Put the Hook Down, Breathe and Stop.

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1. I miss the freshman that’s away at college
2. I want to go somewhere beautiful
3. It’s a challenge for strong single women. We can’t settle for less than we give or give ourselves
4. Knock and the door shall be opened Seek and you will find (I’M READY)
5. I’d like to wake up to inboxes or emails about my book being published from a legitimate publishing company. I just need that one pearl. That one opportunity.
6. I feel like I’m about to be pushed and that means I need to be prepared. But for what?
7. Should I post my legs if I’m saved and in ministry? The saints will deem it inappropriate. I think I’ll post it.

My thoughts from yesterday as I forced myself to take a break from crocheting. I am getting ready for a few vending spots. Also, I battled anxiety yesterday and I had to take 5 deep yoga breaths, put the hook down, and relax.  I was thinking about all of the things I needed to make. Would I make them on time? Would I sell anything or enough? I needed to clean up. I need to pick up my meds. I need to exercise. ETC ETC and more and more. I was becoming overwhelmed. I reminded myself “I can’t do it all in one day. I am doing the very best I can. It is enough.” (No matter what others think)

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Time Well Spent

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My mom is the primary caregiver for my father. He has Parkinson’s Disease which is a result of being in contact with Agent Orange when he was in Vietnam. He also has other illnesses and diseases that have developed after Parkinson’s. Imagine you retire and you develop a disease that DRASTICALLY changes your outward appearance and your mental and emotional well being.

My dad has always been this strong guy with muscles. I remember him lifting weights and hanging from his biceps. I remember the big round weights that go on the weight bench. I remember the children in the neighborhood racing against him and they would lose. So, if it’s hard for me to see all of that, his mobility, his muscles, his strength disappear, it must be incredibly hard for him to deal with. He’s stubborn, but I think by now he realizes he needs help or assistance. Yet, he fights to keep most of his independence because he doesn’t like anyone doing anything for them. Especially, if they make it known they really mind doing it for him or that it’s a problem. I get that and the stubbornness from him. My dad has always had a sharp mind. He still has it. He is like a walking history buff and Bible. He is still pastoring and this is his last year as his health has really declined. Last week when he was in the hospital for rehab, we talked about poetry and just when I thought I knew it all about poetry he throws out poets I never heard of. He recites some lines. This is my dad.

This week my mom was out of town on church business and I was “hired” to take care of my dad. Even though my mom is the primary caregiver, all six of us children are there to do our jobs. We all chip in. Some more than others because some work full time and others have illnesses of their own (like me). We seem to take on our roles and fill in when needed of roles of the others. It just worked out that way. I took care of Dad this week and I got to see him in a different way. I got to see the struggles in a different way. I heard the yelling as he napped. It was something about war. I got to see the depression that he sometimes denies. I got to experience the moodiness and irritability that we rarely see. But, I also got to see the determination to wash his own clothes, put his dishes away, wash up, and put his clothes without my assistance a few days. I saw the sweat pouring down his face and the tiredness that followed those simple tasks.

My favorite part of the experience was getting him out of the house to sit on the porch as he likes to do and we listened to a famous sermon on YouTube by Reverend C.L. Franklin (Aretha Franklin’s father). He was unsure he could get out of the house or go anywhere with his new fancy walker (which he calls the Cadillac). I had to encourage him and he made it to the barber shop with his new walker.

Even though it was really hard work taking care of him all week from 7 am to 7 pm it was time well spent. The pain and exhaustion that I felt daily, the pain meds I had to take, the willing myself to get up, the swelling and the joint inflammation, the mental battle,  reminded me of why I had such a hard time working my last full time job.  By the time you recover, it’s time to work again and creates an endless cycle that worsens your health. However, all that I experience this week was worth the quality time spent with my dad. Care giving is a job. It’s a job for the one doing it all the time and the ones who do their parts regularly and the ones that have to fit it in. However, it’s rewarding knowing that you helping someone you love and it has it’s moments that will someday become memories.

~Nikki

Good Morning Paris

 

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Once we made it to Paris, the stress began to melt away. We put our bags down and opened up the windows to our hotel room. It was like a boutique hotel and the view of the Eiffel Tower was amazing! Also, just to be able to open up those windows and watch the every day life of Parisians spill onto the streets made me feel at home.

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Our first night we discovered that it doesn’t get dark until 10 pm!!! We had dinner reserved at an Italian restaurant one door down from our hotel. There also was a little mom and pop store in between that I went to everyday for Schweppe’s Mojito flavored ginger ale, water, and snacks. I learned to count my euros! However, I mostly used my debit/credit card which is what is suggested and accepted by most. I needed euros for some of the other places we went as tours.

I love the décor and the food was AUTHENTIC and the dessert was my favorite! So delicious. Every dessert I tried in Paris was DELICIOUS!

Photos below are from exploring our neighborhood.

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I love engraved and hand carved doors and there were plenty in Paris! 

 

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Flowers hanging from windows were the norm. 

 

 

 

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I like fast cars. A Lamborghini will do!

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~Nikki

 

 

Rooftop Views. City Life Confetti.

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I got a chance to get a view from the new Hu Hotel in downtown Memphis, TN. It was a private party for a great group of women I am in. You hear many things about Memphis and most think if Elvis, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and crime. However, just like other cities there are so many other wonderful things about Memphis. I won’t get into the details, but just follow my blog and you will see.

Here are some more views & the wonderful sunset that evening. All photos are property of Nicole Jackson and Confetti Photography. They may not be used, shared, or copied without consent and written permission. Thanks and enjoy!

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~Nikki

A to Z: Keep it Moving. Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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The ability to move on after a set back, after a break up or a break down, calls for courage and the building up of self esteem. Also, the ability to move on, ignore, deal with the small fires that poop up, the rude comments, the opinions and attempted sabotage on our reputations or goals is empowering. Why? Because you don’t exert energy into the small things, the minors in life. Why major in the minor annoyances of life when you can put your energy into dreams and goals or the other things that need to be done that day? Reserve your energy for what really matters.

Keep it Moving. You have things to do, places to go, and people to see.

~Nikki

Friday Jr and The WKND Weekend

 

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Well, I had such a busy weekend I am just now getting a chance to sit down and blog about it. It was Thursday, also known to many as Friday Jr. (smile), that I got up the nerve to show up at a Memphis Bloggers Exchange Happy Hour. It was sponsored by the Nashville Bloggers Exchange. The place we met up at is new to Memphis. It’s NOT a club, but a place where you come to hang out, have great drinks, great conversations, good food, relax and unwind with friends or you can fly solo. Service was top notch from our entrance to our exit.

First, let me tell you when I walked I was nervous. Why? Well, if you have followed my blog for a while you know I have been through a rough few years. I was worried about meeting new people. Something that use to not bother me as much before Rheumatoid Arthritis came out of remission and brought fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and diabetes with it. Long story short, it changed the game as far as friendships, my social life, and the how I deal with people all together. Well, after walking into therapy with anxiety on level 8, giving myself all the reasons I should not go, I left with anxiety on 2 and all of the reasons I should go. I am so glad I did! I made so many great connections and diversified connections at that. These are just a few of the bloggers, writers, vloggers and photographers that were at the event. These wonderful group of ladies and more are right here in my city and now we are connected via social media.

We were invited to not only meet up, but to take photos, blog about our experience at this new hot spot in our city. We were able to try their entire menu! And everything was delicious! The cocktails were worth the money and I say that because if you are going to pay $10-$15 or more for a cocktail, you want your money’s worth. Tiger’s Blood Cocktail is what you see pictured above. I liked it so much I had two!

We were able to explore the venue and take pictures. You can reserve the booths we are in and they have several packages to chose from. They are also now serving brunch on Sundays! I love a good brunch! The patio was my favorite. It was very chilly that night, but the fire kept us warm as many of took advantage of photo ops. We were snapping it up and especially with a photographer on hand we got some great shots of our selves!

This was definitely a busy evening. I left there and drove across town to meet another group of ladies and we had karaoke, food, and wine. You know that had to be filled with laughter and great meet and greet. It was all positive vibes.

As the weekend rolled around, Friday I was invited to a movie. Saturday I purchased a small bookshelf from Facebook Market. I drove downtown to get it. I stopped by the Mississippi River to finish up my coffee from Starbucks and then off to ACE Hardware for paint. This was going to be an easy, less than 30 minute project.

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I painted the faux cherry wood bookshelf a dark espresso color that matches my new furniture in my room. It was the perfect size.

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And for the finale, Saturday night was epic and crazy fun. I went to a tribute for Bob Marley performed by some amazing reggae, funk, soul bands from my city, Memphis. It was a friend’s birthday week and I invited her to get out and enjoy herself. We met up with two others and it was so much fun. Too much fun lol! We ended up at iHop and I haven’t been there in about 15 years. I made it home safely and Sunday I slept in. I was home all day recovering from a very long week as I was at the hospital every morning with my dad and then coming home to do my own personal business and parent. Add the weekend to that and you have a run down chic! I was feeling the pre-pain before the big earthquake that landed Monday evening. Serious pain and mental drain. I have a heel spur I think from walking the long walk daily last week to and from my dad’s hospital room and serious back and hip pain radiating to the thigh. I know for sure my back and shoulder is a fibromyalgia flare. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t trade that wild and crazy weekend for anything and it brings me great joy to be there in the mornings for my dad to help or keep him company until he can home.

~Nikki

Weekend Confetti: A Farmer’s Market & Time With Mom

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Memphis has several farmer’s market during the week. I often get out on a Saturday morning, bright and early. Last Saturday I called my mom as I often do to see if she wants to go. She is a country girl by heart and loves fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farmer as my grandfather was a farmer. He farmed right here in the city of Memphis until the day he passed a way. I remember shelling peas, picking vegetables from the garden and being afraid to go down the rows of corn. As we got older and would visit our grandparents, you were required to take something back home to your parents. Something from the garden like a watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, or some canned good. My parents told me to never say no, just take it. I do the same with them now. I just take whatever they send home with me.

On my mom’s list was fresh peas and a cabbage. I wanted whatever fancied me. I like to be surprised and try new things. I also try to visit each table and buy something from a variety of farmers. They were ready for fall and wrapping up all the of summer fruits and veggies. I will be going back this weekend to grab a few more things to chop and freeze for the winter. I love the market feel.

 

It’s also time spent with my mom and afterwards we usually make a few more stops at different grocery stores or shopping just to see what we can find.

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Fall was definitely in the air! I bought some gourds for decorations. I like the white pumpkins as well and just having the variety of pumpkins were cool.

 

Plenty of canned goods, peppers, baked pastries, natural cleaning supplies, pottery, and fresh flowers were available. Oh and I almost forgot the green apples are so good from one of the farmers. I have to go back and get those.

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~Nikki