I Think…

I think, I think it’s time to realize I’m not going to live forever.

Source

That this is the only life that I’m going to get to live.

Source

    

That five years is too long to “get used to something,” and that “waiting” will change things.

Source

   

It’s time to realize it’s okay to be still and quiet.

Source

     

It’s okay to have feelings an not owe anyone an explanation.

It’s okay that everyone doesn’t like me. Moreover it’s okay if I don’t like them.

  


       

And lastly, however I choose to live my life is really okay. As long as what I do doesn’t harm anyone, and all relationships are consentual between adults and in the best interest of the kid’s future. There isn’t a manual to life. No there isn’t one right way to live. How can we, as deeply flawed and gullible to vices and such judge?

It’s just time to forgive myself for being me.

So Sorry

I’ve been sick since Monday night (Though I had a sore throats Sunday morning), all head congestion 😦

I worked every day this week except Friday. Friday my kids go to gym, except 5th. I figure my sub watches my kids participate in gym activities that the gym teacher directs, is not a bad gig to give. 

I stayed home took my medicine which kept me awake and decided my dizzy self couldn’t handle watching CDubs alone while my hubs served game duty. So we tagged along. CDubs ate like a 15 year old and we watched people buy tickets to the game. A fifteen year old? Well I guess I don’t really have experience with that except he ate:

  • 2 bags of popcorn
  • 1 hotdog
  • 2 fruit snack pouches
  • 2 apple sauce pouches
  • Cheetos
  • 12oz juice
  • 8oz water


Okay, maybe he ate like a ten year old. But still. I was impressed.

I got to practice while we waited and so did he:

​https://youtu.be/wLELo9x8jtU

    
It’s not perfect but it’s from memory and it’s better than it was last week!

I’m feeling better today and I plan to go to church tomorrow because I am feeling better. I don’t think I’m contagious any more. We’ll see how I feel in the morning without the medication to help me breathe!

Sharing is Caring!

Suzie from Suzie Speaks has a lovely group that helps a blogger grow his or her blog through connecting on social media. This week, she has shared Shelly Wilson’s blog as a blog of the week. Shelly and I must be related because family mythology says the Wilsons are from her neck of the woods. Please check out my across the pond “cousin’s” blog and share in the love of growing her blog!

Today I Felt Like I Was Called: Gentle Reminders From Above

So, I kinda felt sideways about my post yesterday. I 100% focused on my earthy feelings and excuses. I even blamed the human side of the equation- the Bishop and President of my Branch- only gave me this calling due to my profession. So I posted my feelings, because good or bad I do have a right to my feelings. I managed to get to church 1/2 way through the sacriment (instead of missing it completely like last week) and find a seat on the side.

Then, God got me. The Bishop stood up and being Fast and Testimony Sunday, he shared his testimony. He is a military man, still active, and though he has daughters grown, he and his wife were blessed with a newborn. He says last night he woke up to rock and care for the baby and he received this strong impression from Heavenly Father. He had the impression that he had to talk about callings within our church/Branch. He went on to say callings were a sacrifice at times but very rewarding. He also went on to say that if others wished to be called they were more than welcome to come forward and as with all callings pray for insight and guidance on where to place someone.

At this point, I figure, one, this message wasn’t completely directed at me, and two, you better believe I listened. I feel like the first half was a gentle reminder. I was asked to do this calling not because they don’t have someone else, they have PLENTY of people who can wave their arms around and sing on pitch. (I have to say my church is quite musical.) I was chosen because I needed it. I was chosen because people prayed and God said, “Well there she is.”

So after that gentle reminder Sunday morning, I went through Sunday School and then made my way to Primary. I went through 9 or so songs with the kids and it went so well. Mostly because I had the church pianist there, who is self taught and can read music and can sight read pretty darn good! She added so much this week, I know it’s a lot (I mean she does the hymns during the service, and then to ask her to do 9+ more might be stressful on top of her career and her actual calling). I just completely appreciated what she added which made my music time run so smoothly. I hope she can continue to help, even though it’s not her job. I’m going to do my best to become more fluent on the piano so maybe I can be a secondary help to get some day. (And it’s going to be some day in the future cause I am the slowest piano learner/player EVER)

So I left Primary today feeling like I actually did something. Like okay, maybe I can do this. Maybe it wasn’t such a crazy idea after all. Maybe.

I’ve already planned the songs for next week. I’m going to work on knowing the words better, and hand gestures and all that. I’ll also work on lines two and three of the year song. It’s supposed to go faster than I’ve been playing it…😓 but baby steps!

It’s Your Calling

In October, just before Hurricane Matthew, I was going to church pretty regularly. One Sunday, my Bishop calls me into his office and asks me what I know of callings.

I basically knew this:


But I had a feeling, a feeling that because I was a music teacher they were going to ask me to do something musical. I dreaded this because I was not feeling remotely cuddly about my profession at that point. More music, like working 5 days a week with it isn’t enough. Playing piano (not so good at that), learning hymns, other adults…  opinions, comparisons, judgements…

Anyway, back to the Bishop’s office. I’m sitting there and he makes sure I understand what a calling is and then offers me what I expected him to, but with a twist.

Primary Music Leader. I would work with two other ladies in shaping the learning of 4 year olds to preteens. 

Gosh that sounds a lot like K-12 Music to me.

At the time, I try to sound excited I mean, how do you tell your Bishop you’d rather go deaf than teach one more music class? 

So I tell him I would do it, but I need to ask my husband about it. Interestingly enough, if Ry was Mormon too, they would need his permission first before they even extended a calling to me. I could accept or refuse on my own accord still, but they would have to ask his permission. The idea is to not cause extra stress on the family situation I suppose? So old fashioned. However because he’s not it was truly up to me.

Now here’s where it gets foggy. I don’t think I ever came back and officially accepted this calling because the Hurricane hit. We were out of school and church, for almost a month. While one weekend I helped with disaster relief specifically with the church (I did more volunteer work just not specifically with the church), I pretty much saw nobody until we returned to school in November. 

Then, I might have gone one Sunday maybe two in November (doubtful), and nothing was brought up. I completely missed Church in December. Most Sundays I was at home with a sick son or a sick husband. I even got sick after the concert.


So I kept my diseased self home, away from the church babies who I was also afraid of infecting. 

  
I figured, they figured I wasn’t really worthy. Which made me feel like… I was letting people down but at the same time I was totally going insane at work trying to get 9 weeks of band music/learning/skills crammed into my student’s brains in 4weeks. Hurricanes can upset your timeline, when they knock you out for school for almost 3 weeks. Sick men left and right, having your parents bring you food, trying to get enough paid/to eat/medicine is really exhausting. 

January, I missed a week and then mentally shook myself. I was well, Ry was well, CDubs was well. I needed to be back in church.

But what about this calling? Surely they think I suck by now. Let everyone down that knew about it. Why would they even want me? At the same time, do I even want this calling? I’m not exactly perfect for this position…

They say, prayer organizes the mind. Maybe it’s God that organizes a person’s thoughts. Maybe it’s with God’s help a person can organize his or her thoughts.

I decided the thing that was scaring me the most was the piano playing. I made grown men weep in exasperation at my finger placement on the keys. Renting of garments occured at every piano test. I retook Piano 1 because I was the first person to every work my butt off and only accomplish a “C.” (2nd time I got an A, but still)

The second thing that scared me was a visiting teacher during the summer and he basically said that what I knew about teaching from being a licensed educator had no value in teaching within the church. Now maybe, maybe my brain misunderstood and took that way out of context. Maybe he was just frustrated with my answers. Maybe  I went too far unchallenging him. When I heard him tell me that, it got my back up to say in the least!

(I felt like this for more than a week! I prayed for that man, let me tell you…)

Now I bring this up not to be petty but I thought, “Do I even know how to teach music the way that they want me to?” I mean, it was a legitimate worry.

Finally, I decided if they brought it up again, called me back, prayed more on it and received words about it, I’d do it.

The Sunday after I did, one of the Primary Teachers saw me in Relief Society and asked me if I was coming.

Apparently during my absence I was voted in by the congregation as Primary Music Leader.

I admit for 2.5 seconds I was like, “Wait now, I never said… but I kind of did, but I didn’t…”  but then again I never brought back a yes or no as promised. I also told God if they still wanted me, I’d do it.

Well that seems to me to be the answer. So, after that impromptu lesson in Primary I asked to be officially made the Music Leader, which they thought I had be set apart to do so, but I think I’d remember being prayed over concerning this position. He didn’t mind doing it “again.”

That upcoming week my Primary Leader set up a meeting and she really made me more at ease with what I was to do. If the church pianist is available, she’ll play for me while I work on the singing with the kids. If she’s not available, I’ll play a recording. The LDS website has all of the children’s music (for the most part) uploaded. There’s also a music app I can use.

The children have had in the past Music Leaders who could play, who sang accapella, and who made do. I admit I’m not the greatest but I’m what they’ve got…

If it doesn’t work out, they can also ask me to step down. Or I can ask to be released. I’m going to try it though. I’ve been working on the main hymn for this year. The kids have a presentation (religious Concert) once a year to show what they’ve learned in Primary. It’s a very reverent event. I can play the first line okay, I’ve practed it both hands this week. It’s truly not a song for people like me. I’m playing the melody and harmony not a score reduction or a filled out piano part; just truly a hymn:


I’ll get this, I will. Until then…

I’ve got a lot of tiny people praying just for me. Bless my heart 😉

Weekend Beverage Share: Two Week Share!

This idea of a weekend catch up was devised by the fantastic Parttimemonster! You are more than welcome to join in and share!

I’m in the mood for some hot cocoa- salted caramel or peppermint with whipped cream- and a bear claw. You are more than welcome to have a coffee, brewed coffee really does smell divine…

We have lots to talk about. Most of it I cannot divulge due to a contract and the joys of the NC legislative/educational body. Suffice to say, I gave exams. That’s about the only thing I can legally say.

But it took up the bulk of my past two weeks. I was granted planning time, however, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I added multiple pages to my band website.  It’s a little more comprehensive now. I hope students and parents are able to utilize the pages I’ve created…

(Added a lot of pages!)

There was an instance of an unfortunate nature as well during this time. A group of students used us an alibi when they were caught being somewhere they were not supposed to be. While they were punished, we had to change our after school tutoring policy. I admit, it’s more difficult for kids to stay after now, but if they want to, really, then they will follow the new steps.

https://lovelace-media.imgix.net/uploads/544/59ae65b0-d7e9-0132-4625-0ebc4eccb42f.gif?w=740&h=500&fit=max&auto=format 

(Seriously, they tried to tell us they didn’t lie exactly)

Oh children. Perhaps you have a story or two to tell about your character Karen being caught in a falsehood or even one about you? I have to say I was a pretty tame kid, I skipped class once in middle school and went out to the woods behind the school. There was a gap in the gate, and we wiggled through. We weren’t caught, and if we had been, I don’t think we could spin it any other way than we choose to be bad. Scared the mess out of us, we worried the whole time we would be caught. It wasn’t any fun at all.

But that was then, and this situation was definitely different. For one thing, it was in the 90’s and nobody’s parents would dream of blaming a teacher. Times certainly have changed.

At home, we were blessed with a perfect visit with CDubs’s Mimi. It’s not that she would have acted imperfectly, it’s more that planned events wouldn’t line up properly or someone would get sick last minute…

But none of that happened. CDubs had an absolute blast at Discovery Place:


He cried when we left. I totally want to take him back as much as possible. Worry the $8 each and you pay for the day, you can go out and in with wristbands.

My house was beautiful for 5 days after the visit and went back to looking like a toddler lived there (how surprising, huh?). We’re working on it, he’s going to learn to put things away someday!

He’s also being potty trained at daycare. We are doing our best at home but sadly they have him longer than we do. Although he’s not consistent, they want him in underware already. He’s not even 3.

We decided on boxer briefs, and well, I’m not doing his laundry every night just because they want to move him to the 3yr old class 2 months early. I know he’s not ready but you’d think they knew better. Really I bet he’s schedule trained. Peer trained too since they all go together (many tiny toilets in one room). I’m not against these things but when mom and dad say, “He doesn’t try to use the bathroom at home,” maybe we also know what we’re talking about too.

Just maybe.

Until then, underware I suppose.


Have you read any good books lately? I’m rereading all of the Enchanted Inc. books. It started with hallway duty and now I’m plowing through them again at home.

I can’t say I can relate to Katie Chandler, I’m not magically immune, I don’t live in NYC, and the only nefarious plots I put kinks in are catching kids trying to skip class. I’d like to pretend people need me as much as they seem to need her. 

The book series itself is funny and pretty chaste, I suggest you check it out if you’re into romance and fantasy.

I’ve been thinking about how I can change careers but not completely loose what I’ve achieved degree wise. I’ve thought about it, and well I might start taking classes again soon. These classes will be apart of what I hope will be a Masters Degree in Library Science. I could become a music librarian with this degree or a school librarian with creative leanings. I haven’t spoken to my husband about it yet. I’m not even sure I can find an online program that offers this degree online. I will have to see.

(Anytime you can put James Marsters in your post, you should. It doesn’t matter if the connection to your subject is weak, he’ll make up for it. In spades. My opinion of course.)

It would pay more. I wouldn’t have the same student interaction but that might be the change I need. We’ll see. It will take a couple of years to be sure. I’ve always thought about getting this degree but I thought I would be older. Ah well.

I’ve been having lots of fun on ancestry looking up my family. I’ve discovered a lot of relatives:


See that woman, Aquilla Scrugs?  Well she is my great great grandmother. She happens to be the sister of George Scruggs (and has possibly 12 siblings). We George Scruggs married Lula G Ruppe and has some kids. One of them is my 1st cousin 3Xs removed, Bluegrass Musical Legened Earl Scruggs:


Ever since I was a kid, I heard about “Cousin” Earl from my grandmother. She recalls one night when she was a little girl, her daddy Floyd Brooks took her and her siblings to go pick up this man. He had an instrument case and his vehicle had broken down. He had a concert to get to, and Floyd, her daddy, was the only one close enough with a car who could get him where he needed to go. Her dad is one of his many, many uncles (my ancestors had about 10+ kids each). My grandmother has been to many Brooks/Scruggs family reunions, and visited the farm where Earl grew up when she was a child. She recalls every single one of Earl’s siblings could play something, and if they didn’t play they sang.

I’m sure half of Shelby, NC is related to Earl, but it’s cool to finically see how I am (barely) related to him.

I mean you hear about it your whole life and you think, “Well okay but…” and then there it is. So that’s pretty nifty.

Then there’s my grandfather:


Half Native American, half Something else and all mystery. I cannot trace him any further than his mother, Lilly Foust and Elson Wilson. His wife was easier, Nana’s people came over not even 100 years ago. I can find Nationalization records for my great great grandmother. Anything prior to that is in Italy though.

We’re looking up Ryan’s too…


We believe this gentleman is one of his greats as well. I can kind of see it.

Have you tried to trace your family history? I’m doing our history for many reasons. I want CDubs to know his family, at least in spirit. There’s also a tenant of Mormonism that says we are to do this, for baptismal purposes. It’s complex, but if you’re interested

I’m not sure I can baptize any of my deceased family members because you need permission from their closest kin, which I am not. I certainly won’t be trying to baptize Earl… I think people would come after me… 😱

Anyway, there are other folks I may be able to do in the future… ugh that sounds morbid. 

This has taken a turn, sorry about that. My true goal right now though is tracing the family back and seeing where it goes!

It’s nap time y’all. The babe is stirring around in his crib (we bought a toddler bed frame last week. By the summer I hope to have a mattress, sheets, pillow, two piece jammies, cloth book shelf to replace the oak one (he can have it back when he’s older), and possibly a comforter set. ) and it might be my clicking that’s bothering him!

Hope you had a wonderful week my friends!! Thanks for the drink!

Disappointment 

Sometimes I disappoint people. 

    
Sometimes I disappoint people because I seem a certain way and they discover I’m not that way they imagined. Sometimes people imagine all the things I can be and what my priorities should be based on their own ideals and beliefs. When I don’t meet those expectations I in turn disappoint them.

This is not to debate if that is fair or not; this is just a statement of things that sometimes happens.

Because sometimes it does. 

Sometimes people decide my action are such based on information they think they have on me or that they surmised based on superficial things: looks, skin color, religion, occupation, income; to name a few.

Disappointment truly does happen over such things. Sometimes people let their disappointment overwhelm their idea and feelings towards me. I become that instance of disappointment.

Sometimes disappointed people give up on me. Disappointment becomes apathy and there’s nothing I can do or say to change your mind.

Which is always a shame. I am human, and though I did not live up to your expectations, is it possible I did not have your expectations in mind? Perhaps my priorities are different than yours? My own hopes or dreams, my own plans?

But how will we ever know? If people are disappointed and never get together openly, starting that dialogue, and actually listen to one another…

Well then sometimes you’re going to be disappointed in me until… you’re not. You’re absolutely indifferent and neither of us will really come out the winner.

Mintmongoose: A Jewelry Subscription Box


You likely see them everywhere on Facebook’s advertisements, box of the month clubs for shaving, children, geeks, fans, makeup, and what have you and thought, “why do they think I’ll like this stuff?”

Putting aside Facebook and its proclivity to stalk everything you even accidentally click, box of the month clubs have an appeal.

You buy a type of box that fits a genre or style that interests you, read about this company via the internet, read customer reviews, and decide is what they are offering worth the money you are spending? Does the quoted prince include shipping? How do I cancel my subscription if I don’t like it? 

Once you discover these answers and decide what you’re okay with, you subscribe and the company puts together a box, bag, whatever that is generally a surprise.

Yes you have an idea of the items you will get, but you don’t know specifically what they are. It takes you back to memories of surprise gifts from friends or family. I’m to old now for my mother to surprises me with something shinny but thanks to Subscription boxes like Mintmongoose, I get a little thrill knowing something’s coming in the mail just for me- and it’s shinny!


My package arrive tonight, and it looks pretty basic until you open it up:


A cute little box, closed with a ribbon and a wax seal! Look at that little mint mongoose!

I enjoyed in packaging inside, some pieces were wrapped in mint colored tissue and some in cute packaging:


This was my first month trying Mintmongoose, so I do not know if tasty treats such as the caramel apple lollipop are the norm, but it was a nice surprise!

My pieces were simple, pretty pices and can go with many things. I believe this box I may wear all the pieces together if I can manage it.


The beads on my bracelet are especially lovely.


For a first box, I rather enjoyed what I got. I am postponing my next order due to finical needs, but I plan on getting more boxes in the future. 

If you are interested in trying out mintmongoose, I have two codes I can share for a reduced box. It says give the codes to a friend and we both will benefit:) if you are interested comment below!

Here is a link to the mintmongoose website. I’ve used their subscription company before and have had no trouble (it was a dollar shave club for Ry), no identity issues, money came out properly etc.

I should mention you are billed monthly on the 20th and the box arrives the following month around the 15th.

What do you think? Does $12 for those pieces seem reasonable? Do you enjoy box/bags/crates of the month subscription clubs too? Let me know in the comments! Thank you for stopping by!
This was not written at the bequest of Mintmongoose. Though I follow them on Instagram, I don’t think they know who I am (and that’s okay). So the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone!

Sick Day Blues

Yesterday was just another day at school; I called 7 parents about behavior, I tried to clean around kids, I tried to be effective and fun… which means I probably fell a little short. I’m working on it, ever so slowly…


And my mind was occupied with bills, bills, bills-once the afternoon bell sounded.

I worked for another hour, stacked up chairs, found cords to amps, swept; all in hopes my janitor would bless my room with a mop. It’s only been months.

I don’t know where I got this, probably reddit… I’ve had it for awhile…

Alright, I’m a little bitter. I just never seem to score a janitor who understands that mopping 2 times a year  isn’t going to cut it.

Anyway, my hubs picks me up and we head off to daycare. The best part of my day is seeing CDubs. We get there and usually it’s “Mommyyyy! Daddy! Mommmmmmy! Daddy!” And he flings himself into somebody’s arms. It’s fantastic. 

However yesterday CDubs said, “mom-me, dad.” And looked like he was going to cry. We carried him out, buckled him in and went to the store. We needed milk, among other things.

CDubs sees the store and cries out, “want to go to my house!” Which he does do, he loves going and staying home. (Unless you tell him you’re going to the park) I am prepared for this and produce fruit snacks which seem to cheer him up.

We put him in the cart and he starts to whimper. Ry gives him the one thing CDubs loves above all right now, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. That Mouse….

No it can’t, because mommy gave that up. (Pinterest)
    

CDubs is locked in, now we can shop. In and out, grab some gummies and some milk and get out!

We rush through, get in line, and then I hear it. The cough. Not just any cough but the preemptive I-am-going-to-vomit-everywhere-and-you-didn’t-bring-a-diaper-bag cough.

Oh, shinikies.

We both automatically shove cupped hands under his little chin, as his eyes roll back and I think, “He’s going to do it!” The little elementary aged girl in line across from us exclaims, “ewwwww!” prematurely. Then, again, he makes that sound…

But our hands aren’t enough and the gastromixture gets my husband first and… it’s everywhere. The cart, the child, my husband and the opening to checkout line 3.

CDubs let’s out an scream of disgust/anger at vomiting/discomfort and  Ry wisks the unhappy toddler back to the grocery restrooms. You know the ones, in the very back, behind double doors that lead to the stockroom and loading dock.

Every customer up front looks at me like 

And I’m like well I’ll move. They can check out. But I can’t because shopping carts aren’t solid boxes with wheels are they?  No, no they aren’t.

And nobody has paper towels and all the cashiers are like, “This ain’t my problem,” especially cashier 3 who’s like, “extra 15 for me!” (I’ve been there, I can’t judge)

So I angle my cart to cover the offending covered tiles while allowing access to line 3, sorry my friend, and I walk up to customer service. They are talking about something and I’m angled so they can see me but it’s apparent they are hoping I’ll just go away.

Icanhazacheeseburger

    

But I can’t, well I can but that’s wrong. So once they realize I’m not leaving, they wrap it up and look at me like customer service folks do, and I explain the problem. Their faces fall, but they radio for help.

A giant floor squeegee thing is pushed over it by an “over it” young man, and I get back in line. I get back on track, my odorous family returns and we book it outta there.

So I’m home, I’ve cuddled today, feed crackers and apple juice to my buddy all day (and plain ol’ cheerios), and managed to get him to nap.

He’s been acting fine all day but kids do that. I can tell he’s not himself but to anyone else, he’d seem fine I’m sure.

It’s a good thing I suppose, besides of course I want him to be well, I can now clean up around the house. Not exciting but necessary.

How are you guys spending the day? Anyone else taking care of a sick one at home?