Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm thankful for 3

After a long 3 days of being pretty darn sick and finally feeling almost completely normal it's nice to re focus on my happy thankful moments of the week.

I'm thankful for my love who took and is still taking such wonderful care of me. Being diligent and gentle with all that I need to get better.

I'm thankful for making it up to this lighthouse here, the day after breaking my fever; without passing out. (wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had; to go on a 2 mile up hill walk.)

I'm thankful for seeing whales...which was a major reason for this trek. Though they were far away, it was so neat seeing them jump and splash and...well, be whales. Amazing thing to witness.

I'm thankful for this wall that allowed me the rest I needed before going back down and the warm 85 degree weather that did it's best to warm me up but I still had goosebumps from the cold.

I'm thankful for learning who God is through studying the book of Joshua with my love.

I'm thankful for all this extra rest I'm given. For my feet, for my health, for my spirit. God is certainly taking care of me.

Psalm 62:7 On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Pin It Now!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fly away away

What tv show is that from?

I'll give you a hint. 90's family show and one of the kids is saying it. I know my mom will get it.

First one to post in the comments correctly wins a mental high five!! Cause...that's what I'm all about here, mental prizes. ;-)

My "bird" right now is this absolutely horrible sickness that fully hit me last night. And is even worse this very moment.

I can barely do anything. I have no energy, I've been shivering and shaking, I'm super weak. Coughed up my lung last night and now working on the other one. Can't eat. Only had 1 piece of toast, can't get down the other. I'm so cold and if you know where I am it's insane I'm cold right now.

I'm wearing a sweatshirt, my yoga pants with a blanket over me and I'm staring out the window at the day.
Take a look at what's torturing me right now...what I'm missing...what I'm being denied, why it's so crazy I'm cold right now!!!

Here I am all bundled up and yes I really did read the Bible. I didn't just put it there to make myself look good. Far from it!

And my stash sitting right next to me so I don't have to move anywhere. If only the bathroom was closer. All these liquids don't help the cause of immobility.

My carmex is such a necessity right now. One might say I'm addicted to it, while I say, 'I'm mouth breathing right now and I'll do anything that brings me a little comfort and happiness.'

Oh in a ever so small update from yesterday..I DID make it outside. I didn't strut my stuff like I said I would. More of a stiff sway. My feet can really cramp my style sometimes...

But I stayed out for OVER 2 hours and though no agencies strolled up saying WE MUST HAVE YOU!! I did have 2 guys come up to me to talk about my Kindle. One was early 20's, the other mid 60's. haha.

So no whoop whoop there, besides I'm unbelievably taken and find it more of a very mild hindrance than a form of flattery. I'm shy, I prefer to be left alone...another reason I'll skip venturing out. I'm totally lame!!

*Random Tip: If your Mom suggests you should bring a sweater to the movies or put a Kleenex in your purse/pocket. LISTEN don't just roll your eyes and say 'yeah yeah mom, whatever.' Because you will be cold in the theater and you will at some point need that Kleenex. Pin It Now!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm a wannabe

It's true. I fight it constantly telling myself I'm not but a few days ago I uttered these words out loud and well once you say it out loud, there's no taking it back.

A few days ago the G-man (affectionately know as, my version of a.k.a, "my love") was picking me up from the airport. As we normally do, we texted back and forth giving updates to where I was, how close I was to getting my bag and meeting him outside on the curb.

Cause, that's our norm. He drives to baggage claim where I'm waiting on the curb.

So after telling him I'm waiting for my bag, I jet off to the restroom. As I'm coming out, I just finish texting him what I'm wearing so he can spot me easy and all of a sudden, someone pokes me from behind!!

In my wannabe mind that creates scenarios like there's no tomorrow, I have ALWAYS imagined I would, in such cases, whether it be a pinch a poke a jab, whatever! that I would whip around and do this KIA! move landing them flat on their rump. And of course slapping my hands together like I'm brushing off the dirt over their now crumpled body.

But instead...what did I do?? Gasp! That's it, just gasp. LIKE A GIRL!! yeah yeah, I know I am one, but whatev! I whipped around to see who it was and it was the G-man, surprising me with a beautiful lei.

He really did surprise me. Especially since it broke from 'the norm'. It was great though. Loved it.

As we're standing, waiting for my bag, I tell him that I'm a wannabe and explain why. He had wonderful sympathy for me. Love that man!

But in light of this recent declaration I've found more wannabe aspects in my life.

I'm a wannabe gymnast. I imagine I can do back flips and back bends ALL THE TIME. I get the craziest urges to do them while sitting on the couch. Like overpowering urges but can't even do a proper cartwheel.

I'm a wannabe outdoors person. I LOVE the outdoors. Love hiking, camping (though its been years), love the beauty of being outdoors...BUT I never go outdoors. EVER. I'm like the old lady with a million cats (though I don't own any) who never leaves her house except to get her mail. It's an ongoing struggle for me with this.

I'm a wannabe model. Back when I was 19 I attempted to get into the "biz", up to 21. That's why I ultimately moved to L.A. I am tall, thin and people always told me I had "the walk." I wasn't editorial for them enough and never went anywhere with it. I now have 100 zed cards with my modeling pictures on it sitting in a storage bin in the garage.

I still imagine (there goes the brain with the scenarios again) being stopped on the street by an that sad??

I'm a wannabe worker-outer. (not really a word, I know). I aspire to be in phenomenal shape. I imagine myself working out 5 days a week. And dream of being ripped! But I hate gyms..practically get anxiety walking into one (I don't like to be looked at or think people are looking at me...also is a reason why I am the old cat lady) I can't run (see the whole reason for this blog if you don't know why) and well, I'm lazy. that actually hurt to say out loud. Dangit now I can't take that back either! 

Any way, my list goes on and on with things I realize I'm not or won't be or can't. It's a little depressing...but right now I'm going to walk outside to the beach and strut my stuff (in a nice Christianly way of course) in hopes of that agency to pull up along side and demand I work for them.

A girl can dream at least...

*Random Tip: 2 male hamsters who live separately but are put in 1 cage so you can clean the one will ultimately fight to their death. Under no circumstances should you ever put your own hand in between the 2 hamsters fighting to their death. This will only result in one biting your hand, you jerking your hand with the hamster still attached, having it hit the ceiling and land with a thud on the bench behind you. (RIP Oreo) And you having to get a tetanus shot. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have you ever?

Since I got quite the little response to my last have you ever post I thought it would be fitting to do another. And maybe even make it a weekly Wednesday thing... I do happen to have a lot of "have you evers" in my life after all.

It was great getting emails and comments from you all, telling me how you've done the same thing or couldn't believe this or that. So without further comes round 2. (...I rhymed...did you see that?!)

Have you ever fallen while holding someone's baby?
- Yes, 18 years old, my Volleyball coach's baby was crying and I was the only one that could soothe her, only she wasn't stopping and it was dark, and I finally see my coach from a distance. As I take my first step, the huge stroller wheel, that I didn't see trips me, and I fall face first but land flat on my back. Everyone around me said in mid-air I flipped to protect the baby...I still don't know to this day how I did that. Freaked me OUT though!

Have you ever had a man scream at the top of his lungs 5 inches from your ear the day after sustaining whiplash, a concussion and enduring a monster size migraine?
- Yes, I gave him my famous stink eye, said some things to him and locked him up.

Have you ever been pulled over only to have the cop tell you he thought you were doing a high speed chase?
- Yes, and I have to say this is one of my top proud moment stories. is. He said it took him 11 miles to catch up to me from when he clocked me and due to my 'awesome abilities' of passing people in both lanes (my words not his) he thought I was running away from him. (he called it reckless driving, puh! what does he know) He said he almost radioed in a high speed chase, but at that moment I pulled over. He was mad at first but walked away smiling...I have that effect. =)

Have you ever seen a bike locked to a street light only to have everything but the frame stolen?
- Yes, in fact today. Here's my proof.

Have you ever died in your dream?
- Yes, I was a street cop, partner and I were chasing after 2 killers. We went out into the mountains, following them. I heard them coming so I hid under a massive boulder and watch one kill my partner. Then they walk up to the boulder, talk a bit. <I'm on my belly hiding> They talk about killing me and next thing I felt was blood trickling down my face from the gunshot to the head, no pain, but my body was slowly shutting down. Dead!

Have you ever apologized to your coffee for walking out of the room without it?
- Yes, I immediately walked back, said I was sorry, took a sip to show I meant it and we walked hand in handle the rest of the way.

Have you ever thanked an appliance for working? Out loud?
- Yes, all the time actually. My flat iron says 'dedeet dedeet' when it's ready to use and I always say 'thank you thank you' right back.

*Random Tip: Never put a male hamster in with another male hamster. ...Stay tuned next time for the reason why...
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Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm thankful for 2

To continue my thankfulness...especially in light of this past week and my crankiness. I'm happy to think back on what I am thankful for.

I'm thankful for my reliable vehicle. It got me through the heavy rain and pockets of water that I couldn't see throughout my whole 9 hours of driving.

I'm thankful for my neighbor who hosted a wonderful dinner and wine get together at her place Saturday night. It literally wiped away my foul attitude.

I'm thankful for 2 dear friends that one, let me spend the night at her place during my travels and treated me to muffins+oj which = love! And the other who treated me to a wonderful lunch and conversation.

I'm thankful for the rain. Truth be told, I love it when it rains. Just love it!

I'm thankful for the generosity of one who is allowing me to travel. I love you to pieces!

I'm thankful I get to see these sunsets again....if you know me, you know I'm obsessed with these sunsets. SO can't wait!!

I'm thankful for my pastor who isn't afraid to preach it like it needs to be and who isn't afraid to "offend" people by preaching from the Word of God.

I'm thankful for my sweet friend who is taking time out of her morning to drop me off this morning. You are the best.

I'm thankful for all these friends that I never let myself realize I had. Always saying I never had any, now seeing I am overflowing with them!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Pin It Now!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aw man

Got to admit, it has not been a great past couple days. The grumpiness....well that came back with a vengeance, and stuck around for a good while.

I went to get my taxes done on Friday. I drove 3 hours in the pouring rain to my 'awesome' tax lady. Yes, I'm that dedicated to her. She has always pulled through. When I went to "another" one year, they told me I owed $3000. I choked back a cry, grabbed all my tax forms and left. I took everything to my awesome lady and she said I was getting $1000 back!

....and yes it was all legit. The 1st person failed to enter in my property taxes on my property. SO! Of course, I'm more than willing to drive to her to have the same treatment.

Well didn't work out so well. I made a couple financial mistakes last year and darn it all, I'm paying a pretty penny back to the loveliness that is...our government. Both of them in fact.

What a bummer! I took the news pretty well initially. What can I do about it? What's the point of freaking out and crying and throwing my body on the ground screaming, "Why God Why!?"

Darn it! I know why. But I did think I was going to slide by since I thought I could claim the loss on the sale I took. IRS has it in their minds to not let me do that. So as my friend who is an accountant confirmed for me today, I get to claim $3000 of the loss for the next 30 years of taxes.

Isn't that great!?!? NOOO! Boy I wanted to claim it all at once. Wouldn't that have been awesome!  So the damage has been done. I owe a bundle. And that bundle takes away pretty much my entire savings. I'm sure I can set up a payment plan and all that so I won't have to pay it all up front but talk about a lesson learned.

Needless to say, I, during all this have turned to God very little. I've wallowed and cried and moped and sulked. I was reminded all the time by people around me to seek Him, cry to Him, surrender it all to Him, that's what He wants. And I knew that, but getting to that point of 'talking' was hard.

It says in Proverbs 3:5-6 to; Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Well I definitely haven't been trusting in Him because I've been stressed out and anxious and thinking of ways to 'fix' things on my own. Definitely not doing what Proverbs is saying to do. And let's just say, my paths are all curved right now.

However, they are getting straightened out! Slowly but surely... I'm confident of it, I'm confident in Him!

*Random Tip: Never go grocery shopping hungry...unless it's to Costco. Pin It Now!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Grumpy be gone!

I've been fighting grumpiness for the past few hours. It started out small and started to build and build into full on grumpiness!

How can I go and run/walk around a track with little pain but 10 steps on asphalt and I want to stop it hurts so much!?

I don't understand this pain. Why I have it. What triggers it. It's really irritating to deal with. It's obviously a career killer.

But that was only a small part. It's funny what can put me in a bad mood. Like the fact I only had 2 glasses of water today. I normally drink 5-8. Or I was really really hungry and hadn't eaten since 9:30 this morning. Or that I'm doing this 'product review' for my love on his Jawbone ERA Headset that came in the mail today and it's driving me BONKERS! It's apparently a great bluetooth. But for some freakish reason, my ear refuses to hold it in. No matter what piece I put in to fit in my ear it falls right out. I have no doubt he'll love it. He doesn't have lame ears but I'm so glad this isn't mine. It would have been thrown across the room and maybe hit a wall.

I noticed once I realized I was getting in a bad mood I started to do things on purpose to make it worse. Like knowing I need to drink more water but not. Starving but not getting up to make me something. I'm freezing right now, but I won't turn on the heater or the fireplace so I stay cold. (still haven't done that by the way) Or realize I've wasted away another day and not studied! (What I'm studying is for a later time) and on and on.

So I was willingly staying in a really bad mood and having it grow into it's own monster. I finally had to put my foot down and scold myself. "You LAME-O!" I said. "Knock it off!!"

And so I did.

The next accidental thing I did that would have added to the bad things of my day, I made myself chuckle at it. It's amazing what a little chuckle will do. Even if you have to force it out a bit. I'm on my 4th glass of water, I ate a late lunch an hour ago and the darn bluetooth is sitting next to me on the couch. I still feel like I could cry at any moment but at least the grumpiness is gone. Ugh, I hate the cry at any moment days.

Alright...update with the Jawbone. I just used it. The frustration was coming all back sticking it in my ear but  talking on it proved to be pretty cool. So far so good on the review.

Any way it's just been a sad day. I read on fitnessfoodandfaith this morning that her friend died from cancer. It's a beautiful post, the video of her and her husband dancing is a tear jerker. Even thinking about it is bringing tears to my eyes. I'm so thankful to know she's now in Heaven with Jesus Christ her Lord and pain free. It really brings to light how lame I am with my little issues and how big I make them.

And then my uniforms. I packed them away 3 weeks ago but I'm giving most of them to another Sgt. whom I'm friends with...and who is still working. I hope she can get some use out of them. It was really sad going through them all today and sorting out which ones I wanted to keep for the memory and which to give to her.

I'm done with the job, mentally. I have been for a long time and I really am grateful I won't have to do it anymore. It's just knowing I won't wear the badge, put on my uniform with my stab-resistant/bulletproof vest or put my equipment belt on anymore. Or even....and I know this might sound lame, but my baton.

Did you know I'm a certified Baton Instructor? Or a Rangemaster?? The prison where I am now refused to let me work out at the range. Only because they had their own little "car" and I was DEFINITELY not a part of it. They are desperate for rangemasters there AND baton instructors but the guy in charge didn't like me so he never gave me the chance. What did I do to have him not like me? Transfer from a "soft" prison and walk through his office door. THAT'S IT! Any way I've been reflecting on the past 6 years and 3 prisons I've worked lately. Sorry :-/

Here's me at the range while I was working at the "soft" prison...but boy it was a great crew out there.

*Random Tip: Never point your weapon at anything unless you intend to shoot it. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have you ever?

I've received quite a few '...ew, that TOTALLY grossed me out' comments regarding my slimy black beans. Privately of course, because if you look at the comments, there's only 1 and it's about the cup o' noodle. And I just have to say...they were fine! Seriously! I didn't even get sick, so no big whoop.

But it got me wondering if you've ever done something similar. So I'm playing a little "Have you ever..." game.

Have you ever been wheeled around in a wheelchair at a major airport?
  - Yes, twice in fact. And let me tell's very embarrassing. Especially when I knew everyone was looking at me wondering what was wrong since by all appearances I looked completely fine. And NO I wasn't faking it just to go to the front of the security line....though that is a SWEET bonus.

Have you ever seen a man lying face down on the ground but his foot is pointing straight up to the sky?
  - Yes, it was completely morbid. Just picture that...yeah, gross. But I couldn't take my eyes off it. He was in shock and wasn't feeling any pain. Story goes, his foot got stepped on while he was twisting and going to the ground. 

Have you ever been pulled over so many times for speeding that you're losing count? 
  - Yes... I think the number is 14. There might be 1 or 2 I'm forgetting though. 

Have you ever been pulled over for speeding only to have the cop follow you to Starbucks and pay for your coffee?
  - Yes, on my way to starbucks before heading to work one early morning. I knew he was behind me the entire time so I wasn't speeding...or so I thought. 35 in a 25 zone when I thought it was 35, *sigh*. He pulled me over, saw I was a c/o, let me go. And the next thing I knew after ordering in the drive thru the girl said the cop (who was inside) paid for my order!! I happened to order 2 venti's that cost $8. Hope he didn't mind paying for mine and my partner's. haha

Have you ever been startled in the middle of the night by what you thought was an intruder and you grab your shotgun only it's upside down and you walk around your bed to 'investigate' only to discover it was the book you left at the end of the bed that crashed to the ground?
  - YES!

Have you ever accidentally left meat out on the counter thawing through the whole night, discovering it in the morning, only to put it "quickly" (because that 5 seconds longer would have REALLY ruined it) in the fridge and cook it that night for dinner?
  - Yes. I had already thrown away steak a week before for doing that and it irritated me so much I did it again, that I just cooked it that night. It was fine! Though I really don't recommend that habit.

Have you ever been sprayed in the face with pepper spray?
  - Yes....many times. This is shortly after my first time... the redness looks mild but I'm here to tell you, it was like FIRE! 

Have you ever rode on tires so bald you could start seeing the metal pieces of the tire coming through?
  - Yes..but in my defense. I was young and very poor at the time and I hated my jeep so very much that the thought of dumping anymore than I ABSOLUTELY had to in it (which was mainly gas, and even then...) made me cringe. You'll be happy to know I broke down and replaced it...even though they said I needed all 4 replaced. PUH! Like I was going to do THAT! 

So....have you ever?!?

*Random Tip: Never ever under any circumstances curl your eyelashes on a school bus or in the back of the bus (where all the cool seniors are). One bump will, without a doubt, rip out every precious lash you have.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm thankful for

On this lovely day which is Valentine's Day, I wanted to take a page from my new blogging friend, fitnessfoodandfaith and say what I'm thankful for this week. She's been doing it from the start of the year, but I'm new! so I'm picking it up from here.

I'm thankful for the self confidence I've gained since being with CDC. As my mom said, I used to be the kid that couldn't order for myself at a restaurant, I was so shy.

I'm thankful for the wonderful women I'm surrounded with at my Thursday night Bible Study.

I'm thankful for the little note I just got on my door from my neighbor asking when I wanted to get together with her for that glass of wine we talked about months ago.

I'm thankful for my momma. She's the greatest ever!

I'm thankful for God closing the door on CDC for me. It might not have been the way I planned or ever imagined, but He's allowing me to leave the department and that's a prayer I've prayed for 2 years now.

I'm thankful for being debt free. Not even a car payment and that's a joy I can't even begin to describe especially in light of my current circumstances...God is good!

I'm thankful for my other neighbor being home to redirect the flower delivery person to my apartment since they wrote it down wrong. Though now I feel bad because I'm sure she thought the flowers were for her.

And I'm thankful for the love of my life being..the love of my life. He's so caring and loving to me. Thoughtful and kind and beyond generous! Patient and sweet...and he even sent me flowers.

Yes, they're on the coffee table and that's where they'll stay. So I can see them at all times...and they smell so wonderful even from 5 feet away. I do love that man.

Speaking of love...
Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!! Pin It Now!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Eat it! ALL of it!

I'm a wasteful person. Especially when it comes to my food. It's in my blood....ok maybe not my blood, I can't really speak for my in my nature then.

I can't even tell you how much food I'd throw away every week because I let them rot in my fridge. It wasn't anything for me to see the veggies or the meat I left in the fridge or even freezer...or even the counter (...I know), and just throw them away. I'd sigh, say 'darn, did it again.' and go on my way. Never thinking twice about how much money I just threw away. But now? I really have no choice BUT to eat everything. If I do then I really am throwing what little money I have down the drain with no kick back.

So I'm changing my 'nature'. It's not so easy because there are days I do NOT want to cook and I really JUST WANT PIZZA but as the days tick along the food gets older and older.

I am happy to announce that since being home since the middle of January, I have NOT gone out to eat once. I've stayed home, eating whatever I got from the store. I'm not really the type to go out in the first place, but the pizza...I can't even tell you how much I've wanted pizza! But alas, I must resist.

Knowing I have some places to be soon, I feel this urgency to eat everything otherwise I WILL have to throw it all away. And I really don't want to do that. I cringe at the thought of that money lost. So today when I opened my fridge I got this awful whiff of something. I found 3 things questionable.

1. The edamame beans from Costco. $4
2. The leftover black beans in a airtight container (they are the stinkiest things ever!!) $.90
3. The leftover corn in a not so airtight container. $1.09

The immediate answer?? Edamame beans, they were moldy, and only 1/2 empty. *sigh*  And the black beans were getting...a little slimy. And the corn...well.... So I decided to use them before they died completely. Is it gross that I rinsed the slime off the black beans and put them in my salad? If it's any better I didn't use the corn...they were really slimy. But my salad was awesome. I make my own version of the CPK BBQ Chicken Chop Salad. I used to work there so I know what I love, and I love me some of this!!

It was divine, even without the corn. I made that ranch by the way...which I have to use before it goes bad. I really need to learn portion control. I make food to feed a family...and well...there's no family here.

So my challenge to myself...and even you! Is to use the food we have. Don't let them go bad. SAVE THAT MONEY!! It might be the only money you have one day.

*Random Tip: ((in honor of my sister)) When eating cup o' noodles and you see there's more than just those little pieces of vegetables floating on top...go with your instinct and don't eat it. Pin It Now!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gut check

Yesterday I had an envelope in the mail from my retirement company. It was a description of my benefits if they approve my retirement. Basically it's an estimate of how much I would get each month if they approve it. I already got an estimate in the mail a month ago, so I wasn't too eager to see the amount since I knew it. But then I keep turning the page and the next one showed how much I would get if I had done the "industrial" disability retirement, and

oh. my. gosh!

Let's just say, its thousands of dollars difference. AND it's not taxed where the normal disability amount will be. I kind of choked a laughter. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. I didn't know they generated this report for me to see. For some reason I thought they based the 50% off of my take home pay, not gross!


It definitely was a gut check for me to see whether or not I'm regretting not filing for the industrial disability. And thankfully I'm not. Naturally that much money a month would be fabulous...pretty much wouldn't have to work another job. But I just can't justify in my mind or heart thinking I should get that much a month.

So thank you Lord for settling it in my heart. Because that right there would have made me see $$ in my eyes and I would have lost ALL site of what He wanted me to see.

On a MUCH lighter note, I had a wonderful surprise last night when my 2 girlfriends decided to have an impromtu girls night at my house. This was so exciting...I've been in dire need of some girls nights.

I made some black eyed peas bean dip and stuffed mushrooms from the awesome Pioneer Woman and they turned out really good....except...when you make the mushrooms, make sure you don't forget the worcestershire sauce!! I felt like something was missing last night and it wasn't until this morning that it hit me! I forgot to put it in...needless to say, I put a couple drops on the ones I ate for lunch today, BIG DIFFERENCE! ((Sorry ladies!!)) But I did have such a nice time chatting and eating delicious chocolate cake. oooohh I just remembered I have the cake in my fridge and I'm pretty sure it's calling my name.

...Do you hear that?!??

ssshhhhh...listen real close.

Yep, calling my name.

*Random Tip: Your kitchen dish sponge beginning to smell? Put it on the top rack of your dishwasher on your next wash to disinfect it and give it a longer life. Do it every 1-2 weeks to keep it fresh even longer. Pin It Now!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I wanna be like Mike

You remember that commercial? When every kid...and their dad wanted to be like Michael Jordan? All I remember is the jingle. I think a kid was singing;
Like Mike, I wanna be like Mike, I wanna be I wanna be I wanna be like Mike...

That is always going through my head and was last night right before I went to bed. It got my brain going, and I'll give you a little taste of "Emily's Brain!" It tends to keep me up for a good 20-30 minutes chattering away.

I started singing this in my head, then it got me thinking about the Duggar Family. You know, the 19 Kids and Counting family. And I think, 'I love that family. I wish I were more like the Duggars.'

And then I list all the reasons I love that family.
They are:
Gracious, kind, generous, loving, forgiving, obedient, gentle, giving, faithful and by what I see, the list goes on and on.

So next I think, I enjoy them so much, even though they can be a little awkward or uncomfortable sometimes, (can't we all!!?) but what are they doing? Being more like Christ! So my brain jumps to; I want to be more like Christ. Then FINALLY, it stays there and fixates on ways I can be more like Christ. Because THAT'S what I need to be thinking and doing. Not be or want to be like someone who, in essence is just like me! I want to be like someone who was perfect the entire time He walked this earth.

How can I do that?! Live my faith. Be an example of Christ. Simple as that, yet something that is hard to do at times.

I would get challenged all the time at work. When I was around inmates that I absolutely loathed (which I admit, was every single one of them), or being around other C/O's that did things that I wasn't a fan of, or put me in bad situations. I wouldn't always make the right choices, and I don't mean right choices in their eyes, but in God's eyes...I would make the right choices in their eyes a lot of times. But there were those moments, when I would stand apart and they would notice. My co-workers knew and would say that I was different. 'Don't do things around don't know how she is.' Quite a few didn't like me because they thought I acted better than them, or whatever other reasons they had.

One C/O knew I wouldn't go out with him because he wasn't a believer (because I told him so), so he said what he thought were the magic words to me. 'I want to learn about the Bible.' Well, I'm not going to deny someone the opportunity to hear the gospel so I agreed to meet and then I had a trustworthy friend, male mind you, call me up and share some "TOP SECRET" information about this guy and the things he was saying and betting on about me. Needless to say, his true intentions were revealed and we never met.

There was even this one time with an i/m (inmate), I'll never forget, I was escorting him to his cell and right before he went in, he turned to me and said; 'You're the Christian C/O aren't you?' I was so taken aback...I didn't share anything with them. So I asked what made him ask that, and he said 'Another i/m told me.'
I just nodded my head, closed the door and walked away amazed that even when I think Christ isn't visible in me, He is! I'm an example, even the smallest one.

It might put us more on display and have people just sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for us to slip up so they can point out how we failed, but we have a duty, a commitment an understanding that we are Christ's representatives here on earth and He calls us to act it out! My goal is to act it out more.

* Random Tip: When cooking a meal and you're waiting for something to boil or bake, use that time to clean up your prep dishes. Cleaning up as you go makes the dishes in the end a lot less and not so overwhelming. Pin It Now!

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's for a good cause...promise!

I just had to!
Don't judge me.

I really needed it!
Stop making that face.

I put money aside just for it, I swear.
I promise I'm not being reckless.
It was something I HAD to do...for my sanity, for my well-being, for my livelihood!!!

Isn't it pretty!???

Yeah, I's been around for years, but I'm a loyal Verizon customer and it came in the mail today. I've saved and waiting and waited and saved for a long time for this and endured my Blackberry for 2 1/2 YEARS!! It really couldn't have come at a better time. Just today my BB decided to poop out on me with the sound. Not to mention all the other things that have malfunctioned with it.

I'm justifying this purchase, yes. I budgeted around this so I could get it and I AM THRILLED! It's weird seeing my blackberry sitting on the counter all the way over there...all alone...oh well, Au revoir!

It's also a little boost to my day. Okay! Big boost. Being sick for 7 days straight gets extremely old and was wearing me down quite a bit. Today is the first day that I've actually felt, almost myself.

I went to the retirement office this morning to turn in Dr.P's paperwork. Thankfully I got the same woman I met with at the first appointment. We officially made it a 'Non' industrial disability retirement. I'm happy to report that ALL the paperwork needed has been submitted and I am now completely out of the process. She said that, "hopefully" it will only take 6 months to come to a decision and not the full 9 months. So I'll just wait and see.

It's nice to have the full weight lifted on the work related/not work related issue and knowing that everything was submitted well under the 30 day deadline. I'm free of it and the extra secret silent stress that was lingering from it has now completely left me. aaaaawwww sweet release!

Now...back to my new toy...I mean my new practical extremely necessary piece of equipment. Pin It Now!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The aftermath

Which version do you like best?
I took this picture of a pier off the Mississippi Coast in 2009. What once was a working, fully functional very useful pier is now a bunch of wooden posts left after the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I love this you can tell with me playing with it. This is new to me. I just discovered a website (thanks a lot Christina) to play and change the effect of a picture and though I have a long way to go with learning what looks right, it's so much fun!

Here's what it looks like to the left of that pier. Katrina wiped them all out, yet left something eerily beautiful (to me any way).

I can see God working in this way. When your life is in the worst storm you've ever seen and once it's all done, settled and you can finally breathe again, you can see how God made everything; the aftermath, beautiful. But I'm hoping to go one step further. My plan...ok, really it's God's, is to see the beauty He's doing in my lifeduring the storm. Crazy enough, I'm seeing it. Of course not all of it, or I'm sure the majority of it for that matter. I know I'm still dwelling on the things I can't have, and won't have and really really want right now but am stopping myself from getting them...have you ever had that? You're on a tight budget or finally put your foot down on yourself with buying things and the moment you do, there's something you HAVE to have!? Yeah, that's me right now. I'm itching to develop the 400 pictures that I haven't developed yet and put them in photo books that I can create online, or buy more socks, or I could really use a new candle; I'm running low, and on and on and on. If you knew my mental list, whew! I wouldn't have any money in my savings.

I budgeted out my savings the other day. I have just about 4 months worth. Not a lot but it's better than 1, 2 or 3. I have no doubt it will zoom by and I'll be scratching my head saying, "Okay God, whatchya got for me?" but right at this very moment I'm not freaking out about it. I think sometimes that I should be, but of course that would defeat the purpose of relying and trusting in God to take care of me now and in the future. It's a daily thing this trust. My flesh is way to weak to be stoic for the full 24 hours and truth be told it comes and goes.

It was funny, the day I had the appointment with my retirement company; I received a letter from my institution saying; 'Oh, we overpaid you $2200 on your last check. Expect to pay it back.' I knew this was coming because when I got said check, I was really surprised that it was a full paycheck. I made sure to put some away in case they gave me the doomsday letter but I really wasn't expecting THAT much. Any way, with that letter and with being told I couldn't work for up to 9 months, I told my Mom on the phone that day, that I expected 'things' to begin happening to me financially...because...isn't that how it always is? You're strapped and then a tire blows or something breaks that you need fixing? So I said that I knew I'd be tested and I was fully expecting it, and simply...that I wouldn't freak out. After getting home and closing my hatch with my arms full of stuff, my very old janky garage door opener that was sitting on the box in my arms, slipped right off and crashed into pieces on the ground. I shove everything back into my car and put it all back together and what do you know!? It won't work. I was fuming mad! And since the garage was equally old and janky I couldn't figure out how to manually close it. After grumbling all the way back to my apt. with all my stuff I call my Dad with flames shooting out of my head. He's offering his help and I'm cutting him off, snapping at him and pushing all my frustration on him. It took 2 minutes of doing that to realize, 'hey dummy, #1. you called HIM to help #2. He's helping as best as he can without being able to see it. and #3. Didn't you just say you wouldn't freak out if you were tested?! Bam! Failed. So I zipped it and listened and what do you know!? He told me how to disable it so I could manually open and close the door for the whole weekend. I still don't think I've apologized to him for that, I'm sorry Dad. Love you!!  I was able to laugh at it (the situation, not me snapping at my dad) the moment I got off the phone. Talk about an immediate lesson! One that I keep reminding myself of when I want to react as I'm so used to doing, because I reallywant to see the beauty God is doing while in my little storm!
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Worry = Gray

Over the past 9 months, I've watched my hair grow more and more gray. I've had gray hair since I was 21, so it's not like I had a panic attack at the first site of it. But it was always...always under the top layer of hair. 1 or 2 would pop up, no biggie. Then I have my surgery and my recovery gets drawn out. And drawn out some more and I started to see that strands of hair were half gray half brown. Where the gray is at the root pushing my beloved brown down down down until it gets brutally snipped by my fabulous, though very cold hearted, hair stylist. Not only that, I'm seeing gray in the bangs, on the sides, on the crown, in my EYEBROWS! Everywhere just screaming at me, "Look at me, I've multiplied!!" 

The President of the United States comes to mind, all of them in fact, and how as they go through their term, how quickly their hair turns gray from all the stresses and worries and all the weight they carry from their position. That's me!! Granted I'm no President by any means, but I see what the worry and anxiety has done to me. In my skin, my hair, my health and I don't like it. The Bible states in Matthew 6:25-34 clearly that I am not to worry. (v.27)That worrying isn't going to add a single hour to my life. (v.33) But to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (that I'm worried about) will be added to you. And this I love and really should live by daily!!  (v34)So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  AMEN!! Though I know I'll fail over and over with this, because it's in my nature to worry and think..'how am I going to make it tomorrow, this week, month, or next 9 months?' But in the end I come right back to the fact that God has me all wrapped up in His arms. He's going to walk me through all this and I really shouldn't have anything to fear. I know he WANTS me to give it all over to Him and trust that He's not going to leave me in a lurch. It's just getting to the point of that full and complete surrender of my circumstances. Easier said than done. 

Maybe that's why I've been sick these past 2 days, and my face has gone under the attack again. I've been stressing and worrying about a conversation I had with the woman from the retirement office and Dr. P. Another comment she made while I was there initially, or rather a question was: 'Do you think this was work related?' I immediately state that I've from the start; said it wasn't a work related injury. 'But', she counters...Do you think that work might have been a cause or that even though you could have had the issue before joining CDC that it might have sped up the injury??' I don't know. Work might have been at fault. I'm informed that if I DO choose to say its a work related issue, file a worker's comp claim and after all is said and done get approved for an Industrial Disability Retirement I will be given 50% of what my last paycheck was, every month from here to the end of my days. Well that sure sounds great. BUT, if I don't say it was work related and stick with the Disability Retirement, which was my initial plan, I'll only be getting my years of service x 1.5% (or something like that) which is obviously no where near the 50% of pay. hhhmmmm what to do, what to do... So she leaves the ball in my court, telling me to talk to Dr. P. Because without my Dr.'s support and his documentation that he believes work caused or could have caused my disability it will be an uphill battle the WHOLE way. I give his office a call and leave a message that I'd like to speak to him. Doesn't call, doesn't call. 3rd day of waiting, I call again. Finally late that night he calls me. And I mean late, almost 8pm. We talk for 20 minutes. It was a head in my hands conversation. He was so reluctant to say that work might have had a play in it all. All he kept saying was he didn't want to lie, he wasn't going to change the charts, he wasn't going to be on a witness stand answering to some lawyer....huh??? What does he think I'm doing? Scamming the state? Asking him to falsify medical documents?! Anyone who knows me knows that's not what I'm about.  Yet that's what he thought. I really was dumbfounded by the whole conversation. He finally conceded that it was a possibility that work might have caused the disability. That statement alone took 20 minutes for him to say. 

So as I waited for the paperwork he had to fill out for the retirement to come in the mail, I sat and stressed and thought and worried and finally...prayed. Prayed for what direction I should go in. Industrial Disability Retirement or Disability Retirement. It took days to get to think, 'huh, maybe I should pray about it.' And at that point my face had already done what it knows best when stressed, breakout! After praying, whenever I would think about the workers comp route, I would always hesitate. Something about it just kept putting me off and it wasn't just the headaches I knew I would have with the worker's comp office since I've been on worker's comp for another injury before (that was a clearcut work related injury). I'm aware of the annoyance that is: Workers Comp. It wasn't until Dr. P.'s paperwork came in the mail that a bit of clarity shone through. He checked all the boxes that said "wasn't work related." There it is there.  He's scared. That's obvious. But he didn't want to back the decision. I pretty much had my answer and I really started to look at myself and question if I was wanting to file worker's comp for the money or for the legitimate possibility that work was a part of the cause. I truly have no doubt that work played a role in my injury, but it really can't be proven. I saw a little bit of greed in me when I really prayed and looked for what God wanted me to do. 1 Timothy 6:10 says; For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. That's what I was doing. Longing for it, thinking I should have it, but really, at what cost?! It's more important to be rich in Christ than rich in wealth of the world. 

I'm learning hard lessons. Mainly because I wasn't listening the first 50 + times it was told to me. So as I nurse myself back to health by having made a yummy and oh so healthy minestrone from my good friend Jenny's blog Yam Man Minestrone Soup <--- (click there, its delish!!) I'm realizing God knows what's best. God knows what He's doing. And I definitely don't need more than what God knows I need...which is usually a lot less than what I think.
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And it begins...

6-9 months. That's what the retirement office told me a week ago when I turned in my paperwork for a disability retirement. That's how long it will take for them to process the claim. That's how long I am NOT allowed to work. That's how long I will be going without any sort of pay. Did I panic? Oooh yeah! They have made it very clear that under no circumstances am I allowed to work any type of job while my retirement paperwork is being processed, however the lovely state of CA along with the even lovelier Department of Corrections offers no 'assistance' to someone who is unable to work due to a disability. And doesn't seem to be too concerned with how they expect me to financially support myself during all this.

What's my disability? Thought you'd never ask. Neuromas. Neuro-what?! Foot Health describes it best. Neuroma Explained But here's the kicker...I've had them removed and even more so I should be perfectly fine by now. See, I saw the Dr in 2007 for the pain in BOTH feet. He did the x-rays and determined that yes, though very very rare, I have a neuroma in BOTH feet. And what's even more rare is I had 2 surgeries for 2 previous neuromas 3 years before that. But since I was completely engrossed in my job with the current prison I was working, I didn't want to take all that time off work for the recovery. I put it off for 3 more years, and when April 2010 rolled around, I couldn't take the pain anymore and since I was now a Sgt. and at a new prison I felt it was the right time to have the surgery. Dr. P. (keeping all names under wraps) said it was a great success, both neuromas were removed and the 3rd neuroma I was feeling (yes, I said 3rd!) in the old spot (where the 2 previous surgeries were done), was injected with the alcohol solution to "deaden the nerve even further." As I recover over the months, God blessed me with all the hours (time on the books) I accrued to continue providing my full paychecks, as well as the program CDC offered by me stating it was a Non Industrial Injury. All is going well financially however I'm not recovering like I'm supposed to. I'm having a hard time walking, sitting, even standing. The only comfort I get is when my feet are elevated and even then they can give off some real good pain. I keep seeing Dr. P. and he keeps wanting to inject me. But they aren't working! 6 months later, I see another podiatrist, Dr. F. and he scratches his head unsure what's wrong. I see a neurologist Dr. N. and he says my career is over. My nerves are damaged and the only job I'll ever be able to do is work a desk. I'm floored! Never going to work on the line again?! I talk to Dr. P. and he confirms I'll never be able to work again.

So the only option I have...disability retirement. And that's what this will all be about. The pains, struggles and frustrations I'm facing with the State, with CDC, without income and learning to have full and complete faith and reliance on God to provide in the coming months of uncertainty.
What my sad feet looked like shortly after the stitches were removed.  Pin It Now!


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