Blogmas Day 23: Things I Miss

I get a bit nostalgic during the holidays some of it brought on by my seasonal sadness others just because I miss things or someone.  I have been contemplating things I am missing right now and wish were here still or could happen soon.   Here is a list of what I miss:

  1.  I miss my mother during Christmas because she always went all out for the holiday.  She always baked her homemade cookies.  I miss those cookies.  I miss pre-opening my gifts.  (Stop judging!) I just miss her presence and I wonder often how life would have been different if she hadn’t died.  Would I be traveling to Florida to visit or Alabama for that matter?
  2. I miss my aunt.  The house still has some of her presence there, but I miss our long talks.  I miss the companionship we had forged.  We could be in two different rooms and our bond would be still be strong.  I know she isn’t suffering any longer, but I miss her.  Lord, what I would do for a piece of her fried chicken.
  3. I miss our neighborhood with all the different families, because now most have passed on leaving their homes empty.
  4. I miss having a boyfriend.  I miss looking for the perfect gift.  I miss the amazing conversations about family during the holidays.  I miss all a relationship encompasses.
  5. I miss getting amazing outfits.  I used to get great outfits, except that cow coat I have never worn.  If you ain’t old or a child, no gifts for you!  LOL!
  6. I miss the surprises on Christmas.  Like the time my aunt’s nephew surprised us for Christmas and said he wasn’t going back to Cleveland.  Or when my cousin and his wife announced they were expecting Carson.
  7. Finally, I miss the feeling of Christmas.  I feel like the month of December goes so quickly I do not get the opportunity to just be in the moment and really experience all that Christmas means.  I want to feel Christmas and these days I am going through the motions.  This year was better than the previous two, but I miss the excitement and exhilaration I used to feel for the day.  Plus, Christmas is supposed to be 77 degrees, I just don’t know if Hell is right here on Earth or not.  It has reached high 40s this week, really!

What do you miss around this time of year?

Blogmas Day 22: Vision Boards

Blogmas Day 22: Vision Boards

It is almost that time of year to think about what you want to accomplish and do for 2017. I have been doing a vision board for several years now.  Believe it or not, they actually work in keeping you aware of your goals and even if you don’t quite get all your visions to happen, you can see a tangible account of your progress.

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My current vision board. Yes, I have OCD and things must be in order…Don’t Judge me…LOL!

My sister looked at my vision board when she was here for Thanksgiving and she said that the differences in our overall look of the board are quite different. She tends to have pictures overlapping and such and my board is neat and organized.  Yes it is and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I review my board every day and repeat the inspirational sayings every day as well.  At least for next year the Chevrolet Cruz can finally come off the board.  Go me!

Last year I traveled more. This year not so much.  Next year I am going to travel and update my passport.  So I will definitely have pictures representing travel.  I also plan to work on getting my YouTube channel going.  But first, I need an editing program that is easy to learn.  Further, I hope to garner some extra income to pay off some bills and I want to volunteer more.  Finally, my board will be a motivation to lose weight.  For real this next year.

Your vision board should be the way you like it and should be a motivation to have a productive and blessed year ahead. One thing that is noticeable on my vision boards is all the inspirational words I have placed all over the board.  Nothing is impossible with God on your side.  Real talk.

So next week I will be gathering my pictures and getting ready to make my vision for 2017 amazing!

Blogmas Day 21: Holiday/Winter Blues

Tis the season to be jolly and decking the halls, but this season for some people also brings on the blues. It’s a feeling of sadness which seems to come out of nowhere and envelops some people.  I find sometimes the holidays bring on a bit of melancholy and for the most part I can shake it off, but not everyone can.

This type of blues is a form of depression that can linger for some and move on with others. We all handle things differently and what may work for me may not work for you.  When I feel the holiday blues tapping on my shoulders, it is usually when the weather is dark, wet and cold.  I feel overwhelmed with negative emotions and all I want to see is the sun, no amount of Christmas decorations or songs can make it go away.  I know I didn’t get this feeling as much when I was able to give more.  I prefer to give presents and living on a tight budget doesn’t make it easy.  I love to see folk’s faces when they receive a thoughtful gift, now I am surrounded by folks who are my age or older watching the children and the elderly receive gifts.  I am not jealous; I am just upset I couldn’t do more.

Last year, Christmas Eve was bad. It stormed and we had flash floods all day.  My phone’s weather app was going off every hour stirring up my anxiety and scaring the shit out of me.  All I wanted was a Chic Fi la sandwich but because of the weather I didn’t dare leave the house.  The rain of the week had me all in my feelings.  I was sad.  No other words for it.  Yes, I missed my aunt and my uncle but I was just sad because the day was wet and dark.  However, Christmas morning was sunny and bright and my mood was much better.

A few years ago, it was another dark, overcast Christmas Eve and I was just upset all day. I felt alone, which is a rare feeling for me, an introvert.  I even had a boyfriend at the time.  Yet, I felt the sadness of being alone.  And the next day as I made my way over to my cousin’s house in the rain, I felt just blue and not because I was alone but just not my usual jolly loving Christmas self.  I think I felt like that because I had to go to work the next day, but still I was truly sad.  I remember going to bed that night thankful I made it through the day because I was seriously over Christmas.

I wrote all this to say there are people who deal with issues just like you do. The holiday blues are real and they haunt some of us for differing reasons.  Some years are better than others, but each time I have found my way to claw, crawl and emancipate myself from the darkness of my emotions.  I just wished it wasn’t dependent on whether the sun comes out or not.  The last couple of days my anxiety has been strong, but it has been raining off and on for days but looking out my office window today and seeing the sun has settled me some and I can only imagine what a few more days of sun will do for me.

Blogmas Day 20: Christmas Dinner

I wish my folks weren’t traditional or so damn allergic, because I get tired of eating ham and turkey for Thanksgiving and then Christmas. I am so over it.  The thing is…no one wants to move out of their comfort zone.

We have similar foods from Thanksgiving on Christmas, but more casseroles and pasta salads. The desserts are in abundance as well.  Don’t get me wrong it tastes good, but sometimes my mouth just wants something different.  What, you may ask?  Well…

How about a prime rib? I would love a good prime rib with horseradish sauce or, if we didn’t have those folks who are allergic to shellfish, seafood. Just the thought of tables covered in crabs, lobster, shrimp, squid, mussels and fish has my mouth watering and a look of pure anticipation.  It ain’t gonna happen.

Seafood is expensive and have you priced prime rib lately? For real ain’t gonna happen.  Plus, my folks would over cook the prime rib.  Blood creeps them out, where it pisses me off to have overdone steak.  It is just a thought though.

I guess I want to do something different for Christmas and changing up the menu makes for a subtle change. However, everyone isn’t open for that kinda change.  Eventually, I want to just travel for the holiday season so my want of prime rib and seafood can be met.

The thing is Christmas dinner is about more than the food and the gifts; it is about family and fellowshipping. We do not get together very much anymore especially since my aunt died, so I expect no different this year, but I was promised some turnip greens…

What traditions does your family follow religiously?

Blogmas Day 19: Randoms

I am so tired today.

It is cold day. 46 Degrees…Sighing…

Someone please wash my clothes…Please? No? I tried.

Christmas is this coming Sunday.

I still need to mail my nieces gifts. Why I got to send the gift cards separately?  What had happened was it was raining yesterday.  Saturday I had the book club meeting.  Friday it was too damn cold.  I got excuses.

The post office continues to lose. I ordered two books for my youngest niece.  Both arrived at my P. O. Box.  Instead of putting both books in the larger box and leaving the key in my smaller box, they only put one in the larger box.  They left me a notice to pick up the other book from the desk.  Let me tell you I only have a PO Box at that post office.  It isn’t convenient.  They are open from 8 – 5 Mon – Fri and 8 – 12 on Sat.  I work during the week at the same hours they are open and the post office is across town.  Further, on Saturday unless I have errands on that side of town I ain’t going over there.  Why would you put one book in the larger box instead of putting them both in there?  They do it all the time but this will be the second time someone is trying to be an asshole.  My niece will get her book, I don’t know when though because the post office is a loser.  I am too old to play kid games with grown folks.

This is going to be a long week.

I really don’t have anything to write about today and that is why I am rambling about nothing.

My cousin Genarrio will be home Wednesday.

Be thankful for your blessings.

Keep folks who are negative away from you. Negativity rubs off.

A glass of Pinot Noir will be great tonight as I wash and fold clothes.

I really do not like going home in the dark. It bothers my soul.

I will be heading home in an hour. Hope you had a nice day.  I will try to be more thoughtful tomorrow!

Blogmas Day 18: Book Club Meeting Success!

I made it through the meeting, but it was touch and go prior to the meeting. I seemed to be on schedule but some how or another by 5:30 things seem to be going astray. Let’s start at the beginning.

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Time to enjoy the meeting…

I had a things-to-do list for seven days before the meeting. Each day consisted of making gifts, cookies or food and cleaning. I stuck to my schedule religiously. I didn’t just come home every evening and watch YouTube or television. I came home with a mission in mind. So by Thursday, I only had to bake cookies and get some items from Sam’s Club.   Don’t tell my sister but I did get two different chopped salads from Sam’s only because they were only $2.58 a piece. Another side note, I almost had a meltdown in Sam’s because they didn’t have the big bag of chocolate candy, you know the one with the Hershey’s Miniatures, Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. But I searched high and low to find them and I did. I meant I was sticking to my budget.

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The cookies…All of them.

So Thursday night I baked cookies and marinated my jerk chicken wings. And I finished by 1:30 am, which is better than that 2:30 am of the previous year. By having the cookies already made and scooped made things run smoothly. When I was finished though I was pissed. Why you may ask? WOW cable. Y’all they are always working on the cable. And when they do you may be without cable, Internet and phone from 12:30 am until 6:30 am. For those of you new to my blog, I sleep with the television on and I really cannot sleep without it. So I called and waited 20 minutes to talk to a representative because I needed to know why they do not let their customers know of the outage and why they do not credit us for the inability to use the service we pay for. Needless to say, although they were nice, they couldn’t answer the questions. Anyway, I tried to sleep but it was rough and I didn’t go to sleep fully until 4:30 am, when the television came back on.

Friday I had a late start because of my lack of sleep. But I went to the grocery store and bread store and came home and politely took a nap.   Did I mention the temperature was a nice 52 degrees? I got up from my nap and cooked my jerk wings, honey barbecue wings and garlic Parmesan wings. Then I had to head to the 2nd job to drop off the cookies and pick up my Bottom of the Lake dip.   When I got back home I did my fruit tray, finished cleaning the den and living room, set up a couple more things and headed to bed. I slept well that night.

Saturday I got up and made my chicken salad and ham salad sandwiches. The sauce for my meatballs and set up the tables and headed out to pick up my punch. When I got home I finished cleaning and setting up my food like the stuffed mushrooms and then I took a much needed hour nap. I woke to take a bath and beat my face. Then it was time to baked the mushrooms and set up the drink station. I mixed up the chopped salads and grilled my shrimp.   No sooner had I finished the doorbell rang with the first guest. However, I had on my lock sock and no lipstick on and I was walking around barefoot.

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The spread…This time I was able to take pictures…

The meeting was great.   All my members showed up and they bought their community service gifts (we donated towels sets to the Brantwood Children’s Home). We discussed current events; we discussed life and had a great book discussion of Second House from the Corner by Sadeqa Johnson. I gave the ladies the bath bombs and they loved them.   We had a great time fellowshipping and it was wonderful. Oh, by the way the temperature that day was in the mid 70s. We going to hell! I couldn’t open the windows like I usually do because it was hot so I had to turn on the AC in the house not in the den though I didn’t want anyone to get sick.

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All the members!

Everyone was gone by 9 pm and I was in the bed by 9:40. How you may ask? I am an organized cleaner which means once I organize the dishes it takes me no time to clean. I finally got to enjoy the food and thanks to my wine I had a great night’s sleep. Another holiday book club meeting under my belt!

Blogmas Day 17: Preparing for Book Club Holiday Meeting

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Every year since 1999 I have hosted the December book club meeting. This is the meeting most members look forward to because they are going to get good food and the spirit of Christmas when they walk into the house.  Well back in 1999, I decorated the outside of the house and our house was lit up and was the brightest house on the street.  Those were the days…

In the early days I had help. My cousins who are now in their late 20s and early 30s would come over and answer the door and act as greeters all in exchange for food.  Cheap help is hard to find nowadays.  Back then I also had over 20 members, which I would pray wouldn’t all show up.  I know that is mean, but hell it was true.

My aunt and uncle would be present in the house but unless you went to the back of the house you would never know they were there. I smile thinking about those times.  My uncle would look at the aftermath of the food table and say the women grazed like cows.  Deadpan serious.

My uncle died in 2007 two days before Thanksgiving and I remember my members weren’t sure if I would decorate and even host the meeting in its grandeur. I did.  It was hard because I was still grieving and getting use to the new normal.  After my aunt died in 2010, I made it my business not to allow the sadness of the time to dampen the meeting and it didn’t.  That is when me and The Guy reconnected.

Today my book club consists of 13 members including myself, which is so much better than the larger groups we once had. I don’t have to cook as much, don’t judge me.  It takes a lot to prepare for the meeting and sometimes if you have read my blog long enough I would get sick.  Imagine trying to cook and clean when you feel like shit.  Definitely not a good look, but thank goodness I am feeling good and I have been working on my to-do list all week.  And I am more prepared than last year, I hope.  Although I make the tokens I give the members now, but back in the day I would spend mad money getting gifts.  I think the handmade gifts show I felt they were worth my time and money for a thoughtful gift.  I do not make elaborate desserts.  We are older now so I get some wine and point them to the liquor cabinet so they can mix their own drinks.  What?  I host but I ain’t serving you.  This year I do plan to get a picture of all the food, unlike last year they acted like they were starving to death but some meetings I get nothing to eat because y’all know I don’t eat cheese but they love it.  LOL!  I used to have things like cheese balls and straws at the meeting, not anymore.  If I ain’t going to eat it I ain’t making it.  Stop judging me!

What my members never really think about is I have to prepare to host the meeting and I have to prepare for the discussion of the meeting.  That is a lot of work that I think they take for granted.  However, celebrating Christmas is my thing and I wouldn’t do it any other way.  Here’s to a good meeting, which I hope will not be our last holiday meeting.