Memorial Day with Christina

It was a damp and dreary day in Pennsylvania yesterday, not really the type of weather for the pool or ocean. My parents went to Rehobeth Beach and while they texted me that the weather broke in Delaware, Pennsylvania had no such luck.

I travelled to West Chester and spent the afternoon with Christina. It had been six months since we last saw one another and thought Memorial Day would be a great day to catch up. Her birthday is on 3 June; mom and I are seeing Depeche Mode and I won’t be able to see Christina for her birthday. I gave her a card with a Whole Food gift card. I ordered her Machine Gun Kelly’s Bloom from Amazon and fortunately, it was delivered right before I arrived at her house. She opened the gift when I arrived. She loved everything.

Since I had to go gluten-free (and lactose intolerant) and Christina is vegan, we had a “BBQ” at the Couch Tomato. I had a gluten-free pizza with spinach and roasted shitake mushrooms, Christina had a Sparta salad with falafel, chickpeas and a bunch of other veggies. It looked delicious and we both enjoyed our meal.

We spent the rest of the time at Everhart Park and it was a serene way to catch up. It was wonderful spending Memorial Day with a friend.

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Atlantic City | Memorial Day Weekend | 26 May 2018

As I was coming home last night from Atlantic City, I was reflecting on 26 May 2017. A year ago from yesterday, I was in the final four days from accepting the invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency. I was freaking out because I read the invitation last minute since I made the $10,000 I needed and realized I needed letters from my employers. I also needed an upfront physical. I was worried because I didn’t have the physical done and I knew I couldn’t get it before 31 May 2017. Janie, Leigh, and a bunch of others calmed me down. Unfortunately, four months later I was refused because, of my full-time job. I couldn’t get the physical because I didn’t have the invite. Maybe it was a good thing because I am currently working on lowering my liver numbers. In the future, when I reapply, I know what to expect, and I never want to go through that type of panic again.

Between last year and this year, it has been light and day.  Since going gluten-free, I’ve been in a better mood. It has been a pain trying to eat out, and I cook a lot of my own food now. I brought my own food to Atlantic City yesterday, and I was happy that the gluten-free PB&J sandwiches, fruits, beets, gluten-free cookies, and crackers held me over while I was on the beach. The fruits and beets were refreshing since the water was choppy and cold.

I had a blast and the day was beautiful. It was warm, but the sea breeze made it tolerable. It was supposed to rain, but I am glad Adam Joseph and the Weather Channel blew that forecast. There was not a cloud in the sky yesterday. I kept reapplying my sunscreen as well.

I met some friendly people yesterday and took selfies with them. I explained my project and they loved the idea. They were also honoured to be part of it – unanimously, we need more kindness and laughter in this world. Kindness begets kindness, and it was fun sharing laughs with people yesterday. The swimming always makes the trip, but meeting some others adds to the trip too. I took a selfie with a little boy, Randy, since he took video of me playing in the waves. Then I went up to his mother and asked for a selfie with her. She loved the idea, and it was so lovely chatting with them both, though Randy was more interested in the waves. I don’t blame him, I am that way too.

I then met Jason, his twin brother, and their friend. We swam for a little bit, and I was chatting with them until they pointed out that one of my piercings was bleeding. A wave hit me and knocked my goggles down a bit. The piercings were okay, but since I was pierced a few weeks ago, it started to bleed. I cleaned it up, then walked over to the guys and thanked them. We chatted some more, and they loved the idea of the selfies. They joked they could take selfies all day. I smiled and said maybe I’ll catch them later. I, unfortunately, didn’t catch up with them later. I spent the rest of the day swimming.

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I had to charge my phone, and at 4 PM, I decided I had enough of the beach, and I would just change. I ended up sitting at Starbucks for 2 hours, and my phone didn’t even charge fully! While I was charging my phone, a middle-aged man was doing the same. We chatted the entire time, and it felt like I was catching up with an old friend. That definitely made the time fly. His name was Dylan.

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Before I left to go home, I decided to go to Rain Forest Cafe since Google said it was gluten-free. As I walked in, I saw a young family and asked them if this was the restaurant since it looked like an arcade. It was, and I asked the young mother if she knew if this place was gluten-free. She confirmed since she can’t have gluten either. When we heard it was a two-hour wait, she included me in their decision for gluten-free restaurants; she showed me the gluten-free app and pulled up a bunch of restaurants. She gave me a big hug, wished me luck and safe travels before I left. She was so kind, and it felt great. The boardwalk was crowded, and I ended up going. I ate when I arrived home.

I had a fun time in Atlantic City. I love spending the day in the water. I love being by the water. I am exhausted and spent my time recharging today. I am an introvert, but I do love meeting small groups of people. I just need my time to restore afterwards.

 

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Thankful Thursday 24 May 2018

Yesterday, my interview about the Happiness Box Project appeared in the Spiritual newsletter on Writing.com. I am thankful Sonali asked to interview me and I was happy to spread the word about my Happiness Box.

 

On Sunday, our book discussion group has a memorial for one of our members. She died in March and we were all shocked by her sudden death. Ms. Eileen was a huge part of our group and her contributions were invaluable. I knew she was a Spanish teacher and world traveller; we often talked about travels when I saw her at the library, but I never knew how extensive her travels were and that she knew six other languages. No wonder why she took an interest in my language studies and asked if I would be travelling anytime soon! Hearing stories about Eileen’s personality, I aspire to her wanderlust. I have my whole life to try to accomplish it. Sunday definitely inspired me.

I took photos and one of the members e-mailed me thanking me for the beautiful, thoughtful photos and she was sure Eileen’s family would appreciate it. She also thanked me for my contributions and wished me a happy summer. I felt thankful for that nice e-mail.

I am also thankful for friends and family. What are you thankful for today?

Scrapbook Creations

I’m slowly working on the scrapbook of Happiness Box 2017. It’s not an everyday project because I don’t have time to complete it each day, though I want to start trying because I want to tidy up my room again. I have the slips and photos in three different bags. I went overboard and sometimes buying refills is expensive.

Maybe buying a stack of white 12×12 paper, then empty refills later on might be the cheaper option, but the way paper prices are going, I highly doubt it. I just complete it slowly and wait for sales. It’ll get done when it gets done, but I might just stick the slips and photos into the book. I just couldn’t bring the book everywhere in that state since I don’t want anything to fall out, but the book is too heavy to carry anyway. I think that is a plan.

Last Friday, I went to the Art Museum and worked on my scrapbook pages a little bit. I am working to place slips; I won’t actually decorate until all of the sheets are set.

Though I started subscribing to Pipsticks and May’s stickers came in. The stickers are amazing this month and really match my personality! I can’t wait to use them.

On Thursday, I worked on two pages and placed some of the Pipsticks. They look amazing, but I still want to wait until all of the slips are set before I decorate. Sometimes I change my mind, and I will admit the sheets aren’t in order by date, but by where they fit. I might move some things around, and I want the stickers to match somewhat.

I swear I’m not anal! I am just excited about this scrapbook.

Thankful Thursday 17 May 2018

Ramadan Mubarak to my Muslim followers and Happy Shavuot to my Jewish followers. I am thankful that the library is inclusive of all and that they have books about all holidays and cultures. I am especially thankful that the children’s department has these books because I think it’s important for children to learn about not only differences but our similarities as well. I truly believe that war comes from those focusing on the stark differences, not realizing there is a lot more that make us all similar.

I am also thankful for friends, family, and opportunity. I feel positive about where life might take me and I look forward to the opportunities that will allow me to work toward my goals.

What are you thankful for today?

Celebrating Mom

This year I am discovering that spending time with others actually improves happiness. While I still like my solitude (I am an introvert), I am trying to spend more time with friends and family. I’m also continuing to meet people on my travels. I have noticed that has helped me tremendously (besides going gluten and dairy free).

I am thankful for my parents and I am grateful for everything they do for me. Mom cooking me gluten-free and halal meals, making sure I can eat the meals they are having. Taking me grocery shopping and providing travel tips whenever I plan my trips. I’m grateful for many other things as well.

On Sunday, I cooked mom a gluten-free breakfast, then we took her out for dinner. She enjoyed herself and we had a relaxing day.

Weekend Happiness

Last Saturday, South Street had a little spring festival and Super Cuts was holding a raffle. The Raffle tickets were free and I decided to try my luck and didn’t really expect anything. An hour after I arrived home, Super Cuts called and told me I won a shampoo/conditioner set and a free haircut. I couldn’t pick it up until Friday and sure enough, they held my gift for me. They took pictures, I requested a photo because it was my first time ever winning anything. I felt so happy and excited because this year I’m practicing self-care and this will help.

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Yesterday I went to a philosophy club meeting and it was my first time going since December 2016. It was so nice seeing everyone and catching up. We discussed the free-market and how it makes up our economies today. Interested conversations, indeed. I stayed for an hour after it ended, chatted with Chad and Tim; we discussed everything from religion, politics, and technology. I am glad they agreed to a selfie with me for my Happiness Box.

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I look forward to what the week brings.

Finding Gratitude in Getting Pierced

I know it’s been almost a week since I last written, it’s been a busy week. Last Saturday I had to have an MRI and had to get my piercings out. I went to the piercing parlour I frequent and they were the most helpful. I was anxious about my piercings closing up and how much it would cost me to get everything removed. Well, removing is free and I only needed an insert for my nose, which was $10. My other piercings wouldn’t close overnight. The woman behind the counter listened to my anxiety, gave me some breathing tips, and not to sweat the small stuff; most things are the small stuff. I appreciated her kindness and took her advice.

Saturday I went back and had my piercings inserted. Again, the staff was helpful. They asked how the scan went and they have their fingers crossed for me.  They understood that I didn’t remember all of the piercings I had because I had a lot of other things on my mind. I pointed to different spots on my ear and they gathered the information perfectly.

Zach, my piercer on Saturday, was awesome and he fixed up one of my piercings. It took an hour to put me back together and get a second lobe piercing, but we had fun laughing and chatting. He said I had a sick setup, he loved what I had done to my ears over the years, and the time I put into my appearance. That made me smile. I also got a second lobe piercing in the left ear. Before I left, Zach agreed to a photo that I put into my happiness box.

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I am grateful for Infinite Body Piercing and how the staff went above and beyond to care for me.

Thankful Thursday 3 May 2018

Last Friday I went to the Opera and saw Carmen. I have a knack for meeting people. These two were from France. We struck up a conversation, talked about President Macron, and built a rapport. I am thankful for the wonderful experience and the kind people I met.

Yesterday, Kathleen from my full-time job made me a turtle. Her husband has a 3D printer and she had him print the turtle. It was such a total surprise. I am thankful for Kathleen and the kind people at my full-time job. I am also thankful for Mrs. Davenport at the library and the rest of my part-time library job.

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On Monday I met up with Tiarra and we took a walk at lunch. On Tuesday I met up with Billy and then on Wednesday we took a full walk. It was so nice walking with friends during lunch. I’m grateful for my friends and family too.