Happy New Year!
Posted on December 31st, 2016 @ 11:25 pm

Happy New Year!


May 2017 be a wonderful year and bring you many blessings.

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2016 In Review
Posted on December 31st, 2016 @ 5:21 pm

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Went to Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, and St. Martin.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Why bother? 😆 Probably go to the gym more now that I have a second car again.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Unfortunately, I lost 4 souls this year.

One was our beloved tabby C.C. He was a family cat we had for 16 years. He found us; we lost a cat 3 days earlier and we weren’t ready for a new cat. He adopted my sister Beth and would cry and sit in the window when she went to summer camp. Eventually, she grew up and moved out. He stayed with my dad until I got my house. We brought him to my house to live out the rest of his years. When I got my new bed for my office earlier this year, he loved it. I would wake up with him next to me. He was one of the last few animals we had with our mother and we have a lot of good memories of him being involved.

The second was my cousin, Melissa. So young. It makes me angry thinking about it. So many unresolved issues from her death as well as questions. There’s more I’d love to say, but this isn’t the space.

The third one was Joey‘s mother, Mary Ellen. I hadn’t seen her in 6 years and we lost contact, but Mary Ellen was special to me. She helped me get the job I have by getting my hair done and helped me picked out the outfit I wore for the interview. She was the friend I needed when I moved to Atlanta. She wasn’t as saintly as others wished she had been, but she did the best she could. She was only human. I can only hope I can continue to show others the kind of kindness she shared with me.

Finally, my dad lost his uncle this year. Uncle Tommy was cool.  I didn’t know him very well, but he helped us the time our station wagon broke down in 190 in Knoxville, TN, where he happened to live. Tommy was a bankruptcy judge, and with my previous line in that sector, we’d talk about it. The coolest story he told us at Thanksgiving was why he had an autographed Todd Helton glove.  Seems Uncle Tommy coached him as a kid.  Yes, my great-uncle coached a Rockies legend.

5. What countries did you visit?
UK via Grand Turk, St. Kitts, and France and the Netherlands via St. Martin/Sint Maarten.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
The same as ever, but I don’t believe it’s mean to be. I think it’s about time I stop wishing for it.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 17 – Probably the crappiest day of the year. We had to put C.C. down and then I got news my cousin was about to die.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Does not strangling co-workers count? 😉 I did survivor another year of Employer Reporting.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Falling further into debt related to credit cards. It’s a sore subject with me and I feel there is no escape from it. I take that back, there is, but it’s a long road. Thankfully, one of my sisters woke up and saw that it’s hurting me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A second car! I did get it and boy did I not realized how badly we needed it until we got it. My dad had to go his uncle’s funeral and worried his vehicle couldn’t make it. He took the new car so he didn’t have to worry.  My brother moved to Nashville, TN and needed a second car until their new car was ready for them. Until they could get it, I allowed my brother to use my older car so they could go to work up there. The new car gave us flexibility we needed and it wasn’t like I didn’t have it budgeted into my finances already.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Didn’t really have an celebrations. Unless you count the cruise as payment for last year’s hell known as 1095c.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Most likely mine because I let my mind wander.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Trying to get my family out of debt. Oh, and quiet a bit went towards my cruise. I really needed that cruise after the horrible end to 2015 with a work project consuming me.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My cruise.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? At bit happier.
older and wiser? Yes
thinner or fatter? About the same.  I need to return to the gym.
richer or poorer? Richer in some ways, poorer in others.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Travel 😎 Sorry, that cruise just wasn’t enough for me.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Work. 🙄

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In bed. Not what I wanted to do, but I thought it was for the best. I spent a nice Christmas Eve out with Nicki downtown. I was fine when I got home. Then, I got on Facebook and that was the mistake. I saw my friends posting photos of their families and kids and I lost it. I started crying. And not the simple tears. I’m talking tears where I am starting to hyperventilate. The type my parents had to give me a glass of water to stop. It went on for several hours.  It was nearly 1:30 before I could fall asleep.  As a result, I didn’t do Mysterious Santa as I wanted because I would have been a zombie.

I thought I would better in the morning, but I wasn’t. I cried some more. My dad made a remark that I thought was flippant, when he asked me how I was doing, that I just thought it was best for everyone if I locked myself in my room and avoided the others.  I didn’t want to ruin their Christmas day. I spent most of my time sleeping.

I came out for dinner, ate, and then went back into my room.  I think my dad saw how depressed I was in that he gave me a hug before I left the table.

I did come back out later when the power went out in the neighborhood. I enjoyed the simplicity of that before going back to bed.

21. Question #21 is in a black hole.

22. Did you fall in love in 2016?
No. I would love to have, but it didn’t happen.

23. How many one-night stands?
Oh, please.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
The Amazing Race, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars. This Is Us.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
What’s a book? I don’t think I read a book this year.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I saw Amy Grant thrice this year. The second show introduced me to Nichole Nordeman and Ellie Holcomb.

28. What did you want and get?
Another cruise.

29. What did you want and not get?
A second cruise. I really wish I could have afforded a 4 day cruise out of Jacksonville.

30. What was your favorite film of this year? Bad Moms.  It’s not the best film, but it cheered me up when I saw it.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I’m not 40, so I’ll take that as a plus for now. It was mainly a family dinner at Olive Garden.  The real birthday fun was the following week.  I saw Amy Grant, again. Lindsey and I drove up there to see the Christmas show with Michael W. Smith.  We took the back roads on the trip because we wanted to avoid the mess known as I-75.  Took longer, but was much more relaxing.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having a shoulder to cry on and comfort me.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
It’s never going to change. It’s sad. I think because I hate my body shape.

34. What kept you sane?
Photography, music and travel.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No one really caught my eyes.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
In general, people that are so hellbent to get their way, they are willing to step on the rights of others. I’m talking about people like those that had violent protests against Trump. They were so willing to shut him down, that they forgot he does have the right to speak. They don’t have to agree with him, but the right to speak goes both ways. I think it’s sad when either side of the aisle does it.

I think its even sadder when I see friends telling other friends to de-friend them because they happen to have different political views.  I saw a quite of bit on Facebook this year and wanted to cry each time I saw it. We shouldn’t be basing our friendships on what name we checked on a box in a ballot booth.  Friendships should be based on how well we get along with an individual.

37. Who did you miss?
My mother, as always. I’m missing Scooter at the moment, too.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
If I met anyone new this year, I’m so sorry I can’t recall you at the moment. Seems like most of the people I hung out with this year are people I’ve known for a while.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
Only I can make myself happy. And cake. Don’t forget cake. I want some cake.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“So long status quo / I think I just let go / You make me want to be brave” – “Brave” by Nichole Nordeman

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The Rest of the World Can Fight Over Remembering Carrie Fisher
Posted on December 28th, 2016 @ 5:33 pm

I’ll remember her this way. I remember my parents taking us to Return of the Jedi when I was 4. It was at the old National Hills theater in Augusta, GA. I remember wanting to ride those bikes and hanging out with Ewoks.

I also love the bite she had in her speech be it on screen or off. Most of all, I love how she kept going, through it all, until the end.

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Life · Videos

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!
Posted on December 24th, 2016 @ 6:45 pm


Merry Christmas!

For my Christian Friends.


Happy Hanukkah!

For My Jewish Friends.

For all, have a blessed day!

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Smiles to my face
Posted on December 23rd, 2016 @ 8:18 pm

My @r.randomactsofcards Christmas cards! I love them both!

A photo posted by Shawn Latta (@peachy92) on

Just because one exchange let me down, doesn’t mean another one will. I got these 2 beauties today in the mail from the RandomActsofCards forum on Reddit. The one with the bigger display was hand drawn.  I love it! LOVE I love them both. LOVE THANK YOU!Hugs

I hope the people I sent a card to like mine. If they don’t, I am so sorry. I tried to make them as friendly as I could. I’m following up with a postcard.

I’ve gotten into the spirit of the forum by sending out a few postcards I had. For randomly sending out a postcard, I don’t have the need for a return card. I off to send a few more.

Also, I need to start doing something I did for a while under my old blog.  It was called Participation Positives. I don’t remember why I stopped.  Probably because I was going through a bad time in my life. It just drifted away from me. Once the new year begins, I’ll be back to it.

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“Precious moments, special people”
Posted on December 22nd, 2016 @ 9:49 pm

Now that I got my pity party out of the way, I’m really better.  It’s really not healthy bottling up anger.

Christmas with Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith

Last Friday, Lindsey and I went to Duluth, GA to see the joint Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.  Jordan Smith joined them on stage for some performances. The show was sponsored by Operation Christmas Child.  Here’s a video of Michael W. Smith a few years ago:

I had a wonderful time. They were having a donation drive at the concert. You’d get an ornament with a $10 or more donation to OCC ornament. I liked how Amy said before intermission that they needed money to ship these boxes. Like shipping my boxes to Mali.

It was such a fun concert! I was so happy to hear Amy perform “Love Has Come.” I had joked on the drive up to Duluth while Amy’s version of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” that the concert should open with the Michael version of the song.  Low and behold, it was the opener as I joked!

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra performed as the musicians for backing. What a wonderful treat!

This was my first real introduction to Jordan Smith. I loved his rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” He also sang “O Holy Night” and the crowd took out their phones and held them like candles.  It was amazing how bright the arena got with the phones on.

All in all, a great night.

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Atlanta · Flickr Photos · Life · Music · Operation Christmas Child · Photography

“I’ve had enough, now I want my share”
Posted on December 21st, 2016 @ 5:59 pm

What about me? It isn’t fair
I’ve had enough, now I want my share
Can’t you see, I want to live
But you just take more than you give

There is only so much give I can take before I want my take in return. Right now, I’m in that mood. It feel like all I do is give and get nothing to shit in return.

Everyone wants to tell me I shouldn’t give if I wasn’t fine with getting nothing in return.  Well, it was an exchange, not a give that I signed up for.  And what does exchange mean:

The act of giving or taking one thing in return for another

So yes, what I am upset about may sound petty, it not the object that I am mad about. It’s the fact that I just wanted a take for now and feel like I was robbed. It’s not the object, but what it represents to me in an overall capacity. I will still give, but what’s wrong with wanting a little something in return in an exchange?

As for those putting me down for my feelings, telling me not to give if I wanted something in return, I don’t think you have all the facts and don’t understand what it meant to me.  I just wanted someone else for once, that wasn’t of my same group of support, to take 5-10 minutes out of their day to think of me. I got the 5 minutes alright.  5 minutes of last ditch effort.

Here’s the thing, I am trying really hard NOT to be bitter, but I can’t help it the more I think about it. I am trying to be forgiving, but it’s hard. I don’t like being a Grinch about it at this time of year, but why shouldn’t I want something? Am I not worthy? I’ve spent all my life feeling like I’m not worthy of anything.  I’m trying to believe that I really am worthy.

It’s not the small object, but the bigger picture in play here for me.

I think overall, this is probably why I stay single and buy what I want when I want it.  I don’t feel like I can find a person to give me what I need. I don’t seem to know what to give in return.  I’ll never be the girl that gets flowers or some surprise in the mail. And it hurts when you realize it.

Thought I might feel sad at this time, I will still do the Mysterious Santa I strive to do when I can. I can still try to give love even if I may never get it in return.

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Life · Music · Videos

“Gabriel’s Oboe”
Posted on December 15th, 2016 @ 5:59 pm

I first heard this song on the 1999 Amy Grant Christmas album, A Christmas to Remember. A different version, but still a lovely song.

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Music · Videos

Sending Mail
Posted on December 13th, 2016 @ 5:52 pm

"Mischievous Kittens" ornament

While December is a bad month for me, I have tried to stay positive by sending mail.

The past couple of years, my friend, Gennie, has done an ornament exchange. I’ve gotten a few beauties over the years: A penguin ornament and a “Squeaky Clean” Snowbabies. Yesterday, I got my ornament from the exchange – the kitten on the laptop above.

I was able to get Christmas cards out this year. So far, I have received 5 back.

I signed up for the Holiday Card Exchange on Reddit Gifts. I sent a complete stranger a little package of goodies. I just felt like being in a giving mood. Also, I signed up for the Random Acts of Cards exchange. I wish it could have been more than a card for them, but I’m flat broke at the moment. (Hi anyone looking up information for peachy921 from Reddit!) Then, someone posted about loneliness at this time of year and I sent a card to them as well. The situation made me think of how I felt after one of the Ashley Wilkeses in my life did to me. No one deserves to feel that way.

And knowing how some of my other friends have been feeling, I sent them a random postcard. I also sent some of their kids random postcards, too.

I can only hope my cards and postcards this month bring a smile to someone.  We all deserve a smile.

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They’re Going to Mali!
Posted on December 13th, 2016 @ 8:31 am

Flag of Mali

Mali? Where is Mali? What is Mali?

Nation of Mali

This morning, I checked the location of where my Operation Christmas Child boxes were going.  I finally got a location.  They’re going to Mali!  And you know what city is in Mali? Timbuktu. Not that my boxes are going to Timbuktu directly, but I can kid about my boxes going from here To Timbuktu.

I will have to keep track of the Operation Christmas Child Facebook page for any updates.

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Life · Operation Christmas Child

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