Small, Simple Grocery Store

Directly across the street from my mother’s childhood home, was a grocery store.

It was just a small, simple grocery store.  Nothing special.  Just a neighborhood grocery store.

It was where my Nana did her grocery shopping.  Where she bought the food she would later use to make breakfasts and dinners for her ever growing family.  Where she dragged unwilling children through the aisles.  Or pulled them away from the shelves that were off limits.

It was where my mom and her siblings were forced to visit daily, sometimes up to four times a day.  Whenever Nana forgot something, the kids were sent across the street to pick it up.  Was it inconvenient for them? Yes.  Was it embarrassing to go through the same check out line several times a day?  Absolutely!  But they did it.

It was where my aunt, her husband, and my uncle had part time jobs.  Where they earned pocket change for nights out or things Nana and Papa wouldn’t buy for them.  Where they learned responsibility and people skills that would aid them in their future endeavors.

It was where, whenever my sister and I had sleepovers, we were allowed to pick out special treats.  Candy bars.  Ice cream.  Cookies.  Anything that mom wouldn’t allow.

They skipped by it on their way to the nearby park.  They walked by it every day on their way to school.  Drove by it everyday to work.  And they smiled at it whenever they visited their old home.

And now it’s gone.  Knocked down yesterday.

It wasn’t just a grocery store.  It was their childhood.  It was the last remaining thing in an ever changing neighborhood.  Their childhood home is no longer theirs.  Their parents are no longer with us.  And their grocery store no longer stands.

It wasn’t just a small, simple grocery store…it was so much more.

 

 

I Have What…

Shortly after Christmas, I started to notice an odd rash on my inner thigh.  It was itchy and red and small.  Since I live in a ‘pets on the bed’ home, I just assumed that I was having an odd allergic reaction to my pets’ dander. (My first hint should have been the fact that I have NEVER had an allergic reaction to my pets or their dander.)

As the days progressed, so did my rash.  It began to grow.  And it began to change.  It went from a small rash in one spot, to several small rashes on my leg.  It began to look very similar to hives.  And I began to become very uncomfortable.  Slightly painful, but nothing extreme.  My husband kept suggesting a trip to immediate care, and I continued to shut him down.  It’s just hives.  It will get better.

It didn’t.

On New Year’s Eve, I noticed that it was now spreading up my back and just getting uglier (I will spare you the gross details).  I caved, and my husband drove me to my first immediate care visit.

I wasn’t with the doctor more than 30 seconds before she looked at me and said,

“Oh that’s shingles!”

I was floored.  Shingles? Aren’t those only for people who never had chicken pox? Wasn’t I too young for them?

Apparently, I wasn’t.  Turns out there is no age limit on shingles.

Luckily, I caught it soon enough, that I missed the extreme pain, but I didn’t miss the comfortableness.  It was rough.  I was constantly covered in calamine lotion.  I could only wear loose, too big pants.  I barely left the house. I had to take lukewarm showers and lukewarm oatmeal baths twice a day.  I was miserable.

But I was lucky because it could have been worse.

 

 

A New Tenant

I hate bugs.  I hate them outside in their natural habitat.  And I despise them inside in my natural habitat.  So much so, I have a pesticide company that comes out at least four times a year to spray.

About a month ago, I walked into my kitchen and found a nicely sized spider hanging out on the wall.  My first instinct was to call my husband in to do the dirty work, but I then remembered he was out for the night.  My silly fear was getting the best of me, and I knew I wasn’t going to try and kill this spider by myself.  So I named her Charlotte.

And decided to let her live rent free.

Over the next few weeks, Charlotte was a pretty good roommate.  I saw her a few times on my kitchen wall and ceiling, but mostly she spent her days hidden in the molding.

It wasn’t the easiest relationship because I would still do a quick scan every time I entered my kitchen, and let’s be honest, you go into the kitchen A LOT.  I just felt, at this point, it would be mean to kill her.

That was until this morning…

At 4:30 this morning, as I was getting ready to go to the gym, I walked into my kitchen and noticed Charlotte dangling from my fan.  That. Was. It.  I was fine sharing space with Charlotte, as long as she was living above my line of sight.  But when you start hanging out in places were I could literally run into you face first, I’m done.

So, Charlotte was issued her eviction notice.  Don’t worry, I didn’t squash her.  I simply caught her in a cup and let her go outside.

I can’t promise I’ll be as nice the next time.

The Best of Reality

I am obsessed with a new reality show.  This show has everything a person could want.

Every week ridiculously talented men and women give their blood, sweat, and tears to win a very difficult challenge.

Each week brings excitement, anticipation, nerves, and tons and TONS of emotions.  I’ve cried for the contestants’ failures.  I’ve celebrated their achievements.  I’ve laughed at the charismatic host.  I’ve smiled at the bonds that have been created between the competitors.

The twists have kept me on my toes and biting my nails. They’ve kept me asking…What is going to happen next?  How will they overcome this test?  How are they going to accomplish that?

I hold my breath every week, waiting to see who is next on the chopping block.  Will my favorites get another chance?   Is this the episode where the antihero gets his dues?

I can’t wait to tune in every Wednesday to watch my new favorite show…

Lego Masters!

 

 

Kaner Baby

“She’s such a lover today!”

My cat, Kaner, is a lot of things, but very, very rarely would I describe her as a lover.  She’s bratty, sneaky, annoying, and a pain in my behind.  And I’m definitely not her favorite.

She drives me nuts as she’s nipping at my elbow at 3 o’ clock in the morning because she wants to eat.  But she warms my heart when she curls up next to me in bed.

She pushes my buttons as she scratches at every and any closed door in my house.  But she tugs at my heartstrings when she collapses on the floor in front of me for a butt scratch.

She grinds my gears when she attacks my ankles on her wily days.  But she makes me smile when she occasionally lays close to me on the couch.

She makes my blood boil when she meows incessantly at all hours of the day, demanding attention.  But she makes me smile as she rubs up against me purring loudly.

Yes, Kaner is bratty, sneaky, annoying, and a pain in my behind.  But she’s my beautiful and occasionally sweet, little fur baby.  And I love her.

Signs of Slicing

As February slowly becomes a memory, we all welcome March, and the signs of spring Slicing.

The chirp, chirp, chirping of birds can be heard right along with the tap, tap, tapping of the keyboards.

The green buds fighting their way through the cold, hard ground as the seeds of a Slice are pushing their way through the creative minds of many.

The chill of winter is being chased away by the warmth of spring as the anticipation of a Slice is being driven away by the excitement of hitting ‘publish.’

The bright sun warming faces and lifting spirits while reading comments from fellow Slicers that warm hearts and encourage craft.

The days lengthening as the sunlight slowly overtakes the night while the trepidation of sharing stories and emotions is gradually replaced with confidence.

I love the signs of spring….Slicing!

Tsundoku

Hi, my name is Jessica, and I suffer from tsundoku (tsoon-doh-koo).

No, I am not an expert at Sudoku, although I do love a good number puzzle.  No, tsundoku means to purchase books faster than they can be read.  To let them pile up in different areas of your home. To stockpile books as if preparing for Doomsday.

I couldn’t think of a better word to describe my addiction.  I love books!! But I don’t borrow them from libraries.  I don’t read them on my Kindle.  Very rarely do I mooch them off my friends.   I buy them.  And I’m not ashamed.

I have bookshelves overflowing with hardcovers.  I have paperbacks that double as decorations.  I have short stories in the bathroom for company.   And fiction by my bedside to cure the occasionally bouts of insomnia.

Having an excessive amount of books allows me to have variety in my life.  A surplus of books gives me options.  I will never not have a new book to read.  I will always have a book to share.

My bookshelves are brimming with worlds to visit, characters to connect to, and emotions to experience.

Hi, my name is Jessica, and I suffer from tsundoku.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

Whys

There are whys that can be answered by science…

Why is the sky blue?

Why do we have different seasons?

Why don’t I float away into space?

There are whys that children ask…

Why can’t I stay up later?

Why do I have to eat my vegetables?

Why do I have to do my homework?

There are whys that we ask ourselves…

Why did I do that?

Why am I so tired?

Why didn’t I do that earlier?

There are whys that can’t be answered…

Why do bad things happened to good people?

Why do people act the way they do?

Why can’t the world be a kinder place?

Then there are the whys that you ask during the Slice of Life Challenge…

Why did I sign up for this?

Why can’t I think of anything to Slice about?

Why did I wait so long to sit down and Slice today?

It’s okay to ask yourself those whys.  You are not the only Slicer asking.

We all get frustrated.  We all struggle with ideas.  But we all are proud of what we create.  And we all are happy to share our ideas with our peers.

So…

Why join the Slice of Life Challenge?

Why not?

Happy Slicing!!!

 

Yesterday Was Great

As a child, a great day is sun touched skin from countless hours in the pool and cherry stained lips and fingers from a dripping Popsicle.

As a child, great days happen in abundance.

As an adult, great days are replaced with good days as simple fun is replaced with countless responsibilities

But as an adult, great days, days that plant seeds in your brain and flourish into wonderful memories may not happen daily, but when they do, boy, are they cherished.

Yesterday, I had a great day!

I had been entering the Hamilton lottery daily since getting the opportunity to see the show several months ago. So I could not believe my luck when my phone dinged to let me know that I had won two tickets to Wednesday’s 1:30 show.

Wednesday morning my sister and I boarded a train on our way to our Hamilton adventure. Despite the dreary weather, our spirits were high. I had warned my sister that our seats would probably be pretty high up, but no worries, the show was great from any view.

As I picked up our tickets, my eyes quickly scanned for our seats…Orchestra?!

No way, that could not be right.

Oh but it was, front row seats. We could see the sweat on Alexander’s face as he rapped every verse as if it was opening night. We stared up in awe as the larger than life characters rose before us, putting their hearts and souls into the performance.

As if amazing seats weren’t enough, my sister had a friend who was a supervisor at the theater. My Hamilton Angel, as I like to call him now, insisted we meet him in the corner as soon as the performance ended. Turns out we had been added to a list. A list that enabled us to stand were Burr and Jefferson and Lafayette had stood. To see the view they see every night as the audience laughs and sings and cries along with them.

As we gazed in awe, and took pictures to later remind ourselves of this experience, George Washington walked on stage. Even in his modern clothing, I was amazed at his stage presence. I quickly rambled about how wonderful he was, and how he was one of my favorites. He then offered to take a picture with us, and went on his way.

Having our full of the scenery, my sister and I walked off stage to thank our Hamilton Angel. As we chatted with him, he mentioned that Mr. Hamilton usually comes down to greet audience members, but unfortunately he had an interview.  Not one minute later, the door to our right opens up, and out walks Alexander Hamilton!  This man who had the ability to make me love him, hate him, and cry at this death.  At this point I am giddy, and excitedly shake his hand and tell him how phenomenal he is.   One more picture, and he is on his way.

And then we were on our way.

Yesterday was a great day!

We Went Out

Last night, we had made plans with another couple to go out.  I was not looking forward to it, at all.  It had nothing to do with the couple, it was more that I was used to our normal Friday night routine.  A nice dinner at one of our normal spots, a few beers, and home by seven (possibly eight if we were feeling real crazy).  But we had made plans, and it was way to late to cancel.  So, we went out.

Our night started out with us drinking beers in a tent while listening to an emo pop punk band.  Our night ended with us sitting at a VIP table, ordering bottle service, and listening to a 90’s cover band.

I can’t remember that last time I acted like a 20 year old.  The last time I didn’t constantly check the time, thinking about how I would rather be in bed then out.  The last time I didn’t worry about all the things I had to get accomplished over the weekend.  I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun.

Unfortunately, I am paying for all that fun today.  Just because I acted like a 20 year old, doesn’t mean I can handle a hangover like one.  Nothing productive got accomplished today.  I slept.  I ate.  I popped several Advil.  And I slept some more.

Today was definitely rough, and I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow.  But I’m glad we went out.