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Archive for December, 2019

Today marks the last day of the year. As I reflect on 2019, I am amazed at all that I accomplished and experienced throughout this year. I turned 50 years old, celebrated my youngest son graduating from high school and starting college, and took the stage for the very first time in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Every month was spent with family and friends who I cherish dearly. Every month was filled with adventures and opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. Every month was committed to improving my health, my home, and my acting career.

19 for 2019 List Update

  • Yesterday, I completed #7 Donate blood. Next year, I plan to donate blood on a regular basis. I can give blood every eight weeks which puts me at donating again at the end of February.
  • This morning, I completed #8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This Booksmonth I read Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott. This book was recommended by Gretchen Rubin. I’m an instructional coach, not a boss; however, some of the advice that Scott gives can be used in my position. The book is broken into two parts: A New Management Philosophy and Tools and Techniques. It is basically a guidebook on how to mix praise and criticism in a way that produces better results and helps employees achieve. It is also about building strong relationships between bosses and employees. Kim Scott also cohosts the Radical Candor podcast with Russ Laraway. It is “a show about how not to hate the boss you have…or be the boss you hate.” There are currently 23 episodes. I actually listened to the podcast before reading the book. Interesting stuff!

I completed 11 items on my 19 for 2019 list. My list this year was a little more ambitious than my list last year; however, I am happy with the items that I completed, as well as the ones I almost completed. Below are the 3 items that I almost completed on my 19 for 2019 list.

  • #4 Lost 19 pounds. As of today, I lost 13.5 pounds. Even though I did not hit my target weight, I am still proud of myself. I didn’t get serious about shedding weight until September 2nd. I’ve cut my sugar consumption drastically, and I eat less processed food. And, I did not gain any of my weight back over the holidays.
  • #9 Purge stuff in house one room/closet at a time. This goal was too broad and ambitious to complete in one year. I should have chosen specific rooms to declutter. Instead, I decluttered and remodeled rooms. I now have a scrapbook room. My utility room is almost complete. I need to order cabinets for my laundry hampers, a decorative laundry sign, and fill in two spaces between our new cabinets and the wall with wood. My office has been repainted and crown moulding installed. I just need to furnish it to make it cozy. Also, one of my bathrooms was repainted and new accessories were purchased for it.
  •  #12 Complete Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook. I’ve done a great deal on Andrew’s scrapbook; however, I just did not have enough time to get it completely finished. One of my scrapbooking goals is to set aside a specific amount of time per month to scrapbook. Hopefully, Shelly and I can scrapbook more often in the new year. When we scrapbook together, I get more accomplished. At the beginning of December, we scrapbooked a few hours each day for three days in a row, and I finished quite a few layouts.

Stella aka NovaThere are only a few hours left of 2019. It started off on a happy note and ended on a bittersweet one. Today, Andrew and I took the sweet female pup that wandered into our lives last Monday to Northshore Humane Society. Everyone at the facility was very nice; however, it was hard to let her go because I got attached to her. They named her Nova. I contacted Briana later this afternoon to check on her and was told that she was doing awesome. She was picked up by her foster shortly after we dropped her off. While I miss her, I know this is the best decision for my family and for her. Please pray that she finds her forever home very soon. In closing, dear reader, enjoy the rest of 2019. Tomorrow begins a new decade and a wonderful new year of possibilities. Happiness!

“When Radical Candor is encouraged and supported by the boss, communication flows, resentments that have festered come to the surface and get resolved, and people begin to love not just their work but whom they work with and where they work. When people love their job, the whole team is more successful. The resulting happiness is the success beyond success.”  ~ Kim Scott, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

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I hope those of you who are celebrating the holidays had a joyous week. My family started our Christmas festivities the Saturday before Christmas Day with my husband’s side of the family. We celebrated at my mother-in-law’s home. Good food, good company, and good vibes. On Christmas Day, we celebrated at my home. It was a small gathering that included my hubby, Andrew, my Daddy, and my mother-in-law. My mother was in Atlanta visiting my sister and her family, and my oldest son celebrated the day with his girlfriend and her family. Later in the evening after our guests departed, Andrew and I went to my BFF’s home (annual tradition) and hung out with her and her family for a few hours where we enjoyed each other’s company while drinking wine and apple martinis. Unfortunately, my hubby had to work on Thursday which meant he had to retire to bed early, so he wasn’t able to hang out with us this year.

Stella in kitchenIn the midst of this jovial holiday season, we were entertaining an unexpected guest who arrived at our humble abode on Monday evening. A sweet female pooch wandered into my garage as I was closing up for the evening. Since she was making no attempt to leave any time soon and was friendly, I gave her some dog food and water and let her be, figuring she would return from whence she came. Wrong! When Andrew came home later that evening, she was still hanging around. I did some research on Lost Pets of Tangipahoa and found a picture of a lost dog that looked just like my new furry friend. I contacted Lost Pets of Tangipahoa to inquire about the dog on her site which was in fact the same dog. She had been found near the Ponchatoula Wal-Mart the week before, secured for five days, and released when no one came forward to claim her. The finder could not keep her because she had a male dog and this little lady appeared to be in heat.

So, Amanda, the admin for Lost Pets of Tangipahoa, posted her picture again for me, and I agreed to keep her over Christmas. On Tuesday morning, Andrew and I took her to a vet nearby to see if she was chipped, and sadly she was not. Christmas came and went and no owner. As much as I do NOT need another dog and even though Tooty does not like her being in our house, I considered keeping her. I thought over time that Tooty would come around and learn to like her. After all, my German Shepherds, Sophie and Sonic, accepted Tooty when we took him in off the road. Unfortunately, she has one flaw…she does not like cats. That is a deal breaker because we have our beautiful kitty Puar. Needless to say, it has been interesting and a little stressful keeping all the fur babies separated.

Stella with toysOn Thursday and Friday, I contacted local rescue groups to see if they could help me find a place for her. I also reached out to my FB friends and family to spread the word about her situation, hoping for suggestions, guidance, or someone who could take her. If I could not find a good home for her, I was left with no choice but to bring her to the local animal shelter and hope for the best. Sadly, our animal shelter in Tangipahoa Parish is a “limited intake shelter.” I was striking out with some groups (full or no fosters) and receiving no responses at all from others. Finally, I contacted Amanda with Lost Pets to tell her that I was running out of options, and we were going to have to bring her to the shelter by the end of the day on Friday. Amanda contacted Northshore Humane Society to see if they could help. At the same time, Shelly had a possible family that wanted her. The family fell through because they have three cats. Northshore came through with Amanda’s help; however, we would have to wait until Saturday to bring her to the facility.

Stella & AndrewWell, dear reader, the baby girl is still with us. I spoke with Briana at Northshore on Saturday morning, and she asked if we could keep the pooch for a couple more days until they could find a foster to take her. Of course, I said yes. Although every day that she stays with us, we get more attached to her, and she gets more attached to us. On Northshore’s FB page, it appears a foster was finally found yesterday evening, but we have not been directly contacted, yet. I’m hoping we will be contacted tomorrow morning, so we can get her placed in a good home (without cats) where she can receive the love that she deserves.

I have been pretty emotional throughout this whole process. I have a soft spot for animals. Undoubtedly, I am more of a cat person than a dog person; however, this sweet canine has stolen my heart, and I want to do right by her. I’ve learned these past few days that unwanted/abandoned fur babies are an epidemic, and there are not enough people/resources to advocate for them. God bless everyone who does advocate for them. If my circumstances were different, I would keep her in a heartbeat, and I would name her Stella. Happiness!

“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” ~ Ashly Lorenzana

 

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Dream Socks

New socks that I bought at the Audubon Zoo. DREAM BIG!

2019 is winding down which means it’s time to finish up this year and start thinking about the goals to make for 2020. I plan to choose a new word to guide the year and to create a 20 for 2020 list. Both of these activities make me happy and spur me on to be more productive. However, before I can even think about next year, I have to focus on finishing strong this year. Including today, I only have 17 days left to wrap up the loose ends on my 19 for 2019 list.

On Friday evening, my BFF Shelly and I had dinner with our husbands at Streetside Market in Hammond. It is a neat restaurant where you can experience the culinary delights of different vendors all under one roof. After dinner, Shelly and I waved goodbye to the guys, bought coffee at PJ’s, and headed to New Orleans to see Cher in concert.

CherWOW! Cher is 73 years old and looks fabulous. Her performance was captivating from beginning to end. Her song choices, the elaborate costumes, the artistic dancers, the detailed set design, as well as the talented musicians and backup singers created a fantastic creative execution. Not being a huge Cher fan, I didn’t really know what to expect. Shelly was the only reason that I went to the concert. She wanted to go, so being the awesome friend that I am and my love of concerts, I said yes when she asked if I would go with her. And, I am so happy I said yes because I was blown away not only by Cher’s performance, but also by her story that she shared with the audience. She has given me a boost of inspiration.

In Other News:

  • I bought myself a Cricut Maker Machine for my scrapbooking projects.
  • My hubby and I went to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans last weekend, and I finally got to see the baby orangutan Bulan and the new pride of lions (Arnold, Nia, Kali, and Zuri). I also bought myself some inspirational socks.
  • Unfortunately, I have NOT lost any more weight. I still have six pounds left to shed by the end of the month.
  • Andrew finished his first semester finals at SLU on Thursday. I’m eagerly awaiting to hear the final results. He’ll be spending winter break with us starting next week which give me a MASSIVE happiness boost.

Christmas is on the horizon, dear reader, so I will be squeezing all of what that season entails while scrambling to complete several tasks before year end. One Christmas item that I scratched off my list this year was putting up a Christmas tree. Since we have been remodeling rooms and the house is in a slight disarray, I decided to forgo adding more unnecessary stuff to the already existing mishmash. Happiness!

“Everyone’s got to have a dream…It’s not reaching your dreams that count. It’s going toward them.” ~ Cher

 

 

 

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