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!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Reading Stack

I was perusing MaryBeth Whalen's blog tonight ( and she linked to this site So I thought I would let you know what is on my stack right now.

I just finished reading "Dark Fever" by Karen Moning. Some people are into vampires, I'm into fairy or Fae. This book is the first of a series recommended to my be a friend. The story is about an all-American girl named MacKayla who goes to Dublin after her sister is murdered there. The book was full of twists and turns and the references to Fae were spot on with other series that I have read. I finished the book wishing I had the second one so that I could continue the story. A request to the library is in order.

"Walking on Broken Glass" by Christa Allan---From Fae to alcoholism. I just started this book tonight and here is my one sentence synopsis of the first few pages. A woman is forced to face her alcoholism when she is confronted by a good friend. Here is the synopsis from the back of the book "Leah Thornton's Life, like her Southern Living home, has great curb appeal. But a paralyzing encounter with a can of frozen apple juice in the supermarket shatters the facade, forcing her to admit that all is not as it appears. When her best friend gets in Leah's face about her refusal to deal with her life, Leah is forced to make a decision. Can this brand-conscious socialite walk away from the country clubg into 28 days of rehab? Can she leave what she has now to gain back what she needs? Joy, sadness, pain and a new strength converge testing her marriage, her friendship and her faith."

"i am not but i know I AM" by Louie Giglio---I won this book from Wendy Blight ( I have been reading it at night before I go to bed. It is about how the story(life) isn't really about us but about God. I have only read a couple of chapters but it is because I keep going back to reread. He talks about how so often we get caught up in "us"....our day, our life, that we are like a horse with blinders on. We forget to stop, look up, look around and take notice of the main character in everyone's story---GOD. I am excited to continue this if I can just get past the first couple of chapters. LOL

"Mayflower" by Nathaniel Philbrick----Again, a book that was recommended to me. My friend Julianne was telling me how she had bought this book for her daughter and that it was on Border's Clearance for $5. Its the real story of the Pilgrims and their arrival in New England, not the happy "Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving" that we have all grown up with. Here is a line from the synopsis on the back "The promise of the First Thanksgiving had given way to the horror of total war". I am intrigued to read this as my friend Kelly, who is a history professor, always said that just once she would like to see Pilgrims and Indians with sad faces instead of the happy "everything is perfect" faces that they are always portrayed with. She said only then would it reflect actual history.

"The Way of the Heart" by Henri J. M. Nowen---I decided to check this book out after it was referenced in "The Feast of St. Bertie". The book is inspired by the teachings of St. Anthony and discusses clearing a spiritual path by using Solitude, Silence and Prayer.

"Alice I Have Been" by Melanie Benjamin---This book caught my eye as I was entering the library to return/pick up. This is the story of the grown-up Alice in Wonderland.

And so, that is my stack at the moment. I would continue as there is another series that I have in my stack but Shadow is demanding that we go to bed.

What are you reading???? Any good recommendations??? Please share.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review

So I have just finished reading "Latter-Day Cipher" by Latayne C. Scott. I wasn't sure when I first started reading if I was going to enjoy it or not. However, once I got into it I was hooked and the book threw me a loop at the end. I closed the book saying "what???? no, that isn't really what just happened".

The book takes place in Salt Lake City, UT. It involves a female journalist who is sent there to cover the murder of prominent female Mormon. The journalist has a cousin in Salt Lake City who is also a Mormon. The first murder becomes one of many. The journalist is now on a journey to not only cover the story but also to try and figure out the ancient Mormon laws and ways of the church. As her journey leads her to discovery both in the murders and in her faith, her cousin and his family are also searching.

I am not Mormon nor do I know anyone that is. However I found this book fascinating in the beliefs and rituals of the Mormons. The author was a Mormon for ten years so I am trusting that much of what she wrote is factual. As a murder mystery, this was a very well written one. Yet it also brings up the question of "why do you believe what you believe". This isn't an "in your face" Christian book but it is one that will make both the believer and non-believer stop and think.


OK, I am going to do this although it is a very hard exercise for me. I have been encouraged to at least try by Melissa Taylor (

I am the daughter of two wonderful parents.

I wonder what it would be like to not have to worry about money.

I hear so much negativity and doubt

I see families that love each other and then children that are nothing more than material possessions. I see chaos amidst the calm.

I want happiness, contentment, peace and confidence. I want to be debt free.

I am scared, confused, overwhelmed

I pretend that everything is fine. I put on the "happy face" and go through life with a smile while inside I am screaming.

I feel alone, sometimes abandandoned, yet often times I feel love from unexpected places

I touch others, hopefully

I worry about not being able to pay the bills, about being evicted from my apartment, about not meeting everyone's expectations of me

I cry not so much as I used to though I still cry. I cry when I am angry, when I can't find the right words. Medication has helped this crying problem that I have had :>)

I am a nurturer, a care-giver, an animal lover

I understand that not everyone thinks like I do (but I wish they would :>) )

I say ....not sure on this one. Someone will have to help me out.

I dream ….lately I have been dreaming of those I have loved that I have passed away. My grandpa, my mother-in-law, my first true love

I try to please everyone in hopes that they will like me

I hope that I can be the woman who makes her parents proud

I am Jessica Jan Smith Budd.

Okay...this was very, very hard for me. When Melissa posted her daughter's answer's yesterday I read the questions and thought "I can't answer those". Then today, Melissa posted her answers and challenged us to do the same. As I answered, I didn't think. I just typed what popped into my head. So I guess that makes these answers brutally honest. I would love to hear your feedback on my answers and how YOU see me. Plus, I would love to hear your answers about yourself.

Take a moment, reflect on yourself (even though it is hard) and see where your heart really is. After answering these questions, I am reminded that I am blessed. How am I blessed????
  • I have two wonderful parents who raised me to know and love God
  • I have two jobs that allow me to work with people and help solve their problems
  • I have a wonderful boss whose family is like my own
  • I have a wonderful church family
  • I have shelter and a landlord who understands when the rent payment isn't always on time
  • I have an exhusband who doesn't hate me and that still pays for my health insurance/medical needs
  • I have a best friend that I don't talk to for months yet we can still pick up right where we left off
  • I have seen the miracles that God can perform in my niece Sofie and my friend June
  • I have seen God provide when I thought that I was at the end of my rope
  • I have a wonderful Sunday School class of first and second graders

Count your blessings today....I bet you will be suprized by what you have compared to what you don't.



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review--"The Feast of St. Bertie"

I have been reading A LOT lately. I read for at least a half hour before bed and any other time I can squeeze it in. In the past, I have "reviewed" some of these books. Lately though it seems that time has gotten away and I have read and returned (to the library). However, I just finished a book that I have to write about it and one that is on my "must purchase list".

The book???? "The Feast of St. Bertie" by Kathleen Poppa I know, the title leaves you thinking food, a buffet, a loaded table. But the book is actually a feast for the soul. As I was reading, I was reminded of "Eat, Pray, Love" for several reasons. This book, like "Eat, Pray, Love"' is one that I think you have to be in the right frame of mind for when you read it. I remember that I put "Eat, Pray, Love" down several times until one day I picked it up and the book just fit. I was ready for it. This book was the same way for me. I was in the right frame of mind for it.

I am in the mind set of rebuilding, of searching, of longing. The main character in this book is going through those same things. The books starts with the main character returning home from her husband's funeral to find her home in flames. She has a grown son that she hasn't seen in months who doesn't even know that his father has died. She has a best friend who loves her but can be pushy, in charge and sometimes self-centered. And the main character does not lack for money. You learn so much about this woman in the book but not only her but those that are important to her. She decides to follow her heart and goes on a journey of the soul. The journey that she takes not only affects her but those in her life. She sees the beauty that she missed before, she learns what a "real" relationship with Christ is all about, and she finds her worth.

There was a line from the book that stayed with me. "There is something holy about sorrow". How can sorrow be holy? But it can. Tears and pain force us to bare our soul. They force us to be "real". When we really, truly hurt there are no fake smiles, happy facades, no "I'm OK". I remember a few months ago when I had food poisoning. I was SO sick, I couldn't stop throwing up and I was scared. I was alone. I called on close friends for help. Were I healthy, I would never ask for help. I would fight my way through, I would do it on my own. But in pain, we ask for help. When our soul is in pain, there is a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother". He is there to hold us, to comfort us, to love us. He loves us in our nakedness, in our realness, with all of our mistakes and flaws. Remember when Jesus was in the Garden before he was crucified? He wept and in his sorrow there was holiness.

2009 was a year of sorrow for me. All that I knew and that I thought I needed was gone. I was no longer a caretaker of my mother-in-law, I was no longer a wife, I no longer had a house, I had to put my cat down, I had to sell things that I once thought were valuable to pay bills. In that sorrow though I found holiness. I found that instead of taking care of others, I could and should take care of myself. I found that I didn't need a house to have a home. I found that material possessions do not define happiness. I found out that my friends love me for me, not for anything I have done or could do. I found out that God always provides and in my aloneness He is and was there. I found out that God is faithful, He never leaves nor forsakes.

And all of that, I realized after reading this book. Kathleen Poppa is a woman of God and I am thankful for her willingness to allow Him to use her. This book will be on my bookshelf and I will read it again.


Friday, May 14, 2010

A homeless man

This morning on my way into work, I passed a man on the sidewalk. It was pouring down rain and cool. This man was bundled up under several coats carrying his possessions in trash bags to protect them from the rain. It wasn't the first time I had noticed this man. You see, my dad pointed him out to me several weeks ago.
My mom had brought up the movie "Blind Side". After watching it, dad said that there was man like that in my town. At first, I thought "who is he talking about?" and then I saw him. The man with the plastic Wal-Mart sacks (blue ones) who is always walking in front of Village Hall. How many times had I passed him and not really noticed him? How many times had I passed and just assumed that he was just someone waiting for the bus? This morning he was walking quickly, heading toward the highway and I wonder if he was hoping to find a ride or if he was just headed for a dry spot under the overpass. I have thought about him a lot off and on today. What is his story? I may never know but I do know that the next time I see him, I am going to pull over and offer him a cup of coffee or a soda. I am going to step out of my comfort zone because that is what my both earthly and Heavenly fathers would do. They would offer this man some form of kindness.

As I sit here typing this, I wonder if my dad has already spoken to this man. If he has already reached out to him. Somehow I think he has.

Who has Jesus put in your path that you haven't taken the time to notice? Is there someone that you have passed every day but haven't stopped to really notice them? Be Jesus to someone today.....reach out to them with kindness and love. We may be the only light that they will see.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


ast night was a good night. I was able to leave the office a few minutes early. I drove home in the drizzle and pulled in my parking spot to find that the wind had blown a plastic lawn chair into my flower bed. Thankfully no plants where hurt during the landing of the chair. Shadow was, of course, waiting on the other side of the door. She wanted to go out but the weather said otherwise....wet and cool. Not a good day for cat/dog to be outside. I heated up some left-over chili-mac and watched a Food Network Challenge while eating dinner.

After dinner, I went to Pottery Hollow to meet up with Becky and Brittany. Becky and I both needed to finish our plate "that would never end" :>) I was so thankful for Brittany's help and guidance. I think I finally have a plate that won't go into the trash.

From there it was back home to watch Dancing with the Stars and to cast my votes. I voted for Chad and Erin. I didn't think Chad did as well as Erin,Nichole or Evan but I am hoping he stays at least one more week and Neecy goes home. I was feeling good when I went to bed. It was storming, so I grabbed a book and curled up in bed with Shadow.

3:45AM---I woke up to another headache. I got up, took 800mg of ibuprofen and moved to the couch. Shadow followed and curled up on the pillow next to me.

7:00AM---my alarm goes off. No, I can't quite move yet. So I reset the alarm to 8AM.

8:00AM---my alarm goes off for the second time. I lay there until Shadow starts nipping my fingers and toes. With a groan I roll off the couch, it is 8:15AM. I feed Shadow and head for the shower. After a hot shower, a bowl of oatmeal and about five minutes of play time with Shadow, I head out the door. I arrive at work at 9:00AM on the dot.

Today, the sun is shining and the temp is in the 70's. A totally different day than yesterday. I downloaded this photo onto my Facebook page today:

It will probably embarrass Mason but it is one of my favorite photos. I actually
have it sitting on my desk at work now.

11:41pm----I just pulled brownies from the oven for Tim's birthday tomorrow. It has been a full evening. I worked until about 6:15PM when Jeff picked me up for dinner. We went to a mexican resteraunt in honor of his mom. Jeff even ordered guacamole just as she used to. We talked about her and how she would order just guacamole and chips....just that and she was completely happy. After dinner, I went to Famous Shoes to buy a pair of black dress shoes since my current pair have a broken strap. A stop at Wal-Mart for milk and cereal and then I was home.
I caught up on Dancing with the Stars to see who went home (Neecy) while dusting the living room and vacuuming. I watched Biggest Loser while making the brownies and doing the dishes. I was sad to see Sunshine go home as she was my favorite and I had hoped she would make it to the final four.

So now, the brownies are on the island cooling. Shadow is playing with a bottle ring and I am getting ready to go to bed. Just a few minutes ago, Shadow was in the window which was open. I'm not sure what showed up outside but she jumped out of the window hissing, her tail a bottle brush. I reached over to pet her and she hissed at me so whatever it was must have been scary. I closed the window and the scariness needed around here.

It has been a day of blessings and sunshine......

Friday, March 5, 2010


I am so tired I feel as if my bones are melting. I think my spine has turned into jello and it's all I can do to sit here at my desk. It's 4:08 PM. We close the office in one hour. Then Tim and I head back to his house to load up the vehicles for Kid Mania tomorrow. We have to be at the high school at 5AM, so needless to say I am hoping for a VERY early night.

It's been my birthday week, which in a way, I guess is why I am tired. It's been a good week but yesterday and today I have been SO cranky. I have felt like I was on the verge of a melt down at any minute. I'm going to blame it on lack of sleep. Monday night I cleaned the apartment and just vegged out with dad. Tuesday night I had dinner at Los Tres Amigos with dad and Jeff. Wednesday night we went to Gene and June's for dinner. Last night I worked until 10PM. So a lot of eating and working....seems to be a standard for me lately.

Next week is not going to be any better as I work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night until 10, Friday night until 9 and Saturday 830am to 8pm. Poor Shadow is going to be so lonely since Dad is going back home Sunday.

When I got out of the shower this morning, I could hear Dad talking to Shadow. Dad was saying "Grandpa, you just need to find a job up here so you can stay with me and momma and I won't have to be lonely". Funny how we express our thoughts through animals.

I received a lot of birthday wishes on Facebook, heard from some people I didn't expect to and didn't hear from some that I thought for sure would make some type of contact. I only received one birthday card this year which I found strange for some reason. I guess the older you get, people feel that it's no longer needed. Cards bring smiles though no matter what age you are. Even just simple "I'm thinking about you's" can bring smiles. I had two clients bring unexpected smiles to me on my birthday by simply telling me how much they appreciated me.

So my challenge to you is to do the unexpected for someone. Send them a card, give them a call, whatever. Just step out of your daily routine and acknowledge someone who means something to you, who has done something special for you, etc. The blessing will come back to you I promise.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book Review

Happy Wednesday and happy birthday to me!!!!

I just finished reading three books, all recommendations from the She Reads blog ( I will start with my favorite of the three.

"Fireflies in December" by Jennifer Erin Valent

This was a quick read for me simply because I enjoyed it SO much. The book is written from a 13 year old girl's perspective. Her name is Jessilyn Lassiter. She is the only daughter of a farmer in a small time. The time is 1932 and the Klan is a strong influence in the town. Jessilyn's best friend is black and comes to live with Jessilyn's family. You can imagine what transpires. I couldn't put this book down as I wanted to know what happened. The characters in this book came to life for me and I found myself sitting on the Lassiter front porch. Interwoven is the message that not all people are bad, each of us is a light in this dark world and that the most important relationship one can have is with Jesus.

"White Picket Fences" by Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner also wrote Shape of Mercy which I really enjoyed so I was anxious to pick up this book. Again, a quick read but due to the fact that to me it was a "beach book". This book is about the "perfect" family and how there really is no such thing. Behind every facade is the true story. This book is about a teenage girl who ends up living with her aunt and uncle and their two kids. An aunt and uncle that she has met only once many years ago. Her dad is "missing", her life has been far from normal and she is thrown into this storybook family. However this storybook family has secrets. There were parts in this book that I really enjoyed but I knew how the book was going to end halfway through. I didn't know the specifics but I knew the outcome. An OK read but not nearly as good as Shape of Mercy in my opinion.

"Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon" by Debbie Fuller Thomas

My least favorite of the three. Again, I knew the outcome of this book by the end of chapter 1. It was one of those reads were everything is tied together at the end with a nice little bow. The story is about two girls who were accidentally switched at birth. One girl dies from a genetic disease which leads to the discovery of the switch and the ensuing custody battle for the other girl who by now is a teenager. Again, an OK read but not something that I would pick up over and over again.

So I have requested more books from the library and until something comes in for me to pick up, I will go back to my magazines. If you decide to read any of these or anything else that I recommend or review let me know your thoughts.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Did It!!!!

I taught my first craft class tonight, Scrap and Stamp at the YMCA. I was SO nervous because paper crafting is a hobby not something I think I excel at. Lucky for me I only have three people in my class--girls ages 8 and 9.

We made journals....the sample I made for class is shown above. I let the girls pick out their own designer papers which I paired with solid cardstock. Once the "foundation" was on, I let them go wild with embellisments. It was so fun to watch each one's unique style and personality come out. At the end of the class, they told me "it was the best class ever!" :>) I will be teaching this class for the next five weeks for one hour on Tuesdays.

As I was driving home, the moon looked like the Cheshire Cat grin. You know the one where all you see is the grin but no face. I wish I would have had my camera.

Tomorrow is weigh in day for me and I know that I am going to do awful. All I have wanted to do since the weekend is eat and eat I have. So much for willpower....I have eaten a box of Raisenets, a box of Junior Caramels, a box of Junior Mints, banana cake with brown sugar glaze, half a large pizza, chili mac, cereal. If it wasn't moldy or rotten and I could eat it I did. So tomorrow I will be chastised by the scale.

I'm grateful tonight for the assistance that God gave me in teaching this class, for all the food that I have eaten (I could have been like so many and had nothing) and for my warm home.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

God is my Valentine

This week has been hard, I'm not going to lie. I keep thinking about Valentines Day and how it was one year ago on February 14th that Jeff was arrested. What a year it has been since that day. Ups and downs, twists and turns, feelings of failure and guilt.

I have never really cared for Valentine's Day. To me it's a gimicky holiday and if you love someone Hallmark and FTD shouldn't push you to say it or show it. Show me with a heart felt hug, a suprise cup of hot chocolate just because you know I'm cold, my favorite candy because you know it will make me smile not because you feel forced to show your love.

So last night I met with Lynn, Joy and Jen for our weight loss meeting. We were downstairs exercising and I blurted out "Sisters, I need your prayers this week because I am really feeling discouraged. Sunday will be one year since I was seperated from my husband". Now those that know me, know that my wants and needs are usually kept to my self. I am a healer, fixer, lover for other peoples wants and needs. Joy replied without missing a beat "come hang out with us after church Sunday morning...we will have lunch together". Just like that, I was enveloped in love. I opened my heart to these sweet sisters and God filled it. Later on that night after devotion we each took turns praying for each other. In her prayer for me, Joy said "Lord, let Jessica realize that you are her Valentine. That your love will never go away and you gave her the greatest Valentine by dying on the cross". My heavy heart was lifted as I realized He is my Valentine and He loves me ALL the time. He doesn't just show it one day a year but every day. He shows me in the flowers that bloom in the spring, in the birds that come to my feeder, in the hugs and prayers of my family and friends. What a wonderful gift!!!

The wonderful thing is that God is your Valentine too. Open your heart today and accept that love offering that He is giving to you.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Mayhem

Outside my window: At 9:45AM there are tiny little snowflakes dancing through the air. They don't look like they would be big enough to amount to much once they hit the ground but they dust the tops of the vehicles like powdered sugar. Our roads are still clear and we are still waiting for the six inches that has been predicted.
It is now 2PM. The dance is over and the sky is clear. There is a slight breeze which I now by the fluttering of the American flag I see in the parking lot across the street. The sun is trying to peek out but hasn't made an actual appearance. Again, I wonder "where is this six inches of snow?"

It is 10:12PM. It is snowing though not the "snowstorm" that they forecasted. The ground is now covered though the weather man just said that we would have three inches at the most. So much for our "six inches" and the chance to burrow in.

I am thankful for: the opportunity to rest this weekend. I took the weekend off from the YMCA because mom had tickets to see Hairspray at Shyrock on Sunday. The play was pushed back from 2PM to 4PM and Ms. Lynn and I had our Sunday School party Saturday night. I think I slept ALL weekend and I feel SO much better because of it.

I'm remembering: when we lived in the house on Olive Street. It was winter and there was this BLOCK of ice behind our house. Uncle David was over, pulling me around the yard on my sled. He would run and pull me over that block. I would remember how scary but fun it was.

I am going: to our Weight Loss Group meeting tomorrow night pending that the weather holds out. I can't wait to see these wonderful ladies.

From the kitchen:chili mac .....I made enough for left overs

It was a GREAT Super Bowl last night and it was SO much fun to watch it with Carson. Poor little buddy was so nervous that the Saints were going to lose, he kept pacing around the house. Super Bowl 44 won by the New Orleans Saints--first time to the Super Bowl. Tim made Carson's menu just as Carson had written it down.

It's now 10:25PM. The dishes are done, I finally have thank you cards made for Christmas and they will go out tomorrow, Shadow is sleeping in her cat tree. I am thankful for another day, a roof over my head and God's never failing grace.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Have To Write This Down

So it's 10:08AM on Thursday and I am supposed to be working. Supposed to be are the key words here. I keep thinking about Carson (Tim and Becky's son) and laughing. You see, Carson is very excited about the Super Bowl this coming Sunday. So excited in fact, that he has planned out a menu for the event. Now, keep in mind that there is no party at their house it's just Tim, Becky, Carson and Delaney and me if I should be back in town in time.

Carson's menu has kept me laughing because of it's detail. The top of the menu has the date, the time of the Super Bowl (not only when it starts but also when it ends) and of course the words Super BowlXLIV. Then comes the menu which is:

Cheese Dip and Chips

Medium Chicken Wings (notice that he made a point to specify Medium)


Kool-Aid (what Super Bowl party is complete without Kool-Aid)

Praire Farms Vanilla Ice Cream (not just any ice cream but PRARIE FARMS ice cream)

I just laugh every time I think about it and see his 2nd grade handwriting. I SO hope Becky keeps this for his scrapbook.

OK, I am going back to work now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hot Tea and Honey

So, once again, I am sick. I have been sick more this winter than I can remember being in a long time. Maybe it's stress, maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the mold in my apartment. Whatever the reason, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Sunday I woke up with a scratchy throat. I didn't feel bad just not much of a voice. Monday(yesterday) the voice was worse, I had a dry cough and my throat hurt. Today almost no voice, sore throat and the ocugh is starting to loosen up. So I am taking Mucinex and drinking hot tea and honey.
I saw my friends Gene and June this past Sunday. It was an off week for chemo and I am praying that whatever I have is not contagious. June is such an inspiration to me. She is diagnosed with cancer, told that her chances of survival are low and she has rebounded from every obstacle. She is facing chemo now, she starts her second treatment this week, and still she is staying strong. She will admit that it's not easy but she is facing it.
I was reminded of a great promise from God today. Lysa Terkurst had a guest on he blog. Her guest referred to this portion of a verse "as you measure out, so you will be measured". I am a nurturer by nature. I give and give because it fills this need in me and it makes me happy. However, I always reach a point where I feel empty and feel used. This verse reminded me that as much as I give, it will be given back. And it has.
There have been SO many blessings....always right on time and when I ready to give up. As I measure out, so I am measured. The giver's gain perspective is really true.
I was blessed again on Sunday. We had a chili cook off after Sunday morning service. There was SO much to choose from!!!! As I was getting ready to leave, a very sweet woman that I barely know tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I would like to take some of her chili home. I don't even really know her and she is offering me food. I willingly accepted and then my friend Cheryl also offered. So now I have a blessing of food in my freezer for those days/nights when I don't feel like cooking or have no money to buy food.
Blessings....every day they surround us if we only take the time to notice.
May you notice your blessing(s) and thank the One who gave them to you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gloomy Gus

That's what I feel like today. I woke up to gray skies once again. The forecast is rain although we have just had heavy drizzle. The alarm clock went off and I just wanted to SLEEP. I tried to squeeze in just a few more minutes but Shadow's food bowl was empty so she was having none of that sleeping business.

I stopped off at the cable office on my way to work to pay my bill. I told the lady behind the counter that this was one bill I had to pay or else my cat wouldn't have anything to watch while I was at work. She started laughing and said she understood, her pets watch more TV than she does. For Shadow, it's not so much the shows but the music channel. She has to have her Classic Country playing :>)

I met with two other ladies from the church last night for our first weight loss group meeting. I walked in prepared to just talk and figure out how we were going to do things. I was still in my work clothes. However, Ms. Lynn was ready to get started. So we put in an exercise DVD and got right to it. Jenn said she had never worked out with someone as stylish as me before--LOL. Here I was in dress slacks, blouse and dress flats doing high kicks and side steps. I lasted for a mile into the two mile workout. We prayed, we read some scripture and we talked about our goals for weight loss. Ms. Lynn is going on a cruise in May and wants to be 30 pounds lighter. Jenn is renewing her wedding vows in October and wants to be at least 50 pounds lighter but her ultimate goal is 100 pounds. Me....well I said December since that's the only "event" on my 2010 calendar. I would like to be at least 30 pounds lighter if not 50. So we are meeting every other Tuesday night to keep each other accountable and help each other reach our goals. I started a food journal today which I HATE. I just want to eat, I don't want to be responsible for what I eat. But I guess that's why I weigh what I do right now. So I am thinking before I eat, do I really want to write this down and have to share it with everyone? I will admit that after the meeting last night, I went home and ate half a package of Saltine crackers with Cheeze Whiz while I watched the Biggest Loser. Not smart, I know. I had eaten dinner at 5:30 but by the time I got home I was munchy hungry. I by passed the Hostess Cupcake but did more damage with crackers and cheese. Shoulda just had the cupcake.
I have done OK so far today but I have yet to eat dinner so we will see how I end up.
Lord I pray for discipline to help me not only on this weight loss journey but in my life as a general rule. Help me finds ways to relieve stress that do not include food and help me find satisfaction on other things besides food.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday Mayhem on a Tuesday

Happy Tuesday or to be all same start letters like on the Letter People Terrific Tuesday to ya!!!!

Did you ever watch the Letter People??? Now that I look back on it, I guess they weren't really that fantastic but I still remember C is for Cotton Candy. OK enough of my rambling. It's 5:11PM, I am at work with about one hour left but thought I would wind down my day with a little blogging.

Outside My Window: It's starting to get dark, the street lights are coming on but it's been a very gray day. There has been drizzle in the air, thus it's damp and the temperature has dropped since this morning.

I am thinking: about's what I always think about. What I can eat, what I can bake, how something would taste if I just had it on a plate in front of me. Yesterday I wanted French Toast swimming in maple syrup, today it's brownies with hot fudge and whipped cream...maybe a brownie sundae from Dairy Queen. Haven't had one of those in EONS.

I am thankful for: Food (ha ha, I had to type that in there) Seriously I am thankful for a warm place to lay my head, family and friends that love me, two jobs that help keep me a float. I have been thinking about all of those people in Haiti who were already SO destitute and how things must be for them now after the earthquake.

I am going: to Ms. Lynn's tonight after work. Some ladies from the church are getting together to start a weight loss support team. Isn't that even funnier considering my earlier comment about what I'm thinking about???

I am currently reading: I am picking up "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers at the library tonight. I just finished an AWESOME book called "Talking to the Dead" by Bonnie Grove. The title sounds weird but it was recommended off the "She Reads" website. It's about a nonchristian woman whose husband unexpectantly dies but she can still hear him talking to her. It was a fast read (I read it in two days) but very good. I also just finished "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. I have to say of the three "DaVinci Code" books I think this one was my favorite. I took from it that there is "mystery" everywhere and in every group but for the most part if we just take the time to really look around us the mystery is really not so much of a mystery anymore.

From the kitchen: Last week I made banana bread which really needed walnuts but I didn't have any. I also made rice krispy treats for snack at Sunday School. Last night I had fiesta lime chicken from Schwans but as far as actually cooking a meal...why do that when it's just me???

Around the house: Finally put away the few things I had out for Christmas and took down my Thanksgiving wreath. The gift bag holder has been put back away. I hung my mail basket on the wall above the shredder. Shadow loves to play in the shredder bin---every night when I come home there is shredded paper everywhere!!!

On my mind: Money as usual, wondering how everything is going to get paid and trying to remember that God always provides.

Tomorrow night I have a haircut appointment after work. Thursday and Friday night I work at the YMCA. Saturday morning I have a baby shower and then I work at the YMCA. Sunday morning is Sunday School and a birthday party for one of our SS boys and then work again at the YMCA. So not much time left for play this week.

I'm going to wrap this up so I can wrap up things here at the office.