Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Ready To Listen?

Caught this jolly fella in Santa Land in Downtown Americus

I am coming off a 14-hour work day. One of my favorites of the year – Christmas Open House in Downtown Americus. It took a couple of years to adjust to the fact that 1. Christmas Open House takes place the Thursday BEFORE Thanksgiving and 2. The City allow us to say Christmas instead of Holidays. Five years in and it seems perfectly normal. So normal that when someone asks me, “Why?”, I look at them strangely!

My work family

A lot goes into prepping a city for the holidays. Thousands of dollars, as well as hundreds of man hours. You mix that in with creativity and early holiday burn-out, it is amazing when you see the finished product. Another hazard of the job is that everyone has an opinion on what you should have done. This many years in, I realize it just comes with the territory.

Aside from an awesome event last night, we kicked the day off with a ribbon cutting. Yes, it is straight out of an episode of Parks & Rec.

A great turn-out

Earlier in the year, the American Street Trolley bit the dust. It was way past time for a new one, and boy oh boy, did we get an upgrade. This one has heating & air, AND is accessible for wheelchairs. What a game changer!

It is the little things that make a community special, you know?

Today is a super busy day for me – getting all of my loose ends at work tied up before I go on vacation next week. I started the morning with depositing my travel funds into my fun-money account and now I am getting ready to pick up my prescriptions for the trip.

Tim called a little while ago and asked could we have family over tonight to roast hotdogs and marshmallows by the fire. *Sigh*

I don’t mind, I just have to go buy veggie dogs for me! (And no marshmallows.) Life gets a little complicated when you are trying to live healthier. For example, I was soooo hungry when I woke up, so I ordered a 20 oz. smoothie from Smoothie King. As a HiTone Fitness member, we get a perk at the establishment. It is just a little discount, but sure does help when you add those enhancers. I ordered a favorite of mine – The Chocolate Peanut Power Smoothie. It has 690 calories, which is way more than I typically allow myself at a meal – but I went in on a mission. I wanted to fill up and really hit my macros. Particularly my carbs, protein and fiber. I added the fiber enhancer, immune booster (both to help my system before I travel,) and electrolytes, because I recognize that I am a little dehydated today.

I did another something I have been dreading – I gave myself an at-home Covid test. I wanted to be absolutely certain that I would not have any surprises when we got to Edinburgh. We have to take a test upon arrival and yes… I did come into contact with someone on Saturday that did, indeed, test positive. Though everyone in this person’s life tested negative, I waiting until the very end to give it a go. All is well!! No covid.

Folks – here is another reason to get vaccinated! I spent a considerable amount of time with this person, they were coughing up a storm. I was told they had been to the doctor and it was pneumonia, but not covid. But turns out…

I have the 2 full Pfizer and the booster just 2 weeks ago. I am negative. Vaccines, do indeed, work.

Speaking of trips – AHHHHHHHHH! I am beyond thrilled! I plan to blog about my experience in a three part series – Edinburgh, Stirling/Inverness, and Isle of Skye. Stay tuned for that!

When I get back to town, I will hit the ground running with a lot of work-related activities. So much to do, so little time to do it in!

Update on knees: I feel like a new woman. I almost cried waking up this morning and stepping onto the floor and not having to suck in breath from the pain. AMAZING!!

Alright, I have things to do… LOTS of things. I know you guys are busy too. I hope to tackle some topics in the coming days. You guys were always good at letting me know what you wanted me to write about. Feel free to message me with some ideas.

Until next time….

Pass the Cranberries and Haggis

Almost five years now, I have dealt with some fairly tough knee pain. Got a second opinion today and here is what we know:

  1. Lose the weight. (Yep, working on it.)
  2. Osteoarthritis
  3. Bone spurs
  4. Torn MCL

Soooo…. I got TWO cortisone shots today, one in each knee. First timer here, folks, and man oh man – I am soooooo glad I did. It has been about an hour and the pain is subsiding.

I say – BRING ON THE HIGHLANDS!

Okay, let me back up.

I’m going to Scotland this Sunday. Super excited about this trip because it is with one of my best friends in the whole world – Telisa. We have been talking about traveling to Europe together for almost 30 years now and FINALLY we are taking our trip.

As we were crowd-sourcing information about touring Edinburgh and the Highlands, many of our friends informed up that Scotland is super hilly and of course – there are the mountains. All I could think was, “How in the world was I going to navigate those hills with my knees.”

I decided to take my healing into my own hands, called my friend that is a Physical Therapist, and began 8 sessions of PT. Still… there was a little pain, so I got a second opinion. Dr. Fennessy gave me two shots, one in each knee.

Now I can scream from the top of my lungs – “BRING ON THE HIGHLANDS!”

Now that is fixed, time to transform into an elf for the Christmas Open House that is about to happen. Yes, a 14 hour work-day.

Ho! Ho! Ho! and pass the cranberry sauce and haggis.

Is This Thing On?

Welp…

That was a bit of a break, wasn’t it?

Just checking to see if any of you are still out there and if so – Hi ya! How ya been?

It’s been nine months since I last shared any thoughts with the public. I even thought about deleting the whole blog. But then I remembered how much I used to love writing.

I’m not sure what happened, but anyway…

Here I am. I’m back and well, a LOT has changed. Again.

For one,

Me in the hospital

About six weeks ago, I ended up in the hospital for nine days. I had acute pancreatitis caused by 56 gall stones, and an enlarged liver.

Eek!

Let’s just say – KETO WAS NOT MY FRIEND.

That’s okay, moving on. Had the gall bladder removed and began making some serious lifestyle changes very quickly and in six weeks, I am down 20 pounds. Why all of the extreme changes? NAFLD. What is that? Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat is stored in your liver. This buildup of fat is not caused by heavy alcohol use. When heavy alcohol use causes fat to build up in the liver, this condition is called alcohol-associated liver disease. I just had a good-old fashioned fatty liver. Ugh.

What causes it? Poor lifestyle choices, which includes high fat and processed food.

Thank GOD I decided back in March or so to start working with a nutritionist by the name of Sue. We were slowly working on making some lifestyle changes. Slow as in I would give myself a B- in doing what is good and right.

Now that this has happened, I would give myself an A-.

So what have I done?

  • Cut out all soda or any carbonated drink
  • No beef
  • No pork
  • No fried food
  • Decrease in processed food
  • Whole foods

Not too shabby. I am pretty sure that my body will thank me for this years from now. 😉

Now that my attempt to write is back, I am sure you will hear a lot about how this is going.

What else is going on? Well…..

I got a new boss. All of the kids are in college and out of the house. Knock on wood – Tim and I are COVID free and both vaccinated and have our boosters. #TeamPfizer

I did, indeed, make some friends – FINALLY. I am serving on different boards and doing different things. Again, all of these things will be discussed in the coming months.

I’m back in the gym. I still haven’t found a church, but I am honestly not looking very hard since COVID.

I went on some pretty spectacular trips this year. All of which I will share later. And I guess the biggest news of all:

I’M GOING TO SCOTLAND IN 4 DAYS!!!

That will be a story all unto its self!

So stand by, strap in, and let’s try Destination Unknown – 3.0.

And by the way, Dorian says Hi!

Isn’t he gorgeous?