Tropical Storm Zeta

I woke up to what I thought was going to be a productive day. I even made a list!

But then it got dark and stormy and we lost power eight hours ago.

So no waffles or doing the laundry today.

I called Bojangles and asked if they had any chicken and they thought I was kidding.

We took the drive and they said sorry, no power. So, no chicken!

We drove to another town and ordered Bojangles, only to be told it was cash only. The same thing happened last month at Chipotle. Cash only! yes. First world problems. I know.

Back at home and it’s nearly eighty degrees in the house. The storm is over but still no power or any info on when it will be returning. We also had a bunch of shingles fly off our roof. Home owners insurance is a joke, given the deductible, so it looks like we will be paying out of pocket like we did last year when the AC flooded the back room.

Here are a few snapshots that I took.

A lighthearted Post

We went to Pilot mountain yesterday. We have not been since earlier this year. During quarantine we went to Hanging Rock instead. Much closer!

It was very busy. I think it’s funny seeing so many ladies hiking in fancy chiffon dresses and 3” heels. Not to mention a full face of makeup and their hair done. I suppose I should not mention it, as I did have perfume and earrings on myself, but whatever makes one feel put together. 🙂

It’s a Lovely Day!

This past week has been very good. It has helped getting back to a sound doctrine church. I’m just kicking myself for not remaining at the church we belong too now, when it was sixteen years ago ago when we first visited it. Obviously God had a plan that took us through the wilderness to teach us things. So it is what it is. We are all so happy now though. January will be a year.

I tell my kids that a good service will be a service that has expository teaching. And one that you can remember a week, two, or month later. 😉

Getting back to our Hike yesterday. The kids hiked around the knob. Straight file, seeing how narrow it is. They have done it enough times now, that it’s something they all enjoy doing together. My husband and I simply can’t do that type of hike though, so we went more-so on a nature walk. Lol

I also brought work with me, because I wanted to try photography with different textures. It worked too! I’m now considering whether to bring my mannequin there next week with actual clothing. I photographed jewelry this time. Sure, people still and ask what I was doing, but in a interesting sort of way. It was lovely.

Here are a few pictures I took.

Mountain overlook.
From the other side
The new construction leading out to the above tree view.
Two loan persimmons left on the bare branches.
A random leaf bug.
A sign of the times.
Jewelry pictures
The different colors from age in this rock were perfect for displaying more colorful jewelry pics.
These pictures were for inventory that I was listing yesterday. 🙂
Check out my Poshmark closet, Mc_wear_4u
Sign up now with my code MC_WEAR_4U to save $10 on your first order. 🙂
They look as though they are hanging from the air.
The color in the natural light. 🔥
They are vintage gold pearls.
So stunning!

I took close to a hundred pictures of jewelry yesterday and haven’t even made a dent on what I have, which is one thousand pieces. it is something I’m passionate about so never feels like work. Today I am taking shoe and purse pictures. Not as passionate about, but it’s part of my job.

Currently, I am having my morning blueberry hemp protein smoothie and planning out my day. 64 and rainy today. I made a Gluten-Free crockpot Lasagna yesterday and today is sweet & sour chicken over rice. It’s been nice eating at home more.

Excuse the childlike background. I have a plush VS puppy and scrapbook collection in the background of where I am right now. Yes. My own. 👀🤣

SYNVISC-ONE Did it Work?

After failed Cortisone shots last month, I decided to try gel shots. (SYNVISC-ONE) I was told that there is only a 50% chance that they will work. Not only that, but they will only last between 4-6 months. Out of pocket, for both knees, $1800. At first our very bad insurance, would not cover them. But my doctor said after they put it through 3x, they did. I don’t know how that works, but thank goodness it did.After insurance they cost me $880 out of pocket. Better, but still. The Cortisone shots were $480 out of pocket, and they didn’t work at all.

So let’s explain how this went. I went into the doctors office three Friday’s in a row. He hooked up the ultrasound to find exactly the right spot to inject, then numbed the area, then it was needle time. It felt like a sharp tube being pushed right above my knee cap. That is the best way to explain it. I still felt it going in, and yes it was painful, but I am ultra sensitive I pain, so maybe it’s different for others. I felt like I had no numbing cream though. I tried to place my mind on something cheerful. He was very professional and tried to keep me talking by asking me questions about my upcoming weekend.

In return I’d ask him questions, such as, I bet this part of your job is the worse for you. And I wonder if people who distribute shots all day, were once kids, who told their parents that when they grow up they want to be the person who gives shots and takes peoples blood all day. lol

Light hearted chat. Too my surprise, he told me that THAT was his favorite part of his job. And that he sees patients all day long that have what I was having done.

He corrected me when I called them shots.

He said he likes to think of them as procedures.

Procedure

After three injections, by the time week four arrives I am finished. He said that if they work I will start to feel better between a week to four weeks in. Today it has been a week. And yes, I am feeling some relief. If your knee pain is a solid ten, it’s now a solid three. Not painful, just slight discomfort today. I’m hoping by the end of next week it will start to feel even better. And so on.

I originally went to my primary doctor back in January this year for a random behind the knee pain that has just gotten worse since then. At first he told me to just stretch it and come back in a month if it still hurts. I bought some stretching bands and started using them. After a month of use I was back in with even more pain. Sure my knees hurt in the front, but that has been something I was just dealing with for the past two years. I had X-rays on them last year and the year before that and they told me I had mild arthritis in both knees, but that was somewhat normal at my age, along with being overweight. And in another 10-20 years, I would probably need knee replacement surgery. I think it’s interesting that they say everything is because you are overweight, as I know plenty of people with my same issues that are not an ounce overweight. Such as my mother. Some things are simply hereditary. Not to say that added weight does not worsen or strain pains.

Several women in my family have had complete knee and hip surgery done in there fifties and sixties, so I assume this is probably normal. At least for my genes. Also, my best friend had knee surgery done last year and has told me that she can run up and down stairs now, and feels twenty years old again. But the pain after the surgery was almost unbearable. Worse then anything she’s ever experienced. I felt the same way after my hysterectomy. Worse then any natural childbirth.

That said, I told the doctor last year, why wait.. let’s do this now while I’m still, sorta, young.

Needless to say, my insurance said nope! Too young.

Getting back to this year. In February I went to the doctor again about the pain behind my one knee.

He said that it could be a cyst, but that was an odd place to have one. So he sent me in for an ultrasound.

They found nothing. Or so I was told. But hey, I had the extra $468 bucks burning a hole in my pocket, so why not give it away for an ultrasound. *grin*

My primary doctor called me up and told me to keep stretching it. As they found nothing.

Three months passed and it was a more sharper, profound pain. It started waking me up in the middle of the night. I went in again and he sent me for X-rays . You know when you can tell that your doctor thinks it’s all in your head and doesn’t believe you? Well, that was the impression I was getting from him.

The X-rays showed bone on bone in my knees, one that was slightly worse then the other. So my doctor asked if I took up running in quarantine, and maybe I need to just rest and ice my knees. I told him of course I didn’t take up running, but I have been walking. Nothing major though. He told me t try to rest them for a month and he’s sure it will heal itself. He also prescribed me Diclofenac for pain.

A month later, pain was the same. The Diclofenac was helping other parts of discomfort throughout my body though. I went back in and he said there is nothing more he can do and sent me to a knee specialist. Again, it was as if he did not believe me. I went to the knee specialist and he did his own ultrasound and asked me if I was aware that I had a cyst behind my knee. He said that it is very small and would not be causing the pain I was describing at its size. He then asked if I took up running during quarantine. *bangs head*

He sent me for more X-rays and the following week told me that I have arthritis in my knees and should probably look to have future knee surgery.

He sent me to a surgeon for an evaluation.

The surgeon was the doctor who ended up giving me the knee shots. (Procedure)

On my first visit he ordered an MRI. He also told me to try o keep taking the Diclofenac for pain.

A month later I got the MRI results back and I was told to come back in to discuss options. Apparently, I had ripped my meniscus he told me. That that was what the MRI showed. It was probably not going to heal itself and it would require surgery to repair he said.

So. After all of those hoops that I went through, they told me that for insurance to cover some of the surgery I would need to go through the Cortisone shots and possibly Synvisc-one, first. Just to see if that relieves the discomfort.

I’m still confused. Discomfort from a tear/rip?

So while I originally went to the doctor for a behind the knee pain, they treated me for another pain.

Currently I’m still taking the Diclofenac, twice a day. I went a couple days without taking it, just to see how I felt and the all over body pain came right back. Honestly, you don’t know that you have certain pains In your body until they are removed. We are resilient! Daily mind over matter has its place.

I have struggled with all over arthritis for the past few years, but it was nothing that I felt could be fixed, seeing as I was/am getting older. The Diclofenac does nip that pain in the bud. My behind the knee pain however is currently still the same. 🙄

Oh! And during all of this I went in for my yearly checkup with my arthritis doctor and she told me that it was crazy that my primary doctor made me go through so much. When she would have just scheduled a procedure for my knees to sever the nerves. They also do that for back pain she said.

I have a friend who gets that procedure done, and it sounds most frightening. I’d honestly rather not have it done, but I do appreciate her belief that I do have pain and I’m not making it up or exaggerating.

I am suppose to go back to the knee doctor at the end of Next month to see how my knees are, and whether the behind the knee pain is still the same. He told me that of it is, then he will try to get me in for surgery on it.

Only time will tell…

The Grass is Greener Syndrome

Well it’s been an interesting past month for both of my parents. Even divorced, they are both still living the same exact life as they were while I was growing up.

They just keep thinking the grass is greener, moving from state to state. At least that is my guess.

As a matter of fact, it was the same road I was mimicking, up until about sixteen years ago.

Currently, I am still in the same home that my husband and I purchased sixteen years ago. Sure we have talked about moving several times.

But after major prayer, we came to the same conclusion time and time again. We are where we need to be for our children right now. Security is number one. Something neither of us had growing up.

My husband would still like to move once we are empty nesters, but I’m not sure. I want to be where my kids are planted. I want them to have the roots that we never had.

Getting back to my ‘rents-

In the past sixteen years my mom has moved from Florida to my house (NC), my house to Connecticut with my brother, Connecticut back to Florida, Florida to Alabama, Alabama back to Florida. Florida to Wisconsin, and Wisconsin back To Alabama, which is where she currently is, but has just wrote me to say that after a month in Alabama, she thinks she should have stayed in Wisconsin. Which is where her two sisters live. But she says that she’s rather be in Florida again. And my brother just notified me tonight that leaves back to Florida this weekend. She will be living with a friend who only has a one bedroom/one back apartment. She claims my brothers place is too small, despite having her own master bedroom and bath. I guess she’s rather where a bath and bedroom because that’s the better choice. My brother and I are beyond stressed and can’t ever figure her life choices out. I have drawn the conclusion that she actually wants to have something to moan and grown about and fester in misery. What else can it be?! But you would think a grown seventy year old would have for hired it out by now.

Now let’s talk about my other parent.

My father, who is originally from Boston, but grew up in Florida, has a deep rooted love for Florida. He always has. He’s lived in thirteen different cities in Florida alone. And despite the horrible weather, crime, diversity, and utter chaos, he seems to do best in that environment.

I told him I’d be fine if we just took a chain saw to the state. I would not live there if I won a million dollar mansion. There is a reason I always left. Well, it’s the opposite for him, so be it.

Two years ago he got a job offer in Texas that he could not refuse. Double the pay! Double! But after two years, he’s decided that his heart is back in Florida. Regardless of the pay. Money does not guarantee happiness.

So He will be back in Florida by the end of this month he tells me.

My only sibling is my one brother, who in the past sixteen years has lived in Connecticut (3 different cities) Moved to Alabama, then Florida, then back to Alabama, then California, Wisconsin, and now back to Alabama. But he tells me his heart is back in California, and plans to get back soon. He’s a free spurt like myself, but has no kids, therefore never saw the need for roots.

Again, so be it. As long as he’s happy. And he appears to be just that! He wants to go back to a campground community living style again. Back in Cali.

Where does this leave my mom, who needs to be cared for and can’t live alone anymore.

With no friends, because she doesn’t like anyone and fines fault with, well, everyone.

Well despite all of this, she’s decided to move In with her one lady friend who is a recluse and has no living relatives. So maybe it will work out?!

One can only hope.

Wanderlust.

Wanderlust doesn’t have to mean global, although that’s oftentimes what we all think when hearing the word.

Most people would travel the world if given the free ticket. And maybe I would have wanted to do the same, twenty-five years ago. But it has zero appeal to me now.

Although the one country I have always wanted to visit would have been India. It has always seemed so magical to me. Like a Disneyland, sort of speak. Crazy & Colorful! At least that’s how the movies make it seem to me.

No complaints here. Sure I’d like a bigger house so I can have an office and storage area. Maybe a garage, basement or attic. But I have no desire to travel anymore.

Being stationary for this many years has really made me realize that my needs are pretty basic.

At the end of the day, what I really desire is to watch the sunset on my front porch, sitting in my rocking chair sipping a green tea and lifting up my prayers.

Friendships after 40 Part 2

I have been trying to encourage my husband to come out of his shell a bit.

I feel like a lot of us forget how to make friends as we age. Sadly. And it’s even harder for introverts.

I would love to do a meet up some day for people who need help making friends, starting conversations, maintaining friends, and so on. Or maybe just a meet up on how to “meeting up”

Having online friendships is fine, and they definitely add o your life. Much like pen pals did back when I was a kid, but even on a deeper level. I feel as though having in person friendships have ceased though. Not that online friends don’t fill in the gaps, but nothing feels better then sitting face to face catching up with a friend. Or group of friends. It feeds you somehow! Not to mention, it’s fun!

Last night my husband and I were in a group setting. (Under twelve)

At first everyone in the room was quiet.

That always makes me nervous, if I’m being honest.

I know it’s not actually possible, but if I’m in a room full of quiet people, I feel as if I can feel their anxiety and feels.

It becomes burdensome and heavy.

I don’t know how else to explain it.

In this small group setting there was this one man who started up a conversation with a lady. It seemed as if she was a nurse.

She started talking about how she had wrist surgery this past week. She then added that her knees were next on the list. That was my cue. Similarities. I feel like if we really listen to people speak, we can find common similarities. Listen to people speak, not just talk.

That same man then asked me and my husband how we were doing.

My husband said fine. And knowing that’s never the right answer for any conversation, other then a cashier or waitress when they ask, I replied with more. I told him that I just had the remaining gel shots in my knees this past Friday, and was happy that they were finally over. And that I pray they work. Short and to the point.

What do you think happened next?

The nurse asked what did I have done, exactly. She also added that she use to be over 300lbs and she had weight loss surgery and had dropped 160lbs in the past two years. But, her knees still hurt just as bad as they did being heavier. But her diabetes was gone.

So we started talking among ourselves. Her husband was an older fellow that she had to also care for, and she seems tired and stressed.

Older then me I think, but sociable and nice. The kind of gal you can be friends with.

There was only one other “couple” who looked our age in the group. The man of this other couple started talking about his job, and how he worked for a bank.

I noticed his wife had several cans (4) of Diet Coke in her open handbag and kept pouring them into her adult sippy cup. She seemed very relaxed, having her legs swung up over the chair in front of her.

One man commented to her about her soda stash, and she said she realizes that we all pick our poison. The man laughed and told her that everything is okay in moderation. Small chat.

Being a former Diet Coke drinker, I felt like I could start and maintain a conversation with her though.

After our group was over, my husband told me he was going to try to start up a conversation with the other bank guy. Seeing as he also works for a bank.

I was happy that he was going to make the effort, so I figured I’d jump on ship and talk about Diet Coke with the lady, and how the struggle is real. Many time small chat leads to conversation.

But things went down hill real quick.

The moment the gathering, which was a lesson was over, the couple start to dash for the door.

We notice that this happens all the time.

No matter where you are.

It’s as if everyone is punching a clock.

Or.. maybe they all hate people.

Doesn’t matter the day or time. If you are in a group setting. Once it’s over, people want to go back to recluse mode.

Each year is getting worse. It really is.

My husband and I were about six feet away, when my husband says to the man.. “Hey, which bank do you you work at, I work for (………..).

The Man, with his back still towards us, turns only his head slightly to tell my husband the name of the bank, and then continues to walk and says, work in computers.

My husband then says that he works with computers too, and that maybe….

And with that, the man and his wife were out the door and down the stairs.

During all of that I tried introducing myself to the wife, but she didn’t turn her head, motion to me, or knowledge that someone was speaking to her.

She just stayed silent pretending not to hear me speaking to her while sipping her soda and walking.

I felt so bad for my husband. He wants us to have couple friends. Currently, we only have one couple who we are very tight with, but they travel several time a year, for a month at a time, so it would be nice to have a couple more to dine and hang with. We are not ready to throw in the towel and give up. We are married, not buried! We like to have dinner with friends, have people over, and share life with. I swear this is how, and why cults start up.

So after that, my introverted husband looked at me, head down, and said, “See? I tried. You saw all that right?” Yes. Yes I did. I replied.

People are so self absorbed and in their own bubble. I thought people would have come together more this past year, but nope! Quarantine changed nothing! Nothing long term.

People never want to have conversations. Or maybe they forgot how? Seriously.

Maybe with our online worlds, even the older generations are forgetting how to have meaningful conversations off line. I also wonder if it is like this in other counties. France? Italy? India? Australia? How is it like in other countries? Are people standoffish everywhere now?

Or is it just here in the states.

I have spoken to my daughter about it and she says she experiences this too. It’s all age groups.

No one wants to get together outside of mutual gatherings. There is no hospitality anymore. I thought it was bad a decade ago, but it’s 10x worse nowadays.

And it’s not because of Covid, because all of these people are still going on vacations.

I would say that is the number one thing I hear people talk about in passing lately.

So they are talking, but maybe it’s with another family member or with an already established friend. Whose to say.

I’m not so focused on the talking part, as I am on the meaningful conversations part.

You know, getting together on a double date and sharing life with one another. Past and present.

Telling stories and laughing with one another. Making memories.

I have such fond memories of these types of get togethers, that I’d really hate to think that they are forever no more.

We need each other.

We need people in our lives to cheer us on. We need people to comfort us when we are down and lift us up. Celebrate and count it all joy! Regardless!

I have sadness in my life, but it does not define me. There is still beauty everywhere.

Gosh, scripture backs all of this up in neon. Why are so little practicing it?

And I still feel bad that I encouraged my husband to make the effort and it did not end well. But I will continue to encourage him to not give up.

Past Friendships. Friends after 40

Why is it so hard to make friends after age forty?

I’m not asking for myself. But on second thought, sort of. Something happened tonight that has got me thinking about friends.

Back story-

It has always been easy for me to make friends. Probably because I’m an extrovert. Overly outgoing I’m told. I’m sure It stems from childhood. But what doesn’t?

I still recall my first best friend in the second grade. It was my first day of school and this boy behind me kept reaching over his desk to tug on my pigtails.

Weeks past and he was giving me notes that said nice pretty girl. I think my aunt still has, said notes. They became a daily thing at one point. But It wasn’t until my Birthday, three months into the school year, that he gave me a necklace that was in an envelope. (I still have it) It’s one of the few things that I’ve managed to keep all these years.

It was also the first gift a boy had ever given me. After that, I decided to invite him to my birthday party. Then we became besties. Plain and simple. The following year I moved and I met this girl named Jillian. She was the school baddie. Yes, third grade mind you. We then became besties. She taught me so many bad things that led us to the principles office on more then one occasion. It’s odd what we can recall if we just take a moment to think. I remember that she wore her long blonde ponytail to the side of her head. Way up high. I remember the style of her brown purse and asking my mom to buy me one like it. (She did!)

She wore chunky school girl heels with denim mini skirts. (Mom drew the line when I asked for those) She smacked strawberry Hubba- bubba gum even louder, blowing bubbles and laughing when the teacher would tell her to come to the front of the class and spit her gum out. Honestly, why on earth did I want to become like her. But I did. The year flew by! I remember us popping bubble wrap whenever the teach had her back turned. We both got sent to the principals office for it, and both our moms were called to punk us up. It was strict back then!

The moving around continued and next, I met two girls named Ivonne and Maria. We all became besties for a year.

Moved again and I met a girl named Carol. Turned out we were also next door neighbors and class mates. (I actually reconnected with her when my first born daughter was five) I flew down to Miami, where we me, and we went out to dinner. She told me that her parents still live in the house next to where I use to live. Wow!

Yes, the moving continued on and I met my best friend Jennie in the forth grade. We also had two other girls that joined us as besties. Michele and Nickki.

I went to three different schools for the forth grade, hence all the besties.

In fifth and sixth grade I changed schools, but so did my best friend Jennie. She also went to 7th and 8th grade with me too. (Different schools again) In ninth grade, Jennie went to a different high school then me. A trade school.

We both applied and got in, but when it came to picking a trade, it was just too much of a commitment for me, so I decided to not go that route. I had to actually choose one trade from a list to learn all about, and I just couldn’t do it.

So I ended up going to a high school that my friend Nikki was attending. Just your basic high school where one of the kids know what they want to do when they graduate.

The only problem was that Nikki went off to greater things and made better friends. Better friends, meaning the honor school kids. She, like me was being raised by a single mom. But her mom was strict. She was expected to get good grades and study hard. I was not. So in ninth grade, I quickly became a tiny guppie in a huge fifty gallon tank. All alone. I hated school. I did make one friend Terry. But she did not have the best reputation and even though I wasn’t the greatest kid, I knew that I would be getting in too deep by hanging with her long term.

So one day, mid year, I told my mom that I was not going to go anymore and she said fine.

I decided it would be fun to travel instead. I had two jobs, and some money saved so I decided to move in with my dad. The only thing I was not counting on, was that he made me go back to school. It was in a different state too.

He enrolled me in private school. Looking back, I feel like, had I put even a tiny bit of effort into it, I may have liked it. But I was a brat and through a fit every day until he told me I didn’t need to go back. I decided to get a job instead. Saved more money and went back home.

Then Life happened! I was moving every few months. I also got into the party scene, and was pretty irresponsible. I never stopped working though. I just was always bored with jobs. I waitressed, hostessed, cashiered, worked as a florist, a live in nanny, door to door sales..

I thought I had finally found a new bestie at a supermarket job I was working at, only to find out that she was after my brother and was using me to get to him. It was a huge mess because she also became my housemate.

Sure I had fair whether friends in between all of the mess, but what I really missed was Jennie, so even though years passed, I still knew her number, so one day I called it and we picked up right where we left off.

I also enrolled at night school and got my diploma, graduating the same year as my class. No regrets there!

Jennie remained in my life right up until I got married. After I married, she ended us marrying my ex boyfriend.. and well, things were awkward and we haven’t kept in touch. I did see her wedding pictures on Facebook though. That was nice.

After I married, I thought my besties would become all of my sister-in-law’s. But sadly, that never happened, and I’m twenty-five years in. Not having any sisters of my own, I really wanted to marry into a larger family and have sisters finally. Instead, I had four daughters and gave them all the sisters that I never had. I am happy that I was able to give my kids the life I always wanted to have.

In my twenties I met my current bestie, Melissa. We still talk and our families spent the holidays together last year.

In my late 20’s, I also met two other ladies that became my mom gang besties, but when my family moved down south, are friendships fizzled out. They say out of site out of mind. I’m not sure why that is. But like grade school, it just is. It can’t be helped and there is no blaming.

You can see a clear pattern if you look back onto your own childhood. Who were your besties? If you, or them, never moved out of state, then they may very well still be your besties. What an amazing blessing!

As you get older, 40+ it is next to impossible to make good friends. Let alone, married friends where your husband just so happens to click with the hubby of a lady who you click with. Oh the stories I have of girlfriends who have never gotten my husbands weird sense of humor. More often then not, I end up clicking with the husband and the wife. And well, that doesn’t actually work.

In this day and age we are taught from a very young age that your life is meaningless unless you travel. Travel does not come without a price. The price is, having roots. Friends that are more then fair whether. No one ever taught me any of that growing up. So I am now currently teaching my own children this. Wanderlust may satisfy your self when young, but robs you of so much more in latter life. Sharing your life throughout the decades, and making and having roots in one place is so much more fulfilling. (In my opinion and looking back into my own life)

Even if it’s an area that you think has nothing to offer you, Blooming where you are planted will satisfy your soul long term.

So what happens after age 40? Regarding friendships, if you have not nurtured and watered the ones that you made in your 20’s snd 30’s…

Can a married couple find other married couples to be friends with and all four click? After age 40.

I think the answer is no.

Hence why, you see so many couples of today each having their own separate friends. Even separate houses. Relationships are evolving into something that I don’t even recognize anymore.

I will be sharing a few stories on friendships throughout the week. Tomorrow’s post will be on what happened to my husband tonight, when trying to make a friend. After age 40.