking the rest of our St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  So, that was that.

Now, I’m fully focusing on finishing my manuscript.  It’s about halfway done, but the only stories I have left are those in my file on my computer.  I’ll be writing, revising, editing, and getting those polished up over the next month, then I’m sorting, categorizing, and preparing the file to submit to Page Publishing.  Fingers crossed!

This last week, though I was hanging outside on my porch because our weather was beyond beautiful, I sat outside with my writing binder, composing rough drafts from some notes I wrote a few years ago.  I had originally titled the entirety of the story ‘The Battlefield’, but after rereading all my notes, I decided a better route is breaking the story up into three shorter, but more detailed stories.

‘Dad Has What?’ is my dad’s cancer story from my point of view.  It was a very stressful time, a very scary situation, and I was only 14 years old.

‘The Gavel Hits Home’ is my story about the custody battle between my mother and dad, for me and my little sister.  It wasn’t pretty.

Finally, ‘Sneaky, Sneaky’ is about a little no-no I did while on visitation with my mother.  I was a well-behaved teenager, for the most part, but this is about something I did against my mother, without her knowledge, and I believe it helped us during the custody hearings.

So, as you can see, I’m still working, still writing, and to be honest, avoiding public places as much as possible, what with this Coronavirus, COVID-19, cautionary scare.  I’m not saying I don’t believe it, I’m saying I’m using as much caution as I can and I understand the fear of it.  Thank goodness my daughter is in online school.  However, I am wondering what they’re going to do as EOG’s and EOC’s were scheduled for the end of next month, but are currently suspended until further notice, so to keep our kids healthy.  So we can all stay healthy.

As always everyone, thank you for reading, and y’all, please stay healthy and safe!