♪ ♫  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…♪ ♫

Well on the bloggy blog it is anyway!  My normal tradition is to put up the tree on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving.  This year there is no tree, no lights, no stocking... Its slightly depressing to not come home to the warm glow of tree lights.  It just seems silly to take all the decorations out of boxes while I’m putting everything else I own into boxes… don’t ya think? 

I started packing last night and discovered I’m just not motivated to do that yet.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have a place to live in TN yet?  I’m hoping I snap out of it sooner than later because if you noticed my new countdown… there are only 26 days left!  Yikes! 

Anyone want to come help me pack?!


A Day of Thanksgiving

turkeyAs I was getting ready this morning, I overheard a news piece about the busiest travel day of the year.  And then it struck me that this time next year, I will be one of those doing the travelling. I may be heading home by plane, I may be heading home by car but it will be a lot longer than the 20 minute drive I have tomorrow.  It will be such a different experience.

With the weather calling for rain, sleet, & snow in the next few days I find that I am thankful that I will be so close.  I am also thankful that I have a family that makes getting together a priority.  I am thankful that we will have plenty of food to eat.  We will be cooking 55lbs of turkey, 20lbs of potatoes, 5lbs of stuffing and a whole lot of other yummy stuff!  And I am thankful we can get together in a warm home and that I will be seeing 27 of the people I love most.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year, but I want to know…

What are you thankful for?



slippersWell my dearies, just as I said almost 2 weeks ago in this post, the time has come! 

The most adorable and comfy Victoria’s Secret flannel PJ’s are now on sale AND include free slippers with your order!  The sale is $10 off the normal price but with the code: VS10SLEEP you also get the free gift of matching slippers! 

You can also enter the code: SHIPVS10 and get free shipping when you spend $100… which is so not hard to do at Vicki’s.  dots

Sooo if you are looking for a cute Christmas gift idea or need to drop a hint or few to your significant other, now is the perfect time to do so!  I will be purchasing a set of PJ’s & slippers in the confetti dot pattern for moi because they are simply wonderful.

If you are lucky enough to get a set for yourself, let me know if you love them as much as I do!


And Then He Said Stop

stopThis week went into major fast forward mode starting on Tuesday.  My mind has been racing, my body has been racing.  There is so much to do, so many things to take care of, wrap up or begin.  The list is growing by the moment and certain things are just too much to think about right now and give me total anxiety.  One thing is: I don’t know where I’m going to live yet.  But things are moving in a direction so that I know I will have someplace to live.  I just hate the not knowing thing right now!  Another thing is when am I going to find time to pack in this busy holiday season?  It has to be done, so it will be… I just need to start!

But the main thing giving me anxiety is health related.  I need to find new doctors which doesn’t just mean a PCP or OBGYN or dentist… for me that also means a new Rheumatologist and Endocrinologist and possibly a new Surgeon. It means telling every little detail of the past 2 years all over again.  What if I forget an important piece?  Can I keep my current Endo & Rheumy with my new insurance?  Can I schedule the appointments when I will be able to make the trek home?  And at the last Endo appointment they said at the next appointment [coming up in Feb] we need to schedule my 1 year follow-up scans.  Which means I have to go on the LID again… and go hypo again… this time 700 miles away.  Or will my new insurance pay for Thyrogen?  Will there be any Thyrogen available?  Should I try to get into a new Endo down there to start them out with a bang or should I try to get in with my current Endo before I leave… but then I still wouldn’t have time to schedule the LID, going hypo and my scans… 

It’s just too much to think about right now on top of everything else.  I have too many other things that absolutely have to get done in the next 30 days.  And please, spare me the lectures on the importance of the 1 year scan – I Know – but I also know my TG levels have been undetectable which is a really good signal that my cancer is still gone.

So in the midst of all this too much to do anxiety, I decided to start packing this morning. As I ate my IKEA cinnamon roll, [I managed to squeeze in a trip yesterday to buy me some lovely new curtains for the yet to be named living space] I started to feel that familiar tightening on the left side of my face.  My jaw started feeling stiff, the place where my jawbone curves up below my ear started swelling. [similar to this]  Seriously?!

In the midst of the do I/don’t I in relation to Sjogren’s Syndrome, it sure seems like my symptoms fit the bill.  Symptoms are aggravated by stress and in the last 2 weeks my skin has gotten so dry that it cracks, my hair has been falling out in massive amounts, my hands have hurt so much I could barely  make a fist and well… now my face is blowing up again.

So I’m taking it as a sign that today, I need to just stop.  Meditation, movies, cleaning, writing, scrapbooking… I don’t know what exactly I will do yet but I need to clam my body and mind.  I’m starting with blogging and lots of fluids to jump start my parotid back into action. Hopefully the facial disfigurement is short lived.


Why Tennessee?

whyThis is the question I find myself answering a bajillion times a day so I thought I’d fill you all in.

Do I know anyone in Tennessee?  Not that I’m aware of… although I think one of my sorority sisters lives there?  Definitely don’t know anyone in the city I’m moving to!

Why did I apply for that job?  Well I applied because the job sounded interesting, like a challenge, and definitely a rung up the career ladder.  The fact that it was in Tennessee was just an afterthought.  Truth is, I applied for several jobs in many different areas.  In the end, I had 2 job offers and I went with the one that I felt was the right one for me… and it just so happened to be the one in Tennessee.

It doesn’t hurt that I have always loved that area.  In fact I posted about how much I love it last October in this post.  I love the mountains, I hate the snow… Tennessee has a lot of the one and barely any of the other. Perfect compromise! 

It’s an adventure and who knows what may happen?  As the realtor who showed me around there said, “Honey, maybe God is just sending you down this way to find your husband!”

And?  Why not Tennessee?



So what do you do when you have to write a resignation letter?   You agonize over what you should say… what you shouldn’t say… making sure all the pertinent information is in there… leaving out things that just aren’t important.  You get advice from your HR friend. Finally, you decide to keep it short and sweet and to the point.  Then you quickly print it out and hand it to your boss. 
Unless the only paper in your house is purple, yellow, PINK, is covered in Santa Claus faces, flowers, or angels.  Yes my dears, I found myself with not a stitch of white copy paper in sight the night I wanted to print my letter!  Of course I wasn’t about to run out in the cold weather to get a new ream of paper, that would be too easy.  No I frantically searched through every drawer in my house to find something suitable and even debated long and hard about using pink or purple. [Hey, it worked for Elle Woods didn’t it??]  
Then, it dawned on me… I am a scrapbooker!!  I have mountains of lovely papers stuffed in my rolling scrap station!  There was bound to be an 8.5x11” sheet of plain white in there right?

Since discovering the joys of 12x12” scrapbooks, I have completely purged my 8.5x11” paper selections!  So then it hits me.  I have this amazing paper cropping tool that I use to cut papers to whatever lovely size I desire! 
So I pulled out a few white papers and discover I have a serious shiny white paper problem.  If I print on that, it will smear.  Totally not acceptable.  I then found one glorious piece of almost cardstock thickness pure white paper.  Yessss!
I happily cropped my sheet down to the very specific letter size and sent it through the laserjet.  Success! 
One perfectly proportioned, non glossy, heavy weighted resignation letter made to order!


BIG News!

I have big… biG… bIG… BIG… HUGE  news to share with you!

I will not be putting up a Christmas Tree this year.DSCN0882DSCN0881

Come on!  Do you think I would have been teasing you for WEEKS just to tell you that?!  But… it is a part of the puzzle… a clue if you will.  Here is another clue…DSCN1918Taken earlier this year and posted earlier by yours truly HERE.  Any guesses on the super big announcement yet? 

How about this hint?


If you guessed that I’m moving, you would be only half-right.  One last really obvious hint:

If you guessed that I’m moving to Tennessee to take a new job…. you are obviously a genius because that is exactly right!

Yes folks you heard that right – I’m moving to Johnson City, Tennessee and starting a new job! [and let’s face it, I’m fixin’ to acquire a southern accent right quick] 

Tennessee… the birthplace of country music, Dollywood, Jack Daniel’s, and the Great Smokey Mountains.  Tennessee… a mere 699.91 miles from home and family.  Tennessee… a whole new adventure waiting for me!

There is so much going through my mind at the moment and a whole heck of a lot of checklists and spreadsheets started.  I start my new job January 3rd. Right after New Year’s.  That means between now and then I have to find a new place to live, find some movers, pack up my life, say goodbye to all my friends and family and… let’s not forget the holidays and the craziness they bring anyway! 

I’m starting to panic that I won’t have time to do it all.  At the same time I am SO excited about starting this new journey!  I’ve been wanting to tell everyone for weeks now – I’ve been interviewing since August – but I hope you can forgive the hinting and understand why I have to keep it under wraps for a while. 

I am officially done with my current job as of December 17th so if any of you are around the week of Christmas, let’s make some plans for lunch, dinner, a movie… whatever!  For now, I plan on leaving the mitten the week of New Year’s and arriving with enough time to get unpacked before the holiday.

Sooo I have to know… was the wait worth the big reveal?


I Have Been Remiss

Forgive me, I have been lazy in updating my 101 in 1001 list!  I’m not sure how many days we are into the 1001 but I’ve been hard at work attacking the list!

First up – I attended a concert!  I went to the Selah concert with Slaglm, her parents and my parents.  They do a mix of hymns and original songs and their harmonies are uh-maze-ing!

Next on the list – I went to a local restaurant that I had never been to.  The restaurant?  Twisted Rooster… yum!  Even though it was a slightly sad goodbye dinner with my friend LC who just moved across state, the food and the conversation were good. Miss you LC!

And then – I sent out 1 card in October and 2 postcards in November… 2 months closer to my one snail mail per month goal!  December should be easy peasy with all those Christmas cards to send out.

I’ve also been making progress on the reading front and have finished Girl Who Played With Fire, Sarah’s Key, and Illegals.  I’m working on about 5 more including 2 more that I have to write book reviews for!

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And last but not least – I carved a pumpkin for our Multi-Holiday Dinner last month:

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Not too shabby I must say!  Annnnnnnnnd I have a super big announcement for you all tomorrow that will be fulfilling at least one more thing on my list!  But you will just have to come back tomorrow to find out what that is!


Pins & Needles

PF 06 047Today I’m not the only one sitting here waiting on pins and needles… it just so happens to be the opening day of gun deer hunting season and the deer and the hunters are on full alert.

Now normally I wouldn’t care one way or the other about hunting seasons but this particular day is apparently a holiday in some parts of the state.  In the areas where I work, they literally close school for deer hunting…I mean an in-service.. yeah… an in-service. 

I normally just note this day as a regional phenomenon and continue through my day.  But today on my way to work, I glanced to my left looking for any escaping deer that may cross my path and I saw a bright orange hat and a big dark shape just on the side of the road.  Suddenly I realized that I drive through prime hunting territory on a daily basis!  I’m seriously hoping that those hunters point their guns in the right direction!


Silent Insanity

I’ve been really quiet on here.  It’s not because I have a lack of things to talk about.  In fact I have so many things to talk about I don’t even know where to start.  My mind is like a whirlwind of activity but I just can’t act.  Not yet.  This time next week, however, it may be a completely different story.  Hopefully…

Anyway, things are completely crazy and I’m spending part of today trying to get my head organized.  Starting with my closet. 

Yup its that time again where I’m clearing out anything I haven’t worn in the last year – or have never worn.  Seriously, why do we buy things we will never wear?  I can tell you why this girl does it in one word: SALES.  I’m seriously a sucker.  I see something that I kinda like but maybe isn’t my style but because its on sale or better yet – clearance – I just have to have it!  Oh yes, this will be quite the chore today!  I better get started…


Comfort Zone


Ok so I have so many things I absolutely cannot write about at the moment so I will share one of my favorite things of the moment instead!

Victoria’s Secret The Dreamer Flannel Pajamas rock my socks.  Warm? Definitely. Comfy? Ridiculously so.  Pricey? Unfortunately.

BUT they come in so many cute colors… AND they go on sale.. a lot!  And if you are really lucky and patient, they usually go on sale closer to Christmas and include a free matching slipper gift! Score!

I have my eyes on the confetti dot pattern which of course has pink accents and is so up my alley.  I will be watching for the free slipper promo and will pass along the good news when they do!


What To Do, What To Do…

fish jumpI am in such a weird place these days.  I am so ready to leap… I know I will leap…but for the moment I’m held back by strong but gentle arms. 

Its not time… yet. 

But while I wait for that moment when I can fly from this cliff, I am almost paralyzed.  Afraid to do this or not to do that.  Will I jinx things if I make too many plans before things are certain?  Will I run out of time if I don’t start some things now?

I’m doing my best to be patient for just a little while longer – and holy cranoli I’ve had enough practice in patience the last couple of years!  You would think by now it would be easy, right?

For now I will work on planning my next vacation – that is something I have control over even though I may have to wait a little bit to leave.  Any suggestions where I should go?


Even Mother Nature is Confused

It seems that once again the world has gone crazy and forgotten that we have a holiday between Halloween and Christmas… remember?  Ring any bells here?  Anyone?

As I posted almost exactly a year ago here, I have a serious dislike for all things Christmas until it’s the proper time. We have become Christmas obsessed and for all the wrong reasons.  Its all about buying, getting, spending, consuming...  And it starts up again almost as soon as it’s over as evidenced by the massive display I saw in Hobby Lobby back in JULY!  All the crazy marketing must be working on people though because even some of my friends have been brainwashed to think that it is appropriate to listen to Christmas music around the clock starting November 1st. [It’s not, but I forgive your momentary lapses of judgment] 

But I know something is seriously wrong when even Mother Nature is getting into the act.  Or perhaps she is trying to reinforce how seriously confused we are with our holidays and seasons?  Either way Mother Nature, I am not amused.


Why is the Rum Always Gone?

With all the excitement and anticipation that is currently bubbling just underrum the surface, you would think that this week would be flying by, right?


This week has been a long, slow trip through h-e-double-hockey-sticks!  It’s a week that needs a drink, or two…or three!  Alas, there is none in the house.  A testament to the last months perhaps?

I’m hoping to have some news very soon that will be cause to break out the bubbly but until then dear readers, I leave you in suspense.


Book Review: Illegals

Illegal immigration is a hot button topic these days.  Some people are adamant that we should close our borders as soon as possible while others want to keep the ‘melting pot’ open for all.  What are the real costs associated with the current state of things? 
The book “Illegals: The Unacceptable Cost of America's Failure to Control it’s Borders” by Darrell Ankarlo explores the costs and dangers of the current ‘open door’ policy.  Ankarlo takes an in depth look into the underbelly of illegal immigration, making the issue real and personal.
While the book makes some good points and gives you many tidbits to ponder,  it is definitely written from one perspective only.  Ankarlo’s hard stance against illegal immigration at times feels like dramatic overkill.  I would have appreciated a little less of the dramatics and more of the real stories.  Some of the pictures and stories are quite shocking and I found I had to put the book down at times.  Illegals does have some solid information and interesting opinions.  I think this book is worth a read no matter what side of the debate you are on.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.


Hey Y’All!

I’m sorry I’ve neglected you over the past few days but I took a little trip down to the land of sweet tea – Tennessee!  While I can’t share too many details about my trip just yet, here are a few pics from the side trip I took to the Appalachian Trail…

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