What A Fancy Crack Head- Early Morning Adventures and Fashion Mishaps

I’m usually up by 6:30 a.m. at the latest.I have to get my son out of bed, make breakfast and get him prepared for his school day. I like to leave the house by 7:20 a.m. at the latest so that I can still fight my way through traffic to make sure he arrives on time.

I was up at 7:09 this morning.

I don’t exactly shoot out of bed when I am running late. It still took me a minute to wake up and get going.  This morning I made a breakfast that could be eaten on the go. Toast and a banana. Go me.  I tried to hurry the dogs with their business and get everything squared away.

I got my kiddo dressed and partially fed. When it came time to dress myself I chose a pair of black and red striped running pants, an older pair of Ugg boots that have a hole in one of the toes, a tank top and a fleece jacket. I didn’t bother with my hair.  I didn’t even notice nor would I have cared that I forgot to put on a bra.

We run out the door by 7:30.  I forgot my coat. I decide that I am still okay because I am wearing a zip up fleece jacket and it really wasn’t that cold. At this point, I still haven’t notice, nor did I care, that I wasn’t wearing a bra.

I fight through traffic and we somehow make it to the school on time.

I had to go into work early today. Nothing sounded better to me than a steaming hot cup of coffee from Starbucks. I deserve a treat dammit. I drove over to Starbucks and saw that the line in the drive-thru was backed up onto the service road between the strip mall.

I don’t have time to sit in a line like that this morning.

Much like every other city on the planet, we have a Starbucks within at least five miles of each other. If they aren’t a standard Starbucks store, they have shops set up in several grocery stores and super stores. ie:Target.

I decide to go to the grocery store that is across from the giant strip mall. They have a Starbucks inside the store. I park. I go in. I make my way to the side of the store where they have the Starbucks set up.  I get a disgusted look from the barista as I approach. I give the barista my order. She’s kind of looking at me funny.

Like maybe I smell.

The barista gives me the total and I hand her my Starbucks Gold Card.  She looks at the card and then she looks at me. For a second, I thought that she was going to ask me for my driver’s license to confirm my identity.

It turns out her thought was probably more like “Goodness, what a fancy crackhead.”

I’ve not considered my appearance at all until this point. I also didn’t realize how much dog hair was on my all black fleece. It was like I was wearing a cattle dog fur coat.

After I got my drink I passed the mirrored glass near the entrance of the store. I realized that I was quite the sight. Running pants resting on top of a pair of brown Ugg boots with a noticeable hole on one of them, it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t wearing a bra under my fleece. I then realized that it looked like I wasn’t wearing a shirt under the fleece.

I may also have had some mascara smeared under my eyes.  Both of them.

Things that make you go, Ugg.

Things that make you go, Ugg.

I usually call this look “Homeless Chic”. It’s the super dress down style that I prefer when I am doing stuff around the house. I get followed in stores because I am pretty sure they think I am going to steal,  but that can be helpful. I don’t have to look too far for an employee if I need some help.

There’s also “Gym Chic” where you can appear to have just come from working out but in reality you didn’t feel like dressing in anything past gym shorts or yoga pants. I like Gym Chic on days when I want to be mostly presentable, but don’t really want to try. You’re also allowed to smell bad and have your mascara smeared.

There I was this morning,  the fancy crack head with a a Starbucks Gold Card. Seriously though, who can afford crack when you’re a Starbucks Gold Card rewards member?

The lesson in all of this is that people shouldn’t judge, you can dress however you want, you should however, remember to wear a bra.

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Throw Back- Two Years Ago Today

Yesterday, I wrote about the “On This Day” app that you can use on FaceBook that will show you every post you made on a specific date in previous years.  It’s a really neat thing to have and I think it’s fun to see what I was doing then and to read through the comment threads.

Today I got to see more posts that I made regarding the huge snowstorm that we had in January of 2014.  On this date, two years ago, I was still shoveling snow. More snow. We referred to it all as “Snowmaghedon” and the “Snowpacyplse”. We had a regional travel ban for days where if you got caught out on the roads you could be given a ticket and even taken to jail.

Lucky for me I am considered essential and I was permitted to be out on the roads. It was actually kind of nice ( and fun) to be out and about when no one else was. The streets were pretty empty.

In the photo below, I had just shoveled a new path out to the street. Dingo Lu is sitting on the steps, supervising my work. She’s clearly not impressed. She doesn’t care for the snow at all. She doesn’t get excited about it or want to play in it the way that Sasha (the Rottweiler) does.

The curb to the street is actually about a foot and a half from the tree. The snow probably came up to just above my knees. As you can see, the snow is pretty deep out into the street. This is due to the issue I mention yesterday about people not moving the I cars for the plows and the plows not being able to get in to plow the snow.

This is why I had to constantly keep up with shoveling so I would have a place to park.  The plows can only do so much people people don’t want to comply. Our street kept getting narrower and narrower.

Today in 2016, with the exception of what is piled up in parking lots, we have no snow on the ground. It actually rained the other night for a little while. I know I keep sending myself the reminder about how I should be careful what I wish for, but I still hope we get a fair amount of snow before Spring.  There’s still time.

It seems typical around here to usually have a fairly cold January and the real snow doesn’t come until February and early March. Weather forecasters always seem to convince their viewers that our weather is doing strange things. I agree that sometimes it does, but it really doesn’t for the most part.  I snows in the winter and gets hot in the summer.

It annoys me and I find it irresponsible how the weather gets dramatized. It’s my opinion that it sets people up to get hurt. After awhile nobody takes anything seriously, then when something big is coming people won’t prepare themselves.

I watched the Weather Channel last weekend and did a lot of hard eye rolls at the reporters who dramatized the situation they were in. One of them went on and on about snow plows and wow can they talk a lot to fill the segments.  Then another was losing their mind over a couple inches of snow. Even the people in Central Park were looking at this person like “Why are you making such a big deal about this?”

I am not downplaying the situation out east. I know a lot of places got hammered. It’s not normal to get what they got in the Carolinas, I get that. I just don’t think we need to make a whole lot of something out of nothing. It’s dangerous.

Anyway, I miss the snow. Sasha misses the snow. I also posted the photo’s below on this day in 2014. Dingo Lu was simply not impressed. Sasha is so funny. I had a videos also but I couldn’t save it from FaceBook. Too bad too, Sasha was going nuts playing in the snow.

Lu stole Sasha's bone but Sasha didn't mind because she was too busy enjoying the snow.

Lu stole Sasha’s bone but Sasha didn’t mind because she was too busy enjoying the snow.

 

Lu overseeing my snow removal efforts.

Lu overseeing my snow removal efforts.

 

Sidenote, the spiffy green house is currently for sale. I really miss the woman and her dog that used to live here.

On This Day- Your Daily Facebook Reminder and Aggravation

This morning my “On This Day” app on Face Book reminded me of how awful our winter weather had been in January of 2014. In addition to significant snowfall, we also went three weeks with the temperatures staying well below freezing.

Two years ago I was whining expressing my frustration regarding my neighbors adult, and also unemployed son,  parking his car in front of my house after I spent a great deal of time shoveling it so I could park my own car there.

Duh right? I was clearly keeping that space open for him after he sat on his ass all day and I was at work for the past 8-16 hours. Did you catch on to the sarcasm? There is nothing more aggravating than coming home after a 12-16 hour shift to find that your neighbors crappy adult kid has parked in the spot you shoveled hours before. This often resulted with me having no place to park.

Its an ongoing chore. Snow plows come through to clear the street and will push the snow back up against the curb. There’s no avoiding it. It just means that you have to shovel again. It does however make it worse when people don’t move their cars like the city asks for them to do on even and odd days. Now the plows have to go around cars and can’t get through and this creates a mess and a problem.

Here, in the photo below I am also talking about how I have to keep shoveling a trail out to the road and the snow is piled up approximately five feet from the curb and our street was getting narrower by the day.

My house on January 26, 2014

My house on January 26, 2014

 

It’s ironic because the neighbors son and his family have moved back in with them again. His son might be working but he’s still a an asshole difficult personality.  You can tell by the look and demeanor of his father that he is equally as annoyed with the situation.

I could do blog posts just about the neighbors son. It’s comical the way this guy appears to go out of his way to be a jerk a difficult personality. From the poor parking to the dirty looks to the way he closes the blinds on the one side of the house when he knows I am home.

Anyway.

I really do enjoy the snow. So far this year, we haven’t gotten all that much. When we have had a significant snow fall, the temperature rises and it’s gone within a few days. Last night it started to rain and now we are left with mud.

Boo. I would love to have a big snow storm like they had out east. I know, be careful what you wish for. Like I said in another blog post though, around here, we just call that “winter”. I like the cold nights and the snow cover. I really hope that I get to use my snow shoes at least once before Spring.

I hope that everyone is having a happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

A Walk On the Lake- Lake Michigan In the Winter

One of my favorite songs is performed by Toad the Wet Sprocket. It’s called “Walk On the Ocean”.  It’s an oldie but goodie and I’m sure that you probably know it. If you don’t, click on the link and enjoy.

The lyric that resonates with me the most is:

“Now back at the homestead, where the air makes you choke. People don’t know you and trust is a joke,”

Ah life. Ain’t it grand? Sometimes it’s more grand than other times. Quite often it’s of the sarcastic sort. Between the usual stressors of life and the added stressors of life, I am at a tipping point. I’m not so sure it’s a bad thing anymore though.

Trials are part of life. If you’re unhappy you need a change. If you want change you have to make it. Good bad or indifferent, you’re the only one who can do anything about your situation.

My problem is letting go of attachments and fear. I want to make sure that I am doing the right thing.  It never fails that when I am at my breaking point ( again) that the universe catches wind of it and then whispers into the ears of people and situations around me and it makes a positive change. Usually though, it’s only temporary.  That’s the sad part that I have come to realize.

Holding out hope for anything is just another form of bondage.

Or is that the universe ( or God ) telling me to just be patient and hold on? That’s one way to look at it.  Either way, it’s a beautiful day and I decided not to be a headcase and go for a walk at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore at West Beach.

The West Beach location is small. In the summer time it is usually crowded down on the beach, but not so much out on the hiking trails.  Admittedly, the hiking trails around the West Beach location, aren’t a whole lot to shout about.  I enjoy them nonetheless.

I think the best part of exploring the area is climbing to the top of the ominous looking staircase and taking in the views.  If you care to check out the photo gallery, the staircase is pictured in the fourth photograph. It looks challenging to some, but it’s worth the climb.

From the top of the staircase you are above the pines. You have a 360 view of the area. On a clear day you can see the city of Chicago. You can also see this in the gallery on photograph number eight.

I was alone in the park. The final patrons were returning to their vehicles when I arrived. I was lone. This is the way that I prefer it most of the time. I have been hungering for time to myself. This is the best way to get it. I passed by an older gentleman who was walking an Afghan Hound on a leash. I’m sure he thought there was something wrong with me by the way that I was staring. I’d never seen an Afghan Hound in person.

I didn’t have any of my dogs with me.

I started out my hike by walking along the path to the stairs. I made it to the stop and paused for awhile, taking in the views.  The sun was out, the day was clear and you could see Chicago in the distance. It’s approximately 40 miles from where I was standing to the city limits.

I made my way down the back side of the stairs into the dunes. Most of this section of the park is fenced off to keep people from disturbing the dunes. Humans cause a lot of damage in addition to the natural changes that are also occurring. We needs fences and signs to remind us to leave things alone.

I enjoy this section of the stairs going down because you’re above the pines and also at tree level. There is just something about the pines that I like. More than just the smell. They make me happy. They make me feel peaceful.

I eventually landed on the beach.  Lake Michigan is beautiful no matter what season it is. In my opinion though, the best sunsets come in the fall.  In the wintertime, the lake will eventually freeze over in some spots.

If you look at the photographs you will see what are known as “ice shelves”. This is basically the frozen edge around the water.  The waves crash against the store and bit by bit it freezes. If you look at the photographs you will see where the shelf has formed ( in this spot ) approximately 20-30 feet onto the lake.

I went against the warnings and walked out onto the shelf until I was about 6 feet from the edge. I took great care to make sure I didn’t slip and fall and also listened to paid attention to any movement or change that would indicate it wasn’t going to hold my weight. I wasn’t over concerned. It’s been pretty cold lately.

I stood on the edge for quite awhile. Just looking. Thinking. I also managed to take some photographs and make a couple of videos. It held the peace I was looking for and it made me forget what was on my mind when I left my vehicle in the lot.

After I made my way off the ice, I sat down on a small log that was  frozen in place on the edge of the grass and the sand. I sat there for quite awhile just to watch the waves crash into the shelves, and to listen.

On a humorous note, when it was time for me to leave, I walked towards the bath house, which is where I usually exit to go out to the road that leads to the parking lot.  I didn’t realize until I had gone up the steps to the building that the giant garage doors were down and the bars were up. I couldn’t pass through to leave.

Instead of going all the back from the way I came, I decided to take the only other option available.I walked around the stone pillar and went underneath the bath house. Much like structures built along the ocean, the bath house sits up on concrete pillars to protect it from real high tides and or flooding.

That was an adventure.

It was a good day.

It was a good weekend.

I hope that you’ll check out my gallery that’s included in this post in addition to the short video below.  This video is the first one that I have uploaded to YouTube in almost 7 years! It’s only 17 seconds long. Long enough for you to get the gist of what Lake Michigan is like at this time of year on a calm day.

Photo gallery..

 

Enjoy the Silence

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Solitude in the pines.

I went for a walk in my usual place. I have a lot of thinking to do, this is the best place to do it. I have a lot on my mind. Big stuff. Life stuff. Future stuff. Stuff stuff. I needed to get out and breathe and enjoy some solitude.

I arrived to find the parking lot by the trail head empty. My favorite way to find it.  There had been a recent snow fall.  There was evidence of a plow truck coming through and the county parks department that came earlier to unlock the front gate.

The sun was making an appearance. It was 18 degrees, but it didn’t feel that cold.  There was enough snow on the ground that I almost could have justified wearing my snow shoes. I didn’t bring them though. I’m starting to wonder, as January comes to a close, if we will have enough snow this year to  be able to get them out.

I know, be careful what you wish for.  The eastern United States is dealing with a snow storm that around here we just call “winter”. I’m certainly not downplaying the situation out east, we are just used to it here. I live near Lake Michigan and we experience the phenomenon of “lake effect snow“, where we will get a lot of snow dumped on us.

The systems can be pretty crazy. Sometimes you can actually see it ahead of you. You can actually see the outline of the snow on the wind as it’s blowing. Often, you can be stuck in the middle of a white out ( where you can see nothing) while two miles away, the sun is out and they don’t even know it’s snowing down the road.

Sadly, we don’t experience any sort of phenomenon of “lake effect sun”. That’s does not appear to exist. We actually experience more overcast days because of the lake. I love that lake though, don’t let me fool you. I am a huge fan of it and the sand dunes.

On my way to the park I passed a local in his little pick up truck. I know him because I met him on Instagram. He and I are the only people who regularly tag our locations for our photography. I don’t know his real name, but I can point him out in a line up.  He loves the park as much as I do and he runs the trails.  He was there. I recognized his footprints.

I ventured out. Since we were alone, I allowed Lu off the leash. It really doesn’t matter either way, she’s always behind me. It’s a cattle dog thing. Every now and then I instruct her to “go on” and she’ll run a hundred or so yards ahead of me, stop and turn around and run back. It’s always good to let them go and be a dog. Sniff around, dig in the snow a little, run, stalk a chipmunk.

We were spotted by two White Tail Deer who took off through the woods.  Lu and I watched from a distance as they jumped over the downed trees and brush. Then they stopped to watch us to determine if the intruders were any kind of threat to them.

We made our way through the trails. I am fairly predictable here. We completed our loop, stopping on the pier at Lancaster Lake. It has finally frozen over. There was evidence of critters that had been taking short cuts across the frozen water.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. It was simply the perfect morning.

I forgot to think about much else.

I think that’s the point in this…

Morning Stroll Along the River- Seasonal Comparison

I had to work another long day. I decided at some point to get up and venture outside. It snowed last night and into the morning. The sun was finally starting to shine. I was tired of sitting.I decided to go for a walk.

I work near a river walk that is fairly newer and very nice. It runs along the St. Joseph River. The city has done a really good job at building and maintaining it.  There are several statues and sculptures in addition to probably  two million dollars ( more I am sure ) in landscaping. It’s simply wonderful.

Really the only down side is that it attracts juvenile terrorists in the summer time, but the police department does an amazing job of patrolling the area to keep issues at a minimum. I am not worried about going down there.

Over the past couple of years I have taken quite a few photographs of the area in different seasons. I decided to go out and see what it was like and maybe capture a few shots. The sun was shining a little and the sky continued to open up revealing an amazing blue sky and white puffy clouds.

It was a frigid 5 degrees and windy. I didn’t bother with a coat either. Just a fleece for me and a pair of fingerless mittens. I am wearing  a pair of fairly obnoxious looking winter boots. I figured what the hell, it’s the weekend and nobody real important is around.

On the other side of the foot bridge is a sculpture titled”Volatus Aquilae” ( meaning Eagle’s Flight) and was created by local artist,  Robert Kuntz. The scuplture sits between the two dams on the river  and is nestled in the center of a cul de sac sorts along the fence.

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Volatus Aquilae in the summer

Volatus Aquilae in the wintertime

Volatus Aquilae in the wintertime

Just a little different. Still beautiful.

 

Volatus Aquilae

Volatus Aquilae

The St. Joseph River in the summertime. This picture was taken in the mid-morning.

The St. Joseph River in the summertime. This picture was taken in the mid-morning, just to the left of the sculpture.

It was quite different today.

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BRRR!

The larger of the two dams. The building on the other side of the river is the new hospice center.

The larger of the two dams.

And just to leave you on a warmer note, here’s a shot of the foot bridge from August. I don’t know why, but I didn’t snap a photo of the bridge today. It may have been because I was standing outside in 5 degrees with negative wind chill and I could no longer feel my face. Ha!

The foot bridge to Central Park.

The foot bridge to Central Park.

I hope everyone is having a great day and most of all, keeping warm!!

When Your BFF Is A Jerk

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Seems legit.

I am moving things around in my spare bedroom because I would like to paint. I’m also boxing up items to take to Goodwill. After I took a load of boxes out to the car, I returned to find that once again, Dingo Lu has taken over Sasha’s bed. Poor Sasha is such a sweet dog doormat, that she doesn’t even try to object.

Sasha is an 80# Rottweiler while Dingo Lu is a squatty, maybe 30# Australian Cattle Dog.

I don’t know why Lu feels like she needs to do that. Sasha certainly doesn’t get more attention.  Lu shouldn’t feel like she has something to prove. I think my best buddy is suffering from Stubby Dog Syndrome. This is a similar condition to what human’s often suffer from know as “Short Man Syndrome”.

Oh Lu.

You’re not bossy, you have leadership skills.  You’re assertive.

You might be a a little bit of a jerk though.

 

 

 

The Morning Stare: Contemplating Life and Disapointing Others

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The view from my mug

I got to sleep in a little bit this morning. Which means I was up around 8am instead of the usual 6am.  I milled around the house for awhile before I decided that I wanted a cup of Earl Grey Tea.

I’m actually not much of a tea drinker. Apart from sun tea in the summer time, I really don’t drink it that much. I think I started drinking this particular kind when I decided that I drank too much coffee.

It’s the healthier alternative when all you really want in the first place is a mug full of something warm in your hand.  Coffee can be fattening while tea is usually good for you. Earl Grey has a lot of health benefits. Click HERE to learn more about that.

This lesson has been brought to you by the woman who makes baked fudge and eats it at midnight. I bragged wrote about that here at If You Eat Your Feelings, Make Em’ Delicious: Baked Fudge.

I sat at the kitchen table for a long time. Just thinking. After thirty minutes slipped by, I think I just changed positions in my chair and kept on thinking. I get into these moods sometimes.

Lately, I have been really questioning what’s going on around me. Today, I wanted to shove everything away from me like an empty plate. I want out. I don’t want to do this stuff anymore.

I don’t remember the last time I ever did something because I actually, whole heartedly wanted to.  The more I examine my station in life, the more I see that I really allowed myself to fall under the instruction of other people.

Even right now, I don’t know that I want to continue in my career. I really don’t know that I want to go back to what I did before. I really don’t know that the decision to go back was really mine to begin with. It keeps coming up.

I am tired of being in a place that is thankless. Nobody ever has anything nice to say, I get yelled at all the time, and I really don’t feel like I am doing anything good to make a difference.  Then there’s the public.

I know that all of this comes from being ill.  I had a lot of time to think about things. I had a lot of time to over think and analyze situations and people. I came to ugly conclusions. I see a lot of things as they are and not how I want to see them. It isn’t great.

So here I sit, zoning out and writing speeches in my head to give to people who probably don’t give a shit about me anyway and to those that do, they will likely be disappointed in all of my decisions.

Have you ever found yourself under achieving because it caused less drama than if you were excellent at what you were doing? I have. I play dumb or don’t answer sometimes. It’s just easier.

I’m not even really sure anymore that I care about or even like or love the people that I am in fear of disappointing. It’s sad when I think about how the majority of people who were supposed to matter, don’t.

It almost makes me wish I had gotten sick ten years ago. I could have really used this attitude ten years ago. Make it eleven. I would have set boundaries, goals and had vision. Right now, I am ready to make a big change. Job, scenery. I want to move and I really am ready to take the leap. I just have to figure it all out.

I’m not even unhappy as a person. I am simply unhappy with what I am looking at around me. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with wanting to make changes when you discover that where you’ve been isn’t where you want to be.

Anyway, my tea got cold. I don’t really like tea all that much. I stuck it in the microwave and forgot about it. Still mostly full. I think my favorite part about having tea is the mugs I drink it from.

 

Powerball Mania- What Would You Do?

This past week it seemed like all anyone was talking about was getting their Powerball tickets so they could have their near impossible shot at winning a billion dollars.  This drawing was the largest in history!

Would I like a shot at winning a billion dollars? Sure. We all probably would, deep down, like to be more than a little comfortable financially. I am reasonably happy and content with what I have. However, that jetpack and private jet would certainly come in handy.

What? I’d let you play with it.

So, the ongoing conversation at work has been all about “What I would do if I won.” I hate it when it’s my turn. For one thing, I don’t usually play the lottery. I don’t gamble. In my own opinion, it’s a waste of money. I know people who will win $50 and then turn around and spend $50 more and then win nothing. They just lost $50 and plus whatever the cost of the ticket was.

To each their own.

I also don’t want to rush out and buy a bunch of stuff.  No fun. This makes me a total downer.  I don’t need ten cars or a mansion or other thoughtless “things”.   I’ve actually put a lot of thought into what I would do with money like that.I see a lot of opportunity to do a lot of good with 1 billion dollars.

What would I do with a billion dollars?

I would fund a grant program to make sure that every police K9 program in the United States had ballistic/stab proof vests for their dogs. I would include cooling vests. I would also make sure that every police vehicle had top notch cooling systems so that the dogs wouldn’t become overheated while they are on duty and forced to wait in the car.

I would fund a program to help women that are stuck in the sex trade industry to get out.  I would go into the areas known for trafficking and buy the women and girls from their pimps. The program would  include housing, rehab, counseling, education, and work force preparation.

Yes, I am aware of the possible fail rate of this idea. However, many women and girls who are caught in the trade do not know what to do to get out of it. This is where education, counseling and “rehab” come into play.  No one actually enjoys that situation. It’s easier to cross your arms and shake your head. That’s cool. Blow your billion on your own thing. I’ll be hanging with the hookers on behalf of Jesus.

I would also build a homeless center that you couldn’t actually live at. More of a cafe really. A place to come and wash your clothes, take a shower and eat a meal. Have a real cup of coffee. Enjoy a glass of clean water.  I would set up a computer lab (with a time limit) for people to check their e-mails or conduct personal business etc. For free.  Then you move on.  If you’re a regular, you have to do chores.

For my own benefit, I would build a modest house with a nice barn. I would then set up a rescue and rehab facility for abused, neglected and unwanted horses with the sole intention of making them adoptable. At some point I need to put that equine science degree to use.

I haven’t quite figured out what I would do as far as conservation and the parks etc yet. I have a really hard time supporting things that the government controls, yet I still pay for. I’m still annoyed by shut downs that prevented people from being able to visit the national parks in 2013. That affected me personally.

I’m sure I would spend money on frivolous things. I would totally have season tickets for glass seats for the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m pretty sure I’d own part of the team at that point. A fraction. Anything.  I don’t consider that frivolous but I am sure that I would probably have a ridiculous supply of peanut M&M’s.

1 billion dollars is more money than I could ever spend in my lifetime. I see no reason to keep any of it. You might as well give it away and do some good in the world.  It doesn’t even matter if you take the pay out or have to share.

Sadly, I did not win the Powerball and I have to return to work tomorrow.

What about you?  Did you play?  What would you do if you won?

Around the House- Appreciation For the Little Things

In mid to late summer of 2015 I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Just like everyone else in my family, I am stubborn. I put off the symptoms until I couldn’t take it anymore and wound up in the hospital.  While I was still able to enjoy some of my summer ( mostly prior to being sick ) I spent a lot of time in bed or doing very little activity.

The worst thing that you could do to someone like me is to limit my activity. I nearly lost my mind not being able to hike or kayak, or go horseback riding or anything really at all. It was a chore just to make it up a flight of stairs.

Being sick like this has obviously caused me to appreciate my health a bit more and I think that I have come to appreciate the little things around me a bit more.  I’ve taken more interest in my home and in things I haven’t in a long time. For example, I used to really enjoy cooking, but I fell away from it for various reasons. None of which are any good.

Simple pleasures are more enjoyable than they ever have been. Little things like hearing my son laugh, watching him play with the dogs. Listening to one of my dogs breathe as they fall asleep at my feet. The wind. The sound of rain. There really is just something about buying little oranges that are sold in crates.

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There’s just something about tiny oranges that are sold in crates!

I swear they taste better.

While I had been sick, I was stuck in bed because I was too sick and exhausted to do much else. I had a lot of time to think. I analyzed my life a lot. I went over and over in my head everything that I have been through that led up to my time on Earth today.

I asked myself a lot of hard questions about my life. What was I doing with it? Was I doing enough? Am I spending time with the right people? Am I doing the right things? Am I happy?

I didn’t like a lot of my answers. I started to realize and accept the fact that things really needed to change.   I think that being ill has really forced me to change my attitude. I’ve become very bold in my decisions and the answers that I give. Since I have been feeling better, I haven’t given much thought to anything other than improving my life and my family.

I’ve been through some serious life changes with a divorce and being a single mom to a child with special needs. It’s true that I have adjusted and survived, but I don’t know that I have actually enjoyed the last seven years of my life all that much.

This leads to me to grasp onto the conclusion that since this is the only life I get, then I should be living it the way that I want to live it. I answer way too much to the opinions of other people and I even allow myself to almost be harassed by people who think I should be doing this or that differently.

I mentioned in my introductory post on New Year’s Day, that I needed to really work on being more present and allowing myself to take one day at a time.  This is something I really have to focus on. It’s hard not to live in next month when you’re overwhelmed.  This girl really has this stuff down to a science. I think it’s all part of being in survivor mode for so long.

Worrying all of the time is useless and life is way too short to be anything other than happy.  I think that attitude makes or breaks you. I am really focused on this.

I know that mentally I have a greater appreciation for everything in my life and around me, now I need to act on it more boldly and with purpose. Clearly it’s one thing to say it and another to live it.

What do you think? Have you been through anything that has almost forced you to change your perspective on life and how you think? How did you get through it?

I bet you got through it by taking it all one day at a time!!