26 Dec

Prepared for the Worst and Hope for the Best

thN81SJAU3This winter has been no winter at all. I mean most of December was forty five degrees or better. I mean it has been beautiful. I love it. I bought a super warm brand new winter coat. I have only have to use it once! Well, maybe twice.

This winter I expected that I would be something like last winter. Everyone remembers that completely arctic blast thing, right? Even though everyone said that it would be a mild winter, who can believed that after the winters we have had. Who still follows the farmer’s almanac currently?

Last year I was caught with my pants down a bit. I was snuggled up in my house unable to leave because the roads and well let us be honest, everything was covered in ice. At least seven inches thick. My city has required that everyone stay indoors and not used the roads for safety reasons. That it was too dangerous for anyone to drive, so anyone caught driving was issued a ticket. Yes, the police were giving out tickets for driving! Not speeding, drinking and driving, or running a red light, but simply driving at all. No matter how safe a person thought he or she was driving, there was to be no driving at all.

That is not the part that caused me great dismay. I mean I was not planning to drive anyway, it was too dangerous. There I was at home snuggled up on my couch, in my flannel pajamas, having a movie fest. When I started to smell something reminiscent of gas. At first, I thought I might have been hallucinating. When I really realized that I had indeed was sell gas, I check my stove.   If you just nicked the knob, a little the gas will start. No flame of course but my home would be filled with gas. However, it was not that.

There I was confused, well what else could it be? The only other thing that I could think of being gas facilitated. Nevertheless, that cannot be it, I thought to myself, because I have a trusty furnace. At least that what I was told when I bought the house a few years ago. That I should last me years to come. That is why I never bother to have it checked. The previous owner had seem so trustworthy.

Anyway, I went into my basement to check if I still smelled gas. You know what? I did. Coming from the furnace! I cannot believe this is happening, during the coldest winter in years! Literally years! That means I have to turn this dangone thing off, and call to have it checked by a technician. I can imagine how busy they will be this time year. All these furnaces running over time trying to compensate for the bitter cold outside.

Luckily, I had a few electric heaters and I picked up a few from my parents’ house. I was able to get a technician not come out doing that same week. For the time being I just wore layers and enjoyed the heat of my electric blanket and heaters.

The technician told me that I needed to replace the furnace. My furnace was a great brand but it was also very, very old. Eventually I would have had to replace it. The HVAC technician then offer me a great furnace package, with a warranty and five years of furnace checkups.

Before this winter, I had my furnace serviced and cleaned. Refusing to be put in that very same situation as last year. Well, I was greatly prepared…for nothing.

23 Dec

My Dreams

thOFNQ31KBI have always thought that I would become a great chef to the stars. Yes, that is what I wanted. I remember in the first grade we had to do a report about our family, hopes, and dreams. My siblings all wanted to do very exciting things when they grew up, at least that what they hoped for. I on the other hand just wanted to cook for a nice family. Oh, make a lot of money doing so, which gave to the dream of becoming a celebrity chef.

Yes, sir. I envisioned having my own show, utensils, infomercials, cloths, and kitchenware’s. Just like my hero Emeril Lagasse. I use to stay up past my bedtime every Wednesday sneak downstairs to my father’s office where he had a little television and watch Emails show with the sound so low it almost seem like it was mute. It was so low that I would hold my breath until a commercial would come on so I can hear what he was adding to his dishes. In addition, his signature “bam!” Oh how I loved it when he would spice things up and kick it up a notch with the word Bam!

Sometimes I would pretend in the backyard that I had my own cooking show. You should have seen me back there, with mama’s old flowerpots serving as my pots and pans. Then I would dirt, sand, and grass for my dishes and seasonings. I used the word bam so much that my sister who at the time was just learning how to talk and her first word was Bam! However, I never wanted my parents to know about my sneaking out of my room at night to watch my favorite show that I told them she was saying a bad word, “damn” that she must have picked up from our older brother, Steven. Man, was Steven mad at me about that lie. Especially when it appeared that, my parents believed me and gave him a great punishment. Something that he is known to bring up even to this day!

As I got older and grew up, I still held the same dream. I was a natural in the kitchen.   By the time I was fourteen I was cooking most of our meals at the house. My mother blessed her heart loved that one of her kids wanted to cook. First, it save her from having to do it all the time and she was able to support her child in fulfilling their dreams.

Boy was she supportive.

It did not matter what I knew recipe I wanted to try, if we did not have the ingredients she would make sure to pick them up herself or send my father. I remember one time I came across this recipe in one of her old recipe books about banana’s flambé. A simple dish that called to cooked bananas in this like sugary, buttery mixture, that turns into a delectable syrup. One of the major ingredients was rum. I needed the rum to deglaze the pan then you catch it on fire to cook off the school taste so you are left with a sweet and delicious dessert. That went great over homemade vanilla.

Anyway, I told my mother what I wanted to make, being that my parents rarely kept any alcohol in the house, she promised that she will pick some up on her way home from work the next day. She did and it was a hit in my house.

Yes, that is my dream hopefully after my food truck takes off it will lead me to owning a restaurant and catering business. One can dream.


17 Dec

Tree Pruning Benefits

thT6FQV21EWant to have your tree beautiful and healthy. Giving it a boost in vitality and foliage. Using a tree service business that has a license arborist ensures that your tree remains structural sound as nature made it, reduction of any risks that may befall the tree, enhance its beauty and shape. There are many benefits to routinely pruning and trimming trees and shrubs, here are a few great benefits. That will can benefited by using a great tree services company. Like Springfield’s Tree Service, just click Tree Pruning Springfield to be taken to their site. Where you can schedule a consultation.

Promotes Healthy Living

They first start with removing any unhealthy branches and limbs. Starting with those that are dead, disease, decaying, or just not properly growing. These type of issues does not just affect one type of tree or shrub but this can affect any tree or shrub regardless of age, type, and location. This will help reduce the chances of the tree or shrubs contracting a fungus that is carrying a disease. That can affect other trees and shrubs in the area. By taking care of the tree or shrub consistently and early enough each tree and shrub will less likely have to be removed later on in its life.

Start Young It’s for the Best

It is best to start early when it comes to pruning. When your tree service is pruning the young trees on your property, it is called “developmental tree pruning” as the name suggest its aids in each young’s tree development. By starting early, you can control and maintain a disable tree structure and increase its integrity. This almost eliminates any future problems by may develop over time and add support to your landscape as it grows over time.

Keep Them Looking Pretty

By pruning and trimming not only the structure and architectural development is supported and encourage but it also keeps your trees and shrubs looking its best. Adding to the overall beauty of the landscape design, you have worked hard to maintain and build.

Stay Out of the Way of Danger

Just a little bit of pruning and trimming will reduce the risk of your trees or shrubs becoming damage from storms. As well as keeping random limbs and branches from falling onto unsuspecting people, animals, and things. This is important where there is a risk of those trees nears sidewalks, walkways, or streets. Always keep in mind that many cities are not responsible for those trees near the street or sidewalk. Because of the many budgets cuts and financial challenges, they no longer hold that responsibilities but it falls unto the home or property owner. This means if there is a complaint made against a dangerous limb or tree, they can fine the property owner. In addition, enforce the owner to remove or trim it.

Do Not Wait Until it is Too Late

Do not wait until it is too late to have you consultation down. Like many things in life, it is always easier and less expensive to start early. Prevention is always the key to any healthy lifestyle. Try not to wait until your tree or shrub are in need of removal before taking advantage of a reputable tree service such as Springfield Tree Service.

15 Dec

Just Take it a Day at a Time

th6FSWGKAJI do not know about everyone else but I always have a lot to do. It is like each day just races onto the next. I am left with many unaccomplished responsibilities. That leads to the next, then the next day, then the next. There has to be a way to take care of everything. Of course, I have work, my family, my events, and organizations that I belong to but all of that do not account for all of my time. Should I just give up and let it all go downhill, or maybe hire someone to come and take care of all of my needs. I cannot be the only person in the world dealing this lack of time.

I even tried searching the internet for hours, and then I realized how much time I was wasting on this one task so I stopped. Without any great advice either, it was as if I had spent hours looking at videos of cute cats dancing and playing the piano. Which I did not, I might add.

So now what? I cannot keep continuing this way, I mean I could but nothing will ever be done. I will become irritated and cumbersome to my own self. I cannot live as no one should.

I just remember the last time I went through something like this. I had just graduated from college and about to start my first job in the “real world” and I was planning my wedding.   As well as taking care of my elderly grandmother who at the time was suffering from demit. I was becoming overwhelm, letting my house go to the toilets, and I never seem to have time to cook a healthy meal. Alternatively, clean any clothes. I was always ordering carryout and buying new clothes. Not because I wanted to but I just did not have anything clean to where, buying something new is easier than doing laundry.

Yes, it had gotten that bad. Not to mention I started putting on weight which my wedding and I dress could not afford. I said enough is enough and put an end to that kind of living.

I finally know what I have to do.

First, I have to create some kind of calendar, something that located somewhere that I will always see and is easy to read in a glance. Writing stuff and creating a schedule will allow me to see what I need to do and when. How much time I have for each task. If I stick to it I can optimized every single minute I have throughout the entire day.

Next, it is time to ask for help. I plan to call my younger cousin to see if she will watch our grandmother on the weekends. I just seen an ad for a new house cleaner service, they are offering a discount for new customers this month. Schedule to have someone come clean three times a week. That will save me on having to worry abbot the cleanliness of my home, not to mention cleaning house is not one of my favorite activities. I just do it because I cannot stand a dirty, smelly, unkempt home. My skin is crawling just hinting about it.

Last and not least, give myself some chill time. I have a tendency to be caught up in my snowball of a life. Then I forget to take some time off for myself. That is now a think of the past. I refused to be drove mad over something as trivial as what I have to deal with every day. I will make sure to schedule some me time on my calendar and make sure to keep the date.

I already feel better this coming up with this plan. Now its time to execute.

Here is to a destressed lifestyle!

12 Dec

One cold winter evening…

thHAC32211Maybe you have been at work all day and you have to stand outside waiting on the public transportation. It’s could outside and there a nip in the air. You are all bundle but that sneaky cold stream managed to penetrate your three layers and you heave down coat. That you bought specifically for this reason. To not feel the cold, on days like these. It so cold out that if you were to cry tears would freeze on your cheek before they roll off your chin. Yes, its that is cold. As your waiting on the bus, your only solace is your home. Where it is warm and cozy. With its heat and super cozy fleece blankets. Oh, and the slippers, you just cannot wait to put those little tootsies in your rabbit fur lined slippers. It just sounds magical doesn’t?

Once you made it to the bus stop near your home, all you have to do is walk a half a block and bam you will be at your front door. Not wanting to delay it any longer, as well as hoping to work up some warmth in those weary bones, you start to speed walk to your home. Not ever pausing to talk to your neighbor Mrs. Stevens, who is outside walking her dog? Just a quick hey, how are you doing, and keep it moving. You have to make it to that door.

Finally you make reach in your pocket to fetch your keys. It seems that whiner you are in a rush to get into your house the key never wants to fit. It never fails. Therefore, you calm yourself down, steady that hand and Bingo! You are in there!

As you turn on the hallway light and shut the door. It dawns on you that you can still see your breath, inside of your house. In fact, it is freezing in here! What the heck? What is going on? You make your way over to the thermostat and indeed, it is on seventy-two degrees. You had it program to turn on an hour before you were to make it through the door.

Now what do you do? Oh yeah, the furnace.

You climb down into the basement to check on your heating and cooling system. You look at it, kick it, turn it off and on but nothing changes. It never kicks on.   You cannot not believe it, on one of the coldest days of the year the furnace that today is the best day to give up on life. To call it quits. You reach in your pocket, retrieved your mobile phone and search for a reputable furnace repair, hopefully one that take service calls twenty four hours.

After finding what seems like a great company and they are, you start to dig up those old electric heaters that was left behind when you moved into the place. Grabbing as many as you can carry you go up to your bedroom, plug a few in, turn on the oven, and a few pair of extra socks. Laying down on the bed underneath every comforter you own, those little heaters slowly but surely raising the temperate in the room. You wait for the technician to knock on your door. In addition, you pray that this all can be fix tonight.

God must have been listening, because the HVAC technician was in and out in less than two hours. He was able to locate and fix the problem. It just so happen they are a running a first time customer promotion, you were able to save twenty-five percent on your bill.

With heat, blowing through your ducts and some hot cocoa in your palms all feels right in the world.

8 Dec

When I Laid Eyes on Him I knew

th3I9CZ2XTLet me tell you a story about a boy, now this boy was not any ordinary boy. He was special, extraordinary. He could run faster than any person in his village, including the men. He could shoot an arrow with the accuracy of a military trained sharp shooter. Boy was he pretty, just plain gorgeous. With copper color skin, emerald green eyes, shoulder length dark curly hair with natural golden highlights. This boy was the complete package. He was has been reared by grandfather E.J. Since his mother and father died a few months after he was born. Sadly the two had went out on a must needed date. A lovely picnic in the park, when on their return a drunk driver hit them. Both died on impact. As did the driver.

He grandfather made sure every day that his grandson knew without a shadow of a doubt that his parents loved him dearly, and he was greatly cherished. That if they were to be alive today they would surely drown him in their love. His grandfather would do anything for that boy, he knew, everyone in their village knew it.

One day the young boy was walking home from school, skipping and humming some tune he created in his head. When he came across a cat stuck in a tree. Never one to shy away from helping a being in need the young boy place his books on the ground. Took his school shirt off. Knowing that his father would not take too kindly to him ruining anymore of his school clothes. Then he started up that there tree trunk. And boy was it a climb.

The thing about being young and adventurous is you do not always think things through. As the boy kept climbing and climbing and climbing, he realize that this is a huge tree. A whole lot bigger than he had thought. As he glanced down, if you could see his face way up in that there tree you would have seen one frighten boy indeed. A look of pure terror came across his face.

After a few moments had passed that look was replaced with gumption and determination. Yes, that young boy was going to see this to the end. He glanced at that poor tabby kitten meowing his poor life away.   Then continue on his journey.

As the boy climb and climb and climb, he never saw me watching him. I was sitting down on a fallen log. Across the street from where he was at that moment. Eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich, enjoying a great book my favorite librarian, Ms. Parker, gave me to read.

As I sat there minding my own business, engross in the pages before my eyes. I heard his voice.   For such a young boy it was so clear and distinct. It rather sounded like a man’s voice but just not quite. I never heard anyone sound so sure and confident in just a few words. To my young mind, it was incredible.

So I sat there hiding in the bushes watching this young boy, who could have been no more than a year older than I could.   As he made his way up the trunk of that tree, rescue that little tabby kitten by placing the cat into his undershirt then slowing climbing his way back down.

Although I am sure, the cat was grateful when he landed on the soft grass I do not think he truly understand that the boy was there to help it. Needless to say, he scratched the messed out of that boy. The entire time he climbed down that tall tree and never did he say a peep. I could tell that it hurt but he never made a sound. Just climbed down place the kitten on the ground, gave him some of his water he had in his book bag. Then simply kept walking as if nothing had happen.

I knew then that I would marry that boy and I did.