Peace and Happiness During January’s Chaos

Photo by Daria Obymaha on Pexels.com

The past day or two has been chaotic, but yet somehow peaceful. Most of the pressure comes from trying to pack too much into periods of time, meetings, appointments and deadlines. But several things have kept me from totally falling apart – and I did get very close.

God has been listening and has been my tower, my strength, my “go to” and at night when I lay down, I totally rest in Him and ask him to just help, and He has. He has given me peace, rest, little avenues of unexpected time, little pockets of joy, little moments with friends or family, and little bits of fun with the after Christmas Amazon shopping, lol. Even Mom has been joyful and patient with our last two days of doc appointments and errands.

This watch band has been sitting my “wish list” page on Amazon for a long time. A year to be exact. It seemed to be more of a “winter” band and since I didn’t order it last winter, I didn’t see a need for it until about fall. I had decided I’d get it with the Amazon points, so here it is. I really like it because I wear a lot of black and grey in the winter. And I really didn’t have anything that looked like winter. I don’t even think I had a black plastic band. All of my plastic bands have turned and the dirt seems to be melded into it over time and won’t come off.

I have loved my watch. At some point this one will become obsolete though. I’m not sure I want to pay the price for another when it does. I’m just not sure that I really need it so much. My phone is usually with me. However, there is something to be said about it being able to to do so much with heart, sleep, and being able to call for you if you fall – at least on the newer models there has been improvement, so likely I will want to continue having it.

I needed a little energy outlet yesterday – you know swinging a hammer and beating on the walls kind of a thing to release a little nervous energy. So I figured out where to hang a few things on the wall. These walls are so big and ceilings high so anything (that I can afford) to hang up is just swallowed by the wall. My map seemed bigger when I ordered it but came out so small. It’s ok though. I decided to keep the lamp right where it is as it provides good soft light. Kinda weird to be in the middle of a wall like that, but that is where the easiest plug is. And when I hung the pictures up, it kinda creates a little separation there. I have about a 3 foot plant that I will put on that tan filing cabinet there. It will “fill some space” and give the room a little lift with my sad desperate try at decorating. It’s good to have the space though don’t get me wrong. I’ll also be adding a little black bookshelf behind me to put paper on for my printer, my Kleenex, hand sanitizer, and things like that. I hope it works because I really need the shelf. That will also add a little more to the room as I’ll put a plant on it too. I hope when I put the bookshelf in, that I don’t have to rehang or move things around. I might have to center things up. I didn’t think about that. But, hopefully all will work. The chalkboard and chalk came in. And I have a bulletin board to put up. I am just ready for warmth and welcome when I go into my office. Trying to make it a nice cozy feel since I’m there so much. That could be argued this week, lol. I’ve not been there much due to working from home, doc appointments, etc.

I was happy to see that Mom will still be able to see a sunset, despite the villas going in around her – at least so far. They are coming up fast. I went outside to take a pic. Her place is going to be so nice when spring and summer and fall are here. We will look for a patio table as well and can have sandwiches or dinner out there some.

Last evening was pleasant as we arrived from the doc appointment and I ordered pizza for us all and George picked it up. It was so good. I had a little pocket of time to play a game on my phone to release some more nervous energy. lol

George and I came home and began watching Ozark. I fell asleep toward the end and he had to wake me up. I had gotten up at 3:15 yesterday morning just because I was awake. I’ve done the same this morning. But sleep was solid for the 6 hours I did get both nights. We have to be at Mom’s by 8:30 this morning to hang curtains. So when I woke up at 3:15 and was awake, I was delighted, so I’d have some goof off time as well as some laundry time.

I only fixed half pot of coffee b/c not sure when George would get up but certainly not for a couple of hours later.

While waiting for the coffee to finish and after sorting and starting the first laundry load today – I picked out my next two books. Since I’ve slotted myself to read three books until summer, I figure I needed to pick the other two. I’m reading the Magnolia story as the current one. But I think I’ll try the technique of having 3 going at once. I just can’t seem to find time to sit and read so why not have 3 sitting there pulling at me instead of one. Maybe the force of will – will be greater! I can’t sit still long enough. lol

I’ve had these in my wish list since probably August or September when I knew for sure I was making my hair grow longer and was sticking to it. I ended up buying some different ones because they had a lot more in them for the money. But I kept looking at how pretty these were. I love the turquoise flower and the white flower one the best, but I’m also fond of all of them. I guess I’m starting to look like a granny. These look like something my grandmothers would like. Maybe that is why I like them. They kindof pull your hair when you pull them out so I have to be gentle, but they hold good and are so much better than barrettes or hair clasps and don’t fall out like combs do.

And so that is about all I have today. I am glad it is the weekend although lately, with snow, meetings, doc appts, and all that is going on, it’s been difficult to know what day it is. There is no question, however, as to what month it is.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

So the weekend brings a day at Mom’s or with Mom and we’ll do whatever she needs today. BIL and SIL arrive sometime after lunch and George and Kevin will go to the playoff Titans game and Susan and I will be around for Mom and we’ll all have a girls afternoon, whatever we decide to do. Had promised Mom a day out to get shoes, look at furniture for her den (needs smaller furniture as the current is hard to fit in there). Mom has not really liked (none of us have) getting out in the cold so I’ll leave it up to her. It has been freezing or below most of the time and with wind, just horribly frigid.

Tonight we celebrate my birthday with Kevin and Susan as between all four of us we do birthday meals – no gifts and it’s a great excuse for another meal out. We buy Kevin and Susans and they buy ours. I’ve opted for a steak house tonight, but I had steak earlier in the week and I may opt for chicken tenders as that sounds so good. But we’ll see.

Sunday, tomorrow, is a work day for me, but I’ll have to finish our laundry and sneak in a grocery trip so I have food to eat at work next week. I won’t go out more than likely for fast food (no time to take lunch) until after quarter end/year end duties are finished. I’m trying to robotishly keep plugging away til all boxes are ticked off or I’m ticked off, whichever happens first. lol lol lol

The off site meeting I had to go to on Monday is cancelled so I’m grateful for getting about 4 hours back into my week to plug away at the impossible line up before me.

But most of all I’m looking forward to doing a Target order and the grocery store run. (Isn’t that pitiful? But I can’t wait to do both!) I’m not pushing any of my own agenda until February. If I can’t get to my agenda by Feb 1, we gonna have some trouble with everyone. I’ll shut down everything including myself. lol lol. I have to have some time to work on some things I want to work on. I have things to download, things to cancel, want some creative time, need to flip some things around the house, put up the Christmas trees, pretend it’s my new year, look at my goals and actually have time to work on them, think about them, do them. See my friends from Franklin finely. And pretend I still have a life of my own. It’ll be great! 😉

What you doing this weekend?

Amazon Point Gifts and Momma’s Afternoon Out

New LED Desk Lamp with phone charger and USB port.

Just a bit of a blog update in real time this morning. I find myself in the midst of the “impossible” last two weeks of quarter end and year end. The light is likely somewhere at the end of the tunnel but it is very difficult to see. I can’t go a blog post without saying once again that every aspect of my life (and then some) is pulling at me forcefully trying to make this month a failure for me. As mentioned in a previous entry, mainly due to the repeated snow events, I have set up the work desk from home and it’s proving to be a successful move. At this point I’m just using any available moments to work on things. I began yesterday at 6:10 a.m. in my pajamas. I saved two hours of the day in drive time and was able to can that for use toward doing unemployment returns. I got the biggest baddest ugliest one done. But there is still so incredibly much to do.

How do you like the new desk lamp. It came in this week and was easy to pull out of the box and plug in and began using. Perfect fit for small places and complete with phone charger and USB port. The light changes colors (white light, yellow light, etc.) and it dims. I love it.

Other things are starting to come in as well from Amazon that George and I ordered from our Amazon card points. Many things were to decorate my 2nd home – my work office. I will show you as I begin using them, hang them, place them, etc.

I’m in love with these little vases. You know how I love to decorate according to season and this is a small way to be able to make quick “pops” of color changes in the house. So I’m going to go to Hobby Lobby and buy little stems of greenery, red poppies or carnations, lavender, pink, blue, white – fall colors too. Just a variety of different things I can pop in there! They are small enough you can place on mantle, or stick on a dresser or in the bathroom, or used as or with centerpieces. They are versatile. I saw them in one of the Amazon influencers page. I love the Amazon Influencers as you can see the products in their home. It’s a neat thing. You can follow them on Amazon.

I had watched a YouTuber a while back, fix her hair with these BIG rollers so these have been on my wishlist for a while. I think they were around $14.99 or something. They grip into your hair and have some nice clips that also help hold them in place. They are also easy to get out without breaking my hair to pieces. Read reviews if you buy any of these, as some do not have good clips or the grip is too tight to get out. So when we had our points to spend, I ordered these. At this point in my life, I have no one to impress – might as well be me right? I don’t mind showing you the no makeup roller head version of me. It made an impression upon George. He had to take a pic “for later”. I’m sure this will pop up at my funeral one day. I hope it gives all a laugh when it does. This is the playful side of me that doesn’t get seen very much. lol. I’m usually too busy and stressed out to have fun, lol. But this was fun! I also have the rollers on again this morning as I sit and type.

I can fix up sometimes….the rollers worked pretty good. I used a blow dryer to finish them off. It was still a little damp when I took them out but all in all I think it worked pretty well. I haven’t used rollers in a very long time and I’ve not used this kind. It was always heat rollers. These are metal so if you finish off with a blow dryer, it works to help transfer the heat.

Once I had it fixed, I immediately went out into the 25 mph wind gusts. Because that is how my life rolls.

So Mom had her heart appt yesterday and we have to make an appointment for her Echo. We have to get this done before her July appointment. She has to go every six months.

We also went to Outback nearby to get a blooming onion which she has been craving. I told Mom, only she would go to a heart appointment and eat a fried blooming onion immediately afterward. I might have indulged as well. She was very happy to have the blooming onion. I told her it sounded like we were cursing!

We then found a Supercuts to cut her hair. She said she just wanted to walk in somewhere and get it cut. So that is what we did. I found a Supercuts that stayed open late. Well til 7.

Mom telling the hairstylist what she wants done.

We still need to go get her some good tennis shoes that she can wear that are comfortable for running around in. And we need to go pick out new living room furniture. I am giving her most of my Saturday this week. George is going to hang her curtains and move some more boxes around. I can take her to get shoes and look at furniture. My SIL is coming along to join us Saturday as George and Kevin (my BIL) goes the the Titan play off game.

Mom is getting quite the compliments on her socks lately. They have white poodles on them! Everyone notices them. I gave them to her. We love our socks! ;-).

The weather has basically just been rainy nasty, snowy, windy, or cold in the last month. I think by the end of January I’m always just “done” with winter. I also think poor “Little Bit” is too. He is inside when we are in most of the time. But in the day we put him back out and lately he has NOT been ok with that. Usually he loves his outside. On extremely cold days we can put him in the basement as we do some of the cold nights, but we also have a box made up for him (two of them) one on the front porch and one in the back – made with styrofoam and blankets. I feel sorry for him when I get an alert that a person is at the door and it’s Little Bit. It hurts my heart that he is waiting for us to open the door, but we were not home. If I talked to him through the intercom it would make him think we were home and just not letting him in. But if we are home and I see him on cam, I let him in. I think he might have figured that out. But not sure. He sure does look at the cam more often now.

George just woke up and cracked up again at my rollers. Laughter in the hallway. One day he may wake up and find rollers in his hair, if it gets long enough. lol

Last night after dropping Mom off from our extremely cold afternoon and evening out, I came home and watched some streaming on YouTube – the girl from Svalbard near the North Pole. It’s so relaxing to me – especially if I’m under a warm blanket, lol. George and I also watched Imposters and then I went to bed, but I had extreme nausea at the time I went to bed. My guess is the oils from the blooming onion did me no favors. I even predicted it and told Mom it would probably make me sick. Somehow I managed to go to sleep and not actually get physically ill but I was green going to sleep and prayed for God to make me feel better. I’m ok this morning. No more nausea. Able to drink coffee.

So today I am going into work as I have to print garnishment checks, and print several things in prep for next week’s payroll. I can never work from home more than a day or two in a row.

Not sure if I’d mentioned I found a solution to getting files back and forth. So forgive if I’ve already posted this. I use Facebook and Instagram so some of you may see somethings twice but I often try to be exclusive in each place.

Anyway, Mom has her eye appointment this afternoon so I’ll be leaving early (again) but I will have to work a lot on Sunday. Next week I’m being sucked out of the work zone by work itself – another project I’m having to be involved in that is sucking away at my time to do quarter end. I will do what I can by working this Sunday and then again some the following Saturday and Sunday. I’ve told everyone I have to have that next weekend to get things done.

Then I am questioning very seriously if I want to have another January like I’ve had this time. The answer is NO. Will I? Probably, but I have seriously thought about ordering an I hate January t-shirt, even after posting that I want to be more positive this year. lol. I hear several co-workers and a few friends say they would love to have one too. lol.

We should just hang on. Very soon we will have our life back again. George laughs when I say that. But I fully intend on doing some things in February that I want to do. Some of them very simple. And I look forward to it. And if I don’t get to do them, everyone is going to hear about it.

Was hoping to get the Roger tribute up this weekend. We’ll see if I get ANY personal time at all. I’m so ready to have my life back ya’ll. It’ll get better soon. But it’s been a rough January so far. And we are in the crunch weeks, the final stretch. I’m trying to reach the finish line, so that we can move into February having met all deadlines. I really am wondering if it is even humanly possible to finish the deadlines on time. As said before, I’ll die trying. God is trying to make things easier on me and He is with me. I can feel his calming presence. He gives me ideas, support, and circumstances in which I can lean on and trust. But can I say again how forward I’m looking to February 1? It will either be done or not at that point. Then it’s Sonya’s turn to get her agenda worked on. We have accomplished much in the past year. I need some hibernation time, time with friends, time to be creative, time to make some changes, time to finally start MY new year as January truly has not been my own in so many ways. But I Thank God for finding me little moments of sanity when I would feel like I was losing my freaking mind. It’ll get better. It has to. I don’t want to go through another season like this.

Leaving you with a little sweetness.

Shopping in Waynesville, NC and Mid-Week Update

Sometimes instead of buying things, I just take pictures. But this mountain community of Waynesville, NC is so fun to shop. It’s the perfect amount of stores and filled with several restaurants and even the Boojum Brewery, and a little convenience store or market. The Mast General store is there and filled with goodness and the most interesting squeaking wooden floors that amused me with the sounds. It made me smile really big! I cannot remember all the names of all the stores and I will not laboriously look them all up and list them here. No need. Just know it’s a wonderful place to go and browse and especially to Christmas shop. We always find some different things there that you don’t see in all the chains! Let’s re-live some of our day last Friday. Here we go!

Affairs of the Heart: Unique Gifts, The Old, The New, The Handcrafted

We bought quite a bit here from this store. I’d say we mostly bought “unique” gifts. And no we did not buy any Sasquatch shirts, but for some reason Sasquatch gifts were popular. Sas used to be in Washington and Canada border line at least when I was kid. But apparently he has been seen in these parts. I think he is even seen in our neighborhood at last report in the woods behind us. One day George and I will go on a video Sasquatch hunt – just for you guys and show you.

There’s so much that sometimes it’s hard to take everything in.

Then of course there is the furniture store which has it’s cabin type furniture for sale and I love the decor and especially the animals.

This decor was neat above. I mean – who would have thought of this way to decorate a plate for table setting. George held up the piece so you could see how it worked.

There are lots of local crafts and things you don’t see anywhere else.

I might have bought some Ginger snaps to much on. 😉

Look how much the 3 vanilla beans cost! $23??? Wow! There was a spice, olive oil, cooking shop. George bought some spice mixes. Of course he did. lol

And there were lots of Christmas decorations! Some handmade. Some not. And most of the time they were very reasonable in price. I remember last time it was hard to contain myself. But I did.

Since I’ve been watch Cecelia’s Vlog in Svalbard up close to the North Pole, I took special interest in the Polar Bears. So cute to behold as a stuff animal but they are curious and can be very very dangerous at times. There have been several incidents in Svalbard as Cecelia mentions – even an attack close to her house and they have to have rifles with them just to go outside their cabin.

Then there was the Blue Ridge Beer Hub which had a little tap area too but George just bought some of the local brews. George thoroughly enjoys looking for craft brewing that we don’t have in our area. Well he likes our area too, but he enjoyed the “hunt” for other things. I told him to go crazy with it b/c his father always bought him a fridge full of beer for Christmas – especially in his last able days. He would take George and have him “go wild” buying whatever he wanted. I told him to go ahead b/c likely I’d not get out and do any beer shopping for him this year. This is it. I can’t top that. lol

And of course there was a book store which George loves. I enjoy them too but I just don’t buy many any more. I have more than I will ever read in the rest of my lifetime. And I have to pretty much do audio books while I work. And with Mom as an added responsibility (and another full time job almost) I just don’t have time to sit and enjoy a read anymore. One day.

Isn’t this a charming place? I realize I’m not even half way through our day in Waynesville so I’ll have to come back tomorrow and finish. Just way too many pics.

Midweek Update

So, the last two nights we have eaten at Mom’s. She fixed chili and hot dogs, but last night we supplemented with pizza and a salad from a nearby Italian sub and pizza place, Bellacino’s. We had gone to get Mom and she spent the night so she could be here for the dishwasher install while we worked. We appreciated this so much so we didn’t have to take off work. (It was a payroll day for me and would have been difficult to work in and of course George works almost an hour away.). So the dishwasher was installed and while we were at Mom’s George did or tried to do a few things. He put the bed together in the guest room I think and then tried to get Mom’s mirror on her dresser but didn’t have the right screw/bolt so has to go to Lowe’s.

Mom gave me a list of things she needs for company coming (Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken) as they arrive this weekend. The room is not ready for them in any shape or form, so we are scrambling. Well not really. We don’t have time to scramble even. My first impression is to panic. But the second reaction was also George’s reaction “yay, they can help us with this project”. lol. More hands!

So I will be going to Target tonight after work to buy sheets and a shower rod and shower rings and Christmas cards and also hopefully get a few things for my list as well. Although I haven’t had time to update our lists and don’t really know what is left to even people up. So I’ll be in a Frenzy this weekend and next to finish and get wrapped.

I knew these days would be hard. They are very challenging and each day’s list just sits there unworked. I mean by the time we get off work, deal with “life at hand”, do one or two chores – the day is over. But I have prayed and God is giving me this Friday off which I didn’t ask for. But by default will really be kinda half working and half not. We will all be “on call” or “working from home”. If I’m going to be checking email and taking calls then I’m not turning in a PTO day. I will if I have to but at least I can get a few things done to give me an edge up as our offices are closed that day but we still have to be “available”. Although there is not much I can do from home for that one day – no files and I’m not setting up an office for one day with a keyboard, monitor, mouse and ethernet to a pop up desk of sorts. Nah. Not gonna. I have the laptop and can try to connect if needed but….I don’t do well with the touch screens on our company system which is not mouse click oriented but a series of PF keys and arrows. It’s different on a laptop than connected with keyboard and mouse. So nah. But it gives me some unexpected time to —-probably not catch up or get ahead but at least maybe keep from drowning.

So Mom said last night that her Security Install was yesterday and she thought it was today. So they were able to move it to today. I wish I could be there to “hear” how the things work with it. We will get it second hand through Mom. I’m sure I’ll end up setting off the alarm, lol. So I dread that. Mom will have that place so secure that even she won’t be able to get in and out.

The more we try to do at her new place, the more I see that assisted living would have been the better choice for Mom. I think she is frustrated and exasperated. At least I get that impression. She says she will like it eventually and I’m sure would like to have us working over there 24/7 but it’s not possible. As it is this week we have already been over there two evenings and will be shopping for her tonight and then tomorrow night taking her to get groceries for her upcoming company. So at some point we also have to live for ourselves too.

The jumble of responsibility on top of a move and a Christmas season is pretty overwhelming. We are in the thrust of it all. Add an office move on top of that. Which is helping me not to go in sane by an extra day “sort of” being off. I keep reminding myself to just breathe. So grocery night (Thurs) I guess I’ll be putting the guest bed and shower together after Wed night which is Target night where I buy the things needed. And just so you know, Mom is NOT pushing us. None of this is a fault on her. Except for perhaps assisted living might have been a better option but she chose house instead. So we are trying to accommodate her wishes. But she is a woman that likes things done and done now and we know that and so it’s requiring a little patience on everyone’s part and we all know that both she and I have a shortage of patience. But it can’t be helped. We can’t quit our jobs. It took months to move her out and close out the other house and it’s going to take months to get this one up and going like she wants. We’ll get there at a snails pace.

And it’s these times when I wish my sister was part of the family so she could help with her mother too, the lady that bore her and gave her life and being. Mom is just not able to move around much or do much at this point. And we can’t live there 24/7 to work there on things every day – although one could argue we have pretty much except for the travel days. We could really use the help and George could too if my BIL could pitch in with some muscle and a screw driver. But it’s not to be. It’s clearly been established by the sibling that it is our job and our job alone and were left with a “good luck with that”- but there have been offers that if Mom left the house they would gladly come over. Hmmm not so sure but they are welcome to “send groceries” or drop things off on her stoop or send some hired help.

So yeah, we are on our own here to try and take care of two households. And we are ok with doing that except for the fact there is not much time to do it. And everything is so needy right now on top of the holidays. I’m freaking about to lose my mind.

But this too shall pass. Soon Christmas will be over. We will travel to Texas. It’ll be Year End and I’ll be slammed with work. We’ll have to find time to put up Christmas and then hibernate in February and come out on the other side in spring with a new energy. One can only hope. I don’t want to wish my life away though. I’m trying to enjoy each day. Trying not to complain. But as I type here I type the reality. My hopes of having time to accomplish all that everyone needs me to. It is why we work so hard. To keep ourselves and others happy, to enjoy the days we have, and to toil and sweat to be able to look around and have a neat and put together house and have a little bit of 30 minutes to an hour to call our own to do whatever it is we want to do in “said house”. That is what we do. Keep or put houses together, eat, and try to keep us all happy. That is our job. We fail every day. LOL