The Perfect Storm

I have often thought of all of the places that I have been, all the places I have lived, and all the places I still want to go to. I have contemplated the weather, and weather changes. I have thought about nature and what I chose to let surround me. I have thought about all of these things only to realize that I am happily different from a lot of people.

For starters, I’m not a sun person. Where I like the sun the best is on cold crisp Autumn days. The sky would be this beautiful bright blue and the clouds would be few and far between, little wisps, like trails of cotton candy in the sky. The sun would be up and bright, but the weather is cool. I remember days like that when I worked at Whispering Woods Resort back in the early 2000′s. I loved working in the morning (I still do) and being able to enjoy the silence that comes with such days.

I am a sucker for the rain. I see rain, and I am instantly happy. I get excited for rain clouds. I don’t want any of the natural disasters that come with it, of course (flood, tornado, hurricane, etc), but the sound of rain falling, how all of the earth (at least that part that is getting rained on) is being washed clean and nourished. I am often reminded that I need to have my own rainy days to nourish myself and become new.

I have mentioned before that the fall is my favorite season for the above reason and the colors. I love watching the leaves change. I love change, and transitions, I feel the most alive during these times.

One thing that I love, that I know my husband is not very fond of is snow. I love the moments before the snow starts falling. My world grows silent and I can just stand there and look up into the sky and simply watch for the first flake to fall. I wouldn’t even call it falling really. It is more like it floats down from the heavens to the awaiting earth.

My perfect day would consist of all of these things happening while the temperature does not rise about 74 degrees.

Tell me about your perfect day, or perfect storm.

~Kay

Freedom to Be Me

No corrections, no stopping, 10 minutes, nothing else!

The weather has been getting warmer, and the part of the building where I work is humid, and it doesn’t get great air circulation. I have two fans set up and they work pretty nicely; however, if I move beyond their range, I get hot and sticky fast. The only official uniform we have are these super thick men’s polo shirts which allow zero breathing room. What I wouldn’t give to be able to wear a nice thin cotton t-shirt!

It has been a busy week at work, but I am finally seeing some progress in my department after being going for a while, first with Jay’s visit and then with not being well. The road ahead is still long. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I need to pace myself and take my time.

I loved waking up to a cloudy sky this morning. I know so many people that crave the sun. I am not one of those people. I crave the cloud cover, and the rain. I don’t wish or hope for damaging storms, but I like that type of weather. I feel at home there. I feel safe and welcomed. It puts a smile on my face and that is what is important.

I have too much on my plate right now and it is wearing me thin. I need to prioritize and figure out what I can cut out in order to make sure I am getting more than four hours of sleep at night. There are some things; however, that I am absolutely not willing to give up.

I refuse to give up on my writing on either medium. I will continue to blog 5 days a week, and I will complete my writing challenge everyday of at least 350 words written in my novel. I refuse to give up on the business that my husband and I have started. It is a lifestyle change and it will be hard work, but let me tell you, in the long run, it WILL be worth it. Working side by side with my husband is a dream come true.

If that is what I will not give up, what does that leave? That leaves pursuing my master’s degree in English and Creative Writing (which in all honesty is going horribly at the moment), and my 40 hour a week job. Interestingly enough, these two areas are what is causing the most stress in my life. I am trying to cram two full time jobs into 40 hours (Social Networking Specialist for the entire store and running the media department within the store).

School is the easiest thing for me to drop right now. As hard as I am trying, I am barely making a passing grade which is so unusual for me to get anything below an A. There’s a month of classes left. I am unsure if I can dig myself out of the pit that I am in grade wise. This is hard to admit without being ashamed.

As much as I would LOVE to give up my job, it is not a financially wise decision. I wonder if slimming back my responsibilities and maybe going down to 4 days a week would make a difference. That is something that I would need to discuss with Steve. If nothing else, it would allow me to catch up on the sleep that I so desperately need.
mickywrite

Here are a few of my writing goals both short term and long:

1) Write daily in my novel, 350 words minimum (with a personal goal of at least 500 for the rest of May).

2) Write 75,000 words (approximately a 250 page book) by my birthday: September 23rd. In order to accomplish this, I will need to up my monthly goals from 10,000 to 20,000 which means about 700 words a day for June, July, and August, and finishing up the final three weeks in September.

3) Continue to blog five days a week.

This Time, Last Year

This time last  year I had hit one of my biggest life milestones. After working on and off (more off than on) for nearly 14 years, I finally completed my Bachelor of Arts degree focusing on English and Creative Writing through Southern New Hampshire University.

To put the 14 years into perspective, by the time I started SNHU in 2011, I was going in as a Junior which meant I had two full years to go. This was the first time I was in school full time, and I thrived on it. It was also timed well that I didn’t have to work at the same time as focusing on my school, which allowed for more time to study.

It was a beautiful program. I had my favorite teachers and my challenging ones; however, but the end of the experience, I felt like a better person because of it. My degree did not come until the beginning of June. It was worth the wait.

Why was it so important to me? It’s because I did something (even though it took me a long time) that SO many people told me that I could not do. I’m glad I was faced with the adversity. It made me a stronger person.

Kay graduating Summa Cum Laude, 2013.

Kay graduating Summa Cum Laude, 2013.

And this next picture is how my heart feels today, even amid waves of pain.

heart flowers

Thinking…

It is what I am trying to do right now, but it seems very difficult. Part of it is because I have so much pain resonating in the left side of my head/face/ear. I finally have an appointment to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist so I guess that is some good news.

I’m not sure if I have said this yet or not, but I really like to decorate cakes. It’s fun to take something that is edible and make it look pretty. In fact, I’m designing a cake for a baby shower on the 3rd of May. Yep, this weekend!  I have to start baking the cakes on Thursday and have everything done by Saturday at around 10am. I will probably post a picture of it when I finish it.

I’ve been feeling sort of down today. Not sure if it is cause of dealing with doctors offices, or that I’m missing Kay and Tennessee. It could just be both. Although I love being home with my hubby, the atmosphere here in Mass is just so different that it makes you tense and rushed. I don’t like it one bit.

Well, I should take some pain meds and go to sleep so I can, hopefully, get a full nights rest without rude pain awakenings.

May your brain always be empty so you can shove more knowledge in!! :D

 

-Jay

Not home, just a place of residence…

Today has been a day of tears. I was glad that I didn’t cry in front of Kay when she dropped me off at the airport this morning, and I didn’t cry  on the plane, but the moment I saw my husband back here in Boston, the tears wouldn’t stop. I was happy to see him, but my tears were focused towards missing Kay and Tennessee. I honestly felt like I had left home, rather than returning home.

I have come to the realization that where God has placed me now, is not my “home”. It is just a place I reside for now. My husband and I are praying for where God wants us to, because we go where HE calls us to. That is why we have landed here in the miserable, lonely state, of Massachusetts. Don’t get me wrong, this state has some awesome history, and it is a great place to visit, but living here is another story. I don’t fit in at all. I’m a country girl at heart and miss the peacefulness that the country (okay small town) life brought me.

I can’t wait to go back to Tennessee!  I feel more at home there, then I do anywhere else!  Maybe God will bring us there. For now, we will just keep praying!

I am so thankful that I got to spend this week with Kay!  I had a wonderful time and the memories will be cherished!  Can’t wait for the next time I get to see ya!!!  :D

 

-Jay

Black Sunday

I don’t know if Jay has plans to write today; however, I for sure am not in the mood for it. It suddenly feels wrong to be writing without her by my side.

We both had trouble sleeping yet managed a few hours. By 4am we were zombies. We kept the conversation light and didn’t really talk about what was coming. We left nearly on time and made it to the airport in record time. I’m sure that was people the rest of the sane people in the Nashville area were still sleeping.

We had a small chat as we pulled up and a hug as a send off. Jay did great by not crying. I knew if she would, I would and then I would be an utter mess on my way home. I went home and she checked in for her flight. We texted a little and then I drifted off to sleep again.

It was eerie when I awoke. There was silence. There was no Jay practicing her French in the next room. There was no waiting in line to use the bathroom. There was no guitar to trip over.

And that is all I have to say about that.

~Kay

Day Seven: Kay and Jay’s Nashville Adventure

We cannot believe that our week is practically over already. It is sad, and bittersweet. We are confident that our paths will cross again in the very near future. We ended up waking up without alarms and decided to just have a lazy day in our pajamas. Woo hoo! We talked, Jay broke out my guitar (and then left it in the middle of the floor. No surprise that she tripped over it as well. I put it away) and we sang some of our old songs.

We spent lunch with Sherlock and it was delicious. We spent hours working on our book, mostly working with setting. We continued to ask questions and fine tune what we wanted to have happen.

At 6:30, we met up with my friend Rhonda at the local Indian restaurant called Taj. This was Jay’s first Indian experience and it was a success! She loved it. We talked about everything. On two different occasions Rhonda and I got Jay to snort laugh. It was epic. Before we knew it, four hours had passed and we were the only ones left in the restaurant. We had no idea that they closed at 10pm and they were just waiting for us to leave.

Dinner at Taj with Rhonda, Jay and Kay

Dinner at Taj with Rhonda, Jay and Kay

Jay’s flight is requiring us to wake up in less than four hours (thanks Jay)! On a bright note, she had to purchase a THIRD suit case to carry all of the goodies she got in Nashville.

We had an amazing vacation together. Thank you for allowing us to share it with you.

Love,

Jay and Kay

Day Six: Kay and Jay’s Nashville Adventure

Kay: Today was so packed that thinking back to this morning is almost a challenge. Have no fear though, I think I can manage. Last night I got a full night’s sleep. I used the new night mask I picked up at the mall yesterday. I never used to wear one of those, but when I do, I tend to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. Yay! Breakfast was quick since I pressed the snooze button past 7am! Blueberry yogurt and a banana! Jay was up before me and was practicing her French lesson that I managed to complete the night before.

Jay: Unlike Kay, I suffered from sleep deprivation. My night consisted of extreme pain and a short conversation with my husband on the phone while I balled my eyes out. Needless to say, it was not a fun night, regardless, I was looking forward to the day. I had a banana for breakfast. I took enough pain pills to dope up a horse. I also practiced my French this morning. After the third try, I finally finished the lesson. Let’s just say my pronunciation and learning French is not going as well as Kay’s.

Kay: I had a lot to accomplish at work this morning. I knew I was going to be out of the office for a few days so I needed to take the time to schedule out the store’s Facebook posts until at least Tuesday. I have many ideas that I want to see come to fruition; however, there is only so much time in my workday and some of my ideas simply had to wait. I hope to soon get to my volunteer request for the media department, and I would also like to highlight the different departments. Part of my newest position is going to require me to socialize more, which is always a good thing. While I worked on the online campaign, Jay finished up her final day of volunteering at ThriftSmart. Thank you for helping this week!

Jay: No problem, Kay! It was my pleasure. While Kay was working I got to work myself. I processed a box of VHS, shelved some books, and straightened up the book department after which I got to do a little shopping! When I say little, I actually mean a lot. When you are a student and you receive 50% off, you want to stock up. I was able to get seven shirts for myself, seven shirts for my husband, quite a few books, ties, magazines and one dress… no wait, I got two now. I forgot about the one I picked up at the last minute. All of this for $70. Thank you ThriftSmart! Once I was done with that, it was time to go to the InterNashville Tea Room gathering at ThriftSmart. I got to meet some new people, had some amazing rice and gyro meat. Oh, and don’t forget the tea, which was amazing. That basically concluded the work day.

Kay: InterNashville, run by the amazing Tamara Banks is held on the second and fourth Fridays of the month at ThriftSmart between 11am and 1pm. I work every Friday and try my best to make it to every one. I am excited that Tamara wants to start volunteering in the book department over the summer. After the amazing food and fellowship we stopped by DQ and grabbed dessert. It was amazing until Jay spilled the rest of my blizzard on the carpet.

Jay: I didn’t mean to Kay, I promise! I just got a wonderful hot fudge sundae that was perfect soup consistency by the time we got home.

Kay & Jay: The next three to four hours were absolutely amazing for us. We stayed home, got comfy, opened the windows to hear the buzzing bumble bees and we started plotting. Mwahahahaha… okay, not that kind of plotting. We finally sat down and started a timeline for our book. We have been talking about writing this for years… literally. We realized that it had to be now and we got jiggy wit it. We worked out a ton of unresolved issues and created the timeline from start to finish–all 19 chapters. It pretty much took us until past the time we wanted to leave to go to the restaurant; however, we were not going to leave until it was finished. Talk about dedication!

Jay: So we went to this restaurant called McNamara’s, which happens to be an Irish pub with live music every night. And if you remember in one of my previous blogs, I wrote that while in Nashville, I wanted to see some live music and purchase a CD. I got to do just that. The performer there was named Colm Kirwan. He does country and Irish. Not only was the music good, but the food was amazing.

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, and Homemade Kettle Chips

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, and Homemade Kettle Chips

Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos

One of my favorite parts about this evening was getting to meet Colm Kirwan. He signed my CD, and here is a picture I got with him.

Jay with Colm Kirwan at McNamara's Irish Pub.

Jay with Colm Kirwan at McNamara’s Irish Pub.

Here is a small video I took of his performance tonight. It does not do him justice.

Kay: We are finally home and in our pajamas! We are downloading music to our laptops while working together on this blog. We have had a few distractions, and they have been great fun. As soon as we hit the publish button, we are going to complete our final act of the day: I will give you a two word hint. No wait, I will give you a picture hint.

Sher Lock!

Sher Lock!

Today’s post was longer than originally intended and at the same time just long enough. Tomorrow is Jay’s final full day here in Nashville and we plan to have a ball. But first, an episode of Sherlock and sleep await us.

Day Five: Kay and Jay’s Nashville Adventure

I will be the first to admit that today started off quite rocky. Aside from only sleeping about three hours, I (Kay) woke up with an upset stomach. Normally this goes away with a little breakfast; however, the more I breathed, the sicker I felt. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was real. My reaction time was slow at first. The sink? No, I’d have to clean that up later! I knew making it to the bathroom was out of the question and the garbage bag in the kitchen was full. It took all of my strength to break off a new bag and open it. A millisecond before hand, I turned to Jay, told her how so terribly sorry I was and started puking. I managed to take myself and my bag to the bathroom just in time. Needless to say, I called in sick to work.

By 9:30 or so I was feeling much better, and truly hungry. Jay and I went to Cracker Barrel. I love eating breakfast! We both opted for the French Toast with apples on top. It was heavenly. I only now wish I had taken a picture of its yummyness! If only I could figure out a way to attach smells or samples with the blog posts! Maybe one day in our not so distant future. (I am posting on Jay’s laptop and I just realized that you have to punch the letter U in the face in order to get it to work.)

After breakfast, we headed to the West End of Nashville and visited The Parthenon and its small art museum. Here are a few pictures from our adventure today. DSC_0177DSC_0165DSC_0164 DSC_0197 DSC_0259DSC_0274As incredible as inside the Parthenon was, and how gigantic Athena was, some of our favorite moments here were in the art gallery where pictures were not allowed to be taken. We were able to reminisce about the Humanities courses we had to take when starting out our bachelor’s degrees together. I know I for one really liked that I was able to look at the paintings there, enjoy them, and talk about them as if I actually knew what I was talking about.

After our morning at the Parthenon, we drove through downtown and then over to the Opry Mills Mall. We did some investigating earlier and knew that there was a 12:20pm showing of Divergent and neither one of us had seen it yet. So we went! It was really good. We were skeptical about a few of the actors, but in the end it really worked out.

Kay and Jay in front of the Divergent poster at the movie theater within the Opry Mills Mall. Nashville, Tennessee

Kay and Jay in front of the Divergent poster at the movie theater within the Opry Mills Mall. Nashville, Tennessee

After the movie, we went and ate at the Aquarium restaurant where Jay had her first taste of Mahi Mahi! It was a success. I’m not sure how the fish felt about her eating fish in front them! DSC_0319We enjoyed watching a diver swim around the tank to feed the fish. Lunch was a success!

After lunch we window shopped and found Jay a couple of cowgirl hats to take back to Massachusetts with her. We also each got some 1800 thread count sheets for only $29 each (thanks for that Jay!). We also picked up a few other things before heading out.

We are now home, dinner is ready, and Sherlock Holmes is waiting for us in the living room. We do not want to keep him waiting! Until tomorrow, friends! Sleep tight and dream happily.

Day Three: Kay and Jay’s Nashville Adventure

Well friends, it is quarter past eleven and I (Kay) am barely awake. Jay fell asleep (and woke up) twice during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If you have been keeping up with us, no, we did not skip Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we simply watched two movies today! They were both great. I am coming to seriously LOVE my blue ray player (PS3).

Jay came with me to work this morning and time (as expected) flew by. She sat in on our weekly meeting and we had a blast using our new favorite word (dicker) in any sentence we could… which means we tried to use it in them all! We got a fellow co-worker to join in and had a really great time. I gave her a quick tour of the store and my daily routine and then we tagged nearly 500 children’s books getting them ready to go out at the end of this week or early next. We have several ideas planned for work tomorrow!

Steve and I took Jay to our favorite Mexican Restaurant (Las Cazuelas) for lunch. Jay and I spent the afternoon trying to get my Nook to work (which we finally accomplished five hours later) and we took 5 beginner French lessons. I really look forward to practicing this and trying some new lessons out. If you have a smart phone, and you are interested in learning another language, then you should definitely check out the FREE app: DuoLingo.

We practiced our business presentations and enjoyed each others company. Spicy Spaghetti was made for dinner and we tried out this Pasta Express thing we picked up at my work when we first moved to Nashville. It nearly worked. I will give it at least another go before making a final verdict.

I believe tomorrow will be our first real outing, but will save that for tomorrow. I need to be up in a little more than six hours for work. I am absolutely ready for bed. Time to set the alarm and get horizontal.

Until tomorrow…

~Kay