Archive for March, 2013

Just a little time…

 

It’s been a while. I promised the lovely ladies of HIS, my very best friends, that I would blog as soon as possible. Well, this is it. I was supposed to be in Crestview this weekend. I wanted Elias and his cousin Sylas to have their first Easter together. Only problem is I’m on call… for a week. The upside is my sweet sister Pamela is baby-sitting Elias for the night so Nathan and I can have a break. Nathan did the laundry, baked an apple pie from scratch, and then took me out to dinner. I caught up on my sleep and now I’m blogging.

So last week I started a new initiative. I have quite a few projects going on, but this one takes precedence. I am getting in shape! 🙂 With the help of a knowledgeable co-worker, I have a weight-lifting and cardio plan that I’m following strictly. Luckily, I have flexibility in working earlier or later so I can work out on my lunch breaks. It feels really nice to take time for myself, get stronger, and be healthier.

Work is going well. I’ve actually found a way to not become overly involved in the stress of my clients… meaning I haven’t wanted to quit in a few weeks. I am still very much invested in my work. I take extra time when possible with people I can truly help. I just don’t get caught up in the negativity. Keep it moving. It’s the best way to get through the hard parts and enjoy the good parts. The good parts are very, very good.

In terms of the goals I made for myself this year… we’ll see. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans right? I’ll blog about that until I have time for more.

 

 

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Update ~Venus

Hello everyone! So this post isn’t going to be long at all..lol..Last Saturday, I made Salisbury steak and potatoes. That was the 1st time I made Salisbury steak. I’m trying to work on my goal of learning new recipes. I want to learn more recipes so I can have a variety of food to eat. Last Monday, my roommate got a pet cat named Munchkins. I love cats so I was happy to see that she got a pet cat. Her cat is a very active kitten! He is learning how to deal w/ his separation anxiety..lol..Last week, he was having a fit when my roommate left him in her room. I let him out of her room when I be at home so he can roam around. However, when he roams around he doesn’t know how to act sometimes..lol..Wednesday he was in the living room and he knocked something over. I had put him up in her room for a hr to teach him a lesson..lol…He didn’t like that. I did let him out after that hour was up. I’m going to have to work on his listening skills because he is hardheaded! lol! When I tell him not to do something, he still does what he wants to do. Smh!

I applied to a job today w/ Americorps. I applied for a job at the Goodwill Career Center. YAY ME!! I’ve read a good deal of books from the Old Testament. I’ve read Ecclesiastes, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Ezra. Now I’m on Zechariah. After I finish reading Zechariah, I plan on reading Malachi. I don’t know what book I’m going to read after Malachi yet..lol.What I’m noticing from reading Haggai, Ezra, and Zechariah is that they share the story of Zerrubbabel. I’m finding encouragement from reading those books. Zerrubbael had the assignment of rebuilding the temple. In the midst of him trying to get that work done, he had a lot of opposition. Long story short, the temple did end up being rebuilt but it was a journey. I find encouragement in those books because there are things that I’m working on in my life and sometimes, I feel discouraged especially when I don’t see results right away. I know that I have ask God to give me the strength to complete the work that he has for me and what I would like to accomplish for myself.   I’ve been enjoying  The Bible series on the History channel. The last episode comes on Sunday. =(

Yesterday made 11 months that I’ve been single. WOW! Next month it will be a full yr! I will make a special post when I reach my full yr of being single. =) Well that’s all for now! I know that this post was scattered..lol..That’s how my brain is right now. It’s 2:05a.m. so forgive me for my scatteredbrainness. lol! God bless!

~Venus

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Check-check-checking- *Gem*

Hello world,

I am back to update you on my progress and assure you that while I have not blogged recently I have not deterred from my goal of being radical, even in small ways. I think I have been doing fairly well and I am always reminding myself to push myself out of my comfort zone knowing that God’s grace will carry me through whatever temporary discomfort I may be facing. Let’s jump right it, shall we!?

Learn to cook at least 10 new meals – I have so far learned to make a delicious chicken fried rice, and I have also started to try different salads along with my meals. I now know how to make a mean cucumber salad and a red,yellow,green and orange bell pepper salad. It has taken me a long time to even attempt to introduce something different to my usual meals so this is a start.

Decreasing Debt/ Increasing my savings- I imagine this will be a continuous work in progress. My finances are more or less the same. What I have done is given myself more accountability by putting my finances under a microscope. I have pulled my credit report, enrolled in credit monitoring and I have an account on http://www.creditkarma.com , a wonderful website full of the BEST financial guidance that I have ever come across. They track your credit and spending (once you link your bank account) It is completely secure. It also helps you calculate based on how much you make , how you should save, spend ,etc. As you can see, I really love the website because it  helps me feel as though while I still earn the same amount of money, I can manage what I have better.

Find a home church- I didn’t realize how much anxiety I had about finding a home church until I started looking and thinking about what it was that I was looking for.I currently tune in to TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen who in my opinion really lay things out in a way that I can receive and understand it. I have many of their teaching tapes that I listen to in the car and DVDs that I watch at home that really provide guidance for me as a continue working on my relationship with God. I have identified a church that I would like to go to and I have a good feeling about it. Since I will be out of town this weekend my first visit will be on 4/7/13. So stay tuned!

Create a home office- I have a designated space for my home office and I might say. MOST of my work is in that area. I occasionally move my laptop around. But my scanner, printer and work material all stay put and if I need to access them- I sit at the computer desk and take care of business.

Volunteer- I have not been at a specific place and volunteered. My sister and I were talking about volunteering and giving of self in a way where you feel as if you are contributing but you are not in fact “getting paid”- I realized there are sooooo many ways to give of your time without signing up on a “volunteer sheet” – I keep this in the back of my mind always when I am at work. I do many things that are for the most part not my actual job but just something that I want to do for my client that I feel will be helpful. I enjoy being a therapist that provides in home services and also has the opportunity to provide community support…this enables me to go the extra mile-or 2 miles-or 3 miles (whether I’m being paid or not)

Meditate- It’s as natural as breathing to me now to use meditation as a stress reliever and a way to restore balance. I am currently participating in Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 day meditation challenge that began on March 11th. For more info check out the website. Registration and Participation are FREE! It is so amazing!

http://www.chopracentermeditation.com

Overcome Guilt- I am doing fairly well I would say. I try to stay in the here and now, so when I begin feeling guilty about something , I almost immediately examine why I feel guilty. I ask myself questions such as “Am I hurting someone?” “Do I feel undeserving?”  The more I examine the source of the guilt the easier it is to address the fact that doing something for myself because I want to do it …is certainly NOT a reason to feel bad.

Overall , I feel proud of myself for moving forward . I remind myself that even if the moving forward is slow…it’s still in the right direction. I hope you too, (baby steps or giant leaps) have your eyes fixed only on the road ahead.

As always

One day at a time,

Gem

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Big City-Bright Lights- Renee`

So I have officially made the transition from big town girl to big city girl and it has been very interesting to say the least. Although most might not consider Montgomery a town…everybody knows everybody there it’s very very circular. And having lived there for quite some years I knew quite a few people.

I was spoiled in Montgomery I am usually the youngest person in the office so it usually just happens that someone wants to be my mentor. I always had a mentor from my intern days to my first day of working with the organization I am with now and it happened quickly and lasted forever. Most of the people that took me under their wing still speak to me and still try and give advice. I notice in the “big city’..not so much LOL everyone seems to stick to themselves and idk the culture is different. Everyone is in a hurry (this traffic isn’t anything to play with LOL).

So God has taken me out of my comfort zone of having a work mentor. I’ve had to figure quite a bit out on my own and that doesn’t seem like it will change..and who knows maybe God is preparing me to be someone’s mentor very soon. God has a way of removing anything that would distract from Him getting glory, and I will admit that I have used my mentors as a crutch. They were the ones to push me in social situations and guide me through some interesting office dramas and dos and don’ts career wise; so I relied heavily on them.

God will only allow you to have milk for so long until He switches your diet to some more heavier substances..so now I am learning how to accept what He is doing.

On another note with one of my radical goals I said I wanted to work with Daniel more on educational things. I have really been focusing on this goal a lot the last week or so. I realized that I had a habit of calling someone (usually my mother) right after work which meant I was on the phone when I picked him up or soon after. I have decided to cut that out and use that time for really engaging him in conversation; I have been amazed at what runs through the mind of a two year old. Also, in the morning going to his school he and I used to jam out..now I am taking that time to engage in conversation as well.

He has adjusted  to the move (probably better than I have lol) and seems to like His new school. He’s in the 3 and 4 year old class right now just to see how he does..so I am def trying to work with him so he can stay in that class..but if not that’s ok too..I mean these other kids have him by almost two years..so it’s no pressure,

Bright Lights,

Renee`

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Journey-Renee

So, my life has changed in almost every way in less than a month. I got married, moved and started a new job..I almost feel like I’ve been radical enough this year lol.
Anyone who knows me, knows I plan everythin…probably to the point of insanity. My husband is complete opposite, I honestly never really thought how other people lived..you know the impulsive people, because it made no sense to me lol. But now that I’m living with someone who lives this way it has opened my mind to how…less stressed I could possibly live. (Don’t get me wrong there is def a place for planning) but I take things so seriously that it can really steal my joy.
I’m learning now..at 26 that sometimes you need to really just need to celebrate just being on the journey.
Be happy that you took the first step and don’t focus on the miles ahead.although I’m nervous about how fast everything has changed I am happy that I decided to keep walking in this direction
Nikes laced up,
Renee

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My Week Off ~Venus

Hello everyone!  I’ve mostly been sitting at home all week. I was off work this week due to the students being out on Spring Break. I was also off last weekend. Last Saturday, two of my friends from college visited me. That was really nice! I haven’t seen them in a few yrs. Tuesday one of my friends visited me. I ran into a dilemma a little bit because as one of friends was coming over to visit, another friend called me (a female) and told me that she was in town..I didn’t have a chance to hang out w/ my female friend because she left town by the time I contacted her to tell her that my visitor had left. I thought my female friend was going to contact me before she left town so we could see each other but something came up on her end. Wednesday, I volunteered. I found out that one of my client’s had her baby last month. She was originally due this week. She had a boy! I was so excited that everything went well w/ her pregnancy.

Thursday, I ran errands. I have some good news, I have a new mentor. My 1st session was w/ her last Tuesday. It went pretty well! She gave me some homework to do so I been working on it last . I had a few radical moments this week. I applied for a job today! =) I applied for the Special Deliveries Case Manager position w/ East Alabama Mental Health. I really hope that I get an interview. I had a really hard time trying to figure what to write for the cover letter. I spend 3 hrs working on it. Smh! I was an intern w/ East Alabama Mental Health my senior of college. I really liked the environment there.

On Thursday, I got a Berry Punch smoothie from Smoothie King. That was my 1st smoothie from there. Smh!  A few weeks ago I made Caribbean I made smores today..I never made it on my own today. The first batch burned..lol..I put it in the oven for less than 10 mins. I wasn’t expecting them to burn. I decided to make a second batch..The 2nd time around I put the smores in the microwave. I melted the chocolate by itself for 45 seconds. Then I put the graham crackers and marshmallows in the microwave for about 30 seconds. After that, I put drizzled the chocolate on top of the marshmallow for each graham cracker  and then I put the other graham cracker on top of the marshmallows. Popped them back in the microwave for another 5 seconds. They were yummy!

I think that I could have been more productive this week. Sitting at the house made me a little lazy. lol! I got some things done but I think I could have gotten some more work done. I planned on doing my homework that my mentor and life coach gave me..Also working on sorority stuff.Overall, I don’t think that I did that bad.

On Thursday, I apologized to one of my former friends to what I did to her when we were Freshmen in college. Me and her had a falling out. After the situation transpired (when we were in school), she stopped talking to me and we went our separate ways. I felt lead to ask for her forgiveness. Let’s just say that things didn’t go well. She pretty much went off on me and told me that she wasn’t ever going to forgive me. It was about 7 yrs ago that the situation happened. I was just amazed at how angry and bitter she was after all these yrs.

I tried my best to keep my composure and not lash back at her because I knew that she was speaking out of anger. However, she did make me angry because she told me things such as I was a phony/fake friend, I think that I’m perfect,  and I’m always pointing fingers. I have no clue where that came from. I had to pray for God to take away the anger I had towards her. It took everything for me not to go off on her..I’m opposite of who she says I am. I’m not the same person that I was when I was 18 yrs old. I’m 25 now (me and her are the same age) and I’ve matured a whole lot. Every since I contacted her, the conversation that her and I had weighed heavily on my spirit. I don’t like that I caused someone to be hurt. I dislike conflict so it was a lot take in. I talked to 2 of my friends about the conversation that me and my former friend had. They told me not to worry about it. I done my part and what was right by apologizing/asking for forgiveness). That’s all for now! God bless!

~Venus

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Put Tomorrow in A Bottle~Audrey

“I’m waiting for the day that, together we can find another way back, put everything we’ve got at stake, worry about today, and out tomorrow in a bottle. If there’s some way that we can tack back the wrong we created, we can change that, don’t turn your head the other way, you’re born to save todays. Let’s put tomorrow in the bottle.”

“Tomorrow in the Bottle”

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Kidney advocates around the world are celebrating today. It’s World Kidney Day; a day where kidney patients and health care professionals educate the public about the health of their kidneys. The spectrum is varied when it comes to kidney disease. Some conditions cause diabetes or crippling lameness. Some versions are easy managed by drugs while other must spend the majority of their time on dialysis. Everyone’s experience with the disease is different manner but the disease is just as real for everyone.

Last month, I went for my annual kidney checkup. By the grace of God, a wonderful doctor, and the marvels of modern medicine, I am stable. My chronic nephritis is under control with just the use of a high blood pressure medication that keeps my kidney filters from becoming inflamed. I have also done some life style changes. I drink more water, wear special socks for my circulation, and am eating better.

I am blessed not to have to deal with dialysis for another 20 years. This is both a blessing and a curse. The good side, everyone tells me,  is that medical technology is coming a long way, so I may have it never have to dialysis. But it also a curse because I know it is going to happen. I have to live with the fact that I only have so many good years before my condition will change my way of life, and I find that scary.

God and I talk a lot about this a lot. I have never, ever asked Him why this happened to me. I have accepted my fate, but pray and ask that he eases my fear. As I write this, I am saying a silent prayer for him to relieve my anxiety about the future. He lays a healing hand on me and makes me feel better. I am doing better about the amount of anxiety that I let build up.

I write this not for sympathy but for awareness. Because if a healthy, young, and vibrant young women can have a debilitating disease, anyone can. You never know about someone for looking at them. God has given us all challenges and we all have our separate journey. I pray for you and your unique issues.

So today, share the following kidney facts, and I’ll put tomorrow in a bottle.

Kidney Facts
The most common causes of kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes.

544132_10151494608039106_1648321569_nKidney disease is very common. In 2010, 20 million people aged 20 and older in the U.S. had chronic kidney disease, more than 10% of adults.

According to the most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, more than 527,000 people in the U.S. were being treated for end-stage renal disease.

African Americans are four times more likely than whites to develop ESRD. Hispanics are also at higher risk for kidney disease.

People who have diabetes or hypertension are at a higher than average risk of developing CKD. Other factors that put someone at higher risk of CKD include high cholesterol, obesity, a family history of the disease, and cardiovascular disease.

In 2011, about 70,000 people will develop kidney cancer, and 13,120.

In early stages, kidney disease often has no symptoms, so many people are unaware they have it. Later on, symptoms may include frequent urination, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, swollen hands or feet, itchiness, dark skin, muscle cramps and trouble concentrating.

Chronic kidney disease often cannot be cured. Treatment usually focuses on trying to prevent the condition from getting worse, by keeping diabetes and high blood pressure under control.

Treatment may include immunosuppressive drugs or steroids.
If the kidneys stop working, treatment options are dialysis (cleansing the blood through artificial means), kidney transplant, or in some cases, palliative or hospice care.

There are two primary methods of dialysis. In hemodialysis, a patient’s blood flows through a machine that removes wastes, and then back into the body. The other form of dialysis is called peritoneal dialysis. A fluid is injected into the abdomen through a catheter; it collects wastes from the blood and is then drained out of the body.

The first successful kidney transplant was done in 1954. In 2010, 28,662 kidney transplants took place in the U.S. Of those, 21,853 kidneys were from deceased donors; the rest were from living donors.

Currently, nearly 90,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a kidney transplant Kidney disease is very common. In 2010, 20 million people aged 20 and older in the U.S. had chronic kidney disease, more than 10% of adults.

According to the most recent data from the National Insitutes of Health, more than 527,000 people in the U.S. were being treated for end-stage renal disease.e462baca6bbb7dcbfaa1985ef88e97fe

African Americans are four times more likely than whites to develop ESRD. Hispanics are also at higher risk for kidney disease.

People who have diabetes or hypertension are at a higher than average risk of developing CKD. Other factors that put someone at higher risk of CKD include high cholesterol, obesity, a family history of the disease, and cardiovascular disease.

In 2011, about 70,000 people will develop kidney cancer, and 13,120 .

In early stages, kidney disease often has no symptoms, so many people are unaware they have it. Later on, symptoms may include frequent urination, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, swollen hands or feet, itchiness, dark skin, muscle cramps and trouble concentrating.

Chronic kidney disease often cannot be cured. Treatment usually focuses on trying to prevent the condition from getting worse, by keeping diabetes and high blood pressure under control.

Treatment may include immunosuppressive drugs or steroids.
If the kidneys stop working, treatment options are dialysis (cleansing the blood through artificial means), kidney transplant, or in some cases, palliative or hospice care.

There are two primary methods of dialysis. In hemodialysis, a patient’s blood flows through a machine that removes wastes, and then back into the body. The other form of dialysis is called peritoneal dialysis. A fluid is injected into the abdomen through a catheter; it collects wastes from the blood and is then drained out of the body.

The first successful kidney transplant was done in 1954. In 2010, 28,662 kidney transplants took place in the U.S. Of those, 21,853 kidneys were from deceased donors; the rest were from living donors.

Currently, nearly 90,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a kidney transplant

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