Two Busy Days, Three Misunderstandings, and a Few Surprises

The picture above is what my heart feels like when I get the rare day off to work on all the things I need and want to be working on at home. My heart sings with glee. And coffee. Even if only for a few minutes.

Friday

Friday I worked til 11:30 and did what I could for quarter end. Made some pretty good progress across last week with catching up and getting month end almost finished. I’m sure I lost ground a bit Friday by leaving early. So I drove to Lebanon to get Mom. She had on a top with black in it and navy pants. I asked if she meant to wear navy or black pants and she said black. So she changed into black pants. It’s hard to see the difference in black and navy as you grow older. I often have an issue with that as far as my socks go. Then we went on Hendersonville to the eye doctor so she can get her shot. And then we ate in Hendersonville afterward at Lincoya for a mid afternoon “linner”. A cross b/w lunch and dinner, lol.

Chicken Park at Lincoya, Hendersonville, TN
Cute Restaurant Decor at Lincoya, Hendersonville, TN

Mom got a burger and I got the chicken parmesan. It was so good. Then we went thru Dutch Bros and I got some iced coffee as I’d not had caffeine and after the meal I was very sleepy. I ended up getting an iced coffee, and it was pretty good, but I’d have been better off with the hot black coffee.

I took Mom home and we got her mail and then I stayed over there for a few minutes and caught up on email, blog comments, orders I’d placed, texts, and checked Instagram from River Roo updates. It was nice to just sit in the recliner and do that. Mom had said that George would need to come over the next day and check a fuse box or switch as she had an outlet that was tripped. I asked if it was something I could do or look at and she said no that George would have to do it.

I came home and was not hungry for dinner with George so we watched one of our shows and I fixed pop corn around 8:30 as I was getting hungry for something. Then headed to bed around 9:30 or 10:00.

Saturday

I had set my alarm for 6:00 so I got up fixed coffee, showered, and got ready. George got up and had just enough time for coffee and a shower as well. I was able to gather up some clothes and put them in the laundry but didn’t start it yet as he was showering. And I had just enough time to get in a Target order as I needed to order some make up items and laundry items. I never had my make up colors with me at the store and also Target has my face wipes, and I was out. So checked that off the list.

We left and got to Mom’s just before 8:00 and George checked the fuse box but nothing seemed amiss. The switch on the electrical outlet just needed to have the “reset” button pushed. So he did that and it began working again. On the way to the dog spa, Mom exclaimed how she just loved her little house. It made my heart just melt. I was so happy to hear those words.

Then we took Fancy and dropped her off at the doggie spa. I made reservation for Fancy at 7 weeks out because I couldn’t remember if it was 6 weeks or 8 weeks that we went. When I got to the car Mom said to change it and make it 6 weeks instead of 7. (Insert favorite eye roll emoji here, lol).

Then we went to eat breakfast at First Watch. It was so incredibly good. It was nice and relaxing. At first they wanted to put us at the front door table and I told the hostess we’d wait for a table toward the back b/c it was a cold morning and I didn’t want our breakfast time to be ruined by freezing and being right at the front where people came and went. It was worth the extra three minutes. 😉 I was glad I spoke up as it would have been miserable up there by the door – when you eat out you also pay for an experience and that was not the aura (freezing and people brushing by) that I wanted, lol. And I knew Mom would be miserable and then we would all be.

First Watch Classic Breakfast with Bacon
Sorry guys at the table next door, but I wanted a pic of the restaurant, lol
Napkin Wrapper at First Watch

George gave me his napkin wrapper that said “I love you more than Bacon”. lol I’m so glad. That is something to be honored because Bacon is special. Too bad he didn’t have this to give on our wedding day. lol

After Breakfast we took Mom to the bank to cash a check and make a deposit. As George drove off she said we may have to go back as they didn’t give her all the money. She had me count it but it was all there. I was so afraid we’d have to go back and there would be an encounter with the bank but luckily all was fine and everything was done as she had requested. Just temporary confusion.

After that we dropped George off at the house. He had things he wanted to do and he went to the store for he and I. I had to give him my list while we were at the restaurant.

Temporary Landslide of Conversation

So then Mom and I headed off to the furniture store. In the process Mom began talking about how she was going to arrange her furniture in the den to hold more people. She said she reckoned my sister and her family would never come to see her so she would not need as many seats if all was there at once.

I told her “probably not and honestly Mom I just try not to think about her as it makes me sin to do so”. She asked what that meant. I said that it makes me mad that she is not there to help at least some. I guess it made Mom mad when I said that and she said “well I’m sorry I’m such a burden to you”. Then that made me mad then and I told her that my not wanting to sin against my sister had absolutely zero to do about her being a burden but that it had everything to do with my sister giving some of her beach time to lend a hand with her mother here and there. I told her “seeeeeee, this is why I chose to clear my mind of her because I don’t want to be judgmental or be angry or think bad of her and the only way I can do it is to just not think of her.” (Otherwise I go there and think of all that is happened and it hardens my heart and makes me angry as I remember all the ugly texts I received and hurt I went through, not to mention her not letting Mom see the grandkids much and having them withdrawn from her life almost completely. It just all starts to get a foothold if I let it. The ONLY way I don’t go there is if I let the thought come and go try not to think about it all so that I can forgive. I can understand drawing boundaries but I can’t understand the complete cruelty of the withdrawal and I often am overwhelmed by the remembrance of the ugly texts I received early on. There is so much I don’t understand. That I will likely never understand so I’ve tried to understand all I can and just try not to think about her anymore because it hurts too much.)

Anyway that is when Mom said again she should have just stayed in Columbia. I said “do you know how that makes me feel? (after all we did the last year and still do – it makes me feel like it was all for nothing). And I said “and then what would have happened?” She said “I guess the move would have had to have happened eventually.” I said “yes, b/c we were not quitting our jobs and moving down there and there’s nobody left that can do things for you there”.

During the conversation I missed my turn off for I-40 and had to turn around. I told her that these conversations upset me because I know that conversations with her escalate very quickly and I showed her how my hands were shaking. It was just the same type of conversation that ended my Mom’s and Sister’s relationship. It was a discussion about “time” and “doing things for Mom”. And in that part I’m very forgiving of my sister because I had ten more years of erupting conversations than she did.

Sooooooo many conversations went awry with yelling through the years and so it makes me so nervous that I walked on egg shells around her most of my life. So I was shaking yesterday so badly. These experiences are the dark side of life that we are not proud of and ashamed of because we spend time wondering what it is we’ve done so wrong to deserve it. It can mess you up. It also makes you look for acceptance in other ways. Like this blog.

But back to my sister, It’s just the intentional decision to not help Mom in anyway that I ended up having a harder time forgiving. I get the not wanting to be around drama and yelling and raised voices. But to me, it’s the “leaving someone for dead” that can’t help themselves that gets me. So I try not to ponder my sister. I try not to think about these bad scenes that have occurred across my life and made such and impression on me. I try to forget them and go on. I try to understand what might cause Mom to react in such a way. Sometimes maybe fear. I always really just concluded that it was just her wanting to have her way or wanting to control things. But one really doesn’t know as we often shove these bad times under the rug. I don’t like conflict and I don’t do well being yelled at. I will either shrink like a bug under the rug and hideout, or I will come out screaming like a wild Indian for my side to be heard. You never know, I was taught the one way to react but having learn the other. And it is not easy as we tend to follow the behavior we’ve been modeled. Fact.

So back to our conversation. Boundaries set.

I explained to Mom that I wanted to make it very clear that I don’t mind helping her and that I enjoy a lot of it that we do, but what I can’t do is give my entire spare time over to her as I have to live my life too. I also told her I could not even give her 50% of my spare time. But she needed to understand I don’t mind helping but I do mind giving her most of my spare time. So at least that part was said as I’ve been struggling, as you know with trying to find balance and figure out what God wants me to do and all that.

Finally I got turned around and on I-40 toward the furniture store, hands shaking. I really like it when George is with us so these conversations don’t happen. She is less likely to open cans of worms when he is with us. There is just too much fuel from the past (most of which I have not shared and likely will not) and it ignites so quickly. We know each others ways so well. My nerves were rattled. But I was less shaky as we arrived at the Furniture store. I knew her focus would be on getting her furniture at that point. And “the sister” and “the move” would be back under the table to fester for later.

I was so happy to hear she was finally happy at her place early in the day, but I should have known the opposite would come out later and did with her wishing she had not moved – which I think was after I said I wished my sister would help. By that I think I saw quickly that she doesn’t realize how little time we have but I already knew that. She didn’t work FT much or have a commute so it’s clear that she doesn’t have a concept of how much or little time we have off. Instead of understanding it’s easier to just say “I’m sorry I’m such a burden”. And I guess that is a guilt tactic, I don’t know. I know she doesn’t even realize what she is doing when she says things like that, but I think it’s more of a way to protect herself than to try and understand where I’m coming from. It’s pointless to come to an understanding of each other’s feelings so I just try to avoid these kinds of conversations as they cannot be had calmly.

When Mom feels she is being misunderstood she raises her voice. I do that too as I learned from her. And I’ve had to try to unlearn that. Especially at work and in my marriage. George knows I’ve tried and I think he respects that. He knows what pushes my buttons and even though I try, when I’m tired or pushed to the edge, I often will revert back to old behaviors, defense mechanisms, and angry responses.

I do understand the angry responses come from a lack of properly being able to express oneself and be understood. Where Mom often gets angry if you don’t agree with her, I have been trying to at least understand that others have an opinion. But I’m going down a rabbit hole with these things.

The conversation we had today was simply a basic few words but for each of us it had separate deeply rooted feelings which like a volcano can erupt. At this point in my life, I don’t mind writing about it because 1) I need to try and understand it myself and writing it out helps 2) Perhaps it can help someone else working through similar issues 3) I love Mom and she cared for me, fed me, and kept me safe growing up and gave me wonderful meals and Christmas holidays so I am not having a bash session here, just an honest one. 4) Every family has issues and no one talks about it but we should so we can all begin to heal or try to make it better somehow 5) If you don’t want to be on the news or blog tomorrow, be nice today, lol. 6) I know on the flip side I’m being talked about – as none of us has a therapist – we wouldn’t speak to one another at all if we did because we would “boundary” each other out by now. 7) I need to be able to be heard and this is the best way for me to express it – I’m not even sure I understand the dynamics myself. So I’m grasping at straws here.

George says I overthink too much, but that is coming from someone who analyzes everything. lol I’m trying to learn to live with face value but it’s hard to do when you know there are ice burgs under the surface – or volcanos, as mentioned.

Furniture Store

As we arrived at Smith Furniture, Mom said “Now is this Ashley?”

“No Mom it’s Smith”.

“Oh I thought we were going to Ashley first”.

“Earlier in our conversation I thought you wanted to see what Smith wanted and if they didn’t have what you needed you can go back to Ashley.”

“Well this is ok”

“Good because we are hear now and Ashley is in the area where we just came from”.

Smith Furniture Store, Lebanon, TN

(Insert sound of angels singing here and light shining from heaven above). Mom found her furniture. She went with the old fashioned handle on the recliners. She said that it is annoying when the electricity goes off or gets disconnected. She certainly didn’t want anything with lots of buttons as I think she really can’t see them anyway. These were comfortable. She has ordered two of these for her living room. Mainly as she has a corner with an antique bookshelf on it so a smaller love seat fits better. The downside is that they only had one and they are delivering that Monday. The second one will take 6 to 8 months to come in. And it is on order. But I encouraged her to take what she liked because it’s going to be the same just about anywhere. It doesn’t have electrical components so I told her it might come in a little quicker. But who knows, at least she will have the newer piece for herself to sit on and it’s easier for her to get in and out of.

She was VERY excited. And I’m excited for her. It will look very nice in her place. Her place is coming together beautifully. It’s very pretty.

So Fancy was not ready yet, so we stopped at KFC to get tea with lemon and they didn’t have lemon and gave us a little bit of lemonade in it. At the window the lady said “it’s me today ladies, you two have a great day”. So we gave her a tip of two dollars and told her it was for her personal tip jar. That was so nice.

We went to look at patio furniture at a second hand place and they were just not useable. Very worn. And so Mom wanted to check things out at Big Lots. So we drove to the edge of Hermitage to go there and check things out. Lots of traffic and people out. But we got a good parking spot and walked in. I enjoyed myself after we looked at their patio furniture. Nothing would work – either too big or not made well. I encouraged her to wait.

While I was shopping (found 3 tops there as they had more clothes) Fancy’s spa called and Fancy was ready so I had to rush through the store and then get checked out.

We went to pick up Fancy who was glad to see us and just looked so pretty. She needed a trim badly. I was able to get the date changed to 6 weeks instead of 7 for the trim.

And then we headed for Publix. Fancy was very unsettled and we decided she might have to potty so I found a spot to take her near Publix. It was kinda hard to get out of though because of traffic. Mom sat in the car and held Fancy while I did her shopping. She really wanted to go in but Publix was on the way to her house. And afterwards Mom wanted KFC.

So after running through Publix I got the groceries and then put them in the car and we headed to KFC. We got a bucket so Mom would have leftovers for tomorrow.

Oh no!

When we got to her house as I was unloading everything Mom began putting things in the Fridge and as I brought in another load she said “Sonya my fridge is not working!”

I immediately went to a negative attitude as I was tired and we were just bringing in a lot of fresh groceries. I said “oh my gosh I cannot win for losing”. I mean if you were me, would you not have said something similar at that point? lol

So I said “let me check the breaker” and guess what I fixed it! I who am labeled as “can’t do anything without George” fixed it! Go me! lol To be fair, I think we both were surprised. And to not offend those who say I can’t do anything, I often claim that label myself, so no worries – just keep on saying it – I’ll either prove you wrong or prove you right. Doesn’t matter anyway!

I texted George to let him know that we ate a really late lunch as we got done about 4 or so and that I was not hungry. He had been planning on fixing salmon for us.

Contaminated Beer and a YouTube Misunderstanding

After eating and putting up the chicken and dishes, I headed back home. I was too tired to settle in with anything on my list. I gave myself a break and sat and the recliner with a cold beer which I chose to pour in a glass. I took a few sips and had tiny sticks in my mouth. I thought the beer was contaminated. I got up and the glass I poured it in had rosemary in it. I had gotten in from the (supposedly) clean cabinet. But a man mostly runs the kitchen. I mean this is the guy who when he was a kid, fed the dog, let the dog lick the spoon, and put the spoon back in the drawer. This is the guy who fixed dinner for me when dating, spilled the salad on the floor, scooped it up and put it back in the bowl. Later – much later – admitted he had done that after I had mentioned – also much later -how that salad had hair and everything in it. lol

So I got up and got another non-rosemary glass after careful inspection and began watching some YouTube shows. The cat soon came and relaxed with me.

While watching my shows, I realized I was no longer subscribed to Keep Your Daydream. I am not sure how that happened. It bothered me. Had I accidentally unsubscribed – no I’m not on that screen usually. Had they kicked me off? Maybe. There was someone that I accidentally hit the dislike button instead of like on my phone as my finger is too big for the texts and icons and I totally missed it. I corrected it immediately but I had to wonder if YouTube hadn’t reported the alert anyway as it did happen even though I corrected it. I would never purposely give anyone a dislike on there and certainly not my heroes at Keep Your Daydream. It really bothered me the rest of the day thinking they probably kicked me off. I resubscribed and felt so bad. My intention is only to encourage and I cringed at the thought that I might have created bad will in any form. I wanted to text them but chose not to because after all I wasn’t totally sure they had kicked me off. I suppose I could have unsubscribed unknowingly but I figured they were the ones I accidentally hit dislike on.

Yet a Third Misunderstanding

George failed to read his text and so got up to make dinner. I asked him what he was having. He said I am having the salmon we have talked about all weekend. I thought he might eat something different since I wasn’t eating. He said “you are not eating?” No did you not read my text? I already had dinner.

He said “we’ve been planning on eating salmon”. I said “I’m sorry it is just the way it ended up”. We were not hungry for lunch at lunch time but by 3 we were but we didn’t get a chance to eat it at 4 because of putting groceries and the fridge dilemma. He was disappointed but I was not going to stuff myself and eat twice. I was kinda hungry by 9:30 when I went to bed but I didn’t eat anything – I just drank water. My first though again was how difficult it was to please everyone in my life even though there really only George and Mom and me most of the time, lol lol lol. So I let it go. I texted him but I can’t help it if he didn’t read the text. He kept saying how we planned to eat salmon but things and circumstances changed and I let him know as soon as it did. But he didn’t check his phone so he didn’t know. I did my part and I did the best I could.

My To Do Lists Today

And here is the rest of it……..I cropped out the top part and it made it bigger, lol.

In review, All I can suggest is that for those that don’t understand, try better to. And I will do with same. I’m trying. I have been trying. I think it’s really all I ever wanted, was be understood. It’s so hard to have happen these days as our past experiences seem to define a lot of what we have learned and understood from the past. So while we try to have a new prospective on a new day, it often leans back on what we’d already learned from before. Deep stuff I know. We each have a lot of history and baggage as we age and while our psyches need to have protection we still have to be able to do that and not let down our guard too much. But we still have to try to let go of somethings and not weigh ourselves down and try let each day begin anew, with an open mind and what is hard for me, is an open heart. Mine has been stomped on and reconstructed and deflated and kicked around in so many ways. I wonder how I manage anything anymore but I get up trying again every day.

I am excited to have the day. A lot to cram in, but I’ve enjoyed it already being able to blog my heart out. So there you have the last two days. And much of my insides poured out. One day happiness will show up again. Til then I’m content to just lean on God and get there one day at time until I can finally reach bubble over stages with joy. But that might not come til I get a dog! 😉 Can a dog lead one out of a depression and funk? Honestly I’m kinda not even wanting to do anything anymore so that is my first sign of going into one. I’m teetering in and out of it. I need a dog.

Today I’ve probably said too much, but in a way it needs to be purged and said. I’ve kept so many things quiet in my life. I’ve shoved too many conversations and life experiences under the rug. I’m simply just wanting to live my life without conflict, without drama, do what God needs me to do and try to be happy from here and just let go. So I’m breathing today. Looking forward to tomorrow. And I need the dog.

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.

Come Bargain Shop With Me / We’ll Have Fun

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