Thursday, January 12, 2012

Try Harder

Today is a try harder day.
As I sit at my desk, looking out at the wind blowing an American flag straight out, snow swirling about in eddies, I am thankful for the warmth of my office. I am trying hard to remain focused on the tasks at calls that need to be returned, documents to print and mail, claims to be followed up on....and my eyes just keep returning to the window and the outside.
I woke up at 8:47AM. I must have been sleeping hard because the alarm clock, which was set for 7AM, was impatiently beeping. Shadow and Ghost were on either side of me, staring me down. I groaned as I realized that I was supposed to be at work in 13 minutes and I wasn't going to make it. I had to try hard not to let panic set in.
I got up, poured myself a glass of juice, got dressed (no time for a shower this morning :>( ) and went out to start the car. In my not quite awake haze, I opened the car door not thinking about the fact that it was covered in snow. All that beautiful powder dropped right into my passenger seat. I had to try hard not to grumble. I took the window scraper/brush and brushed it all off. Back inside, I brushed my teeth, grabbed a Laura bar and my juice and headed out into the morning. I had to try to not to panic as I was late and the roads were not cleared. A quick message to Tim to tell him I was on my way but late and I started the journey in.
It was stop and go, some places fine and others still pristine with fallen snow. I arrived safely, thankful that my normal commute is only about 15 minutes unlike that of most I know. Waiting on my desk was a cup of hot chocolate. I had to try not to cry as that simple act of kindness meant so much on such a try harder morning.
So it is now 3PM. The flow of the day has been calls, claims and normal office routine. I'm thankful that the number of claims has been at a minimum and that those I care about are safe. I'm thankful that my daddy taught me to keep at least a half a tank of gas in the car and because of this I put gas in last night. I'm thankful that I had a pair of snow boots to put on to keep my feet dry, even though the snow isn't very deep. I'm thankful that a month ago, I had two new tires put on the front of my car. I'm thankful that on try harder days, I have a Heavenly Daddy who gently reminds me that the attitude of the day is a choice. I can choice to let the events dictate my attitude or I can choose to remain positive and try harder.
The day has not been an easy one. Yet, I am trying harder to face each unexpected twist with a smile and to find the blessing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yes Mom I've Updated My Blog

Hard to believe, I know.....however I am home tonight and I am not past the point of exhaustion. I feel like I actually accomplished a few things tonight. One load of laundry was washed, dried and put away. The dishes were all washed. I vacuumed the living/dining room floor. I made a VERY simple birthday card for Colin....only a week late. And I made a batch of gluten free pumpkin muffins.

I had pumpkin left over in the fridge from when I made a pie at Christmas. It had not yet molded so I thought I had better use it up fast. I used raw sugar instead of regular cane sugar. As the muffins cooled on the rack, Shadow decided to knock one on the floor. I, stupidly, had put them on "her " counter under the pass through. I used the five second rule and tasted it and they just don't taste the same or as good as my earlier batches. I'm not sure if its the change in sugar or maybe the pumpkin wasn't as good as I thought it was :>( Oh well, I will still eat them because it's something sweet to eat that won't cause my lips to swell up like I am from, well I'm not going to go there.

Tomorrow is a long day, so posting is not probable. I work from 9 to 9 tomorrow. The forecast is for snow showers and I am praying they hold off until I am home. If I wake up to 6 inches that's fine, I just don't want to drive home in 6 inches.

Today is day 18 of reading in my Chronological Bible. Jacob is dying and Jospeh takes his two sons to Jacob to be blessed. I have realized for the first time that Jacob as the younger son stole his brother's blessing. Jacob then blessed the younger before the older with Joseph's sons. This reminds me of the passage in the New Testatement which reads "that the last shall be first and the first shall be last".
I also read that Jacob describes Simeon and Levi as violent and angry. But weren't the Levite's priests?
I find it sad that Jacob was not buried with Rachel yet at the same time comforted that he was taken home. Isn't that what we all want when that time comes, to go home? This is true both in a factual and spiritual manner. I also find it comforting to know that God always has a plan. Because Jacob was in Egypt, his body was able to be embalmed and taken back to the place of his people.
Reading this story of Joseph again has reminded me that even though we may not understand why when we go through hardships, trials, troubles, pain and hurt God always has a reason and uses that low for something positive.
Today I am thankful for that I am employed, that I have remained flu free so far, that I have food in my pantry, a roof over my head and heat to keep me warm.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monkey, Big T, Slap

I didn't drown!!!! Although it was rather comical as I tried to find a swimming suit among my clothes. I had that has been worn once and one that I wore maybe three years ago. I took them both with me. The new one was WAY too big. The old one fit but it was SO thin and as I would come up out of the water I had to grab the top to keep from flashing everyone around me. So a new suit is on the shopping list once I have money.

The instructor started me out on my stomach using a noodle. We worked on kicking and then added arms. I did OK on that and was soon able to do it without the noodle. We moved to the basic backstroke which is where the title of this blog post comes in. I put the noodle behind me, stretch out on my back and bring me arms in like a monkey, out like a big T and slap my thighs while flutter kicking. This propels me through the water. I did it but this is something I am going to have to work on. It's a trust thing is what the instructor says. The instuctor told me I did a very good job. Lesson 2 is Wednesday.

Today was a VERY long day, Monday's usually are. I was up at 6:30, took my shower, ate breakfast, read a bit of the Bible and did the dishes (they didn't get done last night). I walked into work right at 9AM and the phone was already ringing. It stayed constant all day long one phone call, one client after another. I got off work and went to Wal-Mart to get Shadow food. Thank goodness Mom had given me cash as the checking account is in the negative and payday isn't until Friday. I had enough to get a small bag of food for the baby. Speaking of the baby, here is one of my favorite pictures:

Tomorrow night I am meeting some ladies from church for "game night". I'm really looking forward to it. Hope you have a great Tuesday.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Or in the case of this blog....One day forward and two days back.

Tomorrow night I am taking a swim lesson from the aquatics director at the YMCA. I had scheduled with her a couple of weeks ago but cancelled due to money. Pam (the director) came in tonight and told me that there was no charge for the lesson. So I scheduled with her for tomorrow night. I had mentioned doing this to Dad while he was here and he replied "SWIMMING LESSON! You already know how to swim....Brenda's pool remember?" Yes I remember Brenda's pool and I remember the fact that it was only five feet deep. I could stand up when I was tired of pretending to swim. I love being in the water but have no comfort level past five feet. Plus Carson and Delaney are fish and if I were ever with them in a deep water situation and something happened....well that's just one of many reasons.

Today I worked. I wasn't originally scheduled but a coworker wanted off to spend the day with her parents. I can use the extra money right now for preventive maintenance on the car, so I took her shift. It wasn't a hard fact, I did very little but monitor NFL scores in between the handful of customers. I was tired though so I was glad for the quietness of the afternoon. I didn't make it to Sunday School or church this morning. I was up at 6:30 thanks to Shadow (she is still on her and dad's routine). I opened the door for her even though the morning was brisk, brushed my teeth, took some sinus medicine and crawled back into bed. I was up again at 9:30 but still felt groggy and had a slight headache. So I stayed on the couch reading a book with Shadow curled up on me. It was rather sad this morning. Lucy was laying outside my front door...waiting for dad. Shadow kept getting up and going to the back door expecting him to come in that way. They too have gotten used to having him here and miss him.

Friday night I saw Carson and Delaney at the YMCA. They were there for their climbing class. Carson and I started talking football as usual and I told him that I picked the Buffalo Bills to beat the Lions. He responded "no way, they are 0 and 9". I asked him if wanted to bet on it and he said that he bet me $5. Well, the Bills beat the Lions today by 2 points. I called him from work and he said in a very dejected voice "I know. I'm not paying you though." I asked him why he wasn't going to pay me and he replied because he didn't want to. I had told him on Friday that I would come over to his house tonight when I got off work so we could watch the Sunday night game. I stopped by after work but he wouldn't come up out of the downstairs family room. Poor guy was embarressed. Tim told me to go talk to Carson and I said that I was just going to go home. I understood how the little guy felt and didn't want to make him any more uncomfortable. Well, Carson called me to apologize and said that he wasn't going to gamble every again. LOL

I took Dad to Nashville yesterday. He had been with me a little over two weeks and I have to say I miss him. I had gotten used to meeting me in the driveway when I would get home from work, a kiss on the head good night before bed. He was SO relaxed while he was here and I am glad that I can provide this place of serenity for him. I know that Mom and Ollie missed him as well. Speaking of Ollie, I was downloading pictures off my camera today and came across this one:

Ollie was dancing for his peanut butter filled Kong. Sometimes I think he should be in the circus. LOL

Well, I have one load of laundry in the dryer and one in the washer. I have a small batch of dishes to wash up and the Sunday night football game is going into half time. Shadow is asleep in her tree and I have plans to be in bed asleep by 10pm. Tomorrow morning will be here before I know it and the normalacy of life will start all over again.

Hope you have a blessed week.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Something

It's almost 10pm.....I can hear the crickets outside, Lucy (the neighbor's dog) has stopped by for her treat, Shadow is playing with a plastic ring and I am ending my day.
I didn't make it to the exercise class. I decided last night as I was getting ready for bed that I would not set an alarm for Saturday mornings unless I was scheduled to work. Saturday would/will be my day to sleep until I am ready to get up. Shadow woke me around 5:30. I got up to feed her, open the door and curled up on the couch. I woke up again around 7 and went from the couch back to my bed and I slept until 9:30.
I piddled around once I was up. I made breakfast (oats and brown sugar), watched some HGTV and finally got myself ready. I went to St. Mary's to watch Carson in his 3 on 3 tournament. Unfortunately his "team" didn't do that well but it looked like they had fun. From their I went to Dierbergs to pick up a few things. I couldn't buy a lot as money is tight but I literally had NOTHING for breakfast or snacks. Let me tell you....being gluten free can be tough but things are starting to become more accessible, being gluten and soy free is even harder but being gluten, soy and corn free is almost impossible. I stood staring at a half a wall of "natural chips" and could not have ANY of them. If they were gluten free, they had corn. In addition to the challenge of finding food is the cost of it. I have been itching to bake and have found a couple of receipes that I would like to try. They call for almond flour. A small bag of almond flour is $10.99. Are you kidding me????? I can't afford to be gluten, soy, corn and dairy free. I bought some watermelon spears (which I later found out were past their prime), a package of rice cakes, a box of cereal, 2 Lara bars and almond milk and spent $30. That wasn't even close to half what I have written down on my grocery list. At this rate I am going to be super skinny, not from the diet but from the fact that I can't afford the diet.
It was a quiet afternoon/evening at the Y. I worked 5.5 hours and did one transaction. The rest of my time was spent either cleaning or doing word search puzzles. But I was being paid to be there so I am not complaining. I am thankful for the blessing of this second job.
So, now I am going to get ready for bed and read a bit. I am very thankful for the quietness of my life right now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Funday Friday

Happy Friday!!!!
As Laura nee Meinhardt said on her Facebook wall---this has been the longest shortest week ever!!!
I opened the front door this morning to find a grey sky, rain and cool air. I started the day with a bowl of oatmeal and brown of course. It was a busy day at work, which was fine with me as it makes the day go by fast. Even though I was good at breakfast it was all downhill from there.
Lunch consisted of four toasted ravioli and a large salad with grilled chicken from Bella Milano. For those of you not familiar with the Bella salad let me just tell you it is NOT free anything. It is not gluten free, dairy free, soy. BUT it is big on flavor. It's lettuce, cheese (not sure if it's mozzarella, provolone or what), prosciutto and their house dressing. The toasted ravioli are breaded in who knows what. It was not on my approved list but it was GOOD. My lips are now tingling and red as a result.
From the insurance office it was to the Y for my three hour shift. I hadn't worked in over a week so I felt like I was starting at ground zero but the knowledge came back quickly. During my three hours, I had cinnamon twists from Taco Bell. Bad, I know.
I am home now and have brown rice in the cooker and I will add chicken to steam as well. One day of badness is about all my lips and I can tolerate.
There were some events that happened today that made appreciate my simple life. I am thankful that life is not complicated, that I can make a decision when it needs to be made and that when I am home it is peaceful and serene.
Tomorrow will be busy but not overwhelming. I have an exercise class at 9AM, Carson has a 3-on-3 tournament and I work at 2:30. Sunday is church and Delaney's horse show.
Shadow is at the screen door....her normal spot now....and I am again curled up with a blanket on the couch. Life is good.........

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Not Official But......

It's not official but fall is here. How do I know? Last night there was the smell of wood smoke in the air. Tonight is the first official NFL game of the season---Minnesota vs New Orleans. I am hoping the Saints win as I cannot stand Bret Favre the drama queen. I heard my first flock of geese fly over the apartment. The air is cool and it is a night like this that I miss hot cocoa with marshmallows. Yes, I can substitute hot tea with honey but it's just not the same thing.

This week has been SO long and I can't wait for it to end. Monday was Labor Day which meant no work that day but I've made up for it every other day. Tuesday I was at work by 8:15AM and worked until 5:30pm. Becky brought us lunch from Wang Gang and I had a steak from Lotta Watta Creek that night. I was good with the steak and baked potatoe but I caved and ate the cheese on my salad (I did take off the croutons). I returned library books and came home to mop the kitchen floor. Shadow was not at all happy that she had been alone all day and most of the evening. Yesterday, I was supposed to meet a friend at 8AM so that she could pick up two of my baskets that she purchased and give me the money for them. I ran into construction on the way to the office and was ten minutes late. She had already left as she had an 8:20 appointment. So I was at work at 8:10 and worked until 5:30pm. It was a busy day of people making payments, reinstating policies and me trying to work my way through the piles on my desk. After work, Rachel came over and gave me a mani/pedi. It was nice relaxation break. Her son is back in London after serving in Afghanistan so she is a happy momma right now. After she left, my stomach started hurting. Not an "oww" kind of hurt but a "I need to throw up" feeling. I didn't sleep well last night and then today at work I still didn't feel well. I ate a Laura bar and a Low Carb bowl from Hardee's....that's it. I'm just not hungry.
It's a quiet night at home....I could be unpacking boxes, cleaning, or so many other things but I'm not. I am curled up in an afghan watching football, enjoying the cool evening air coming in through the screen door and watching Shadow stare into the darkness of the night. It's good to be home and it's been awhile since I have been able to say that.

Go Saints!!!!