Clean Underwear Brings Joy, A Payroll Mistake, and Do Not Disturb Brings Focus on iPhone

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

In an effort to determine what I will be blogging about this morning, now that I am given the opportunity, I have determined that the main event, other than back to work, is laundry. I don’t know how we accumulated so much extra. I was only a couple of days behind schedule but seemed to have twice the loads. So the first part of this week was doing laundry so we had clothes to wear. And I had to do it quickly. We were running out of undies! lol

Photo by ud83dudc34chuanyu2015 on Pexels.com

No these are not mine! It’s the Pexel app’s photo but I thought it would make you laugh. Here’s my half of the laundry. The whites are currently in the load now. I have to take those out this morning and then wash a sweater on gentle.

We are mostly unpacked, except for a few sacks of kitchen items but need to send our suitcases to the basement.

Last night I cooked spaghetti after getting my pants ironed for the week. I was down to having to wear jeans but now they are washed – but our company prefers that we wear jeans only on Friday – not that everyone does, but I got a couple of pair of dress pants ironed. (I wash and hang most of my clothes as they last longer that way. But it does mean pressing them at times. Mostly my pants and any cotton blends that might have gotten wrinkled while sitting in a “to be folded stack”. I’m not here long enough nor awake long enough to finish a cycle through completely unless it is Saturday or Sunday.)

George caught up the finances a bit. I cleaned the kitchen also before cooking spaghetti. It was a mess and I cannot cook with a mess to begin with.

So coming back from a trip – there is a lot to do as you miss a weekend but still have those things that need doing to get back to normal. There are few hours to do it in when you are leaving the house in the 6 o’clock hour and don’t get back until almost the 6 o’clock hour again. So we’ve done well with the – what – four hours – that we’ve had to do laundry and finances and another quick stop at the store for whatever Sunday’s late day trip we didn’t get.

The floors need vacuuming terribly but I”ll try to get to that tonight. I also need to do an Amazon order.

I turned in my PTO request for my colonoscopy date and also for Thanksgiving week in which we plan to go to Texas. I know my employer doesn’t want to have to do payroll but I deserve to get a full week off and at least I’ve picked one where there are two HOL dates. I have not taken off that week in what two years now so that others could, so I’m requesting that week off. In my job there IS NOT ANY good time to take off for a trip to TX. TX is hot during the summer and the months I want to go when Katy is off, are always quarter end. I think they will have an extra room for us by then. As the remodel is almost finished.

Speaking of quarter end, it is month end and quarter end again, so I have many many many more boxes to check off of across the next month and will be working eagerly to get all that done.

It seems like the virus thing is no longer a part of our world around here. Although in China and other parts of the world there is a union of the two latest versions – which I think they called them DeltaCron or something like that. I don’t know much about it but just when things seem quiet, another round comes, but at least people are getting tired of talking about it and hearing about it so maybe it will just be dreaded flu and go away. I am still doing temperature checks, but I swear I see no other person’s doing it, lol. Most enter the side of the building and there’s no thermometer there. But I still do it. It’s always 95. If I had a real fever it would still show normal. Cracks me up.

Tonight maybe I can get the kitchen floor done. George wants me to give him a hair cut. Maybe I can get my Amazon orders done.

Mom’s doc appointment is Friday and is earlier in the day so I’ve stayed some extra and gone in early to make up for it, plus we have quarter end now so I’ll be having to work extra anyway. Then Saturday is Fancy’s trim, furniture shopping, AT&T store, bank, and grocery or whatever else Mom needs. Maybe unpacking a box or two and taking her out to eat, so anything we do this weekend will have to be done on Sunday. I would suggest taking her to church but we have to have a day to get our things done. So it’ll have to be a quick devo Sunday.

I made a mistake on payroll last week. There is a screen you enter through and then press save and it creates any auto pay for the week. It’s where HOLIDAY pay is created. So on a normal week I just enter enter enter enter like four times – just enter through the screen. And it is a necessary step. Someone had been in my office talking to me and when they left I entered the screen again because I didn’t think I had done it yet. Well I was trying to figure out where I left off. It’s such a quick screen and you don’t really think about it. Well apparently I had already done it. I have since learned that this same screen not only sets up HOL pay (which I didn’t enter as it wasn’t a HOL week) but it sets up SALARIED pay each week when you tab through it. So guess what? For this particular state’s payroll, the salaried people got paid twice. Live and learn. Sometimes we don’t know the purpose of things but are just taught to do them. Anyway, we know now. And that made me set up an array of rules.

One of the things I’ve learned in my management career is that when something goes wrong, you fix it but not only that, you keep it from happening again. This is such a simple step – it’s easy to overlook it and easy to do twice. So I made up a new rule.

When I do payroll I’m shutting my door and also putting on Do Not Disturb on my phone. I was worried about serious calls not being able to go through but if something serious is happening they’d be calling 911 anyway for immediate help. All other calls can wait til payroll. I was also soothed to know that if it’s a real emergency someone only need to to call twice. I think favorites might be allowed through but not sure. I just know that I don’t want any more conversation during payroll closing. Because at 59 it’s already hard enough to concentrate and remember where you are, lol!!!!!

I also decided to block two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon to give me some focus time so that none of my apps come through with notifications in those hours. I mean it adds up. I have allowed these items on my alerts so that I will know I have comments/alerts:

  1. Weather
  2. Texts
  3. Word Press Comments
  4. Facebook Comments
  5. Instagram
  6. News – both a national and local

And while I don’t look at my phone every time an alert goes off, I realize that it is becoming increasingly distracting. I didn’t used to get the news but with so much going on with the Russia thing I started to keep up with a few things. So it’s easy to look at your phone and get sucked in to what is happening in the moment. I thought it best to just give me two hours of uninterrupted time.

Why did I choose those hours? I figure it’s best not to go “missing” until the 9 a.m. hour in case any family is having emergencies getting to work or getting up for the day. My lunch is usually falling somewhere in b/w 11 and 1 so I just left that open. And then after 3 the day is winding down and that leaves room for last minute emergencies and such. People at work can get me on my office phone or call me twice during those focus hours.

How did I do this? Go to your settings on an iPhone and then find your Focus setting and go from there to turn on Do Not Disturb. When it’s on it will show a moon on your Home Screen.

I also decided to try CALM again as long as I don’t have to pay but so far it’s annoying because everything you try to do requires premium. You have to search for the free stuff and I’m not paying for this app. There’s too much else I can do to find “joy” and “peace” for free. But I did like this saying below. It’s just a reminder that YOU are YOUR OWN being and despite how others try to control every darn little thing you do, they just really don’t get to. At least the mood check in is free. Yes another alert. I allowed this one to alert me for a mood check in two or three times a day. I am interested to see how it turns out.

George has really been pressing me lately saying I let others control my mood. He is right to some extent. It’s more my personality to worry that I’m not doing something right or not meeting some responsibility or worry that I’m missing something, and wanting to please people that are NEVER going to be pleased. And I’m conditioned in some areas to respond in certain ways or to certain demands. So I’m working on that. I don’t want anyone to try and take advantage of my feelings or make me feel guilty, or manipulate me in any way, or play games with me – so I’m trying to learn and understand my personality and how to take control of certain things. And to find my joy again. It’s been a struggle with near depression lately. I’m finally digging myself out. This trip helped a lot and getting some sunshine and getting away from everything.

But I’m ready to get quarter end done, ready to work on some of my lists, and goals, and even ready to help Mom with her goals. As George reminded me, her needs are met we just need to work on the things she wants at this point – aside from the weekly medical needs and groceries and such which we are doing.

And that is about all I have for today. Just a mid week update. The week is going by fast. Our spring time is filling up on the calendar too – lots of fun and events coming – and some of my own doc appts as well. I also have one more appt to set but I’ll wait til April to set it so I can spread them out across the year.

Have to have some dental work done too. Anyway, enough smack talk for today, lol! I guess in summary you can say we are just barely keeping our heads above water here in this thing we called life. I mean at this point, you can say that having clean underwear at least brings some joy! Yeah we are down to that.

Fifteen Ways to Improve Your Mood and Help Lift Depression

Oh ya’ll. Yesterday, although it started off with me in a – let’s just say – “not so upbeat of a mood, although trying”, I ended up the day knowing that things would be better. I got up this morning and after having a day off and another good night’s sleep, I feel fairly normal this morning. I woke up thinking, planning, wanting to do things, and with a happier disposition (one can hope). When you are a melancholy introvert of a person most of the time anyway and you start to head toward depressive tendencies – it’s just not so good. I have even been able to make a list of coping strategies to either maintain myself during this period or perhaps bring myself out of it. So I thought I’d share that with others. Now I’m not a professional, but I can share what has helped me. And these are not in order of importance but as I thought of them while making a list.

Improving My Mood and Lifting My Depression

  1. Analyze. For example, I first began trying to figure out what was wrong, and the triggers, so I could figure it out. Please realize this was not a huge drawn out process but just in case there are things that could be changed to make me better, I needed a plan, and fast. In my case, I concluded it was a perfect storm of this continued period of bad weather and rain, coming out of a really stressful time at work, coming out of the holidays, winter doldrums, caring for an aging parent, setting up a new household for Mom, two major moves in the past year, weight gain, trying to figure out a hair style that works with my greying hair, not having enough time to do what I want, not feeling good health wise, questioning a lot of things in my life, disappointment from squashing a lot of dreams that I’ve had that I know won’t come to fruition. And finally, the replacement goal for those dreams not coming together either. Then there was video creation, my hobby that is supposed to make me happy – I couldn’t seem to get around the learning curve to even start the next video because I couldn’t get the clip I had for the intro to convert to the right dimensions for the next video. I think this alone may have sent me over the edge – to not be able to do something you want to do so badly.
  2. Prayer. I don’t know how people that don’t believe in God can handle anything without Him. If you don’t believe, I ask that you please pick up a Bible and begin reading, because God’s word is active and alive. He will speak to you and guide you through this and will protect you and give you hope. He will hear your cry. He will not make fun of your cry.
  3. Sleep. Sleep has been very important, although I think too much sleep could be a hamper in this situation. You need to try to get 8 hours if you can at least, even upwards to 10 if you are stressed and exhausted.
  4. Increase Vitamin D and Take a B Complex. I doubled my D. And I have been careful to take supplements that are a good source with natural casing so it can be digested and released. It’s just needed.
  5. Eating healthier. I ate healthier choices to get in as many good nutrients, vitamins, minerals that I could.
  6. Less Alcohol, more water, hot tea, coffee. This is a critical time and while there may be a tendency to drink more to numb the bad feelings you are having – go with less alcohol and more of other drinks you like. Alcohol will deplete any progress you made. Have a bubble water, herbal tea, or just plain water. That said, I must admit, that some days George gave me a small sniffer of heated cognac before bed to rest and lull me into sleep, but it’s not a time to drink more which is a tendency that would be easy to do.
  7. Focus on happy things. Sometimes it was the simplest of things that could make me smile that I tried to feel blessed in the moment. For example, a bird chirping outside my window, seeing the deer look up at me as I drove by, delighting in dogs and pictures of dogs (I want one so bad), sitting and reading or playing a game, watching a favorite show, going out to eat, changing my computer theme to a beach desktop instead of winter, doing things I like to do.
  8. Self pamper. This is an extension of number seven, but schedule and plan fun things – like your next nail or pedi appointment. I allowed myself to splurge on cosmetics and while it’s not recommended to blow your budget or anything, if you can do some things for your self improvement like a new shirt, new hair do, or a few beauty supplies – it can help as a temporary boost at least.
  9. Develop an Improvement plan. This may be hard, especially if you are not in the mood to think or plan, but if you can write down some things that are bothering you that you would like to change, you can try to challenge yourself to do so. I was able to come up with my Nudge Challenge and it gave me some hope because I know I’ll be doing some things differently.
  10. Periods of letting the mind rest. I noticed that on some days I actually just decided NOT to think on things if I needed to do that. While some days I did push myself, I realized that I needed to just let my mind rest from all that it had been overloaded with, frustrated with, and trying to figure out. Just let your mind do so if you need to. Let thoughts come and release them as fast as they came.
  11. Don’t make major life decisions during this time. You can really mess a lot up by making rash decisions during this time period. It’s easy to do. I hate to say never because in some cases major life decisions may be the answer to the problem, however, I think you need to run it by a couple of people with sound judgement that you trust, before making a go of any life altering plans. So wait before quitting your job or buying an RV and heading west into the dessert sunset. (Those of you that know me, know that would tempt me easily, but no I wouldn’t do that without George unless he gave me permission – on both of those things mentioned, lol).
  12. Take an entire day off. If you can’t find the day at least an afternoon, but my best strides toward beating the depression downward spiral was having a day off from all responsibilities and just doing whatever I wanted to do for the moment. No plans.
  13. Do that ONE thing. And on the flip side – if you are going to do anything – do that one thing that if you get it done or accomplished you will feel so much better. I made myself face my Final Cut Pro woes and figured out what was wrong and can move on with life and that made my week much more rosy! May sound silly to you, but this lifted my world!
  14. Find the sun! Oh my gosh it helps so much!
  15. Take a Walk! It releases happy hormones! And for some reason when you walk, you work out things in your head.

Today I am much better having done these things in the past week. And I wanted to share for both you and me. I will come back and read it again when I start having issues. I can catch myself sometimes when I wake up and don’t feel like thinking, planning, and doing. I can usually put nutrition and sleep in and pull out of it quickly but this past week it became concerning. I had to walk lightly and be very kind to myself, not push, let things come and go, and try to fill my mind with as much positiveness as I could. It’s been a tough ass week. Today I feel fairly normal having really focused on the above all week and finally getting that ONE thing done that was plaguing me.

My Agenda:

I hope you all have a good week. Here’s what’s on my agenda in the next week or so:

*Sign in to OLD AOL accounts so I don’t lose them. I do this once a quarter to keep old blogs.

*Do the Enneagram test again. I think it will benefit me to go through this.

*My challenge starts tomorrow. Might need to go to the store tonight but I might wait.

*New Bible study comes in this week from Amazon. I’ll share.

*Add Birthdays on my Task Reminders (so I’ll get cards and shopping done in advance)

*Use my Cracker Barrel card and take Mom to dinner

*Order a couple of pics from Shutterfly – this has been on my list forever

*Camera lessons is still on my list – wanna get them done (??)

*Need to iron and vacuum and do some house cleaning

*Clean my office, break down the bed in there and bring up the filing cabinets (this is a March project)

*Work on the flooring video

*Hot Springs trip

*Want to make lasagna

*Get some reading done (??)

Mom’s Agenda:

*TV bracket for hanging the TV on the wall has to be ordered

*New furniture

*Pictures finish hanging

*Help unpacking

*Pedicure

*Shades for Patio

*Table for Patio (eventually)

*Fancy Trim coming up in a couple of weeks

*Start my puzzle

George’s Agenda

Bless him. He has been so kind to do our agendas, but we have to remember that he too has one. He has done taxes and has been working on finances and of course cooks a lot, and is wanting to do some recording of music. He enjoys his reading and wants to work on the basement and get it back in order (it’s on my agenda too), and also spring is coming and he will begin clearing the yard for debris for mowing, and his yard sales start up.

Ok off of here because work will be wondering where I am if I don’t get there soon. But bottom line is I think I’m coming through this terrible couple of weeks to the other side. Thanks for your support. It’s always nice to see folks reaching out instead of drawing back when the times are not feeling so good. So again Thank You. It’s all going to be ok.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad Recipe, Messy House Pics, and Moods

Healthy Taco Salad aka “Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad”

Oh ya’ll. I was looking for a taco salad – you know the traditional kind. And I said aloud “oh cilantro lime chicken” and both Mom and George said “yeah yeah yeah”. So I saved the recipe to Pinterest. (Mental note to go back and look at all those recipes I saved so long ago!). Well I fixed this last night. And let me tell ya. It was so good.

I had forgotten how good the George Foreman grill worked. Six minutes ya’ll to get the chicken done. I had marinated it and let it sit out for a few minutes NOT to room temp but just to let it warm and let the COLD COLD get off of it. Note: I would NOT make a good recipe writer. lol

It looks simple and well it kinda is, but it takes longer than it looks. The chicken was easy marinated for a bit but only 6 minutes as it cooks both sides at once. I washed and cut up a head of lettuce (you could use spring mix to save time), and I made the homemade vinaigrette that went with it (Fresh cilantro, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and lime – maybe a spice or two, but I’ll share link here in a sec). So yeah – that had fresh cilantro which meant using a food processor – which I had to find as we’d moved it into the sun room when we did the flooring. Everything is an Easter egg hunt these days! I also had to chop tomatoes, and well – that avocado that was supposed to go with it? Yeah it was too hard. George fought with it – no one – I repeat no one eats white avocado. Mom was in the background going “a white avocado? What’s wrong with it?” lol Oh well. Walmart was out of the “just right” and either had “gone too far past it’s prime” avocados or “not ripe enough yet”. So we wasted the money on that one. In the trash it went. The rest was just popping tops of cans. The yellow corn was great with it as it added a sweet flavor. We sat down and George said “where’s the tortilla chips”. I said “oh I don’t remember the recipe calling for it – go get ’em if you want ’em”. But we ate with out it. It was awesome!

So, it was really good and the link to this fine wonderful recipe is here. I hope to visit this site some more:

Cilantro Lime Chicken

It’s “The Stay at Home Chef” and looks like you can subscribe to have recipes to sent to your email. I will refrain for NOW though until I can get my email in order. I already have to many emails and not enough time to enjoy the fun ones. But I’ve pinned her site to Pinterest and I’ll be back.

Morning hazy sunrise on the way to work

Long Day at Work

I need a car wash. Not even on the “to do list” but I guess it oughta be at some point. This morning the sunrise was bright orange. Of course this did NOT do it justice. It was a BIG orange ball when I left my neighborhood. I had to do a triple take.

Today was one of those days where I really needed to sleep longer. But it was “go in early day” (Tuesday) to kind of make up for time that I’m having to spend taking Mom to appointments. And I just felt kinda off all day. I was sleeping so good when my alarm went off. And of course I didn’t get to do my blog nor work on the video and I always feel mistreated (lol) when I don’t get that time. I “lol” but it’s true. At least I also got in a bunch of extra hours due to quarter end when I got the reports late and had to rush to get things done. But it’ll all work out in the wash and I’ll have to use some of that time – we even out usually. I don’t keep close track but I try to make sure I get my hours in and my job finished. If I do that I know I’m heads above water.

Finally when I was near the end of my 10th hour today I said “enough”. My “to do” list is so long and we had to finish moving things out of the bedrooms tonight. Here I sit blogging getting my blog time back. Mom has fixed spaghetti for us and we’ll eat soon.

Reality Blog at its Finest (or not)

Often people say that blogs are not real. They only show you how perfect things are. Well here ya go. You can see this REALITY blog for what it is. I also did some video shots (finally) for an upcoming video segment.

I still don’t have everything back in place from the luxury vinyl flooring that looks like the barn wood below. But we had to move the bedroom stuff out from atop furniture and clothes that hung down in the closets and such. So here is how messy my house is right now!

I’m considering a day off, but I have so many things “begging” for my PTO days but in the end we will have seen who/what gets it. Trips, putting my house in order, moving Mom again, my doc appts, Mom’s doc appts, those three or four or five trips we have been wanting to take the last 2 to 3 years but keep having to put off, the holidays, long weekends, what? Who knows. It makes my head spin to think about it so I keep saying “no PTO now, hold off”.

I’ve cried, stomped, and plotted over how to use the PTO this year and I finally just kinda gave up and prayed and hung on for dear life. It’s like this year is three times on steroids. But God has not given us more than we can handle. We only have so much time and we get the most important things done and then when we are totally exhausted we end up some how getting a few minutes of down time just enough to keep us spinning and hoping.

So then when the spare time comes do you read, watch a show, do something non-essential on the To Do list, work on a video. It’s up for grabs. Usually it depends on how much brain power is left.

How Our Moods Work

It’s noticeable that how much I sleep and what all I eat – can give me a good outlook or a bad one. Yesterday I was content and happy and on top of the world. Today I was just trying to get through the day and had to try and force a good mood. I really think it was sleep and I am considering that when I drink my greens my outlook improves. ha. So maybe I need to drink those daily.

I was born a serious person and take everything to heart. And when you add all of the “other circumstances” up which I won’t go into – I end up being a kindof melancholy sort with bursts of energy here and there. I am just an introvert with extrovert tendencies. But I usually have to force the extrovert side. I can talk if I’m genuinely into something – then get me to be quiet is hard. But a realist is what I am and I have robotic tendencies if you have noticed to push through my to do lists. I guess somewhere along the way I was taught we were good people and not lazy if we did our list. So I keep trying. I keep hoping.

But the best thing lately about each day is that feeling when I lay flat in my bed with lights out and the bedroom fan (side fan -not ceiling) and sometimes the ocean sound machine on too – it’s the best reward. I fall asleep in gratitude for the day, for what God allowed me to accomplish, and to watch over us as we slumber. It’s a grand and glorious feeling to fall asleep in such peace. So no matter what kind of day I had – it ends the same way – peaceful and restful.

But yeah – the carpet people coming tomorrow! ;-). Soon I can begin the process of putting it all together.