Out on the Boat

We are out on the boat this afternoon Tommy and I and our good friends Bill and Martha. Being out on the water is a good escape for everyone. The water is calming and the friendship is genuine. We had dinner last night with another couple we are close with; Jenn and Gary. Jenn and I have been friends since we were 17 years old and her and Tommy grew a few houses away from each other. I remember when I met Jenn; I mentioned I had a boyfriend “but you wouldn’t know him,” I said to her. Jenn answered, well try me you never know.” We both almost fell over when she said they grew up together ! Life is funny. Who would have thought that at 51 years old we would still be friends.

So here we are on the boat. The weather is great, sunny but not too hot, very few clouds in the sky. Our mission is to get to a restaurant across the bay to New Jersey and have dinner then ride the boat back. I haven’t asked how far or close we are to the restaurant. To be honest I’ve been pretty quiet this whole trip. Just soaking up the sun and enjoying the waves. I turn around every now and then but I don’t know what I’m looking at, so I’ll just sit here quiet and enjoy the ride.

End of Summer

September 1st, wow. Hard to believe how fast July and August went by. I worked most of the summer and the time working didn’t fly by so fast but the time I am home seems to be. Last week Tommy and I were in Las Vegas and I’m so grateful our vacation wasn’t a whirl wind. The time seemed to pass at just the right speed: And then we are home again. Back to an odd rhythm, I’m not back to work until the 9th but Tommy is back to work. Lelly started back at college but Samantha doesn’t start high school until the 13th. Plus Lelly is at school some days and at work other days. She’s hard to keep track of.

I’m enjoying being home for the time being. It’s nice to do a couple of projects that I wouldn’t normally have time for. Samantha and I cleared out Alyssa’s things from her room that she left behind after she was married, and we cleared out things from Samantha’s old room that she no longer had the need for. The trash collectors are going to love us this weekend. I’m glad we were able to get rid of so much “stuff”. Now we have a proper guest room/office. Although I don’t know if anyone will use the room as an office. I earned my bachelors degree at the dining room table. I mean we all have laptops so the days of being tied to a desk top computer are pretty much over for us anyway.

I’m debating continuing on for my Masters. I’m totally enjoying not being in school right now so I’m not sure when I would start that. Things will fall into place when they are meant to.

Leaving Las Vegas!

Of course I have the Elvis Presley song running through my head, I think it’s Elvis well anyway…we are at the airport awaiting our flight home. After a week away I’m ready to go home. I miss my kids, I miss my dogs and cats who make me laugh. Lelly said the dogs have been “very bad”. I don’t know what that means I’m just glad I wasn’t there to witness it haha!I also miss my life at home. I don’t return to work yet so I’m happy to go home and just “be”. I have a few appointments to take care of and of course I miss thrifting. Tommy did entertain me with going to the outlet malls here but it’s not the same of course. The hotels here have every high end store you can imagine in their mall areas. Louis Vuitton, Hermès (at the Bellagio), Tiffany, Stuart Weizmann shoes, omg the list goes on and on. I rarely shop retail so those shops weren’t any fun for me. Nice to look in but meh…. My awesome husband bought me an early anniversary gift this beautiful pearl ring. Our anniversary isn’t until November. He also gifted me this very pretty Movado watch that has a face and second hand which I need for work. So I’ll wear the watch just about every day and think of him.

We *almost* invested in a piece of art. We visited on of the art galleries in one of the malls and we were both si impressed with the works of Dale Mathis. His work really spoke to the both of us. But in the end we mutually decided it just wasn’t for us. If we ever do decide to invest in art the piece will yell “take me home!”

I think we hit a lot of attractions during our week. We went to the Mob Museum. Yes there is such a thing. It was so interesting, there was a main focus of the mafia in Vegas but there was also history from other states such as New York, Chicago, etc…. Names we were familiar with and people who were well known because they were murdered by someone famous in that society.

We also hit Fremont St. More commonly known as “old Las Vegas”. At first we went in the morning and thought we’ll this is nice, how historical. Then one of our cab drivers says No man! You have to go at night! So off we went. Totally different vibe at night literally like night and day haha! I’ve never seen so many woman’s asses in thongs and boobs with nipples covered with pasties than here in Vegas. Amazing I tell you.

I got hooked on the penny slots (hangs head in shame). I didn’t lose a lot of money. But I loved sitting there and killing a half hour or so betting 50 cents at a pop, sometimes 75 cents if I was feeling a little crazy. Suffice to say I won a couple times but lost more than a couple of times. Neither Tommy or I are really gamblers, but sometimes it was fun to walk around the casinos and watch other people. I know some people will set aside an amount of money to play or gamble with but I don’t have that gene. I get mad when I lose more than I intended to play. At least if I go shopping I have something to show for my money you know?

So our flight will be called soon, it was definitely a memorable vacation.

Viva Las Vegas!

Sitting at the airport waiting to board the plane to Vegas. I’m calm now. While we were on line to for security clearance I was so nervous. Not because I am carrying any contraband or anything but just because. Yesterday was in such a good mood and ran the few errands left. Actually all that was left for me to do is pack. So I began laying clothes out and discovered the 20+ year old suitcase I was planning on using looked like utter crap. So off to TJ Maxx I went and bought the last suitcase they had there. It was meant to be. The store was all loaded with back to school backpacks and no luggage section like they usually have. I didn’t have it in me to go to Macy’s for a larger selection, the TJ Maxx one was good enough.

So I packed. I tend to overpack but seriously it’s Las Vegas! I need clothes for daytime, clothes for the evening when we go out, shoes for the daytime and shoes for evening, not to mention bathing suits thank goodness I only have 2. Then there’s personal items, hair care product, etc…. I wish I could be one of those people who could pack “light” but I’m not wired that way.

We have to wear masks in the airport and on the plan. I don’t mind so much. Tommy and I managed to get seats together at the gate waiting area. I brought my Amazon reading tablet. It’s my purchase to encourage myself to begin reading for leisure again. I bought it about 2 weeks ago and have yet to begin the book I downloaded. I’m thinking the plane ride should be a good time to begin. It’s odd, I’m still in a bit of disbelief that I’m finished with my bachelors degree. I keep contemplating what I want to do next. Go for my Masters? I don’t know.

On the plane!!

Vacations!!!

This past week Samantha and I spent 3 nights down the Jersey Shore at the beach. It was so nice. We stayed at this very, very old “inn” which was probably once a huge house turned into a rental property. It was nice, we had our own bathroom and a/c so who’s to complain? Oh and we had a continental breakfast every morning, yay! I love the beach, the water is so calming and simply wonderful. Samantha had a good time with me, that’s what she told me so I’m going with it. A couple of nights we walked down to Asbury Park boardwalk. The first night I had my palm read. I was nervous but she told me all good things, like I have a very long life line which I’ve been told before, that Tommy and I are soul mates, that he loves me very much, it was nice to hear all that. However she did say “someone has put the evil eye on me.” Interesting…However my God is bigger than any evil eye and would never allow such to harm me.

At Asbury Park we also visited this museum of pin ball machines and video games from back in the day. It was really cool, some of the pin ball games went back to the 1950’s and were made of wood, they even had Pong and Frogger! Omg I was amazed at their collection. You pay by the half hour or hour for the person to play, no tokens or coins needed. For Samantha to play an hour it was 15.00 and she was free to play as many games as she wanted I though it was a pretty fair deal, plus no one was checking to see if anyone was being honest and leaving at their designated time, so for both visits Samantha got an extra 10 minutes of game time. To be honest I was ready to leave anyway, so she wrapped it up.

After working the summer session it feels so good to be off from work. And to have my bachelors completed is an added bonus! I keep thinking that if my mentor didn’t push me to complete those last two classes when she did I would be doing that work now. That would suck. I’m so grateful to her for the advice and her guidance. I received my diploma in the mail and I love looking at it. That’s my name there. I’m so proud.

And Now…

And now I’m anxiously awaiting my diploma, I can’t wait to see my name along with a Bachelors of Science degree. I don’t know how long it will take, of course I want it yesterday. I also can’t wait to sign my name with my new to me initials after it.

Right now we are at the tail end of summer session. I have to say I’m ready for it to be over. Summer session usually flies by, but this year it seems to be taking a little longer than usual even though it’s the same 6 weeks. Last year we worked the whole summer at the recreation center in Brooklyn so I don’t know why this summer seems to be taking longer than in the past. I shouldn’t complain time will pass quickly before I know it.

We have 4 days of summer session left! I seriously won’t know what to do with myself before I get busy going away on vacation! I’m taking Samantha to the Jersey shore for a few days. I can’t wait to just sit at the beach and watch the water and the people of course. I’m a big people watcher. We are planning to visit the boardwalk at Asbury Park too. That should be fun.

I bought a fire HD tablet to download books on so I can read books that I want to read. I feel like it’s been so long that I’ve read a book not related to school. I downloaded my first book already, I’ve grown fond of an author named Kristen Hannah. She writes fiction and keeps my attention. Sometimes I really enjoy historical fiction, I loved reading Gone with the Wind. I have yet to watch the movie. One day when I have 2 and a half hours I’ll sit and watch it. You never know.

My BSN

This past Friday I submitted my last undergraduate paper, and it was a long ass paper. By Saturday afternoon it was “in evaluation”. The last time this paper was in evaluation it took a day and a half for them to tell me to revise it. So when I discovered the paper was being evaluated, I was in it for the long haul. But to my surprise it didn’t take that long. My guess is that they only evaluated what had to be revised and I’m ok with that of course. So…a couple of hours later I checked to see if it was still being evaluated and to my great surprise I passed! I passed!! My last class and paper! Omg I was jumping up and down, almost knocked my husband over, lol! I called my mom of course because she was waiting anxiously with me.

I am so happy I accomplished this. This wasn’t possible a few years ago when Thomas was a mess, I was a mess, Thomas went into residential school and I picked up my pieces and tried so very hard to put myself back together. God is so good, He helped me get back on my feet, before I knew it Thomas was settled in and I was still fragile but together I made it through the valley and through the storm. The next thing I knew I was dusting off my nursing license and working part time, then full time, then the school position came about and I knew it was God placing that job posting right where I could see it. The rest is history with my school and me.

I’m proud of myself. I did it! It was difficult at times but no impossible. Even that damn bio chem class that took me forever to pass last summer, I did it. I can’t wait to see my degree in person and begin signing my name RN BSN. So cool.

It Gets Easier When They Get Older…

I saw a meme on Facebook that said this and the women pictured were laughing, but I don’t think in a good way. It got me thinking. I do think my kids have gotten easier now that they are older. I wouldn’t go back to ages 2-5 years if you paid me. Nor would I care to re-live grammar school, for any of my 4 children. I know my life with my children was not a very typical life, with Thomas being special needs and the many rough roads we walked with him, bringing the girls with us. But the girls were very typical in their behaviors because that’s just who they were. Samantha is almost a category on her own due to being the youngest and the age differences between her and everyone else.

In my opinion and experience grammar school takes forever; grades 6-8 junior high is so slow but not as slow as grammar school; and high school literally flies by! First you’re sitting in freshman orientation…then your child is handing you the paper for all the fees associated with senior year. It’s that fast.

I enjoy my kids now that they’re older. Even when they’re moody AF, I won’t mention any names haha. When Alyssa and Lelly went through high school I have to say it was pretty painless, Samantha will be starting her 2nd year of high school and it hasn’t been easy on her being in school virtually for most of her freshman year but she has connected with a couple of girls in person so that’s cool, I’m glad for that. This Covid situation really screwed with our teens. My kids talk to me, some days they’ll tell me literally everything and that’s ok, that’s what I’m here for. And no judgement!

So to all the people who laugh when someone says it gets easier when they get older I say ha! Yes, it does.

Still Going Along…

I am still writing papers for school. I feel like I’ve been at this much longer than the beginning of June. The class that I had to finish by June 30 required a professional E-portfolio. Which I completed. However the assignment needs to be revised. I’m not permitted to see what needs to be fixed until I re-register for the class at the end of July. I’m not happy about that. Currently I’m finishing up a paper for my second class. I really hope I do well and nothing needs to be revised.

I’m bummed that I didn’t finish up everything the way I had hoped I would. The plan was to pass both classes and be on my way with my Bachelors degree by the end of July. Not happening. But… everything happens for a reason and I’m sure the Lord has his plan.

On the bright side I am just about finished with this degree. When I’m not procrastinating or playing on my phone, or writing a blog…I’m doing nothing else but working on school assignments. I’m ready to be done.

25

Today my first born turns 25. It feels unreal that my first baby is 25 years old. Of course I remember everything about his pregnancy and birth as all mothers do. I also remember how hard it was to raise Thomas. We were given this baby who grew into a toddler but not a typical toddler and not one specialist/ doctor was of any help to us. It was hard, so hard.

Did Thomas being “different”stop us from having more children? Nah… that would make too much sense, besides I wouldn’t have missed raising our girls for the world. We made decisions and choices for our family and Thomas when he was growing up that no parents should ever have to make. But that is water under the bridge and I regret nothing. I love Maya Angelou’s quote, “We did the best we could with what we knew…when we knew more, we did better.”

It’s difficult to reflect back on Thomas’ childhood without being melancholy. I fought and fought for help for him from the time he was a baby all through his teens. But I don’t expect or want a pat on the back. I’m no different than any other mother of a special needs child. Thomas changed me. He made me be very vocal, I used to be relatively quiet. Thomas gave me a loud voice. Thomas made me more open minded, I used to be a bit judgemental. After Thomas…nope not so much. I met the greatest people ever because of Thomas; women who became soul sistahs and others, ones that I admire more than I can ever express. I was fortunate to have these women in my life. So 25…it’s a milestone for Thomas and us. We all made it!