Fixing a Tattoo

About 3-4 years ago I had my upper left thigh tattooed by who I thought was a reputable artist. He was not. And I ended up being unsatisfied and unhappy with the final product. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t wear shorts that were shorter than Bermuda shorts (like 8” long) and I wouldn’t wear mini skirts. I did wear a bathing suit at the beach or up at our friend’s lake house but I was not happy to have my upper thigh showing.

This summer I decided to have the tattoo “fixed.” Tommy recommended Jack who is an artist here where we live. We played text phone tag for a bit, then finally we were able to communicate with each other. I sent Jack pictures of my leg and he immediately wanted to know who did “that.” I am not outing the original tattoo’er and told him I’d rather not say. Jack was fine with that and went about planning his course of action to help me.

This past Wednesday was my appointment. I was nervous. Not about having another tattoo done but more nervous and embarrassed to show Jack the original tattoo in person. I had no reason to be nervous. Jack was great, very professional. He went about his business drawing, picking out stencils and was so creative and intense about fixing this tattoo. I knew I was in good hands. Finally after much back and forth with Jack explaining what he wanted to do and his reasoning behind his plan; Jack took tattoo markers and drew outlines on my leg. He then placed various stencils; every now and then asking me if I liked what he was creating. I said yes over and over. I let him develop his vision and play it out on my leg. He added detail where there was none and he added artwork where there should have been. He also covered up mistakes made by the original guy.

After about an hour we were ready to begin the actual tattooing. I am not going to lie, it hurt…a lot. I started texting to take my mind off it. First my husband but he was working so that didn’t pan out. Then I texted Lelly who sent me pictures of our dog Lola wearing a kerchief on her head. I was afraid to laugh for fear I would move and screw things up. After I was done texting Lelly I tried my mom who was more than happy to text with me. That was great. At first she didn’t understand why I was so unhappy with the original work and when I explained and showed her the mistakes she got it and we texted pretty much the whole time Jack was working.

I kept thinking of Jack saying, “A tattoo is supposed to accent the body part, to make that part look good and go with the natural lines of the body. This tattoo does none of that.” That’s kind of what kept me going as Jack was working on the new design. So three hours later he finished part 1. After he was finished with the aftercare instructions Jack said he wanted to thank me for letting him do what he wanted, that I didn’t try to take control of the process and refuse his suggestions. I didn’t know what to say except thank him for having the vision he had to fix what was wrong.

I go back in 4 weeks for Jack to finish up. There are roses that need to be filled in and other aspects to be finished and sharpened up. I can’t wait to see the finished product. So far it’s been well worth the pain.

Wedding Planning

So earlier this week we journeyed to Freehold NJ to the bridal shop to have the bridesmaids and maids of honor pick out dresses and try them on. Alyssa asked both Lelly and Samantha to be her maids of honor. I thought that was really sweet. Her two bridesmaids are both very great, nice young women that Alyssa has known pretty much forever. I wasn’t surprised when she told me who she was going to ask to be her bridesmaids. Mariah and Lulè are just lovely people.

Alyssa picked out the color, and the girls picked out dresses that they liked. It was a very smooth and drama free experience. The only exception was when we met with the saleswoman to order the dresses she informed us that the bridesmaids’ dress wasn’t available in the color Alyssa wanted. Had the saleswoman actually stayed with us while they were initially picking out dresses this could have been avoided. But…all was well when the girls agreed on another dress in a similar style.

In all honesty the girls were simply stunning when trying on their various dresses. They were tiny sizes (like size 2 and size 4) and they’re all beautiful young women who could pull off looking good in a potato sack; seriously.

I also have to mention that Samantha was great as well. We found a style dress in her size that fit her to perfection. It will only need minor alterations and she was the one who said she liked the dress. Alyssa agreed. No drama thank God! In fact the whole dress search process was drama free. It was impressive. No one complained, was impossible or insisted on anything that Alyssa wouldn’t want.

I’m so happy for Alyssa that so far everything has been going along well. Her and Sam’s engagement is 8 months long. It’s perfect, perfect timing for them.

A Conversation with Thomas

Thomas was at our house for dinner yesterday as he usually is on a Sunday. Thomas was his usual very talkative self standing opposite from me at the kitchen island. I was preparing dinner; egging and breading eggplant slices while the oil heated up. Out of nowhere Thomas said, “Jesus music, remember mom?” I responded that yes, I listen to Christian or “Jesus” music. Thomas then says he remembers “kids church” which is a program he used to attend at our church when he was younger. I asked him if he wanted to go to church and he said no. I then told him that Jesus loves him and Thomas nodded in agreement.

Thomas kept talking about Jesus and music. It was interesting because it was Thomas who initiated the conversation. I have found with Thomas that he will only talk about what he wants to talk about. He’s not easily persuaded to discuss just anything. So I just went with his discussion of Jesus. I asked him if he knew Jesus died for him and Thomas nodded. I said that Jesus died for you because He loves you and Thomas again nodded. He seemed very secure in this knowledge and I was impressed.

Thomas is a young man who isn’t easily read. When you meet him you really aren’t sure of his level of functioning, he can be quiet upon first impression. But then he opens up and will talk, if he likes you he will be quite open. Thomas gets sarcasm. Which is very surprising to most people. If you give him a sarcastic answer or comment he will smile at you and either agree or disagree depending on what is appropriate. He will also laugh if you’re being comical along with your sarcasm.

I’m glad I had the chance to discuss our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with him. It’s been a while since we talked about God and the love He has for us. I don’t think we talk about God enough with the ones we love. I remember about a year not so before my father passed away I told him I was worried about his salvation. Those were my exact words. “His salvation.” Daddy told me he believed in Jesus and He was his savior. It was all I needed to hear. And to see my son nod his head in agreement when I say that Jesus loves him is all I really need.

Last Beach Day

I took this week off from work. Actually we planned to be at Sanibel Island, Florida this past week, at my mom’s time share condo right on the beach. It is gorgeous there and the beach is amazing. So many different shells and the water is so warm; you’re swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Our plans were changed same as almost everyone I know due to Covid. So I still took the week off as planned. I agreed to work at the enrichment center in Brooklyn until school starts so taking this week off was good timing.

Today is my third and last beach day. The girls and I met up with my mom and nephew William on Tuesday and Thursday. Today it’s Samantha and I. Tommy met up with us for a little while and headed home. I didn’t *have* to come to the beach today. I could have done plenty at home such as school work for that lovely biochemistry class I’m almost finished with. But I love it here. I love hearing the waves crash and sitting on my chair in the sand feeling the sand on my feet and enjoying the sunshine. It’s fairly crowded but that’s to be expected for a great weather day.

I’m not dreading returning to work. I really enjoy my co workers/nurses I work with every day. I’ve learned new things from each of them, some life lessons and some life hacks if you will. I look at many situations very differently as a result of their openness and honesty. I’m so glad God saw it fit to place both women in my life.

You see so many different people from all walks of life here at the beach. At all different stages of life. It’s interesting to people watch. The NJ beach we’re at today is Ocean Grove. It’s pretty family oriented and quiet. I’m glad we came.

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What’s Going On?

Everyone who knows I am a school nurse is asking me about school opening, if the DOE is having part time in person and part time remote instruction, what is going on??

I. Don’t. Know. I know as much as any person who watches the news. They (the powers that be of NYC) aren’t telling their employees any more than they are telling the general public. I heard from our Mayor’s press conference that they will be staffing “all schools with a ‘certified’ nurse.” That was interesting because I don’t know what exactly a “certified” nurse is.

Right now I’m working at a Regional Enrichment Center (REC) in Brooklyn, right over the bridge. I’m grateful to be working and it’s a pleasant working environment. The children who attend the center are those who’s parents are essential workers ages 3-11yrs. The center is staying open right up until school is supposed to begin after Labor Day. I can’t help but wonder if schools are even going to be open. There doesn’t seem to be any solid plan in place. Will students be able to return in person a couple of days a week/half remote learning? Your guess is as good as mine.

Samantha wants to go to school; I don’t blame her. I know she will follow directions for social distancing and wear a mask. She’s eager to be around other kids, she’s starting high school. I’m eager for her to go and learn in person because I don’t feel she was taught enough during the remote learning she experienced this past March through June. There is no substitute for a live person teaching students in a classroom.

Not talking

The silent treatment, ignoring someone, pretending they’re not there, just plain old not talking to someone. You don’t just up and decide you’re not speaking to someone overnight. There’s usually a reason; whether it’s a “good” reason or not can be debatable. I usually don’t recommend one person to not talk to another. I mean aren’t you supposed to talk things over to resolve a conflict? However, that can be a grey area for many people. And the decision to cut off communication with another is a decision some come by rather easily. I’m not one of those people. For me to not talk to someone and break off all communication it’s usually a last resort, straw that broke the camel’s back sort of situation.

I’m not altogether comfortable giving someone the silent treatment. I don’t like tension or drama. Not in my personal life and not in the work place. But there are times when a person is so toxic, extreme measures must be taken and self preservation is of importance. But then the question arises; how long does one not talk to this person for, how long does one keep this up? I don’t have an answer for that question. It’s an interesting and more common situation than I think.