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.
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.
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 fried food
Decrease in processed food
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.
I have to admit – 2018 has been pretty remarkable! I realize I have been a little quiet as of late, but as with all new transitions (which I seem to be on an endless stream of them,) I needed to let the dust settle. We got into the house and settled into the life in Plains so very easily.
We started off with my 45th Birthday party in our new home. About 30 people from Americus, Plains, & Macon came to celebrate my little stay on Earth. We had great drinks and lots of laughs. It was nice to be surrounded by my new connections with my things. I haven’t seen these things in years (all stored up nicely in Macon,) so it was good to set them free, so to speak!
Once the birthday celebration ended, it was time to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. Tim & I headed to the beach house and relaxed with some sunshine & Vitamin Sea. There were so many surprises in store for me: An one & a half hour therapeutic massage, fancy dinner in Panama City, a shopping spree in Apalachicola, and a little Chanel. Needless to say, I was a very happy girl.
By Mid March I was on my way to Chattanooga with the theater staff of The Historic Rylander Theatre. We participated in a Creative Placemaking Conference with other arts organizations, municipalities, and tourism entities. Lucky for me, Heather & Will are not only co workers, but dear friends.
Back at home, things were going great! Spending time at my neighbor’s home on Saturday night with the rest of our neighbors. Eh hem… which include a certain former President. Yep, most Saturday nights (if he is in town,) he comes for dinner. This tribe of people are fascinating and have turned my non-existent social life into a very interesting experience. Every weekend there is an array of interesting people sitting around her table. From critically acclaimed authors, to journalists from places like the NY Times to the AJC. Never a dull moment.
Then another group in Plains reached out and I ended up a part of a Bunco group that meets the 4th Tuesday of each month! We have so much fun – playing the game, chatting it up, and gobbling delicious treats. (And wine.. I mentioned wine, right?)
Two really awesome things happened recently. One – Macon Magazine approached me to be featured as one of the Fiery Women in Business for their Spring Issue! I was thrilled to share my story and share what I do with my friends and family back home.
Not soon after that happened, I completed the renovation on the Americus Welcome Center. The Center is a place where visitors can stop in, learn more about the area, pick up souvenirs and get their questions answered.
With the duties of running the center, I have to attend the Regional Visitor Information Center Conference each year for the State of Georgia. This year it was in Statesboro. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express! The location was fantastic and I was pleasantly surprised with how cool Statesboro was. Outside of attending classes, I got to explore a little.
We got to have a private party Eagle Creek Brewery, complete with a band performing and free craft beer samples, as well as some food. Lots of the beers served here have fruit infusions, I went for the Strawberry Wheat.
I gave my shot at Tactical Paint Ball! Another first for me! It was a solitary game, one where you gear up, grab your paint ball gun, then enter this dark maze where Human Zombies make their way for you. You aim, you shoot, and if it hits them, they dramatically fall to the ground. The first time I pulled the trigger I snapped a guy right in the groin. I apologized and kept moving!
I tried something else for the first time – I jumped on a trampoline. My mom never let me get on one of these because she was afraid we would break our necks! But at 45 – I did it. Want to see proof? Check out my instagram feed and watch the video.
Now let’s take a moment and analyze what is happening here. Do you notice a change?
Yep. I’m living. I’ve transitioned. I’m going to be okay.
I’m going to be more than okay… because I have some amazing news: I’m off of my Alpha Beta Blockers & Cholesterol medicine! That’s right!!!!!! I’ve come a long way baby, and I feel phenomenal. Now I am focusing on getting my metabolism back to normal and kicking some PCOS butt!
I also enjoyed a Birds of Prey & Reptile show at Georgia Southern University’s Wildlife Center. I got to see owls, eagles, and hawks soar & swoop right over my head! In this photo you see some of my fellow tourism colleagues hold this big guy.
I shot a gun for the very first time at the Shooting Range on the University campus! I got a lot of my questions answered and I have to admit, I am interested in learning more!
I got some much needed bonding time with people with similar interests and personalities. Here you see Wesleigh from Marietta and Sloane from Jackson.
We decided to give archery a try while in town! This was another first for me!!! I’m telling you, I was living my life to the fullest and loving every minute of it.
Not too shabby, right? I picked #13, because 13 has always been a lucky number for me (Think TV days – 13WMAZ.)
We even got to have a fantastic party at Splash in the Boro – this phenomenal water park owned by the county in Stateboro. Unlimited margaritas and tons of great Caribbean food mixed with karaoke & dancing!
Something else happened while I was there. 😉
I received the State of Georgia’s Commissioner’s Award for Outstanding Leadership in Promoting Tourism.
Yep. It’s a big deal.
I was so surprised! My coworkers, Tim, and Alex all showed up to surprise me. Truly an amazing experience.
April was full of so many good things. I got to go home and visit my family.
I got to visit my old museum, the Cannonball House and enjoy the event I started 4 years ago: Beards, Bourbon, & BBQ.
It was pretty cool to see the bourbon tasting was being conducted by none other than Americus’s 13th Colony Distilleries. My worlds had collided.
I even got to spend the entire day sipping craft beer, wine, and cocktails for free at the Americus Hot Glass Craft Beer Fest!
Then there was the big weekend-long media tour with journalists out of Atlanta. One of the first stops was Wolf Creek Winery in Americus. I went for the Wine Slushy shots… of course.
Got to treat the visiting journalists to a spectacular dinner at Rosemary & Thyme in the Historic Windsor Hotel. Super fancy. 😉
And just two Saturdays ago I spent the day with my oldest and dearest friend at the Spring Wine Festival at Wolf Creek. We slurped wine slushies, ate some hibatchi, and shopped the vendors.
Then one day later… something happened.
I felt an uncomfortable feeling on my bottom. (Yep.) Sunday, I found it was hard to sit and honestly, though this may be TMI, I thought maybe it was a hemorrhoid or something to that effect. Monday, I had to attend this event at GA Representative Mike Cheokas’s home and realized it was difficult to sit down. Finally, I thought I needed to take a closer look.
Yep. There was a HUGE knot on the left side of my bottom, on the seat portion. Not the other place.
The next day I made an appointment to see my gynecologist and she diagnosed me with an abscess. She gave me some antibiotics and scheduled an appointment for me to see a surgeon the following Monday. That (would have been 6 days later.) By Wednesday morning, I was running a low-grade fever and in some serious pain. Thursday – add vomiting. On Friday, I had to be at the Grand Re-Opening of the Americus Welcome Center (in extreme pain and sweating profusely, because little did I know, my body was fighting off a dangerous infection.) I left work a little early and talked Tim into taking me to the emergency room.
Thank God I did. I was close to sepsis.
Basically, I got admitted as soon as they discovered that the abscess had tunneled and was 5cm. I had emergency surgery the next morning (Saturday morning,) and was released that night. I’ve been home ever since and will not return to work until NEXT Thursday. I’m in excruciating pain (still,) and on some super heavy drugs. Antibiotics, pain killers… and horror upon horrors, my poor, sweet husband has to not only change the dressing on my wound, but has to repack it. My dignity is gone. I feel run down. I’m bored out of my mind.
Yep. What a year!
With that being said – a small tribe of friends are forming. My sweet friend, Rachel, brought me some produce and a fantastic llama coloring book & crayons. We sat for a while and caught up. My neighbor, Jill (who throws the awesome parties,) brought my family plates of food the night we got back from the hospital. My other friend that lives here, that owns a local restaurant, baked me a chocolate “Butt” cake as she called it. (Ha – Bundt – Butt. Get it?)
And tonight, the ladies worship group from the local Methodist church all got together and cooked some casseroles for us and froze them and are bringing them to our home. How incredibly thoughtful is that? We don’t even attend their church?
This is what living in a small, rural community is all about.
Though the ending of this little catch-up story was tough, the truth is, so much good is surrounding me. I feel the love. I see the true friendships forming, and I’m looking forward to a beautiful Summer!
PS – Pardon any typos… I’m under the influence of pain meds. 😉