Life is Good

I love the Fridays that I get Tess from school and we have a family dinner, this past Friday was no exception. Tess and I have fun until the others get here, then we all have fun together. Have I mentioned my kids are funny, smart and amazing lately? The only one missing was Alex, I missed him when he doesn’t get to come to dinner.

I have had someone tell me that having a meal with us is like being with the Addams family, I’ll take it, the barbs fly fast and furious around here. You have to be quick on your toes if you want to keep up and be part of the conversation.

Saturday was another awesome day, not only was it not raining for the first time in weeks, Elizabeth Anne and I went shopping. It was my Mother’s Day gift from her and her husband, a shopping spree. And spree we did, I got a lot of awesome new clothes that I needed! Losing weight and getting fit is not for the faint of heart when it comes to wardrobe.

Then it was Ladies that Lunch day, another great one in the books, the laughter and fellowship was just incredible. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this group of women, I am so proud to call them not only my friends, but my sisters.

I come home, let Stormie out, and what does she do, being a Husky, you can probably guess, yes, she found a new escape route. One I thought I had blocked really well, however with this rain, the ground is so soft it is easy for her to burrow out.

I truly got my exercise in yesterday, I had to follow her about a mile, in wedges, not chase, because if you give chase it will be 3 miles. Then when I did catch her, I had to carry her part of the way because I didn’t have a leash and she was trying to run with me holding her collar. So here I am, in a skirt, wedges and hair everywhere, mine and hers, carrying this big Husky. I am sure it was a sight to behold, huge shout out to the two gentlemen that stopped and tried to help me. One was a chicken delivery guy and he even brought out a bag that had chicken in it to try and entice her. No luck, she is on to that little trick, as we have taken meat out to try and get her to come.

Hole is once again plugged and it is once again raining horrendously here, I love the rain, let me amend that, I  LOVE rain, however, this is getting to be a bit much for even me.

Oh I almost forgot, the best part of yesterday, when Elizabeth Anne walked into the house, she looked at me and said “you are looking really skinny mom”. Best. Daughter. EVER. She is totally in the will.

Let me tell you who is not in the will, that would be my darling granddaughter Tess, we were at the grocery store checking out and the cashier heard Tess call me Gigi. She said, what, you’re a grandmother! I would never have guessed, you look so young, did I mention she is now my new BFF? Anyway, I thanked her, profusely, then Tess says, you don’t look that young, you look like my Nana, her Nana is 70+. Then Tess just laughed and laughed and I said um I can take that ball and video I am buying you and put it right back. Which made her laugh harder, the cashier thought it was adorable.

I wanted to mow the lawn today, however, I shan’t, in this weather, so laundry and going through my closet and getting rid of clothes that are too big. Life is good.

 

 

Finally, a Hug From God

I awoke to the most amazing sight, snow, wonderful fluffy snow, not to be fooled, underneath is pure ice, but the fluffy frosting is nothing short of a hug from God.

I am not the only one enamored of the white fluffiness that has enveloped us, Stormie is equally happy.

So this week is the last week of our challenge at IPT (Infinity Personal Training) and we all know what that means. Next week I can have coffee if I so choose to, there is the catch, if I choose to. I am a little scared, I have not had any for six weeks, I know I will have a reaction, the question is, will it be good or bad. I don’t want to go back to my pot a day habit; I do know that, I do believe I will continue to start my day with lemon water.

Right now I am drinking hot water with lemon (real lemons, not the fake “real” lemon juice they sell), local raw honey (I prefer Nature Nate’s, created and bottled in Frisco, TX) and since last week I have been adding a pinch of sea salt. I have to tell you that is amazing! I will continue this habit, it is just a great way to start the day, perhaps I will save coffee for the weekend. Not an every day thing, just a treat on Saturday and Sunday.

This challenge has shown me that I can do more than I thought and can change an old habit and create a new one. I feel stronger, more in control of my addictions, such as coffee and sugar, I overall feel better. I never thought I would say that I look forward to working out, but I do, I love going to IPT, I actually look forward to sweating! What is happening to me??? This is insanity, I may need help, someone check on that for me, is this some strange new disease?

This week the group challenge is 3000 reverse lunges; we will be doing 750 each as one of our teammates has a knee issue. Not a problem, we will get it done! I am 320 in and my goal for today is 300 more. Pray for me, my legs already hurt!

I discovered a new smoothie I am in love with, strawberries, dark chocolate, a teaspoon of honey, power greens, two scoops of protein powder and almond milk. I am in love, it is so amazingly good, I highly recommend it, it tastes like a chocolate strawberry shake. You have to try it!

 

Reunion Time

No child left behind has a whole different meaning in the Testerman family, we see a child within the family that is in need and people step up to meet it. I, myself, was one of those children, my birth mother should never have had children, she was not the mothering kind. This is not a bid for pity, it is a fact, she knew it, she gave all of us away, I have often said I fared the best.
I digress, allow me to explain my thought pattern, this weekend was my family reunion and as usual there were a ton of kids running around. A truly great sight to see the younger generation there running around getting to know each other; making memories with their cousins that will last a lifetime.
One of my cousins was telling me how he was trying to get permanent custody of four of the little boys, for whatever reasons their mothers are not able to care for them. Some have even been put in foster care at this point; he is hiring an attorney to get the boys.
Several are his grandsons; several are his brother’s grandsons, his brother that has passed away. I am not surprised by his endeavors, you see someone who was not in my direct line stepped up and took me. My cousin’s generosity in this area is inherent, I have seen it over and over, Testermans stepping up and taking on a responsibility that really isn’t theirs but we consider it ours due to the children being our blood. Whether they are direct line or not, we do this because, well it’s what we do.
When someone gets married, and the other person already has children, we take those as well. They are now family, they are ours, in all the important meanings of the word family.
Elizabeth Anne’s fiancé will find this out when I start stealing his little girl to come over and play with Tessa and the Irishman’s girls. She’s a little young yet, but soon she will start saying she wants to go to Gigi’s house. I already consider her my new granddaughter.
The Irishman went with me again to my family reunion; we took his son and his youngest daughter. The oldest one had plans that she didn’t want to give up, understandable at her age, she is 12 almost thirteen, and well at this point there was nothing but strangers at this event.
So off we go with two kids, a dog and an Irishman, yes we took Stormie with us, after a quick stop at Starbucks we were off on our road trip.
We get there and my family is as loud and crazy as usual, I’m so happy some things never change. My cousins all embraced the Irishman’s children, welcoming them and even asking if they would be back next year.
When we were leaving my cousin Cindy hugged each one and told them welcome to the family.
I asked the Irishman’s son how he had liked being there, and here is a direct quote from him: “Angie your family is crazy, not the scary kind of crazy, the kind of crazy you want to be around again.”
I believe the world would be a better place if all families had the philosophy of no child left behind.

Hopping

Today is officially my last Thursday posing as Friday event. I was offered a job in another department and I start Monday. It will be a 5-day workweek, I don’t know if I will know how to behave in that situation, however I shall figure it out.

I am incredibly grateful for my new opportunity within the major telecommunications corporation I am employed with. It was an unexpected offer, however a welcome one nonetheless. I packed my desk yesterday; it is a very bittersweet circumstance. I truly enjoy the people I work with; they are all different, with different personalities, quirks and temperaments. The one consistent thing with them all is their helpful attitudes; I am so fortunate to have worked with this group for so long. Twenty-four of us are going to the new job, so happy to be going with so many familiar faces. So sad to be leaving so many, I pray the rest can find jobs as well; they are all in my daily prayers.

When the layoff announcement came, they told us 43 people would have to go, we were stunned, shocked, dismayed and a depression settled in the office. With people finding jobs and with the unfortunate passing of one of us, that number is down to 11. The one of us that passed, he would be happy that he saved one person because that is the kind of person he was.

From 43 to 11, that is huge, the mood in the office is now one of hope not despair, I see people smiling and laughing more. We are grateful for our new opportunities and hopeful for the ones left in the office that they too will be able to find employment within the company.

I have to say here, now, our Chief Steward came through, he has worked tirelessly in the pursuit of opportunities for our people. I am beyond impressed with his dedication in this endeavor; it is what is going to keep me a union member. I also have to give huge kudos to our 2nd level manager; he also worked tirelessly helping to make this happen. I have to be honest here, I didn’t really pay attention to his mood, but when I saw, after the 24 people were told of their opportunity he looks lighter. I didn’t realize what a toll this had taken on him; I am impressed (it is a word being given a work out here, however it fits) with his caring, I am sorry I didn’t see it before.

I will begin my new adventure on Monday, learning new things, helping a whole new set of customers getting to know new people and even seeing old friends.

Before anyone thinks, wow how lucky, no, it was not luck, it was God, pure and simple. There were a lot of prayers going up for the people in that office, I am still praying that they can pull 11 more jobs out of the hat.

On a different note I am revisiting a segment I call Does That Make My Dog Crazy. Last night I come home and found the Irishman and Stormie are playing chase. Stormie actually hops, yes, hops, like the dogs in the old cartoons. I tried to get this on video, but she knows when she is being recorded! She stopped doing it! Then she and I began to play hide and seek, this is our favorite game. She will chase me to the kitchen, I will hide behind a wall, she goes to the other side, I slide around out of her view, she then runs around. I slide, she runs, then she will become very quiet, I will peek out and she is there and she jumps for joy because she won that round of hide and seek! What a joy she is, she definitely keeps our household, well, hopping.

Excited

Well a full weekend was had; I find I need a weekend after the weekend to rest! Friday was spent cleaning and shopping for the Ladies that Lunch event I was hosting at my home.

Saturday morning was up and at ‘em early in the morning, sweeping and mopping, can’t do that the day before with a sheddy dog in the house. Then setting up for the ladies, then the actual event. I do believe it went off without a hitch, except for the person who doesn’t like dogs. I explained Stormie is not a dog, she is a Husky. There is a huge difference.

Then off to Jeffrey’s who had picked up my Bountiful Basket for me, it was all organic this time. I split it with Jeffrey and Alex as there was no way we could eat all of that before it spoiled.

Then Sunday was a visit from BBFF, his son and his new Husky Cody, very exciting, just a few incidents of territorial behavior from Stormie. Otherwise I do believe it was a good beginning of friendship for the two pups.

Then The Walking Dead, this show has me on the edge of my seat every week, I am so tense afterwards. Great show, great writing, acting, directing, the whole shebang is had here. If you are not watching I suggest you catch up on Netflix, well worth the time.

Then Monday was back to work; I have not interacted with said person from previous post yet. They work Tuesday through Saturday, so today will be the first time I will have any interaction. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except my disdain is furthered by the fact they made this person a trainer. Partly due to them being so bad on the phone, that is how things are handled. Oh, you’re bad at your job; let’s give you more responsibility, which furthers my frustration. Oh well, this is only 40 hours of my week, and really only 30 with this person, a small amount, I shall not allow it to change me. Did I mention we share a manager now and I have to see and hear this persons voice at our daily meetings? Prayers people!

Exciting weekend ahead, starting with a chocolate cherry facial on Friday, then Tessa, the Irishman has his girls this weekend. Then The Walking Dead, so excited!

Oh did I mention I received my copy of Thor The Dark World last night? A day earlier than the release date, this is what happens when you are a Disney Movie preferred customer. You get perks. My perk, Thor.

This is it, I can feel it, this is the movie that I will assimilate into, I have to choose my outfit carefully.

Grateful Friday

I forgot something important, Sunday I got to have lunch with 4 of my ultimate favorite people. Jeffrey, Elizabeth, Alex and Tessa, it was my birthday lunch; this was Alex’s birthday present to me. Lunch with the 4 of them, it was awesome!
Of course it was Mexican food, if it’s a lunch for me it’s Mexican food, the food was good, the company was great, the conversation was awesome.
Nothing makes me more at peace than spending time with the four of them, it was such a treat.
This week has been a challenge, however I am keeping my attitude positive, and teaching my supervisor a few things as well. Every day we have a meeting, called a huddle, in the past this time has been filled with everything negative. There has not been one positive thing said during these times. I told him please tell us one thing that we do correctly, just one. He stared at me, I said, you praise to success, one does not beat employees to succeed. You need to figure out the good things we are doing and tell us those, because this time is a beating.
Well, Tuesday he started doing just that, it was a revelation, I felt better as did my teammates. It’s amazing what happens when you give praise instead of negativity, I imagine this is what happens when we go to God and thank Him for all the great things that He does in our lives. Instead of complaining about all that He doesn’t do for us, or about all of the things we perceive as wrong, we just say thank you for our daily miracles.
There are many, the very breath we take is a miracle, the way our bodies work, the way we interact with all species. The world at large is a miracle, look at the way it works, the very way the earth sits in the galaxy. What an awesome world we have, let’s take a moment and say thank you to the great creator.
Today is Friday and I will make this a great day, I woke up, I have a nice place to live, in a great neighborhood, I have someone in my life who thinks I hung the moon, I have awesome children, I have Tessa and I have Stormie. I also have the most incredible friends, who remind me every day that there is something to be grateful for.

Artemis

Well, it appears we have a mighty hunter in our midsts, yes, Stormie, she hunted and killed her first rabbit last night. I actually heard the horrible sound a rabbit makes before it dies. The Irishman and I were taking groceries out of my car and I heard this horrible noise coming from the backyard. I said did you hear that, he said Stormie was back there, we both looked at each other and he ran to the backyard.
Where he found her with the rabbit in her mouth, it was gone, she was proud, wanted to bring her prize in the house and would not let it go. It took some doing to get her to put the thing down so we could dispose of if properly.
She was incredibly proud of her accomplishment, she is the mighty hunter, perhaps we should have named her Artemis. Although I do believe Stormie is an apt name for our family member as she is a whirlwind of activity and love.
Well I am off to face the day, whatever it may bring, I do believe the forecast of cold, wet, ice, stormy goodness is God telling me all will be right in my world.

Catching Up

I know it has been a while since I checked in, however, in my defense, I have been very busy. Last week was insane, as you know we got the house, we were moving. It was Thanksgiving, which means a visit from Jeffrey’s pup Russ, this year Mickey joined us, our 20-year-old cat that lives with Elizabeth Anne. So, if you are counting, that is 3 animals with us, then to McKinney every day to feed, water, clean the litter box of the other cats that belong to Jeffrey and youngest Alex. Then pack, of course working Thanksgiving and the day after made things incredibly complicated, but we got it done.
The wonderful movers of Tom and Jerry moving showed up Saturday and were wonderful, I cannot imagine this move without them. They made it way less stressful. Saturday was busy right up to 11:00 pm. trying to find things in boxes I had marked not shoes was interesting. God bless the Irishman, he didn’t say a word of criticism on my labeling system. We found enough things to have coffee Sunday morning, so yay.
The house is wonderful, roomy, light and a really good neighborhood, I had forgotten how much I love living in a house as opposed to an apartment. It was a revelation having no one walk on my head during the night.
Stormie is adjusting to her new abode as well, I think she takes delight in sliding on the tile and wood floors. She is so funny, love that dog, she is a true Husky, loving, fun-loving and a wicked sense of humor.
At work yesterday, they gave us the news that 30 people will need to leave our office, there are only 80 of us, this is not good news. Of course I immediately took stock of my skills and realized none of them are marketable outside of the phone company. It is a devastating thought, I don’t know what to do if I am one of the 30. Where will I go, how does one start over at 50, incredibly depressing thought.
The things I love doing I don’t get paid for, being on the radio, writing, none of it pays. So that is out, roller disco doesn’t pay and neither does spouting my opinion.
My dream job would be to watch television and write reviews of my favorite shows, however, I don’t see people paying me for that either. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. Real ideas, not pie in the sky ideas.
I am going to sign off now, Buffy is on, coffee is in hand and I am thinking of cooking myself some Blue and Gold sausage. Happy Wednesday!

An Only Child

So, Stormie thinks she is an only child, or at least she behaves that way, apparently sharing is not coded into her DNA. Russ has come to visit, as he does every Thanksgiving, when Jeffrey is out of town. At first Russ ran around whining, the Irishman said he was looking for Nocona. Nocona was his buddy and I know he must be confused.
Once he settled down, he decided to get to know Stormie, they have been playing, Stormie seems happy, however, I noticed this morning she gathered all of her bones and was lying with them in front of her, with her front paws around them. She was letting Russ know she will not share her bones.
It was so funny, she is truly an only child and not built for sharing, she also slept with us last night, the first time she has done that, I think she was establishing her rank.
Dogs are funny to watch, they have human qualities, Stormie definitely shows signs of humor, loyalty, wanting to please, stubbornness and a loving heart.
We are moving Saturday, so everyone pray it goes smoothly, I am already stressed, I will be working 5 days this week, no Friday off for me this week, then moving on Saturday, coming back to the apartment to clean on Sunday.
I hope you all have a great week, a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember if you do go shopping on Black Friday, be kind to the workers. They have given up their time with their families to make your life a little easier.

Great News

I have not written in a while, I admit, since Nocona went home I have been having a hard time. I really miss her, I think I am getting better, today, for the first time since she passed I had scrambled eggs. Yes, I shared them with Stormie, it evoked bittersweet memories, but it was good.
I have amazing news, The Irishman and I are moving to McKinney! for the first time since 1987 I will not be a Planoite, so strange to think that. Plano has been the place where I raised my children, made friends that will last me a lifetime and where I have seen my greatest heartaches.
The move will be great, it will put me closer to Jeffrey, Elizabeth, Alex and Tessa, which makes me incredibly joyous. It will be about the same distance to work as we live in far west Plano now.
The house itself is total greatness, a huge living room that one can roller skate in (wood floors) a nice size kitchen and a two car garage. It is all very exciting and I feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that has to be done in order to make this happen in a short amount of time. But we will get it done and by this time next week we will be firmly ensconced in our new home. Just in time to decorate for Christmas, I cannot wait to put the tree up and light the lights.
This will not be a long post as I have a ton of things to do today. I did take time off yesterday to go buy a new refrigerator and watch Day of the Doctor. I am a huge Dr Who fan, just in case you didn’t know. I have been watching since I was 12, I love it, the stories, the thought of a Time Lord, going from not only planet to planet but through time. The thought is thrilling indeed, meeting different races on different planets. I am one of those people who believe there is only one race here, the human race. We are different colors, different ideologies, different ethnicities, but we are all human. Made by God, and yes, I believe Adam and Eve started us all off. So there you have it in a nutshell.
I hope you all have a great day, remember, we are never alone, we always have the Great Comforter through it all.

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