My dad died last month. We have gotten several cards in the mail, and one of them contained a very helpful and practical idea: A sheet of stamps.
What a lovely idea! So practical. So helpful. So timely.
There were many thank you notes we needed to send. Sometimes, for one bouquet of flowers, you have 4 thank-you notes to send, so stamps can go quickly. When you have lost a loved one, there is so much to do, on top of the grieving. Going to the post office to buy stamps is not something you want to have to do while grieving.
Flowers are beautiful, but so pricy. Even the simplest of bouquets can run nearly $100. Flowers die in just a couple of days, and there is also the potential of them stirring up allergies.
Stamps are much cheaper, and the grieving family will appreciate the practicality of them so much more.
I used to be a big believer in the above phrase. I loved drinking my morning coffee, treasuring that moment when the caffeine would literally touch my soul.
My body has changed so much in the last year. I discovered that I am lactose intolerant, and I am also very sensitive to gluten. I have made some adjustments to my eating habits, in hopes of feeling better.
Nowthereissomething else nagging at my body in the morning. After eating breakfast and drinking my morning coffee, my stomach often starts to cramp. Sometimes I even break out in a sweat. There have been times when I have wondered if I was going to be able to make it out the door to go to work.
I decided to back off the coffee. In fact, I have gone many days without that morning coffee. And I noticed something rather peculiar. When I wake up in the morning, I feel refreshed and ready to face the day! And that is in spite of a lot of personal things I am dealing with in life. I was not expecting to feel better by giving up my coffee!!
I share this with you in case you find yourself feeling like you need to give yourself a break from that morning caffeine habit. Perhaps my story will inspire to go for it and see if you also feel more refreshed by refraining from your morning coffee.
I have occasionally struggled with the agony of a migraine. During the stress of the pandemic, the frequency of the migraines increased. I was getting them several times a month. I bought some of the OTC meds for migraines. They helped, but I wanted something that would help stop them from even happening, rather than treating them once they already had a grip on me.
I began using some Biofreeze on the back of my neck and across my shoulders every morning. It was amazing how much that simple treatment would help! However, as my day progressed, those migraines would start again. It seemed to be related to my tightening shoulders, as well as working at a computer all day. I did more research and decided to try a posture brace. Here is what I bought:
It has been such a blessing! It has really helped cut out those migraines. I don’t even have to wear it every day now because I have trained my shoulders to stay back. I notice it right away if they start to lean forward, causing me to hunch. I quickly round them and roll them back into the proper position. I have been using this brace since mid-December, and have only had to take the OTC migraine meds a couple of times since then! This was money that was well-spent! Migraine-free days are priceless!!!
As I was discussing this Thanksgiving with my husband, I made the comment that as our daughter was growing up, I would think about the future. I would picture what it would be like for our first holiday season once she was married. I have to tell you — I never pictured doing it during a pandemic!!!
Our daughter got married during the lockdown in the spring. She and her hubby are very low-key and frugal minded. They didn’t want all the pomp and circumstance, nor the expenses that come with a lavish wedding. So they got exactly the wedding they wanted!
While I never pictured celebrating our first holiday season with our new son-in-law during a worldwide pandemic, today will still be special because I am choosing to make it special.
While we cannot celebrate with my parents and my brother’s family, we can still celebrate with my daughter and her hubby. We are making different types of food than we normally eat for Thanksgiving. We are also going to play some games this afternoon. We are going to build memories that will last a lifetime.
After the stress of this year, the Lord has determined to give all of us a peaceful, restful holiday. I am grateful.
With the uptick in Covid cases, I am so very thankful to have a month where I am not working mandatory overtime. I am exhausted at the end of my 8-hour shift. I cannot imagine working 12s when it is so busy. I am also thankful that my shifts seem to fly by.
I am thankful that we will be able to have a very small celebration on Thursday, with my daughter and son-in-law. We have had contact with them throughout this whole pandemic, so I am confident we will be safe in sharing the holiday together.
I am thankful that my energy level really jumped over the weekend when I was off. I got so many things done: made 2 different batches of laundry soap, fabric softener, moisturizing hand soap, washed four loads of laundry, did some cleaning around the house, made my December menu plan, wrote a letter, studied my Bible, and more. I have even been making time to call people and stay connected with them when things are starting to lock down again. For someone who is on the phone all day at work, that is a stretch for me, but it has done me good mentally to connect with my loved ones.
Most of all, I am thankful for my precious Savior, who daily bears my burdens.
The stress of this pandemic has resulted in an increase in migraines this year. I found a simple solution that works really well. Every morning, after I bathe, I put a bit of Biofreeze on the back of my neck and across my shoulders. It really helps keep a migraine from grabbing hold of me and ruining the rest of my day.I even keep some Biofreeze in my locker at work so that if it tries to rear its ugly head, I can add more throughout the day.
It has been a while since I posted a thankful list. Being that Thanksgiving is this month, I thought I should reflect on this topic.
I am thankful that I am not working any overtime this month. This is the first month in a year that I have not had to work mandatory overtime.
I am thankful that I do not have Covid. I was quarantining earlier this week, but my results came back, and I was able to return to work. I am also thankful for the extra rest I got while I was under quarantine orders.
I am getting some energy back, now that I’m not working overtime. I am getting more things done around the house. For months, I literally did only what was absolutely necessary. I just didn’t have the energy or the willpower to do more than I absolutely had to do. It was physically, emotionally, and mentally draining to be pulling over 60 hours a week for so many months.
I am thankful that once we train a new employee who starts next month, we will finally be back to full staffing in my department. We have been short staffed since the end of last year.
I am thankful for the connection I have made with a few ladies, even though we don’t visit often. In fact, I haven’t seen one of them at all this year, but we still keep in touch. Those connections are priceless!
Jesus, I am so grateful to you! You have helped me through some very difficult days, weeks, and months. You have helped me to keep running to you when I have been weary, angry, stressed, exhausted, and maxed out emotionally. You have been there when I had moments when I felt hopeless and fearful. You have heard my cries, and you have answered me! You have helped me not to fall back into fleshly, sinful patterns that would have been so easy to do, and so easy to excuse in the midst of this pandemic. Thank you for the changes you have wrought in my heart so that I didn’t desire to retreat, but moved forward. I am forever grateful to you for all that you have been to me this year. If there has ever been a year that I needed you desperately, this one is it!
This is a recipe I created myself. The first version is what I have been using since we became empty nesters. Below that recipe, I will include the version for a larger group of people.
Nacho Chicken Veggie Soup (for empty-nesters)
1 can chicken broth
1 can Nacho cheese sauce
Diced, cooked chicken
16 oz. bag of frozen mixed veggies
I precook and dice my chicken to make it easier to put this meal together.
Add broth and chicken to large pot. Cook until chicken is heated. While that is cooking, cook the bag of veggies. When done, drain them, then add to the large pot. Add nacho cheese sauce to pot. Heat and stir until heated through.
Nacho Chicken Veggie Soup (for a larger crowd)
2 cans Nacho cheese sauce
Diced, cooked chicken
1 can chicken broth
Large bag of frozen mixed veggies
Cook and dice chicken ahead of time to save time. Add chicken to large pot with the chicken broth. Cook until heated.
While that is cooking, cook the bag of mixed veggies. Drain when done, and add to large pot.
Add both cans of Nacho cheese sauce to pot. Heat and stir until heated.
I am feeling overwhelmingly blessed this week, to the point that tears come very easily. Happy tears, but also humble tears because of the goodness of the Lord. Ok, some of them may also be from being so exhausted with all of the hours at work.
I felt impressed to give some money to a family who is going through an excruciating time, due to a loved one being in critical condition while battling Covid 19. I didn’t think anything else about it once I sent the check. Just a few days later, I received a bonus for all of the extra hours I have worked to keep our 24/7 department fully staffed while being short-staffed. The bonus was TEN TIMES the amount I sent to that family. GOD IS GOOD!
I have had trouble finding catfish at the grocery store. The only place I could find it charged at least twice as much for the same size bag that I usually buy elsewhere. Went to Kroger, and got THREE bags for the price I wanted to pay.
I wanted to treat myself to something special, but not pricy, with the good news about the bonus. I found the perfect item! It was a shiny, silver, bling-y face mask! It will be perfect with a couple of tops I have.
I took my daughter out to eat. I had a gift card for Chili’s, which came with an award I received at work.
I get to see my great nephews this weekend. That is always a treat!
I get to go to church on Sunday!!!
Last weekend, while working 12s, I wanted some comfort food. One of the security officers not only went to the cafeteria for me (since I couldn’t leave my office), but he paid for it as well. The food was so good it literally touched my soul. It was just what I needed. Feeling rather secluded, with all of the hours I have been working, I was very emotional when someone did something nice for me. It’s been so long since that has happened.
So with that, I want to challenge you. What blessing can you give to someone else? It doesn’t have to be extravagant — just do something nice. I have a feeling it will do more for them than what you expect it to — simply because of the challenging times in which we are living.
I work in health care. For several months now, I have been working LOTS of overtime. This paycheck will have 95 hours on it. I am exhausted, but life still goes on. Laundry needs washed, house needs cleaned, meals need cooked, groceries need bought, bills need paid, and the list goes on…..
After working 25 hours this weekend, I have one day off. I woke up feeling exhausted. I had things I needed to do, but all I could do was cry. I turned on some hymns on You Tube and headed in to take a hot bath. I used that time to cry and cast my burdens on the Lord.
Shortly after that, I could feel the muscles in my neck and shoulders starting to tense up. Time for some OTC migraine meds. That extra boost of caffeine gave me some much-needed energy!
By 10:30, I had quite a list done:
washed my laundry
got the crock pot started for supper
made a double batch of cream soup for tomorrow’s crock pot meal
browned some ground beef for Wednesday’s crock pot meal
washed all the dishes
got my coffee pot ready for tomorrow morning
got clothing ready for work this week, along with all the bling (jewelry and face masks)
cleaned the shower
cleaned the bathroom mirror (I hate streaky mirrors!)
After eating lunch, I washed and dried the towels, then headed to the store to buy the groceries that I need to complete my menu plan for next month. When I got home, I updated my inventory sheet for our meat. I have chicken cooking now, which I will bag in meal-sized bags to freeze for later use.
I have learned through working all of these extra hours that it is just too much for me to exercise. It is overkill for me when I am this exhausted. By staying busy, it keeps me from being a couch potato. And besides…..my great-nephews will be in town this weekend. I want everything done so that this weekend, my to-do list will simply be “see the boys!”