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Stress and Anxiety

Imagined danger and nervousness.  Imagined danger and worry.  Imagined danger and fear.

That’s where my brain is at 3 something this morning.

Most of it comes down to money, honestly.  I’m on this trip and taking the trip to Portland this weekend is slightly anxiety-inducing.  How much do I need to bring with me?  What all am I going to get myself into while I’m there?  Do I have enough time off to head up there tonight or do I wait until super early tomorrow?  Do I drive all the way into the city or do I park somewhere and talk public transportation?  Do I spend the night or do this in a day?

That’s where my brain is this morning.  I’m worried the paperwork I did won’t go through the system.

On a good note:  I have to finish my paperwork and then submit it to school for in state tuition because I got financial aid for another year.  I have nine classes to go and my hopefully new position when I get back will help with some of the costs.

Sigh.  Happy Friday.

Listening to:  Ray and Ethan laughing at me typing.  “You’re killing your keys!”

Reading: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban and Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day:  “The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.” ― Albert Schweitzer



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February’s Monthly Goals


I think the only things I finished was “Read 10 books,” “Start RTY 2018 mile challenge,” and “Record 10 vlogs.”

It’s been a really slow start to 2018, but we’re already a month in.  How does that happen?  Oh right:  Because I procrastinate!


Work has been great so far this year and after focusing on the books, sending one more kid off to boot camp, traveling to another’s graduation, dealing with the uncertainty of work (furloughed government employee), and just the general moodiness of S.A.D., I didn’t do much of anything this month.

But check-in anyways:

  • Miles reached: 1,231.74.  77.26 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight: 252.6 (I’ve been fluctuating)
  • Books read: 27 books.
  • Blog Posts: 4
  • Vlog Posts:  11

For February, I have a detail coming up so I will complete a few things I didn’t think I’d get to do, and work is paying for it.

  • Reach 200+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 10 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Travel cross county.
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Submit “Finding Home” to Kindle Scout.
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Visit California’s North Coast (Eureka, CA)
  • Complete HRC’s Nargle 9k

That’s it for now.  I’m looking at other things to add to my list while I’m away but we will see.

Happy Thursday!

Listening to:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Quote of the Day:  “The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.” ― Osho

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Explaining Personal Inclusion

Towards the end of the work day, I got seriously smacked with a truth stick, those lovely things that make you realize a truth about yourself you’ve either ignored or thought you had fixed.

Yup, another one…after a weekend of several whacks with other truth sticks.  I should have just climbed to the top of tree and done a free fall through the branches.  I’m emotionally hurt but not nearly as sore as the people I landed on (a.k.a., those people in my life beating me with said sticks) are.  I really hurt a lot of people and made myself look like the worst kind of jerk.

Today’s stick was something I had mentioned to my friend earlier.  It’s actually a complaint I’ve had about the people in my office; ever notice that the things that bother us about other people around us are flaws within ourselves?  It was really weird.

I suck at inclusion.

Now, inclusion is talked about on a big scale, from racial inclusion to cultural inclusion to even gender inclusion.  But no one ever seems to want to talk about the back side of inclusion:  What do we do to become included?  Why does now one ever feel comfortable enough to say, “Hey, I don’t feel included here?”  Feeling like that makes me want to say, “Screw this; I’m going home.”

That was the truth stick of the day.

I don’t think about making other people feel included, but when I don’t feel included, I shut down and then go off and do my own things.  So I can’t fault them for doing the same thing.  Who wants to be around people that don’t make them feel welcomed?  Sadly, often times, these feelings don’t ever get addressed until it’s too late.  One party has either walked away or both parties have gone separate ways.

Why does all this matter?  I got left out as a kid.  I was Rudolph.  Just can’t find the things the make my nose glow…at least to some people.

People who remind me, even subconsciously and unfairly, trigger those feelings.  They aren’t pleasant, and they leave me judging people before either of us know each other.  That, along with other factors, blew up in my face at the worst possible moment this weekend.  I screwed up because I had a hand in making someone else not feel included when I know that’s the worst feeling in the who world.

The point of this post though:  It’s the holiday season.  There are lonely, unincluded people out here.  At work, I’m one of them, at least on my staff.  There’s no quick fix for that, so not really bothering there.  But there might be a quick fix for someone in your family or your circle.  Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and have a conversation with them.  Let them know you miss them and that you are thinking about them.  That person in the office that everyone ignores…  Try starting a conversation with them and actively listening to them.  Send Holiday cards to people who may not get one this year just because you can.  Volunteer as a foster parent; there are so many kids out here who just want to know someone, somewhere cares.  This one is a bit longer term, but you never know; you may be their inspiration to do something amazing.  All it takes is a little love.

And some reindeer games!

Happy Holidays folks.

Listening to:  Ethan’s playlist while he does homework

Reading:  After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Quote of the day:  “The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” – Unknown

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Tomorrow is my one year anniversary from weightloss surgery.  I had the sleeve surgery.

My highest weight was 396.


My surgery weight was 370.


My current weight is, as of this morning, 254.6, even though I saw 249 on the 2nd.  Stress eating and not enough water and protein (aka junk food and carbs!) will do that to you.


I haven’t seen 249 since I was 16.  I’m 30!

Non-scale victories:

  • No way would I have completed the three major races I did along with getting the 1086 miles I walked this year. That’s a feat in and of itself.
  • I can get into a Walmart size 20 pants. Before I couldn’t get into any pants and I was wearing one of their 5x shirts.  It was NOT baggy then.
  • Lane Bryant is the same: I can get into a 20/22 and an 18/20 shirt as long as it’s not clingy.
  • I put on a Torrid size 3 shirt; I didn’t think I’d see the day where that size shirt would be baggy.
  • I even dropped a shoe size!
  • TMI: I didn’t used to get my cycle.  Now, I’m every 45 days, like clockwork.

Choosing to have surgery was not easy.  The journey to get the numbers on scale to match what I feel I should be has not been easy at all and it’s still taking hard work.  But I’m almost to a “normal” size thanks to having the surgery done.

Now to find coffee!

Listening to:  Office chatter.

Reading:  between books right now.

Quote of the Day:  “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” — Jack Ma

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Life Update

It’s been a while since I posted something… I think close to 17 days so two weeks.  I haven’t had much to say and there’s been several shuffling pieces that needed to find a home before I could get back to writing.

Have things been sorted out?  Hardly.  Do I really have much to say today?  No, not really.


Because there seems to be a grieving process happening; a couple of them actually.  I don’t deal with change very well and after stressing so much to make the money for the house, suddenly, there isn’t much to stress about.  To me, that leaves a bit of void, even though I should be able to relax and calm down from there.  A major change happened though.  No longer are we in a small apartment, now we have about double the space and we aren’t tripping over people, except when it comes to the bathroom.  One bathroom for five, soon to only be three, people can be rough.  So there’s one part.

The other part is the soon-to-be lack of people in the house.  Life changes.  People grow up and change with it.  I think I already said I don’t handle change well.  I’d gotten used to things and now, things are flipped upside down and I’m not very resilient.  I never really have been.  But the lack of people because the kids are moving on and heading off on great adventures… I’m scared but excited for them.  This if why I can’t have biological kids.  I would be the parent that never wants to let go.

So two grieving processes:  One for the void of stressing about moving and one for life changes when it comes to kids.

Simple things in the grand scheme of things, but things that are important to me.

Twelve days… Hopefully sunshine and beaches help shake this feeling.

Then off to planning the next great escape, both personally and professionally.

Listening to:  My off-line Amazon Playlist

Reading:  Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Quote of the day:  “Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ― Rumi

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Tomorrow is my 30th birthday.  The world can stop spinning now!

That’s a joke from my mom because I would act like the world revolved around me when I was younger and how I felt the entire world should know it’s my birthday and celebrate me.

I have since grown out of that phase but that joke/sentiment still sticks with me years after she said it.  Along with that one time I got sung to by a choir group passing through the Shoney’s and my dad mentioned it was my birthday to the instructor.  Mom and Grandma both got on my case for not saying “Thank you” to them.  I finally mumbled “thank you” to him as we were leaving.  I didn’t NOT say it because I was ungrateful.  I was embarrassed.

But 30…

I wanted to talk about the things I wanted to accomplish but haven’t yet; the things I did accomplish in the last 30 years of being on this earth, especially in the last two years; the loses and the gains of growing into a person your mom can be proud of; or even the things I’m looking forward to in the next decade.  The only thing I’m stuck on though is how much I want to get in the next 14 years.

Fourteen years has significance in a morbid way.  Tomorrow, I’ll turn the same age my mom was when she had me.  She was 44 when she died, so fourteen years.  Like I said, it’s a morbid way to spend my birthday thinking about how, in 14 years, I’ll have seen more years then she did.  Would she be happy with the person I became?  Is my morbidity of trying to accomplish so much in 14 years the reason I feel like I have finite time to accomplish everything I want out of life?

Silver linings though right?  We’ve always got to look for the positive in any situation.  Why don’t I feel like looking at the positive right now?  Why don’t I want to focus on the fact I have a great family?  Why can’t I focus on my accomplishments so far this year?  That would be easy; I just have to look at my goals posts.  There is no easy answer for when does time run out.  Do I really have 14 years?  More?  Less?

Ponderings.  These are just ponderings of the emotions coming from a milestone birthday.  I’m really okay.  Between reading and writing, blogging and recording content for my BookTube Channel, I have plenty to keep me busy, especially since we are also part way through the process of buying a house.

Listening to:  Amazon’s Rise Against station

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  “It’s really something for people who are approaching 30 to take a look at what that means to them.  I think turning 30 is a way to re-identify with yourself.” – Neil Patrick Harris

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Twelve years…

Today is my twelve year anniversary in D.C.  Twelve years in one metropolitan area; never thought that would happen.

I wanted to come to D.C. though since I visited on a trip with Mountaineer Challenge Academy when I was 16.  Times have really changed since I got here as a very green, not-so-experienced 17, going on 18 year old Job Corps student.

One thing that’s changed is I’ve gone from not having any goals or direction to being goal-oriented.  I used to simply wonder around without much direction.  I had a great boss that sat me down and told me basically to get it together.  She was awesome and my life has been on an up-ward trajectory since then.

Another thing that’s changed is I found a family with Ray.  I joke about Ray being my 10 year anniversary gift to myself.  She came into my life in a time when things were in transition in a lot of places in both my personal and professional life, just when I needed her the most.

It’s not just Ray though.  It’s everyone that she’s brought into my life over the last almost two years.  She’s also made me want to do more things with my life.  I finished a book, I’m doing this blog, I’m moving past a lot of negative things…mostly because I have a family that makes me “put my money where my mouth is.”  I mean just look at my other posts.

When I did this blog in its several interpretations, there were more negative posts than positive ones.  Now, there may be a handful of negative posts scattered among the positive ones.

In twelve years, I have had a lot of changes in my life, from crappy boyfriends and roommates, to great friends and some awesome memories, to just being able to be who I am, boring as it may be.

One more thing of note, I’ve really gotta say “Thank you” to those people who have been there through just about everything because without you guys, I really wouldn’t have made it through the past twelve years.

Happy Wednesday and Flag Day folks.

Listening to:  People talking

Reading:  The Lost by Vicki Pettersson and Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Quote of the Day:  “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” ― Zig Ziglar

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