Must Be Nice

Recently someone told me they were going on a min-vacation before the holidays start. I feel happy for them and yet at the same time find myself saying/thinking, “Must be nice.” I don’t have a lot of time or extra money to put towards such niceties and wish I did. I do my best to keep a budget and make sure some fun and games are had, but overall I have to just keep working and watch as others enjoy vacations, new clothes, a new car, or a day off work in general. I’m never able to enjoy things like that; I can’t remember the last time I actually had something new. The last new item I remember was my plush doll that I bought myself as a Christmas present last year and let Steven give me.

My original character/inkling from Splatoon: Luna Blue

I can’t really enjoy things like this because I don’t often have the money. In my opinion, I barely make enough to cover the expenses I have for necessities (e.g., monthly health insurance premiums, food for lunch, prescription medicines, etc.). When I do treat others or myself it’s because of a birthday or to celebrate a successful outcome (e.g., I had a secret shopper at work give me a 94% out 100% on my performance). My gifts are usually second-hand, i.e., I get them from consignment shops. If I don’t get them second-hand, I buy them on sale at a steep discount (50-75% off) or I make them.

I often find myself thinking about the niceties around this time of year; people are just starting to think about the winter holidays and planning times to get together with their family and friends. Me? I’m thinking about my upcoming doctor’s appointment (which I’m dreading), how I’ll afford Christmas gifts this year, all the added stress at work (more customers and special orders), finding new health insurance for Steven and me again (our current ones won’t be offered again next year), and trying again to pay off my credit card (already had to put 3 more charges on it today alone).

Remember me as you start planning your pre-holiday vacations and start looking at your holiday budgets; I’ll just be here in my second-hand clothes and eating on some ramen noodles (despite it being bad for me it’s all I can usually afford) while surfing the web on some outdated technology wondering how I’ll be able to keep myself (and my family) afloat with my ever-growing credit card bill (hopefully able to find some health insurance, too).

Love and prayers, as always (’cause we all know how much I need them now). ❤

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Not Qualified and That’s Alright with Me

We’re hiring (still) for an assistant manager as well as just sales associates at Nestle Toll House Cafe/Haagen-Dazs. We’ve been hiring for a long time now and so when I mentioned this to my family, Steven told me that I should go ahead and see if I was qualified to be an assistant manager. I honestly didn’t think I would be and didn’t really want to be one, but the more I thought about it the more I considered that it would be a possibility. I know I’m still, in my eyes anyway, a leader-in-training. I haven’t quite figured out how to lead completely on my own yet and I’m okay with that. I can lead at home, or so I think, a bit better than I used to and I’m taking initiative a lot more.

Anyway, so I was going to ask last night at work, but didn’t get around to it. I stopped by the store on Mom’s and my morning walk today. I asked Thayne and basically was told in a nutshell that I’m not qualified. That’s alright with me. I’m fine with that. I don’t mind not being completely in charge just yet. I have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do in that regard. I know I’m probably never going to be as great of a leader as some of the role models I have, but that’s okay. Being a leader is a lot of responsibility and hard work. I know I can manage in time, but I’m still learning. I think I might still be in Leadership 301 or so, but you know what? Given enough time and experience, I might be qualified in the future for such a role as an assistant manager. I’m pretty sure of that. Maybe in time, that’s what God has in store for me. Never know! 🙂

(On a side note, photos of our remodeled store will be coming soon; I just haven’t had time to get around to taking them. 😉 )

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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Remodel Date and White Rabbit

White Rabbit!

So this evening, as I’m typing this entry most likely, our Nestle Toll House Cafe is being remodeled. I’m kind of sad actually to see it go; it means a lot to me not just because I’ve worked here the longest of any place ever, but also because it means I’ve failed again.

In my eyes, I’ve failed because I said I would make it out of Nestle’s before a remodel. I wanted to so badly find another job or better yet, make my business a success. None of that has happened. 😥 I’m still looking on how to make my company a success so I no longer have to leave my home and greatest friend in the world. I also don’t want to have to leave when there is ice all over my driveway and risk crashing into someone because I veered off our driveway and careened through the yard into oncoming traffic. I also don’t want to risk being unable to come home again for any reason.

Recently Steven told me something that moved me to tears, but also has me motivated to find a way to get our business up and running sooner rather than later. He informed me, “You know what my biggest fear is now?” He paused knowing full well I had no idea. “That you won’t come back home.” 😥 😥 I have no words.

I fear similarly. I fear one day I won’t make it back either; there have been at least 3 shoplifters in the course of 3 weeks (two Fridays ago was the last one). I fear someone is going to hurt me so badly in an incident like that even if I’m just a bystander. Yes, I’m also afraid one day I won’t want to come home. I’ve often thought about it. The only thing stopping me is knowing that Steven would be totally lost without me.

Well, back to the main topic, the remodel. I have one before picture, which I will post below this. I will try to take an after picture tomorrow, or some time soon, but I make no promises.

This is our store prior to the remodel.

Not much else to report for now, so I’ll sign off and try to write more soon!

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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It’s Been Crazy!

I know I promised to get back to a normal posting schedule, but it’s been crazy! Finances, weight gain, stress, health, blood sugar/glucose, and on and on it goes! I am terribly sorry for neglecting this blog. I hope you can all forgive me for not being back sooner.

First the remodel of Nestle Toll House Cafe was supposed to be 2 weeks ago, but it was postponed ’til a week from today. That put some stress on us at work to maintain status quo. Several people at work have gone back to school which means I’m working more during the week. Working more during the week has made my wrist hurt more — darned carpal tunnel! As I type this to you my right wrist is throbbing with pain (perhaps I should have put my brace on) and I’ve also smashed my upper arm into the door leading to the back room. I also have been emotionally hurt lately. The more days I spend at work, the fewer days I’m home; the fewer days I’m home means the more I miss being with Steven. I can’t exactly cut my hours any more or I can’t pay my bills.

Speaking of paying bills, my health insurance and two other bills are due soon and I don’t know how I’m going to pay them! I don’t get paid until next Monday. My health insurance is due on the first as is another bill. My last bill, luckily, is not due until Halloween.

Halloween is posing a threat this year, too. My endocrinologist appointment is on Halloween and I’m not looking forward to this at all! My fasting numbers were doing great, but I had to go and mess things up again. 😡 You see with all this stress that’s been going on, I actually started eating more (because, remember, I’m a stress eater). As I’ve been eating more, my weight’s gone up and my blood sugar/glucose numbers also increased.

We just recently made our way, finally, back to our normal Mass time of 5:00 pm Saturday. Yesterday was our first Saturday back in a long time. I can honestly say I missed my Saturday evening Masses. It’s usually calmer, more relaxed, and a bit more casual. The only thing I didn’t miss was the actual Mass itself. I’m still not convinced I’m staying Catholic after the inevitable passing of Mom, but that’s still another topic that deserves its own entry.

Anyway, starting today, when I went for my normal Sunday/midweek (I know usual midweek is usually Wednesday, but bear with me) grocery shopping, I bought some healthier options for snacks and lunches this week. I bought a pre-made salad (because I rarely have time to make one and trying to cut all the veggies myself is usually a bad idea because of the sharp objects 😉 ), a pre-made healthier sandwich (with spinach, chicken, and artichokes — maybe something else in it; I can’t remember), and some banana chips (I don’t like regular bananas but I like banana chips (I know I’m strange). I also bought some tortilla chips because I don’t really like potato chips any more and they’re healthier; I even purchased some yogurt for breakfast and some cheese in case I want to have some as a snack some night or day.

Well, that’s pretty much all that’s been happening around here, but as soon as I can get more time to myself I promise I will be back to this blog more regularly.

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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The Ultimate Sacrifice

Today, 16 years ago, USA changed in ways none of us could have ever imagined. Post-September 11, many people decided to give of themselves and become something bigger. These people made the ultimate sacrifice (remember last entry I said “sacrifice = love”) and enlisted in the armed services and decided to fight for the freedom that Americans value so much. We have many freedoms here and if it wasn’t for all these brave men and women, we wouldn’t have many freedoms left.

I thank all of them for their service and sacrifice. Some lost more than they probably thought they would; maybe the lost a limb or sight. Maybe, sadly, some lost their friends or loved ones. All in all, these brave men and women fought because they love(d) this great nation of ours and are willing to do whatever it takes to prove that we are united in love, freedom, and will not give in to terrorists, threats, or violence of any kind!

As cliché as it is, “united we stand; divided we fall!” We are here to help each other no matter the cost or struggles. We will fight for what is right!

Thank you everyone and yes, God bless the USA! ❤

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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Sacrifice = Love

We went to Mass this morning instead of last night since I had to work late, which seems to be a reoccurring theme at work lately (not that I’m complaining but I’ll get to that in a bit). While listening to Fr. Mike’s homily this morning I can completely say I related to the fact that he said out of love for someone we will make great sacrifices. We make sacrifices to see that those we love are happy and they know we love them. I do this a lot! I sacrifice a lot of my own happiness to ensure others (usually Mom and Steven) know how much I love them and care about them. This brings me back to why I’m not complaining about working so much lately.

I have had to work more than I normally do or later than normal because, once again, we are short-staffed. I also have had to work more because most of the staff we do have is high school students and they can’t work as many hours as the rest of us nor can they work during school hours (that should be obvious). I don’t mind working more because, even though this isn’t my dream job, I’ve kind of grown to like it to an extent. I also don’t complain because I’m making sacrifices to eventually show those I love how much I love them. I’m showing Mom and Steven I love them by treating them to certain events, food, etc. Today I treated them to brunch and dinner. I also bought my own groceries as well as some other items Mom needed. I know I should always buy my own groceries, but usually Mom does it because she says “I love you and want you to not have to worry about it.” Okay so she’s even sacrificing a bit out of love. 🙂

Well, that’s all I had to say about sacrifice equaling love. I guess before I forget, there’s not going to be a remodel a week from today. 😥 Our cabinets that were supposed to go in the store, are actually “stranded” per se on Long Island. Not sure now when our remodel will occur, but I’ll let you know again when it comes up.

Tonight is a work meeting and I’ll have to get ready in roughly 15-20 minutes to head out to the store/mall. Supposedly we’re going to have pizza, but I’m not sure how much I can eat. I had too much for dinner with Mom and Steven and lots of unnecessary food (like sugar-free jelly beans). 😳 Anyway, we’ll see what happens. I’ll do my best to report back soon, but work is kind of taking over at the moment and leaves a lot to be desired at home, etc. I have plenty to do here as well.

So that’s all on this front; I’ll try to write more soon. I pray all of you in the path(s) of the hurricane(s) stay safe and are out of harm’s way. ❤

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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I’m usually a big advocate of change; I know most people don’t like change because usually they think of change as negative. No one likes to be told that the way (s)he is doing things will be changing. The reason for change is probably for the better, or at least that is what the person advocating change wants you to think. I am usually that catalyst. As I said in my last entry, I learned I lead because I want to change things or don’t like the direction they’re heading. Right now I, unfortunately, am not the instigator of all the changes that are set to begin soon in my life (and the lives of others around me).

First thing to change is Nestle Toll House Cafe, where I work. We are set to have a remodel of the store September 17 into September 18. Supposedly this will only take one whole night, or so I’ve been told. I will do my best to get some before and after photos for all of you, but I make no promises. These changes were set into motion by corporate and will be carried out by Thayne and some of his friends and a contractor. I’m not sure what to think right now; it’s not that I don’t know what’s happening (I know probably more than most of my coworkers right now) it’s just I’m a little uneasy about some of these changes. I was also at one time hoping to have been out before this remodel took place.

Next thing to change is ongoing. I’m looking into a few online resources to see what I can do to better market C & S Productions and make us more credible. I’m not going to say much more about this change because I don’t know a lot myself and I also don’t want to get people’s hopes up.

Now on to another change. This is one that’s probably the hardest for Steven (and a bit for me as well). The online forum where I’ve posted screenshots, drawings, etc. is closing. Steven used to post drawings there A LOT! This is also where he’s made countless friends online. One could argue they’re not really friends, but to him they’re all he has for now. The site/forum is miiverse. I’m sure a lot of my gamer friends have heard of this site and probably have actually posted there themselves. If you’re reading this and are friends with him on there as well, please message him for ways to get in touch with him after miiverse closes in November.

Lastly, this change actually will be ongoing, as well. I’m going to be doing as much as I can for further, self-development. I’m not sure that came out as great as I planned. 🙄 Another way to put it is simply I’m going to be trying to develop more of who I’ve discovered I am and my role in life (whether that’s family, work, etc.) and my beliefs, values, etc.

There you have it! All my changes that will be taking place over the course of the next 2 months or so. One thing that will NOT change is this blog. I plan to continue this blog and help all of you on your life journey. I also hope you will all help me. No matter how big or small, you and I can help each other. I know it will not be easy and there are many detours, bumps, twists, turns, valleys, mountains, canyons, and even maybe a few boulders or pebbles in our paths, but we can do it! We will make it and succeed together. 🙂

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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A Brief, Emotional Note

I’ve had a rough time as of late. I celebrated my birthday; it was simple and for once I received exactly what I say every year I want: nothing! I didn’t receive a birthday card from Mom or Steven; no presents were unwrapped. I was actually happy. So you might be asking yourself, If you are so happy why didn’t you post anything sooner? Where have you been? Well, I’ll tell you.

I didn’t post sooner because shortly after my birthday I got emotional. My emotions have been all over the board and I haven’t really wanted to talk to anyone. I’ve been in deep prayer and contemplation for about a week now. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone as much as I usually do. I have little to no patience at the moment. I had a rough few days trying to figure out why life doesn’t seem any better. I listened to Steven tell me that probably in another year we won’t be able to afford a dentist. Our bills are getting larger and my paychecks are smaller. I haven’t found a way to keep us afloat. I’m trying to find something to get our business back off the ground. Not much is happening with it. We wanted to try video editing, but no one seems to want that. I have tried to find another job that will pay more than I’m making now, but I’m also torn because I’ve actually grown to like it at Nestle/Haagen-Dazs. I want to be home, though; I want to be here and actually know who Mom and Steven are as people. And you know what else? I’m crying right now as I type this because I know that my future is very uncertain. I don’t know how long I can stay in a house; I’m afraid. I know my extended family reads this blog via email, etc. and I’m sure they’re thinking it’s not that bad or that it should be easy for me (and possibly Steven) to just up and get a new job…a better job! No! No, it’s not that easy. If you’d actually wake up and stop pretending to be happy or apply to jobs with my credentials you’d see there’s very little you can do in this day and age. I am not giving up, though. My family needs me; Steven needs me. Listen, I am going to keep standing up for him and my family (and) myself! We don’t have it easy; we never have! This reminds me; the other thing I received for my birthday was actually a question to reflect on from Steven. He asked me, Why do you lead? I honestly had no answer; I never thought about  it in all honesty until then. Finally, about two days later, I came up with an answer; I lead because I want to make a difference! I want to change things!

Every time I have broken apart from the mob or mainstream culture, I did so because I didn’t agree with what they stood for or wanted to change something — anything — no matter how small! Yes, that’s it! That’s why I lead! I lead to make a difference, to change things! When I finally said that to Steven, he told me Let’s hope you can do that for us — for our business — for our family! I nodded and more than ever I’m determined to make a difference, to change things!

This is probably, now that I think about it, why have been emotional lately and why I haven’t written lately. I’ve been thinking about why I lead; I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a difference and how to change things.

Well, there you have it; why I haven’t been here and my emotional story. Please keep in mind I really would rather not talk about such things in person or rather in a group. Don’t bring this topic up — let me bring it up instead if I want to talk about it.

So this note wasn’t as brief as I thought it was going to be, but at least it helped me to get a few things off my chest and hopefully you’ve learned a bit along the way. 🙂

I’ll try to get back to writing regularly again soon (not sure how soon that will be though if I’m being honest).

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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Broken: Needs Repair

I’d like to take an ad/classified out. It would read the following:

Broken: Needs Repair
Must be able to bandage a broken heart, ego, emotions, and faith life. Much more may be needed, but please know that only a true friend or handyman could fix this. Handle with care and be prepared for emotional breakdowns from time to time. Can you repair this person? Serious inquiries only, please!

My life’s been shattered so much as of late. My emotions are all over the board. I have gone from being elated to being depressed to befuddled to energized. Earlier this morning (early afternoon), I learned my “grandma” (an older lady at church who I really took a liking to) Mary Lou has died. Her funeral and rosary are going to be on Wednesday. I, unfortunately, cannot attend; I’m opening at the store that day. 😥 I had been elated to learn that as of earlier last week, I was in 4th place in a contest at work for up-selling. I ended up befuddled as to why Steven’s thinking of leaving an online community due to a squabble with others on why people post private things on public places (such as the forum) or demand attention. I was energized earlier this month when I normally shouldn’t be; if you know me at all you know that usually I look forward to attending Mass, but lately I’ve been bored with it and actually became energized when Mom said because her wrist was bothering her she couldn’t attend Mass and Steven and I didn’t want to leave her alone in case she’d need something. I actually felt energized to perform a lot of tasks and activities that normally I don’t have the chance to because I’m at Mass. (I also thought it might be interesting to attend a different type of service, but I never made it to one.)

So other than that, I guess life’s been pretty much normal (or as normal as things ever get around here). My birthday is in two days and I still don’t know much of what to say we’re doing or where I’m going for any of my meals that day. 😐 The only certain thing is we’re going to Mass at 9:00 a.m. for the holy day of obligation, Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother.

Well, feel free to reply to my classified ad if you think you’re qualified or serious enough for the job. I’ll get back to you when I can (or if I can).

Love and prayers (’cause the LORD knows I need them), as always! ❤

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Successful Surgery

Mom’s surgery was last Wednesday and it went smoothly, that is after it actually started. We got there almost exactly on time, just a wee bit early. She was even called back more or less on time. By the time I was able to go see her before surgery, we found out that the doctor was running about an hour or so late!

Well, to try to ease Mom’s worries, I tried to find something on the TV in the waiting dock (or whatever it’s called before they take you back in your bed to surgery). All I could find on the TV was cartoons. We actually ended up talking more than watching, but I noticed that we actually had a good time; we didn’t become too angry with each other and she actually looked at me when I talked (normally, she kind of looks to the side or spaces out).

Finally, after she was wheeled back to surgery and I made it to the waiting room again I thought I could take a nap. I was so wrong. I tried to fall asleep, but without a pillow (I forgot one and failed to ask for one in the waiting dock the arm rests were brick-hard! I mean what did I expect?! They’re made of solid wood after all. 🙄 Well, since I couldn’t sleep, I thought I’d email Thayne and my GM telling them that “Mom’s in surgery.” Then I tried to read my book I’d brought with me; I think I fell asleep a couple of times reading it, but mostly I stayed awake and had like maybe 4 cups of coffee. I could have gone to get something to eat, but I didn’t want to have to figure out how to get enough courage to climb the stairs by myself or take an elevator (which I learned is super slow there) back up to the top floor. I also called my dentist office to say I had no idea if I was going to make the appointment or not yet. I also told them I didn’t know if Steven’d make his either. This depends on how Mom feels and if I’m working those days.

Anyway, that’s how surgery went and my waiting time. I guess there’s nothing left to say except that Mom is getting her cast this Tuesday. Time will only tell how long she has to keep that on. Guess now I’m done writing. Probably a good thing as I’m very sleepy right now and getting hungry. 😉

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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