On My Own

My daughter is out of town this week.

I’m trying to take care of myself without her. She’s in charge of protein shakes, and I’m coffee. This morning I had to make the protein shake by using the Ninja, on my own.

The Ninja blender is the best blender I’ve ever used. You could drop in an iceberg, and it would emulsify it. I nearly sliced my finger off the first time I cleaned it, so it’s had my respect ever since!

But, I did it. I began my day with protein, and then moved onto Chemex. She’ll be proud.

My daughter reads instructions. I’m a dedicated instruction reader when it comes to putting things together, and how to properly use machinery, but somewhere along life’s journey I stopped.

When my daughter is here she makes the shake, and I clean the blender, but I know better than to get anywhere near it’s blades.

I thought I was so smart squirting dish-washing liquid in, filling it with warm water, and turning it back on, like making a shake, but with bubbles.

After it runs for a while, simply rinse it, take it apart, and let it dry.

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My daughter said, “Yes ma’am. That’s how you’re supposed to clean it. I read it in the instructions.”

I need to go back to reading the instructions. 😀

How You Leave

When you leave a relationship/marriage, it’s important how you leave. When the day came for me to leave, I was thoughtful. We had spent half our lives together and I didn’t want it to look like a wreckage. He already felt like his world was ripped apart.

We have to show life how we want to be treated, so life knows how to treat us in return. Do the next right thing.

It was my choice to leave. He was in denial, and it took time for him to be okay with how things landed. The amount of time is per person.

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My daughter and I discussed what to take with us. We didn’t need a lot to make a new life. We chose a few furniture pieces we loved, and wanted to live with. We still have those foundational pieces, but we didn’t take much, so those pieces weren’t missed.

The cabinets held the most difficult choices.

We had collected a lot of beautiful things in our time together, but I wanted to leave some beauty. We collected pottery by Bill Campbell, and had full place settings by him. I left them in the cabinet. We had professional grade cookware, but I only took half.

We had two of a lot of things, so I left the one he liked best, all the way down to the measuring cups.

I couldn’t bring myself to pack up in front of him, so I waited until a few days before the move was scheduled, and packed. He stayed away during the move, but he hired movers to get us moved safely.

The moving truck arrived at our new home before my daughter and I did. They were on a schedule, so they unloaded the truck without us being there.

My daughter still talks about that day, and laughs about what we walked in on. Everything that was on the truck, was sitting in the middle of the house!

It looked like a big ball of furniture and boxes!

The movers looked at us and said, “We didn’t know where you wanted everything.” We didn’t know either, but in time we unraveled that big ball and created a world we wanted to live in, and we do!

Recently, I was at my ex husbands home, and he was at the kitchen sink washing some of those pieces that were left. He thanked me for leaving them, and especially his favorite measuring cup.

Time does heal. They just don’t tell you how long.

Be mindful of how you leave.

Puzzles and Life

When my daughter was learning to manage depression/anxiety, I was pondering what to do to help. My Mama worked a puzzle on the kitchen table at least once a month. I don’t know her exact philosophy behind this, but it brought us together as a family. You couldn’t walk by without stopping to help, and visit with Mama.

My daughter and I have a ginormous coffee table, so I went and bought a puzzle. One I could leave laying out for days while we worked on it. We would spend hours sitting there together with 1,000 pieces scattered across the table. We talked about anything and everything.

To make something beautiful out of the chaos. This is how life can feel at times.

We had a love/hate thing going on with the puzzle. You couldn’t sit in front of it without trying to get a piece to fit, but our favorite pieces were the last few. We felt accomplished when those final pieces would snap into place!

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Life is much like a puzzle. We get to take the pieces and fit them together into something beautiful.

Take Every Test

My daughter is sitting in a college classroom, preparing for a test. She is young, and hasn’t been through many tests.

She has been home-schooled since 4th grade, and we have used life’s classroom. Of course, we used curriculum, but life is a fabulous teacher! Have we passed every test? Of course not, but every test failed, prepares us to succeed.

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My daughter had to learn to fail, and not let that stop her. When she takes a test for school, it’s okay to fail. Homeschooling allows you the freedom to retake the test. If she wasn’t happy with her grade, and knew she could do better, I would let her take the test again. Just like in life.

Learning from mistakes equals knowledge. I don’t believe ‘knowledge is power.’ The power comes from what we do with the knowledge. Anyone can sit full of knowledge.

My daughter had no pressure from me to go to college.

She is wicked smart, and her grades qualify for college, but she has seen many friends flounder in college for years, and leave with no usable degree. She is starting with community college, and I’m so happy for her! She will take some classes and discern her path, or just blaze a trail, but either way, it will be affordable, and not consume our lives.

She has learned through life, more than any curriculum. At her young age, she knows there will be many tests, and it’s okay not to pass it each time. The more tests you take, the more experience gained, and knowledge received.

Let go of the outcome, and be willing to take every test.

Welcome to Chillville

I’m not used to feeling this relaxed in the middle of the day!

My daughter just looked at me feeling all chill. My limbs are still feeling the stretches done on the mat this morning. My posture is on point, and I’m cradled in contentment.

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I fell in love with the practice of Yoga a few years ago.

It was not something I would have done if my daughter was little, but the first time we went to a Yoga class, she was a teenager. Being a single Mom, sometimes the only way to do something you want to do, is to take that child with you!

It’s good for them, and you. They get to see what makes your heart happy, even if it bores them to tears. They should want a Mom that takes care of herself, so she can take better care of them. At this moment, my daughter could ask for anything, and within reason, she would probably get it. (Except a puppy) I’m that freakin’ chill!

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This class is only available Sunday mornings, and the Yoga studio is right down the street. I’ve tried doing online Yoga, but I’m sorry, it doesn’t compare to an actual class. The vibe from being in the studio, with an instructor, and the other participants is rejuvenating, and healing within itself.

The class is called Chillville for a reason. It’s an hour and a half long, and you hold a pose for several minutes, sinking into the mat, watching your thoughts float by, until you’re completely present.  The first time I took this class, I was so fidgety, I was ready to leave about halfway through!

My body couldn’t be still because my mind was racing.

It was the most challenging Yoga class I’ve ever taken.

To stretch and hold the pose. Today, my mind eventually slowed down, and became in sync with my body! It took time, but I could feel myself becoming one with the mat. It was a magical moment, and I’m hooked on this class.

It’s was the best money I’ve spent in a very long time.

If you’re a single Mom, you look at every dollar before spending it. This class is the longest, and most expensive class the studio offers. It’s $13.00. The other classes during the week, are half that much. Do you invest in yourself?

My daughter was home this weekend, and not at her Dad’s. I invited her to come to the class with me, but she said, “Mom, that’s your thing, and you should go.” She chose to sleep in, and then planned to go to her fave coffee shop with her new book. We both did something good for ourselves, but the day is half over, and I’m still in Chillville.

Working From Home (SMS)

I walked into the bathroom, and there was the eye cream laying beside the sink. My daughter had left it for me, even though she normally takes it with her on the weekends. She knows I love that eye cream because it has shimmer in it, and it was a small, selfless act that showed great love.

My daughter returned home last weekend, and excitedly walked into her room. Normally, I spend the weekend doing small things all around the house to make our lives better, prettier, and more balanced. Her room might receive a new candle, or fresh flowers depending where I go that weekend. Last weekend, I stayed home and relaxed.

She said, “There is something different about my room, but I don’t know what it is.” Little does she know, I didn’t touch her room last weekend. It was exactly as she left it.

I’m working from home 7 days a week now, and it’s been an adjustment on many levels. We can still take time to care for one another, it’s just finding a balance. This weekend, I mopped the entire house, and you can feel the difference. I took the time to care for my daughter, even though she wasn’t here, but she will see it when she returns home.

I needed to strike a balance between work, and being present. The first week of the job, my daughter ran the errands, and figured out what was for dinner. She has enough to do, so this couldn’t last. This small act helped bring balance into our lives, and it was found in the kitchen!

How do you get away from the work when working from home? Step away, and walk into another room.

When I ran into an obstacle with a client, and needed to pause, I made cookies. By the time they went into the oven, God had revealed the solution. If the phone became quiet around 4:00, I started dinner. Choosing recipes I could walk away from if the phone rang. Some days, I let it go to voicemail, but returned the call after my break.

My daughter thanked me several times for cooking, and especially the cookies. She didn’t realize cooking was saving my sanity, and being therapeutic.

When she returns today, her sheets have been washed in the Tyler wash we have come to love. A candle is lit in her room, so it smells like home when she walks in. Just like leaving the eye cream for me to enjoy; taking the time to do small things for her, brings a smile to working from home.

Single Mom Syndrome

Money is a huge factor for a single Mom.

We often stay in an unhealthy relationship for financial security. That is highly overrated. When you become unhappy enough, you will find a way out. Be ready to walk through some fire though.

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You let go of what you have, to get what you want.

My daughter and I had each other, and that was enough.

Since moving into our new home, people said, “You need to download the Nextdoor app.” I took a look at it, but didn’t like how it showed your address. You can take your house number off, and it reveals only your street. Being a single Mom, try to protect our exact location. The app is a fun way to connect with neighbors, and buy/sell things.

We haven’t bought a piece of furniture in years, but I spent the weekend rearranging our living room. I read articles on ‘How to make the most of small spaces.” Oh yes lovely. The houses we’ve shared since, are less than 1,000 square feet.

A whole new level of togetherness.

When you move into a new home, you sit things where you think they belong. As you settle in, you make it a home. We have been here since January, so it’s time to fine tune it.

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Our new addition, and I’ve been staring at it for days.

I learned the hard way, don’t buy things to add to your life because you like it. It’s no longer just you, it’s all about us.

This piece already had some things going for it.

  1. It is my daughters favorite brand. (Threshold)
  2. It’s a good combination of both of us. She leans toward modern, and sleek. I enjoy wood for warmth.
  3. The price was $40, and it looks brand new.
  4. Finding it on Nextdoor, the local was nearby.

We went to go look at it together. I can tell by her face, if she likes something, or not. She liked it and said, “If it makes you happy, then get it!”

It’s a Choice

Since deciding to take a Social Media fast, some friends have called me out. Facebook detects a connection, and is telling on me. To stay connected to my daughter while she is at her Father’s this weekend, we’ve used Messenger. Facebook Messenger is an app that is  made by Facebook, but is separate. So, nope. I have not posted one Meme.

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It all started with my phone. Sometimes the bill is due before the weekend, and before payday. I get paid on Monday’s, so I get to choose. Do I want an active phone, or money for the weekend? I choose having money to spend, over my phone.

I’ve used Cricket phone service for 5 years, and it works. There are no contracts, and you just pay month to month. No re-connection, or late fees, just pay when you need it.

The phone turns into a blingy paperweight, and I’m out the door. An iced latte would hit the spot, so I hop in my truck, and drive 10 minutes down the road to Chapparal Coffee.

This young couple moved from Austin, TX, to open this coffee bar, and his name is Austin! He has the best vibe, and it’s pure joy just walking in the door. Coffee and I have a serious relationship, and I have learned a lot at Chapparal. I go there several times a week for the coffee, and the people.

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Austin at Chapparal Coffee, Lockhart, TX.

His wife brings in wildflowers, so there are always flowers. Walking in today, Austin had just finished installing a couple of beer taps, but not for beer. Oh no lovely. This is magical!

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Ginger Beer!!!!

Austin handed me a glass to try, and it was a treat!

Some friends scoff at me for spending money on high quality coffee. “Being a single Mom with a part-time income, how do you do that?” I’m going to drink coffee, so it might as well be a life experience. The coffee costs a little more than the grocery store brands, but it’s well worth the extra dollars.

Experimenting in the kitchen on the weekends is a newfound love. The last time I went to the local grocery store, they had some huge basil plants on display. My daughter and I chuckled at how big they were! I’ve been wanting to try this Basil Hummus recipe, so instead of paying $3.98 per packet for a few fresh Basil leaves, I opted to buy this guy for $9.00.

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It should bring plenty of Basil Hummus and fresh Pesto!

Since trying my hand at the Boston Ferns, (which shout out to the lady who left a comment with tips), this spoke to me today. I have a planter full of dirt sitting on my porch from last years plant demise, but we’re gonna give this Basil a go.

When I went in the store to pay for the Basil, I took a walk through the flower department. Fresh flowers are a love of mine and my daughters, but not just any flower. We have a few that are special to us, and this time of year is for Peonies.

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This little bundle cost $6.00. They will be fully opened by the time my daughter gets home.

These choices bring more meaning and beauty to my life than my phone. I’m able to choose today, and the end result is showing others, “I love you more than my phone.”

It’s Almost Over

A year changes you a lot. It’s hard to believe that a year ago, the lump in my left breast was so painful, I could hardly breathe. Fast forward to this moment. I have one more Radiation treatment left. That lump is not there anymore, and this Breast Cancer Journey is ending.

Every ending has a new beginning. Sitting here at my laptop, I’m not certain what that looks like, but I know it will come. My daily routine will have a hole to be filled.

My daughter didn’t sleep well lastnight because Numi was in her room. She wouldn’t settle down, and go to sleep like she normally does in the hallway, so tonight Numi will have different sleeping arrangements made for her. A good night’s sleep is very important. It sets the tone for the following day, and tomorrow is a day of celebration.

There were parts of this journey that taught me to celebrate something as simple as breathing. I couldn’t have coffee during Chemo, but today I am savoring a cup of freshly ground drip. Each day is a celebration. It has taken time, but it’s almost over.

Call Me Numi

I awoke early this morning, to the sound of Doggo trying to scratch an itch. She laid in the hallway lastnight, and slept through the night. It’s pretty funny when she starts snoring.

I didn’t take time to write yesterday. Challenging myself to write everyday for 30 days has taught me many things. One is that I am challenging myself, so I need to be kind to myself when I miss a day. It was a busy day, but I believe I composed three Blogs in my head. Stopping, and taking the time to let the words flow onto the screen is what I missed.

We gave Doggo a name yesterday. My daughter didn’t want a human name. She wanted something unique, but something that fit her. She watched her over the weekend, hoping her personality would spark inspiration. If that were the case, her name would be ‘Lazy!’

My daughter and I frequent this coffee shop in Marble Falls, TX. The name of the shop is Numinous. It means, “Describing an experience that makes you fearful, yet fascinated, awed yet attracted-the powerful personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired.”

This definition describes all the feels upon meeting Doggo. I was fearful, yet attracted. When I found her hiding in the barn, I felt overwhelm. I could tell she had some Pitbull in her, and people still fight them around here. I didn’t know what she had been through, or how she got here, but I could see by her scars it hadn’t been pretty.

After a couple of days, I brought her up to the front porch so she could lay in the sun. I sat down face to face with her, and took this picture. A picture says a thousand words indeed.

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Her name is now Numinous, but we call her Numi for short. To give her a chance to become what she is called which is pronounced, ‘New Me.’