One Year

Last year March 14, 2016 grandma was laid to rest with a funeral mass I couldn’t understand. Family and friends all gathered around with tears in their eyes. But many didn’t know what would come next.

Other than this, life was ordinary. Everyone went about their business after sharing a meal. My brotherhood an invite to a family’s house. He just came from out of town.

Rather than waiting for morning to visit, he went close to 9PM. Dad invited me saying he wanted to visit his brother. I knew very well the real reason. After all, if he wanted to visit his brother, he would have waited until morning. I refused to go telling him I wasn’t invited. I was there when brother told them of his invite earlier. I live here and never get invited. He comes to visit and they invite him, no one else. After couple more tries and still not giving in, I watched them all walk out the door and into the car- dad in passenger side with his portable oxygen machine, brother in back seat, mom in driver side. She drove the RAV4.

As they drove away, I closed the door to what would be the last moments shared with Dad at home. Earphones on, I spent my time at home alone listening to music, drowning out life.

Few minutes later I removed my earphone and heard our home phone. But when I picked it up, the call had ended. Then, my cousin called me on my cell phone telling me the news calmly. Their car didn’t even make it on the highway. Mom had made a wide turn and drove into a pole.

Mom got out of the hospital with a fractured elbow and brother got out with bruises and pain. Dad spent two weeks in the hospital before he passed away, Tuesday March 22, 2016 at 3:29AM. He had a neck fracture due to the accident. However, if the doctors hadn’t waited to give him a correct neck brace, he would have been in rehab. Rather, they made him wait one extra day.

His doctors he usually sees preferred him not to stay in a hospital for too long because he would catch pneumonia quickly. That one extra day of waiting came. The doctors changed his neck brace finally. He was ready to be moved.

So it seemed.

He started saying he wasn’t feeling good. The nurses held back on his transferring to a rehab due to that. That night he developed coughing. At one point he had fainted or something and one nurse panicked calling code red unable to get a pulse. I wasn’t there at the time.

They moved him to an ICU room where’d he’d spend his last week. He had chest pains. I don’t know how his heart managed. Only one side vessel was working for him. And he went through all this. Sometimes heart attacks that weren’t heart attacks occurred.

The last we talked was the Friday before they put him to sleep so a machine can breathe for him and he can relax. Saturday morning after that last talk, he had a heart attack. Mom, brother, and I were home when she got the call.

I watched him lay on the hospital bed breathing to a tube. Sunday they decided to do a cooling/warming process. Cooling went fine. But when the warming process began Monday morning, he slowly deteriorated away. His kidneys were failing. His heart was the last to give up. Tuesday, 3:29AM he took his last breath off the machine.

All I keep thinking, the only thing that gives comfort is that he is no longer suffering. I saw on his computer some videos. He learned how to use camera all by himself two years before he passed. He had some videos on there from two years and previous year and the month before he passed.

That last video sent chills down my body as I watched him sleep on his chair for ten minutes before he woke and turned the camera off.

His first video of him finding out about camera, he called mom over to see. They were amazed they could see themselves. He didn’t want to wake me for I was asleep in bed. He never told me and I wished he did. I don’t know.

I feel like ever since he has passed, him and his memories are fading. I don’t know how to keep his memories alive. I feel alone in this house because he is not here to talk to.

When I was sick, even though I was too old for story time, he’d still tell me a story, which would help me forget about my pain and drift off to sleep. The stories would be bible related. If not, then it would be about a rabbit and it’s tail.

Today marks his one year and looking back most of what happened feels so vague in my mind. I wrote this down maybe to have some sort of recollection.

Prompt: Minimal

Well now, last Monday began first day of spring. This week art has been running through my head. For some reason, my brain is excited for spring. It’s coming up with paint art ideas even on days we don’t have art.

Two days ago we did a butterfly art inspired by a teacher in an older class I worked in last week. She had placed paint on a paper as an example and showed the older class a butterfly. They decided they wanted to draw or cut one out, then paint. So, I took her’s for prek since teacher I work with is always looking for “easy” “quick” art. The kids enjoyed it but theirs did not look like a butterfly. One sort of did. Most looked like bugs or leaf, etc.

Yesterday, I decided to use paint again and this time paint their hand. They loved that! Minimal products for a creative, fun activity the teacher can’t say no to. Well, I’ll be painting hands individually; so, I think there will be some problems of the other kids waiting. To me, that’s no problem at all. Just do a game with them or a coloring page and they’ll stay occupied until their name is called.

Yesterday wasn’t art day. But I got the paint all ready for it. Instead they colored a Papa John’s picture. If their parents turn it in to the one addressed on the page, they’ll get a pizza for 2.99, I think. I thought a free pizzas for the kids who turn it in. But nope! Oh, well.

I’m still thinking of art to do. It’s the easy quick and minimal materials that’s tricky.

Year

Happy New Year all! New year, new you. That’s always what I hear each year. Weight Watchers ads for losing weight is currently running in between shows. I received one in mail a few days before 2016 had ended. I used to join it (2-3 times). Then I realized I am always going to fail at it. Although, I did reach losing ten pounds the last time I joined. That was a major achievement for me!

Yesterday, the last day of 2016, I weighed myself. I don’t usually do that. Judging by the result, I probably shouldn’t have. In 2014, I kept my weight around 150’s. Based on my height to weight ratio that’s not good. At times my weight would spiral upwards and downwards, but I managed to keep it around 150’s; rather than constant gaining.

After two weeks of holiday eating, I weighed myself yesterday to find I gained. I am now 165 pounds. That hit me by surprise because I thought I would be in 150’s. Honestly, I don’t know why I thought that. If I’m 150 and keep eating junk, I should be gaining.

It’s not like I took care of myself. I ate sugary foods, drank coke, digested foods containing heavy nickel. I’m allergic to nickel (metal and food). I am on a low nickel diet as of December 2014. But I keep failing on it.

When I first was told about my nickel food allergy, there were barely any articles. Last year there were a ton more blogs about it. With my body worn out on how I treated it, I have decided I need to make a change this year. I need to stay on my low nickel diet. That’s what I need.

Every new year I write take care of my health or lose weight for my resolutions. This year, it’s not only going to be about losing weight, but really trying to eat a low nickel diet.

I can take Allegra or any other allergy pills when I eat something I’m allergic to. But last year I realized Allegra can only help me if I do my part. If I keep taking Allegra to fight off an allergy I keep putting in me, eventually, Allegra will wave its white flag forfeiting and my allergy symptoms will win the war. 

So this year I have decided to try my best to follow my low nickel diet. It will be a struggle, but knowing there’s more articles on it and others going through the same thing helps. It sheds a light on a better year in maintaining my nickel allergy.

Do you or anyone you know have nickel allergy? What’s yours or their experience? Maybe we can bounce ideas off one another, or help each other. What are some of your New Years resolutions or goals?

Happy new year!

Prompt: Apology

Sometimes I feel like it is very easy nowadays to say sorry. I wonder if when it’s being said, does the person really mean it or are they just throwing it all around.

Apology used to mean saying sorry and trying to do better. Maybe it’s me, but I feel like I’m stuck in a rerun at times when someone says sorry, yet, still keeps doing what they apologized for. Does that make sense?

My Dad was a neutral man. He never expected any apologies from anyone. If someone did bad to him, he never let it get to him. Or so it seemed. I watched him stand or sit. He’d be meditating. Sometimes he’d use his hands- shaking a finger or gesturing as if he was letting stuff out (I don’t know how to explain it).

I wish I was like that. I started thinking about it two days ago. Why can’t I be like that? He’d always say to not argue. Forgive and forget. But I was too stubborn to do that. He’d also say to tell God everything and leave it at that.

Telling God a list of things done was hard. Writing was easier. But He’s not in front of me. I can’t see him. Sometimes, telling Him it all just feels useless. Like what’s the point?

It’s like when I just talk to someone about my bad day hoping it’ll make me feel better. It helps others. But not me. It doesn’t help me. It feels useless. Useless because talking about does nothing. In the end, I’m left with all the things I told that person unchanged.

Maybe for that minute I can see it helped. Helped forget the anxiety or whatever negative feeling I was in. But when that person walks away and I’m left to stand alone facing upto the thing I dreaded before that seemed less dreadful for a minute, all the dreaded feelings comes bursting into my head and I’m filled with the negatives once again.

I never understood how talking about your feelings or thoughts help. I feel like it’s useless. But at the same time not talking will eat me up from inside. The final result isn’t any better when I’m left knowing I’m right back to where I started after the person leaves.

Apology

Fund Me

Hello everyone. WAIT! Before you click the “x” button thinking this is just a blog asking for money, DON’T. I’m not asking You for money. I’m asking myself ūüôā Some of your heads are probably circuiting thinking, “Oh, how dumb” (“x”). Go ahead if you like. But I find it rather interesting and might help me.

Why would creating a fund for myself help me? The only money I’ll be making is whatever comes my paycheck (and if lucky, other options). What good does it do, then? Well, I was researching on Google ways to stop shopping. You see, I have a problem- more specifically, a spending problem. Shopping! If shopping could have a lawsuit, I bet it would be sued for stealing money. Okay, I’ll stop.

Yes, many of us have this problem. I’m not the only one. Knowing that makes me a little better. But knowing others can overcome this problem and save up while I’m drowning myself, still, in money problems makes me irritated. Not with you. Definitely not with you. This is not your fault, but my own. I’m irritated, annoyed with myself. Why can’t I just say, “No”? JUST SAY “NO”! Really? How so easy….

But no, it’s not so easy. Shopping you are so cruel… maybe it’s money that’s so cruel? Material objects only¬†suffice for couple seconds, minutes, hours, etc., so why do I go for it more, especially during my stressful moments.

I’ve read online making goals helps the increase spending. Budgeting supposedly does, too. I fail at both. I know what you’re thinking, “Sucks to be you”, right? That or, “You’re not trying hard enough”. “Are you sure you did it right?” Any of these ringing in your mind? It’s okay. Be honest. I’ll live.

So what is this funding? Well, I scanned the website a little for some inspiration on saving money and stop spending habits. I found this, but I didn’t read any further. I let my mind wander on it.

Here’s my question to myself and you: What is it you want most? What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?
In my journal I wrote some, like maybe three or four very important goals- to publish a book, travel, buy a new car, pay off credit card, and start an Etsy shop (selling crocheted baby blankets). I know that’s more than three or four. You can come with many more if you want. What matters most is the list you come up with should mean something to you. Should spark an interest and motivate you, get you thinking, “Wow, all this does need money. I really do need to start saving.”

That’s my problem, you see. I am not motivated in saving. Saving for what? I had no goals in mind. Some of these goals, I’ll admit, were just added because sometime in the future I’ll eventually have to save for it. For instance, buy a new car. I’m satisfied with my car I have. A blue 2006 Toyota Corolla that’s been with me since I was 17.5. My Dad and the Driving teacher both taught me driving in it. I wasn’t comfortable with the Driver’s car, so he allowed me to use the one my parents purchased. It’s been with me through minor and major car crashes. It’s still running. I’m satisfied. But I should still think of a new car because this car will eventually lose its life or be a total loss someday. If my car died today, completely died today, would I be ready? No. What about tomorrow? Absolutely no. I wouldn’t be ready at all this year. That’s why it’s so important to start saving now. I think my head is in agreement. Hopefully.

Okay, so you made your list. It’s a list made for you. The fact is, I needed to change my mindset. I believe this is the way. Most website I find tells about budgeting. Yes, budgeting is great. I’ve tried it. Envelope budgeting was something interesting. But even that failed. Writing on paper like my Dad constantly told me I needed to do- yup, you guessed it! FAILED. I’m a total complete failure. But what if there’s something more I needed?

If you would tell me I need to save money I’d nod my head and say okay. But would I really believe it? You’d tell me it’s for my future. Okay, hold up. Stop right there! That’s the biggest problem. Automatically, my head will ask, “What future?” Get it? I don’t see a future for me. Yes, I am here in this world. Therefore, I should see a future. But I don’t. I’m just passing by with the time ticking my life away. I don’t know what I want to be. My career sucks considering I have a Bachelors degree already and am working for $8.25/hour. My friends and family keep talking about how I should be making more money and how I should go back to school for another better degree. I don’t have any desire in going back to college unless I’m set on a degree because right now, I don’t even know who me is. My interest constantly changes. That’s the problem I had even attending an expensive private college. I suck. Like I said a complete failure.

It’s only this year I have found a desire in bringing out my passion. Letting it flow and see where it goes. Will it drown in an ocean? Will it get swallowed by a whale? Or will it swim to shore? Who knows! That’s life. One thing I know is I love hands-on activities. I love creating things. My Dad used to watch me crocheting. He’d be amazed at my focus level when creating a crochet project. I’ll admit, not all crochet projects keep my focus. There are only a few designs that I will stay focused on. And coming from a girl who lacks focus or has trouble keeping it, that’s something to think about. So that’s one thing that makes me. What else?

Another that makes me me is writing. Since I was little writing has been my best friend. I haven’t been nice to my friend. I’ve taken it for granted. Writing. God’s greatest gift he could give me. I’m grateful for this gift. However, sometimes it’s just so hard to find the words or phrases. So, I give up. That or I’m too lazy to sit down and take the time to write. Back in college, I had some paper assignments that I couldn’t do. Why? Because a flood of poetic words spun around my mind. I was going crazy! I told my Dad this on the phone. He told me to spend one hour. One hour. That’s all Jesus asked His disciples when they fell asleep as he prayed, “Will you not spend one hour with me?” Right? If this is wrong one, please let me know. This is from my memory, so I could have the stories mixed up. Either way, he did ask that question. And that’s something writing was asking me. Writing for me is spending time with God. Therefore, if writing is asking, “Will you not spend an hour with me?” Maybe God was too. Spending that one hour hour or even just couple minutes helped me. All those words emptied my mind so that I could spare some time on other school-related homework. Therefore, writing is definitely something a part of me that I could not and should not ever give up. No matter how difficult writing can get. I need to break down the walls and face whatever obstacles there may be.

Etsy is another, but like my mom says, “I have all the ideas, but I don’t follow through.” In my head, I’m thinking of what kind of themed-blankets I can make. My face brightens as all the ideas form. Then glooms when I wonder how much yarn it would take. Why the gloomy face? Money. It’s all because of money. You’re probably thinking, “Yup, it’s always the money.” This world revolves around money. If I were to make baby blankets, I’d need money. But I spent so much and have bills so high to pay off, I dug a deep hole that buried all my dreams in. There’s no way to dig them out until I pay the past, learn and move on without setting the same trap. I’ve done the same thing before. I set a trap I can’t get out of.

Okay, so those are my goals in detailed form. So, what’s next. Well, obviously I need the money. With a paycheck of $8.50/hour, work hours 7.5+/-, bills that are high to pay off, and past credit cards and paypal to pay off, how can I expect to save anything? I could easily ask for a loan. But who would want to help pay for a mistake that is not theirs? Who would want to help pay off a stupid mistake? No one. I have to work with the budget I have. I have to set my mind in not spending. Find other ways to get my mind off that bad habit. After all, just say “NO” is not enough for everyone. I have to find reasons why and remind myself of what makes me me and follow through on those passions and goals. That’s what I need to do. I can’t just make a list of spending and see where I can cut back. I can’t just use the envelope technique. I need more! I need reasons. I need to believe in those reasons. I need something to motivate me and in the long run keep my motivation.

Yes, you may still have to budget just to find how much money you have left when all your bills and things are paid. That way you have a sense of how much leftover you have. That leftover, rather than saving it in your account, tell yourself, “These are my goals. This is what I need to save up for. I need this to better myself, make me happy. This is a part of who I am.” Find any reasons. Talk through until you believe it and remain focused on it. If you find yourself wanting to spend more, do the process at that time. Focus your mind on your intentions that make you you. You may love makeup. I shop for makeup. But ask yourself do you have makeup? List what makeups you have. If your mind is saying, “But I don’t have this one…” (pouts). Forget the pout. Look beyond it! Don’t be fooled by the pout!! Ask yourself, “What makes this one product currently wanting so unique?” Wait 24 hours before buying it. Are you still thinking of it? Well is it a shade you may already have? Maybe you can buy it later. Remember, if it’s store purchase, you would have to drive there. Are you willing to waste gas and your time driving? If it’s online, don’t press that button until you give it some time and thought!

Whatever amount that’s leftover from your paychecks, put it away in a savings account. Don’t touch that savings account! I had that problem, too. It’s not for you. You set up a fund. A savings fund. That fund is for your goals, your passions. But it’s not for you. Are you confused? Great! See, if that money is for you, then you can do whatever you want with it. But if you tell yourself it’s not for you, it’s for a purpose, then maybe, just maybe you wouldn’t dare touch it. It’s going to the greater good- the greater YOU! Not you, but the greater you that’s deep inside of you that’s dying to come out. The real you. Not the you that fails at spending. That you has dreams. It has goals. It has a sense of reality. That you doesn’t throw away money. That’s the you that’s trying to come out. And you are creating an account for that you.

I just created my goals today. I am hoping I can follow through on this. I need to start thinking more clearly under a cloudy mind. One day my mom won’t be here to help support me when my money flies away among a flock of birds. My Dad used to tell me he won’t always be around to help me. Therefore, I need to start saving money. It didn’t help those times. But losing him was a bit of an eye opener. What was the greatest eye opener is that I have a dream I want to play out. I want to publish a book with a company and have no money at all saved for it. I don’t know how much I’d have to pay, but still, with all my past debts, would I be able to even afford publishing the book? That’s the biggest eye opener for me. If you’re also failing at saving and budgeting, if you think you are a complete failure, maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re failing goes more deeper. Maybe you need more than just separating money into envelopes and/or writing words and numbers on paper. After all, you have to have a desire that sparks a need for change in you; a spark to reignite the flame inside you to do better. Right?

That’s all I have for now. I am enjoying my few hours of free time before going to work. My current job during the summer, lessens the hours due to the amount of children. I no longer come in from 9:00am-6:00pm, but either 11am-6pm or 1pm-6pm. It’s nice because I’ve been wanting a break from work. This way I’ll have some spare moments during the weekday and still get paid for some hours working. There are pros and cons to it. But really what doesn’t? Hope you all are enjoying your day and if not, it’s almost the weekend!

By the way, my first book I wrote is available on Kindle for preorder. It is in loving memory of my Dad who passed away due to a little of pneumonia, kidney failure, and heart giving up. He overcame so much in his 82 years of living. This year he would have been 83 in July. In celebrating his birthday, I wanted to publish the book on July 8th. This story is a story he used to tell me when I was sick and weak asking him for one before I fell asleep on the main floor couch because I didn’t want to climb upstairs to my room. My original story is less than or equal to 1000 words, but because it’s a kindle ebook, I have expanded it to 3000 words. Not all of this was his exact words. From the story he told, I took some ideas I remembered and ran with it. I am planning one day publishing a printed book; however, currently, it is on preorder on Amazon’s Kindle version. Whatever I sell from this will go in my Savings fund for any and all my future dreams and goals.

I am also planning on working with Dorrance Publishing company in publishing another children’s book. I am currently waiting on illustrations and the pricing. Thank you for your time stopping by and reading my post.

*peace&God Bless*
Lisa

**The Rabbit and Its Tail is now available for preorder. In loving memory of my Dad, it will be available on his birthday- July 8, 2016. Please click and visit: The Rabbit and Its Tail link. More information is posted on my blog as well as on Amazon Kindle.**

Prompt: Companion

Companion–a person or animal with whom one spends a lot of time with or one whom they travel with.

Words when I hear companion:

Friendship

Relationships

Acquaintance

Lovers

Couples

Partners

Animals

Dogs- man’s best friend

Journals

Books

Material objects

Companion:
Dog- a man’s best friend.

Someone who spends time with you.

Your best friend.

The love of your life.

A partner you travel or work with.

Material objects-

For those who love their accessories,

Or even their makeup.

Your most prized possession.

A journal carried everywhere.

A favorite book in all your adventures.

Your brain- daily thinking, daily using.

A breath of fresh air.

The need to breathe is life’s companion.

Companion-

One spends a lot of time with,

Or travels with.

A companion can be someone or something,
It can also be an it-

Google- companion for all information.

Books- companion for all inspirations.

Journals- a companion for all adventures.

Companion

**The Rabbit and Its Tail is now available for preorder. It will be available starting July 8, 2016. Please click and visit: The Rabbit and Its Tail link. More information is posted on my blog as well as on Amazon Kindle.**

First Book/Father’s Day/What Book Am I Reading?

Hello everyone. How are you?

First of all, my first short story is available on Amazon Kindle for $3.00 USD. It is called,¬†The Rabbit and Its Tail. What started out as less than 1000 words quickly expanded into a 3000 word short story. Some of my friends who had read the shorter version liked it saying there is a deep lesson learned in this story. My main goal for this story was to write a children’s book. However, I find the age range I had first thought differs with the final outcome of the book.

Second, Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, both in heaven and on earth. Working in a school, I kept being reminded of Father’s Day. I tried locking it out of my head due to my Dad’s passing in March this year, but that didn’t work out. Tomorrow my mom and I will be visiting his grave with live flowers. His tombstone hasn’t arrived yet. They said maybe 2-3 more weeks. Therefore, I am sure it won’t be there tomorrow. Still, my mom said we can bring a vase with water or somehow place the live flowers on his grave. The cemetery where he was buried, they gave us a nice flag to place on his grave site too.

Thirdly, how are all of you? I have been exhausted. I haven’t really been thinking of writing. Today, I did sit down and think of and actually wrote out information on recent favorite lipsticks of mine by Lipstick Queen. I will post it on here. I also had a thought on writing about Jojoba oil. Yesterday, my mind was thinking of a blog post, which sadly, I have forgotten. It was a good one, I thought. A thought provoking one. But it seems I have forgotten it and nothing around me will help bring the idea back.

Are you all enjoying your weekend? For the summer, my new job said they change teachers schedules around. Therefore, I may be working less or more than what I have been. Currently, my schedule has changed until further notice: 11am-5pm. I think this is alright considering I will have some time to work on my writing, crocheting a blanket, and reading. I have been thinking I need a little break. I guess I am getting it by work reducing my hours for the summer.

Has anyone read¬†A Wrinkle In Time??? I’m sure a lot have and will say you’ve read it years ago. I have seen the book years ago, but I don’t know. I just purchased this book about 2-3 weeks ago from Barnes and Noble. In fact, I purchased the trilogy version. I finished the first book within 10-15 days. Now, I am reading the second one. I haven’t really read for a few days now, so the title of the second book I can’t remember. However, I am liking this trilogy a lot! If I wasn’t so exhausted and my headache was less, I’d have read more, done some more crocheting for a watermelon baby blanket I am working on, and writing. Oh well, that’s life!

Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

*peace&God Bless*
Lisa

**The Rabbit and Its Tail is now available for preorder. It will be available starting July 8, 2016. Please click and visit: The Rabbit and Its Tail link. More information is posted on my blog as well as on Amazon Kindle.**