Camp NaNoWriMo, In the News

Daring to Read the News

Do ya’ll watch/read the news?

When I was a stay-at-home mom / working from home mom, I would listen to the conservative talk radio shows every day. I also used to look/read Drudge every day.

Though I felt informed, I was miserable. Because the news is depressing, ya’ll. I guess it has to be. Who wants to read about cute puppy antics, rainbows and unicorns? That’s not exciting. It’s not something that gets people worked up, it’s not a money maker.  I get it, but damn.

When I started my job at the hospital, I neither had the time, nor the inclination, to keep track of the news. Putting some distance between me and the ugly that exists outside my four walls was actually healthy for me. I believe one should be informed but know when to step back and take a breath.

Moderation is key.

It is important to keep on top of what is happening in our world. Too many uninformed / uninterested people already exist and as a result, we have ended up with a society like we have now. However, I have found that if you read the news maybe three times a week, you’re as informed as you’re going to be. Because if you notice, the news recycles itself every day. You can listen to one radio show host and he will talk about the same topics for DAYS, ad nauseam. Dude. I got it the first time you talked about it. Let’s stick to the facts and give me a minute to make up my own damn mind, mmkay?

We don’t watch TV. Not in the traditional sense. We’ve had cable, satellite, Netflix but got rid of them when prices started going up. I’m all for entertainment but not when it costs me a 1/4 of my paycheck.

I will admit, getting rid of NetFlix was hard: I haven’t watched a movie in … six months? I’m completely out of the movie loop. But the primary reason we did it was because it’s just a time suck. Too many movies and too little time. And honestly? I often ended up feeling disappointed when I finished a movie anyway so why would I spend my time and money on something that I don’t ultimately enjoy?

Now I read books and watch WAY too much YouTube videos. I’m currently hooked this, this and this channel. (Notice a patter here? Also, this girl is WICKED creative).

I may have to ban myself from YouTube. I’ve already banned myself from Facebook. (Yep, I deactivated my account. Another time suck. Haven’t missed it – at all).

I’ve trimmed the time suck fat from my day in an attempt to write on this blog more, build our podcast, write short stories and maybe even a novel to two. I’m slowly retraining my brain to focus on more brain-friendly activities.

With all of that being said, I do try and dip a toe into real-world events now and again which leads me to the point of this blog post.

News. Here are a few of the headlines that caught my attention today.

Europe’s biggest sex festival

Um. wow. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. To promote an event that solely exists to provide an atmosphere where depraved people can go and have orgies with whomever and whatever they want is a page ripped straight from Sodom and Gomorrah. Not to sound too Christian-y, but God have mercy on their souls. Nothing like wallowing in sin to be trendy and disgusting. But hey, it’s not called free will for nothing. Good luck explaining that behavior at the judgement.

Starbucks customer ‘did not feel safe’ with officers around

Some police officers in Tempe, Ariz., say they were asked to leave a Starbucks coffee shop on the Fourth of July because a customer complained they “did not feel safe” with the cops present, according to reports.

Five officers were drinking coffee at the Starbucks location prior to their shift beginning when a barista asked them to move out of the complaining customer’s line of sight or else leave, the Tempe Officers Association wrote in a series of Twitter messages.

You know Starbucks, for a company that prides itself on “inclusion” you’re doing a rather smashing job of excluding a large demographic here. I, for one, love your coffees but won’t buy coffee  because your prices are way, WAY too high for a cup of coffee. In addition, I’m really not inclined to buy anything from you because you continue to support and condone behavior that is directly counter intuitive to what is decent and right.

Why are people so hell bent on making the police the bad guys and yet the bad guys are given free reign to act like asses and/or break the law? Why is the media trying so hard to defend people, or groups, that continually work to break laws that are in place to PROTECT society at large? It seems so ass backwards to me. So, let’s continue to demonize the very people who swear to protect us. Yeah, that makes complete sense.

Let me ask you this – if the police go away. Then what? What happens if something bad happens and you need help? Who are you going to call then? If we didn’t have laws and society rules, our world would turn into Mad Max. Have you seen that movie? People are animals. Because it’s human nature to try and get something for nothing and some people do not possess the self-control gene.

Do you really want to live in a society without a police force? Well, keep demonizing them, it might happen.

Walmart bans woman who ate half a cake in store — and then refused pay full price

Here’s proof that people have lost their every-loving minds. (I think this one might end up a short story).

In case you’re too stupid to realize this, grocery stores are where you go to replenish your stock, to BUY things you need for your home. It is NOT a place specifically designed for you to go and eat for free. The wares you see placed neatly around the store? Was not placed specifically for you. I know, I know, this may come as a shock to you but take a breath and consider, for just a moment, that a company that builds a store and then offers things for people to buy did not specifically offer this service so that you could go, at your leisure, and start eating whatever you feel like eating, you dumb ass. Get over yourself.

For the love of God, what is wrong with people.

Okay. I need to walk away.

Now I remember why I stopped reading the news.

People are stupid, self absorbed and evil.

Post Twelve
At the Moment, Camp NaNoWriMo, Politics

Stop Playing Victim and Start Being Victor!

Wow. I have a girl crush on Candace Owens. This girl is ‘DA BOMB!

This conversation perfectly, PERFECTLY, defines what is wrong with our country.

It’s long, but well worth the watch. I dare you to take time out of your day to watch this.

Also, I spent 38 minutes watching this video:

FASCINATING conversation. And there is so much wisdom from the black conservatives in this round table. To be fair, I see what the liberal guy was saying but it comes around to being the victim, not the victor. And if you watch the faces of the liberal guests you can SEE the confusion.  They truly don’t know how to respond when faced with thoughtful, intelligent counterpoints.

I think this is indicative of America today. No one wants to think for themselves. It’s all about regurgitating talking points. I don’t think they even knew what they were saying, or arguing, half the time.

It’s time to stop being sheeple and start thinking for yourselves, people. Stop allowing the media to spoon feed you crap. Stop. Think. Digest.

I’m feeling hopeful after watching these videos. That’s how it starts, with thoughtful, intelligent conversation.

Post Eleven
Camp NaNoWriMo, Dear Diary

Dear Diary – Ten Years from Now

7-6-2029

Dear Diary,

Retirement is close. I can see it but I can’t touch it yet. It’s within grasp, but just out of reach. I can’t believe I’ve been a medical assistant for nearly 20 years. Where has the time gone? I never thought, in a million years, I would 1. be working in healthcare and 2. STILL working in healthcare. But I’m old, it’s too late to start looking for another job now. My doctor is getting close to retiring, too. He’s about seven years younger than me but surgery is hard on the body and I can see it’s taking a toll on him. He can’t last much longer. It’s hard to believe that our physician assistant is still with us as well. She’s so smart and beautiful I’m sure she could have made way more money with another doctor/hospital/specialty but my doctor and PA have a special relationship and they have worked together for so long I guess she figured it was easier to just stick with what you know.

I know the feeling.

There are times I miss our old nurses. We’re on our third nurse now in the past ten years. Babies grow up, opportunities present themselves and our nurses have gone on to greener pastures: it’s just me, Dr. So-and-So and our PA.

The three amigos. The clinic has gone through so many people over the past ten years I’ve truly lost count. I’m one of two left standing from the original crew. I’m either stupid or loyal, I haven’t decided which yet.

I’ve written so many stories and even submitted a few but have only received rejections. I suppose I shouldn’t give up but it’s hard to keep going when I feel like I’m the only one who likes what I write. I suppose I can really hit it hard when I actually retire.

Kevin wants me to retire in two years but I’m thinking it will be closer to five or six. I feel like retirement will be like my years when I was a stay-at-home mom and though I don’t regret staying home with the boys when they were little, I was bored out of my mind. Will retirement be like that? Other than reading and writing, what else is there to do? Kevin would respond with, “You could always do housework,” which my retort will be, and always has been “haha, I’m not your mom, when are you going to realize that?”

I think I could have rocked being a nurse. No. I don’t think, I KNOW. I’m a great multi-tasker and think quick on my feet. I toyed with the idea, briefly, in 2019, but I had zero interest in going to school, studying and of course, going into debt to pay for school. Not to mention ….. PEOPLE. They just exhaust me. At least, they used to, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t be everything to all people. All I can do is my best and I know, in my heart, that I give 150%  and that’s all I can give. You can’t please everyone so why not just be true to yourself? At the end of the day, does it really matter? In the grand scheme of things, Earth continues to rotate, the sun will set and the moon will rise and a new day will begin regardless of how crappy the day before might have been. I’m glad I didn’t listen to the people who were trying to talk me into going into nursing, I just don’t think it would have been a good fit. I’m empathetic but only to a point, the bottom line is, I just don’t have enough patience to deal with …. PEOPLE.

I would have rocked it though. You and I both know it.

Kevin is nearly 70. I can’t believe how OLD we are. It sounds old, and there are certainly days we feel old, but in a lot of ways, we are still those 30-something people who were just starting out with life juggling careers and young boys. I don’t feel my age in my mind but unfortunately, my body does feel my age. I know I have a good 25 (plus?) years left but I do find myself thinking about death more and more. I pray that Kevin and I both go at the same time and in our sleep. I would hope for something quiet and painless. I want to go together because honestly, I can’t imagine my life without Kevin. We’ve been married nearly 40  years – I can’t even remember my life before him. I certainly don’t want to think about my life after him.

I do find myself thinking about what will happen in our second life, when Christ comes back for us and raises us from the dead to inherit paradise on Earth. Will we know one another? Or will we be two strangers assigned different rewards and lives? Not knowing each other, or not knowing our children and extended family really makes me sad. I try not to think about it too much as I trust God and I’m sure it will be great, but I would be lying if the thought didn’t bother me.

A lot.

Blake is 37 and Brandon is 35. Blake is still not married but he’s dated a few quiet girls here and there. It used to bother me that he might not ever get married but I would rather he be alone and happy than be saddled with a woman who isn’t nice to him and miserable. Brandon is doing well. I’m really fond of my daughter-in-law, thank God, and their little girls are the apple of mine and Kevin’s eye. I love seeing them with Kevin, he just dotes on them. I always wondered what kind of dad he would have been if we had had a girl. He’s been an amazing dad to our sons and he’s a pretty great grandpa.

Blake is a manager of a retail store. He has really stepped up to the bat and proven his organizational skills. People respect him because he’s a man of few words and that keeps people guessing about him.

Brandon is a game developer and lives in Belgium Brussels. It really bothered me at first, him living so far away with the grandbabies, but it gives us an excuse to fly over and see him and his family and honestly, Belgium is a really cool place.

Roy still lives across the street from us. His dog Misty died and he now has another Shih tzu who is a bit more spirited than Misty was but seems to adore Roy. His tremors are worse now and we think he might have Parkinson’s. He hasn’t been formally diagnosed but he sees a neurologist in a few months so we’ll see.

Kevin finally broke down and bought a new(er) truck. His old truck finally bit the dust about six years ago and he has another Ford 150 that he’s driving around. He and Roy still go around to estate/garage sales and collect things but they don’t do it as often as they used to. Kevin sold his Genesis. It was a great car but he never drove it, so he sold it to make room in the garage for more thrift items to put in his booth and to make himself another workshop as he continues the challenge of fixing things up.

I bought my dream car, a Fiat Spider, black. It’s completely impractical but so much fun to drive! Not to mention, I look GOOD driving it. ha!

No plans to sell the houses. I mean, why? It’s just the two of us, we certainly don’t need anything bigger though I’m not going to lie, we do talk about maybe selling at times to maybe buy something smaller and using the excess money to put into investments or to add to our retirement accounts. We always wanted a brick home and I’ve always thought it would be nice to have a basement, but I’ve gone this long without one, I don’t suppose I need one now.

Our parents are doing well. Kevin’s mom is still with us though she’s slowed down considerably, she’s living with Kevin’s oldest sister. Kevin’s dad passed away about five years ago. Mom and dad are still going strong though I feel like dad is looking more frail but goodness, he’s over 80 now. I try and go over and look after them as much as I can.

Who knows how life will look in another ten years. I try not to think about my own mortality too much. I really don’t know why it bothers me so much, maybe I feel like I haven’t exhausted life yet.  Whatever life throws at me, I pray I have my mind, my body and am not a burden on my loved ones.

Post Six
Through My Eyes

Wishing I was More of a Fashionista

Here is another obsession of mine lately:

Watching fashion shows on YouTube.

And I’ll be honest, most of the fashions I see I wouldn’t be caught dead in, but there are quire a few pieces in this show that I would actually wear… if I lived on an exotic island and had nothing better to do but attend cocktail parties and exchange fantasies about the hot pool boy.

However, I’m any BUT a fashionista.

I’m comfy in my over-sized t-shirts and swing dresses, thank you very much.

But still, I like to dream. And I not only like to watch fashion shows in YouTube to see what new and ridiculous fashions are being showcased now, but the zombie-like expressions on the models who wear these ridiculous concoctions.

I find that “fashion” becomes more difficult as you get older. I want to wear the hot trendy stuff but let us not forget that I’m old(er) and some of this stuff just looks crazy on me. I LOOK like a woman who is trying too hard.

But in my mind, I’m still mid-30’s so it doesn’t FEEL weird. Just LOOKS odd.

I haven’t given up. I’m still “trying” to find my look but the rate I’m going, I will be 90 before I really find it.

In the meantime, I’m going to live my fashion life through these poor, uncomfortable looking models.

Politics

Celebrities Don’t Care About You – It’s All About Agenda

It always astounds me the number of people who take what celebrities say, or their opinions, as gospel truth. I can guarantee these people could care less about you. It’s about THEIR own agenda or who pays top dollar for them share their opinion.

Let’s get a little perspective, shall we? I PROMISE your brain will not implode if you dare to use it. Ask questions, think it through. Just because someone tells you how to think does not mean you HAVE TO THINK THAT WAY.

This goes for anyone, not just celebrities. Family members, co-workers, even your significant other.

Be smart. Think with your head, not your heart.

It’s called reality.

It’s not always fun, but it’s REAL.

Life

Wrapping up the Holidays

I received nothing for Christmas. Not one gift.

Kevin and I haven’t exchanged Christmas gifts in quite some time.  I’m perfectly fine with this, it’s just … odd, I guess. I mean, when you have to sit and think really hard for something you want, it’s sort of a buzzkill for me. It takes the enjoyment out of it. And I would much rather give a person a gift he/she really wants than just come up with something so I have something to wrap and give him/her on Christmas day.

I realize that gift giving on Christmas changes when you get older. I used to feel so sorry for my mom growing up because though my dad gave her gifts, there weren’t very many of them and I just couldn’t understand how she could be okay with that.

But now that I’m older, I get it. Christmas is about so much more than getting gifts, it’s about giving and spending time with family.

I know that sounds so cliche, but it’s so true. I TRULY love giving gifts. I love the challenge of finding the perfect gift and knowing that what I gave them they will enjoy and appreciate.

At least that’s what I tell myself

I know this time of year is hard on our boys. We used to GO ALL OUT for Christmas. We gave them some really awesome memories. And we used to SPOIL THE CRAP OUT OF THEM. And by that, I mean, there would be twenty gifts for them to open.

Yes. We were THOSE parents. But we only did that a few years before waking up and realizing that was probably sending them the wrong message – it’s about quality, not quantity.

But because we had those awesome Christmases, they came to expect it. Blake seems mature about the holidays now, but I sense that Brandon continues to be disappointed in our gifts. For now all we buy them are things I know they won’t buy on their own – like clothes, underwear, socks, etc. And their stockings consist of health and beauty aides – shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. Not exactly earth shattering and not exactly fun to open but I’m confident that when they get their loot home and have stocked shelves and realize how much money they just saved that month by NOT having to buy that stuff, I know they appreciate it.

Since the boys live on their own and make their own money, they can buy whatever they want when it comes to entertainment. Not to mention, their tastes have matured and I have no idea what their even in to nowadays so I wouldn’t have the first clue on what to buy them even if we did go down that road.

We did buy them a “fun” gift this year – a water cooler. WHOA. EARTH SHATTERING I KNOW. But we knew they missed our water cooler and it was my sneaky attempt to tempt them to drink more water. Blake went to Urgent Care this year because he was having trouble peeing. And when he peed, he couldn’t pee very much. My first thought was urinary tract infection. He doesn’t have a PCP, (in fact, none of us do and that’s on my list of things to accomplish in 2018, get a PCP), so he went to Urgent Care.

After waiting around for three hours, they scanned his bladder, empty, and took a urine sample. They sent him home and told him they would call if there was a problem and oh yeah, drink more water.

The same advice I’ve been telling him for years – stop drinking so much soda and drink more water.

They never called so we’re assuming he didn’t have a UTI and he has finally started eating better and drinking more so he hasn’t had an issue since that incident.

And even though the whole episode was worrisome and stressful for him, I’m sort of glad that it happened. Because when his final bill came back from that three hour visit to the Urgent Care where basically nothing was done for him, he realized that taking care of his body is not only important to feel good, but it’s ultimately better on his wallet, too.

His bill was a little over $1,000. Thankfully, he’s on my insurance and it only ended up costing him $84 dollars, but it was a good learning experience that 1. take care of your body so you don’t HAVE to make trips to the doctor/hospital and 2. health care is outrageously EXPENSIVE.

He will, however, need to find new insurance this year. He will turn 26 and it will be time to spread those wings and fly away. It will be interesting to see what his options are. His birthday is in November, so who knows what health insurance will look like in the fall.

Let’s hope his choices are better than OBummer care were.

But as far as gift giving between me and Kevin, it didn’t happen. We have mutually agreed no gifts. Our gift to each other was to book a cruise in April to the Southern Caribbean. I would rather spend nearly two weeks together than open a gift on Christmas day.

(This will make my tenth cruise and Kevin’s 11th cruise. Can you tell we love to cruise? Get yourself a credit card where you build frequent flyer miles to cash in for flights and it’s not nearly as expensive as you might think it is. Just pay your credit card off each month – if you carry a balance, then it’s not really a good deal, now is it).

It really bothers me whenever I see people on Facebook brag that they “got everything they asked for.” I’m sure they are grateful for everything they received but it just hits me wrong when they word it like that. I’m a big YouTuber watcher (yes, that’s a word in my dictionary) and it bothers me to watch “my Christmas haul” types of videos too, but I have to admit, it is interesting to see the types of things that people get for Christmas.

I just feel like, or I guess it validates what everyone thinks, that Christmas is all about the “stuff” and the true meaning is just buried somewhere.

We didn’t do much for New Year’s Eve, we never do, we’re rather chill people. The boys, my nephew, Roy and my parents came over. We played games, ate tacos and stuffed our faces with too much sugar and a tiny bit of alcohol. I tried Pinot Grigio for the first, and last time. It was nasty. I’m not a drinker, but it would be nice to find a wine that doesn’t make me want to throw up in my mouth, just a bit. I’m glad we just bought the small bottles and didn’t waste a ton of money on a big bottle.

I’ve made five resolutions that I’m going to work hard on trying to keep this year: 1. read more and watch less YouTube, 2. get everyone set up with PCP’s, 3. write more ( or in my case – SOMETHING), 4. spend more time with my parents and 5. take long weekends away from work. I feel like this past year has really taken a toll on my body and life is too short to allow work to kill me.

I hope you enjoyed the holidays! I know a small part of me is relieved it’s over and we can all move on to the next chapter/year of our lives.

Politics

The TRUTH About Thanksgiving

Food, football, and…oppression. That’s what Thanksgiving has come to mean to many Americans.

Back in 2007, Seattle public school officials made national news by describing the holiday as a “time of mourning” and a “bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal.”

This new narrative describes the Pilgrims as arrogant oppressors who fled persecution only to become persecutors themselves, depriving Native Americans of their land and their lives.

But this is wrong on every count.

First of all, the Pilgrims didn’t cross the ocean to flee persecution—or even England. They’d been living for over a decade in Holland, Europe’s most tolerant nation, and a haven for religious dissenters. Free from interference by the Church of England, they feared seduction—not persecution, worrying that their children would be corrupted by the materialistic Dutch culture.

That’s why they risked their dangerous 1620 voyage to a wilderness continent: not because they were running from oppression, but because they were running toward holiness—fulfilling a fateful mission to build an ideal Christian commonwealth.

They initially planned to plant this model society on the wild, wolf-infested island known to natives as Manhattan, but winds and tides blew them 250 miles off course, dumping the Mayflower on the frozen coast of Massachusetts.

See full transcript here, along with references.

I love references. It’s hard to ignore, or dispute, references.

Life

Life Update

Hey.

How are you?

Do not adjust your monitor.

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you.

It’s me.

I’m writing.

And I actually hit publish this time.

Go buy a lottery ticket. (No, don’t buy a lottery ticket, it’s a scam)

So hi. I’m still here. Lurking in the background, peeking over your shoulder, breathing heavily into your ear.

I’m still alive.

Want proof? *sigh* FINE.

This is me and Kevin on our last cruise, this past September. That was our 9th cruise together. (Kevin just got back from his 10th, without me. There is SO MUCH to catch up on!)

We is cute. I know. It’s too much to handle. I’ll give you a moment to absorb the cuteness.

Where did we leave off? What was the last thing I blogged about? …….. Oh yeah, my new car.

It’s … good. I miss my Vibe. My Vibe was the best car I’ve ever had. But this Buick Encore is not bad. It’s a small SUV and I’m a bit disappointed by the smallness. I’m used to having so much room in my Vibe. If OBummer, (also known as Obama), hadn’t come along and messed stuff up so that Pontiac went out of business, I would have TOTALLY bought a newer Vibe, but alas, Democrats happened and that option was taken from me.

*Cue offensive feeling*

I don’t sugar coat it, folks. I’m certainly not a Democrat and I’m no longer a Republican, (what a bunch of pussies), so I guess you could call me a Libertarian. (Don’t tread on me, get out of my bedroom, MY MONEY, back off). So, OF COURSE, this blog will be slanted toward that arena. If you’re easily offended, or can’t swallow the truth, then I’d suggest leaving, now. Cause I don’t mince words and I don’t apologize for my opinions though I do try and stay fair and objective because I’m not a sheeple; I have a brain, I’m not afraid to use it.

Anyhoo …

I’ve put a whopping 4200 miles on my car now. I bought it in February, (March?). I don’t drive much. I don’t really have many places that I drive to. I literally live two miles from the hospital and I’m at the hospital most of the time, so … the Blue Book value on my car will always be clean, I’m predicting.

It’s a BEAUTIFUL Sunday afternoon. It’s a pleasant 50 degrees and I’m trying to talk myself into editing baby shower pictures that I took this past Thursday.

Don’t get excited. Our boys are still single. I’m not a grandma and don’t really think I’ll ever be a grandma, to be perfectly honest. It was a dual baby shower for two nurses that I work with. One is my (new) boss, and the other one is the God send nurse that replaced the CRAP nurse I was forced to work closely with for TWO LONG YEARS.

This new nurse is AWESOME. She is a perfect fit for our dysfunctional and totally OCD team. We had her a few weeks before she told us she was pregnant. Not gonna lie, I was pretty annoyed because DUDE, you just started with us and now you’re going to be on maternity leave for 10 long weeks which means I will have to do two jobs and be the contact person for my doctor and PA until you get back. Because it’s all about me, you see. But to be fair, our nurse, let’s call her T, did tell all of us in her interview that she wanted to have another baby; she just wasn’t prepared to get pregnant quite this fast. But you know, babies have their own time tables.

So, after the shock wore off, we started planning a baby shower. And by “we”, I mean, my freaking awesome PA. This PA’s motto is “GO BIG OR GO HOME.” She never, ever does anything half ass. Whether that’s doing her job or planning a party, she has a way of going above and beyond and making individuals feel very special. It’s a LOT of work for her, but she seems to enjoy it and I know other people enjoy the fruits of her labors.

Coincidentally, another nurse, someone who got promoted to nurse manager, also got pregnant at the same time – they are actually about 5 weeks apart, so naturally, we decided to combine the parties.

It was a GREAT PARTY, again, largely thanks to our PA. (We had the party at her house). Nearly every single person in our clinic showed up, even the doctor I work for. I think that says a lot about our clinic – we have such a great group of people.

I was the photographer. Don’t be impressed, I’m really not that great of a photographer. I simply point and shoot. BOOM. I present my photography skills. And I love taking pictures … I just hate going through them afterwards. I know that sounds weird but I think I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed with the results. If I don’t go through them, then I can go on tricking myself into believing that they will turn out good.

Welcome to my head.

But I need to go through them, people at work are asking about them so I will bite the bullet, open the files and hope my little point/shoot Canon did it’s job.

I’m thinking about doing some podcasts and explaining all of the pictures I have to share with you. I’m SO far behind on sharing vacation pictures and various other things that the thought of typing all of the story behind these photos sort of exhausts me, so we’ll see. I’d like to blog more and I think doing podcasts might be easier than typing stuff. We’ll see. Don’t hold your breath.

To sort of summarize what is happening in my life:

1. Blake turned 25 yesterday. I mean … WHAT?!? One more year and he’ll have to think about buying his own health insurance. It’s sort of scary to think about considering our healthcare is SO messed up right now.

2. We finished our 9th cruise in September. (Already mentioned but worth repeating).

3. I am so happy to report that I’m working with a new, MORE IMPROVED nurse and my job is WAY better than it used to be. I am WAY less stressed. I like my job more, too.

4. Kevin, Roy and Blake just returned from a cruise. It was Roy’s first cruise and I’m quite certain, not his last. He’s already bugging Kevin about booking another one.

5. Yes. Roy still lives across the street in our rental house. It’s annoying, but it … works.

6. Brandon has been busy working on a map for a video game he’s been test playing. In fact, his map has gotten so much attention, the creator of the game has contacted him and has offered him money to test some stuff out. I just hope it’s legit and he’s not being scammed.

7. Now I wish I could get Blake interested in doing something for his future. He can’t work for Kevin forever. I lose sleep over this issue.

8. I can’t believe the political chaos this country is going through right now. People are so easily offended and I feel like up is down, and down is up. I’m afraid it will not get better though as the bible says it will only get worse. Brace for impact.

9. I am completely hooked on Sims 4. And now that the Dogs/Cats expansion pack is out, I’m OBSESSED. And get this, I don’t even like animals that much. *insert collective gasp*

10. My youngest nephew on my side of the family just got married and is getting ready to be a father. I’m hoping our two boys see this and recognize that life is literally passing them by. Getting old is scary enough, it’s really scary when you’re alone.

11. I’m a year older. I won’t say how old but I’m just past that half century mark. It’s so WEIRD getting older because I look at myself and feel like I’m 30 but other days my body feels every bit my age.

12. Kevin and Roy are renting shelves and now have a booth at an antiques’ shop. They both LOVE going to yard sales and finding great deals and I’m not opposed to that idea, but I AM opposed to buying junk just because it’s a good deal and then not having a place to put it. Now, they can buy junk and try and resell it for a profit. They’ve already made $50. Not a bad start!

13. The boys, Roy and my oldest nephew, (the boys are now living with him – did I mention the boys moved into a three-bedroom apartment and love their space so much more??) come over every Sunday night for dinners. Yes, it’s a free meal to them, but it’s nice to get together and see them. I always envisioned them doing this when they got out on their own. Hopefully, if/when they find significant others they still want to continue the “tradition.”

14. Thank God we are not hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. We did it last year. We had a garage party. Yet another story I need to tell you.

15. Kevin’s parents sold their house and are now living in an RV full time. It’s been quite an adjustment and I think they are loving it so far. But winter is approaching and they are talking about driving to Texas for the winter. The problem? My father-in-law shouldn’t be driving at all, let alone an RV. Not sure how that is going to shake out.

16. Did I mention I like my job again?

17. Kevin is BLASTING his guitar right now. He’s been building amplifiers as a hobby and he’s testing one out right now. He’s in his office, which is a screened-in porch that he converted to his office, so the sliding glass door is closed but he’s being so loud, my ears are ringing. I hope the neighbors can’t hear him.

Time to go. I have a Baked Pasta in the oven, (see recipe below – my sister-in-law made it when Kevin had his motorcycle accident back in 2010 and we’ve been hooked ever since, the boys will end up taking the leftovers home) and the boys will be over soon for our Sunday night dinner.

Thanks for reading!

Baked Pasta

1 (16 oz) package of dry pasta (I use Penne)
1-2 lbs of ground chuck (less fat)
2 (28 oz) jars of spaghetti sauce
6 oz sliced provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups of sour cream
6 oz mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta 9 minutes in a large pot of salted water. Combine cooked meat and spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 mimnutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a lightly greased baking dish, place about one half of the pasta into the dish, top with a layer of provlone and mozzarella. Spread half of the spaghetti sauce mixture and layer all of the sour cream. Cover with remaining half of pasta, remaining half of provolone and mozzarella, and remaining half of sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Serve with garlic bread. YUM!

Life

Encore, Encore!

Let’s talk about something non-work related …

I bought a new car! It’s a 2017 Buick Encore in a pretty blue color.

me-car2

I never pictured myself with a blue car but when I saw this one, it just spoke to me.

Side note: Who thinks this looks like a skate? Or a blue potato on wheels?

Yes. We traded my Pontiac Vibe in. We really had no intention of going that route. This happens to us every time we start talking about making any sorts of big changes … it just sort of happens and when it happens, it happens QUICKLY.

My Vibe was 10 years old with only 68,000 miles on it. I’ll let that sink in a moment. That’s only about 7,000 miles per year! That’s what happens when you live 2 miles from work. And I work so much, I never go anywhere BUT work so … yeah, it was CLEAN.

My Vibe was not acting up or giving us any problems. It’s been a very good car. It’s just been ten years and we thought we should probably trade it in before it lost any more in value. Though honestly, I would have been fine driving it another five/ten years – it was a good car!!

So. We started looking. I always tell Kevin, let’s not look unless we’re serious because then we get excited and before you know it, we have a new car.

Kevin found the Hybrid CMAX. We had been talking about buying a Hybrid but the last time I drove a Hybrid was ten years ago when we were looking for a car. And back then, they were just WEIRD. I test drove a Hybrid Ford Escape and I could never tell if the thing was still running or not; it freaked me out. So we scratched that idea then ran across the Vibe. I knew, immediately, I loved the Vibe. It just felt right. And then good old Uncle Sam had to stick his big nose into things and Pontiac went out of business.

I was truly sad. I loved Pontiac cars and I would have totally bought a new Vibe, if they were available.

But since that wasn’t an option, we thought the CMAX looked nice. We went to Ford and test drove it. It’s a super nice car. And the Hybrid feature has improved so I didn’t feel quite as freaked out by the lack of motor noise/feel. The dashboard was HUGE. I guess that’s where they had to make room for the battery. It’s very high tech. The CMAX we drove already had 25,000 highway miles on it and it was a 2016. But considering I really don’t drive that much, the 25,000 miles didn’t really bother us that much. But we wanted to keep looking so we continued looking online. We came across the Encore and made an appointment to test drive it.

I loved the Encore right off the bat. It has a fancy-smancy touch screen that syncs to your phone and it comes with Sirius XM radio and Onstar / WiFi hotspot options.

It’s so cool, because if someone texts me while I’m driving, then that person gets an auto reply along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but I’m driving right now, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” In fact, my doctor text me the other morning and got that auto reply. I told him when I saw him at work, “I see my car has been talking to you.” HA!

However, it’s also distracting and you have to train yourself not to stare at the screen whilst your driving. However, if someone calls me, then I can just press a button with my thumb on the steering wheel and answer the phone without taking my eyes off the road. Which is pretty cool!

So. We both love the car and go into the dealership to talk numbers. Since we saw the car online, they had a $5,000 off the sales price promotion. So now we needed to find out what they would give us for our car. We actually happened to buy my Vibe from this same dealership so we were hoping for a good deal. They came back with a dollar amount. I wasn’t surprised but Kevin pushed a little more and they gave us a little more. Looking back, we should have just kept the car and sold it, we would have gotten more money for it, but ultimately, neither one of us wanted to mess with putting in an ad, having people look at it, securing payment, etc., so we agreed. With the $5,000 off and our trade-in, we ended up paying a lot less for the Encore than we did for the Vibe ten years ago so we were happy with the price.

They had us approved and out the door before we even knew what was happening. It was easy, WAY TOO EASY. In fact, they sold us the car and took possession of my Vibe all without the title. Kevin went to the safe deposit box the next day and got the title. I thought that was awful trusting of them to do the transaction without the title in hand, but I guess since we were repeat customers they felt like they could trust us. That and our credit score was crazy good. 🙂

I’m loving this car so far. It has a few things that I’m not crazy about, it sort of hesitates whenever I take my foot off the brake and before I accelerate. The brakes are also super sensitive. And it’s not as big as the Vibe was as far as the storage compartment. Oh, and it doesn’t get as good of gas mileage as my Vibe did, but overall, I’m happy with it. Kevin and I are talking about driving down to Padre Island sometime in September for our vacation this year. We’ll see. We are foregoing the cruise this year – we are saving our frequent flyer miles to cash in next year for our two week Mediterranean cruise.

It doesn’t have a key. It’s just a push button ignition. At first, this bothered me but I’m quickly getting used to it. I don’t have to dig my keys out of my purse whenever I approach the vehicle. As long as the key fob is a certain distance from the car, all you have to do is grab the door handle, push this button and it automatically unlocks. When you start it, you just put your foot on the brake and push the button. You push it again to turn it off.

I hope this car is just as good as the Vibe was because I’ll be driving it for at least ten years. Who knows what cars will be like then!