A project that builds gratitude day by day to build resilience.
Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.
Happy Fall, y’all! At least to my friends/readers in the Northern Hemisphere. Happy Spring! to my friends/readers in the Southern Hemisphere.
It’s been a busy week. I started a new role within the county – I’m a legal administrator for the public defender’s office now. I started on Monday and I’m grateful for my new co-workers and the help/training I’ve been receiving. I work with a nice bunch now and for that I am grateful. I can also move up and if I get a paralegal certificate, I could go for a paralegal position (the DA didn’t have that). I’m part of the homicide appeals unit. I’m excited.
However, I am grateful for my time at the DA’s Office. I learned a lot and made friends along the way. Last Thursday, the appeals unit brought in gluten-free snacks for me, since they couldn’t make Friday’s luncheon. I was verklempt and grateful.
On Friday, Jess handed me a card from the appeals unit and that made me verklempt as well.
The luncheon was nice too. My friend, the forfeiture ADA, treated me. He, Bill, Jill, Ms. Bev, and Jean all joined me. My friends joined me. So grateful for this send off.
I’m still going on dates with people. Last Thursday I went on a date with someone from high school. He cooked me a nice gluten-free meal. It was a nice first date and I told him the truth – I am dating around and I have my sights set on someone, but still going out to meet other people. This guy has been obsessed with me for 15 years and didn’t listen to a word I said, he tried escalating it this past weekend. He asked me my ring size and talked about making things official. I told him “no” and that there would be no second date. He’s not happy, but oh well. Too pushy and rushy, hasn’t changed since high school.
On Monday I went into Sunoco to pick up a package and I was curious about what happened to one of the clerks. I asked the new clerk, he explained to me that the other one was fired, and he gave me his phone number. I texted Dave and we met for ice cream yesterday. He agreed to a selfie. It was so nice to reconnect. I used to talk to him every time I went into Sunoco to pick up my Amazon packages. Yesterday’s ice cream outing was fun. Total Happiness Box moment.
I’m seeing Dave again tomorrow. I have a date on Saturday evening with someone from Facebook dating. We’re meeting at an Asian fusion place. I’m excited for that as well.
On Sunday I had lunch with Kathleen, a friend from RTI, who I hadn’t seen since March 2020. It felt great to catch up and she’s so happy that I got out of that awful relationship with Tommy, and I’m getting back out there again. It felt good to laugh with her and I’m thankful for her friendship as well.
I received a letter from Christina today and the Navy is going well for her. She’s super busy. I am thankful that we still keep in touch and we are pen pals for now. I’m thinking about paying her a visit at some point.
I’m also thankful for other friends, library co-workers, and family. What are you thankful for today?
I’ll be honest, every time I go out on a new date or make new friends or meet new people, I am a nervous wreck. I worry that I am too much. I’m too much work, I have too much anxiety, I’m depressed too much, I take too many pictures, I scrapbook too much, I write too much, sometimes I talk too much, I love too much, I get over excited about people, animals, and many other things, I am too kind, I am too caring, and I can go on and on and on.
The one that has been getting me down for a few days is the fear that I’m too much work. I have anxiety. I have hang-ups, especially from a traumatic past. Sometimes you have to give me a lot of reassurance and I know that is a lot. I fear that I may never be loved because who wants someone who is too much work?
I’m thankful for Chris and Rasean and Tina and Brian. They reminded me that we are all a lot of work. Each and every one of us have hang-ups, baggage, hopes, dreams, and everything else. None of us are perfect. We also all get nervous on first dates or first times meeting friends or new people. That is normal.
Yeah, I may get over-excited, I may give my heart too much, I may take too many photos, I may scrapbook too much, or laugh too much, or I’m too empathic, but what may annoy some, others love that about me. I love that about me. I am enough.
I had the best sleep at that Air BNB in Wescosville. I slept like a baby and this had to be the most restful sleep I had in an Air BNB ever. Their area in Wescosville was quiet and since I had my own living quarters, that is probably why.
I got up at 7am to the sound of pouring rain. I knew my friend couldn’t take me all the way home to King of Prussia, so I wanted to be ready for the bus. I lazed to the living room and instead of scrapbooking (I brought my scrapbook supplies), I read some messages. I packed and did some meditating.
My friend picked me up at 9:20am, to get me to the bus by 10am.
When he picked me up on Sunday morning, it was pouring rain in Wescosville. He texted me to say that he was 3 minutes out, so I decided to wait for him outside. I said goodbye to my Air BNB hosts and it’s funny that they thought he was my boyfriend. They asked if he was picking me up. I said, “Yes. He’s going to take me to the bus to go back to King of Prussia. I enjoyed my stay and I was very comfortable.” They both smiled.
Anyway, when he picked me up, I was soaked. Yet, his truck was warm and he had music playing. As we were cruising around Allentown, this song came on:
I’m a big fan of Jelly Roll and I could hear him right away. I asked him, “is this Jelly Roll?” He checked his phone and it was, along with Brantley Gilbert. We both liked Sons of the Dirty South and we rocked out.
It’s hard to believe that I started listening to JellyRoll 9 years ago and I have to thank Twiztid for that. On their first album on an independent label, JellyRoll appeared in one of the songs (as did Caskey, who I also really like) and I liked his style. I really liked his style when he did a collaboration with Young Wicked and I had to explore JellyRoll some more. I was amazed.
It’s really neat and shows his talent that he has gone from rap to Southern rock, and combines both. From underground rappers to Top 40 artists, he can collaborate with them. I admire that.
Anyway, my friend got me to the bus on time and I made it back to Philadelphia safely. Once back, I decided to stop at China Town and have a Vietnamese lunch at Pho Cali.
Lunch was so good. I made it home at 2pm, did my wash, and as I relaxed as the rain fell down, I wrote about my Allentown memories.
On Saturday I was supposed to meet up with someone, but the person gave me weird vibes and I canceled. I decided to go to Allentown and meet up with a friend. I made the reservation for the Air BNB in Wescosville on Friday afternoon, and the bus reservation on Friday after my date.
Unfortunately, I missed my bus to Allentown since I misread the schedule. I thought it was leaving at 11:35, not 11:05 and SEPTA was running late. I knew if I canceled my Air BNB, I wouldn’t be able to get a refund and I promised my friend I’d visit. So, I ordered an Uber. Damn, I wish I would have known I was going to miss my bus because I would have stayed in King of Prussia and gotten Uber from there. It would have been quicker (45 minutes) and cheaper. Oh, well, Charles was awesome and didn’t mind driving the 90 minutes from Philadelphia to Allentown.
Charles was a great conversationalist and I enjoyed riding with him for that distance. I loved talking to him about travel and life. The scenery in Allentown was nice too.
I put the wrong address in for Channel 69 news. I didn’t realize that the Channel 69 news station in Downtown Allentown was also the PPL Center. When Charles stopped at the Channel 69 news station on Rock Rd., I realized that was the wrong place. He put in Hamilton Street and dropped me off there.
I had to walk 20 minutes to the downtown area, but I thanked Charles for his kindness. He also gave me his phone number if I needed a ride home on Sunday. Anyway, the walk to downtown Allentown was beautiful and I was thinking of Billy Joel’s Allentown as I walked.
Then I got into town and took other photos. There was also a street festival going on.
As I was listening to music, my friend texted me that he was almost done work, and I could meet him near Coca Cola Park. I walked to the bus and took the Casino line to Ballpark (Coca Cola Park) and waited for him to pick me up. He wanted to see pictures of where I was. Here are those photos:
My friend picked me up and we hung out at the Air BNB, watching both Despicable Me movies, laughing, and chatting.
I really loved the Air BNB I stayed in. I had my own quarters, complete with a living room and coffee set-up. I also had my own bathroom. The owners were really nice and it was funny that they thought my friend was my boyfriend. He left at 9. After, I chatted with Brian and learned that he is not looking for a relationship. He’s happy being single. I’m disappointed, but I’m glad to know that now before I invest too much time.
I unwound for the evening by watching Forensic Files before settling in at 11:30 pm.
I know I’ve been away for a week, I’ve been recovering from wisdom tooth surgery. Last Friday I had one wisdom tooth removed and it was brutal. I was conscious during the procedure and since it was impacted, it took three hours. The dentist gave me a lot of novocane and once it was done, she and her father (who used to be my dentist) gave me a high five. I threw up at the beginning of the procedure and they were super patient with me. Thankful for their care.
I went home and rested. Chatted with a couple romantic prospects and they invited me over to care for me. I stayed home; while I appreciated the offer, recovering from wisdom tooth surgery doesn’t make a good first date. LOL! Brian wished me well and checked in on me as well. Thankful for all of them.
On Saturday, I stayed in my pajamas all day. One of my old library co-workers sent me a get well soon card. I was verklempt and very thankful.
On Monday, I was feeling okay and I went to a movie with a friend. Raesean and I had dinner at True Foods and while my dinner was delicious, I still didn’t have an appetite and it was a little spicy. I brought it home. We then saw Three Thousand Years of Solitude – it was awesome. Thankful for Raesean and the laughter we shared.
On Tuesday I went back to both jobs. I told the owner of Frais that I just had wisdom tooth surgery and she just warmed gluten-free bread for me, with butter. She’s been doing that the whole week for me and I am super grateful.
Today the dissolvable stitches dissolved and my mouth feels better. I also finish the antibiotics tonight. I’m on the mend and grateful.
I’m also grateful for friends and family. What are you grateful for today?
Can you believe it’s September already? This year has really flown by and the past month it has gotten happier. I am thankful for that and I’m thankful for all that August brought me. I can’t wait to see what September brings.
I’m thankful for friends, Brian, co-workers, and family. What are you grateful for today?
Since I am going to make a sn@p album, I wanted Brighton Beach postcards since I bought post cards for Coney Island. Unfortunately, they don’t sell post cards in Brighton Beach and I made my own. On Friday, I’m going to order these two from Canva. I’m quite happy with the outcome.
On Saturday evening, I was too exhausted to stop at one of the shops near Friedman’s after I ate, so I decided to go into a Hudson News in the train terminal. Sadly, they didn’t sell NYC post cards, but they did sell key chains that I bought for my girls at my full-time job. I was going to make a few, but I found some of the NYC post cards I bought last year.
This weekend was my Labor Day since next Friday I am getting a wisdom tooth out. I plan on relaxing and recovering next weekend.
On Saturday I took a day trip to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York. I left the house at 7:15 am and was at 3oth Street Station by 7:50 am. I overslept and didn’t get a chance to have gluten-free Wegmans rice krispie cereal before I left, so I stopped for some hash browns and an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I made my way to the bench, ate and started talking to a guy with a Pink Floyd shirt and another guy waiting for a train to Daytona. Interesting people, to say the least. The Pink Floyd shirt guy was nice.
Once boarding was called, I met Chi Chi and family, who are from Arizona and were in town to drop one of their daughters off at Lafayette College in Easton. My cousin graduated from there in 2011 and I told them it was a great school. They were visiting New York for the day and they agreed to a selfie with me before we boarded the train. I had Chi Chi’s husband take the selfie, since he had longer arms.
decided to mask while riding the train. It was an uneventful ride and I made it to Manhattan in 90 minutes.
I had to walk to 34th Street, Herald Square, to catch the Q to Brighton Beach. The B, the express train, only runs during the week and had to take the local. I had fun sight seeing while walking to the subway station and fortunately, the Q arrived quickly.
In 40 minutes, I made it to Brighton Beach. En route, a homeless man hopped on at Prospect Park and he asked for $5. Before I gave him $5, I asked him to take a photo for me. He did and was grateful for the help. It was also nice to see the Brooklyn Bridge out the window while entering Brooklyn.
When I arrived to Brighton Beach, I stepped out of the air conditioned train, and humidity hit me. Graffiti greeted me, seagulls serenaded me, and the sea smelled heavenly.
Stepping in Brighton Beach is like stepping in Russia, no passport required! I decided to check out the 99 cents store, to get something to drink for the beach. I wanted to see what kind of Russian candy they had and the only candy that seemed to be gluten-free was from Poland. I assumed it was gluten-free because the wheat was crossed out, the rest of the bag was in Polish. I don’t know how I would have felt about chocolate covered plums and for $5.99, I didn’t buy it. But, I did take plenty of photos and plenty of photos of the other products. I bought a bottle of vitamin water and headed to the beach.
The water was perfect. It was 91 degrees on Saturday and the water was cool. It was a great way to cool down. As I was walking up from the beach with my camera, I heard a dog yapping. A little wiener dog greeted me and I asked the Russian family if I could pet her, as well as take a photo. They agreed and Neena loved the attention. Her owner came back, and she took some photos of me with Neena. So grateful.
I swam for an hour and a half and saw a kite flying. The kite was gorgeous and I saw a Ukrainian flag flying from one of the windows. Brighton Beach’s population isn’t only Russian, it’s also Ukrainian, Uzbecki, Slovakian, Czech, and Polish. It’s really Little Eastern Europe. I digress, as I was taking photos, I saw a guy sitting near the kite. I asked him if it was his kite, but it wasn’t. We talked for a good 15 minutes, Tarik lived locally and he agreed to a photo with me. The guys sitting next to him agreed to take the photo with my DSLR; he ended up taking several since he was a photographer. I gave Tarik my number to keep in touch, he called, but my phone was on airplane and the one time my phone doesn’t tell me when someone called while it’s in airplane, it’s someone I wanted to keep in touch with! Hopefully he texts. Oh well. The photos turned out nicely!
I had a very Russian lunch at Tatyana. Cold borscht, salad, and vodka with cranberry. It filled the spot and kept me satisfied for the rest of the afternoon.
When I got back to the beach, I decided to write in the sand. I wrote this, but I didn’t send it to Brian. I was a bit nervous. Yet, I could send him a selfie where I’m hanging out with vodka in my hand, bikini photos, and other beach photos. I remember when I did this for Lucky Logan last year and he didn’t really say much. I was probably nervous about that happening again. Ah, well, this will be for my sn@pbook.
I sent Brian this one instead. It was well-received and he sent me some photos of Nashville.
I drew this, for scrapbooking purposes. I took it at different angles.
I went back to the beach for another 2.5 hours. I met Mark and his dad who were having a water gun fight. His dad threw the water gun to me because he wasn’t feeling the water gun fight. Mark and I got into a water gun fight. Another little boy had his water gun and joined us. His mother, Jasmine, introduced herself, then Jacob, and Joanna, his sister. Jacob and Joanna joined in the water gun fight and we had a lot of fun for an hour. Mark, his dad, Jasmine, Jacob, and Joanna had to leave, so I gave Mark back his second water gun and thanked him.
I met some others and had fun swimming with them for another hour. They were local and gave me some great restaurants and supermarkets to check out. They agreed to a go-pro selfie and it was priceless.
I needed to take a water break and when I went back to my tent, I had a surprise waiting for me. As you all know, I love pigeons. There was a pigeon waiting for me, sitting on my towel. I was verklempt and I thought, “my child has come to visit!” Yeah, I love pigeons just as much as cats. Unfortunately, my camera and cell phone were behind him and I didn’t want to disturb. Ah well, I have my memory. 🙂
Brighton Beach is my happy place. I left the beach at 4pm, after 4.5 hours there. I did apply sunscreen religiously, but still got some sun. I packed up and I walked the Riegelmann Boardwalk to Coney Island. It was a hot walk, but I did visit Brooklyn Beach Shop and bought a small Brooklyn pennant I’ll use for the sn@p album. I took some photos of the boardwalk and met some people who took my photo, then agreed to a selfie. They were visiting from Ohio.
I left Coney Island/Brighton Beach at 4:30 and made my way to Manhattan for dinner. I was going to go to Friedman’s at Harold Square before I headed home. For some reason, the Q heading to 96th Street was delayed and then detoured. It took me an hour to get to Herald Square, and I made it to Friedman’s by 6pm. My train left at 7:53 and I was happy that I had plenty of time for dinner.
When I got off at Herald Square, there was a popup that looked strange. It was an obstacle course of sorts. It made for great photos. I also noticed a lot of gals dressed up, looking like they were going to an anime convention. A K-Pop pop-up store was near the obstacle course, so it could have been.
At Friedman’s, I sat with a group of other gals. They were dressed up like they were going to an anime convention and I asked the one why everyone was dressed up. She wasn’t friendly, but she did mention that Harry Styles was playing at Madison Square Garden. When she left, a nicer group of gals came who were also seeing Harry Styles, but they weren’t dressed for an anime convention.
Nia was my wait staff and they were great! Nia made sure my meal and dessert were gluten-free. Nia was a great conversationalist and once I mentioned that I scrapbooked, they were overjoyed to hear that and shared that they also scrapbook. I asked Nia for a selfie, for the scrapbook I’m going to make, and they agreed. Nia said, “I’m non-binary, I use they/them pronouns.” Noted. 🙂
The friendlier gals I sat with, Meghan and Rebecca, from D.C. They were a joy to chat with too. Selfie for the scrapbook. The gluten-free Rueben was to die for. I ate it all. I haven’t had a GF Rueben in so long and I was looking forward to it. Friedman’s also had delicious GF chocolate chip cookies.
Madison Square Garden, where Harry Styles was playing, is right next to Penn Station. Before I went in to wait for my train, I had to take photos of everyone dressed up for Harry Styles.
I left NYC at 7:53 pm. On my way home, I sat in the quiet car. As I was placing my bag and beach tent in the rack above me, an African American woman walked over to me, tapped my shoulder, and asked, “How was your day? I hope you had a great day at the beach! I’m so glad to see you because I enjoyed talking to you this morning on the bench.” I smiled and I told her that I did. I asked her how her day was, her day was wonderful too. Hmmm… I probably talked to her in Philadelphia before I met Chi Chi and family. Wow, I guess I do leave an impression on people and they remember me. Maybe I do touch lives.
I made it home at 10:15 pm. I showered and went to bed. I was exhausted. I can’t wait to go back – Brighton Beach and New York City in general are my happy places. I met so many wonderful people and as one of my friends said to me, “you seem to bring out the best in people.” I’m thinking about going back for the polar plunge on New Year’s Day.
Ah, the last Thankful Thursday of August! I can’t believe we’re almost 8 months through 2022 and there’s only 4 more months left. 2022, like years before, has been flying by!
Today is Kelcee’s birthday. Kelcee was one of my best friends in high school and we haven’t seen each other in person since I graduated from high school 14 years ago. I’ve been trying to catch up with friends from high school and college, see them face to face and spend time with them. Kelcee agreed to get ice cream for her birthday and she would bring her boyfriend.
We met up at Frosty Falls at 4:30.
Always so nice to meet up with a friend and meet her awesome boyfriend. Thanks for the laughs and stories. We do have to do this more often!
Happy birthday, Kelcee! It was so much fun celebrating you!
I’m thankful for Brian. I’ve been reading The Great Alone and it’s a depressing book. It’s well written, but Kristin Hannah has me in my feels. I was explaining to Brian that this book has me feeling blah, but sometimes when I’m tired and worn out, I feel depressed too. He’s been sending me comics that we both love. I’m so grateful for him and I’m so grateful that I met him.
I’m also thankful for Tina. She encouraged me to follow my heart and didn’t judge me for following my heart. We’ve been chatting and running creative ideas through one another.
Lastly, I’m thankful for my other friends, family, and co-workers from both jobs. What are you thankful for today?