My Little Amazon Haul, Seeking Life Balance and Joy, and Doing Some April Planning

Mmmmmm, the coffee is good this morning as I sit here and type. I was happy to get my Amazon packages in the mail from the weekend’s orders. I bought a new pink rain coat for myself. The jacket I had been using, left me soaked last week. Whatever used to propel the rain, is no longer working. I needed a spring-y and cheery jacket anyway. It wasn’t horribly priced either. It has both zip and velcro attachments for the front closure, pockets (I think with a zipper also) and lightly lined so that it also serves as a windbreaker. I wish I had sized up on this one. It fits but when I close it is a little tighter than I wanted. But since it is a spring/summer piece I will be wearing thinner clothes, and also plan on losing a bit of weight as well. Even if I didn’t it is working for me.

Looks like I’m going on a 40 day journey. 😉

Even though I have lots of “free plans” and “devotionals” through the YouVersion app, I decided it is best for me to have an official Bible Study away from my phone – which has too many distractions. I don’t need those distractions when it comes to an early morning Bible study on the subject of JOY. I can tell this is going to be a good one already. It has described that I will be learning how to have joy and balance in my life through the Spirit of God, regardless for whatever is happening in my life. So I’m mixing up my morning prayer journal time. Instead of prayer and reading from the Bible. I’ll be doing this study (along with reading the Bible scriptures it suggests). And I’ve decided to do my prayer time in the car before listening to my audio book. There’s always a trade off with time and I think these chapters are short enough that I can truly do a chapter a day, for forty days. I often do other things on weekends when I have more time or less time – depending – so it might be 40 work days. I will let you know how the series goes and what I’m learning to bring me “joy”. Because at times I’ve just not had it lately during all the stress in the last year.

For a while now, I have wanted a back scrubber for the shower. This has two sides, a soft bristle side and a little bit of a stronger bristle side (although it still feels pretty soft as it’s not hurtful and the bristles still bend). I guess you use the tougher side to exfoliate. I should have had one of these all of my life. But even more so now because with my right shoulder, I can’t reach my back very well anymore to soap up. I used it this morning and love it.

So yesterday was the beginning of the Nudge Challenge.

Just a little nudge for 21 days to make better decisions on nutrition, drink more water, move my body more, focus more spiritually and in following God’s leading, and personal goals – movement toward things I’d like to do in the house or with my goals or reading, or photography, videography, and doing things I’ve had on my lists. All in an effort to be the healthiest and best me that I can be. Working and making efforts and seeing progress at these things make me happy in itself and make me feel like my life has some kind of meaning besides slaving away at work and doing everyone else’s agenda. I think self-care is not being selfish. But a recognition and celebration of the fact that you are a human being that God created and you have to take care of your psyche in order to be able to tend to others. The difference to me is that self-care helps you to be able to serve the world and not feel like you are a slave to world. If you don’t have your self in order, you can’t be much of any service to anyone else.

Photo by George Milton on Pexels.com

George and I did a little bit of planning this week for some things we want to do in April. We have had our February hibernation period (maybe January too except we were wildly busy in January and very much on the go – one could argue that February was busy too but we DID have a little more spare time in February, more than any other month since October. So we’ll call FEB a hibernation month.) March is here and March has quickly filled up – BAM! George said “Oh my gosh – we better get some of these things on the calendar before they get squashed out by other things.” And yes, we left room for Mom. While we can’t work over there every weekend, we do have some planned time in which to see to her needs and many desires as well. Although things are always going to be slower than she would like. We work FT and have our own lives to attend to as well as hers while I’m sure she sits there all day dreaming about what she wishes we would do, instead of looking around and enjoying what is already done. I know her well. I’ve been around her to long and can be just like her sometimes.

So what all is coming in April? We have a trip to Knoxville planned to stay with Kevin and Susan and celebrate Kevin’s birthday, and will be doing an Easter meal at our house and inviting Mom of course. And we have a brew bus trolley day scheduled as we do a brewery tour and may or may not stay in a hotel afterward. The hotel prices are pretty scary. Katy gave us the brew trolley tickets. We can hop on and off all day. We have a few other things on the slate for April as well. I’m not looking at my calendar but we have a few excursions we are discussing for getting out and doing things in some towns around us. Also mowing and planting season is coming. Not planning on planting much though. But I do need to stick some flowers out toward the end of April as I do each year. I’ve also taken my two weeks of vacation time and plugged it in where I needed it to be for the year. Sticking days into months where there was not a holiday day already. So that I have a day to do things I need to do for ME every once in a while. These catch up days really help a lot. And we are planning on Thanksgiving in TX. 🙂 It’s really just the best time to do this trip – weather wise, and work wise, and calendar wise.

As for this week – we are taking Mom to Cracker Barrel Thursday night and that also now includes another grocery run as she needs a few things and we’ll get chili dogs for Saturday for her place as we’ll be hanging pictures and helping her unpack that day. I told her we can get more done if we eat there and not have to get out and go eat. I can fix it. I was going to bring sandwiches but then realized that chili hot dogs sounded so good to me. George has located her vent filters she wants at our Lowe’s here and will buy more nails as the ones Mom bought went missing and she didn’t get home with them.

Mom had not wanted me to help anymore with the unpacking as I’d offered, because she said she just had to do it herself but she is tired of doing it now and asked me to help so I will help her. George also has to lift some things that are blocking other things though and we’ll get some things taken out of the garage and take to Good Will. The garage is so full of things she has accumulated for years, with not much opportunity to downsize before moving.

So it is all coming together slowly for Mom. The place is beautiful and so much has come together but she is ready to see her things – Nic Nacs and pictures to complete the scene – especially as she is beginning to make friends and they are going to each other’s house. So we’ll have a big work day Saturday and do what we can til the next big work day. (It won’t be every weekend but we can do a few here and there as we have things we need to do also.) So we’ll get her to her furniture place again one day soon. And George is getting the TV hung (currently sitting on a stand) but he’s having to order the right wall bracket. Nothing is ever easy, lol.

Anyway today I’m getting my nails done. And next week both Mom and I are getting our toes done one day. I haven’t set the day yet. I’ll look at the schedule on the weekend and figure that out.

Little Bit says hello. He loves this black blanket. He’s camouflaged. Sometimes it scares me when he moves as I don’t even know he’s there. lol

Meanwhile in TEXAS….There is another Little Bit (Little Roo) in Black. lol I see his guitar on the floor in the background (upper left corner, lol). And the tail of the black little Findlay running around him always!

Ok so I’m going to work on the the flooring video tomorrow morning and we’ll be back on Friday. This week is really rolling along, just like the rest of them.

I went to the store last night too after work, after going to the bookstore to buy a Bible for a friend, and bought some a salad for lunch today and some dark chocolate covered almonds. I also bought dark chocolate covered frozen bananas, lol. Anyway these things are making me happy as I look forward to them. Ok over and out. Be safe. Thanks for being here and reading.

Kicking January Out of the Way Today / Here Comes Fun February

Good morning! I am going to work today feeling good about our weekend. Even though work ended up hogging much of each day, we were able to accomplish a lot. I mean just getting the Christmas trees and Christmas stuff out of the way was a big deal. I was able to finish getting the rest of the normal Nic Nacs back out and those tubs out of our den. And while I obviously didn’t get anywhere near all the things I’d hoped to, we got some things done that I didn’t intend on that were big things.

And guess what! We have our Hot Springs weekend booked with Katy and Cody and Little Roo! Katy picked out a nice and cutely decorated 3 BR house on VRBO (River Roo gets his own room so he can sleep good). So excited to get that done. I figured it would be after Feb 1 when we got that done so that was another surprise for myself.

I also was able to set up a focus board for myself so I know “where I’m at” when I come and go! And I listed my goals for 2022 for things I wanted to work on, change, fix, improve. One section is for the video work. I also have to keep track of what date I’m on with my iPhone photos/videos so I can put them either in my 2021 or 2022 photo files or I can put them in video project files (either way both are kept) and that is how I easily can go from video to video. Probably in Spring or early summer, I’ll have another quarter’s worth to go through. But I always have to know where to begin in my photos on my iPhone. I have gone through all of them through Dec 18th, lol. I also have a section here for Mom’s needs and my own desires and to do’s. It doesn’t list them all but at least the couple of weeks anyway. I was really happy to get this done.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I got some work done and the day really went fast. I worked mid day into the afternoon. George had needed a hair cut but we really didn’t get time as I worked until after the game started and then he was into the game and then we went to Mom’s and took BBQ and took her the couple of packages of frozen biscuits and her mail, which had some important things in it. I was just feeling like it’d been a week and she was probably ready to see us. But I appreciate being given the week this past week to focus on Work Impossible. It should be a show, lol. I made a list on the year end returns and/or w-2 reporting for all the state I do, and it’s 3 legal pad pages long. I’ve done about 2.5 of it and all since Friday. Nutzoid. Some states go by fast though as some have ZERO employees and some have just a few. Even with ZERO employees you still have go in and file zero, to keep the state open. We usually keep them open in case a sales person is put there again. So anyway I’ll go try and knock out a few more today but we will not meet the goal of getting it all done. I don’t think we ever have but we get close. We are down to the manual hand entry of hundred or so employees depending on the turnover. You don’t do that overnight. It takes about a minute or two to enter each person and other minute or so to check it b/c if you don’t balance it’s a night mare to go back and figure out. So anyway, Jan 31 is finally here, we are not through but at least the deadline is coming and going. And Mom’s fixing chili tonight for us and we’ll celebrate. lol lol lol

I also have Wed night to get nails/pedi done but may have to change if the weather gets bad. We have another system coming through and I’m not sure of all the details yet, but my nails/toes are horrid. I’ve put it off b/c of work so I could stay late, and my nail place is closed tomorrow. We have plans with neighbors Thursday night and my other opportunity would be Friday.

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on Pexels.com

Little Roo was dedicated at church yesterday – meaning he was prayed over and “given to God” to become His to work through and he is being raised to do God’s will. There is a sweet photo of them at church yesterday but I don’t really want (well I do, but I won’t) to post it here.

So I tried to find a wallpaper to use for February for my iPhone. I didn’t really find exactly what I wanted yet, but here are a few I downloaded from Canva, if you need one.

I went with the last one.

So I’ve cleaned up the debris from the last video and I’m ready to download Final Cut Pro! I will wait til I get some time though – might have to be this weekend. Saturday is Fancy trim day and Mom wants to go to Bed Bath and Beyond and then get a few groceries. So maybe late Saturday or Sunday I’ll get time. We’ll see.

One of the things we’ll be doing though is focusing on the house this month as we have friends over on the 19th. We only have this weekend and next to get everything ready. So yes, February is a busy month too but at least it will be more fun, one can only hope.

One of the changes we are making this year is to have a creative night during the week instead of watching TV together. Because we can’t get the time on the weekends so much anymore it seems so we will be starting that soon. George has some recording he wants to do and I have, of course, things I’m working on that I never get to do. We might also read those nights – it’s just a night to accomplish things we aren’t getting to otherwise due to changes and more responsibilities. Here is George’s Christmas present that he wanted.

It’s amazing how different we all are. I mean if I had to learn what all those knobs and buttons do I’d go crazy (crazier).

OK well I better get to work and try to knock out what I can on the remainder of these w-2 reports for the Impossible Month and get payroll ready to run tomorrow. It is what it is and it is what it was. lol.

Stay tuned as at some point this week I’ll be giving you a rather humorous list of what all this blog should have been named! ha.

So welcome to February (tomorrow) and I have never been so glad for February to be here. We are picking an Asian place for Valentine dinner and have a list to choose from (did you think we’d do it any other way?) Tonight we start knocking a couple off – we will each cross one off the list – until close to Valentine’s and we will have decided where to go. We picked low cost, no reservations, no waiting options.

What are you looking forward to in February?

Travel Planning, Planning Mom’s Move, and Christmas Planning

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Nice to have a bit of sunshine in our lives. After raining for several days, the clouds parted and the sun came through. It’s Friday and has been a busy week of working toward everyone’s agendas. At work and at home. Very little time for play or personal projects.

At work, the month end taxes have been paid as well as the quarter end taxes. I’m about half way through with the withholding returns. It seems to take forever, this process, but I’m slowing ticking the boxes through. We tried to add another state to the system and the system said “nah ah, not gonna”. Can’t pay taxes and file returns with “nah ah, not gonna” system information so that all has to be figured out with programmers before we can finish out the quarter, or even do reconciliation.

I was hoping it was Jesus, but it was just a double rainbow —“just a double rainbow” —I catch myself saying but in comparison to Jesus one can say that. Rainbows are special and so is a double one as it’s a sign of God’s promise, but Jesus himself parting the clouds would have been better —for believers anyway. this particular rainbow was so vivid. It’s the brightest most magical one I’ve seen and it was only part of one. It was a pleasure driving down the interstate toward it. To me it meant God saying, “I’m here, the rain is ending, I’m not going to flood the earth and it’s all going to be ok.”

We went out Wednesday night with Paul and Judy to eat with them and they brought a pile of leftover food from freezer and pantry, bless them. We bought their dinner in return. Their house closed Thursday, movers came supposedly and they are off to Florida now for their retirement home. Can I whine and whimper? It’s been fun having them around, good knowing friends are around the corner, people that care, someone you knew that would have your back when needed and for them the same. I’m thankful for friends that have understood my flooring situation with the dogs and my unwillingness to entertain with that going on. Both Judy and Lisa have still embraced me without judging (I hope) as we have mainly spent time at their houses. Now that we have new flooring, I will soon be able to pay the favor once Mom’s grocery boxes are gone from the living room, but Paul and Judy are gone! We will miss the annual ornament party too and our LRC games. I hear the invitations may still go out one day and they’ll see who shows up in Florida, lol. Maybe one day we’ll get a December vacation in FL. We could see Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken and then see Judy and Paul. But I don’t think they are close to each other. Complete opposite ends of the state. But we also want to go back to Maine for a vacation sometime so we’ll see. Lots of travel plans stuck in the back pocket, just waiting for “time” as always. Once we retire, we’ll have a bit more time. Our only limits then will be finances or health issues.

So we have spent some time planning our upcoming trip to East TN in December. The last I typed we just knew the dates and what we wanted to do but we have the timeline down so I can go ahead and book hotels. I’ve figured out one hotel and just have to pin down the other. I’m almost ready to get them booked.

We have had family conversations about Christmas. As of now, it appears that Cody and Katy will not be coming for Christmas because everyone will be coming there at River’s birthday in January. At this news I’ve requested that we at least be able to “do Christmas” together at their house. I was glad to have our little bundle of joy last year but I missed our special Christmas time still and I don’t want that to become habit. It’s important to me to have our “opening”. It doesn’t have to be on Christmas Day, as some have demanded in our family, but I’ll take what I can get.

So now conversations have to happen about what is happening as it is time to order gifts before we get so involved with Mom’s move and getting her settled. Will need to have time to ship things there or just order on Amazon and send there. I’m not sure what the answer is. They also don’t have much space and there is construction going on around their house with the addition of a new bedroom. So…we have to figure this out so we can get things started. We are flying to TX so won’t have a car load of gifts to take.

We’ve also asked for Christmas Wishes from them and also Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken, who also wanted ours. So we have things we will be ordering now, again, once I can get some time. Weekend is coming although it is shaping up to be quite busy. It seemed a clean slate but as the week has gone by we have added more and more to it. We are to take Fancy for a trim, Mom wants to eat breakfast out, George wants to go to yard sales while out. I’ll have to have a few hours to do laundry and prep for next week, a mini grocery run, need to get these hotels booked, some shopping done on line, and get this video done. The video is screaming at me. It longs to be finished. An hour a week doesn’t get it, lol! So I’ll be blogging a bit less to get some of this done. You all seem pretty busy too. I am sure people are reading as I get about a 100 hits a day but not all are serious blog readers!

So all that is going on around here is mainly this:

Gearing up for Mom’s move as George orders the moving van this weekend. PTO time is already put in and the time requested. They better NOT move the dates around at this point as we have already scheduled our lives and asked off for work and all.

Getting plans in place for Christmas, shopping starting.

Getting these hotels booked.

And me over here trying my best to get through the to do list so I can work on a video, most of my own personal to do’s taking a back seat to all the rest of the goings on. Tis that time of year. But I’m determined and I plan to find time to finish the video this weekend. Just a few more edits and tweaks – almost there. I just love the entire process of making/editing the videos. The hard part for me is just finding the time. It’s fun to finish one up and then pull in the next folder into the time line to see what we have and how to blend it together. I’m usually surprised as I forget things I’ve video’d. But I’m anxious to get more done as I keep them in my iPhone/iCloud til I’m finished but it still makes my phone slow at times. I’ll delete them once the video is made. They are already in folders but once I deleted them off my phone and they showed up black in the video. So I’m afraid to do that now in case there was a connection. But this is the time of year I get further behind in the videos. We have less time due to the holidays.

So the busiest time of the year is upon us. Do you feel things ramping up on your end? Or is it just us? We are just pushing early this year due to Mom’s Move falling at the time we would normally be out shopping so want to make sure we get it all in before we go in sane.

Better go and get on the road. My soul and my psyche needs more coffee. Ya’ll have a splendid weekend ahead. I’d love to hear your plans for the weekend. Anything special?