Category: bloggity


belonging


I think it’s kinda funny, since God can be a very humorous sorta deity, that the word “longing” makes up the majority of the word “belonging”.

I mean, isn’t that what we all long for, at least part of the time?  We want to belong.  We want to be part of something.  We want to be accepted and loved.  We long to BE.

I’ve spent most of my life not knowing where I belong, never being sure of myself.  I was never gripped by a desire to do something so much that I “just knew” it was my “calling”, it was what I was supposed to do.

I’m sure that a lot of people who know me in real life may not think words like “insecure”, “doubting”, “confused” and “aimless” describe me, but they do.  I mean, they sure describe how I feel about myself.

I hate the feeling I have when I’m chatting in a small group or even one on one.  Before long, another person comes along and suddenly all attention is toward that person who (usually) I don’t know. It’s not that I’ve lost the person’s attention but that I sorta cease to exist.  Maybe it’s just me. But I don’t know what to do with myself.

This happens on a pretty regular basis and it’s not with one particular person or group.  And I don’t even think people realize that it bothers me.  I feel like, “Okay…no one’s talking with me anymore.  No one is including me in this conversation.  Do I leave?  I feel like I’m eavesdropping or creeping if I just hover around the outside of this circle.  Do I say bye?  See ya later?  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do!”  Most of the time, I’ll just wander quietly away, leaving the group or the other two people talking.  Most of the time, I don’t think anyone notices.

I really need to know if I’m the only one this happens to.  I mean, if not, then thank God and give me some tips on how to deal with it.  But if I am “the only one” who experiences this, well shoot, that’s pretty doggone sad!!

So with that little glimpse inside my mind, you should get a sense of how I feel a lot of the time.  Just insecure, uncertain if people like me, doubtful that they want to talk with me, confused about how I can feel this way but be able to get up in front of a roomful of people and give a talk.

I’ve pondered this a lot, as you might imagine.  Why am I this way?  Why do I feel so unsure about whether I am liked by others, whether I’m wanted in a particular group?  The conclusion I’ve drawn is that I still carry a statement in my head that my mother said to me once.  Don’t worry.  This isn’t gonna become a mom-blaming post.  I love my mom, but she said something to me once that I’ve carried with me.  Well, no.  That makes it sound like I choose to carry it.  It has just followed me, stuck on a loop in my mind sometimes.  Other times, I only hear it when something like the above situation happens.

I was probably around ten or eleven years old at the time.  We were probably at a baptism or something after church.  I remember being in a sort of overgrown area, gravel and bunches of Queen Anne’s lace and clover. Baptisms were done outside in the creek, of course!  My closest friend had asked if I wanted to come play ball at her sister’s house with all her other siblings.  She was the youngest of six so three of her siblings were already married and having kids.  I went to ask Mom if I could go.  She immediately said no, which was usual.  We were never allowed to go many places without Mom being there, too.  I protested and she said, “They don’t really want you over there.  She’s just being nice and inviting you.”

At the time, all I remember feeling was fury.  I was so mad at her for not letting me go.  It wasn’t until decades later that I realized I still hear those words in my head whenever I’m in a crowd or trying to decide whether to go to a party or a shower or any sort of gathering.  I hear, “You aren’t wanted in that group.  Nobody really cares if you are there.  They don’t like you.  They won’t tell you not to come, but that’s only because it would look bad if they did. They just don’t want you.”

I would never tell my mom this.  As a mother myself, my heart breaks when my boys let slip with something I said to them that was really hurtful.  I don’t want to hurt her, so I would never tell her about this.  (don’t worry.  she thinks the internet is where the devil lives, so she’ll never find my blog or anyone else’s for that matter!)

Finally pinning down the root of this thing has been good for me.  I’m not comparing my mother with satan, but these days when I hear those words, I know he is the one saying them.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to realize after I’ve already let the sting of rejection wash over me, but I’m trying to get better at that.

That’s how I feel about my book. I get these nudges that I feel must be from God that I should write it and I feel that some of the things in it would be helpful for others who are struggling…be it depression or a marriage problem like we had or just knowing someone else out here has and is dealing with the same things.  Then here comes that voice…“Why in the world would anyone want to read about you!  laughter  You’re nobody and your little life is nothing to be excited about.  You can’t even put the words together anymore, so how will you do it anyway?”

Today, when my ancient laptop refused to boot up, I instantly started hearing “This is a sign that you should give up on the book.”  I have my draft saved on here.  Over 8,000 words that I worked hard to get out of me.  The thought of doing it again was horrific!  So, I am going to save my draft to a thumb drive.  I know.  It’s about time, right?Obviously, the hubby came home and “fixed” my computer with just a few keystrokes.  I don’t ask questions, I just go with it.  And I continue to ponder the latest sermon series at church…all about growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has just been like an extra push when I’m sitting there listening and there’s scriptural confirmation that I need to “just do it”, as they say.  This one really hit me hard…

 

“It is difficult to sense the presence of God in your life when you ignore the purpose God has for your life.”

The “main point” of becoming a Jesus follower is to lead others to follow Jesus.  So in that way, we all know what our purpose is.  We don’t have to wonder.  Your way of leading people to Jesus is probably a lot different than mine.  I feel like within that “main point” lies our purpose, our gift, our God-given talent. If we will focus ourselves on “the main point”, then our purpose, our “reason for being” will become clear.  Does that make sense?  For instance, if you have a musical talent, you can use that talent without the “main point” in mind or you can do what you love, what you’re best at, as a starting point to show others the love of Christ. Like if your gift was music…you could play and sing just any old songs, or you could use your talents to share Christ with people.  See?

Okay, well I’m just going to hope this made sense to you.  It seems to take me so long to get posts together anymore that I am writing a single post in two or more sessions and I lose my focus.  I really hate that and am hoping to get past this soon.  I have a ton of stuff to catch you up on but for now, I’ll close this one.

Blessings!

 

 


changes!


Yes, there are some changes around the blog.  I realized pretty quickly that I made a huge mistake with the domain name choice I’d made…  I had no clue there was a book out there called “My Life in Dog Years”!  I’ve used that phrase or analogy for decades to describe what it’s like living with diabetes.  It’s like living in dog years!  You feel seven years for every one you actually live!

Sheesh.  Then my techie kid chimes in with “Mom, people probably think your site is about dogs..”  That never even dawned on me!!  Argh!

So, I changed my domain name.  I tried to choose one I could keep and/or use even when/if I ever publish a book.  Obviously, it won’t be titled My Life in Dog Years!!  Hopefully this way, no matter what the title eventually is, I can use this website.

I think I’ve finally got a decent start on the book.  I have about 8,000 words so far.  I’ve decided to write it as a memoir.  I just can’t seem to separate my life into categories and write only about diabetes or depression (they are like siamese twins, ya know?) or just my marriage stuff.  Everything is linked and I couldn’t figure out how to write about one single topic without needing to explain a ton of other stuff.

What I need now are some proofreaders!  I’d love to have a few people who are willing to read what I have, or at any point in the process,   I have some people in mind that I want to ask.  Some with knowledge of books and what makes a good read, some with technical knowledge to help with places that I am hard to understand.  Others with a little more knowledge of the story to tell me if what I’ve written is accurate or sensitive enough while remaining true.

I’ve been told this is what I need the most.  Readers to help during the writing process who would be willing to help out in exchange for an acknowledgment in the book.

I am so tired right now.  There has been a ton of stuff going on with both mine and Tommy’s health, but I’ll save all that for a later post.

Blessings!


do you have dreams?


Not the kind when you’re asleep that you can’t quite remember when you wake up.  I’m talking about “big” dreams…some people call them goals.  Things you wish for, think about, plan to do, ponder and well…dream about doing.  

The current series our pastor is in at church is mostly about dreams and what we are doing (or not doing) to accomplish them.  It’s brought home a really uncomfortable truth for me:

I don’t really have goals and dreams.  Is that weird?  I’m not sure.  I’ve actually always known that I tend to not set goals and thus, I don’t really dream dreams for things I want or would like to do.  

Maybe it’s because I deal with depression, but I’m not sure I can blame it on that.  I need to poll my depression peeps and see if that’s a connection we have as folks who struggle to be happy sometimes.

I feel like my lack of goals stems from the fact that I want to avoid being disappointed.  I don’t want to fail to meet said goal, and so my solution is to just not set one.  And that’s always seemed to work for me.  heh  Not that I consciously did that, it’s just how I operated.  It’s how I still operate for the most part.

Tommy and I have talked about this, at least partially, a few times.  He likes to “window shop”.  He’ll get a big idea that he wants something we could never afford and he’ll go look at whatever it is, looking it up online or going to a store to check it out.

I don’t do that.  For instance, if I wanted some fancy dress, (I don’t, but if I did…) I would avoid all the fancy dress stores.  I would avoid any online store that sells fancy dresses.  I figure if it’s a given that I’ll never be able to have the thing I desire, I won’t look at the thing knowing it can never be mine.

Maybe Tommy doesn’t feel that way.  Even though realistically we can’t afford his desired thing, he will look at and research and learn all he can about it.  Maybe it’s because he doesn’t feel it’s an impossibility?  Maybe he thinks one day he might actually get the thing he wants. 

I dunno…he and I are very different in that area.  I seldom spend on myself.  I’m not as bad as I used to be, like when the boys were still at home, but I only bought clothes for myself if I absolutely HAD to have something and then it was only off the sale racks.  I didn’t feel like it was “fair” for me to spend on myself when the boys or even Tommy needed something else.  Whether that something else was clothes or a hobby item or maybe a birthday gift.  I never felt it was “okay” to spend on myself.

And that’s not because Tommy did anything to make me feel that way.  He’s never been a control freak about our money.  Maybe that’s part of my refusal to spend on myself…the fear that he might make a rash decision to purchase something we couldn’t afford so then I needed to be “the responsible one”.  Or maybe…maybe I cloaked my self-denial in the title of “responsible”??  Hmm….

Not that he’s terrible about doing that, but in years past, it happened a few times.  Money we’d agreed to use for an improvement to the house, for example, bought go karts instead.  That was a bad time in our marriage.  The times he spent what I considered ungodly amounts on fishing poles or guns or some hunting item… I would be livid about that.  And looking back, I probably had a right to be since we could barely pay the bills most of the time.

Then I’d feel guilty because Tommy is a hard worker.  Anyone who knows him knows he works all the time.  Especially the past few years.  He never tells anyone ‘no’ he won’t fix their broken whatever or  no, he doesn’t have time to diagnose their car or some machine that isn’t working.  

Then when I had times like I’ve had the past couple of months, being so sick I couldn’t even keep up with the bare minimum chores around the house, I’d feel like a big bum and start thinking “What right do you have to begrudge him some splurge item?  You never lift a finger around here…”  Maybe that’s another reason I have always refused to spend on myself.

I guess, if I had to say, “THIS…this is my dream,”  since I’ve never really given it a lot of thought, it would be to be debt free and not have to worry about money.  I don’t wanna be rich, like I don’t want to live in a mansion.  I’d love to be able to fix what needs fixing on our house and do some remodeling.  We need to replace the siding and windows desperately.  We need to pave our driveway and finish pouring sidewalk to the shop.  The landscape needs serious attention and we need to get rid of the carpet now that I’m trying to get rid of dust/dust mites and so I’d like to put down hardwood or tile in the four rooms that have carpet.  I’d like to expand our bedroom which was too small to begin with.  Originally, our closet was going to be in the kitchen, not “in” the bedroom, but when we changed the layout of the kitchen, we pushed the closet into the bedroom, which took up a considerable amount of room.  If there were only a twin bed in there, the amount of room would probably be adequate, but a king-size bed plus two chests and a dresser leave very little room.  It’s cramped and makes me feel claustrophobic.  I’d also sorta like to expand the master bath, which is a decent size, but not laid out well since it is a ‘walk thru’…you can come into it from the bedroom on one side or from the utility room on the other side.  That leaves very little storage space after you add the commode, tub and a double vanity.  We put a pocket door between it and our bedroom because otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to use the bathroom at all!  So I’d like to expand it and if we went to that length, I’d really hope we could put in a jacuzzi, which I would use all the time.  heh  Nothing fancy, just something to bubble the aches and pains away and big enough for Tommy to feel comfy in whenever he takes a bath.

Beyond that?  Well, I’d really like to paint all my oak cabinets, in the kitchen and the bathrooms.  I’d like to eventually get new living room furniture.  What we have now is in good shape.  Mom bought it for us several years ago but I’d love to have a matching set of what I want, ya know?  Not just what’s on sale or what I can afford to get by with..but something I really like.  I’d love to have a nice leather set with the big brass tacks and deep, soft cushions.

Then?  Then I’d love to be able to give gifts without worrying.  I would love to be a gift giver, but we always struggle to buy gifts for our family, let alone giving to others.  Like, I don’t go to showers, baby showers or household showers, because many times, I don’t have money to buy a decent gift without worrying if we’d have enough money to pay bills and if we do happen to have a bit of extra so that I could buy a gift, I don’t go because I’m worried that someone else, down the road will be offended when I don’t buy for them.  I think I probably get that from Mom.  She keeps track of who bought gifts when and for which occasion.  She keeps track of how many daughters or sons she has showered and whether or not they or their parents reciprocated for her children.  Ugh.

Anyhow, for all my talk about overcoming fear and not being afraid of anything because God is our Father and we shouldn’t be afraid of anything… my biggest fear is needing money.  That we won’t have enough money.  Worrying about affording necessary medicines or supplies.  I’m not sure why I am like that.  I mean, we’ve never been well off by any means, but as a kid I never worried about money.  Mom and Dad never let us know if things were tight or if there were worries about having enough for that month.  I think they always had plenty, but Mom did tell me about when I was in junior high and needing a dress for the prom (needing?!?) and they didn’t have the money and she put it on a card and then was able to pay it off in a couple months.  I had no clue.  I had no idea they couldn’t afford to just buy whatever we needed because they always did.

I don’t think our boys knew every time we worried about having enough money, but they knew that things were tight.  That’s why they had to work for what they wanted, which, I think, has made them better men.  Nothing was ever given to them.  They earned it all and I guess that’s why they have nice things today and take such good care of their belongings.  I never really learned about money until I got married and then it was sort of a shock.

We didn’t really have money problems, after marriage, until insurance became a big issue.  When we didn’t have insurance for awhile, it got really scary really fast.  I found out no one wanted to insure a woman with diabetes, and if they DID perhaps say that they would, they wanted an arm and a leg to do it.   I think that’s when my fear of never having enough really settled in.

I’m the type of person who will use a product so sparingly that I don’t get its full effects, or I’ll start trying to spread it out to last as long as possible or I’ll stop using it so I “don’t run out”….  I know it’s bizarre, but I can’t seem to help myself.  I hate sample products.  I hate them because what if I find that the product is really great and I want to keep using it?  What if it’s expensive and I can’t afford to buy it?  Then what?  Then I’ll just be sad because I can’t afford it, so I just won’t use it at all.

I’m not kidding…that’s how my mind works.  

Now, is it that I “love money”?  Because we know, loving money is the root of all evil, right?  No, it’s not that.  I don’t “love” money.   I just want to have enough so that I don’t have to worry about not having enough.  Ha.  Honestly.  I don’t want to be rich.  Comfortable, yes.  But then, God doesn’t call us to be comfortable, huh?  However, living the way we do, struggling and worrying about how to pay the bills feels like I’m not doing something right.  It makes me feel like I haven’t done whatever I am, or we as a family are supposed to do.

And it’s not that we’re wasteful.  I mean, yeah, we’ve made mistakes over the years, but to say we waste money on stuff, I can really say we don’t.  We don’t have cable, we don’t have any satellite radio subscriptions or anything like that.  We don’t have a lot of toys.  I mean, we have our bikes, which have been good for our health, when we were riding, that is.  And I hope we will ride next year and get back into like we were last year.  We don’t have a new vehicle.  Ours is over 6 years old, and it’s a base model.  We only have one vehicle that can be considered “nice” and Tommy usually has an old beat-up truck of some sort.  Right now, he’s trying to fix the 2009 F150 so we can trade our 2010 F150 to a car for me and still have a 4WD truck for winters.  And he got this truck in an even trade for a 2004 pickup so we don’t owe anything on it.   Since I started this post before THIS one, you now know that we were able to trade, and for an amazing car, the one I have maybe not “dreamed” of, but wanted the most and we love it!

Our house is financed for way less than it is valued because we built it ourselves, so we do have equity in it.  Of course, without being able to make repairs and updates, it won’t retain as much value.  sigh

When I started selling Mary Kay a couple years ago, I thought I’d just do it to get the discount.  I thought I could get enough together to make an order with the girls and Mom, but one is allergic to it and the other buys from someone else and so just two people don’t need enough for a minimum order each time.  Of course, then I got sick…that nasty arm pit rash, increased sensitivity to scents and the depression.  I really had to just quit and I felt like that was God’s way of moving me away from that.  I was torn between feeling like a failure and that it was a good experience.

I wonder if this is really true...

I wonder if this is really true…

Then I started feeling like I should try to do something to help add to our family finances, so I started looking into medical coding courses with the idea that I could work from home.  I had gone so far as to reach out to the college and seeing what paperwork I needed to be getting in order so I could enroll.  The more I looked into the actual market though, the more I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to get a position working from home.  I saw that most of the job postings asked for 3 years of experience to work in an office, let alone working from home.  So then I got this strong feeling that I should try blogging again.  I read and I researched about making an income from a blog and after a few months of that and talking to Tommy and praying and just feeling convinced that this is what God wanted me to do, I jumped in with both feet.

And here I am.  I haven’t earned a dime and have spent MUCH more than that on this blog and I still don’t have any regular readers, let alone anything resembling an audience.  Granted, I haven’t been very regular with posting lately, but I’m not beating myself up over it since I’ve been sicker than a dog.

Now I tend to second-guess myself a lot.  Usually, when I get to that point, I end up quickly reassuring myself that this IS what God wanted and wants me to do.  I feel like I’ve just not figured out HOW to do it yet.  I obviously haven’t figured out what my “niche” is, if I even have one.  I haven’t found my voice.  I haven’t decided if I’m bold enough, brave enough to really put myself out there like I envisioned.  Dirty laundry, ugly moles and everything.  And this applies more to the book I really feel I’m supposed to write.  I’m wrestling with whether I “tell all” and risk having people get hurt or mad at me.  If I don’t “tell all”, then what’s the use in telling anything?  Why bother?  I used to think that no one would want to read what I want to write, but when I talk to people about those stories, they are very interested and either tell me I should write a book or tell me when I write it, they’ll read it.

Honestly, I thought writing a book would be tons easier.  Yes, I am that naive!  I know what I want to say, what I want to write about, but man…putting words on paper (or a screen) is much harder when it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty.  That makes me wish I had access to writing classes.  I did a class with the boys when we were homeschooling that I found to be a lot of fun.  It was more about fiction writing, but it helped you understand about various forms of writing and using creative writing. It wasn’t a super-formal class, but I think we all enjoyed it.  Well, maybe not Casey,  my unconventional learner, but Corey really enjoyed the story writing exercises.  

Anyhow, so yeah, am I the only person who doesn’t really have dreams and goals?  Surely I can’t be the only one.  I mean, it’s pitiful enough when I realize this about myself… what kind of person doesn’t have at least one goal or dream?!?!  But to be THE ONLY person who is that way??

That’s pathetic!!

Or… do I actually have a dream and it’s more that I’m afraid to actually call it that?  Maybe it’s that my ‘dream’ is too vague?  I can’t clearly see it?  I don’t know.  But I want to figure this out, or at least look into it a little deeper.

Am I just a big scaredy cat?  Am I merely afraid to dream a big dream?  Am I so opposed to possible failure that I just refuse to set any goal?  Do I have to have “a dream”?  Should I have one…does every person need to “have a dream”?  Hmm… deep thoughts.

Let me know what you think!

(If you would, please comment on this post.  If you CAN’T comment OR if the process to use the comment feature is giving you problems or is too much trouble, please email me:  geannie [at] live [dot] com  I’d like to know what I can do to make commenting easier!  THANKS!)


flightmare: Geannie’s first flight


About that first-ever flying experience.  Oh MY doesn’t even scratch the surface!  Sheesh!

If you’ve been following this adventure, you know that I had finally gotten to the point that I wasn’t terribly fretful of finally flying or even traveling alone to Orlando for #masterlab2016.  I had picked enough brains and gotten all the info I could from friends and family who have flown before that I felt I could handle things without curling up on the floor in a fetal position and crying….however, I kept that right reserved.  Just in case.

I was right about thinking that I would really love the actual flying part.  None of that bothered me.  I honestly am not sure exactly how much “true” turbulence we had.  I know we hit a tiny pocket or two, but then, I’m not sure that some other little noises/bumpiness we experienced that were barely a blip on my screen was actually perhaps turbulence as well?  It just didn’t bother me, I think!

first plane picture...sunset... BEAUTIFUL!

This is one of the first pictures I got to take from a plane…sunset leaving out of Lexington KY… tiny plane with scratchy windows, but what a gorgeous scene. God’s glorious creation! LOVE!

I have ALWAYS loved the sky.  I can take a ton of cloud or sunset/sunrise pictures and then spend hours cropping and trying to choose which ones are my favorite.  I will have them as headers and background pix all over my devices, I love them so much!  When the boys were young and we were homeschooling, I learned a lot about clouds.  Most of it, sadly, I’ve forgotten details of, but I was really disappointed when I learned that the clouds were actually just bodies of mist.  What?

This is the first pic I took on my first-ever flight. Hating that the window was so nasty/scratchy… but I loved seeing the clouds, even after the flight being delayed over 4 hours. I was just glad we took off early enough that I could still see the sky!

Well, I was really pleasantly surprised to find that even so, they still look glorious up close.  Even the thin wispy clouds appeared to me like microscopic “zooms” of fabric that you could reach out and pick up, not just “mist”.

Wispy, thin clouds “bundles” that let you see the ground…

Okay, so now for the nightmare part of this story…  I had no clue this was going on, but as I sat there at the Lexington airport, where this journey began, I could see on the news that Obama was doing his politician thing (guys, I am TRYING to not get on any political rants here, I promise!) with Hillarity (as she’s been called, lol!) at Charlotte airport.  They were already talking about how this was going to create flight delays, but I had no clue how bad it was going to get.

Apparently, there was a bit of a storm after or during the politicians departure.  This, they told us, was creating further delays.  After I sat for about an hour and a half in the airport, waiting to board my plane, they began pushing back the departure time.  Then we began to hear calls to board another flight going to Charlotte and I wondered why they could send one flight there but not the other because my flight was still being delayed.

I heard them call for a “Glen Gray” to come to the ticket desk, then saw the two desk clerks talking across the wide aisle between the two gates at each other.  Then they called my name.  Ah.  Sheesh…I’ve never been confused with “Glen” before, but wasn’t surprised.  The girl I spoke with apologized for the other clerk messing up my name.  Ha ha!  Whatever.

She then asked if I was willing to sit in an “exit aisle”.  I had no clue what she was talking about so I told her, “I’ve never flown before, so you’re going to have to explain.”  She said they just had to ask in case there was an emergency and asked if I was able and willing to help in case of one.

Um… I said, “Well, I do have type 1 diabetes, but I’ll do whatever I can,” thinking that if I said no, they wouldn’t put me on the flight.  So she pointed me across the concourse to the other gate while others who were waiting stared me down and ushered me onto the small plane.

I was seated by the window next to a nice fella.  I knew he was nice because he had a pair of Chacos hooked onto his backpack.  Ha!!  #outdoortype   He said hello and I told him I was a noobie flyer.  He was kind and explained what to expect, which I appreciated.  He was among the first of many that day to tell me, “It’s usually not like this.”  Before I finally boarded my final flight to Orlando the next morning, my response to this had become, “Yeah, whatever.”

But we didn’t take off for Charlotte yet… no.  We were seated on this cramped plane with terribly uncomfy seats for almost another two hours.  I was NOT impressed!  My unimpress-ment wasn’t nearly over yet…

By the time we landed in Charlotte, it was dark and well past the time originally slated for my departure to Orlando.  I had NO clue what to do or how to find out what was going to happen next.  The flight attendant did say that we’d be informed about connecting flights, so I felt a bit more at ease hearing this.  Then, after having boarded the plane via a jetbridge, we were told we’d be exiting on the tarmac down the plane’s stairs!  This was not normal, I found out.  Even though when I came back to Lexington from Charlotte, I did board that small plane up the stairs from the ground, it was just outside the gate and not out beyond the chain link fencing!  I just followed everyone else after locating my suitcase.  Once inside the actual airport, I began to get even more uncomfortable!  It was a MADHOUSE!

This is not even close to how crowded it got shortly after I shot this. As flights kept arriving and NONE departing, it got to the point that people were just on top of each other and constantly bumping you or climbing over you. This claustrophobic girl was NOT happy!

I soon found out what a sprawled-out facility Charlotte-Douglas airport is.  My boarding gate was clear over in concourse C while I had just entered via one of the gates in councourse A.  That doesn’t SOUND far, but the way it’s laid out, it was a long way and add to that the crowd that kept increasing??  It was nerve-wracking for me to navigate to where I was supposed to be.

Once there, the waiting area was mobbed with people.  And it got worse from there!  There were no seats and don’t even think about getting close to the actual ticket desk.  It was crowded around and there were already some angry people gathering there.  Then as more planes landed and more people piled into the airport, they began to climb over people and luggage to get up to the desk only to be told news they didn’t want to hear!!

It honestly got to the point that you couldn’t move without stepping on or bumping someone.  I was dying to use the bathroom, but I didn’t dare try to navigate with my two rolling bags in that mess.  The restrooms were quite a ways away and I didn’t have it in me to even attempt it.  I just stood there, thinking surely we would be sorted out and on our way soon.  Boy, was I in for a surprise.

That was around 10 pm when my original itinerary had me landing around 8 at Charlotte and around 10 at Orlando.  They were telling us the Orlando flight would now leave around 10:30.

“Whatever,” became my mantra for the night.

As I stood at this gate, I heard people around me mentioning where they were flying to…I heard Tampa and Fort Myers as well as Orlando and soon, I was hearing Minneapolis too!  That’s when I noticed the screen also showed Minneapolis as a destination.  I wondered what the flip they were doing since there was still one jet out there, that had been there from the time I arrived and hadn’t moved, nor had anyone deplaned.

The tension just got thicker and thicker.  The departure time on the screen got further and further behind the current time and the irritated people began to get vocal.

Before too much longer, about an hour after I’d got to this gate, they sent the Tampa group to another gate.  Then the Fort Myers group.  But still, it seemed people just kept piling in there, most seeming to be headed to Minnesota.

I had been there almost two hours, standing while trying not to knock someone over or be knocked over myself, when I heard someone behind me say “Orlando, gate E-something”… did I mention that you really can’t hear what the clerks are saying over the speakers?  Not even so much when it’s quieter because an automatic announcement would start over the main speakers about the same time.  It seemed a ridiculous set-up to me, but no one seemed to find it out of the ordinary.

I had not been giving much credit to anything I heard from the crowd behind me, but when I saw this huge mass of people start heading down the through-way, I followed.  I thought, “What have I got to lose if it’s not the right gate compared to what I might lose if it IS the right one?” so I continued my struggle to get to the next gate, which was quite another ways away.

Once there, I found the exact same scenario!  The seats were all filled with very tired, haggard-looking people and at least the same amount of people who stood around them looked even more tired and worn.  The sinking feeling I had increased a notch or two.

At this gate, I made smiley faces at a young boy about 5 who was with his mother.  He was SUCH a trooper, never once whining even though his head would droop as he’d doze off repeatedly.

Honestly, I was proud of myself for the amount of patience I had with the whole situation.  I’m really NOT that big on patience, NOR am I good with new situations or handling bumps in my planned route to a destination or goal!  So the fact that I never used my curl-up-into-a-fetal-position-on-the-floor-and-cry card was pretty impressive.  Of course, the fact that there was really no place on the floor to do that may have been a factor.  Ha!

Time went on and they began to announce the cancellation of several flights around us.  First one, then in about 20 minutes another, and finally a fourth one and people started talking under their breath to each other or no one at all about how ours would be next.

Yikes!  I started texting Tommy then about what in the world I’d do if I got stuck there for the night!  I hadn’t even given that a thought in all my prepping to fly!!  I was also getting worried that my phone was nearing under 20% of battery life and the only outlet I had spotted was being hogged by some really big guys who were lying on the floor around it.

And as I was going into my third hour of standing around waiting to get headed to Orlando, I could feel my feet begin to swell a little.  Nothing horrible, not even noticeable to the untrained eye, but I could feel them tighten.  I finally did find an open seat toward the fourth hour and got to sit for about 20 minutes beside a very angry man who kept cussing anyone he thought was connected to this debacle.

sigh

Finally, at almost 1:30 am, they announced that we would begin boarding the plane.  Oh my goodness, the relief that washed over me was probably visible to anyone nearby!

Thank God this was a large 747 instead of a tiny, cramped plane and I was in a row with one empty seat between me and another guy.  He wasn’t friendly at all, dressed in business garb and he barely acknowledged my smiling “hello” as he sat in his middle seat next to me, then as soon as it seemed everyone had boarded, he moved over to the aisle and proceeded to ignore me.

Rude, but fine.  I was okay with it.  I just wanted to get to the stinkin’ hotel by this time!

I landed at MCO and was finally deplaned by about 4:30 am and knowing it was a gigantic airport compared to the other two I’d been in that day, I worried about finding the desk where I had a transport voucher.

I’d been messaging back and forth with my roommate and she’d told me it was on the first floor, so I made my way down two escalators and finally located the desk which had a huge “closed” sign sitting on it.  I called the number and told the lady I had a voucher to get me to the hotel and she told me to go to “nineteen through twenty-one” and I said thanks and hung up.

I looked around then and realized I had no clue where to find this mysterious “nineteen through twenty-one” and after walking for awhile, I called her back and asked where it was!  If anyone had bothered to tell me it was outside, it would have been nice.  Heh.

I finally located the numbered parking slots outside in the sweat-box like heat that slapped me in the face.  Apparently, while I was running to find this place, I had butt-dialed my poor husband who immediately informed me that I needed to eat and my numbers were dropping (he could see my Dexcom report on his phone) so I plopped on the concrete bench, wiped the sweat out of my eyes, and dug out a bottle of apple juice.

Thank God it was only about twenty minutes until I saw the van arrive for me.  I hung up with Tommy, who had been keeping me company and listening to me rant about the horrible trip and was greeted by a blessing in the form of the nicest driver I’d ever met.

He really was a Godsend.  He asked how I was and I began to tell him, as calmly as I could, about my horrid first experience flying and he then gently helped me up into the front seat of his big van, buckled me in and chatted with me all the way to the hotel.  He asked why I was there, and so when I told him, he said, “I am too a diabetic,” in his Spanish accent.  So we chatted about how he had lost weight to help control his type 2 diabetes and we discussed my decades of living with type 1.  He unloaded my bags at the front of this massive hotel as we continued our chat.  I told him I really appreciated him and the way he had really put an upswing on the end of a nasty trip.  He asked for a hug and wished me well as he handed me off to another very nice dark-skinned man who I guess could also see the fatigue on my face.

He took me to the desk and as I checked in and answered the question about the trip down.  The clerk at the desk offered her sympathy and then a couple of bottles of water, which I gladly took.  I hadn’t eaten anything except a couple of handsful of almonds in Lexington during the 2-hour on-plane wait since the late lunch at Chipotle I’d had with Tommy around 1:30 that afternoon and I’d only had a cup of water in that same period of time.

the main lobby of this massive Marriott!

After the clerk had checked me in and tried to tell me how to get to my room (did I mention this was a gi-normous hotel?  the biggest Marriott in the world, I later discovered) and I guess I showed my confusion because the nice bellhop who had escorted me in said, “I’ll take her,” and off he went with my luggage.   I was so grateful because he probably cut the time in half that it would have taken me on my own.  We went up two more floors, through I dunno how many doorways to the west tower (one of four) and he deposited me into my room and was gone before I knew it.  I later thought perhaps I should have tipped him, but then realized he hadn’t expected one.  So, SO nice!!

I saw Ally, my roomie, raise her head off the bed for a second.  I waved then she was back down and I wasn’t sure if she’d ever woken up fully.  I went about trying to stow my stuff and get myself into a shower to wash the stink of the day off me.

It was after 5 am before I finally piled myself into the comfy bed.  And before I knew it, it was about 7:30 and I woke to Ally getting herself ready in the dressing room.  My phone was on silent, but I noticed it lit up and caught the call from Tommy.  I talked to him for just a few minutes then I eased my sore, groggy, aching self out of the bed and began to rush around getting ready while Ally and I exchanged our first words.

We hurried down to the second floor where all the sessions were to take place to find a room full of people eating breakfast.  She and I got in line and loaded up on some fantastic food!  Observe:

Yummiful breakfast… not even half of what was available! 🙂

So I won’t go into what all went on during the session since I covered that in this post.  I will say that they really packed a lot into one day since we didn’t get any bathroom breaks.  The lunch break was really short, but thankfully lunch was served in the adjoining conference room.  By the time it was all over, I was SO beat!  I really surprised myself by being able to stay alert and awake through it all.  I expected to be extremely sleepy from all the excitement and lack of sleep, but seriously, it was all very interesting and I was so ramped up over attending my first-ever diabetes conference.

I went up to the room pretty quick after the sessions were dismissed because, well, it seemed everyone was busy talking and laughing with other people and I had to pee SO bad and I was starting to feel the lack of sleep, too…

I really hated not having more time to visit with people.  There were SO many folks I had chatted with online that I looked forward to meeting.  I just hate walking up to people who are in a conversation and butting in.  Even if I don’t actually “butt” in…it’s just awkward for me so I didn’t even attempt it.

Anyhow, Ally came up soon and we talked about what we were gonna do the rest of the evening.  Since we are both basically introverts (she might be a little more so than me? –Idk, whaddya think, Ally? Ha ha!) we decided to just chill in the room for a bit, catch up on our social media…we had all been tweeting furiously the entire day!  Later, we went back down to check out the expo exhibits at the Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference which was going on at the same time.

That reminded me of back when I was just a kid and my parents sold therapy equipment and would set up at state fairs.  It was fun to walk around and see all the technology as well as all the youngsters who were there to take advantage of getting to make friends with other diabetic kids.  That’s something I never had and often wondered how it would even be possible (y’know, back before the computer age!) to find another person my age who had diabetes and could understand me.  I didn’t know a soul who fit that description and it made for a lonely childhood to some extent.

After we’d cruised the exhibits, we went off in search of food and then after getting our bellies full, we went back to the room.  (yeah, I know.  kinda boring, but it was all I had in me at the time!  ha!)  We had a great time talking and swapping stories.  I’m SO glad that I got to room with Ally.  Even though she’s just a tadpole compared to me, we had a lot in common as far as our diagnosis age and experiences.  It was just COOL to be in a setting like that with someone who actually GOT diabetes completely.  I had never experienced that before!

Ally and Geannie

Roomies!

Note our awesome t-shirts?  Everyone got one personalized with their state!  How cool is that?!

My flight the next morning was scheduled for 11:55 am but the shuttle would be arriving at 9 am!  So I was up and at ’em early-ish.  I wanted to be sure I could find some breakfast before I had to leave.  Poor Ally is even more of an anti-morning person than I am, and I couldn’t raise her for the life of me.  I got ready and put my cases together for easy grabbing later and headed downstairs.

I found an amazing breakfast even though I had texted the hubby to complain about paying $20 for an “aig sammich” & coffee, it ended up being a really BIG egg sandwich which came with a fresh fruit bowl.

My $20 egg sandwich breakfast!

I’m still not sure it was worth the price, however, once I was eating it, I stopped worrying about the money. It was THAT good! 🙂

I know food at hotels is usually pricey, but being the non-traveller that I am, I wasn’t expecting that.  However, I have to say after I ate, I didn’t have anything to complain about.  It was REALLY yummy and filling enough that I didn’t have to get food again until I was home!

I was REALLY dreading going to the airport…the memories of the trip down there were way too fresh!  I just kept reminding myself that I’d gotten pretty much every crappy scenario out of the way already, so it really couldn’t be any worse, right?  That’s what I kept telling myself and praying for!!

And turns out, I was right.  The flight home was a pud and I basically got on a plane and was in the air at both Orlando and Charlotte.  I have to mention my amazing experience at ORLANDO with TSA Cares.  I was called the evening before to confirm that a TSAC agent would meet me and then again on my way to the airport.  The TSAC agent herself called me to introduce herself and tell me where she would be waiting for me.

Her name was Sandy and I’d have taken her home with me if I could have. She was a JEWEL!  She was all smiles and sweet as sugar (ha!)…she took my suitcase and wheeled it for me the entire time as if she was my valet.  She walked me past a LONG line of people waiting to go through security and through a gate marked “official personnel only”.  She asked if I had anything besides my apple juice (she had asked me about what liquids I had on the phone!) I told her I had a 3:1:1 bag and she waved her hand and said, “Don’t worry about that.”  She took my shoes and the juice and put them into the tray for me, lifted both my bags and my C-PAP case onto the conveyor and walked me over to the pat-down area.  She talked me through that and then we chatted about the conference as she told me her sister used to be a CDE (certified diabetes educator) and that she used to be an RN who cared for diabetics.

After all that was over, in like 10 minutes total — I’m not even kidding! — she walked me over to the in-airport shuttle, still pulling my suitcase for me.  She asked if I wanted her to take me on over to the gate and I insisted that she not since she’d already made the whole experience SO much nicer than my first time at Lexington!   I was supposed to have had a TSAC agent walk me through security there, but it didn’t happen.  The one agent that I mentioned it too basically said, “Oh, it’s not a big deal.  You’ll be fine,” and left me to my own devices.  I had to take pretty much every container out of my luggage and be questioned about each item by each consecutive agent I came to.  It took a little over a half-hour to get through security at that tiny airport (not counting the time standing in line) and I was herded through like so much cattle.

Thankfully, I’ll know better next time, but I will always be requesting TSA Cares for larger airports.  I had gone into Lexington’s security with a high-ish blood sugar and came out with it in low-normal range and trending down and ended up having to treat a low.  At Orlando, I went in with a normal blood sugar and exited with the same.  The stress was that much less!

coming in for a landing

Looking down on my Kentucky home as my adventure comes to an end…

So, that is the tale of my Flightmare and the happy ending it had.  I hope and pray I never have that kind of experience again, but since I believe God never lets a thing happen for no reason, I am concerned that maybe it was to make me “tough” when it comes to this kind of stuff.

I sure hope He considers me toughened up enough already!  ha!

Blessings!

G~

 

 


frankly friday: #masterlab – YES!


I just want to quickly tell you guys that #masterlab was * singsongAWESOME!! I had an amazing time listening to and with some incredible people!

I’ll share with you about my first-time-ever-flying experience in another post shortly, but let me just focus on #masterlab2016 for a moment here…

First of all, thank you SO MUCH to #diabeteshandsfoundation, #diabetesadvocates, and all the sponsors of this shindig! I guess it’s because I’m just a small-town gal who’s been a big homebody all her life, but I was really impressed with the facility chosen and the meals provided, the speakers, the effort to stream via #periscope for those who couldn’t attend, the materials provided… it was just all really superb! (I’m told edited (ie: fancied up) versions of the sessions will be available in a couple weeks, so I’ll link them in another post for  you then!) Excellent job to all those who worked so hard and gave funds to support this effort!

I posted before about how this whole recognizing-myself-as-an-advocate thing is new to me. Boy, #masterlab was just what I needed to clarify and put perspective on things. I’ve also mentioned before I think, that growing up, I didn’t have support groups or #FFL or any sort of support or resource for just not feeling so alone. It was amazing when I finally found the #doc and then to sit in a room full of other diabetics, knowing every other person in that room would know what I meant if I said, “I’m feeling high.” or “That last ragebolus is gonna be the death of me.” or “I have to pee AGAIN…darn croissant!” That’s gold, people. Just knowing that someone sitting right beside you can understand what you’re going through…just an amazing feeling I hadn’t ever had before.

That alone was reason enough to attend. But then there were the speakers.
Scott Johnson
I enjoyed them all, but must say that probably Scott Johnson and his line about letting our advocacy goals “catch fire” and encouraging us to follow our passions to create great advocacy missions was great, along with Roneice Weaver with her spunk, her drive and her indomitable spirit to serve others. Roniece Weaver
I loved how she encouraged us to dream big. How she said, “If you don’t ask for the big stuff, you won’t get it!” which made me think that, yeah, when I think small…“I need my blog to at least pay for itself” when inside I really hope that someday it will generate enough income that I can contribute to helping pay bills around here, pay us out of debt and not have to worry constantly about if we can afford my meds and supplies and docs and labs… Don’t dream small. Dream BIG! This ALL goes back to the level of faith I have as well. Why would I ask small things from the God that created the universe with merely His words?? Yeah…

And then there was Dr. Mark (Heyman), my table-buddy who was sitting beside me the whole day, not giving away that he was gonna rock the close of #masterlab with his amazing “sermon” about caring for ourselves!
Dr. Mark Heyman
I think, via Twitter, we pretty much all agreed that his message, as a type 1 psychologist who counsels diabetics, was the one most of us needed the most. He told us that taking the time, money, etc. to care for ourselves isn’t selfish. That it’s impossible to serve from an empty vessel so we must “tend to” our own needs in order to be the best advocate (or mom, spouse, friend, worker, etc.) we can for those we wish to help. He advised us to give ourselves some slack, some grace for the days when it’s hard (because there WILL ALWAYS be those days SOMEtimes) and to encourage each other and those we help to do the same. No diabetic needs to beat themselves up over a bump in the control road, ya know? It happens. Life’s imperfect. “Fix it” the best you can, seek help if needed (endo, support group, etc.) and go on to the next day, which will eventually be better. Realize that bad days happen. But they don’t have to define us or determine our outlook on life.

Those were probably at the top of my lovin’-list. There were also great talks about the ins-and-outs of clinical trials by Ellyn Getz
Ellyn Getz
who called trial participants “medical heroes”. Then John Griffin and George Huntley talked to us about discrimination and various avenues we can take to stop it.
George and John
There was a spontaneous discussion with the attendees when some of them objected (or at least bristled) at using the term “disabled” when referring to diabetes or pwd’s. I loved the way they addressed this by pointing out that there IS a level of what we’ve come to term “disability” because of the mere fact that we must take special precautions that the average person doesn’t have to worry about. That we need breaks to take care of our diabetes and we could become terribly ill or even die when those aren’t given (or taken!) and so forth. The statement (as paraphrased by me) “Diabetes IS a disability in the physical sense of the word, but that does not mean we are ‘disabled’.” I like that!

We also heard from Hope Warshaw and Kurt Anderson about the world of diabetes education and those who are CDEs…
Hope and Kurt
They spoke about the training of CDEs, the importance of getting diabetics in to see CDEs regularly and such.
Jay Keese
Also Jay Keese told us about various legalities and legislative issues facing the world of diabetes. Then Mr. Gene Kunde CEO of Diabetes Hands Foundation, Gene Kundeclosed out the day after introducing each speaker throughout.

My brain was exploding a little, but it was good. I’m headed to my inbox to fill out the survey letting DHF know how we thought the whole event went.

MasterLab materials

our map to creating a purpose statement for our advocacy goals

My overall summation of MasterLab is that it is an awesome event and much-needed!

I am not sure who is responsible for the scholarship that made it possible for me (and others) to attend, but I am SO grateful!! Without that funding, I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to be there. I hope my advocacy efforts will improve enough so that you all think sending me was worth it!

More soon…

Blessings!

G~


advocacy


#masterlab2016 looms ever closer, y’all!  I’m so excited!  I know I’ve told you this before, but once again, I was so stunned and honored to be chosen to attend MasterLab.  I say “chosen” because of my application for a scholarship to attend!  And just to clarify for anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with my #masterlab adventure, this is a sort-of conference for diabetes advocates.

Y’know, I never really thought of myself as a ‘diabetes advocate’.  I mean, I have the disease, I can’t also advocate, right?  At least that’s how my thought pattern always went.

advocate everywhere Kentucky

Advocate for Diabetes Awareness and Life Improvement!

Until now.

It dawned on me (duh!) that I advocate for MYSELF every day, more so on the days I deal with the insurance company, the doctor’s office, the lab company and the folks who send my supplies.

Who knew?

Okay, stop laughing.  I know.  It was just that my concept of being a person with diabetes, a ‘diabetic’ if you will, was more along the lines of victim-y, ya know?  Even though I don’t think I’ve ever felt like a victim.  The idea of referring to myself as an advocate was just brand new.

But who better to push for improvements for, laws protecting and educate about diabetes than someone who lives with it 24/7/365?  Nobody, that’s who!

So here I am, rethinking my role and what it means.  I tell people my blog isn’t a “diabetes blog” but more a “blog by a person who has diabetes”.  And truly, that’s what it is.  I can’t imagine writing about nothing but diabetes.  My life is too complex and too full to limit myself.  Besides that, have you ever noticed that I tend to chase rabbits in my posts occasionally.  Not ALL the time, mind you.  (stop laughing!)  I can’t stick to one topic, folks.  It just ain’t happening!  And besides all that, I think writing about my “whole” life, not just diabetes, is an even better representation of what living with diabetes is like.

Yes, I HAVE diabetes.  I HAVE children and a husband, I HAVE friends, hobbies, and various things in which I volunteer, I HAVE a life!

I have diabetes.  Diabetes does not have me.  I like to think my advocacy revolves around the fact that I am NOT “all about” diabetes instead of that I am.  Does that make sense?  We are just like everyone else except that we have to do a lot more thinking and calculating for things the rest of  you never really think about.  And that’s OKAY!

In the meantime, I’m still not freaking about the fact that I leave for Orlando #masterlab2016 in a little more than 24 hours.  I think I’m just too tired right now and I’m trying to keep myself busy.  We’re awaiting an overnight guest…Corey’s little sister-in-law is coming to sleep over with us since her boyfriend from Tennessee is staying at his and Melissa’s house tonight.  They must be taking turns.  He stayed up here last time.  Ha ha ha!!  So pleased that my kiddos (even the extended ones) are striving to keep pure in their relationships.  God will surely bless that effort to please Him!

America, America! lyrics

My eyes are worn out, dry, burning and scratchy and I need to get at least one, maybe two, cannings of beans done tomorrow before I leave, so I think I’m gonna turn in for the day.

Happy Fourth Of July

I hope you all had an amazing Lord’s day and a beautiful, safe Independence Day!!  Remember what it’s all about!  FREEDOM paid for with the blood of many patriots!

Love ya!

G~


frankly friday: MASTERLAB 2016


Who could resist this graphic?!?

Only a cold-hearted Grinch!!  Nobody good could resist that little girl right there!!  LOL!  grinch

Nobody good could resist that little girl right there!!  LOL!

I’m pretty sure that’s the face I’ve been making for days now, only not nearly as cute…

not so cute

See?  Toldja.  Way not cute!!  I can’t help that, so yeah, this is my face pretty much all the time these days.  Haha!

But yeah, that’s what I’m doing while I’m packing and frantically double-checking to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything critical.  I’m not so much fretting about the airport now since I called TSA.  If you’ve never flown or have any concerns about bringing something on a plane, I really recommend calling them.  The gal I spoke with was super-nice and you can take a short survey afterward and let them know in the off-chance you get someone who’s not so nice, ya know?  They seem to be really intent on answering your questions and making you comfortable about flying/getting through security without too many delays.

Now?  Now, my main concern is getting there without having forgotten anything.  Ha!

I’ll be sure to letcha know how that goes…

#masterlab


#masterlab on Periscope!


I’m SO excited about going to #MasterLab next week!!!

It looks like there’s a possibility to see what’s going on in Orlando at #MasterLab this coming Wednesday–they are going to attempt to stream on Periscope!!

Go here and follow Diabetes Hands Foundation on Periscope so you can catch it!  If the tech doesn’t play nice, the conference will be archived on YouTube, so don’t fret if the streaming doesn’t pan out.

Did I mention I’M EXCITED!!!  WOO!

#masterlab on Periscope

I gotta scoot.  I’m trying HARD to get a ton of green beans taken care of before I leave.  Looks like I may have 2+ cannings right now and there’s more out there.  But this ol’ gal is DONE picking!  I got more beans than I can handle already!

Look for lots of Instagram pix and quickie posts coming up next week!  #masterlab2016

 


Wunderbrow: the follow-up


NOTE: this is NOT a compensated or paid review!  (however, I’m willing to accept a token of appreciation, Wunderbrow! haha!)

Well, I broke down and ordered me some-a that Wunderbrow.  A few of you were curious, like I was, about whether that stuff would really do what the commercials said it would!  I sorta accidentally ordered some.  Maybe “incidentally” is the word I should use?  Um…I’ll have to dig out my Grammar Nazi and see about that one, but for now, let’s continue shall we?

title

What happened was I needed to order some other stuff and you know how it goes, you get that notification “If you’ll JUST order THIS much more, you can get THIS great thing!”  It was free shipping.  The free shipping always gets me.  So I tossed the Wunderbrow into my cart.

It finally came in and then it was a couple more days before I got to really try it.  I did NOT want to wait til I was going out in public, so I washed my face so as to give it a nice, clean environment to do its magic and proceeded to start the application…

The first thing I noticed is that the color was certainly not what I’d have chosen if I were picking it off the shelf in a store.  I ordered brunette after wavering between that and the blonde.  I have used blonde eyebrow pencils before, but most are just too light.  The color looked sort of ashy to me.  But when I put it on, it looked fine.  I have had pencils like that before too, so that was no biggie, but be aware, the color in the tube may not appear to be what you want.  The applicator is simply a wand with a short brush on the end.  I was a little leery of being able to use it well, but it wasn’t hard to get used to.  I was very sparing, thinking “you can always add more” so I just tried to touch the few brow/hairs I have up there.  In the very sparse spots, I did go back and dab a bit more to get some on my skin too.

I quickly took the mascara brush wand that’s included to blend and spread the product.  This didn’t take much effort since I had kept the product pretty much where I wanted it in the first place.  The extra brush/wand just helped to pull the product onto each hair more evenly.

So….Be sure to look back at the first post for a naked-eyebrows, no-makeup photo to see what kind of nothingness I am working with here!  But here is the result of application:

I detest close-ups! But observe the eyebrows after Wunderbrow application

I DETEST close-ups, but here is the result of my first-ever Wunderbrow application. Please ignore horrible skin texture and wrinkles!

I have only done the left brow in this shot.  I thought it looked pretty good especially considering I have never used anything other than a pencil or a powder for my brows.

The texture is sorta like a hair gel, a bit stiff, but not abnormally so after applying a liquid product.  I only did the finger rub once and true to form, it didn’t come off or move at all.

both brows with Wunderbrow

Here are both brows with Wunderbrow…(I know, that right one still isn’t right…I fixed it after this photo & forgot to snap another one!) Sheesh!

So yeah, I realize that right brow looks horribly uneven.  I was a little mortified by how appalling my skin looks in these photos and I think I let that rattle me.  I did work on that one a bit more, but neglected to snap a shot of the brows afterward.  Sue me.  (bahaha!)

I wore the stuff all day while running errands in town in almost-90-degree weather.  I had to get chicken feed, a few groceries, return a top and of course, purchase two more and stop in the pharmacy to straighten out some info in our long list of meds.  I ran around, sweating like a horse, for about 3 hours before I came home and sweated some more.

The below photos are after about 8 hours of wear under pretty harsh conditions:

Wunderbrow: 8 hours & a ton of sweating later

after approximately 8 hours in sweltering heat…

Again, ignore the horrific appearance of my skin.  I just thank God that people’s normal vision isn’t zoomed!

So, I thought it held up pretty doggone well!  I think the usual thin spots in my eyebrows (just past the highest point of the arch) are a bit thin-looking, but usually with a pencil, they are completely bald!

My overall opinion of Wunderbrow is that yes, it works.  It stays on better and longer than anything else I’ve used.  I only found one negative that isn’t really a negative, just a fact/finding of mine.  When you go to purchase this stuff, you’re likely to get suggestions to buy the remover too.  I did not purchase the remover.  According to the commercials and the box, this stuff will stay on for days.  My experience is that yes, it will stay for days if you don’t wash your face, or if you can wash your face thoroughly while avoiding the eyebrow area.  That’s the only way I can see it lasting more than one day.  The first time I used it, I cleaned my face the way I normally do.  I used Biore charcoal soap with my MK battery-operated face brush.  I didn’t use the brush on my brows any more than I normally would, but I thought maybe the brush was what made it come off.  The next time, however, I just lathered the soap in my hands and did a quick rub-a-dub with them…no brush, no washcloth…just to see what would happen.  The Wunderbrow came off just as easily.  So do NOT buy that remover.  It’s not necessary at all.

I recommend this to anyone out there who struggles with keeping an eyebrow pencil or powder in place.  It is not quite as great as they claim, but it is pretty good for anyone with brow issues!

Wunderbrow gets 3.5 stars from My Life in Dog Years!

I give Wunderbrow 3.5 stars!

Once again, I have not been compensated for this review.  It’s my own and for the benefit of those who read here.  If Wunderbrow would like to send me another box of product, that’d be great though.  Contact me and I’ll give you the address!  🙂

Y’all have a good Wednesday!

Blessings,

G~


the countdown is on!


I just spotted this on Facebook and it’s got me all like AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

countdown:  19 days to Master Lab 2016

OH MY GOODNESS!!

So yeah, I said I was less nervous about this whole thing and that’s true.  However, I didn’t say how long that lessened nervousness would last now, did I?

Ha ha ha… hopefully it will not get too intense, but I’m sure in the days before take off, I’ll get the butterflies back.

I have pretty much everything I’m going to take with me, so no more searching for this or that thing.  I’m beginning to get into list-making mode.  Hopefully, I won’t lose EVERY list I make between now and then.  Yes, I’m one of those people.  I love lists and find them very helpful, but I am also a list-loser.  I can’t tell you how many times I find myself sitting in the grocery store parking lot either digging frantically in my bag, wondering where in the world that list go to “I KNOW I put it in my purse!” or with that stomach-dropping realization “Crap!  That list is sitting on the island in the kitchen!”  And no, I don’t do well with app lists or list apps or… you know, lists on my phone.

I’m not sure why, but I can’t quite feel it’s a “real” list if I can’t mark through items with a pen, ya know?  So yeah…I think I’ll use a notebook for my packing lists.  Maybe that way at least they won’t get lost in the shuffle around here so easily.

I’m trying not to overthink things too much.  Like, I am really wondering how much free time there will be.  Why?  Well, 1: because I don’t want to get bored!  and 2: if there will be a good amount of free time, I’d like to be able to prepare in some way to fill that time.  The best I can tell, there’s not a whole lot of sight-see-y things within walking distance of the hotel, but then again, how can I be sure?  I was hoping to find that out, but no such luck online.  I searched “free things to do within walking distance of ‘our hotel'” but came up with stuff up to 10 miles away.  C’MON!  I mean, sure, if I had all day, I could walk 10 miles to see something great, but um, in July Florida weather with probably only minutes (not hours) to kill?  Um, no.

So maybe we will just wander around the grounds…  I just want to make the most of the time I’m there.  (see what I mean about overthinking?  I am SO good at it!)

My roomie Ally and I have been tossing around ideas without much luck.  I am so looking forward to meeting her.  There’s also another couple of fellas I’ve “met” online who will be at Master Lab as well and want to look up for a face-to-face.

I haven’t had time to think about how likely I am to feel out of my element anymore.  I’m sure I’ll have time for that on the plane?  Bahaha!  I start thinking,

“Listen, Geannie, who do you think you are going to some conference with a bunch of leaders and full-on advocates with degrees and professional credentials and such?  You are going to look like such a hick!  Your blog is so piddly and gets so few readers and visits, you’re going to get laughed out of that place!…etc., etc.”

I start thinking about my big plans for this lucrative blog that would be of interest to so many people and then I look at my stats and think, “What a foolish idea!”   

Ahhh…but then I realize who it is feeding me this negativity and I realize my “new blog” isn’t even six months old yet.  I realize not everyone at this thing in Orlando will be the “big wig” I think they are or at least, won’t behave like one perhaps.  I realize that this is more about networking and socializing, about making new connections and paving new avenues in the diabetes-support world, about ways to make things better for diabetics with better support, better laws, better treatment and education.   And I still feel deep inside that urge to share my life, my stories and thoughts in an effort to encourage others, to help people feel less alone, more understood and I know in my heart this whole blog thing was something I was meant to do.  I may not have found the perfect way to do it yet, but doing it is non-negotiable.  I NEED to be doing this!

countdown to ML2016 is on!

Lord willing “and the creek don’t rise”, I will be able to do more videos soon.  Seems like I can never get them done when I want or the way I want… I’m still such a noob at it!  And I also want Tommy to be in the first few and getting him to sit still without falling asleep these days is about impossible.  (let’s not get me started on how beyond ready I am for these other-people projects to be DONE! and for him to stop feeling so pressured to kill himself and get things done for everyone else…let’s don’t even go there right now…ARGH!  and let’s be clear… HE doesn’t necessarily feel that way, but I do because I know how he is about that kinda thing…always feels so pressed to complete stuff for others, whether it’s a paid job or not…sigh)

So…ANYway..here we go!  Countdown time!  I still haven’t called TSA Cares, so that’s next thing on my list to do next week.  I have a hair appointment Wednesday so I can hopefully get my mop under control with time enough to grow out of the “new haircut” stage.  Hopefully, I can work in at least a pedicure before d-day.  A manicure too would be super-nice, but we’ll see.  Max will also need a trip to the groomer before I leave…he’s getting a little shaggy already and I don’t want to come back to a ratty mess-of-a-pooch!  Silly Max

Heaven knows Tommy isn’t likely to bathe him while I’m gone.  I’m sure he’ll be in the shop, working himself to death while I’m not here to shake my finger at him and tell him he needs his rest!

Now, I’m heading back outside to pull weeds from the landscaping for awhile.  Get my mind off this stuff and soak in a little sunshine.

Wishing you all a blessed weekend and a beautiful Lord’s day tomorrow!

Blessings,

G~