Holiday Beverage Share: We Made Merry!

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a good day! No, a splendid day filled with happy events and meetings!

We’ve been good, very very busy though! I finally finished professional obligations on the 19th with my last musical performance on the 16th. The very last thing we did was the Christmas play with the Baptist’s and it went very well:

He left that and the Primary Program in good spirits. I think the Primary Program went well. We had a girl I haven’t seen in months show up, and she did her best. I’d like to think we provided all the tools to help her succeed- all the words were printed out and until her father got sick, she was a regular church goer so I bet the songs weren’t new to her. Though it was stressful, the date moved a couple times, the hurricanes disrupted many things and it had to be at my busiest time of year, I really think it went well. CDubs was happy:

As for Christmas itself, we kind of moseyed towards it. It was like, “yes, we do have Christmas on a Tuesday. Oh look, it’s Sunday night.”

But we were still plenty busy. I was so busy I forgot to give CDubs’ teachers their gift. I just thought I had one more day and I did not!

We saw my parents earlier than planned. They decided they weren’t coming down to see us. They asked us if we would spend a day going up to see them instead, and do a Christmas at their home. That was fine, it was just an unexpected schedule change.

My mom’s hoarding has gone down a lot. There are still scary areas…. like the stack of boxes in a 4X4 area stacked to the ceiling. The ceiling. All are taken apart, but just stacked flat. We offered to come help but I’ve never heard back on that subject. We will see, perhaps it will take more time to accept the offer of help.

We also had Ryan’s parents over for a good 12ish hours or so. We opened presents from them and family up north. You know, NO ONE has to get me gifts. I’m the interloper as it were. I know that I’ve disrupted the way of things, especially for holidays, quite a bit. Everyone is very welcoming anyway. It’s not lost on me that I am an extra person to buy for. I hope they know they don’t have too, but I am thankful and appreciative of all that they do!

Christmas Eve was fun, we did a PJ Party (“Not Pajama Party, Mommy, PJ party!”) all day. We made a gingerbread train (we failed pretty badly), watched movies, at candy, had fun meals and just were together:

Then of course North left with Santa and South helped pull his sleigh. South came back:

See all that snow on his back?

And my son opened ALL THE GIFTS:

And ate all the candy.

He also discovered Home Alone and Home Alone II and laughed quite a bit at the traps little McCallister set for the, “bad bandits.”

It was a low key Christmas that was truly needed. It’s been, “Go! Go! Go!” lately and my family seems to not do fast paced as well. It was nice to slow down and be together!

The Hubs and I have found a doctor we like and have had all sorts of tests done on our blood. While his results are his to tell, I have been asked to adapt my diet to what they asked him to eat. So I will be going on a low carb, low fat, no sugar diet.

My tests came back pretty awesome. Okay I say that because I thought I would be pre diabetic or have super high cholesterol or something of that sort. However science has discovered that I am just…. fat. Like my body is pretty happy being this big. The only thing that was worrying was my platelet count was high. They will monitor me and see if it’s my birth control. Everything else was below the standard cap, which is why I should change my diet so I can keep it that way!

Oh! And I did have another thing over the cap, by 23 units, is my cholesterol level. That though, again, can be controlled through this diet we are on.

This is also good for CDubs because he will grow up with lots of leafy greens and low sugar and all that. So that’s nice.

If you’ve been on Instagram and seen my recent posts you would know that I have felt pain in my right breast. It’s been pretty painful out of 10 it was a steady 8 for days. Then it went down to a 6, then a four for a bit. The doctor sent me to get a mammogram which came back clear, I got to see the scan myself. I know it sounds strange but I look at my brain tumor all the time at those appointments so I know what a bump or lump looks like on these strange black and gray scans. So when I saw it I thought at least I didn’t see a tumor. I was happy to find that was the case when the actual professional read it! I know there are subtleties that I couldn’t even fathom to the readings of these scans. I do, and even if I had been wrong in that moment it comforted me while I waited half naked in a ridiculous top that covered NOTHING.

So I called my doc and ended up with a bacterial antibiotic and I admit… it felt very sugar pill placebo at first. But slowly I have felt a change in my pain and the feel of that breast. It’s not hotter than the other anymore (at least not noticeably so), it’s not swollen almost over my cup size (that was uncomfortable to say in the least). But this week it has slowly gone down in size and though I wake up in pain, after I take the antibiotic and the Aleve I feel better. Then again it could be the Aleve.

My doctor will still want me to go to a specialist I am sure cause this whole thing has been a bazaar experience. Whatever this infection is, it’s not behaving as one would expect.

Now we our way to a fun event for Connor mostly, I am excited to see any sort of show in general but we are going to a Pirate Ship show with a dinner so it should be a tasty good time!

I hope you all have had wonderful weeks, and of you had a holiday recently that it was jolly and full of people that love you! Enjoy your week and I hope to talk to you all again soon!

Weekend Beverage Share: Christmas is Coming!

Hey-o friends! I hope everyone is doing well! I’ve been a busy bee lately, musicians are ever working during the holiday season. I don’t have any paying gigs this year, which is fine, I love to get paid but I figure I will be getting my blessings in other ways! I wouldn’t say no to one (a paying gig) though!

I sang in town last Sunday at the local Methodist church because we got rained out of our venue. So we had a repeat performance this Thursday. (See above)

Tuesday we had our annual Christmas concert at the school… except it was in the gym. The auditorium is CONDEMNED thanks to 2 hurricanes and an impressive amount of damage from a leak in the roof. The smell of the mold will knock you on your butt. The holes in the walls and the plaster drooping and the chunks everywhere is just…. sad. We won’t be making music there…. for years. So we bought the biggest tarp I’ve ever seen, large enough to fit 65 kids at a time and the chairs spaced comfortably and all of the percussion including big drums and xylophones and the like. There was even space left over. It was insane.

The kids, did their best! That’s the important thing. There was severe phasing issues and we couldn’t practice in the gym until the night of because of gym classes. They tried to listen to others for when to come in, but in a gym you can’t trust your ears, the echos are too severe. You HAVE to watch the conductor and count. That can be hard for kids to do. I am very proud of them for sticking it out and not freaking out.

Today I had a Cantata practice at a local baptist church, and it was off the chain! If you clicked on my stories on Instagram you would hear a short snippet! I have it saved in the “Highlights” area on my profile (@afternoonofsundries). They sounded amazing today but I am literally next to the percussion:

So I am planning to plug that ear with my earplugs tomorrow. I can’t hear anything anyway on that side. They cymbal is killer.

Tomorrow we run to church and grab sacrament and exit at the end of first hour. Then we rush to the baptist church and I warm up and sing with the choir.

Next week I have labs with my new GP. I am hoping things work out and I do not have diabetes or high cholesterol or a vitamin D deficiency or what have you. It’s bad enough I’m wearing compression socks. I don’t need anything tougher than my eye disease and brain tumor thank you!

Then next week I have a party or two, a rehearsal for our Primary Program and a rehearsal for a Christmas play and then on Sunday both the program and play. This is on top of teaching and after school 21st century classes that I will be teaching until 5:30PM.

So…. I am tired. My house looks like a clothing and dishes bomb went off and there were no survivors. I mean I’m wear two or three outfits a day, it’s like costume changes, lol. I’m wearing sequins to school so I only have to change once, or a full face of make up (I’m talking layers and shading and the works) so I have one less bag to carry!

I’m doing my best though. I can wait until my labs Wednesday. I’m serious. Stab me with needles and have me pee in a cup but at least I have hours at my house afterwards!

Lol I miss everyone I interact with online, and I hope you all are doing well! Keep me posted, drop a link below to one of your update posts so I know how your life is going too! Maybe I can read I between classes? Much love!

Thankful and Grateful: Traditions

Hello! Today’s topic is “What a tradition you are thankful for?”

I can’t say, growing up that there were many traditions. I don’t think my parents operated that way. We could expect things like at Christmas we would decorate a tree together, if we had a tree that year. Or we would get a stocking with mixed nuts and oranges… if there were stockings that year. There were a lot of “ifs” in my childhood because we grew up poor. It happens.

Now that I am older, and married to a man that HAS traditions (I mean **HAS** them), I’ve enjoyed having them too.

I think the favorite traditions revolve around Christmas though. We love to over tip at Christmas, we try to eat as a family at home, but when we do go out, Waffle House (not fancy) or McDuff’s (fancy) we round, if the 20% tip is $5 we round to $10. If they were exceptionally sweet we may do a little more.

We decorate the tree together and we purchase Hallmark (they HAVE to be Hallmark) ornaments every year. Then we wrap those ornaments to open on Christmas. This one is fun, I am collecting the 12 days of Christmas series, they are birds!

Then we make cookies:

And frost them!

We also participate in holiday events as musicians and a few are annual without fail events and CDubs enjoys those too:

We decorate all over together as well, and wax melts with balsam is a favorite.

We send cards with photos, and sometimes we are able to get specific sizes and sometimes… we fail real hard and mess them up or forget to put them in the card all together (Sorry Aunt B). We try though, to send cards and do things right!

We do Elf in the Shelf and the reindeer thing too.

Overall, Christmas and Halloween are my favorite holidays but Christmas has way more traditions. I rather enjoy the holiday season!

This month I am trying, TRYING to answer these prompts, join me:

Thankful and Grateful: Clothing or Furniture

The prompt for today is “What piece of furniture or clothing are you thankful for?”

While I am thankful we finally upgraded from a full bed to a Queen sized bed, I love my Tieks, and the couch was certainly an upgrade.

However, I have already talked about all of these things on here… so I’ll be thankful about something else, lol!

I am thankful for… our newish Christmas tree!

We just finished decorating it for this season (super busy during the holidays-musicians and teachers both of us!) and it makes me think of our first tree.

Gosh, that tree came into our lives at the Christmas Clearance sale at Walmart. It was $15 and I thought it a most awesome deal!

And it was!

But our cat Fiona decided one Christmas that the lower branches tasted good, and we were worried for her digestive tract. What does synthetic Christmas tree do to a cat?

So we researched online a way to deter a cat from eating trees and discovered an orange cat deterrent that kept cats away and seemed to smell nice to us humans too.

Oh the foolishness we brought upon ourselves.

It was like a delicate orange flavoring to Fiona. Maybe it deterred her for a day or too, but once she got a taste for it, she couldn’t stop.

Luckily, Christmas came and went and she didn’t die.

We thought, “ah well you live and learn,” and though that was the end of it.

But no.

Did you know that cat deterrent lasts a long time? And it can flake off after many years? Yes, yes it can. Every time we took out the old tree we would get cat deterrent in the air as we shaped the branches. The we would breathe it in, and we would taste deterrent in our mouths for hours. It was nasty. It was vomit inducing. I just couldn’t.

Finally, after YEARS of deterrent and a new cat that ALSO thought the tree was now delicious… it was time to get a new tree! This is year 2 with this tree and thank goodness we have it. I just don’t think I could handle another year or orange sour vomit.

The First Christmas

I read this a couple of weeks back and thought, how quiet that must have been. How joyous. How wonderful to know you were alive and he was alive and even though no one accepted them yet, they were a family. All was calm and all was bright, and in that moment perhaps they felt it was enough. They were enough.

And then I thought about this apt quote from Dr. Seuss:

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?

It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

Whatever you are doing today or tomorrow know simply I love you because you are human. We all need a little love in our lives, hmm? Merry Christmas, happy Holidays and enjoy the possibilities of a New Year!

Bad Vibes

Lately, I have not been good company. This morning, I decided to delete all the negative stuff I’ve posted since August. I log into WordPress and load my published posts only to find, I had just a few posts to delete. Why? Because I am not writing anymore.

I’ve been sucked into these bad vibes. I cannot say that I am extremely good at picking up on other people’s emotions. I used to think I was. But really… All I’ve been able to do is reflect anxiety and be completely a mess.

What’s even worse,  I have shutdown all activities (excluding CDubs activities). No posting, no positive thoughts, just shallow attempts at normalcy. I used to get 80+ hits a day on my blog, now I get 15 or less.

The content that’s being  viewed is from 2015. Nothing from 2016 except my goodbye friend letter.

Can we all agree 2016 was shit? I am longing to shake these bad vibes once and for all.


I mean just really. While I know 2017 is gearing up to be an orange-colored shitstorm, because I live in the good old US of A, I can try to stop the vibes from further screwing my life.

I can at least try.

So I want to go back to writing about things I’m reading about in the news, or problems I’m seeing around me that spark reflection.

I want to write about positive things that are going on, review some products cause I can afford to, talk about new things I’m trying to better myself.

I want to talk about everything with a better attitude and a bolder, less anxious outlook.

I used to do that a lot.

I’ve just been drained. They say new teachers don’t last more than 5 years, and then they are completely burned out. That we, new teachers, are weak kids who just can’t take working a full day with kids. Maybe we are.

But I’m just not happy. So I’m going to be happy. I’m looking into other avenues of employment very tentatively. I don’t want to rock the boat hardcore… that is unless I’m offered something that’s $10,000 more a year… then screw the boat, I’m swimming!

In the meantime, I’m offering more activities I enjoy in my classes, and really taking advantage of what I have, instead of complaining about what I don’t.

I mean that’s (above) what I have to work with in droves.

So I must change, adapt, or you know shake a leg!

For Christmas I received some wonderful gifts. I received beautiful charms from my husband and son for Christmas. I need some chains to display them properly. Both are simply beautiful pieces.

My aunt sent me the most beautiful lipstick by Too Faced called Unicorn Tears

Don’t worry, it turns pink after application!

I also received some Amazon money, and some other funds. I have been extremely blessed this holiday season!

I’ve used the money on me. Usually I buy things for CDubs. Maybe I’ll buy some household items like cleaning suppliers and splurge on the leopard print rubber gloves.

This year, self care all the way. I’ve gotten my nails done twice, a pedicure, an at home foot peel (that stuff is scary but works!), some clothes that fit, jewelry, makeup, makeup brushes (Ry found me a deal!), purchased some more happy place masks, facial soap, all that kind of stuff.
Probably should have saved it all but…

I’m also working on learning proper 21st century make up techniques. I was doing my makeup very 1960’s without really realizing it. Very flat, 2D type, cover all things, sort of make up. I can’t say after all the videos I’ve been watching lately that I’m anywhere bordering on proficient; but I am enjoying the process.

I’m a little shy sharing my forays into modern makeup because this happens:

I’m not bragging about the above, and I’m certainly not, “Oh woe, my clear skin and long lashes!” It’s just, anytime I post about me and makeup or even put on makeup for work someone tells me, “You don’t need makeup.”

Well no, I don’t, and you don’t need GTA5 or a new piece of jewelry. Still, you have/ do these things because you enjoy doing it or having those things. It’s a skill, artists take courses in developing their art, why can’t I practice makeup application?

Why can’t I enjoy makeup? Because only ugly girls wear makeup? Only insecure girls wear makeup? Please don’t even suggest only slutty girls wear makeup. That’s not true, none of those statements are true. You should see what I look like on the weekends, when I say screw maintenance I want to sleep instead! Seriously, what is with this stigma when it comes to wearing makeup? It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

Models wear makeup. You can’t say models are slutty, ugly, or insecure. Now I am NOT model pretty, I have no features on my face that make me, what’s the statistic? Five percent of the world’s population is unique enough to be a model?

I’m going to sound like the witch from Into The Woods here when I say, I’m not beautiful, I’m not flawless , I’m just pretty. I don’t have delusions. It’s okay to be cute (I’m past cute at this point, I’m not under 18), there’s nothing wrong with pretty. There are a lot of pretty people in the world; it’s okay to be pretty and not beautiful.

So that coupled with awkward selfies, I am documenting my rise into learning how to sculpt and line and shade my face. It’s hard too, being partially sighted I don’t see all of the colors anymore or the shades. Makeup has stupid names like posh, and weekend fun. What the hell kind of color is trendy?!
I ask Ry a lot. To recap I can’t see shades of blue or green and often mistake them for each other, pinks and purples can be browns or greys to me, and yellow is white. Woohoo. I can wear… red, orange… well orange sometimes looks like red. (My type of color blindness is called Tritanopia and I recently discovered it’s not hereditary but a casualty of my eye disease. I had color vision loss before the damaging effects of my disease were apparent.)

(I had to check this twice because the first time I loaded the same picture😓 they honestly look the same to me)
Maybe I shouldn’t use anything unless labeled Neutral Palette. 

Then blending. I took art in school. I got a 75 on my gradient shading project for BLACK. Black to white. My professor said I was to drastic between shades. To me, it looked just like his example. So there is that to contend with too.

I could just switch my profession to becoming a for hire clown, using only primary colors for my face paint.

It could be exciting.

Maybe not.

As for my weight loss blog, I received some negative feedback on that and have decided they can bite my nicely rounded ass; I am starting over again. I do love myself. Because I love myself I want to be healthier for me. It’s not because I don’t love myself enough or I feel like people who are plus sized are unhealthy my blood pressure is 105/80 people. It’s crazy and healthier than some of my more slender, running associates from school. So bam! Back up off!

Alright, I’ve talked way too much. I hope though I’ve convinced you my bad vibes will be countered at every turn and that I’m here, back at WordPress and ready to go!

The Case of the Boo

Some Christmas Present Hiding Fun:

Tonight, Connor comes up to the big bed room to talk and play a bit before bed. He seemingly ignores the large white shape in front of my closet. Then… cats happen.
Evie takes a flying leap into the covered play kitchen, and I watch in horror as she grapples with the slick tablecloths over the slick plastic kitchen. I think about how she is going to reveal the present two days early! How could she decide to do this?!

I suppose it’s because she’s a cat of very little brain.

I holler, Ryan hollers and she runs off. I turn to Connor, and while the cloths didn’t reveal anything, I expected a question about the covered object from my son. And yes, at this point he’s staring at the object in front of my closet.


He turns to me and says very solemnly, “Evie attacked the Boo.”

… the Boo?
“Yes… that’s mommy’s boo,” I say.
He makes a “hmm” sound and goes back to counting his “roockses.”
Apparently, my son is observant. He decided the only logical explanation for that shape in front of the closet was we had a ghostly visitor and completely accepted it. Not only did he accept it, he was offended it wasn’t treated with the utmost respect. Cause ghosts were people too. (?)
Even now the cats are trying to take the cover off, (I am scolding them) and I hear Connor say through the monitor, “Leave the Boo, mommy’s boo, alone kitties. No hurt the Boo.”
Ryan has assured him the Boo is fine and the cats have gone to bed. I never thought I’d be comfortable with a ghost in my house. 👻