Here We Go Again

downtownkcmo

Downtown Kansas City Skyline

 

Here we go again…..

I know I said I was gonna work from home, not do corporate America again….but things and priorities change.  When you are over 50, job hunting becomes a full contact sport.  Seriously, I had on everything I could think of and went in with my all.  Age, gender and my race are all factors that I carried with me when I go to interview with a potential employer.

This is my last week of relaxation….I mean unemployment before I start my new job.  I’m going to work for the U.S. Government in downtown Kansas City, can you believe that?  When the opportunity came to me, I couldn’t pass it by.  I looked at my situation and made a decision that would benefit my family best.  I was interviewed before a panel, took a test and made the selection.  I was so proud of myself, because the last 4-1/2 years have been challenging and stressful.  Life will change just like that, won’t it?

Here we go again….

A few things I’ve decided to change.  I’m changing my online study to the Jewelry Design & Repair, which is what I was gonna take after I finished the Medical Transcription course.  I decided that I wanted to go ahead and learn the jewelry course because I already make jewelry and this will teach me how to do other things, like soldering, setting stones and metal working and enhance my current skills.  Should have been my first choice, but that would have been too easy, lol.

Change, it’s constant in my life.  What about you?  Have a fabulous week!

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Five Things I Love About HGTV

One of my favorite past times is watching HGTV and DIY networks.  I watch and help people buy new homes, flip homes, fix up homes and imagine myself at Lowe’s or Home Depot at the right time when a Crasher is there.  I imagine myself in the Caribbean buying a home on a beach I’ll admit that after I watch the morning news, I check to see what’s on HGTV  and DIY for the day.  So what better way than to give my top five things I love about HGTV.

1.  I’m the ultimate House Hunter ~ I know it’s a staged show, I still enjoy looking at different homes and watching people hash it out about their likes an dislikes and getting mad at them when they don’t pick the house I think they should buy.  I know, the nerve of me.

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2.  Chip & Joanna Gaines.  I just love everything about them, how she decorates and designs a home, his goofy, quirky ways and how she low-key she is when it comes to him.  I enjoy watching how they take an old house, gut it and completely remodel it.  Almost makes you wanna move to Waco, TX  just to buy a house from them and have them transform it into a beautiful home.

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3. I’ve just about entered all their sweepstakes….well almost.  I actually forget to register for the HGTV 2015 Smart Home, until I get the daily email reminder.  I’m gonna win one day, the 2015 house is closer to me than all the others.

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4.  I actually look for TV trucks, cameras and The Crashers….House, Yard, Kitchen and Bathroom Crashers every time I go to Lowes or Home Depot.  I sure hope they come to the Kansas City area soon, I could use all of them!  The Ultimate Crash, house, bath and yard….yes I’m a candidate, I’ll be looking for them.

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5. I admire Egypt Sherrod of Property Virgins, she has class, finesse and she’s getting a new show, Flipping Virgins.  I’m excited for Egypt, she’s a great example of a true entrepreneur, she has her TV show, she’s a real estate mogul and at one time a radio personality.

 

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All photos courtesy of HGTV

 

It could easily be more than a top five, but this would be a part 2 or 3 post.  When I watch these shows, I’m always thinking about my house, dreaming about the day I can do a complete remodel.  Until then, I’ll continue to tune into my favorite network HGTV and work on my home one room at a time, my reality.

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I Love and Hate To Cook

My mother taught me to cook as a girl.  She was a stay at home mom until I graduated from high school, so I never got the opportunity to cook much.  She was a great cook, would throw down on some soul food.  She didn’t allow us to cook though for some reason.  Only thing she didn’t cook was breakfast, then that’s when my daddy took over.  My daddy cooked breakfast on the weekends, he was the “Breakfast King”.  The man flipped pancakes, made omelets, made biscuits and we assisted.  

When I went to college, I lost that freshman 15 pounds.  It was more like 25 because I was not prepared for college food at all.  I took a mini refrigerator, electric skillet and plenty of Spam and Vienna Sausages but that still didn’t replace my momma’s cooking.  I missed her cooking soooo bad.  For those of you wondering, microwave ovens were just really becoming popular in our area when I graduated from high school.  No microwave popcorn or anything like that.  

I cooked for my boyfriend in 1983, fried chicken and it was a disaster.  I missed that part of the lesson on frying chicken that when the chicken floated to the top, it was done.   Also, not to cook everything on Hi as well.  I cooked that chicken until it was golden brown, but it was RAW inside.  I was so embarrassed, I wanted to impress him so bad.  I was 21 years old, thought I was in love and I was so hyped about this meal.  Needless to say, he ate the side dishes and told me it was ok.  We stayed together for a few more months, so it wasn’t my cooking that he loved, lol.

You know how women say they love to cook?  That’s not me, I cook because I have a family and we need to eat.  Funny thing about it all is I can actually cook, I just don’t like cooking.  I love to entertain and I’ll cook and buy prepared dishes for those occasions.  I’m a neat cooker, I wash dishes while I cook, so when I’m finished I’m exhausted.  I rarely eat my cooking, I’ll taste it but won’t actually fix a plate.  

I have a pretty extensive recipe box which I have old recipes handed down from my momma, relatives and friends and ones I used to cut out of magazines.  I still use them too.  Then came along Pinterest.  I no longer write down recipes, I don’t even share them on my Facebook page any longer.  When someone post a recipe, I immediately go to Pinterest, search it and add it to my board, Good Eating.  I have 296 pins and counting on that board.  It’s one of my most popular boards on Pinterest.  

 

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Yes I have tried many recipes successfully from Pinterest.  Most recently, Crock Pot Meatballs and today Pepper Jack Chicken.  I used Swiss Cheese instead of Pepper Jack because my husband can’t take anything spicy.  It was absolutely delicious.  Everyone loved the meatballs until I told them one of the ingredients was grape jelly.  I had to end up throwing it out.  Now I did eat those, they were so tasty.

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Dinner tonight was a success and I’ll keep the ingredients to myself, they don’t need to know.  

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Hooked On Crochet

It has taken me about a month to get back into crocheting.  I enjoy crocheting and to be honest wonder why I stopped.  Raising children, husbands (yes plural) and life.  Here’s what I’ve been working on, or as they say in the crochet world, fresh off my hook.  I am hooked on it, I think my husband is a tad bit jealous of it, he hates when I bring it to our bedroom when we are watching TV together.  So I try not to bring the yarn in the room, bless his heart.  He’ll be ok.

The cuffed booties are for sale in my Etsy shop and the baby booties and flip flops I made for a customer as a custom order. The cuffed booties are comfortable and light weight, you can wear them year round. I made these for my girls, they are the recipients of my work and when I want to try something new. I’m not a designer, so I support my local Etsy sellers and also sellers on Ravelry, a community for crocheters and knitters. I would like to design a few patterns for the plus size woman, one more thing to add on my “to do list”.  

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Next it’s time to get ready for spring/summer with hats, bags and earrings.  That’s what I sell during the summer months.  Look for those very soon, cute brimmed hats, bags to take to the market and large cute summer earrings.  These are made with cotton yarn which is lighter and I actually like crocheting with it much better.  Cotton yarn is a little more expensive but it’s easier to work with and flows on my fingers better.  This is what I made last summer using cotton yarn.  These items are listed in my Etsy shop as well.  

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I love to crochet, I don’t make a lot of money doing this and would continue to crochet even if I didn’t have an Etsy shop, but it does give me residual income, enough to go buy more yarn to make things for me and the girls.  When I sit down to crochet it relaxes me and I enjoy the challenge of a good pattern, that is if it’s written well.   Check out some of the work on Pinterest, Etsy, Instagram and other platforms, crocheting is not what it used to be and I’m totally hooked on crochet.

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Hope Inspiration

Hope inspiration was my message today.  Sunday was a different kind of Easter for me.  I stayed home, didn’t attend any church service, and I’m very aware and eternally grateful for Christ giving his life for me.  I’ve been in a deep, almost depressed slump since we moved.  I truly believe that God will place you in situations and show you things when you are spiritually connected to him.  I’ve been praying and trying to figure out what I was gonna do but yesterday I got answers to my quest for what was going on with me.  Hope inspired me today…

I usually watch something on HGTV or DIY because I love to watch how people transform homes or their spaces.  I get excited and think what I would do or what house I would have chosen.  I love Chip & Joanna Gaines.  Today was different, I turned on OWN and Super Soul Sunday was on.  I’ve watched it before, but most of the time I’m at church when it comes on and I don’t DVR the show.  That has changed for me.  It was a marathon on and it started with the interview with Cynthia Bond, author of Ruby, a book I plan to purchase, read and give a review of.  Oprah quoted a line from the book and I immediately shared it with all my social media outlets.

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Image courtesy of Keerati FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

This gave my spirit the hope I was praying for because I felt that everything I was going through, there was no hope.  I was existing, but that was it.  It reminds me of the number of scriptures that teach us about having faith.  This picture is my thought of what I got from that quote and it gives me life.  It spoke to me, time for me to do what I need to make myself happy, no matter what I do.   

I am planting that seed with my class I’m taking, and I’ve enjoyed it so far.  I’ve passed all my test so far and I’m ahead of schedule.  I was so apprehensive about taking the class because of what I believed about myself and what I allowed others in my circle to say.  People pleasing….letting go of that description of myself.  Self absorption, yep gonna do this a little more.  Not in a selfish way, but in a way that will allow me to do things that are satisfying to my soul.  This is what the audacious hope of rooted things means to me.   Hope allows me to exhale.

Taking my Medical Transcription class, Cafe Mocha Creations, Kitsy Lane, and my future endeavors give me life, creates hope.  The love of my family gives me life but that’s not all I need and I’ve made them the center of my life.  Today, planting that seed of hope gives me life.

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Easter Memories

Easter always brings fond memories of my childhood, here’s my brother, my oldest nephew and me Easter Sunday 1970.  I remember this outfit, I had red shoes to match my bag.  We went to Sunday school then came home and took many more pictures, got to keep our church clothes on a little longer that day because we either had company or went visiting to show off our outfits.  Plus that meant eating candy, I’m not sure why we didn’t take the picture with our Easter baskets, but trust me we had them.  

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Preparing for Easter was always a big deal.  The boys would go get a haircut and I would prepare for kitchen detail….getting my hair done, shampoo, press & curl.  That was pure torture back in the day because that meant I would have to sit on pillows on the floor of the hot kitchen while my momma pressed my hair straight with a pressing (hot) comb and then curled it with a curling iron both that had to be heated from the stove.  I was a one of those children that sweated when that comb got close to me, so that meant she had to get the box fan, turn it on high and sit it directly in front of me to keep me from sweating.  Also, I was in the house for the rest of the day whenever she did my hair so it wouldn’t go back or revert to its natural state.  This was a bi-weekly ritual, but getting ready for Easter Sunday was special.

Easter for my girls was about the same, except I’m crafty, so I made their Easter baskets.  They were cute, economical and they always got the candy they wanted.  I couldn’t stand paying that high price for a basket full of pink and green grass and two pieces of candy and a toy they would break in 10 minutes.  I have more pictures of them, they are buried in the “picture” containers that weigh about 75 pounds each and a mix of my pictures and my parents pictures.  I really need to go through them, but that’s a full-time job.  I did manager to find this one of my babies.  The church we attended at the time of this picture was all about casual dress for Easter because our pastor didn’t want any family to feel left out because they didn’t have a new outfit.  So as a leader in the church I chose not to buy new outfits for my girls and they were just fine.

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Times have changed when it comes to hair, I didn’t put my girls through the torture I went through, but I did make sure their hair was pretty and girly looking.  They got their custom-made Easter baskets and we had a good day.   Funny how I made them stand in front of the fireplace like my momma did in 1970.  This picture of the girls was from 2007, they are so different now, young ladies.  I’ll probably go to Honey Baked Ham store and get a ham bone, you’d be surprised how much ham you can get off that bone.  It’s just enough for my husband, and a slice or two for my youngest daughter and I.  My oldest daughter is a vegetarian, so I’ll make a pasta salad or something we can all enjoy.  

However you plan to spend your Easter, enjoy it and remember why we celebrate this joyous occasion,  for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my savior.   

Happy Easter!

 

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Taking An Online Career Class

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You are looking at the face of a woman who stepped out on faith and finally enrolled in an online career course!  I am now a student at Penn Foster Career School.  I am taking the Medical Transcription Course.  I needed something I could do from home while I purse my other interests, run errands and take care of everyone.  I wanted to do something that would allow me to work from home and I’ve been researching this for the last 8 months and took the leap and signed up on Monday.  They also had a promotion to start for $1 that ended March 31st.  This is huge for me, MEGA!  

 

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Image courtesy of sritangphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I’ve worked different types of customer service jobs for the last 25-30 years and I can honestly say it’s time for a change.  I’m taking my experience, combined with my drive and determination and gonna pick learn this skill, become certified and find a new career.  I’m so hyped but extremely nervous, it’s been a minute since I’ve taken classes.  I did go to Cosmetology school in 1992, it was easy and I truly enjoyed learning about doing hair.  I still use my skills and can still do a cut and style.  Ask my girls, I did their hair 95% of the time when they were small until I got lazy.  They had a lot of hair.

My reasons for choosing Medical Transcriptionist.  I am a very good typist, about 75-80 wpm.  I took every Secretarial class in high school, a requirement of my mother, she said I would always have a job.  This was the 70’s and she was keeping me independent, lol.  I have an eye for editing, I’ve been asked to proofread letters, resumes and homework, so this would be a great transition for me.  The 4 months that I worked at United Healthcare peaked my interest in the medical field, but the best part is I can do this as an independent contractor or employee and work from home.  My attention to detail is a great tool as well.  Sounds like a resume, huh?  Sign me up!

Taking an online course is going to be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to this career change for me.  I’ve started my first lesson, checked out the online community and ready to take my first exam.  Wish me luck.

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Hello Spring….

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Spring is finally here.  Well technically and according to the calendar it is.  I’m soooo happy for the change of season, the blooming of pretty flowers, leaves budding on trees, children out playing and renewing of my spirit.  Can’t you just smell the pictures and feel that water flowing down?  It’s so calming and welcoming for the new season that is upon us.  Spring is in the air….let’s all inhale and exhale right now.

It’s time to look at everything as if it’s new, like Easter Sunday when I was a child with my brand new outfit on.  I’m putting on my new outfit and heading out to show it off…well sort of.  With our recent move, I gave away a lot of clothing and other household items that I no longer use.   That’s a lot of layers, because I’m one of those women that will hold on to things when I’m not using them, so it was a big move for me to give away most of my clothes.  If I hadn’t worn the item in two years, they were donated.  Funny thing is my style has changed a lot, I’m more comfort based, rather than fussy and dressy like I used to be.  I still like to dress up, it’s just very different for me now.  And the shoes I gave away…..wow, that was hard.  I love my shoes, but same thing, I hadn’t worn half of them in over two years and I don’t wear anything over 3 inches anymore and they have to be wedges.  I know some of you are cringing at this, but that’s a fact of life for me now and guess what….I’m ok with that.

 

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I also did some spring cleaning a few weeks ago, finally started some minor repairs on the house.  We have major cracks due to the house settling and had those cracks filled.  You would have thought I had new windows put in.  I was so excited about it, those cracks were so ugly.  I’ve even started picking out interior paint colors for all the rooms.  The girls have picked theirs as well, my oldest wants a light pink and the youngest wants a light blue or white, she hasn’t decided.  The two pictures on the right above are the same spot, I just took the picture up close a bit more.  Although I know it’s gonna cost money, I can’t wait to finish with the repairs.  This is major for me as I have an issue with finishing things.  

 

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This is necessary in my kitchen, Cafe Mocha central.  The reason for the two Keurig’s, the new one doesn’t allow you to use your own coffee, you have to use the Keurig K-Cups and that’s the only thing it will take.  So glad I kept the older one because I like to try a variety of coffees and they aren’t all K-Cups.  Gotta have my coffee.

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Be True To Yourself

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I am a very personal woman.  It’s only so much I’m gonna share with friends, family and the internet, but I must remain true to myself and my purpose.  

For the last four years, I have been seeking employment.  I have worked from home as a customer service representative for two different work at home companies.  It kept money in my pocket but wasn’t what I wanted to do.  During that time, I started this blog in December 2011.  I met some wonderful women who were all sharing their stories.  I was able to write for a parent style blog for a few months until I realized my worth.  I wrote a few blog posts for other blogs.  I wanted to attend some of the blogging conferences, you know what all the popular bloggers were doing.  To be honest with you, I would still love to have the opportunity to attend at least one.  I loved blogging but life called, it had a different plan at the time.

Last year, things changed.  Finances became crucial in our home and I had to step up my game to find a job.  I put everything on the back burner, blogging, my Etsy shop, everything.  I found the job and realized one thing…I love and appreciate being self-employed.  I absolutely hated that job.  I know that’s strong, but it’s the truth.  I’m not going to bash the company or anything like that, it actually helped me realize what I knew about myself, and for that I’m grateful.  I wanted something completely different.  When we made our move last month, I started once again looking for a job.  That is a stressful, depressing and tedious job.  I have allowed it to set my mood for the day, doing online applications, assessments and waiting for a phone call, email or both.  

So….time for me to be true to myself and achieve some goals that I’ve set.  I’m a smart, talented woman with so many dreams and ideas.  The NO that likes to surface is just gonna have to take several seats because I’m sick of it holding me back.  Life keeps moving and I’m tired of missing out, time to be true to myself, dreams and desires…how exciting!

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TV, Reality and Social Media

I like watching TV, movies and crocheting at home.  That’s how I do it.  My goal is to make my home comfortable for me and my family.  I like the following dramas, Empire, Scandal, Being Mary Jane and The Have and Have Nots.  I also love anything on HGTV and DIY.  My latest is Netflix (I know I’m late).  My daughter begged me to get a Netflix account and yes, I’ve watched every episode of Orange Is The New Black and patiently await the start of season three in June.  

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Photo Credit Fox.com

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights are my evening shows.  I get comfortable, get my iPad out and it’s on!  Facebook and Twitter timelines starts really rolling.  I DVR all the shows because sometimes I miss something important for trying to keep up with my social media while watching.  There are times though when I don’t check social media until the show is over.  I understand why Netflix or Hulu is so important now, uninterrupted episodes.

Lately on my Facebook timeline are people who disagree with the love and popularity of the hit show Empire on Fox.  Comments range between we are buying the propaganda and we shouldn’t watch the show because it portrays black people negatively.  I remember when The Cosby Show was in its heyday, we complained saying that’s not how black people really live.  I’m letting go of the responsibility that we need to make America see black people for who they really are.  My life is not like the fictitious show Empire or The Cosby Show, I’m a middle-aged woman from the Midwest with a husband with a combination of six children and four grandchildren.  That describes more women than the ones on TV.  I know the difference between reality and entertainment.

I will not comment on these type of posts because most of them are former church members and their comments are very judgmental and the discussions go on for days, and they are entitled to their opinions.  I don’t have time for that.  One thing I’ve learned and am still learning….stop judging.  I know it’s hard, but I make a conscious effort to practice it everyday.

Enjoy life and if it’s watching Empire, The Steve Harvey Show, Fixer Upper or crocheting and blogging….do you and what makes you happy.

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