Not Going to Give Up

This is going to be a great year! I’ve decided this year no matter what happens, I’m not going to give up! I’m going to be the best sister, coworker, shift leader, businesswoman, daughter, Christian I can! I’m not going to give up!

I just watched a video clip from a show that I used to watch a lot with Steven when it was on TV new. It no longer is on TV, the show ended about maybe 2 years ago. Maybe some of you have heard of it; it’s called Gravity Falls. The series follows fraternal twins Dipper and Mable Pines during the summer before their 13th birthday when they visit their great-uncle Stan in Gravity Falls (a place where supernatural and paranormal becomes normal). They struggle with all the usual preteen “stuff” like peer pressure, identity crisis, first loves, etc., but they also struggle with the paranormal and supernatural. This show reminded me of how close siblings can (and in my opinion, should) be. I have alluded to this show before (I said only reading fiction, but I was also watching the show at that time) but today it brought tears to my eyes again as I recalled I’m not going to let another year go by without trying extra hard to be a success in everyone’s eyes (including Steven and my own)!

I just finished researching for about 45 minutes to an hour today on more ways to make our company a success and I’m looking forward to a new idea I’ve had. You see I’m also looking for a totally new direction that might help me to make things work, but I will need more help in a sub-direction, too. If you know anything about picture book publishing, I’d like to hear from you! 🙂 I can explain more later. If you don’t, please don’t tell me to stop dreaming or anything like that! I’m not giving up!

Well, I suppose I should sign off for now. I will write more in the next few days, weeks, months, etc. Work at the mall is calming down for a bit and that means more time to be on my computer and working on my business and other ideas I’ve had as well as this blog! I’m not going to give up! This is going to be my year, Steven’s and my year, and I’m not going to blow it!

Love and prayers, as always! ❤


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Happy New Year (a bit late)!

I know I’m late in getting this out to everyone. I hope you all had a safe, happy, and blessed New Year’s Day! 🙂 Ours was frigid and rather uneventful since I was working New Year’s; I was off New Year’s Eve, though. We went to bed New Year’s Eve at our normal time (for me that’s around 10:30 or 11:00 pm).

Anyway, so I guess you might be wondering what my resolution(s) is (or are). Even if you’re not, I’ll tell you! 😉 I actually don’t have much in the way of anything that most people would consider spectacular I guess. I have a key phrase that has popped into my head as early as December 29, 2017 and it just kept popping into my head, so I guess that’s what I’ll work on as well as one other resolution/idea.

“Go and do likewise,” that was the key phrase that kept popping into my head. I got a jump-start on this when it snowed one day while I was at work and the car next to mine was also covered in snow; I figured if I were the person who it belonged to I’d be (like I was personally already) really tired from a long shift at work and didn’t really want to have to clear my windows and door of all the snow and ice that had accumulated on my car during my shift, so I cleared it off. I don’t know who owns the car, but I did it for them anyway after clearing my own car off.

My other resolution/idea is to research services, products, etc. that my company can do to become successful and to do that every day for however little or much time I have — even if it’s only 15 minutes! I’ve already researched about 2 hours worth in these first 4 days of the new year. 🙂

Well, I wish I could report more, but there’s nothing else worth noting right now. :-/

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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Time to Wrap up Another Year

The seconds, minutes, and hours tick on as they always do. Today is the end of 2017 and what a year it’s been! I’ve had more than my fair share of crosses to bear this year. Health (both mental and physical) has taken a dip, emotions ran high, my credit card bill skyrocketed, and tempers flared! That was just the tip of the iceberg, folks. 😥 I’m ready to start anew and put all these behind me. I can’t say that everything was negative and I’d just as soon wish they never happened, there were plenty of positives sprinkled throughout my year it’s just they weren’t as numerous or memorable.

Some of my positives were making at least two new friends this year at work, having a secret Santa or more (which reminds me, I have a thank you letter to write later), and positives at work (I won’t say much about it because I probably have coworkers who read this blog).

I may not make it to midnight this year as I’ve been working longer hours, both a good and bad thing, and I have to work tomorrow. I also have realized the new year comes whether we’re ready for it or not.

So, my dear friends and fellow travelers, as the seconds; minutes; and hours tick ever closer to the start of a new year let us all take the time to reflect on both the good and the bad that happened in 2017 — both of those made us who we are today and how we will face our new challenges in 2018! Take a moment and thank our Heavenly Father and ask Him to look lovingly on us as we travel towards 2018, hopefully together!

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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No Artificial Colors, Only Pure, Natural Red Blood Here

I couldn’t resist this title; it’s too perfect for what happened about a week ago. I was at work and had three tubs of ice cream that needed to be cut down so that they could be stored more easily in our tempering freezer at work (or as we call it “partial” the ice cream). Well, we didn’t have a box cutter at that point for some reason (we still aren’t sure where the original one went), so I thought I might be able to use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the tubs down. I managed to cut one tub down before disaster!

I guess I don’t know my own strength as the pair of scissors somehow slipped and the inside portion (where the jagged teeth are) sliced my right thumb about a quarter of the way down and probably a millimeter deep. I thought I could bandage myself up and wrap a paper towel around it so no one (especially my manager) wouldn’t know what had happened. I was wrong yet again!

I thought I had stopped the bleeding and was fine, but a guest came up and ordered some Caramel Cone ice cream; that was when I noticed blood still oozing from my thumb and tried to cover it up as quickly as I could and serve the guest before any more blood spilled onto the ice cream tub skirt (google it and you’ll get a good idea what they look like) and into the ice cream. I rang up the guest and ran to the bathroom to get another bandage, but by then I realized that this wasn’t going to work. I had spilled some blood onto our small, rolling black cart and ran from the back room to the other side of the store to my manager. Luckily, it was slow by then.

“Nicole, I have a small problem!” I explained calmly. She asked what it was and all I could do was hold my right hand up which by now had my thumb covered in bright, red blood. No artificial colors, only pure, natural red blood here! I was being so sarcastic even in my head in the middle of chaos; instead of thinking I might need stitches (which I didn’t), I just was thinking about how silly I could be.

After she started taking care of me and mending my wound, I thought even more about what had happened. I couldn’t leave the store, nor could she; this is our busiest time of year and we can’t just shut it down. Throughout the rest of my shift and into the next few days, Nicole kept checking in with me. “Are you sure you’re okay?” I would nod and reply, “I just still feel really stupid that’s all!”

She bought two new box cutters that same day and brought them to work the next morning. I tell you, I don’t know why it is that chaos always brings people closer together; I just know it does and boy am I glad Nicole knows First Aid as well as she does. I’m sure that bathroom sink looked like a murder scene with blood all over it and bloody paper towels everywhere; some of my used bandages were probably around there, too. I know I had the closing crew disinfect the scissors that I cut my thumb on and explained only to the closing manager what happened.

All in all my thumb is healing nicely and only now do I see I cut it in two places and one is not as deep (looks more like a paper cut). Anyway, guess I should be happy that I didn’t need stitches AND that I have such an awesome manager (and, now at least in my eyes, friend)!

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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White Rabbit, Will I Have a White Christmas?

White Rabbit!

It’s already December 1! More and more I find myself in a deeper and deeper hole. Will I have a white Christmas this year? Will I even have a Christmas worth celebrating? These questions and more are swirling inside me. I’ve tried to keep quiet; I’ve tried to keep a smile on my face. It’s hard right now! Please don’t tell me how to make things differently; I don’t need someone to lecture me on how Steven (or I) should be looking for a better job or a job period. Don’t tell me that I’m not as bad off as I think. It has become so bad that even necessities must be put on credit cards right now. I have three bills left unpaid on my desk right now; they’re staring at me right now! How can I afford to pay them? How can I not?

I’m at wit’s end right now. I don’t want to believe things are this bad. At the same time, I can’t keep living in denial! I did that with Daddy’s death. I lived in denial for almost 11 years! I kept saying he’d come home one day. Finally, I’ve come to terms with it this year.

While the rest of the world goes about Christmas shopping for frivolities, I’m stuck wondering how I’ll pay the bills this month. Sure Mom gets supplemental income from annuities, social security, and Daddy’s pension, but I fear somehow these aren’t enough. If we are to say white is purity and being in black is good, then I fear I’m in for a terrible go of it this month and perhaps forever!

Sorry for the somber tone, but these are things that have been on my mind today and quite some time. This blog was initially meant as a way for me to vent; it was meant to be a way for me to tell others, “You’re not alone!” Keep that in mind before you come to me and lecture me on how Steven or I should be doing things differently; keep in mind that some people (such as myself and maybe even you) are just a paycheck away from living on the streets and through no fault of their own. With all that in mind, I’m going to leave you with a song that lately has been my song.

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

When I was small I believed in Santa Claus
Though I knew it was my dad
And I would hang up my stocking at Christmas
Open my presents and I’d be glad
But the last time I played Father Christmas
I stood outside a department store
A gang of kids came over and mugged me
And knocked my reindeer to the floor
They said
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys
Don’t give my brother a Steve Austin outfit
Don’t give my sister a cuddly toy
We don’t want a jigsaw or monopoly money
We only want the real mccoy
Father Christmas, give us some money
We’ll beat you up if you make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys
But give my daddy a job ’cause he needs one
He’s got lots of mouths to feed
But if you’ve got one I’ll have a machine gun
So I can scare all the kids on the street
Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
Give all the toys to the little rich boys
Have yourself a merry merry Christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothin’
While you’re drinkin’ down your wine
Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
Father Christmas, please hand it over
We’ll beat you up so don’t make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys
Songwriter: Ray Davies, Artist: The Kinks
“Father Christmas” © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 1978


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Brief Update and Sorry for Not Being Here

So thanks to everyone who’s stuck around; I know I haven’t been here lately. Sorry! 😦 Life gets chaotic this time of year as any of you who have stuck around since I began this blog back in August of 2011 (I think).

I survived my Black Friday shift; it wasn’t bad in the sense of chaos or hectic/frantic rushes. In fact this year’s Black Friday was actually slow and very boring in comparison to other past Black Fridays. It sort of reminded me of a typical Saturday shift.

This Christmas is going to be a relatively calm and easy one; we aren’t putting our Christmas tree up this year as my wrists have mostly given up all hope of ever supporting things like our huge crates that we haul down from the attic every year and I never finished cleaning our Family/Recreation Room where we normally put the tree. I am still hoping to get a Christmas wreath this year and/or one of Daddy’s angels (I am going to try to get a photo of it up here some time) down from the attic. We have 3 angels, one for each of us remaining here on Earth.

I am happy to report I only need to buy 3 more gifts or for 3 more people and I’m done with Christmas shopping. I know it’s early, but as always I try to get done as soon as I can since I work in the mall.

This weekend begins Advent (I know I was wrong, Thayne! Sorry misremembered). I think we’re also beginning my favorite liturgical cycle: Cycle B or the Gospels will all be from Mark or John.

Well, guess I’d better sign off as I still have more to do and need to get some sleep (somehow) tonight!

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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It’s Takeover Time by Me!

Anyone who has ever watched or listened to Yu-Gi-Oh! the Original Series, knows very well where that phrase came from and who said it. For those of you who haven’t, the character’s name is Seto Kaiba. (Why do I feel we’ve had this conversation before?! 😕 Well, no matter.) For some very bizarre reason most people can only ever see Seto Kaiba as the villain. Not me! I could always relate to him; probably because he’s the oldest of two brothers and has to help his brother (and himself) succeed in a world where they were initially looked down upon and even given up for adoption. While I may never have been given up for adoption, I have always helped Steven (my younger brother) out of many jams and feel that the world looks down upon us, too. Anyway, I’m digressing to the point of my entry tonight and before I forget, yet again, please forgive me for not tending to this blog as often as I should. I also don’t take kindly to anyone who has tried to put Steven or myself down either now or in the past. I promise you, I will find a way to stand up to you and your shenanigans in one way or another! 😉

The main point of this entry tonight was to tell you, I’m finally ready to take ownership of everything that I must do as the unofficial/legal leader of my family and my life. I know that most people think that I should just leave well enough alone and let Mom stay in charge. I used to think so, too. Things have been taking a lot of negative turns and I’m sure I’m not the only one to see some of them. I also have neglected going through some personal belongings and some of Daddy’s things. Mostly I neglected to do them because I kept trying to tell myself everything was okay. Nothing was wrong. In the end, nothing was done and I’m now sifting through piles and piles of papers, boxes full of magazines, old books (textbooks and just books in general), memorabilia that I have no idea what they are or why I saved them in the first place, and just things I forgot we had. With that being said, most likely I am not having a Christmas tree this year. I know that seems tragic to a lot of people, but really it’s also kind of not necessary. Steven and I know the real reason behind Christmas and it’s not really needed; it’s a hassle to get the Christmas stuff down from the attic (and my poor wrists aren’t taking it as well as they used to). Also we’re not planning to spend a lot on Christmas this year either. My bank account and credit card have seen better days.

All that being said, I’m finally taking ownership of making my company succeed, cleaning, and going through things to finally get rid of once and for all! I’m ready to make a difference and get this place cleaned up! It’s takeover time by me! 🙂

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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A New Goal Has Been Set

I went to my endocrinologist appointment this morning. I feared the worst, as I always do, and expected to get some harsh criticism for how my habits hadn’t been the best as of late. I was actually more surprised to hear things had roughly stayed the same. The only thing that changed is I was now challenged.

My doctor has challenged me to begin a more rigorous form of exercise: running/jogging! I haven’t run or jogged in a long time. I actually have lied in the past when I said I went running last year. I didn’t run; I didn’t even jog. I merely walked around the neighborhood a lot. I’m now being challenged to run or jog a mile at least once a week under 10 minutes by the end of next year (or as I challenged myself: the end of summer). I have roughly 12 months to accomplish this (at the earliest 10 months).

I’m not sure how well I’ll do or if I’ll even succeed, but it’s worth a try. I really want to prove to people I can do this; heck, I want to prove to myself I can do this. I am willing to try. I hope I can do this and not wind up in the hospital. I’m certain that I can make this and maybe even lose a little weight here and there! That’d be awesome! Just how far is a mile from my house? I wonder. I’ll have to measure that out one day. Until, then, I’ll just keep trying and hopefully I’ll write more in this blog, too!

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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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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