making the trek

Trekking through life: Faith, family, friends and a whole lot of coffee!

Night shift, shopping, opera and more! November 16, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 9:54 AM

Friday.  My favorite day of the week.  Forever and ever.  Amen.   Linking with Kelly and all the Quick Takers today….and here we go!!

  1. My first week of Night Shift is in the books.  This week I trained with the tech who currently works that shift to get her work flow, etc. etc.  We will train together next week as well.  She is an utter delight, a fount of information, crazy talented and creative and I will miss chatting it up with her.  She also has a delicious blog with tons of healthy and plant based recipes here at This Season’s Table.  So, while I continue to find my groove with the night shift gig, Tiffany is showing me how I can really maximize my potential…..it’s so exciting!!
  2. With Thanksgiving around the corner I am making my menu–although THANKFUL that mom is taking care of Turkey and stuffing since I work the night before–so I am taking care of side dishes and desserts (my fave) next week.  The guest list will probably change a few more times between now and Thursday but will plan on 15-17 folks.  Mostly teens and young adults.  Which is so fun!
  3. Annnnnnnnnnnd since I picked up my Christmas cards this week and pre-ordered our Christmas tree from our local Catholic High School’s fundraiser, I can begin my shopping on Black Friday!!  Is it possible that I might even be able to really enjoy Advent?  I don’t want to jinx myself but it is looking possible…………………
  4. Speaking of shopping.  If you have any special needs kiddos (or anyone) in your life, Kelly has a great list of ideas here.
  5. Also for consideration, donations to Hurricane victims or to agencies that are assisting.  Or the fires in California.  It is all so overwhelming and horrifying.  The need is phenomenal all over right now from natural disasters and although we may feel paralyzed with ‘WHAT CAN I DO?’  (at least I feel this way), I have an amazing friend and her family who have hit the ground running and made several trips to deliver supplies.  They inspire me that we might not be able to everything but we can all do something and when lots of people do something, big things happen. Below are some Facebook exerpts from some of the trips stolen from friend and her hubby.

     My family and I have traveled west to the coast nearly 1/2 dozen times since Hurricane Michael. Houses have been ripped off their foundations, massive trees have been twisted and snapped like toothpicks, and roofs have been torn from buildings and tossed aside like building blocks. And over one month later, we still can not even access Mexico Beach; authorized personnel only. The devastation is indescribable and the locals are still shell-shocked. Please consider putting on your boots and getting involved. Contact me with questions and I will help direct you.

     

                    Friends, please know that every sacrifice you made was appreciated. We just dropped off a truck FULL of supplies and then traveled through some smaller neighborhoods in Panama City. The devastation is utterly astounding. We handed out $20 bills to the people we could find. One man exclaimed that now he could buy dog food, another told us that his house is uninhabitable and he has to leave. Didn’t know where he was going or how he was going to make it. A man and another woman we met began to cry when we handed them money. Another young lady simply wept in my arms. Her name is Amanda – pls pray for her💗

    One of my new favorite things to do – hand out Starbucks drinks to those in need. While I don’t drink coffee, nor do I wish this devastation upon anyone, I am so grateful to be surrounded by a community willing to help. What you can’t tell from these pictures is that the backs of many of these buildings no longer exist. Please share, visit; help.
    #panhandlenotforgotten

    Image may contain: 1 person, drink
    Image may contain: tree, sky, shoes, outdoor and nature
    Image may contain: outdoor
    Image may contain: sky, tree, outdoor and nature
  6. Switching gears:  the Hubs and I are off to the opera tonight.  Sounds so fancy, right?  Our son is a music major at UF and the college is putting on Hansel and Gretel tonight and tomorrow, with full orchestra so if you are in the area……..  Tickets here
  7.  And that is a wrap for this week.  Have a great weekend and stay warm.  Even here is Central FL it was a brisk 44degrees this morning, which 100% means pulling out boots, jackets and flannels!

Peace,

Tracy

 

Everybody wins on Wednesday November 7, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 11:09 AM

Happy Wednesday.  In my blogging bonanza I figured I’d share with you some goodies I have come across recently AND a recipe for breakfast.  How’s that sound?  Out of these three tidbits there is theoretically something for everyone=everyone wins!  **also not sponsored….I think  you have to have a ton of people following your blog for that, so these are just a few of my new favoritey things!

Last month my girlfriends and I took a weekender to Savannah (which I instagrammed but haven’t blogged–so you MAY see that in the near future) and during the daylight hours we took in some of the fabulous shopping offered and I came across some really great finds.  With Christmas undeniably around the corner you may want to incorporate some of these in stockings, so without further ado……………..

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Deodorant stone.  Now I have been VERY skeptical about “natural” deodorant b/c I am no fan of patchouli and that has been my “in real life” experience, but also HIGHLY intrigued because I am aware of the Alzheimer’s/dementia link to aluminum found in anti-perspirants and with this little blessing already present in the genes I would like to do what I can to prevent or delay this onset.  My super sweet sales girl explained to me how it works:   unlike traditional deodorant, this is not a “one and done” swipe, but rather wet the stone and apply to CLEAN, DRY skin as you massage it in—vvvv important if you want this to actually work as expected.  Again.  Super skeptical, but worth the try.  It is unscented, dries quickly and not sticky at all and after 3 weeks of use and truly putting it through it’s paces in the ER, I am a fan.  I’m pretty sure it will last almost forever which makes the $5.50 price tag UBER worthy.  I’m putting these in the girl’s stockings and they have promised to give it a whirl over Christmas break—but like their mother they remain skeptical.  The whole store was really fantastic with all kinds of great bath, body and home products (color me a sucker for all that jazz)  and you can shop online here @ nourishsavannah

Moving on to fab find #2………………

The Spice and Tea Exchange

See the source image

This store is directly next to Rise Biscuits Donuts which pretty much had the best peach AND blueberry biscuits in the universe and since I had one the day before and just finished brunch I went next door to avoid the inevitable pull of the dough….but I am getting off track here.  (but if you’re in Savannah and not gluten free………..GO!)

The Tipsy Toffee Herbal Tea (decaf) and Pumpkin Chai Latte Tea (because hello, FALL!) were AHmazing!!!   I am a complete and total newbie to loose leaf tea and needed to buy the ball thing to put the leaves in,  however, I am a BELIEVER!!!   So.  Freaking.  Good.  Sorry to say the Tipsy toffee tea is currently out of stock, but if it comes back in…..get.  it.  I bought several other various spice packets (which I have used pretty frequently with wonderful results) and had to quickly check out because I could see where things were heading but they also offer online shopping and I found them very reasonably priced.  Tasty options for corporate gifts, hostess gifts, etc. etc. etc.    The owners were super sweet and knowledgable as well, so you can’t go wrong there!  HIGHLY recommend!!

OK.  Last thing….a breakfast recipe.  Short, sweet and nutritious!!

No name for it.  Let’s call it pumpkin souffle breakfast.  Works for me.

1 banana smooshed up in a bowl

2 eggs lightly beaten (or 1 egg and 1 egg white, shoot, 2 egg whites will prob work, too!)

1/4 cup of pumpkin puree, more or less—I just eyeball measurements

cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to taste…..1/2 tsp ish

scoop of coconut cream (put a can of coconut milk in fridge….the stuff that floats to the top is coconut cream–super good!)

raisins–optional so however many you want

Mix it all up real good

Microwave 2 minutes and stir and let it go another minute.  Depending on your microwave, once it’s not runny in the middle you are good to go.  Let it cool and enjoy!

Until we meet again, have a great Wednesday!

Tracy

 

 

Makeovers, redos and found time November 6, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 12:07 PM

Yes.  I am blogging two whole days in a row here.  Insanity.  This is what I do when I have some extra time and I am loving it.   And I am rethinking my blog.  Do I want a theme?  A life diary?  Inspiration and motivation?  A lifestyle blog-? –JK–the last one was a joke, I don’t have THAT much time!!

Some of the things I am working on with my “found time” thus far:

  • Upping my fitness and health game.  I’ve been meeting a friend 3 mornings a week for weight training but now I have extra days to take our pup on longer walks and meal planning which is a heck of a lot easier to do earlier in the day because at night I am DONE.  Nevermind the time change, my productivity ramps early and my rest and recreation kicks in at the end of the day.  Which brings me to the conclusion that these things can only be good for my health—and my waist–in addition to changing up the weekly menu which always makes the fam happy!
  • Blogging–case in point…day 2.  Gotta start somewhere right?
  • Calligraphy.  Basically a fun hobby.  I have decent handwriting (when I’m not hurrying) and I find it very relaxing.
  • Sewing.  So far I have done a little curtain project, mended some rips and fashioned a little thing a ma jig for my shoe.  Again.  A start, but now I actually have time to play with it and get those lines a little straighter.
  • Cooking.  See health and fitness.  It’s a lot easier to cook when you aren’t rushed, hungry and whipped from the day.  Today our oven is actually broke, but I did make hard boiled eggs and bacon and have today and tomorrow’s dinner plan, so I am feeling pretty accomplished right now.

Tune back in tomorrow for some products I’m using………….

Peace!  Tracy

 

 

Season change… November 5, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 12:09 PM

Daylight savings.  Le.  Sigh.  What sounds like a dream….”extra hour of sleep”….is such a sham.  Generally DST kills me for two weeks before I adjust.  Whatevs.  I’ll suffer through with the rest of humanity and then we can do it all over in the spring!  Am I right??

THIS year adds a twist;, I have a job change which is sending me back to the night shift–where I started my career.  I have worked the night shift several times over my career and in general,  like it because it is a tight group, people show up and work and there is none of the daytime drama and politics, etc.  Of course, fast forward 25 years and I am no longer the spry little 22 year old who keeps those hours on my off-nights as well.  I am also no longer the 29 year old mama who is caring for babies after the Sunday night shift, so I am thinking the sleep factor is going to be a game-changer this time around.  AND I have some extra time during the week as well, so I am ready for this.  I don’t know how long it will last since the only constant thing in healthcare and life is change………….but I am peace and am trusting that God has a plan, ther is a purpose to this change, and somehow He is going to make sure I am well-equipped to deal with all the changes….even DST!!

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Here I am October 11, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 12:00 AM

Sometimes it is easy to pray the words?  But to live the words?  That is the hard part.

My last blog was all about seasons of change in our marriage and boom…..season change!

Recently I’ve found myself in job limbo, much to my surprise.  It is a new situation for me and one that I have (blessedly) never experienced before.  My current job is interesting in itself in that when I took this job I wasn’t even looking for a job but it found me and with much prayer and discussion realized this was an opportunity to provide the professional growth I had been seeking and so I jumped in and it’s been fascinating and exactly what I was looking for and I have been able to put into practice many new ideas and programs in addition to “peopleing”……lots of “peopleing”.  And I have loved it all….even on the frustrating days.

So it was with much confusion, anxiety, anger and angst that I have been wrestling with this change over the past week.  My brain has been on overload, at the same time also mercifully full of reason that far outweighs the panic and rage, but still.   Tough.  Tough week.  So much brain activity.

In prayer I am reminded that I didn’t choose this job, God placed me here.   Apparently He has something better in mind and it is time to move on and yet I find myself coming back to my toddler-hood in a mental tantrum because I LIKE IT HERE.   I am not ready to move on.  So, my heart asked me the hard question, “do you pray or merely provide lip service?”  And it stopped me.

I am a faithful prayer warrior; ask me and I will lift you up and if you need some direction, I have often been able to see that clarity for others—but I have rarely turned that focus to my own life.   Until now.  And God is showing me the many choices I can make—-blessed with options—and He is promising me that any of these choices will provide the “next step” I need in my life.  He placed me here and He has never left me, guiding, guarding and protecting me along this road.

So I pray,  “Jesus, I trust in you”.  But when I stop with the lip service and speak it with my heart, I know that He has this.  And like my hubby says, it’s time to put on my big-girl pants and face it head on.   I was made for this.   Whatever “this” looks like; I know He has prepared my way and this detour is also part of His plan for me.

I won’t lie and say that I’m excited for this next part because my heart hasn’t caught up to my brain…….but I am ready.   and I trust.

So.  Here I am, Lord.  Send me.

In the meantime…..I’ll be working on my heart.   And drinking coffee.

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Seasons of change October 10, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 4:06 PM

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A few weeks ago my hubby was able to fulfill a dream of  spending time in New Hampshire for several weeks while working and taking the opportunity to enjoy the New England fall weather and extraordinary hiking.

I was able to come to terms with this mini-separation because a) we still have kids at home, b) I don’t work remotely, c) I kind of like my alone time and with kids in high school and a hubby out of town—there was plenty of that.  I was also able to deal with this because I planned to visit for a long weekend thereby squashing any resentment–win-win.

It is an odd season we are in with these big kids.  I love it.  Don’t get me wrong.  When they were little it didn’t seem as if we would ever get to this place in our life where our kids were becoming young adults and independent and awesome and we would be back where we started—without kids much of the time.   Hopping on a plane and heading 1500 miles north and leaving our girls to manage school (2 days) and a weekend without us and trusting our oldest son to be on “backup” with our youngest son in college……it was a weird and wonderful place.

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Waking up in Florida,  heading to a morning of work, hopping on a plane in 96 degree weather and deplaning to a brisk 52degrees and having dinner in Maine and falling asleep in New Hampshire was a wonderful taste of this new season.  One of the things that is difficult to envision at 24 years old and making all those marriage vows is that 24 years later you still need to love each other because you will have lived 10 lifetimes raising your family with countless seasons still ahead…..and if you still love each ot her and actually LIKE each other it will make that journey far more enjoyable.  It takes work but the dividends on the back side are worth it!

So we hiked and slept and ate and read and enjoyed each other’s company.   Briefly glanced back and planned for days and years ahead.

The foliage was just barely beginning and we were able to glimpse the glory to come in the weeks ahead.

Refreshed, renewed, ready for the next season.

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Faith tested August 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:59 PM

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The Catholic Church has not had a pretty few weeks.  Then again the Catholic Church has not always had a rosy past.  There is no doubt in my mind that there are rough roads ahead.  Right now, it’s just maddeningly quiet and it is not helping matters.  Like many, I’ve been frustrated with the lack of discussion of recent events in my home church.  However, today showed me that our pastor is hurting, too.  Hindsight is 20/20 and today was a reminder that often events that are so monumental require significant processing to even begin the conversation.

A couple of weeks ago we had no homily.  Mass ended with a profoundly powerful Benediction and Adoration of the Eucharist.  It was beautiful and it was right where we, as a church, need to be:  on bended knee, seeking, loving and adoring Christ, the one who can make all things new.  There were zero words that could have touched the heart like the Exposition of the Eucharist.

The Cardinal McCarrick mess reveals to the world that evil prowls among our priests and it is not pretty.  The Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report reveals to the world that evil has infiltrated the priesthood and preyed on the flock.  You don’t have to Google far to gather the details.   Catholic Social media is ablaze with anger and our local news station even ran a story on a former priest who was given a positive reference for a job at Disney.  I could go on and on and fan the flames but after spending time in Adoration on Friday. Reconciliation on Saturday and today’s Mass it is not in the adding of fuel to the fire that we will defeat this attack, it is through our faith—faith in action.

Our faith must transcend religion.  Any religion.  Are we worshipping men or Christ?  Priests are men.  Holy.  Anointed.  But men.  The line between sinner and saint is mighty fine and any given day we all precariously balance between the two with our religious men and women not immune to the dance.    But listen, do we not hear or believe the prayers we pray?  Are we so caught up in rote and tradition that we don’t HEAR the prayers of our faith?  You can be Catholic, Jewish, Protestant or non-denominational and if you are only giving lip service to your faith you are missing out.  And I get it, we all have those days, but during trials and tribulations we must CLING to those prayers and dig deep in our faith for the strength, courage and wisdom to navigate through the darkness.  Jesus NEVER promised this Christian walk would be easy, in fact, He frequently reminds us it will be HARD.

Throughout my Adoration hour, I prayed the divine chaplet because you better believe, I am praying for the whole world right now!  My meditations kept bringing me back to the rosary, showing me how HARD the mysteries of the rosary are. Let’s look at the reflections of the rosary:

  • Humility, love of neighbor, poverty in spirit, obedience, joy in finding Jesus
  • Openness to the holy spirit, closeness to Jesus through Mary, desire for holiness, Adoration.
  • Sorry for sin, purity, courage, patience, perseverance.
  • Faith, hope, love of God, Grace of a happy death and trust in Mary’s intercession.

The scriptures preceding the reflections focus on HARD times in Jesus’ life:  teen pregnancy, losing your child for 3 days, humiliation, scourging, carrying our cross, death on a cross, and so on.  NONE of these scripture mysteries are easy and yet they all point us to focusing on the fruits that we are blessed with in spite of the challenges when we look to the Cross.  When we turn to Jesus.  When we ask the intercession of the blessed Mother and all the saints.  Growing in faith takes a spiritual village, intentionality and being open to the Spirit of God, allowing Him to move through us, through our thoughts and through our actions–it is a mutual relationship.

We are called to trust in God.  In dark times, anger is expected and necessary to flip the tables in the temple, drive out the thieves and prune the bad fruit.  The devil doesn’t take a break and right now he is striking the head of the Church in a way that is not new, but in a way that has struck a chord and pissed off the body.  It is going to get worse before it gets better.  After pruning a plant, it is bare long before it brings forth new fruit and growth.  This process will be no different.  My gut says there are more to come because this is an issue that was not fully addressed– EVER.  Bandaids don’t fix bullet holes (Taylor Swift).

Do not lose faith.  Do not lose hope.  Do not be afraid.  Let us be wise.  We start in the home and we clothe ourselves in the armor of God and prepare ourselves for battle.  The great news?????  We have far more men and women of faith that are good, holy and righteous.  They will lead us all out of this nasty mess and into a deeper faith because of it.  Right now they are hurting and pissed, too.   They are processing and figuring out how to lead us through this battle, because that is the only way to the other side.  The devil will not stop and he will look for every single opening; it is the age old battle of good and evil.  Let us do our part in answering the call with calm strength versus hysteria.  Righteous anger versus pointless finger pointing.   Long-term solutions versus knee-jerk reactions.  Teamwork  versus destructive gossip.  Let God use all of us to fight the good fight  and trust that He makes all things new.  Even this.

And today, after our pastor’s homily and reading of our Bishop’s letter to the Diocese addressing current events, we celebrated, as a parish,  during Mass, a baptism of a sweet little baby girl.

There is hope.

 

 
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