The Effects of Volunteering

Hello Friends!

I meant to post last night, but I was just too tired.  I haven’t posted in a couple days have I?  My apologies. Things once again have brought on more anxiety.  My car is facing repossession. I think I’ve already mentioned that.  I need to get a payment made in order to put a hold on the repossession order.  I’ve asked my daughters if I could borrow money from them. I feel horrible for asking.  What parent wants to ask their children for money?  But I stooped to a level I never wanted to.  I helped my oldest with money early in the year. She needed $900 for school. I had my severance money so I was able to help her out.  I was hoping she would return the favor. But no she isn’t able to.  I haven’t heard from my other, but I’m guessing she won’t be able to either.  It’s hard.  My youngest lives with me and really has never had to pay anything as she got older.  Granted now she gives money to her dad for her cell phone and her car insurance.  She also has a car payment.  She buys a lot of her own food.  But I’ve never charged her rent and perhaps I should have.  I just give it to God and pray.  And I take my anxiety medicine as I need to.

Onto a better subject and the reason for the title of this post.  Last night, I went with a group from church to volunteer at a place called Exodus Place.  It’s a home for men. It’s a large place.  We were there to help serve Christmas dinner. I scooped green bean casserole onto the plates.  After I was done with that, then I got to enjoy my own dinner while conversing with other volunteers and residents.  After dinner, they held a raffle. They gave away a TV and a tablet to two lucky residents. You should’ve seen the winner of the TV. He was so excited! The winner of the tablet was an older gentleman and he had no idea how to use a tablet. I told him he needed to find someone to tutor him and that he would have a lot of fun with it.  The men also got a Christmas present too.  They all got a laundry basket with some essential items like hats/gloves, laundry soap, and other items.  I introduced myself to several residents and had conversation with some.  The winner of the TV, gave me a hug and said Merry Christmas and told me to be safe out there.  It was such an amazing evening.  It really kept my mind off my own situation.  It was healing to my heart. I felt good to serve others and bring smiles to others faces.  I, of course, wore my Santa hat and my Santa hat leggings.  I looked festive.  It is very possible that many of these men don’t have other family and would otherwise be homeless if not for Exodus Place.  This place is amazing.  I know I will go back to volunteer another time.  Last night before I went to sleep, I prayed and thanked God for all those who make Exodus Place possible for all those men.  I thanked Him for my life as well. I have tough times right now, but there is always someone that has it worse and I have to remember that and be grateful for my blessings.  

Wherever you are, I wish you peace, love and smiles.

Much love,

Dottie May 🌻

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6 Month Post Op VSG and I Baked Today!

Hello Friends! 

Happy Friday and end of week and start of weekend! I didn’t blog yesterday and I should have.  Yesterday I had my 6 month post op appointment following my surgery I had in April.  Everything is looking good. I’m down a total of 86 pounds.  The only thing is, I am deficient in Vitamin B1 so I need to start taking a supplement for that. I also have to take a B12 sublingual.  I didn’t know I was supposed to be taking one of those all along.  My weakest part of my weight loss journey is getting my protein in…my diet.  I don’t eat enough.  This is totally opposite of what I used to be.  It used to be whenever I got emotional, I would look for something to eat to make me feel better. For some reason, I found comfort in food – all types of food.  Sweet, savory, you name it.  Any any type of emotion could bring about my desire to binge too.  Now, however, if I get emotional, I do the opposite. I have no desire to eat. I go in my room and lay down and cry and cuddle my stuffed animals.  And if by chance I do eat something, it generally makes my stomach upset.  

As a result of my poor eating, my hair has been thinning really bad.  This is due to the rapid weight loss and lack of protein mostly.  So, the dietician and doctor both said, if I need to use protein drinks or smoothies to get my protein in, then do it!  I need to be shooting for 60-80 grams per day; preferably 80.  

As far as exercise, I was doing great before the snow and cold set in.  So, now the goal has been set for me to try hitting the trail outside twice a week and then doing my exercise dvd’s at least once a week.  I explained to the exercise physiologist that getting out in nature helped soothe my soul and that my happy place was at the lakeshore.  While it’s not feasible to go out to the lakeshore daily, I can head over to the White Pine Trail that runs along the Rogue River.  At least that’s still getting out in nature.  

So, on to the baking I did today.  Tonight was Heart & Home at my brother’s church and we were asked to bring 3 dozen cookies and a $5 gift card.  I actually did bake 2 dozen. I made Salted Caramel and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.  I was going to make some molasses cookies; however, I discovered that I didn’t have any flour.  So, I decided I was going to go to the store and get some ingredients to make something else and at the same time get the gift card.  I got to the store and realized I didn’t have my ID!!  Where the heck could it be?!  I realized the last time I had it out was a few days prior at another store on the other side of town. So I quickly went to that store and thankfully, they still had my ID!! I was so relieved.  But now, I was running late on time so I ended up buying cookies for my last batch.  I got the gift card too.  The event at church started at 6:30 and I probably didn’t get there until 7.  But, my brother and sister in law were also running late so I didn’t feel too bad.  Dinner was catered. Chicken, potatoes, salad, green bean casserole. It was really good.  I just had chicken, potatoes and green bean casserole and some juice to drink.  

The bible lesson was great.  I had a great time and brought home a few treats. I didn’t take many because I certainly don’t need them.  

So aside from nearly losing my ID, today was pretty good.  I can’t believe I actually baked.  I hadn’t baked in a really long time.  I’m glad they turned out okay and they seem to go over well.

I’m going to end it here.  Wherever you are, I wish you peace, love and smiles.

Dottie May 🌻

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Therapy and Med Management Appointments

Hello Readers!  

Today was a much better day than yesterday so that’s good.  I had both my therapy appointment and my med management appointment at the Psychiatrist’s office.  My therapy appointment went pretty well. I always enjoy being able to discuss my feelings that I’ve been having.  One emotional statement that I had made to someone yesterday and I shared with her today was a little concerning for her.  That was… “I hate my life.”  We discussed this statement further to be sure I wasn’t suicidal.  I’m not.  It’s just that yesterday is when I found out the bank was looking for my car and I got extremely scared, while also being angry because they were calling my ex and ignoring all my emails that I have been sending to them.  I know they want their money, but I just would like them to at least acknowledge my emails.  Anyway, I shared my feelings about this with my therapist so she understood more.  We then talked about Thanksgiving and then other financial stressors including my phone being shut off and not being able to do the Shipt shopping, not getting the Kohl’s job.  I told her I have been crying quite frequently.  But with everything, she was impressed by the fact that I take time to feel my emotions and that I still reach out to others and I don’t completely isolate myself.  She is so happy that I seem to have so many people supporting me.  So am I.  I am certainly blessed in that regard. While I was there, she shared a paper with me, the Top 11 Tips to Soothe your Mind and Body During the Holiday Season.  I also picked out a new decorated rock for my collection. This time, I chose “Dream”.  

My Psych appointment went alright too. No changes in meds are required.  I told him about a letter I got from the Michigan DHS about not meeting my requirement of working 80 hours a month for food assistance and that I thought that my depression and anxiety were getting in the way. So he said he would write a letter to DHS and see if I could be excused from that requirement.  I thought that was very nice of him to do that.  So, we’ll see if DHS accepts it.  I hope they do.  My blood pressure was up a little while I was there. But it always is when I go there. It also could be my depression and anxiety too.  

It’s now 6:37 and I still need to eat dinner.  I know I’m actually blogging early in the evening! That’s a first! 

I got my text book in the mail for my class that’s starting in January.  “The American Promise – A Concise History”.  And I never cancelled the English class so it looks like I may be doubling up on classes in January! Yikes!  I hope I can handle it.  The English class is one that I had dropped back in March because of the divorce and I needed to take a break.  Time is flying by.  

I’m really not ready for Christmas at all.  But I’m still trying to be cheery and upbeat as much as I can.  I save the down times and crying to my personal time…for the most part.  

I’m going to end here.  Wherever you are, I wish you peace, love and smiles.

DottieMay 🌻

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Doing My Best To Stay Strong

Today started pretty strong. I had Girl Talk which was hosting a woman’s breakfast at the church followed by a special Old Kids Choir concert. I attended both and enjoyed them very much.  I did record videos of most of their performance numbers. But I only posted a couple within my VLOGMAS Day 4 video on YouTube. A link to my channel is the side bar. 

After the performance at church, I had to run an errand in Grand Rapids. It was then that I received a text from my ex husband. Apparently, the credit union has been calling him to let him know they are looking for my car. There is a loan on my car and I am behind. I haven’t been hiding it or anything. Anyway, I immediately felt my anxiety go through the roof.  What was I going to do if my car is taken away? I cried and prayed all the way home. I texted a friend of mine letting him know what was going on.  He is so sweet and is trying to help me out. When I got home, I took one of my anxiety pills.  Aside from being full of anxiety, I was also angry. I have been emailing the credit union several times to let them know my situation and they have not once gotten back with me. I am unable to call because my phone is shut off.  I became so frustrated.  So I went in my room and laid down for awhile.  Cried some more and cuddled my teddy bears.  Yes, 47 and cuddling teddy bears!

Later in the evening, I went to the final meeting of GriefShare.  I’m glad I went because I needed the support.  I broke down in tears there too.  I started to doze off a little during the video – shame on me! But after the video, we did a little game and got presents. It was a good time and helped alleviate my ill feelings.  

I’m doing my best to stay strong and give it to God. Oh, to top it off, I did not get the job at Kohl’s.  

For now, I’m just going to call it a day and go curl up under the blankets and pray some more.  I know I’m not weathering the storm alone.  One thing at a time, I’ll make it through.  Some how, some way…the door will be opened.  

Wherever you are, I wish you peace, love and smiles.

Dottie  🌻

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31 Weeks Post Op VSG and Interview with Kohl’s

Good evening friends!

I can’t believe it’s already 10 p.m.  Today is Monday, the 3rd of December and it’s weigh in day as well.  I’m 31 weeks post op.  I had VSG or vertical sleeve gastrectomy on April 30, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI with Dr. Randal Baker. He works out of Grand Health Partners.  My pre-op weight was 355 lbs.  Today’s weight was 269 lbs. So far, I’ve lost a total of 86 lbs. even.  I’m happy with my progress thus far.  I have lost quite a few inches too and my stamina is getting better as well.  I’ve been logging my food in the Lose-It app daily.  That’s good for me because quite honestly, I despise logging my food.  However, I have my 6-month post op appointment coming up on Thursday this week and I’m pretty sure the Nutritionist will probably ask about it.  I’m really not doing the greatest with my diet. I’m not getting enough in and I think that’s why my hair is so incredibly thin and falling out.  I know it happens with many weight loss surgery patients, but it just seems pretty rough.  I do well with taking my vitamins daily and pretty well with getting my fluids in.  A non-scale victory was the new coat that I bought for $7.99.  It was a size 2X and it fit beautifully.  It’s red and I love it.  In the past, I would generally pick out dark colors to hide in.  Not anymore.  You should see the array of LulaRoe colored Perfects I have.  I’m living and enjoying life now. I’m no longer trying to hide.  

My activity this past week only included the walking I did at the zoo on Saturday.  I haven’t been out walking because the weather has been wet and dreary or just too cold and snowy!  But just this evening I ventured into the dark part of my basement armed only with the flashlight on my cell phone and I found my workout dvd’s and my kettlebell and yoga mat!  My yoga mat isn’t pictured below but the others are.  The only thing I’m missing now is my core stability ball that my niece borrowed prior to having her baby.  I can now start doing some workouts inside.  Even some strength exercises with the kettlebell.  It’s an 8 lb. bell.  I’m not sure which I’m going to start with…probably a Leslie Sansone workout.  The Jillian Michaels will be emotional for me.  It was the workout I was doing when my dear sister-friend Heidi went missing and was found the next day face down in a pond nearby.  At that time, I vowed never to do a Jillian Michaels workout again.  Heidi was a huge fan of Jillian’s.  She thought Jillian was perfection.  Heidi passed back in 2012 and I haven’t done a workout of hers since that awful night.  

Now, how about that interview? Well, I think it went pretty well. The first thing we had to do when we got there was fill out our availability.  Right now, mine is pretty open except Sunday mornings and Tuesday mornings. I really don’t want to miss church or my bible study if I don’t have to.  He seemed to respect that.  It was the first interview that I’ve been to that was not a one-on-one interview.  There was another woman there as well and the Manager took us both into a room on the 2nd level and questioned us both simultaneously.  Surprisingly, I was pretty comfortable with this. I let the other woman answer first for most of the questions.  She was younger, more hyper, thinner (not that it matters), had 12 years experience in Human Resources.  I was the oldest in the room.  Most of the questions she asked were related to pay and possibility of advancement.  I didn’t ask much, just how long he had been working for Kohl’s.  He had been there 12.5 years.  He has been in retail since he was a teenager.  He mentioned that the store secretary had the most service. She started in 1989. I thought that was fascinating. That’s the same year I had started at Meijer.  I also asked if there was a certain dress code.  There weren’t many questions he asked of us and they really weren’t all that hard, thankfully.  He said that he usually gets back with a yes/no within 24-48 hours.  We would hear via email and when we do, it’s recommended that we schedule our orientation as soon as possible.  He did say that it will start as a seasonal position at $9.25/hour.  But there is potential for it to become permanent part-time.  Everyone starts as part time.  He says the best of the best move on.  If hired, I’ll do my best.  It’s all in God’s hands.  I can’t stress over it.  I’ve been dealing with enough anxiety lately.  

On another note, I worked a wee little bit on my knitting project.  I think I did three rows.  I can’t believe I was able to pick it up and figure it out and I didn’t forget how to do it.  Two of my YouTuber friends crochet and they’re so talented.  One sent me a beanie he made.  I picked the colors purple and yellow and I just love it.  

This coming Friday, I was invited to what’s called Heart & Home at my brother’s church. They’re doing a cookie and gift card exchange. The gift card only needs to be $5 and need to do 3 dozen cookies.  Now, I haven’t baked in eons.  She did say that it’s not mandatory and she’d rather see me show up and not let that stand in the way of me going if I’m not able to do it.  I’m going to be browsing Pinterest probably.  Although I do have my grandmother’s recipe box.  I don’t want anything difficult or expensive.  I’m thinking some molasses cookies because boy do they sound good.  My great-grandma used to make some awesome molasses cookies.  Boy, do I miss those!

Alright, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Many thanks to the new followers and those that have been following along.  It’s now nearly 11.  Time flies when you’re having fun.

Wherever you are, I wish you peace, love and happiness.  

Don’t forget to smile! 

Dottie May 🌻

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Faced One of My Biggest Fears!

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Good morning Readers! First, I apologize for being MIA for days. Truth is, I’ve been feeling down a bit again because my phone service has been shut off. That means I haven’t been able to do any Shipt Shopping. The … Continue reading

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Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Hello Friends!

Wow! I’m a few days behind. I started my Shipt shopping job the day before Thanksgiving. I only did two shops that day. It went well. 

Thanksgiving day started out a little rough.  I checked my Facebook and if you’re familiar with it, you know that it throws memories at you. Well, it threw a big picture collage of me and my ex that I had made last year.  Here it is:

Picture Collage

I’m posting this here so you can see what I had to see. I was 19 when I was married and turned 20 the next day. As you can see, we both looked happy in all of them except for the one on lower right. I was smiling, but he wasn’t. He looked absolutely unhappy or miserable.  This was taken last Fall at Tunnel of Trees.  Perhaps some of you remember that post. I had visited there this year and got a bit emotional about it.  My ex new at that point that he wanted out. How did I not see it? I’m surprised he even took a picture with me!  Anyway, I burst into tears when I saw this picture Thanksgiving morning. I seriously shouted at God, why? Why is this photo being shown to me! And I thought to myself “how”. I thought I deleted all of them.  I got in touch with my aunt and showed her.  She was able to talk me through and calm me down.  I wasn’t crying because I missed him…I was really more angry to be honest I think.  Here I’ve been busting my butt to move on and then I’m thrown this curve ball! I cried for while to be honest.  They were healing tears.  

My day moved on…

I spent some quality time with my dogs before making the trip up north to spend time with my brother and his family/extended family.  I left my house around 2 p.m.  Dinner was at my brother’s sister in laws house.  The house was small, but I really enjoyed myself.  I was a fifth wheel.  My brother had his wife and his sister in law had her boyfriend…I was alone.  But there were also 8 kids there.  There was so much food and everything looked delicious. But I didn’t have everything.  Here’s what my plate looked like:

Sweet Potato, Mashed Potato, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Turkey and Gravy

The day was about spending time with family…not about the food.  My brother and I also took a ride to see my grandparents old cottage. That was awesome to see and recall all the memories we had of all the visits we had with them during the summer.  It was a great trip down memory lane! That was probably the highlight of my time.  

So, while I didn’t see my own kids on Thanksgiving, I really did enjoy my time with my brother’s family and extended family. 

Friday, I did some more Shipt shopping. I did three orders and to be honest, by the end of the third, I was so sore and exhausted.  I review the group on Facebook and I’m in awe of all the veteran shoppers who do double orders and 14-15 orders in a day! I have no idea how they do it! I’m starting slow like they recommend.  

Today (Saturday), I got together with my daughters (Kayleigh and Kara) and Kayleigh’s boyfriend Jon.  We met for breakfast at I-Hop.  We enjoyed conversation.  It was a pretty quick breakfast…a little over an hour.  Jon and Kayleigh picked up the bill.  I just enjoyed getting together.  It’s the new normal or new traditions.  I can handle it.  

My ex texted me today and asked me how the Shipt shopping was going. He said he saw me loading the car the other day.  That was unexpected.  But I told him it was going fine.  

I’ve got 7 shops under my belt right now and have made $93.53. That includes the tips.  Not everyone tips.  And some don’t tip right away. They tip later online.  My last shop tonight was my first alcohol order.  I had been shying away from alcohol orders…but I got brave an accepted a small order with alcohol.  It went fine.  Thankfully!  I’m nervous to accept them because if the customer is clearly intoxicated already, then you are not allowed to deliver to them, you have to see if there’s someone else in the household with ID to deliver to. If there is nobody, then you have to explain to the customer that you’re not allowed to deliver to them.  I’m not one for confrontation so I’m nervous about the alcohol orders.  But luckily, this one was fine. 

I just can’t believe that this shy introvert is delivering groceries and interacting with lots of different people now.  I never would’ve thought I could do it.  But I’m doing it and so far I’m enjoying it. God is good.  

I’m going to call it a night now. Tomorrow will be another busy day. I’ve got church and I’m going to try to fit in a couple shops and then there’s an anniversary party for a couple at church. They’re celebrating 70 years I believe. They’re both in their 90’s.  They’re such a beautiful couple.  

We’re supposed to have snow showers too.  Ugh! So not looking forward to it.  Kind of wish I could convert my car into a sleigh! Haha!

Thanks for all your kindnesses. Wherever you are in this world, I wish you peace, love and happiness.

❤ DottieMay 🌻

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