Greetings, Salutations, and Happy Belated Easter!
It's been a while since I composed a post, and so please accept my sincerest apologies. I've been quite busy these days. March was probably the busiest month I experienced recently.
Today is the first day of April. In four days, I will become older. I don't like that, but there's nothing I can do to stop it from happening...except cosmetic surgery! *LOL*
I got invited on a little getaway to Florida with my friends, Ed and Jamilaih. Doug had just literally started his job days before they invited me, so he couldn't go. I'm not big on being away from home, and that's probably due to OCD. Vacation for us OCD sufferers is often not vacation. Allow me to explain.
- Being away from home is scary to OCD sufferers. Our homes are like our safe places. We control what goes on in our homes, what we allow in our homes, and home is a place of refuge if we're traumatized on the outside.
- Packing is never fun for an OCD sufferer. We ALWAYS think we are forgetting something, even though like Santa Claus, we've made our lists and checked them twice, or in this case, an even ten times. (I could have just slipped my phone into its little compartment in my purse, and all my husband has to do is asked, "Did you get your phone?" And even though I just put it in there a nanosecond ago, I STILL have to check for it!)
- No matter how you travel, it's dangerous and scary. I could tell you the statistics for motor vehicle accidents, train derailments, and plane crashes.
- And once the destination of travel is reached, then there are worries about the home and your loved ones. The picture in my mind was of Doug eating junk food, pizza boxes and fast food wrappers strewn about the cottage, and empty energy drink cans and Dr. Pepper bottles all over the floor in the car. None of that happened, though.
I bit the proverbial bullet and went on the trip. I'm very proud of myself for that. I was among friends, so I wasn't alone, and they had taken this trip before, so they knew what they were doing.
Ed and Jamilaih were going there for the Missionary Conference at Faith Baptist Church. They were a part of the conference. They are going to Belize soon. (I want to go, too.) I will see about getting more information to share so I can promote them on my blog.
We literally stayed at the church. They had rooms there. That was the first time I've ever heard of or seen such a thing. They gave us keys so we could keep our things under lock.
The conference was from Monday to Thursday. Services were held daily at nine A.M. and seven P.M. and we were fed three meals per day. I wasn't used to all this food. I sort of have bad habits when it comes to food and consumption. I drink coffee for breakfast. That's it. But since I got back from Florida, I've been having cold cereal every morning. They had it there, and surprisingly enough, that whole, "If you want to lose weight, don't skip breakfast" tip is actually true. I dropped five pounds while I was there! And the food was good, too.
I met so many nice people at Faith Baptist Church. Some of them attended the church, and others were missionaries who came in for the conference. Ed and Jamilaih finally got to sit down face to face with a family who are also missionaries in Belize. They were there for the conference. They had spoken on Facebook, but hadn't met until we got there. They were nice, and they have four beautiful children. Jamilaih and I went with them to go shopping and to Starbucks. The boys are so funny! I sat in the back with them, and they were telling me all about the history of the Power Rangers. They entertained me with action figures. It was so fun!
Faith Baptist Church was nice, and it was different from what I was used to. It was set up similarly to the church I attend, but about half the size. The missionaries set up their tables in the back, and people gathered before and after services to talk with them. The church had slots along the walls where they kept newsletters from other missionaries they support. At the conference, there were missionaries to Argentina, Honduras, the Lakota Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, Africa, and to the Jewish people, and as I previously mentioned, Belize. Every night, they had the missionaries come and share a little bit about themselves, their families, and their mission. And each day, different missionaries spoke.
While we were there, they had a women's luncheon. Jamilaih and I went and hung out with the women and their daughters, while the men and their sons had pizza. We got to try something called "Impossible Cake," a dish served in Belize.
The last night of the conference, I exchanged contact information with some of the people, and I have several new followers on Facebook! Yesterday, when I went to my church (I wasn't able to go until yesterday, due to illness), it was weird not seeing them.
We spent one last night at the church, then, the next day, we packed up and headed for Destin Beach.
We spent one last night at the church, then, the next day, we packed up and headed for Destin Beach.
I've been to Myrtle Beach, S. C. and to a beach in North Carolina, but after seeing Destin Beach, it makes both Myrtle and the beach in NC both look like a city dump. Here's why:
Turquoise water...that's something I've never seen until we went there!
This is what our day looked like!
There were places like this near the steps with this grass growing out of the sand!
I wish we could have stopped so I could get a picture of what I'm about to describe, but there was a little bay area that we passed where one side of the water was turquoise, and the other side of the water was blue! It was so awesome to see such a distinct cut off of different colored water! How did that happen?
I haven't seen a beach since I was in my 16th year, so this was a shock to behold. It was around sixty-five degrees, with a chill in the air that felt refreshing. While Ed and Jamilaih were trying to pick a spot, I rolled up my jeans and ran straight for the water! As soon as the water swirled around my feet, I started laughing and crying at the same time! My heart ached for Doug terribly all of the sudden. He should have been experiencing this with me, but I didn't dwell on it. I knew even though he couldn't be there, he would want me to have fun. So I walked along the beach. I tried to keep my hat on, but the wind kept blowing it, so I gave up. I found 1/3 of a sand dollar and a few shells. I found Jamilaih and Ed a couple of pieces of a sand dollar and a few shells, but there were not many shells to be found. I didn't even see any children searching for them. Around me, people were carrying surf boards, playing volleyball, swimming, lying in beach chairs, or playing in the sand. Some girls in bikinis were lining up while guys took pictures of them, no doubt for Tumblr. I could be wrong, but I've seen some of the poses on Tumblr before. There was a group on the beach, listening to FUN's song, Some Nights. Some people were walking along the beach, like me. I walked either way until I realized I could no longer see Ed and Jamilah, then, I went back.
Ed and Jamilaih met up with some friends that they saw last time they were in Florida for the conference. When I got back from my walk, the six of them were sitting in the sand, talking. We went to The Crab Trap to eat, right there on the beach, just a few feet from where we were sitting. Ed ands Jay's friends were nice enough to pay for our meal. I had a coconut smoothie and the best crab cakes I've ever eaten! We talked to them for a while, then, we needed to get on the road. We were leaving a lot later than we had planned, but it was for good reason.
We stopped in Tennessee for the night, deciding to break up the thirteen hour trip into two days. We got home on Saturday around four that afternoon. Doug was beyond the valley of the thrilled to see me! He took me to Starbucks and we sat and enjoyed the seventy degree weather. Then, we went home and he helped me unpack everything.
Sunday, I was really looking forward to going to church, but I was beyond the valley of exhausted, and I couldn't get up. I laid in bed most of the day. My body hurt, but I attributed it to being in the car for two days. Unfortunately, I spiked a fever of 101 that night, and I spent my first week home sick.
It's been about three weeks, and I still don't feel like I'm completely over it, but that could be due to the changing weather. It's been forty degrees one day, and sixty the next. We've had to use our fans part of the day, then turn them off a few hours later. The way it looks, Spring isn't coming.
Here are some other things about Florida:
- I got to see a palm tree for the first time with my own eyes! I had seen pictures of them, but I had never seen them "in real life" before. Some of them had the criss cross pattern at the top, but others didn't. I don't know if that denotes maturity or type of palm tree it is, or what, but I do know that a palm tree's root is as long as the tree is tall, meaning nine feet tall = nine foot long root!
- Faith Baptist Church has several thrift stores there. They were nice, unlike the thrift stores here, and they offered a 50% discount to missionaries!
- My allergies were really bad in Florida. I have no idea why, but my head was so stuffed up while I was there, and I was eating pain meds like candy, due to the sinus pain and pressure. Someone had told me and Doug a few years ago that when he went to Florida, his allergies were working overtime.
- It was actually disappointing, coming back here from Florida, after experiencing a week of fifty degree mornings with a cold but bracing chill in the air, seventy degree days with lots of sunshine, and forty degree nights. Thankfully, the day we returned home was seventy degrees! I never thought I would say I couldn't wait for warm days and wearing sunglasses and floppies!
- We ate at a place called Helen Back, that had the best food! When Ed told me he was going to take me to Helen Back, I was little intimidated at first. *lol*
- After seeing Destin Beach, I NEVER want to go to any other beach ever again!
- Now this may be shocking, but I DID NOT WORK ON MY BOOK SERIES the entire time I was in Florida! I did get online, but I repeat, I DID NOT WORK! Doug was very proud of me!
I had a funeral to attend that first week after returning home. Our church lost an amazing woman at the hands of a drunk driver. I went to the funeral sick as a dog and sat in the back away from everyone until a friend insisted I sit with her even though I may have still been contagious.
My father-in-law spent the last week of March in the hospital for pneumonia, sepsis, renal failure, and a bowel infection. He was in isolation, although I didn't understand their version of isolation. They give you a yellow gown that's thinner than paper, and gloves to put on. I don't know if that's to protect us from him, or him from us. Either way, I don't see how it would work, so I didn't go in his ICU room. I wasn't taking any chances. He was released to go back to the nursing home yesterday.
My mother-in-law made a tough decision. She decided to institute a DNR as my father-in-law's primary medical power of attorney. Doug is his father's secondary medical power of attorney. The first night he was in the hospital, they changed the full resuscitation order to a DNR. I know it's tough, but it's the right thing to do. My mother-in-law changed her mind because a kind doctor explained to her that full resuscitation requires chest compressions, which would break my father-in-law's ribs, cause pain, and further lower his quality of life. Whoever that doctor was, thank you.
Now, for an update about my book series!
I have now written eighteen books. One is a prequel, one is a sequel. The rest of the books are the first part of the series. I have written a grand total of, drum roll please, 921,334 words and 9,659 pages! (And boy are my arms tired!) This is including the work I did today.
The first book should be ready to publish by October. I had a book in mind to publish, but now I am leaning toward a different book in the series. I still have no titles, not even an overall series title. As you can see, this is why I am in way over my head.
I do have a fan page on Facebook now! You can view the page and like it here. Please have a dekko at it and like it, and if any of my readers have any fan pages you want me to like, send me a link and I will be pleased to do that for you.
Easter...it's about the resurrection, yet it has become so commercialized these days. It didn't seem as bad this year, either that, or I just didn't go out and about at the correct times. I made the mistake of buying a dress. I haven't bought an Easter dress since 2009, after a horrible shopping excursion took place. I had exchanged it once because it wasn't the right size, and I had tried on the previous one, so I thought I was good. This dress didn't fit either. So I had to scrounge through my closet and find a dress I hadn't worn before. I hate wearing dresses to begin with, so I found one, a little black dress. Doug wasn't thrilled with the idea of me wearing black, but most of my dresses are black. So I threw it on. We were running behind thanks to nothing working out, and I had to stop in the middle of getting ready, take him to church, then go back home, get ready, and go find somewhere open for breakfast, and it was pouring the rain, and I didn't get there until ten o'clock. Needless to say, I was in a lousy mood. I had to take two trips up to the crow's nest because I couldn't carry everything at once, and my high heels were not working out, so I put on the flip flops I brought and decided I really didn't care what anyone thought. Only two people wore all black, three if you count me. That was it. Thankfully, we were in the crow's nest, doing the media and song lyrics for the screens for both services.
After Easter service, Doug took me to Applebee's. As I got out of the car, a spider climbed down from his web and was about to drop on me. I know you're asking, "How do you know it was a boy spider?" It was because of the way he looked at me. Yes, that's a valid answer! I nearly freaked! So I stood there in the pouring rain, until I started to get cold, so I ran inside the restaurant while Doug went on a search and destroy mission for our uninvited guest who decided to drop in unannounced. He knew if he didn't kill the spider that I would not get back in the car. YAY OCD!
I was seated immediately, which was a shock. When the hostess asked how many in our party, and I said two, and she replied with, "Oh, we can seat two right now." The food was good, our time together was good. Then, we went home. I slept most of the evening, then watched television, and finally got some work done! I wanted to work earlier, but I kept falling asleep. Sleepiness is a writer's mortal enemy! *lol*
Anyway, I've decided for sure NO MORE EASTER DRESSES! Henceforth, I will be buying Easter dress pants and Easter dress shirts! I hate wearing dresses!
That sums up our Easter. I hope everyone had a Happy Easter! I hope everyone has an awesome month!
I will now leave you with some Easter images!
I LOVE the London flag egg!
I wish Spring would come...
And this final pic deserves a spot all on its own!