An Afternoon with Marsha (18 August 2019)

I’m thankful for Marsha’s friendship. Last week we planned to have lunch at my house since I am trying to save money. Marsha, being a wonderful friend she is, had no problem coming over to help me save money. On Tuesday, she texted me and asked if I ever saw Dead Poets Society, I had not and she planned to bring it. I made chicken salad sandwiches and GF short cake for lunch. I also bought some euculyptis and baby breath from Trader Joe’s and made a lovely bouquet.

 

Yesterday afternoon we had a lovely lunch, caught up, and watched the Dead Poets Society. We both cried at the end; it was a good movie otherwise and made me think about why I started the Happiness Box Project. Seize the Day – Carpe Diem! We all eke out happiness each day and try something new, even if we are scared. I believe this was Robin Williams’s magnum opus.

We are going to plan another movie Sunday in the future. We both had a great time and we want to see each other more instead of every 6-8 months.

Brown Family Reunion 2019 | Knoebels | 17 August 2019

If you remember from my 30th birthday, Mrs. Brown treated me to the bus ride to go to their family reunion at Knoebels on 17 August 2019. Let me tell you, that month and a half sure did fly by!

Earlier this week, mom and I looked at ticket prices and food options. You could only purchase water park and slide tickets online, so I bought the $15 pass for the pool and slides. Mom gave me a budget of $20 for the dry park, then $30 for food – Knoebels had a sit down restaurant with GF options! I was excited.

The Warner bus was scheduled to leave from the Browns’ house at 8 AM. Since they live only three houses down from me, I was early. It was so nice to see Mr. and Mrs. Brown and Grady! Grady breeds pitbulls and I met a few of the puppies. They were so adorable and licked me in love. Pits are good dogs, if they are trained with loving kindness, and I like pits. Anyway, the crowd was smaller compared to the Washington, D.C. trip in 2017, with only seven people. I met Jada and her mom, whom I chatted with before the bus departed.

Two hours, forty minutes later we were at Knoebels. We split up and had to meet back at the bus before 5 PM. I went to the water park first and had a blast on the Snake Winder and the other water ride. I rode those a dozen times, I couldn’t get enough. I love water and prefer water rides to dry rides. I also loved the Crystal Pool.

The Crystal Pool had a playground slide that acted as a tame water slide. Something so simple turned out to be so much fun. My nose caught a water full, however! I handed my GoPro over to a mother and she took this sweet little video.

There were also diving boards – 4 of them. Two were three metres, one was two metres, the last was one. The three metres board made my stomach flop a bit. As I was diving off, the height and gravity made my stomach feel funny. It wasn’t the dread that rollercoasters put in me, but a bit of excitement of the impending water. I did that a dozen times and handed off my GoPro to a father that was photographing his sons. He didn’t get a video, but he did capture two lovely photos.

 

Snack break and sunscreen break! I found someone, a nice woman, to put sunscreen on Wraith. I’m glad she didn’t mind, and I thanked her. Although I was wearing a t-shirt (which I forgot at Knoebels), I made sure Wraith was protected with sunscreen too. I went back into the water, where I ran into Jada and her mom. Jada was learning how to swim and had a blast showing me what she was learning. I then swam around for another hour.

 

Before I headed back to the dry park, I decided to try the Nets of Fun. When I was a child, I was afraid of these types of things because I was afraid I might fall through. I decided to try it and it wasn’t so bad after all! I made it the whole way through and it was fun.

There was also a country music dance band performing at 2:15. They were handing out hula hoops and I had to try my luck. I had a joy doing this!

The nice thing about Knoebels, just like Luna Park in Coney Island, you can buy tickets for the rides you want to ride instead of paying for a full day pass. I bought $10 worth of tickets and rode the train, the Haunted Mansion, and a tilt-o-whirl type of ride. I spent about $8, I gave the last $2 away. The lines were longer than I anticipated and I had to eat before we met at the bus at 5 PM.

It was 4:15 PM and I knew I didn’t have time for the Alamo, the sit-down cafe with gluten-free options. I spoke with the food service manager about my celiac disease and she made sure I had a GF bun and that my food was prepared correctly. I got back to the bus at 4:45, the driver let me in and I ate my delicious meal on an air conditioned bus. Great end to a lovely day AND the lovely day didn’t cost a fortune. I had a great time without spending a lot – that felt nice.

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I’m also thankful for the Browns and how they include me in all of their events. Mrs. Brown also never forgets my birthday either. As JC, my barber I had on Friday night said to me, “maybe you are family and you don’t even know it yet!” Family doesn’t have to be related by blood, they can be close friends too!

Happiness Box as a Visual Diary

Here is something I wrote this morning on Writing.com and thought I would share it here. My Happiness Box is like a visual diary!

 

Do you still keep a personal journal? How is it different from your blog, or are the two connected in some way?

My therapist and I were chatting about this last night. He asked me if I kept a diary and I said that I used to, but I see my Happiness Box as a diary, more of a visual diary that I get to scrapbook each year. It’s a great way to express all sorts of feelings, especially gratitude and successes, but also the lessons from failure.

I think I can be more personal in my Happiness Box and can share more feelings than I would be comfortable showcasing on a public blog. Here is a bit different than my Word Press blog because at least here I can have some privacy. Blogs are more public than diaries/personal journals and I know I wouldn’t want to air my personal dirty laundry in public. We still have to keep some decency when dealing with the public, even if it is blogging.

However, I do believe the two are connected because both are great ways to get feelings out. While the diary/personal blog you may not share with others, you can share your blog with others and maybe make some changes. Blogs are great for social justice, where I think a diary/personal journal can start a change, the blog sees it to fruition. I think both are important.

Thankful Thursday 15 August 2019

Wow! We are halfway through the eighth month and we only have one more month of summer (and winter in the southern hemisphere). I’ve been stressed lately, but I decided that I am going to choose gratitude rather than resentment. I am being helped because I am loved and people want me to succeed. With that in mind, I am going to savour each day one day at a time.

Yesterday was mum’s birthday and I sent her a beautiful image via text for her 55th year. She loved it, and she is a big fan of Dancing Cat. I was going to buy her this card, but copying the image and texting her worked just as well.

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While we don’t always get along, I am thankful for her, just like I am thankful for my dad. On Sunday, we went out to lunch and had a great time. We went to the Famous Dave’s in Christiana, DE and laughed over BBQ. I was grateful that they had GF options and it was just a lovely day.

Today I had lunch with James and we chatted about everything going on. We ate lunch and took a walk. We have been friends for 12 years and I’m thankful for his friendship. I am thankful that the handful of friends I have have been part of my life for so long, I am thrilled that we are continuing to grow our friendship. Friendship is a beautiful thing.

Remember when I met Sammy at The Stonewall Inn in NYC? Well, he moved to King of Prussia and we ran into each other! We chatted for 20 minutes and I was so glad that we recognized each other. When I waved to him, he was so happy to see me and I can’t wait to grow this friendship too.

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I am thankful for my full-time job and library job as well. I’ve been working over-time at my full-time job and have been working a different schedule at the library; I’m thankful for what both managers do for me. Today I was looking at the collages at the desk at my full-time job and I have an idea for a future blog entry.

 

What  are you thankful for?

 

Saturday Swim Fun

Since I am cutting back on frivolous spending to dig myself out of debt, I am focusing on free fun things. My aunt and uncle have a pool and gave me permission to use their pool while they are away. Yesterday after work, I headed to the pool and had fun splish-splashing and cannonballing into the water. It was two hours of pure bliss.

 

 

I couldn’t help myself: shameless pool selfies! Wraith will be three months in sixteen days and I am still so in love with him. I will be in love with him for the rest of my life. These photos will go into my Happiness Box.

I have different things planned for my 30s, one of them being personal finance and financial health. I want to dig myself out of the debt I created in my 20s and as I do so, I want to spend some time talking about how good financial health affects not only your happiness, but your overall well-being. Keeping a budget allows for joy and being in good financial shape allows you to keep healthy in all other aspects of your life too.  ALSO, you don’t need to live the “good life” to have fun either. You can have a lot of fun doing things on the cheap without splurging. I can’t wait to explore more of these subjects further and share them with you.