Let it Bleed Challenge- Yearning

Let it Bleed…the brainchild of Saumya Agrawal of RandomnessInked is a prose/poetry/photo challenge. Come join in.

Yearning-

“Oh Father I am burning,

and my heart is yearning,

For others to hear your truth, and then spread it wide.

Can you feel the joy,

that this mode would employ

If we all just reached out to each other and tried?”

An original poem by yours truly. Hope you enjoyed it.

Y’all come play along with Randomness Inked and give it a try! Yes, I know this is supposed to be a blog about alternative health and such, yet every once in a while I do a bit of creative writing, so this challenge kind of tickled my fancy. Now it’s your turn! Play along with Suze and I won’t ya?

 

A Day In The Life of a Petite Flower Deliverer

A couple of you said you’d like to hear how it was to deliver flowers for Bice’s Florist on the 13th and 14th of this month. Well, before I regale you with that tale, know in advance that I signed up for this voluntarily, so don’t view what I’m about to say as griping or complaining, just stating the facts from a petite woman’s point of view.

Imagine if you will, that you are a small woman of stature, say about four foot nine inches tall, weighing in at about 107lbs and recovering from neck surgery back in December. (I only include that so you understand my strength is not back to 100% yet). Nothing in our little part-time-flower-deliverer-class prepared me for the challenges I would face on these two days, or what an adventure it would turn out to be.

The first day I arrived thirty minutes early because I incorrectly figured that the earlier we got there, the more time we would have to familiarize ourselves with our load, where we were going, and maybe even get the first spot for the best routes. Ha! I and one other gentleman stood around freezing outside the back delivery area waiting until they had all the self-drivers (those taking their own vehicles) loaded and off. When we were finally made aware that we could have been inside the warm warehouse, we were a little miffed, yet still excited about the prospect of a good route. I was given a rental van, showed nothing at all about it, and sent off on what the dispatcher said was an “all over” route. I decided I was game for anything and went to check my load.

When I located my van, (a Grand Caravan van) it was chock full of roses and other beautiful flower arrangements, three arrangements (usually) to a long box with a small hole cut in it so they would stand upright. They were mid-to-full of water and seemed stable enough. I checked the names on my trip sheet, noticed they were all in the Ft Worth area and took off full of optimism that I would knock em out and go back for another run.

That most certainly did not happen and this is why. As a “petite” person, I literally had to climb inside the van, hover over a particular arrangement and then carefully wrestle it out of the box, while not grabbing it by the lip of the vase since we were told in class that they might break. You had to do this in a way that would not break any flowers because that is a no-no. Most every time, the arrangement next in line on my route was in the middle of the long box, making it near impossible for me to accomplish-but I did it! Once the flower was out, I had to manage it, the keys, and a clipboard and make my way into the residence or business and make my delivery, get a signature, write down the time, and rush off to the next one. A piece of cake, right?

Many times the arrangement was almost half the size of my body, making it difficult for the recipient to even see me walking in. I was rather dismayed at many of the reactions of those receiving flowers like it was no big deal or special thing to them, but a few did act appreciative and that made me smile. Anyway, the third run of the first day took me on an unnecessary thirty-minute side trip to Grand Prairie because of a miscommunication about the address. Even after I found the correct address, the person the arrangement was going to did not work there. Turned out she worked at Alliance Airport which is a good way from where I was. I decided to do her last. I wound my way through Ft Worth, Keller, and Roanoke and realized when I got to that last run, I was low on gas, my phone was dead (my GPS-I had taken off with the wrong kind of car charger) and I would not be able to make it there and back to the shop. So I called the dispatch and he told me just to come on in, they would work something out. Since it took me from 8:30 to 1:30 to do that first run, the boss said if I was coming back tomorrow, I could go on home, they didn’t have that many left to deliver anyway. That was day one.

Day two started at exactly 8am with a much warmer forecast (thank God) and a downtown destination-I was not happy about this but figured I would be ok, I had the right kind of charger now, and knew I had plenty of gas to make this trip. What I didn’t count on was unwieldy arrangements, too full of water and not loaded properly in the van. Every time I hit a bump (and there were many) or took off from sitting at a light (no matter how carefully) the flowers would tip over, spilling water and God forbid, threatening breakage. I don’t remember how many times I stopped to rearrange the load, but it just kept happening. One arrangement was in a bag, along with a teddy bear and some chocolate, thankfully they were each in their own plastic wrap. After the cardboard the flower was standing in became soaked, it simply would not stand up for any movement of the van, so I decided I needed to get that one delivered as soon as possible.

Then there was the delivery that took me to a boarded-up house in a less-than-desirable neighborhood and I was very brave to get out of the van, go around the back and locate someone who told me I was on the wrong end of the street. I considered myself so lucky to have found nice people to help me, that when I found the correct address (on the other side of town) and made the delivery, I didn’t feel bad accepting my one and only tip. Somehow, I made all my deliveries and went back to the shop for another load. By this time I was tired but still felt able to do more, so I was super happy to get a run in my own neck-of-the-woods. What I wasn’t prepared for were several more HUGE arrangements which I miraculously managed to get unharmed, out of the van and delivered. My arms, neck, and shoulders were sore from the exertion of that, and my thighs were sore from then crouching down with the arrangement, before wiggling my way back out of the van because of my stupid knee. Gone are the days when I could simply have jumped in and out of the van.

One of my last two deliveries was a beautiful orchid arrangement when the lady opened the front door and saw them, she just about lost it she was so surprised and happy. That really made my day! One other lady previous to that delivery offered to give me a tip, I declined it and then was happy I did because her little dog ran out the front door and into the street! Luckily, a nice man working at a house nearby caught the little guy and held him until she walked over there to pick him up. My last delivery of the day was to a house which the recipient had not been at home the first time I tried. I called and left messages, but they were never answered. At last, I found a neighbor willing to take them for her, I left a tag on her door telling her where to pick them up and went back to the shop. By this time I was exhausted, it was close to 5pm, and I said that I was sorry, I just could not close the tailgate on that van one more time. Reaching up to my fullest height, pulling the heavy tailgate down and then wrestling to push it closed had taken a toll on my right arm, neck, and shoulder. When I got home, Dave asked me if there hadn’t been a button I could have pushed and it closes itself, I said if so, no one ever showed me and I would be so mad if I found out now!

I was still sore this morning but after a hot bath and some chia pudding for breakfast, I feel like a new woman! One thing that surprised me, I was never really hungry over those two days, I took a boiled egg, a cheese stick and some nuts the first day and ate the nuts and the cheese stick on the run.  The second day, I took a “peeled” boiled egg with some salt and pepper and a few pork skins and was able to eat that on the run and both days I felt full and satisfied. That’s the thing with Keto, you are less hungry with less food, my problem is I’m always cold. I also have a problem eating enough fat. It is working though, I’m down to 107lbs from 115, and my clothes are starting to fit better. I loosely enter my food on a keto calculator and it helps me somewhat manage my macros.

Well, there you have it, a day in the life, what do you think? Should I volunteer again for Mother’s day deliveries? Maybe I will be over all of my soreness and have built up some more strength by then, we’ll just have to wait and see. Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by the patio!

 

The flowers my hubby got me plus two bonus flowers from my day of deliveries

 

Ok, a little confession, I did have two episodes of breakage, I decided to be completely honest about the whole thing and both recipients were more than understanding. 🙂

 

 

Stories of Love

So I have just a bit of exciting news, I just penned a story for Chicken Soup for the Soul concerning love stories, it will take some time before I hear if it was accepted. I’ll know when or if I receive a check in the mail plus ten copies of the book. They do not send rejection letters. I wrote about my love for David and the coincidental way we met. Wish me luck!

Yesterday I took my sweet Dad to his ENT for a hearing check and an inspection of his troublesome right ear. It has a tiny hole in it he has had since childhood, making it difficult to keep fungus and wax buildup out of. As usual, they had to manually remove some sticky wax off of his eardrum-good news, no infection this time!

Dad in the testing booth

Next week we will go back for another appt to make sure his hearing aids are set properly and working well. He still has trouble with his speech but does not want to go to any more doctors than he already does, nor will he try speech therapy again. He is frustrated that the first time didn’t work and says he’s done with it. I told him to try reading aloud but I don’t know if he does it. 😉

Today we have to go to the dermatologist for his skin check up since he had some skin cancer about a year or two ago. He gets frequent check ups on his head and face, if the doc sees anything, he just zaps it with some liquid nitrogen and sends him home!

I love my dad and just want him to live the rest of his life happy and not be so frustrated, he is too shy now to go out in public unless he is with family. Luckily he has a wonderful friend and pen pal (hi Ethelyne!) that he writes nightly on the computer. What a joy she is and he is blessed to have a friend like her! We’ve met and she is a doll.

Dad’s friend Ethelyne

 

For anyone concerned with the outcome of my refund for the cruise I had to cancel, Royal Carribean sent me a $177 refund back to my bank account and so far, that is all that has happened. I don’t know if I will get a cruise credit or what, but let me just say, that is nowhere near what my ticket cost me. I do not feel like I should be penalized for canceling my cruise due to the circumstances at the time, plus my inability to get there because the roads were impassable. I will check with my travel agent and see.

 

 

Day 305-Motivational Monday-Live the Life

Good Morning! With vacation mode getting closer for me and lots of other folks I’m sure, I like this quote I found on Pinterest this morning:

I’ve always liked the thought of having an adventure. When embarking on a trip of any kind, that’s the mindset I have, that I’m going on a great adventure, unaware of the excitement that may lurk around the corner. If you don’t treat your life like one big adventure, what are you going to have to write about?

The creative side of me says yes! That is the stuff that novels are born from, but the analytical side of me says well, that could be conjured up from the imagination as well. Either way, you should live your life to the fullest, taking adventure where it comes and not be tied to your desk/office/daily chores all the time. Even those mundane things can be made fun if you look at it as more of a game than work.

Keep your attitude positive!

Say a daily uplifting prayer!

Go out now and make the best of your life, one day at a time. I’ll be waiting to hear about it, on the patio!

Day 271-Free Days-Thanks, Promised Recap & A Plea

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure. 

Good morning from a windy, chilly patio! Thank you for all of your prayers, they worked! Although we were chilly outside and even wrapped up in blankets in front of fires and heaters outside, it did not rain or storm as predicted! I’m happy to report that the fish fry went off without a hitch and a good time was had by all.

The cool outdoor setup
Us girls huddled in the corner enjoying some time around the heater together!
My boy and me-notice he has no jacket or sweater…again!
Troy and Tisa enjoying the warmth of the kitchen
Told you it was cold! Hermania and Mel cuddling!
Julie’s beautiful granddaughter Carli and her boy, Stryker

Now to some sad news. I’m seeing less reader comments and likes than I have previously enjoyed, and no one at all commented on the product review I did- does this mean you don’t like what I’m writing about, or did everyone just slow down in their own blogosphere? I’m not sure, but a girl sure could use some help over here! Throw me a bone will ya? I realize that so far my product/service reviews have been about things writing related, however, I assure you that I will get to products I use in my daily life like the types of essential oils or food choices we make here on the patio.

I would welcome any suggestions/comments at all! As I continue to work on the direction of my blog/business, I only know this for sure: I just want to help you in whatever way I can. So, I need feedback to know what that is. For now, I will plan May’s calendar pretty much the same way it has been unless you have other ideas for new features or clue me in to the kind of content you want/need me to provide.

I realize also that everyone is busy in their own lives/businesses and there is a lot going on in the writing world. I have been so busy myself finishing the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and working on my website that I haven’t been doing much in the way of creative writing (like on Medium or Prose) except for here on the blog on Fridays.

Before I go, I will tell you, I have one more writing related review over on Products From The Patio, and I really love it, you may use it yourself with your own websites/blogs. It’s for Grammarly the grammar checking service I use. I would again appreciate any feedback you would offer, and I would love for you to check out the review and just let me know what you think about the website in general.

Now I really have to go, Dave is trying to work on the game room/man cave and he’s banging things around which really means, he’s ready for me to come and help out! See you all here tomorrow on a hopefully much warmer patio!

 
*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust.

Day 204-My Essay Tuesday-Got A Tattoo Late in Life

Since I served in military, one would think I would’ve gotten a tattoo back then. Although I accompanied my friend Teresa when she got her tattoo, I chickened out. No,  I had to go and wait until I was in my 40s, my sidekicks being a couple of burly firefighters who’s combined work took eight hours to do, leaving me a measley hour to get mine done! By then, the tattoo artist affectionately known as a Boog, was tired, cranky,  and in a hurry to get me finished.

When we lived in North Richland Hills the first time, we live next-door to a couple who became our best friends, Dave and Michelle. Dave was a firefighter for Irving, and he already sported several tattoos. One night while over there playing games, David I got into a conversation about my desire to get a tattoo. He then told me about a upcoming convention in Dallas where he and his buddy wanted to get new tattoos. After glancing sideways at my husband for his reaction, I then told Dave I’d love to go with them as this might be my only chance to get one. My husband thought I was crazy, having been all over the world and never getting one himself, even though he was a marine in the service, but he didn’t deny me the opportunity. “It’s your choice'” he said,  so Dave and I started making plans.

Now this convention was open to the public, so you can imagine the sights I saw there! A couple of weeks before going though, Dave had a artist friend of his draw up my tattoo, which was my zodiac sign– Pisces–but with an artistic flair. I had him draw actual fish one above the other, swimming in opposite directions, and the artist put water underneath which was a nice touch. In our drawing, the tattoo had many colors. Due to the fact that Boog was so tired however, he elected to only use blue-and-white. In the photo you can see one of the dolphins peeking out from my bathing suit. This is because the tattoo is too large for one thing, and not as low as I wanted it, number two.

When the day finally came for us to go get our tattoos, I was excited, nervous, and thought I completely lost my mind. Maybe my husband was right, why did I wait so late in life to do this? No, I wasn’t going to chicken out this time. I had tattoo fever! So, with drawing in hand, Dave, myself and his friend Miles, piled in the truck and headed to Dallas. We arrived an hour later to a sea of people of all ages, parading up and down the aisles, watching people getting tattoos and receiving them. My anxiety grew as I looked into the faces of people sporting piercings in every spot you can think of. I saw people so full of tattoos there was barely any blank skin left. What am I doing here?! This is crazy! The guys tried to reassure me that everything was going to be okay. I’d worn a bathing suit under my clothes, knowing where I wanted my tattoo placement. These people weren’t shy however, I saw more skin that day than a beach in Bali. (not that I’ve ever been)

After waiting a grueling four hours apiece four Dave and Miles to get their tattoos, it was finally my turn. Boog studied my drawing, made some adjustments–like taking photocopies and shrinking it down a couple of sizes, and after seeing he wasn’t in the mood to mess with it much more, I reluctantly agreed, I was ready. He laid me down onto two chairs facing each other, I lowered my britches, and with that parade of people walking by, staring down at me as I was about to receive the worst pain of my life, he began the outline. Oh my god! As the first needles pierced my skin, the sensation was like hot pokers being pressed into my flesh. As I gritted my teeth and took it, David peered down at me and asked, “You okay Kimmy?” I answered back through gritted teeth that yes I was let’s just get this over with. After a few minutes I got used to the pain and then it was time to color it in. I just thought the outline had been painful! I guess there’s more needles involved with the coloring in process, and when he approached my hip bone, I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But I wasn’t going to stop now!

I kind of felt short changed when 30 minutes later I was done. I was also disappointed that he’d only used two colors, but I was so happy with my new artwork, I let it go. After getting a bandage, and instructions on how to care for my new tattoo, I pulled up my pants and we were off. The guys were tired as well, and I was excited to show my husband Boog’s handiwork. I was now a tattooed lady! I worried about what my parents and brother would think, yet this was my body and I thought it was tasteful, since it was in a place no one would see, unless I was in my bathing suit. I didn’t tell my dad for quite a while, instead he saw it one day when I was at the pool. He never said a negative word about it. When I arrived at home after receiving my tattoo however, I was bummed out at my husbands reaction. After removing the bandage he viewed it and said, “Wow baby that’s big!” I replied, “I know, Boog was tired and had already shrunk the design down several times-I finally agreed on the size because we were all just ready for me to get done.”

Over the years we’ve both gotten used to it, but in the beginning every time I took a bath or shower, I’d gaze down at it, not believing it was there forever, yet loving it just the same. Unfortunately, the fact that Boog was in a hurry, the outline bled dye into my skin, making the edges look blurry. My son has a friend who could touch it up, but I keep putting it off, every time I remember that pain. They say when you get one tattoo, you want to keep going–not me, although I’ve fantasized about a couple more, I’ve never really thought of anything important enough or meaningful enough to go through that torture again. On second thought, after recently reviewing the design, I realized the design is flawed. Should I care this late in life that one of the dolphins is swimming upside down? Good grief! Evidently, no one else noticed including myself that I’ve been sporting an incorrect depiction of my zodiac sign! Maybe they didn’t want to hurt my feelings, maybe they thought that’s how I wanted it to be. I feel like such a fool, I might have designed it wrong myself…I don’t have the actual drawing anymore,  yet now I’m inspired to go get it corrected– maybe even removed and redone completely! I just don’t know, as I consider the big picture, is it really that important that an out of shape, middle-aged grandma really need to have a perfect depiction of her zodiac sign for the rest of her life? Now there’s some food for thought!

My one and only tattoo
My one and only tattoo

Then again, it doesn’t look too bad considering I’m an about to be 56 year old grandma who still sports two piece bathing suits. I can always tell anyone who cared to question the design that I meant for it to be whimsical… That should buy me a few more years. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Day 76-Free Days-Happy News!

I am very exited to share something with you guys today! It’s a baby step in my creative  writing efforts, yet a step in the “write” direction (hehe)! I have been writing on the platform Medium for a few weeks and they have a publication called The Weekly Knob.  Every Monday, they give you a new prompt and you then craft a story featuring that prompt. Last week’s prompt was “broom” and my story-That Witchy Season was published today!! Yea! I love this platform because you also get “recommends” instead of “likes”, and creative feedback, support and love from the Medium writing community. I know the story could have been better, I probably could have changed the title as well, however, I feel validated that my story was accepted and then published and I just wanted to share this news. I also could spend hours reading all the other wonderful stories featured by an extremely talented pool of writers, if I didn’t have so much else to do. Maybe I can read more of them tonight, and I encourage all of you to check them out as well.  Just go to medium.com/theweeklyknob/ ThatWitchySeason on Medium,  if you’d like to read my story. There’s even a Medium app, which makes it all so much easier to navigate.

In other news, we layed more of the flooring today and now have the hallway and laundry room finished!

Hallway to the master bedroom
Hallway to the master bedroom
At the halfway point in the laundry room
At the halfway point in the laundry room

Tomorrow, we’ll install the doors and trim and then we will be one step closer to (horror of all horrors) the kitchen. Shudder! I am not exited about my kitchen being destroyed so close to the holidays!!! It has to be done though, if we expect to have floors by Thanksgiving. I’m so proud of my husband and his handiwork! (I get credit for the layout) I’m his helper, cleanup girl and designer, and we make a great team!

I have also started to make a little progress on the baby blanket I’m crocheting for Taylor’s soon-to-be-born little one. Did I tell y’all the theme for the nursery is Nightmare Before Christmas? I thought it sounded odd until I went on Pinterest and literally found hundreds of pins with the decor and all sorts of other great ideas with the theme. The colors are black, white, lavender and lime green. Although I picked a very basic pattern, I’m proud of how it’s coming along so far. I’ll post a pic when I get to the halfway point.

So that’s it, plus I have three upcoming birthdays to think about and prepare for and of course the holidays are creeping ever closer. Just a few of the things on my mind (and plate) but nothing I can’t handle. I realize this time of year is busy and stressful for everyone, the way I handle it is one bite at a time, somehow it all comes together. Just try to relax and breathe! 😉