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Burnout Times ...whatever

Before I start this, I will admit I have nothing but yours truly to blame. I got a dose of reality lately and realized I'm suffering from a case of burnout...plus I'm overly tired. As your walking up your grandparents driveway and have a hard time staying awake, it hits you. There is a problem.

As many of you here know, I loved my trip to NYC. I'm ready to go again. Matter of fact I am. Same time, just different year. I have calculated the expenses for that trip and have decided to add more hours and take on some cleaning jobs. Anything to get that trip paid off quicker and I can save up some "Have fun money". That way I'm not borrowing it off a friend and have it cause major problems. Also, I have said yes to a special "8 cruises only" cruise out of Ft.Lauderdale in December 08' (I am planning my trips that far in advance). I figure in time I would need $3000 to pay off both trips and have some fun money.

I am used to cleaning house 3 times a week and working from home the other 2. This past summer I have worked 6 straight days cleaning. Cleaned a rental house 4 to 6 times a month. Setup at the high school flea market on Saturdays. List goes on. I could've said "no" to a great deal of what I did. Many times I wanted to. When the travel business isn't doing that good and you want extra money, your willing to do whatever. Suddenly your trading in late night caps and video clipping for a nice warm pillow. You want to blog about certain things and you just can't think. You promise several people certain Shep clips and you just drop the ball. You get behind on your e-mails for 3 weeks and you important e-mails to send out that you just don't feel like doing. Ain't life grand.

So here you have a classic case of burnout. I'm tired. I'm begging to get away for awhile. I could say "no" to one of the trips. Nah!!!

Vanity Thy Name is Nicole

I know it seems like forever since I've updated my blog. Well it has been. I will tell the reason for lack of blogging in another post ;-).

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Vanity Thy Name Is

Picture yourself back in high school. ARGH!!! Are you screaming yet? It has been 15 to 19 years since I experienced that time in my life. Besides your studies, the next game, etc., your trying to make a statement and be known among your fellow peers. Especially if they are male. If you see that one fellow you like, you want to go over and beyond to get yourself noticed. That means wearing makeup, nice clothes and having great hair. Sometimes it also means knowning the latest fashion trends. Last thing you want to do is be known for something "last year".

When I was in high school, I focused a great deal on my hair, clothes and makeup. Girls, didn't we all do that in high school? I mean, this wasn't me only. The idea of even walking outside the house with no makeup was a crime. Last thing you want is the star high school basketball player catching you without your face on.

Fast forward a few years and you suddenly have a different opinion of the teenage you. Instead of wearing a trendy pair of pants, shirt and heels, you request a pair of jeans and sweatshirt. Makeup...so what. I prefer to go naked (well my face that is). Hair...it's just blow and go. If I need to go some place special, I go all out. Otherwise, it's an old ratty t-shirt, sweatshirt, shorts or jeans.

This is about vanity. My last paragraph gives anything less. Last year when my friend came to visit and get her tattoo, I thought of something different to do. Little inspiration from a friend at TSR. A makeover!!! Try scheduling a makeover when the area schools are having their prom. With my luck, we found a lady at Belk's who was willing to give us a makeover. My friend chickens out, but I decided why not. In 30 minutes I looked different made up. I was required to buy 2 items for getting the makeover. Instead I walked out with $150 worth of makeup. This is the person who wears little to none. Suddenly I became a different person throughout the months. Back came the more and more makeup as a daily routine (along with skin care).

I recently purchased more makeup. Like I needed it. I have a train case full of goodies. Think the max I had was 5 items. I take more notice of wardrobe (mainly cause I lack things that really "fit" after knocking off 30+ pounds). Hair...well I have always been vain about my hair since I was 8 after being refered to as a boy with short, short hair.

I guess I was always vain about my apperance. It's just been hidden deep down for years. I don't think there is anything wrong with it. You need to remember the hidden beauty beneath...and flaunt it :-).

What You Do When You Have No Cable

Apparently there was a wicked storm to the north and the northwest of where I live. We didn't get a drop from one of the wonderful southern evening/afternoon thunderstorms. Apparently this storm last night was bad to knock out cable in multiple counties.

What do you do when you have no cable??

1.)Growl at the television every 15 minutes because it decides to go out 30 minutes before the Fox Report.

2.)You get mad a Comcast...swear a little, give the finger many times. Anything helps with the stress of no cable (and no online computer surfing).

3.)You say words under your breath because you had to change your AOL account to a free account. You have no backup dialup at all. Granted you could work on editing some videos. What's the fun when you can't post them on your site right away. Then your complaining at your mother for having to change your account because she can't afford the $10 tax write off for AOL. Sheesh!!!

4.)You cross your fingers that the cable is back on by 10. Sure can't miss Ami James, Chris and Miami Ink.

5.)You set up your new dvd recorder and shake your head. This one is more complex than the others.

6.)At 11 you pop in a dvd and go to bed. Why keep getting mad with them? It's not helping at all.

7.)You wake up at 2AM and still nothing. By then your praying to the cable gods to bring it back NNNOOOWWW!!!

8.)3:30AM you wake up and see Brit Hume on the tv (hey, I sleep with the Fox News Channel on during the night). All is right in your world!!! But you say, next time the cable goes out, please do it between 3AM and 6AM (like the previous week).

Sunshine's Twist of Fate

I decided to take a lunch break at my local Shoney's. I needed a nice meal in a non stressful environment and a push to get me back on my diet. I was sitting at the table enjoying a nice salad when I noticed a handsome gentlemen nearby. He was wearing a t-shirt and looked to be an old pair of shorts. I took quick glances every now and then to scope him out. I smiled at my table because I felt a big release of stress off my shoulders. I was enjoying a great meal and looking at some outstanding male eye candy.

I turned back to look at him again. I smiled and laughed. Even though I'm having a meal by myself, things couldn't get any better than this.

Suddenly he left. Oh darn. Well for a few minutes I was in heaven during my lunch. I returned back to my wonderful salad to wallow about the latest things happening in my world.

Suddenly I hear "Did you like what you saw?". I was so startled, I choked on bit on my ice tea. I look up and it's Mr. Male Eye Candy right in front of me with a plate of food. He said that a pretty lady shouldn't be by herself and ask if he could join me. Why not. I have nothing to loose.

We introduced ourselves to each other. His name was Dan. He was a local business man from Oak Ridge who took the day off to help his mother. I mentioned that I was a travel agent and told him some of the places I have been. I felt like I was rambling, but he seemed very interested in what I had to say. He seemed to good to be true.

I got up from the table to make another trip to the buffet. He said something about my tattoos and I thought "Here we go, a turn off". He told me he was a fan of the baseball Braves and the football Titans. My frown suddenly became a smile...he's a sports buff. When I returned to the table we talked the finer points of baseball. I felt I was talking with someone I've known for years instead of this day. I've suddenly found myself happily talking to nice guy for almost an hour.

I finished my meal and got an ice tea to go. Next thing I know Dan got up from the table with my ticket and said "Good food, pretty lady, great company". I just smiled. I loved the comment. He really won me over without really having to try. I had so much in common with him. It's something I missed in with my long term relationship back in 2000.

He walked me to my beat up car. He asked me if I minded he smoke. I said no. After all, I do too. He pulled his cigarettes out of his pocket and I said "No way". He asked me what and I pulled out my pack to show him. We both smoke Marlboro Lights, both love sports and traveling. Is this guy too good to be true? He lights my cigarette and then pulls out a business card. In turn reach into my pocketbook and give him mine. I have just gotten something that has been missing for a long time... a possible relationship.

I thank him for a nice lunch and company. I tell him it's amazing how things happen when you least expect it. He said "Until we meet again". I responded "We'll meet again soon". I get into my car, wave good bye to him and drive off. What the future holds...just wait and see.

Venting!!! (big time)

Call this post really venting. If a family member gets into financial trouble and you have the money, you help bail them out. If it's your mother, you really bail them out. Your mother brings you in the world, she can sure take you out if you don't help.

My mom got a little carried away with her debit card in June. By the time her social security check was deposited in her account, she had about $50 to work with. She tells me to run to the ATM to get money and I can't get it. At that point early in the month, she was overdrawn (again!).

To prevent everything from going to hell, I pay her share of the bills (and mine). I'm trying so hard to finish paying back my friend from going over budget (not complaining too much on that) and save up for my vacations next year. Isn't possible when you know your mother has this bill due and you have to pay it.

She has paid back most of what she borrowed from me. Most of it I just wrote off. I do have a heart and told her to forget about it. Now comes more bills. Sheesh!!! I so want to get a new dvd recorder (the one in my bedroom got zapped by lighting) and my spa day (I'm not high matience...I just need to be pampered every now and then). My mom says she'll pay me back Saturday from her Social Security check. Uh, can you guarantee it will be there? If it's there, I'm just gonna have to give it back to you in a few days.

When will this end? If I have to go through another month of this...good grief. Needless to say, I'm thankful for my nic fits. At this rate, I'll never give up smoking. I'd be f** nuts to.

One Smokin' Red Hot Diva

It's hard to believe at one point I weighed 198 pounds. I hate looking at old pictures of me. I ask myself one thing "Was this me". Next thing I look is for my lighter. It's not that I want to see something burn, I just hate being reminded of that person I once was. Then I snap out of it and tell myself "It's good to remind yourself of where you came from and to look forward what could be".

I recently jumped on the scale and saw a number that caused me to back off the scale. That number was 163. I haven't weighed that in years. Last time I probably weighed that was before my miscarriage. That was 1994. My gosh!!!

I still exercise at Curves three times a week. Diet...well I really take notice of what goes in this body. I drink more ice tea than soda (lately it's been more rootbeer than ice tea, but that will change). I cut down on the fried food. Eat salads when I can. Note the fat, carb and calorie count of any food I buy.

Me and my mom received the brand new Carinval books in the mail. Brand new large 113,000 ton ship named the Splendor will be launched next year. Does limited cruises out of Ft.Lauderdale before moving to Long Beach, CA. 2 deck spa for yours truly to enjoy. Wow!!! Right now we have space held on the first American cruise on that ship. Yee Haw. I was thinking that I need a brand new dress for this cruise. Something more grander than what I have in my closet.

I plan on going back to New York next May (I still believe parts of me is stuck currently in Manhattan...I love the place!). Why not go to the fashion district to find either a black, red or blue number for the cruise? Something extra special.

One of the ladies at Curves who has been my best friend from minute one is happy with my progress. She tells me that I look so good, why not show off my curves? If I felt comfortable in some areas I would. I would so love to lose more weight and tone my hips and thighs. Currently I cover that area with a large shirt. Once and awhile I feel comfortable to show it off. Most of the time I don't.

Now I have more motivation to knock off more weight. Lately there has been a dress that's been on my mind. Black dress that plunges a little in the front, but in the back it goes to my waist. Isn't that sexy? Pair that with black heels. Wow!!! Just too bad I don't have a man on my arm as an added accessory.

I know in order to even attempt to pull off that number, I would need to lose weight in the back. Gosh, thinking finding a dress like that and wearing it on a formal night, that inspires me to continue on with what I'm doing. If I'm gonna have it or have gotten it, why not really flaunt it. You only live once.

My Tattoos

Here's a question I receive every now and then. Why in the world did I decide to get inked? The answer to that, I just don't know. I mean I didn't wake up one morning and decide I wanted to get a tattoo. I would be the last person that would want one.

They say if you tend to write on yourself as a kid, your more likely to get a tattoo as an adult. You appreciate art in any form. Guess it was in the cards that one day I would get one.

4 years ago I was thinking about getting one and put some real thought in it. Decided I was going to take the plunge. Just wanted it to describe me and my loves. Now I've been a huge baseball fan for 20 years. That was my first choice. After my vacation in October 03', my friend came from Virginia to visit with the plans of us both getting inked. I plunged right in and my friend chickened out. Later on, I was out around town saying to myself "Look what I've gotten". You swear I had just given birth or something. I was proud. Glad I did it. To me, getting inked was a rush. The rush is where it gets addictive.

2 months later my good friend from Illinois came down here for her first visit and tattoo (in a major snow). During that time, I decided to get another one my leg. Show my Chicago Bear pride.

When I turned 30 the next year, both my friends came for a visit. While some may laugh at this, I didn't want to turn 30. I associated turning 30 with losing parts of my youth. I decided to pick up another piece of ink (yes my 3rd if your counting).

My 4th, I got the following year was after a major weight loss. I never thought I could lose weight. When I lost 15 pounds, I was proud. I shedded my caccoon's nest and became a new butterfly.

5th (yes 5!) I got last year, is what everyone online calls me. It's somehow become my new identity. Whoever I come in contact with they are either a sunshine in my life or I'm a sunshine in there's.

Here's what I have in order the Chicago Cubs logo on my right outer leg, Chicago Bears logo inner right leg, flower anklet left leg, butterfly lower back and a sunshine on my left shoulder (cause of me being left handed). That's all 5.

I have always wanted to be a journalist. Still do! I do love writing on my blog or stories in general. I have put the breaks on the tattoos. I mean...who would take someone seriously with tattoos? I've always wanted to be the one to break many barriors. Be apart of the one area where woman aren't taken seriously. Since the 3 on the legs, I thought the rest should be easily covered.

What does my mom say about them? No real comment. I know she isn't pleased, but hey, I'm a 33 yr old adult. How can you complain about something that can't be taken back?

Grandparents, I keep them covered. God Bless Dermablend!!! Best leg/tattoo cover makeup.

Certain people the tattoos are covered up with makeup. Sometimes it's hard to get taken seriously by the opposite sex. Then if all is ok and it continues on smoothly, show your true self.

Now I am not my friend from Illinois. We are polar opposites as one can be with the tattoos. Except for two, I love mine to be female. My friend, choses wildlife, dragons, lions.. things that aren't me. She has been divorced twice and says she has no one to answer to but her cats. Therefore she has 11 tattoos. She would love to do sleves and have her legs covered. That's so not me. I love tattoos, but there is a limit to things. Limit to beauty. Whatever makes her happy.

After almost 4 years, do I regret getting inked. Not one gosh darn minute. With everything of beauty and tattoos, there has to be a limit. Have I reached my limit? Probably. Who knows.

So much to do, so little...

I think last weekend, for the 4th, I deserved to sit back and veg out. What did I do Friday-Sunday of importance? Not a darn thing that I can think of. Don't we deserve some downtime? I've been working extra hours to finish paying off my NYC trip debts (thankfully that's almost done with) and to start saving for my trip next May.

Now I'm paying the price. Last Tuesday (7/3) marked the 1st year anniversary of Shepardville. My how time flies when your having fun. Thought I'd celebrate the anniversary by having an updated format. One more cleaner and user friendly. Almost finished, but there should be no hurry. No one is tying me to a chair saying "You must finish and finish now". Course those who know me well, know I thrive off multi tasking. Glad it's almost finished. Not going to get what I want finished, but I can add it later. Hopefully this weekend Shepardville will have a new look.

Signed up to work at my second job this weekend. Oh fun!!! Not complaining too much. More money to come in. I look forward to having the weekend to do certain things (go to the flea market, shop, etc). No. Gotta work. Woo Hoo!!!

Still attempting to stop smoking. It's not been easy. I had a bad craving Monday and thought nicotine gum would help. If you heard an explosion of swear words and frustration, that was me. I couldn't open it up fast enough. I chew the gum for 30 minutes and it does nothing. Absolutely nothing. 30 minutes later I'm outside puffing away. I think I'm nuts for chosing now to quit. I'm either grouchy as ***, not sleeping, jittery...the list goes on. This is the worst side effects from not smoking I ever had.

Also I need to finish the Red Hat Society name pins. Wish I had my old software to do them with. The version I have doesn't work with Vista. Grr!!! Now I'm using Paint Shop Pro. Hard to work the text to what I need for pins. It's trial and error. Hopefully I can find something different to use that's better.

I so need my spa day. Hate that I had to cancel out on the one I had planned for July 6th. I'm not one that has to be pampered like certain stars are everyday. I just believe in this...If the going gets tough or one feels stressed, one should get pampered to remember the beauty one is. Hopefully I can do that by the end of the month.

Well, off to really start my chaotic day.

Stopping Smoking Pt ?

I have finally seen the light regarding smoking and not for the reason one would think. I have noticed everytime I hit the scale during my smoking and noticed to have lost a few pounds. Go through withdrawal and it's a large weight gain. Which is better...gaining to quit for the long run or losing and continuing with the way things are? Plus, I looked at my pack of smokes and said to myself "Your overly addicted". That I will agree.

When I went to the pharamacy recently to pick up a prescription, I caved in asked about the anti smoking drug (I can picture Jazz being really happy that I did). I wasn't willing to ask about anything regarding the drug or patch cause that's a sign of weakness (to me that is). Asked if my insurance will pick it up. It won't. Now you would think most insurances would pick up the cost of the drug to get more people not to smoke. Seriously, but mine won't. The drug costs $125. What!?! That's for a 30 day pack. Yeah I have an extra $125 around the house. That covers payments on one of my two trips next year. Talk about a serious letdown. Here I am finally giving in and I get shot in the !. Spending $125 on 4 to 5 pack a month habit isn't in the cards.

I was reminded that I take one of the anti depressants used to curve the withdrawal side effects. Where's the on button for those meds to help with the side effects? Talk about being cranky, moody and not sleeping good. I know several people don't want to be around me at times. I remember that episode of Roseanne when she was trying to quit. That's how I feel. I love how several sites say withdrawal side effects last 48 hours. In who's book!?! I stay cranky for a week, having nasty craving and I light up. Think people would rather be around me after having at least one (I feel better with two at a time) than none at all.

What am I doing now to quit? Not a gosh darn thing. I know there are alternatives, but I guess it's not in the cards for me to quit. I keep saying when I'm ready and serious, I'll quit. Just gonna need a great deal of help doing it. Why do I think after 8 years of smoking on and off, it will be easy.

What's in this mind ;-)

Think I'm gonna do this tagging a little different. I'm just gonna write some things that people may or may not know about me.

1.)I'm not 100% Grits (Girl Raised in the South). I'm 98% Grits and 2% Yankee (from the great state of Connecticut).

2.)I'm a Bath & Body Works addict. I love potions, notions and all sorts of lotions. I've been known to have 5 shower gels in the shower from B&B. I also have at least 10 different lotions by my bed.

3.)I am very vain about my hair. If I show gray hair or someone mentions it to me, I normally hit the bottle (the bleach bottle).

4.)I'm a news junkie. My television is normally on FNC expect for 2 or 3 hours at night.

5.)When I was in college, my major was journalism.

6.)When I'm near anything that has to do with television news, I'm a kid in a candy store. I eat it up. I love it!!!

7.)I love men who are willing to show off a little facial scruff.