April 16th

My new best friend this tax season has been Starbucks’ Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream.


Don’t let the title fool you.

There is nothing sweet about it.

Most of the time.

It depends on who on the SB staff makes it.

Nonetheless, it IS the extreme opposite of my 10++ year BFF, the Starbucks’ Mocha Frappuccino.

Mocha Frap

For a while there, I have you all know, I DID get to the point of ditching my daily Starbucks’ fraps for good because I was exploring Daily Harvest Smoothies.

Daily Harvest

And OMG, they are the bomb!  AND healthy!

However, I put my account on hold this last month because……tax season really happened.

Side note, I work at a CPA firm and um, there is a tax deadline coming up this Monday in the US.

I really hope you have filed your taxes by now so you can be so done with that and get on to living!

I adjusted to the new (for me) Starbucks’ Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream for two reasons –

  1. Holy Cow, that drink packs some energy (and mama needs energy right about now)!
  2. Also, calorie count wise, Starbucks’ Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream = 70 calories per drink (and in this past week, on a lot of the days, I have had 2 per day). Whereas, the Mocha Frap = 410 per drink, and although I do not have whip cream on mine, I have asked for extra pumps of mocha, so it is all the same calorie wise (and in all past years for the last 10++ years, right about this time, I have had 2 per day as well).

The skinny on the matter at hand.

I have been energized between the Nitro SB cold brew and smoking, my appetite has been suppressed and I eat much less and gone to bed several night without dinner (not on purpose, nor bragging or encouraging this method, just too tired and nature took over)..

Instead of gaining weight like some others on staff may or may not have done, I have lost weight (8 ibs, only 35 more to go!).

I might not be the smartest, nor put in the most hours, but hands down, I am 100% the most physically active person on staff during tax season.  Which for me is a good thing.  If I cannot be active, I would not last for long.

But my coping mechanisms need to change, or else I am going to die of cancer.

And according to all the things I have read, smoking is only a fraction (be it large) of the equation of my lifestyle that will cause me to develop some type of life threatening cancer.

A couple of days ago, while taking a shower and brushing my teeth (while in the shower), I gagged when brushing my tongue (normal for me while trying to remove any bacteria).

When I gagged, I had a shooting pain run down the right side of my body, from my shoulder blade to my right side belly (my entire back side torso).

It was painful and immobilized me for at least a minute.

Which is a very long time when experiencing anything but pleasure and/or happiness.

My thoughts…for real….

Is this what a heart attack feels like?

Is this what a stroke feels like?

WTF is this?

This freaking hurts!!

And lastly, OMG, it is tax season, and I do not think I can go into work today, what do I do….

When I could move, I sat down on the side of the tub and collected myself.

It passed.

I do not know what it was.

I sincerely hope I make changes and that this never happens again – because it really did hurt, it immobilized me, it scared me to death, and it sure as hell got my attention!

I am not 50 years old yet.

But at some point in life (which I have officially hit this year), we all pass over the threshold of I am invincible into the realm of holy crap if I do not change this is really going to dork up my life (if it has not already done so) in such a very bad way!

My dad’s wife passed away during this tax season unexpectedly, so he is always on my mind and I reach out often.

My stepfather is battling cancer, again unexpectedly, and I sense that it is much more serious than he or my mom let on, so they are always on my mind too, and I reach out often.

For me, after this tax deadline comes and goes (and it is my greatest hope that things go as well as possible, in particular, anything that I have a hand in), I honestly need to reevaluate how I am going about things and what it is I am trying to do with my life.

Because right now, I am not handling things in a way that is going to turn out well for me in the long run.  At all.


What Happens When I Log Onto Facebook

I check and answer any notifications and comments.

Then I scroll to see what is going on in the world for my peeps.

I have less than 100 friends, I think.   Um, yeah.  I am pretty sure.

My account is private and I am only friends with people that I know.

There maybe about 5 to 7 people (max) that I have never actually laid eyes upon, but I know by way of someone I do know and have laid eyes upon IRL.

After that…Facebook for me is like Pandora’s box (in a good way).

I watch videos that lead me to things that I am interested in learning more about and I take notes.

Seriously, I take notes.

I mean like, I really write things down on a piece of paper so I do not forget.

For example, tonight I watched a video clip re: The Graham Norton Show @ Stephen Fry and his new(ish) book Heroes and then discovered his other book Mythos by means of my research which led me back to Audible and reopening my account for monthly audiobooks.

But back up.

Graham Norton…OMG, this is one of my favorite talk show hosts.

He is so up there with Ellen and Jimmy Fallon.

BTW, if I could be friends with any celebrities, it would be these three plus Will Smith.

For Graham’s show, add in nighttime interviews, a drink or two and um, that equals guests being even more relaxed and open than normal.

Which leads to totally awesome and so damn funny and very real and genuine interactions/conversations.

Between this and listening to my fav radio station in the morning while driving to work daily…all of these people have my dream job!

I often wonder…OMG, how awesome that must feel to be so happy and joking and in tune with your squad while still doing real and important work each morning. (or day or evening).

I am a morning person.

Um.  I have yet to find anyone else in my work environment (ever) who is also a morning person.

This totally destroys my morning vibe each and every day.

And although sooner or later people come around, by then, my happy vibe has been squashed. #ThatSucks hahaha

But back to my original story.

When I log into Facebook and really have some time to explore, I explore.

Last night, I started with an awesome video…something to the effect of Top Ten Kid’s Acts on America’s Got Talent.

Which made me question…. why don’t I watch America’s Got Talent (or the likes) regularly?

Then I had an epiphany moment.

Oh yeah, I l-o-v-e the best of the BEST moments because I tremendously enjoy seeing people win and shine and so doing things that I wish I could do!

I also have zero interest in seeing those who are not ready yet make it to “the stage” only to be made fun of by being allowed on stage while thinking they are ready.

That is cruel in my world.

It might gain ratings…but may Karma have her say in that matter (times 10, aka, so not cool).

This is also the reason I do not watch any reality TV.

All that stuff, in my opinion, is edited to highlight only drama and dysfunction.

Um.  I have my own problems and dysfunctions and I absolutely take no pleasure in seeing other people exploited, even if done so knowingly.

And now…I am getting back off my soapbox and finding my way back to my original story.

My list, notes taken because I had a little free time to explore via Facebook last night equals…

Check out Audible.com re: Stephen Fry’s audio-books Mythos and Heroes.

Also check out Roger Love’s voice coaching audio-books.

Oh, also check out iTines and add the following to songs to your music library –

I’ll Stand by You

Can’t Help This Loving Feeling (Elvis)

Barbie Girl (Iggy Pop, I think)

Love Shack (B 52’s).

Lastly, dress for the life you want.

Side note, but only one piece at a time if that is all you can afford!! hahahaha

So, I guess when I log into Facebook and really have the time to explore…

I am in it to get schooled for a better life.

But I still have my guards up! hahaha

Who Are You




















I Smell Refund

I work for a CPA firm and I think I just successfully completed my own taxes.

I won’t know until I print it out, double check things and have the partner on staff who normally does my taxes review my return.

I’ve done my taxes in the past.  Turbo Tax worked just fine for me because my returns are not that complicated.

Which is both a good and a bad thing, if you think about it.

But this is the first return I have run start to finish through the company’s tax software.

Earlier I was a bit (understatement) frustrated because I didn’t know if I was doing things correctly or not.

I gave it my best shot, and I think I did OK and I may have even pulled it off.  We shall see.

I know I am due a small refund, I knew that going into it.

But whether or not I got the numbers right, that is the whole we shall see part.

Yes, it is after midnight, but still.  Honestly, it didn’t take that long.

I got frustrated earlier and gave up.

But then I came back to it, like I normally do.  Sooner or later, most times I come back to give it another go.

I also got frustrated because about a month ago this was partially the path I was to be going down right about now.  That’s not happening.

A lot of things are not happening like they were “supposed to be happening.”

That sounds oddly familiar….um, what is that called again, Oh yeah, Life.

And unfortunately, most of the not happening is my fault.  If there is fault to find.

I really got frustrated tonight too because any of my accounting co-workers could have done my tax return with their eyes closed in their sleep in five minutes flat.

I wish I knew what they knew.  For real.  Really.

On the flip side, none of them could do my job well either from the fresh get go you are on your own figure this out as you go start either.

It is all a matter of what we each know and have been doing for some time.

There is a whole bunch of stumbles, mistakes and learning curves no matter how well you might want to do, when you are trying to learn something new.

I heard an interesting take on replacing one’s self this morning on the podcast How to Be Awesome at Your Job by Pete Mockaitis.

I have listened to many podcasts, but this one, no matter the subject, I learn something of value every time.

Anyway, the episode that stood out to me today, the guest said something to the effect of – replacing yourself is twofold.

You replace yourself to better your company because you have done all that you can do in that position and want something more.

You also re-place yourself consciously, as in, you re-position yourself to grow into a new role.

I was working on that before even hearing this podcast.

To date, I have successfully replaced myself.  Yay me.  But then again, I really do care about the company I work for, and just because I want more and different, doesn’t mean I would leave them hanging nor should they oblige.

The re-positioning of myself is not working out so well.  At all.  And that part totally sucks.

I have a few family things going on, and they are pretty serious.

I am not married.

I do not have children.

My parents and my sisters are my nuclear family, and when something happens to them, it happens to me because I feel it at the deepest level.

I am an empathetic person by nature.  But when it comes to my family, I really feel it.

Which does not make me the most successful business person.  At all.  I am totally losing on that front.

Each night this week I have cried myself to sleep.  We are talking big @ss crocodile tears.

Each morning, I have gone to work with scary looking swollen eyes.

All I can say is, thank God I do not have to go to work tomorrow.

This coming week, the last thing I want to do is to go to a funeral.

Sadly, I’d rather be in the midst of an outrageously stressful tax season day or two.

But life happens.


















Things are Falling into Place

A pleasant surprise, I was able to pick up my S2000 from the repair shop mid-morning today without interfering or affecting anyone else’s schedule, and so far, all seems well.

I’ll be driving it tomorrow, so we shall see.

I have been having trouble getting it repaired correctly, and then it was hit by another driver while being repaired…. which means taking it to an auto repair shop near the end of February…and these have been oh such good times.  Not.

Three things you don’t mess with – my family, my cats or my cars.

Outside of that, I am a fairly nice person.  Most of the time.

Dates, times and details have been settled for my stepmother’s funeral in AL for early next week.

I took a nap and then orchestrated with my sister tonight re: our travel plans and touched base my dad (three times), my sister and my mom and step-father.

Boy, they are all going to get really tired of me pretty soon.

Downside of the today, I dorked up my boss’s computer remotely by accident while trying to repair something.  Thank goodness he was understanding.

And last but not least, in this moment in time, my co-worker has NO IDEA yet, but he will be taking care of my cats while I am out of town.

He and his wife went to Paris for a week for his sister’s wedding and I took care of their dog TanTan for a whole week, IN MY HOME, and I have never, ever, EVER taken care of a dog for a whole week.  Let alone in my own home.

He is so going to hate to hear this news tomorrow when I get to work.  I am not going to tell him earlier either, I am just going to surprise him. hahaha

His wife (and really, maybe even himself) is scared of cats.

But I helped them for a whooooooole week, and I have never taken care of a dog for that long, so um, I am going to need a returned favor please and thank you.

I practically ruined their dog because I did so much more than normal walking and caring for and treating him to anything and everything a dog could ever want.

I mean he even went home with one of my blankets and several toys I purchased for him to keep him happy while he was with me.

One of my fatal flaws, even if I don’t like you, I want you to have it all….and if I can help with that, I will.

The best part, that my coworker is really going to hate, because I will so pull it is…. Dude, you effing owe me. hahaha

He hates when I say that.  It is so not right to keep count in his world.  And I am like, yeah, that is easy for you to say because I give more.

Although he does not know yet that he is going to bring me great peace of mind, I already appreciated his help.

I just can’t wait to tell him about it! hahaha


Losing Your Mate

I cannot even imagine what that feels like.

But do I know what it feels like for someone who loves someone else deeply, who has just lost their mate.

My stepmother passed away last night unexpectedly.

I knew her, but I did not know her.

I did the math.

I haven’t been back to Alabama for 30+ years.

My dad lives in Alabama.

My dad married my stepmother when I was a young adult, says the lady pushing 50.

So, she wasn’t really a stepmother in the true sense of the word.

But she was my dad’s wife of 20/25+ years, so that makes her significant in my world.

I did not go 30+ years without seeing my dad tho.

It just turned out that he traveled to our area, when my sister and family lived near where I live, and he traveled to CA to see them when they moved out there.

In fact, he’s been to their CA home, and I still have not.

That’s not right.  Not that he got to visit them, but the fact that I have not yet.

I did meet up with them last summer in a different part of CA, and I have managed to see them at least once a year since they moved.  Granted, it was just by luck, but I will take it.

My step-father is battling cancer, and holding his own.  But still, it is a lot and pretty serious.

When I last saw my mom and was hugging her goodbye I started crying.

I said ~ I just want you guys (meaning them and my dad and stepmother and my sisters and their husbands and children) to be OK.  I am used to being on my own, but I don’t want any of you to be alone because everyone has been together for so long.

I have experienced loss, but I have no idea how it feels to wake up one day and your partner in crime is just gone.

Perhaps that is why I am still single.

But I am very fortunate.

I am almost 50 years old and I still have all my parents, when several I know do not.

When I say parents, I have always meant my dad, my mom and my step-father.

I mean no disrespect to my step-mother.  Due to timing, she wasn’t there during my formative years and has been to me, my dad’s wife.

But now my dad is hurting, so I am hurting.  A lot.

I found out yesterday at work.

He called me about 9am my time while things were still unfolding, and then I called him back at 1:30pm ish.

Of course, I cried, both times, pretty hard, while at work, and I told him at the end of the second call ~ Dude, now I look like shit. Again!

And we found a little humor for a moment in the sadness.

I hate death.

I know it has to happen.

I know it is the cycle of life.

But it still sucks.

And I really look like shit right about now.

30+ years later I am returning to AL and not under the happiest of circumstance as my sister and I will be flying to AL next week to be with my dad during his time of loss.

Losing your mate, I have no idea what that feels like…

But I will do whatever I can to help my family get through such difficult transitions that are going to happen as best as I am able.


















2019. What is In and What is Out.

I have tried several things in the last month to improve my health on the nutrition side.

I took advantage of “New Year” specials and tried several food delivery services for half the cost.  I wanted to see if any would work for me before fully committing.

I really, really, really wanted to get a working healthy eating plan in place before tax season got ramped up.

I tried….

Hello Fresh – recipes with portioned fresh ingredients that arrive at your doorstep.  All you have to do is cook, oh and wow yourself (and others), with just how great of a cook you are!

Daily Harvest – frozen healthy combinations of fruits and veggies and other healthy items that make up a smoothie.  Simply add almond milk (I never thought I would say almond milk, let alone use it, but for the record it does work really well in smoothies), blend and taa daa = Holy Wow.  Yes, please and thank you.  Before this experience, I was not a smoothie person.  At. All.

Real Eats – vacuum-sealed precooked chef made meals, add prepackaged bags to boiling water and in 6 minutes you have dinner.

Freshly – meals cooked by chefs and sent fresh, one only needs to heat in the microwave and voilà, dinner is served.

What’s in?  Hello Fresh and Daily Harvest.  Five stars for both!

What’s out?  Real Eats and Freshly.  Both were edible, and would work for many people, but neither did it for me.

I am not a microwave person, unless I am making popcorn.  But even heating my first Freshly meal in the oven, um, that still is not gonna work.

I really, really wanted to find chef prepared, precooked healthy meals that only needed heating so I could be healthy on that front and focus on work and exercise.

If there is something out there on that front….it still eludes me.

To be honest, I don’t think such a product exists.

But I did try to find it.

Helllllllo Fresh!

My Mom can cook.

My Dad can cook.

My Sister can cook.

Of course both of my grandmothers and great grandmothers could cook well too.

OMG, I so miss those authentic southern dishes.

But me?

I don’t know what happened, but all of the people in my lineage so hogged the cooking genes!

Enter Hello Fresh.

I honestly cannot sing this company’s praises loud nor long enough.  And the packaging is simple and sweet, which I love.

Give me the healthiest and tastiest, as well as the top of the line ingredients PLUS an easy to follow recipe AND…. Hello (Fresh), I can and will put any of my relatives to shame.

Sorry guys (not really), but mama can cook when Hello Fresh is in the picture.

I am a bit lazy when it comes to cooking.

Being a party of one, I am ok with cooking what I know how to cook – chili and spaghetti being two of my specialties which to date have been well received (for the record).

But Hello Fresh opens the door to a much bigger culinary world.

I have used this service in the past, and now in the present.

I learn so much when cooking these meals, things I can carry over into my norm day to day cooking.

And when I make a Hello Fresh meal, not only does it taste great, but my home smells heavenly.

I bet you a million dollars anyone who walks into my home after I have made one of these meals…. their stomachs will 100% fall in love with me due to the lingering aroma alone waffling throughout my home.

I fall in love with myself when I pull off preparing one of these meals!

I truly enjoy cooking.  I did not know that about myself.

But I do need someone else to select the produce, meat, fresh herbs, as well as provide me with one of these blows your mind tastes like a chef prepared this recipes.

If you are in the market to try something new, or you want to add a skill or two to your cooking repartee, try Hello Fresh.

I cannot guarantee it, but I do think you will enjoy the experience of learning and sharing and eating something totally new and great.

hello freshhello fresh 2

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