Bragging on Bragg ACV

I moved recently (In January) and I now live within almost walking distance of a Kroger!

Yesterday, after getting off work, I stopped into Kroger and wandered vaguely through the isles. Suddenly, I found something WONDERFUL. Something AMAZING. Exactly what I had been looking for for AGES!!!

No, not a husband… *sigh*

20120702appleciderbottleshotnew_drinks

I had previously only found these on Amazon.com, and seeing how I had never tasted them, I didn’t really want to order a 24 pack and have them shipped to me for an outrageous amount of money. I have so far only tried the Apple Cinnamon one, and it is super good! Reminds me of tart apple pie. Apple Cider Vinegar has a lot of great health benefits. I use it in my hair, on my face, and to clean in my kitchen. But I had not yet found a tolerable way to drink it. Super glad I found a place to buy these in person!

To learn more about Bragg products, click here.

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Ambulances

Ever since November 22, 2014 I have had an emotional reaction to seeing ambulances running lights and siren to or from an incident. I’ve always made it a point to pray for police officers when I see them running code or stopping a car, having family members and friends in law enforcement makes you more sensitive to the dangers of their job. And I’ve always made a point to pray for the people I see involved in car accidents along the road, but it hasn’t been until now how important ambulances, EMS, and EMT’s are. My mom wasn’t currently in critical condition when she took her last ride in an ambulance, but that ride marked the last time she traveled anywhere, the last time she sat in a brand new recliner her parents had purchased for her, which had only arrived hours before.

There is something sobering about putting yourself in another persons/family’s shoes. What does that ambulance ride mean for them? I remember looking through the blinds in the computer room of my house, watching them roll my mom, who laughed and joked with them the whole way, out to the ambulance and load her in. I remember a sense of just, complete denial. “This isn’t necessary. She’s being over dramatic. She could have walked out to a car on her own. She’s fine. She’ll be back in no time, she’s getting better.” But as much as my brain tried to convince me that everything was fine, my heart was heavy. I spent the rest of that day alone in the house, listening to the clocks tick, wondering what it would be like to live in a house without her and trying to convince myself that wasn’t going to happen.

And that’s what comes to me every time I see an ambulance. So I take a few moments and pray for them, for the EMT’s, the family. Because I know what it’s like to feel like you’re floating in an ocean of unknown.

I say all this as a reminder, to you, my loyal readers. It’s very easy to get to the point in your life where you just motor along, totally absorbed in your life and your mission and your purpose. Taking time to set all the “you” aside and put yourself in another’s position, pray for them not with pity, but with empathy, is something indescribably valuable. Not only is prayer powerful, and you are no doubt having an impact on their life as they fight the battle of this world, but opening yourself up to another’s struggle helps you better appreciate your own blessings. At least, it has for me.

Second, lesser thought for you along similar lines… I’ve been going on long walks lately, about 2.5 miles. Last time I did this, about half way through, I realized that I was walking along staring at the ground. For good reason, the route I take is quite rocky and uneven in places, and I don’t like twisted ankles. But, when I realized this and looked up, took in the scene around me and looked ahead instead of right where I was, I instantly felt better. Like, emotionally and physically felt a lot better. As it turns out, looking down slightly constricts your air ways, so you feel very slightly light headed if you’re doing something strenuous and looking down the whole time (oops). Seeing the light of the sun and the wind in the trees always makes me a happier person in general. I’m way too tired at the moment to make some great life lesson out of this about not getting caught up in the struggles of the day. Instead, just, look around at how beautiful everything is when you walk and… y’know.. Breathe.. normally… It helps, I promise!

I think I’ll head towards the bed now. heh…

~TQG

This is where the title goes if you’ve thought of one

Yesterday would have been my mom’s 48th birthday. Nearly three months since she went home, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Or maybe it does. It feels like it’s been forever, but at the same time, it still feels fresh, like it was only yesterday.

I find myself being hit with things sometimes quite suddenly… Not long ago I went with a friend of mine to David’s Bridal to pick up her wedding dress. While we were there she saw a thermos that said “Mother of The Bride”, and exclaimed “Oh! I love that! Definitely getting one of those for mom!” Moments like that just ache. I found myself looking around at all the dresses that night, seeing glowing young brides trying them on and their mom’s giving them advice, “Hmm.. I like that one, but I liked the lace better on the other one.” and thinking to myself “I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to do this without crying…” My mom’s opinion on those things means more to me than anyones. My mom’s opinion on men, her approval, means so much to me.

Yesterday I decided to change my name on Twitter and Instagram, so instead of having my first and last name, it has just the first and middle. Because my mom’s name, Elizabeth, is also my middle name. I’ve always liked it, but in honor of her I’m sporting it even more proudly. Moriah means “The Lord is my Teacher” and Elizabeth means “Pledged to God”. I think that’s a pretty powerful combination.

The Lord is my Teacher,  I am pledged to Him.

Since November, I’ve definitely noticed changes in myself. Good changes, I’d say. Improvements. Ignoring the grief driven first month of eating whatever was in front of me, I’ve made my health a top priority. Doing some form of exercise almost daily and eating much more purposefully than I was previously. I’ve gotten more relaxed around people, become more outgoing, and a little bit better about answering my phone when it rings (It’s a serious problem, haha). I’m less concerned about peoples opinions and I (mostly) stopped hiding from people with cameras, mainly because I wish there had been more pictures of mom. She never liked having pictures taken, so there aren’t many recent ones of her. I’ve also made it a point to do at least one social thing a week. As in spend time with people on purpose not just go to starbucks and sit near people. (Guilty of calling that social time… yup.) Which has helped me immensely, because time around coworkers needs to be counterbalanced with time around those who encourage me with their speech and actions.

I’m trying (still) to find a place to take vocal lessons, but I’m coming up empty on that. Also looking into yoga classes (a pastime I miss terribly, one of my favorite forms of exercise) and still exploring the realm of college classes, trying to decide what to spend my precious few moneys on (I’m aware that moneys is not a word). At 21 I’ve pretty much given up on finding a “career” that I want to pursue, I will argue with anyone who claims that it’s somehow an incomplete view of life to just want to be a wife and mother. Not saying I won’t work, just that what kind of work I do is irrelevant to my dreams. I do love children’s ministry, but in all honesty, I’ve known far too many youth ministers (including my parents) to think for even a moment that you can earn a living that way. It’s a fabulous thing to do, whether you volunteer or do it part-time, but it’s not a career you can live on, in my experience. I’m hoping eventually I can arrange my work schedule in a way that will allow me to do that on the side, because that would really make my heart happy. Kids are such bright stars of life.

Anyway, I’ve been off work today, and gotten almost nothing done except catch up on some missed sleep, wash a few dishes and talk to my dog. He got stung by something yesterday, his ear is very swollen and painful… I keep telling him he’s kind of a dork for managing to get stung by something in 30 degree weather. But he doesn’t seem to understand… Then again, I don’t think clearly when I’m on benadryl either so I can’t really blame him.

Until next time!

~TQG

 

Jumping In

Starting back to work this evening with a sneeze. Or two. Or ten. Was kept awake much of last night with a cold, and broke out the cold meds this morning. Lots of vitamin C, zinc, cranberry juice, coffee, and water. And so far I have emptied and repurposed one box of tissue. They make great mini trash cans once they’re empty! … I’ll go to work smelling like vaporizing chest rub rather than perfume… Sadly…

These last few days have been a huge struggle. I miss my mom. It all feels so unreal, like a bad dream. The grief roller coaster is rough, laughing one minute and feeling like your chest is about to crack open from sadness the next. Stress of the unknown is constantly knocking at our door as we try and figure out how to manage bill payment. There are 11 different medical bills all needing paid. Eleven. And not little bills either. And on top of that, electric, water, internet, mortgage (why is there a T in that word??) and phone bills. All of this I knew existed before, but never had to sit down and look at the numbers… I’m glad I’m learning it now, but it’s still a lot to take in.

Literally just now I’m getting a text from my manager asking if I can come in early… *sighs* Thus begins my jump off the cliff of real life.

Update

An update on my family, particularly my mom.

As I said in my last post, after Sunday’s hour of prayer we found out that her CPK (inflammation) levels are totally normal, even better than your average healthy person, so that is a huge blessing. However, her heart is enlarged due to the strain to push blood through damaged lungs.

Last night she was feeling extremely short of breath, dizzy and weak, and this morning she made the decision to call an ambulance and go to the ER. They’ve run a couple of tests and found that she has a small blood clot in her lungs and fluid on her heart. They’re going to drain the fluid today (you have to be put under for this, but it’s just a large needle, no real “surgery”), and she will most likely be staying in the hospital for the weekend. So please keep her in your prayers.

Currently my truck is having weird electrical issues, and we have only one car. I’ve recently rearranged my schedule at work to be home for Mom, so I lost a lot of hours already and am going to have to procure rides to work this weekend. Thankfully I have some awesome coworkers and managers who are helping me anyway they can from covering my shifts to giving me rides! Such a blessing.

Anyway, at the moment I’m feeling kind of stressed and overwhelmed, so please keep my family and I in your prayers. We really appreciate you all.

Exciting News!

Awesome, fantastic news! My mom went to the doctor day before yesterday and had blood work done. Her stats used to be really bad, but now her  inflammation levels are completely normal – they went from outrageous and risky of 8000 (CPK level) to 60, well below the normal range of 300! She still has damaged lungs and a heart that is working overtime to pump blood into her lungs — and we are addressing that right now with the cardiologist, but FINALLY some good news! We are so encouraged and uplifted by this.

Also, I’m taking steps to acquire a scholarship and take a couple more online classes, make at least a little bit of progress earning college credits. Probably two classes. Filled out the application today. So that’s exciting as well. 🙂 Praying that I get one of the two larger scholarships, but even the smallest one would be a great start. So to those of my praying followers, here are the following prayer requests:

Continued healing for my mom.
Scholarship contest– God blesses me with a decent sized one.
Financial Aid–that I get enough to be worth something.

Anyway, thats the update for today! Super thrilled by the turn of events today. 🙂

Wife Material

With the help of one of my very best friends, I’ve been staying in my Bible daily for a while now. Literally daily, which is something I haven’t been successful with consistently until recently. It’s helping me a lot. 

Basically what we’ve been doing is sending a text to one another with what we read that day and at least one thing we got from it. The great thing about that for me is, rather than just reading a certain bit of scripture, I have to really examine it and seek out at least one thing to learn from it. No matter how busy or tired I am, I have to find something, and that searching has lead to a lot of spiritual nourishment for me. It’s also neat to see how different bits of scripture come across to different people, it’s a learning experience.

Recently I was reading in 1 Timothy, and in chapter 5 (verses 4&8) I had a thought about my families current health situations. Right now I’ve had to serve my family a lot, and that’s been really good for me, I feel like I’ve grown a lot through it. It’s very encouraging to know that my actions toward my family in our time of need please Him. I’m no where near perfect, I don’t always have a good attitude, I fail a lot, but those times when I get it right, or at least try to get it right, He is pleased. That’s awesome.  Not to mention, it’s great wife practice! I’m looking forward to being a wife, and eventually a mother, every experience I have now will add to my pool of knowledge for that time. Pretty cool.

 

In unrelated news, I have stopped breeding gerbils now, and am slowly adopting out all except my favorite males. Once I’m down to just my keepers, I’ll be adopting a hedgehog!! (Roll your eyes and laugh, but animals have always been my thing, it’s just who I am. ^_^ ) I’ve already got a deposit down with a breeder to keep me on the waiting list, she tells me she should have a litter in about 3 weeks, and then it has to be weaned before I can come pick it up. It’ll be about an hour drive to go get it, so I’ll probably take the day off and enjoy my little mini road trip. I’m very excited. 😀 I’ve wanted a hedgie since I was about 14, so I figure at 21, I deserve to go for it.

SO looking forward to the Fall weather. We had a cold front come through about a week ago, it was in the low 60’s that morning and never got over 75f the rest of the day. Absolutely gorgeous. So excited to break out my cozy long sleeves, sweaters, hoodies and scarves. Best time of year ever. ^_^

That’s it for now, folks! Off to clean the microwave, vacuum the house, dust the tables and whatever odd house chores are waiting to be done. 😛 haha

Prayer Request

Currently, my mom is still sick (that’s pretty much a constant factor) my dad just had spinal surgery, which leaves me as the only healthy, able-bodied member of my family. It’s been rough.

Praise God for friends though, we’ve been so blessed to have friends coming out of the woodwork, from Facebook especially, learning about our dilemma and stepping up to help us. Making us dinner (and bring paper plates so we won’t have dishes!), running errands for us when I’m at work, it’s been a huge weight off our shoulders and a big encouragement.

Still, emotionally and mentally, it’s hard on all of us to be down like this. We are struggling. We’ve spent a lot of time in prayer, which helps a lot.

Speaking of which, if any of my blog followers would be so kind as to pray for my family, that would be awesome.

 

 

A Taste Of Adventure

So I’ve been back from Oklahoma for a few days now, been back to work, back in my own bed, back to the daily grind. (Does no one else think of coffee when you hear that phrase? It makes me want coffee…)

My second day back was kinda crazy, my mom came into my room and woke me up with the words “Moriah, I need your help, there’s blood all over the kitchen floor.” As it turned out, my rambunctious and prey driven dog Camo, an Akita/Labrador cross, took off so hard that he ripped open his claw horizontally, all the way into the toe. Looked like a crime scene. I took him to the vet who sedated him, cut off the dangling portion of claw, cleaned it with a saline wash and squirted superglue into the open part of the claw to prevent bleeding. After a day of being high on drugs, he was still whimpering from pain and his toe very swollen, so the vet gave him three pills to take daily, a pain reliever, an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic. Now he seems much more comfortable and much happier, though still limping some. Silly pup.

My trip was great! Getting to travel alone was very confidence boosting. Nice to know that I can as a matter of fact, make it on my own. Be independent. The wedding was great, I met lots of interesting, fun people, and I had a lot of spontaneous fun, both solo and with my cousins friends. I swam in a saltwater pool every day at the hotel, went to a free concert downtown with a group of people, walked to little cafe’s and diners alone downtown several times, and experienced the fear/rush of having to find my departure gate in the Atlanta airport. Which ended up being a long walk, train ride, and two escalators away from my arrival gate. It was such a liberating time. I actually felt like an adult, not in the “back to work to earn money because I’m an adult” way that I normally do, but in the “I can make decisions for myself and find my own way without help because I’m an adult” way. Normally, because I live with my parents, if I get invited to something or want to go somewhere, I have to ask them first and can’t really be “spontaneous”. But while I was there, no one was really “responsible” for me, my grandparents sort of were, but not to the same degree as my parents would be. So when I was invited somewhere or decided I wanted to walk to a cafe and get lunch, I just went. Maybe told them I was leaving before I went, but didn’t “ask permission” to go. It was awesome. It made me wish I could afford a small apartment of my own nearby, so I could have that sort of freedom at home. But, sadly, a part time Pet Care Associate at Petsmart does not make enough to pay rent or water or electric bills. Unless you want to go without food. Then it might be possible!

The month after next I’ll be turning 21. If you follow my blog and read it much I’m sure you’ll correctly assume that they’ll be no “partying” or getting drunk for my 21st, but there WILL be alcohol. Not much, just some. There’s an apple ale that I’ve wanted to try for a long time, so I’m thinking of buying just one bottle (beer bottle sized bottle) of it to try. It’ll probably be nasty, but that’s okay. If I’ve never made it clear before, I don’t have an issue with drinking, I have an issue with getting drunk. So, if you can’t have just one glass of wine or just one beer, don’t drink. If that’s not a temptation for you, by all means, enjoy your one glass. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and probably should not drink, so if that’s you, don’t. Some people have alcoholism in their family history and thus wish to avoid it altogether, and I highly respect and honor that decision, and if it bothers them to have others drink around them, I would definitely never drink while with them. If I married a man who felt that way, it would be my pleasure to honor him by never drinking again. But, as that is not the case for my birthday, I’m going to have my one small drink. Funny enough, I love margaritas, but only when there isn’t any tequila in them. I like just the crushed ice and the fruit flavored mix, so it’s like a slushy. Tequila is so sharp, it ruins it completely. Which amused my father when he made me an alcohol-free margarita a while back. ^_^ I think they call that a “virgin” margarita, but I have an issue with using the word virgin to describe anything other than what the bible uses it for. Just a personal preference, I like to keep certain important words holy.

I think that’s one of the ways our culture has degraded itself, using meaningful words flippantly so many times that they no longer have weight when used. Much like the word “awesome”, which should mean “inspires awe”, but we use it to describe everything. I’m guilty of this too, but after trying for like a month to stop using it, I never managed to prevent it from slipping out. So I gave up. 😛 I don’t think God minds, or at least he hasn’t seen fit to press upon me the need to change that verbal habit. And he does with other things regularly. Such as “suck”, as in “that sucks” which I feel very convicted about not using, “screwed up”, “pissed off” or using “god” as an expression of anything other than speaking about God himself. Though the first three of those are not “bad words” per se, I feel that the use of them is tacky, degrading, and does not conform to any of the biblical standards of what our speech should be as holy children of God. And the bible makes it extremely clear that God’s name is holy and not to be misused, so it’s important to me to honor that.

For those of my non-Christian followers who look at Christianity as a list of do’s and don’ts, I hope you realize that I don’t put these parameters on myself because I think God won’t love me if I don’t or because I think it’s what I have to do, I do it because God died for me so I can have eternal life, and I want to honor him in anyway I possibly can. I do it because I want to. Because by doing it, I set a better example of the purity of Christ, so others will be less distracted by me and more attracted to Him. My personality, my appearance, are works of art that he created, drawing some attention to myself in the right way is fine, but distracting people with crass speech or unkind words is not. Or immodest clothing, actually. Immodest clothes distract the minds of both men and women and takes their thoughts off of what is pure and right and tempts them into either lustful thoughts or criticizing thoughts, whereas attractive, modest clothing causes appreciation of the excellent design and beauty God created. Which I think it pretty awesome.

Anyway, I’m kind of wasting my day off by sitting on the couch in gym cloths. I will actually go to the gym…. Eventually…