Saturday, September 23, 2017

Surviving the Storm - part 1

Two weeks ago this morning, after battoning down the hatches and snuggling my kitties, I began my journey north to meet up with my Mom for my nephews wedding and to take refuge from Irma... Of course when we had planned our trip in January, Irma was never a part of the picture...  This was a huge trip for me... I had taken smaller trips alone before, from the STL to Kansas City or Orlando to St. Augustine, but never a 17 hour trip through 6 States (Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri)...

This was supposed to be a fun trip where I left after work on Monday and stopped in the Atlanta area to sleep and then continued my journey on Tuesday to meet up with my Family on Wednesday... Well, Irma had other plans... Before I knew it, Mom was on her flight as planned, and then my Super hero Bestie and I were getting the house ready to face the largest hurricane Florida had ever faced... As I drove all I could think of were my friends and "family" that would soon be facing Irma's rath... I found comfort in hearing from friends that would chat with me during the first leg of my journey... My only regret was not stopping enough because upon arriving at my hotel I was in so much physical pain it hurt to walk... So it was an ibuprophen induced sleep after a visit to Whole Foods to find distilled water, the one item I left behind at home...

The next morning I got my stuff together after an amazing night sleep in the Alpharetta Holiday Inn... And headed down for my delicious free breakfast... Yep gonna totally name drop here because this was probably my most favorite place to stay... I will definitely find a reason to stay here at this location again... The ladies at the front desk were so nice and so sweet when I checked in exhausted the afternoon before... I wish I would have written down their names because in the 3 hotels, of the same chain, I stayed in during my entire trip, they are the only ones that actually gave their names and said that if there is anything you need during your stay, let us know... The most comfortable besds, nicest most spacious room and beautifully clean hotel... Fantastic...

So now I was back on the road again... And I was in Tennessee and out and back in... And heading towards Nashville when traffic diverted me around the center and all of the sudden I see the signs for Opryland and I think, A - maybe I could get a picture of the Grand Ole Opry and B - I really need a pit stop... So I pop in the directions for the Grand Ole Opry and head for my first Stop of the Day...

When I pulled in to the lot I was surprised to see it was surrounded by of all things a mall... I don't know why I was that surprised actually but I found the Opry and headed up to see just what it was all about... Out of couriosity I checked out the prices and found the behind the scenes tour was only $26 so I decided to take a break from my travels and take the tour which was departing in just a few minutes... The tour was fantastic, it took you through the history of the Grand Ole Opry and you realize just how small that family and what an honor it truly is to be asked to join... The most moving part of the entire tour was when we stepped out on the Opry stage and we were allowed to step into the famous wooden circle and have our photo taken singing... Some chose not actually sing but if you wanted to you could sing a line so you could say you sang on the Opry stage...

The trip had been pretty emotional for me and still not knowing what was going to happen with our home and friends and my babies (kitties), inside I was an emotional wreck... Then to step onto the Grand Ole Opry stage, one of the most famous stages in the world where some of the greatest musical artists have stood and be told you can sing whatever you want, I was flooded with emotion... To say I totally lost it was an understatement... I quickly shared with the others that I was from Kissimmee and I was torn apart over leaving everyone behind and then another couple shared that they were from Boca and they also understood what I was going through... The sweet photgrapher came and hugged me and let me cry for a few minutes until I pulled myself together... And even though I thought I was going to sing God Bless America, my heart had other plans...

"The sky shall unfold, preparing His entrance...The Stars shall applaud Him, with thunders of Praise... The sweet light in His eyes, shall, They shall enhance those awaiting, and we Shall Behold Him, then Face to Face.... Oh We Shall, Behold Him, Oh We Shall Behold Him, face to face, in all of His glory.... oh We Shall Behold Him.... Yes We Shall Behold Him, face to face... our Savior and Lord....."

The group went from chattering to silence and then I just stepped away from the mic and everything else was a blur until the tour ended... I think that was God's way of telling me everything was going to be OK, I just didn't knowit yet...

I continued on my trip chatting with my middle brother quite a bit and one of my besties... Then I saw it... Metropolis... The home of Superman and I knew I must stop... Where else are you going to see a 2 story statue of the man of steel...  He was larger than life and a beacon for others as well... There were two other families that had stopped as well... They were leaving the south, one returning home from a honeymoon and the other seeking safety from the storm... There was almost an unspoken kinship between us all as we took our photos, wished each other safe travels and then headed our seperate ways...

On the final stretch of my trip I knew I was almost there when I saw a familiar glint in the sky... Past trips "home" have never been so emotional, but I have never really traveled under such circumstances... My brothers had told me to take 255 around the city to avoid all of the downtown craziness but I follwed my gps and I am so glad I did, because that beautiful gateway to the Midwest greeted me towering over the city... My breathe caught and a tear came to my eye as soon as I caught a full glimpse of her... The beautiful Gateway Arch welcomed me Home...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Every Bite, Every Morsel - Day 26 #JoinMyJourney

Sometimes the best thing you can do is step outside your comfort zone to find out something new about yourself... This weekend I did a little bit of that... Back long ago... That sounds so funny, but it is true... Back long ago when I worked back in the STL, I dressed for work... I dressed for going out... I made a point out of wearing makeup and putting my best face forward always... Silly youth... Or lazy age now... Or possibly I can't always afford paying for my clothes by the yard... but I digress...

Anyways, this weekend I had a bit of a fashionista reawakening you might say due to my nephew's pending nuptials and a semi dressy Yelp event this coming Monday... I remember back in the day when I worked for Lane Bryant and I loved trying on the new clothes when they came in, but that was a good 100 pounds less ago and over 15 years younger ago as well and now trying on clothes is more of a burden than a fashion runway show extravaganza...

During my shopping journey this weekend we traveled to 2 different Torrid's, JcPenney, Macy's and Lane Bryant. Let's just say the 1st and the last were the winning combination and the middle, well just sadness... Without giving too much away about J & M, if you are above a 24, or what they consider to be that size, than just walk on by... Oh and don't expect the clothes to be on trend in their "Womens" lines as they call them or to have attractive prints either unless you enjoy a good rinse and set on Friday morning each week...

From now on, I will stick with Torrid and Land Bryant... The ladies and on occassion, gentlemen that work there are wonderful... They really know how to help find your inner diva and help make an outfit work... Each store was able to help me find an outfit for both of the upcoming events and both outfits are versitle enough to be used afterwards and they are on trend and made me feel good about me, despite being heavier still...

I used to be a shoe person, all different styles and colors and heel hights and than I don't remember what happened and this weekend I found an amazing pair of heels! My 1st in too many years, and hopefully not my last!

I wish I knew all of the lasdies names that helped me, because sometimes all it takes is a little word of encouragement... I felt like I had some fairy godmothers this weekend watching out for me getting me dressed and ready to impress...

feeling beautiful again...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Every Bite, Every Morsel - Day 25 #JoinMyJourney

It's been a long time since I have stopped and evaluated what is going on and put into words how things are... This summer has been so incredibly busy with emotional highs and lows and my weight has been as well...

Right now we are staring at the high end and sadly I am just three weeks from seeing family but this too shall pass...

Life at the most magical has been a roller coaster ride, changing from Front of House to all Heart of House and taking on different responsibilities of sorts... Helping prepare for the largest festival on property and still managing to stay somewhat sane through it all even though we aren't quite there yet...

I am learning with baby steps on how to handle stress better, and trying not to turn to food as often... But I need to remember that getting off my bum now and then is always a great way to destress, even when it's warm outside... There are air conditioned places I could go and just walk, like the mall... or Target, or Walmart... or I can wait until it starts to cool off and walk around the block...

I guess I just need to find my desire again, because right now, I just kind of have the case of the why bothers... I am feeling complacent and it isn't that I am intentionally over eatting or looking for snacks usually it's that honeslty... I don't really care...

NO, I am not looking for a buddy... I am not looking for someone to come along and inspire me... I just have lost my way for a bit and I will find my way back... It's kind of like when someone quits smoking and they haven't smoked in a few years and something happens and they snap and they just need it. Just for awhile... Then they do what they need to do to quit again...

I am just waiting to get to that point where I am ready to do what I need to do to quit being a lazy arse again... To take charge of what I am eating and get things together...

The other big thing that happened this summer is that we went from 2 cars,  to 1 brand new car... Mom decided that she no longer needed a car after both of our cars ended up at the mechanic within a week of each other... Mine was traded in for a new one and hers was donated... This was 100% her decision and I truly admire her for it...

I remember when I was younger and my Uncles had to make the decision to take the car from my Grandma and how hard it was on everyone... I never wanted to go through that with Mom and so we have always had open conversations about it and we decided that when the time came, it would be her decision... So yesterday we bid her 17 year old Ford Focus a fond farewell...  It was extremely bitter sweet but I know in my heart this was the best choice for us...

Our journey continues...

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Every Bite, Every Morsel - Day 24 #JoinMyJourney

Mom and I ran into a sweet an aquaintance last week that we haven't scene in quite some while and she gave mom some huge compliments on she is looking and then she commented I was looking well as well, even though I don't feel like I am looking that great quite honestly but that is just me... Well she asked how I was doing and I said, I am trying, I am really trying and she said sometimes when you stop trying so hard and just be good to your body good things happen...

So lets all take that advice and start begin better to our bodies... We to try and stop puttin so much garbage into our bodies all of the time, now and then is ok, but not all of the time. I have said it before and maybe I just need to keep reminding myself... I can do this, I can be healthier both inside and out...

Maybe the next time we run into each other, I will start seeing those same changes she is seeing in me as well...

Musicsongbird

Friday, June 2, 2017

Every Bite, Every Morsel - Day 23 #JoinMyJourney

I have been having some internal turmoil over some things I have overheard recently and it just bothered me and I need to vent... I have been at my job for almost 10 years and it still frustrates me to know end when someone makes a comment that they are going to find a "REAL" job or a "GROWN UP" job... I'm sorry? Can someone please explain to me what constitutes either of these "JOBS"? Is the place I go to every day and clock in and earn a living at not really a JOB? Am I required to certain amount of money before it actually means I have a job? Because if that is the case the US government owes me a whole lot of money back in taxes I have paid out for my make believe job. Actually for all of my make believe jobs that I have worked since I was 16 years old.

I know just how the conversation would go:
Um, hi yes IRS person I would like all of my taxes I have paid to the US government back for the past 27 years minus the 2 years I worked that office job but I don't know if that was a real job either because I was just a secretary then...so if you could just find out for me what the definition of a "REAL JOB" is I will happily take whatever taxes back from the make believe jobs I have worked that don't require taxes to be paid on those...

Then after they stop laughing, hopefully they won't have me thrown in an insane asylum or arrested because I am trying to scam the government....

For those of you that have never had to work in customer service, retail, fast food, theme park, hotel and hosptitality or any other job that doesn't pay you a bonus for showing up every day while others work their butts off to make you look good, then consider yourself blessed... But guess what, what I do to earn a living is just as much of a real job as yours is... What would you do if you walked into Moe's and there was no one to yell, "Welcome to Moe's!" Or no one showed up at the gas station to make sure their was gas in the pumps? What if all of these people that work these "non REAL" jobs decided to stay home because they were told their jobs didn't matter?

Thankfully I know better, and I know that my job is a grown up job, I just get to do it in a very magical place, where growing old my be mandatory or growing up is optional... The people that feel as though they need to find what they call a "REAL" job are just feeling like they can't live on what they make or they are waisting their talents. But what they forget is when they make comments like that, it can hurt others around them...

You see, words matter... What you say can hurt so much... And once they are out there you can't take them back... Once they are said there is no erase button, there is no delete... I can delete this blog entry but if you have read it, you will probably remember something of it... I can't remove that from your memory...

It's like people saying I wish my life were different, I'm not who I used to be... None of us are; unless we are still living in the past... We move forward in life and we change, hopefully for the better... We move on to new things... We create new goals and dreams for ourselves... If we don't then we will constantly find ourselves staring in the rear view mirror of life watching what happened in the past... Wishing what could have been... While our life just passes us by...

Stop looking at whats behind you and look for what is infront of you and what is coming... If you don't think the future is bright enough, do something to change it... If you don't like your circumstances... change them...

If you don't like how people talk to you, then stand up for yourself or stay silent and expect the same treatment until you do...

I have my real, grown up job, and it's in a world of fantasy and make believe and I won't change it for anything...thanks IRS for clearing that up... ;)

musicsongbird

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Every Bite, Every Morsel - Day 22 #JoinMyJourney

If you have nver suffered from headaches or any aches and pains in general than count yourself blessed... For those that are plagued with body pain or migraines I feel for you... I too suffer from migraines, not on a regular basis like many friends and family members but on a semi regular basis... Mine are usually brought on by triggers such as food, environment such as too much smoke or other allergans and extreme stress like the one that took over my system yesterday...

What started out as what most would consider just a typical headache quickly excalated in one of the worst migraines I can remember in my entire life... Some may ask what have you been eating? What has the weather been like? But I will tell you that I know that this was 100% a stress powered migraine... I have been carrying around so much stress over the past month that this was sadly inevidilbe for me... I had no other outlet... well probably not true but at the end of every day I was so exhausted that there was no outlet to relieve the stress and it got to the point that my poor body had no other release...

The pain was so excrutiating that it was nearly impossible to even fall asleep... I thought it was going to drive me to the bathroom but nothing would break the pain... I was sweating so bad, I had never expreienced it this intense... I think I fell asleep from sheer exhaustian and awoke after 3 hours...

If you have never had a severe headache, I usually suffer from what I call headache hangover... I feel afraid to eat anything big, I generally stick to toast and water... Sadly this goes on for most of the following day... I just don't feel right...

So if you know someone who sufferes from pain or you are the one that suffers silently, I pray you have support from family or friends because it can be rough... Thankfully I have medication that I take to so I don't have more regular occurances of these horrible happenings... Now I just need to find away to make more time for stress relief for myself, so I don't have to face another day like that...

musicsongbird

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Every Bite, Every Morsel - Day 21 #JoinMyJourney

I wish there was a magic wand that I could wave and all of my mixed emotions would just go away... I guess that is why I got my peace tattoo on my wrist... It isn't magic but it is a good reminder of when I start to feel overwhelmed that I need to try and find peace... Sometimes, I can just stop and look at it, sometimes I simply press it and I just focus on it and pray... There is so much going on with work for me right now and this week especially and I know I am going to really be going to be focusing on it quite a bit... 

The same thing goes for when I become disappointed about something or someone... Try as I may in not feeling sad about something they did or didn't do I try and focus on God's peace and knowing He will get me through it and even though that person may have let me down, God won't ever...

I guess I am just a bundle of emotions right now and need to find my peace...

musicsongbird