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The Grad School Struggle Is Real

This semester, has been one like no other. My professor has literally made my life a huge ball of stress with a huge heaping side of inadequacy. I really was broken. I felt that I am surely not this misguided and clueless. I read the readings, ask questions, and I have never made lower than a 95 in my Masters of Mental Health Counseling Program but here I sit with a 74% and will have to retake for higher grade if my last discussion post do not bring it up to a B.

This professor has literally talked down to me in discussion board, been absolutely no help with feedback and really just made me think that maybe it is me, I know I struggle with criticism because I am a natural people pleaser (yes, its a burden not a gift) so I feel I let her and myself down. Then I learned some things.

I was not the only one with this exact same experience. I was also not the only one whose made to feel inadequate. Several peers best was not good enough. They also had all As up until now. So what are we to do? My first inclination is to do a horrible evaluation because well they deserve it but then this is not really the answer, the content was good but the way that it was presented was what I could not grasp. So maybe I do need to reflect on myself and how I can improve. My other peers are kind of thinking along the same lines. But still should we have been made to feel the way we are.

I feel sometimes people forget that those in graduate school programs in their late thirties are mothers, fathers, work full time, husbands, wives, and stay up late and wake up at 4:00 am to work on their assignments. It is not because we want to this we would love to be able to focus on classes and get done faster but that is in a perfect world not in the real world. We do not do it to just be doing it, we do it to better our lives, to be able to have our dream career, and to help others in our community as well as other areas.

So needless to day, I feel I need to contact my advisor, find a way to appreciate this challenge, give praises to God for getting through this class, and be ever so thankful it is over.


The Restless Mind

There is nothing worse than a sleepless night for no reason. Yet, that was my night last night. I feel asleep after ten woke up at midnight and stayed up until one. Then I feel back asleep to just wake up at three. This is so frustrating. I need my sleep.

When my husband woke up at 4 am to got to work, I had already drank half a pot of coffee, handwashed dishes because my dishwasher is broke, picked up the puppy pad, bagged up the trash and was kicked back watching the news. I do however feel quite accomplished despite the lingering sense of tiredness.

It is so funny to have a sleepless night for no reason. You think of things you never think of at the time. My dream after midnight was about moving into my childhood home that is now demolished and it was like Amityville Horror and Gothic mixed which is no way like my little white house was. It also was in the valley where most of my family still lives that my great great grandmother settled on in the late 1880s which is not where it was. It was actually on the high way.

The neighbor house was likened to the lade with the fancy columned house on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. It was a wild dream. I never really got any meaning just a weird dream. It seems my mind may be thinking back to a time of my childhood I love which was living in my little white house or maybe my hurt feelings from yesterday involving my parents brought about this weird dream.

So I am really hoping for a good nights rest tonight. Maybe I will figure out the dream. Then again, maybe it is supposed to be a mystery. I do kind of wish I was able to live in my little white house again but the six people who live in my home now would be really cramped in a two bedroom, one bath, little house.

The Pecan Saga

So I love Ree Drummond, she is my home cook. So I could not wait to try my sticky cherry cake from her cookbook. I was so excited. It smelled amazing. I had my cool whip ready and I was on pins and needles to dive in. This is what lead to the pecan saga.

I have horrible dental health thanks to genetics. I was born without many teeth, had surgeries, braces, surgeries, chains, spacers, and have worn a partial since I was sixteen. I would love implants but alas I cannot afford them. So any way, you get the point, I was teased for years and my teeth are uber weak.

So I had this root canal done when I was fourteen on a back left molar. Well a piece of pecan still had some shell on it from that lovely bag of Kroger brand pecans. I heard a crunch and then felt something large in my mouth. It was the whole top of my tooth but for one sliver of a side. Needless to say it hurt my gums.

So I get through work Monday and have an appointment first thing Tuesday morning. I go to dentist and well it has to be extracted. It cannot be saved. So out it has to come. I start the gas and fall asleep and next thing you know I am awake missing a tooth. My nephew drove me so he had to endure my complaining because apparently I could not feel my feet and how could I move without feet. Then I thought we were lost several times. He made it home with me without throwing me out on the side of the road, he is a real champ.

So needless to day, this week has been miserable. I have worked every day since then in misery. I cannot sleep at night and have surviving my days with Tylenol and ibuprofen. By night time, I am in so much pain the pain meds do not even help. I have done well I think. I am pretty sure I have lost some weight because it hurts too much to chew and my water consumption is up. So that is a plus.

The moral of the story is that I need to check my store bought pecans for shells. It is not just a myth like the rocks in bagged pinto beans my Husband and Mom always harp on me to search for. But I have to say my amazing sticky cherry cake was worth all this because it was amazing. I may just leave out the pecans from now on.



Times Are Changing

Yesterday, I watched an absolutely heartbreaking documentary on HBO. It was filmed in Van Buren County, Arkansas. This is where I am from. A tiny town called Gravesville and I went to school in Bee Branch. I saw people I have known my whole life whose lives are a former shell of what they once were. It’s called Meth Storm.

It is heartbreaking to know this is so prevalent and affects so many. I cried and I know the pain of addiction so well as my only sibling, an older sister is an alcoholic and drug addict. This is reality for many here and it hurts my heart.

I saw a young lady doing all she can to save her brother that wants to change. She contacts a local organization that assist with drug rehabilitation and prays. I have been on the same journey. My sister does not want to change and I had to accept that no matter how much I want her to, it’s up to her. I gave her an ultimatum of drugs and alcohol or a relationship with her nephews and me. She didn’t choose us. That hurt so bad. She’s the only sibling I have and to know she would rather have her next high or drunken rampage than go to rehab and let me help her hurts so bad.

Even more sad, is the fact that this will bring awareness but will not stop the problem.All we can do is pray for my little home town and county. The bondage of drug abuse is so hard to break when you have little access to rehabilitation programs, lack of economic growth, and people left without jobs, homes, and support to overcome their social cycle.

I pray and I pray for my sister because I feel God is the only one at this point that could even touch her heart and help her turn her life around. I worry daily about a call that she has been found dead somewhere or in a drunken rage or meth fueled anger outburst has hurt my grandfather whose on hospice or my aunt. It’s never ending for me. So I don’t share this for pity or sympathy. I share this to let people who have family members who are substance abusers to know you are not alone. I pray for your family too.

Holiday Musings

When it comes to cooking, I have to say that I love it. But I have to be in the mood. This year, I rocked the dishes and cooked entirely too much.

My love for Ree Drummond and all things Pioneer Woman inspired most of my dishes. I made Sticky Cherry Cake, Spinach Alfredo, Smores Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Cheesecake using the pumpkin pie as a base. We are still chowing down on the leftovers.

Thanksgiving was so nice this year. It had been held at my home since 2009 and this is first year it was at another home. My niece hosted this year and did a fantastic job. So glad to pass the tradition of hosting to the next generation.

Good food, family, and fun was had by all. My holiday was amazing without all the usual super stressing over making sure everything is perfect and the house is clean. My kids were like it’s wrong your not freaking out about everything and telling us to not mess up the house. They may have needed the break more than I did from hosting.

Thanksgiving Break

I’m so glad that it is Thanksgiving Break. I get to be home with my kids and am blessed to have a job that allows this. But sometimes it’s hard to believe that I have three college students then a fifth grader in my house. The third college student is my nephew who we having living with us.

Family is so important to me. I always traveled to Lee County to the Aubrey/Marianna area in the Arkansas Delta for the holidays. Now that my Nanny is gone, no one celebrates there anymore. So I feel the need to keep those traditions of hers alive in my family.

This year is the first time since 2009 that Thanksgiving dinner will not be prepared by my hubby and myself for his whole family and my parents. I look forward to my year off but kind of lost not stressing, cleaning, and cooking.

But alas, I’m going try my hardest to just be and enjoy the day. Hopefully it will be a great one followed up by some holiday shopping and tree decorating!

A Bad Case of the Blahs

Is it just me or does the time change just make you feel blah? It is like well things are going pretty good right now for these people on this schedule lets throw a curve ball and make them think they get an extra hour of sleep every day but it is really only on the first day when the clock hits one then bounces back to twelve. Perhaps I am the only one feeling this way but maybe I am not. But boy do I have the blahs.

I recently had walking pneumonia and am still in recovery mode. I feel like I need a housekeeper, a chauffer, a clone, and a fairy god mother then maybe I could get caught up. But alas, this is reality so I must rely on myself. I am telling your worship songs and prayer are keeping me going right now.

Sometimes it feels we are like the statue with the world on our backs. But at the end of the day, we can stop and still be grateful for what we have in our lives. So when you feel the blahs coming on remember the urge to curl up in pjs and binge watch Netflix can be overwhelming but we have to remember we are meant for more. However, a day to yourself is never a bad idea.

Nelly Bly Admiration

So after watching American Horror Story: Asylum, I decided to read Nelly Bly’s personal encounter about spending ten days in a mad house in a book of the same title. The character Lana Winters was modeled after Bly. The idea that a woman in the 1880’s was so bold and succeeded as a journalist is amazing. Her encounter is one that will leave you appalled at the conditions but admirable about her strength.

I feel that many historical figures get lost in the shuffle until a show such as this comes along. So much of her account are figured into the show. I wonder if she knew that her reporting will still be regarded over one hundred years later. In my college classes her name was mentioned but her report was never a required reading or went in depth.

So if you ever get a chance pick up this book and read it. You will be amazed at her moxie. I feel that this kind of true grit investigating reporting is almost impossible these days because of the changes she brought about with her investigations. So Nelly Bly, I salute you.

Sneaking In Me Time

Do you ever feel like you are sneaking in me time? The precious few hours while everyone is out and about even the youngest with the rest. It almost makes you feel guilty to actually take time. I know self-care is so important but really who honestly has time for it.

Today, I had two and a half hours. I brewed some coffee, laid on the couch, and watched my free preview of HBO on Hulu.  I chose La La Land. This movie was a delightful treat until the end. The end made me cry. I felt like it could be an alternate music video to the 90’s country classic “What Might Have Been” by Little Texas. But I was so impressed with this little escape of reality. I luckily got in one episode of American Horror Story Asylum before they got home.

So this was a huge blessing especially since the boys want to make a huge meatball they saw on Bzzfeed. At least I can have the meat and a little of the cheese. So all is not lost but I am sure the mess will of epic proportions but great memories will be made. So just remember for every hour of self-care we get another hour of work it seems.

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