A Weekend Away

Tommy and I decided to celebrate our anniversary somehow so we went down the Jersey Shore to the very southern tip to a town called Cape May. It’s a great town with tons of Victorian homes and bed and breakfast’s. We stayed at a hotel that was right across from the beach, we had the most awesome view from our front door of the beach. The beach itself was gorgeous. And you could tell it wasn’t that way because it is the off season. We walked down to the water shoes sinking in the sand the whole time. We got to the water and it was breathtaking. The view was incredible. It was a gorgeous day out; 65 degrees but there was no way I was taking my shoes off to test out the water.

In Cape May they have a small town with shops and stores, some expensive boutique types some touristy. There was even a throwback store; a 5 and dime! That was pretty cool. We visited some of the stores but then we had enough of the town and decided to drive down to Atlantic City to shop the outlets there. Yayyyy! We spent a couple of hours there Christmas shopping for the most part. Tommy went to Bass Pro Shop since we don’t have one anywhere around here. I chose to shop in other stores more my speed.

Friday evening we had reservations at a winery/restaurant. It was an adventure getting there, the grounds were a farm/vineyard in the middle of nowhere. Finally we were in the right trail. It was very nice we sat inside and were served fast. Like very fast. I kind of felt as though they were like, ok here’s dinner…bye!

Saturday afternoon we went whale watching and that was pretty cool. We did see a whale and watched it blow water out the blow hole and dive under the water and come up again. I’d never seen a whale so I though it was pretty cool. Tommy did too.

Next thing we know it’s Sunday morning and we’re off to go home. We were ok with that, it was time. On the way home we hit another outlet mall and we breezed through in about an hour or so. That was fine. We were both ready to get home. I missed my kids and my house. I like going away but at the same time it’s nice to return home afterwards. There’s nothing like your own kitchen to cook dinner and your own dishes to wash lol!

Anniversary

This year Tommy and I celebrate 25 years of marriage. We’ve been together probably close to over 30 years but married when we were 25 years old. I had graduated nursing school the year before. We had a long engagement because Tommy had proposed when I was in nursing school and he promised my father we would wait until I graduated. Yes, he asked my dad for his blessing. Sweet. My father gave his blessing and also told Tommy, “No returns”. Love my dad.

So I wasn’t returned to my Dad and I’m blessed to have spent the last 25 years with this man. We met at 15 but didn’t begin dating until we were 17ish. We were friends between the time we met and the time we were a couple. We went to concerts with a great group of friends, went to the movies, the beach, that crazy water park in NJ called Action Park. We also went to a lot of parties. We had a really great group of friends that we hung out with and did things with. It was a really fun time.

I remember laying on the beach in Maui with Tommy when we were on our honeymoon. We were saying how we wanted to return to Hawaii, “maybe for our 20th anniversary,” we said. Never knowing how fast 20 years would go by. For our 25th we wanted to go away someplace special and we even contemplated Hawaii, but it’s so far and the jet lag is a bitch. So we discussed Aruba, the Grand Canyon, I cant remember where else. But… the world had other plans.

We had an incredible celebration last week with our girls and Alyssa’s fiancée Sam. Lobster tails and steak for dinner, great wine and chocolate mousse cheesecake. We reminisced about Hawaii, it’s funny the things you never forget. We started our honeymoon on Maui which was incredible. Then we traveled to the “big island” where we booked at this seemingly empty, huge beautiful hotel where we were promptly approached to buy drugs. We were appalled I mean we could get that at home! So we hightailed it out of there to some bargain motel and called the resort in Maui begging the concierge for a room to finish out our honeymoon there. We were so lucky; They had a room! We booked the flight back to Maui and got off the big island quickly. It was an adventure but we had such a great time.

So 25 years later and here we are. I still love this guy and he loves me. It’s really cool that we are together as long as we are after all the trials and seasons that have passed. I can’t imagine myself with anyone else. I mean Tommy really gets me. And we laugh together. He can make me laugh as much now as he did when we were teens. He’s very quick witted and comes up with good ones no matter what the situation, even when it’s not supposed to be funny, but you gotta laugh.

Here’s to the next 25!

School is Closed

In accordance with the city rules they have closed my school for two weeks due to a certain number of Covid cases. I was already off from work for half of those two weeks.

After being a stay at home mom for years and then returning to work full time I can’t lie and say I haven’t been “ok” with staying home. I have had to take a few mornings to get to urgent care and be Covid tested which was negative thank God, but otherwise I’ve been seeing how my house gets along without me. Like I’m a bystander. Alyssa is working remotely so she’s pretty much unavailable during the day except when she comes down from her room for lunch or something in the kitchen. Lelly is taking her college classes at FIT via online forum. Some days she’s very busy with school work, other days not so much. It depends on the day. Samantha is fully remote right now as her high school is closed due to Covid cases present there. She is in a “blended” program where she’s supposed to physically be at school 2 days a week. Right now; no.

I’m having my hair done during what would be work hours. It’s different. The world seems to be on a weird hold. And I don’t like it. Like everyone else I crave normalcy.

I’m also getting school work done quicker than had I been at work. So I’m not complaining at all. I’m still battling that freaking bio chem class, trying to pass, my brain does not work that way no matter how I try and stretch it. Maybe if there were a way to incorporate bio chem to thrift shopping I would be outstanding!

Instagram and The Thrift

I list things to sell on a site called Poshmark. Sometimes it’s my thrifted finds like vintage designer bags or clothes, it really depends on what I find. Right now I have on trend denim for sale; high waisted jeans. Omg…they are sooooo not me. I’ve tried, Lord knows I’ve tried but no; not a good look for me. I don’t know how I wore that style back in the 80’s. My girls however look amazing in high waisted jeans. They’re also 19 and 22 years old. I don’t need to do the math.

Recently Alyssa began an Instagram page called Shoppers Sky. It’s to post thrift finds that we are selling. But it’s difficult getting the page off the ground. I’m not complaining, just telling it like it is.

I will complain about bio chem, yes this class still plaques me. I can’t wait to get to the point where it is over, and I don’t need to make my brain memorized and digest things that it just doesn’t want to.

I enjoy the thrill of the hunt for thrifted finds that I sell. Sometimes I have people request for me to search for things on their own personal wish list. Sometimes I find what they want, sometimes I don’t. You never know what you’ll find at the thrift, but I have found when you put an object “out there” and almost stop looking for it; it shows up! No kidding. That’s what happened when Tommy and Lelly went looking at those chairs that have an egg shape and a base and hang from a hook at the top. To buy one from a store was so, so expensive so we didn’t buy. Two weeks later guess what shows up at the thrift store? Yes!! Two of those chairs. I almost fell over. The Sal Val wanted 150.00 less than retail and the chairs were new! I was so excited to buy one. Score for the thrift store!

Politics

So it looks like we’ll be swearing in a new President come January. I’m ok with that. I am not “into” politics, I never really have been. Sometimes local figures catch my interest because I can usually see their work right in front of me and then I’ll be impressed that someone actually did something. But national politics? Ha, no way! And I won’t talk politics with anyone. Not even my husband and we’re usually on the same page. About a week and a half ago Tommy wanted to talk about the upcoming election. I told him I don’t talk politics. “But I’m your husband!” Nope I wouldn’t budge.

So here we are on the cusp of a new administration. I’m still not talking about him/her/they. I don’t see the point. No one is going to change the other’s mind about where they stand. And people getting so giddy or distraught? I don’t get it. Any one candidate can say they’re going to do A, B, or C. I’m not impressed with any one person until they actually do something they said they would do. And that’s not only on a national level but a local level as well. I think I follow local politicians more closely than national ones.

Thankfully I don’t pick my friends based on their political views. I would say that most of them happen to be like minded but these are lifelong soul sisters and brothers and we rarely if ever talk politics. We don’t avoid the subject it just doesn’t come up.

I have to go, there’s yard sales to get to!

Bio Chem…

This class is getting the best of me. I immensely dislike this class and I hate to admit something like that. I’m not going to say it’s a useless class, there are some lessons that are very useful and I am learning information in a more in depth manner than I was originally taught way back when I was in the associates program. However there are portions of the course that I believe are unnecessary. There I said it. But it’s not up to me to decide what is necessary to learn and what is not.

This college I’m attending has “objective assessments” that is essentially the final exam. They give you more than one chance to pass. However if you do not pass the first time you are placed in “remediation” and expected to do all this review work and homework and meet via phone conference or web conference with available course instructors. This is where I’m at. Remediation. I don’t mind the review work, it’s been very helpful, I wish someone had pointed this out before. But ok we’re here now. I also don’t mind meeting with the course instructors. They’re very smart and they just love bio chem. Sometimes I want to gag but that wouldn’t be nice. Plus I really do need their help. So I’m polite.

I’m hoping to finish up all my review work *and* another pre test this coming week so that I can take the final again and with a whole lot of prayer and Jesus pass this class and put it behind me. If you feel like praying for me go at it I need it!

Shoppers Sky!

I’ve posted before whether it be on Facebook or in part of a blog post that whenever I have a great shopping day its been a “Shopper’s Sky!” My dad used to say that to me whenever I had a great shopping trip. Before he passed I was thrift shopping more and more and he got a real kick out of my finds. He would bring up memories of his mom going to the thrift store and finding him warm coats and jackets and he remembered wearing them until they were totally worn out. My dad also used to say he and I were “frugal” because his mom was Scottish, that Scots were on the cheap side. Well I can vouch for that for certain purchases. Not for the majority of my bags, however I have found high end bags and accessories at the thrift and I use them with the same enthusiasm as those I’ve purchased in the boutique.

So last week my Alyssa mentioned that she follows specific Instagram accounts, people who are selling pre-loves designer accessories and goods, mostly found at the thrift. She asked if we could do the same? I said yes! I would love to do that and share my finds! So we’ve decided to name our Instagram account “Shopper’s Sky”. I love it and couldn’t think of a better name!

So stay tuned and don’t forget to check out Shoppers Sky on Instagram!!

Halloween Huh?

I’m not a big Halloween person, I never really was. Even as a kid. I mean we dressed up every year and gave out candy but the house decorations of years past compared to house decorations of this present time are nothing! I remember my Aunt Marge *loved* Halloween. She had the coolest vintage/antique cards and house decorations ever. She made you want to like Halloween even though it wasn’t really your thing.

So this year with Covid still a concern we weren’t sure if we would get our usual extremely high number of trick or treaters. So we didn’t really buy that much candy and since I’m being honest we ate most of it before the big day arrived. Yesterday morning I was scheduled to take a proctored final on my computer for my online BSN class, “Care of the Elderly.” Things didn’t work out, the online proctor couldn’t access control of my computer for whatever reason so I chucked it in, rescheduled for later that day and headed of to Shoprite; what I usually do on a Saturday morning.

After a usual trip to the Sal Val thrift shop I did some laundry, vacuumed; chores I mainly do on the weekend. Next thing I know there are a ton and I mean a ton of trick or treaters in my ‘hood. Crazy I tell you. We kept our front door closed so people wouldn’t come to us, but that didn’t stop our lunatic, anxiety filled, barking dog Lola from being herself and barking crazily at anyone who had the nerve to walk past our house. Insane I tell you; and she’s medicated with a prescription from the vet.

Next thing I knew it was 4:00pm and time for my test. Again the proctor had an issue with my computer so thankfully Lelly was still home and I was able to use her’s. I was in Alyssa’s room in the attic and Lola was barking and barking. Crazy hound. I managed to work and finish the exam.

Aaaaaaand I passed!!! I was so, so excited. I finished the test not knowing which way it was going to go; pass or fail… I didn’t feel confident either way. One more class closer to finishing!!

Church and Health

Our church has been holding worship services indoors for the past month or so I believe. Before that they were holding services on Wednesday evenings in the parking lot. That was really nice too, to be outdoors with your church family worshipping the Lord. But I’m so glad we are able to be indoors now. You have to call and pre-register; pretty much reserve a seat for yourself and whoever is coming with you. Today I went with Alyssa, Sam and Lelly. Last week I woke up Samantha to go. This week I left her alone. I know she worships at youth group during the week so I’m not a big stickler for her to attend on Sundays.

The series our Pastor has been preaching about is health. The first Sunday was about physical health and how our body is a gift from God and we should treat it that way. You know it’s funny when I was saved I immediately felt guilty that I smoked cigarettes. Did that make me stop at that time? No. But I knew I was not honoring God with my body by smoking. I did quit right after I was baptized and that was 8 years ago. And I have no intention of starting again. I miss it still; but I do not want to go through the hell of quitting all over again.

Last Sunday Pastor John preached about mental health. I think he did a really good job addressing a tough and often taboo subject. I’m only as healthy as I am because I had God in my life guiding my every step. A lot of people aren’t that fortunate or shut God out when it comes to their mental health. Me? I ran to Him. And The Lord did not fail me.

Today’s message was about spiritual health and our walk with The Lord. There were tough questions asked such as how often are you reading your bible? Are you praying without ceasing? Are you telling people about the Gospel as we are commanded to do? I know that’s where I fall desperately short. I don’t spread the Gospel and God has given me plenty of opportunities to do so. And every time I say to myself that I blew it. The Gospel is the best news ever. Jesus came here as a helpless baby, lived a life without sin, died a criminal’s death upon the cross and took on the punishment of my sin and your sin. He took upon God’s wrath. Amazing. He was buried in a borrowed tomb and three days later he rose! He’s Alive! We worship a living God! God found a way to reconcile us to Him by giving us His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Hanging Out With Thomas

It’s no secret that Thomas comes for dinner every Sunday. It’s our routine that we just fell into when he started living at the group home. Before he moved into the group home I had daydreams that he would be here at our house all the time now that he lived a mere 15 minutes away. I also had visions of me bringing him to church with me every Sunday. Well none of that happened. Thomas didn’t want to go to church (I tried), and we’re all so busy during the week; Thomas with his program and then his routine at his house and us with work and school; visits during the week are far and few between if at all. But this Sunday routine is nice. It’s predictable and after not seeing Thomas all week we really do miss him and we’re glad to see him every Sunday afternoon.

Today was nice, we received a call from the group home staff that they were going apple picking. Thomas told us he had a good time so we were happy for him. He likes to talk, my Thomas. Sometimes he just chatters about his day program or ask me how much my new car cost, am I going to pay for it? “Mom, are you going to work?” Sometimes he makes me smile/laugh and other times I just shake my head at what he says.

Thomas is 24 years old and I couldn’t be happier or more proud of the man he turned out to be. He’s been gifted with resilience and the ability to adapt to the various environments he’s had to live in. Because there were times he wasn’t safe to live with and he needed to be at a place that could provide what we could not. And it worked thanks be to God. We made decisions no parent should have to make. But we made those decisions based on what was best for him, not what we wanted or caring what others thought of us.

Tonight as Thomas and I were having dessert together sitting at the kitchen island, Thomas sat there and said,”Mom…” I answered, “Yes, Thomas…” He then says out of nowhere, “I love you.” Totally on his own accord. It’s usually me saying “I love you” a few times when we drop him off before Thomas answers back, “I love you too Mom.” Like I’m pulling teeth.

But tonight was special and it was nice and it made me realize how much I love him too. And that everything we went through was worth it. We’ve come out the other side. A simple “I love you” is not it all that simple.