My Nana, My Friend

Featured Photo above courtesy of Pexels

March 10th would’ve been my maternal grandmother’s 97th birthday. I had 4 wonderful grandparents but there was something special about Nana.

I was her only grandchild so you can just imagine all of the love and attention I received.

When I was younger it used to drive me nuts the lengths Nana would go to show her affection. The loving stares, the frequent love pats. After a while I was like, “Ok, Nana. I got it. You love me. Geez. Enough already!” Mom would say, “Amy, she is only showing you how much she loves you.” And I would say, “Well, does she got to do it so much!?”

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Due to my low self esteem and issues with bullying, discrimination, rejection and harassment I received while in school due to having a learning disability. Looking back, I think I didn’t feel worthy of having someone love me the way Nana did so I would act inappropriately, hoping she would come to understand that I am not worth loving and just move on.

God bless Nana, as she never quit showing me love and attention. No matter how many times I’d take my dissatisfaction with myself and life out on her, Nana was always right there with her big, bright smile, continuing her display of affection.

As I got older, I began to finally understand just how lucky I was to have someone love me as much as Nana did. And how very much we needed each other.

I needed someone to show me that I was worthy of having someone love me and after my grandfather passed away unexpectedly, Nana needed to know that it was all right for her to get as affectionate as she wanted.

I came to understand that by rejecting her attention, I was rejecting Nana as well.

And Lord knows I didn’t mean to imply that. I was so caught up into my own world that I failed to see just how fragile Nana truly was.

She was perky and fun-loving but underneath all of that was someone who felt lost… very much like me. I needed love to be shown I am worthy and Nana needed to give love so that she herself would feel worthy.

In 2011, I got a call that Nana was diagnosed with esophageal cancer… and it was terminal.

Image Credit: Pexels

Upon learning this, I immediately went to visit Nana at the nursing home. This was Nana’s home now in which she was placed after having a series of other health issues.

As I walked up to the front door, to my surprise – There was Nana sitting right by the door in her wheelchair flashing her big famous, bright smile.

Outside of being at the door that day, Nana mostly stayed in bed. When I would come, I’d take her for rides in her wheelchair. There was this little hill by the Physical Therapy wing that she loved for me to take her, whether going up or down – I’d always go reallyyyy fast!!

Nana would put her hands in the air and shout, “WHEE!”

It was during this time that I wholeheartedly apologized for my unkindness so long ago. Nana, without hesitation. Forgave me instantly…

She said, “It’s ok, You were young.”

Man, that did me in! after hearing those words, I just lost it..

Image Credit: Pexels

After Nana died, I began what was going to become a 7 year long journey of finding my true self. I knew I had to do some serious soul-searching. I was 34 years old and I was still feeling the effects of all that I went through.

I am happy to say that I am finally there and I would not have gotten here if it weren’t for Nana. She showed me just how worthy I really was and am. It was during the difficult times when I felt like giving up that I reminded myself that someone believed in me, even when I didn’t.

Nana’s been gone for 7 years now and there are still pieces of her all over our place. She’d  spent the winters with my family and I. She and I shared a bathroom.

In the top dresser drawer, is where Nana kept all her combs and brushes. I hadn’t even touched them. They’re still there.

I remember her every time I watch NCIS, she truly enjoyed that show as she was a huge fan of Mark Harmon and whenever I hear the song “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams, I would think about the time we all, including Nana went to the movies to see the film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves”

I remember Nana saying to me one day, as we looked up at the clouds together, how fun it would be to ride on one those. Now, every time I look up and imagine which cloud she might be on, going “WHEE!” with both hands flailing high in the air.

Image Credit: Pexels

I was without a doubt so blessed to have had her as my grandmother and I know without a shadow of a doubt, she would say she was blessed to have me as her granddaughter.

After all, She was my Nana. She was my friend.

May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.
Amy Temple

I Ain’t Got Nuttin But Love For Ya, Baby!

That was one of my favorite songs by the late, Heavy D. In which the Five Heartbeats way before Heavy D took it over, had their twist and spin to it. However; both renditions are EPIC to say the least.

There’s a song we used to sing in church a LONGGGGG time ago, while we were marching around to put our offering in the collection plate at the front of the church and it was a song entitled “Give and I’ll Give it Back to You” – The song went a little something like this…

“Give and I’ll give it back to you / Give and I’ll give it back to you / Give and I’ll give it back to you / Pressed Down / Shaken Together, Running Over/ Back in Good measure / I’ll give it back to you.”

I used to love that song, I don’t know who the original writer was or is, but it was a nice song that indicated, what we put in the collection plate, would be given back to us 100-fold. I said all of that to say, in life – it’s good to give back when someone has given something to you. Or at least in my mind that’s how the world’s supposed to work.

I have never been the type of person to allow someone to do something for me and not repay them back. It may have not always been in monetary form, but small gestures of kindness go a long way.

Well, since today is the last day of February – I know, I can’t believe it either!! I thought I’d share an act of LOVE for a couple of bloggers whom either followed me recently or went through and seemingly liked everyone of the previous posts I created. It truly made my day and week most days. While I have gone through and showed love back to them by either “reading” and liking their posts or becoming a follower. I thought I’d be cool for you to get to know them as well as their engaging blogs.

So, in no random order – please go, read, visit AND perhaps give them a follow, if you’re not already. While LOVE is an act that should be shown EVERYDAY. Let’s close out this month by giving some of that love away, pressed down, shaken together, running over and back in good measure!

For all the bloggers that have checked out, liked, viewed and or followed me within the last month or two. I just want you to know that I Ain’t got nothing but LOVE for ya! Thanks for your support, comments and the follow. I really do appreciate it and YOU!

Valentines on A Budget – 5 Tips to Save You Money!

Valentines is officially HERE! and while today may be the BIG V-Day, most people may opt to do something small today, with a bigger celebration more than likely starting tomorrow night and on through the weekend, right??

Valentine’s is the next most popular-est holiday, outside of Christmas. As soon as Christmas is over you can almost guarantee the week or two after, stores will begin to fill up with red, pink and white balloons, bears, candies and roses galore…I mean, that’s just how it rolls.

In Honor of Black History Month >> Check This Out >> My History, Your History, Black History Facts You Might Didn’t’ Know About.

However, while Valentines is a day that everyone (well not everyone, but you get it) uses to express their undying love and affection for a significant other – it can also be extremely COSTLY! Yes, LOVE really does cost a thing, especially on V-Day.

And that alone can be a little disheartening as everyone may not have the Benjamin’s to splurge on LOVE. Therefore, I’m going to give you 5 tips of how you can keep the cost down on the world’s most LOVE filled day.

Scavenger Hunt

Valentines Day is the perfect day to tell your significant other how much you love them and while words are great – ACTIONS are better. Get some nice paper, preferably construction paper. Fold it in half and cut along the fold line to make hearts, make sure you use different colors – it just makes the activity more fun and expressive.

Image Credit: Pexels

Write nice things you love about your sweetie on each one and put them all over your living space (preferably in places you know they always go). You might want to let them know you’re doing this and tell them you’ve placed little love notes throughout the space and send them on a little hunt to find it. Or, it can be a complete surprise. You can do it while they’re sleeping, to up the ante – you can tape little pieces of chocolate on, to make the surprise even sweeter.

Handwritten Letters

I know this is a bit old-fashioned, especially with the boat loads of technology we have today. Taking out time to sit down and actually write a letter shows that you not only care but it’s the sincerest affection to give. You can write a love note to anyone; your kids, your spouse, a good friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or just to let someone know how much you appreciate them. The fact that you took out time to do it, will be the greatest gift of love and adoration shown.

Image Credit: Pexels

Plan a Date night in Your Kitchen or Dining Room

Now, I know some people may already sit down to have dinner together, but V-Day is an extra special day that causes for an extra va-voom to your dinner/meal conversation. Use your phone to create a V-Day playlist to serve as your background music. Light a couple of candles or string a couple of lights around your chandelier or alongside your wall (get those creative juices going).

Image Credit: Pexels

During your meal, don’t talk about work or any outside disturbances. Use this time to talk about each other. What made you fall in love and etc. And if you’re flying solo, no worries plan a night with the kids (no phones, no talk about work) use that time to tell them something special about themselves and etc. Just keep the talk about LOVE. If you don’t have kids, then invite some friends over and chat it up.

You also don’t have to buy any expensive dinners, cook whatever you got in the fridge or cabinets because this moment isn’t about the food but being amongst those you LOVE.

Movies Anyone? – Favorite V-Day Classics

If you’re an avid follower, then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE movies. What better way to settle in on V-Day or whenever you decide to celebrate it than with a good ole love classic and some popcorn. Listed below are a couple of my faves in no particular order…

Image Credit: Pexels
  • Valentine’s Day (2010)Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx
  • Serendipity (2001)John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
  • Pretty Woman (1990)Julia Roberts, Richard Gere
  • Love and Basketball (2000) Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps
  • The Notebook (2004)Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
  • Titanic (1997) Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
  • An Officer & A Gentleman (1982)Richard Gere, Debra Winger
  • 50 First Dates (2004) – Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

Spa Day – INSIDE

As a people I honestly don’t think we do enough self-care routines (I’m totally preaching to the choir on this one (AMEN!). So why not create your own spa day inside. Light some candles, turn on some soft music and create a bubble bath for one or two (wink..) You don’t even have to have those high-priced soaps that do all the special things – if you got some body wash that’ll do just fine for creating the bubble effect. Get you a glass of wine (sparkling or other) and just RELAX! And follow-up with a good skin care regimen.

Image Credit: Pexels

I know Valentine’s day may not be a big deal to some people’s world and that’s okay as it doesn’t take a holiday to show LOVE. However you choose to spend V-day, just make sure you’re showing yourself some love and/or spending time with the people you do. Time is precious and LOVE, whether a holiday or not is worth giving.

Glazed Cherry Bread
Looking for something delicious and different to whip up for V-Day? You’ll love this cherry bread recipe made with delicious maraschino cherries. To get the full recipe and view the video of how it’s made visit Tastes of Lizzy T.

EnSpired: The Day In The Life of A Dog Sitter by Guest Blogger – Amy Temple

The photo above some photos below courtesy of pexels and bing

I have been self-employed in the dog care field for 12 years.

In other words, I’m a dog sitter… and I love it!

I love dogs, period!

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Those stories you hear about abused dogs being rescued just breaks my heart and really, really ticks me off! I think anyone who mistreats a dog should face a firing squad!

But I digress.

I basically fell into this type of work shortly after moving to Orlando back in 2006. I had moved into a retirement community with my parents and was looking for a part-time job.

I was hired by a woman who had a 2-year-old Boston Terrier who I will just call “O”, for privacy reasons. Five days a week, I stayed for an hour or more and walked, played and sometimes fed her.  Sometimes I would come over on Sundays.

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She and I would go for long walks around the community.

As she got older, I cut the walks short just to the grassy areas near the clubhouse and office, pushing her there in a doggie stroller.  Afterward, I took her for what I would call “buggy rides” around the community.

Over the next several years, I got more clients but “O” was my main charge. I’ve had dogs of my own but I must confess, I came to love “O” as if she were all mine.

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Bing/Boston terrier

And she’s not the only one. I’ve come to care deeply for all my charges over the years.

Sadly,  “O” died in June from pancreatic issues which she’d been dealing with for quite some time. I admit, I cried. I cried hard…

However, I don’t call that the downside of dog-sitting.

That’s actually one of the best parts of the job, I think.

Not only do I get to spend time outside but I get to spend time with one of God’s most beautiful creatures. I find it very rewarding and quite frankly, I don’t see myself – nor do I want – to see myself doing anything else.

Yes, it’s a dirty job, literally…

I’ve picked up a dog who has walked through rain and mud puddles.

I’ve had a dog vomit on me, andddddddd

I’ve had to pick up messy #2’s….yep! somebody’s got to do it.

Right now, I’m currently healing from several dog bites on my fingers from a 4-month-old puppy I just started sitting with about two weeks ago.

I must confess, I haven’t had to deal with a puppy since my own dog was one eight years ago so I’ve had to do a lot of reading online to remind myself!

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I’m glad the 9 to 5 job community rejected me because I believe if I had been successful in finding a regular job, I would’ve missed my calling to be a dog-sitter.

Now, I can only imagine what some of you might be thinking.

Do I honestly think that my purpose in life, is to get down and dirty basically every single day with these wonderful dogs?  Coming home, smelling like God knows what?

Yep. Actually, I do.

But, you won’t make a whole lot of money, in doing that. I could hear someone say.

Well………soooooo

What’s your point??

 

 

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Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

 

 

 

 

 

guest blog alert

If you would like to be a guest blogger on this blog – please email me (RoshondaB =) at justsuminspiration@gmail.com for submission guidelines. 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Free Gifts You Can Give To Anyone, Anytime of the Year.

chistmas bow

As the Christmas season heavily gets underway, and while we all rush to get that awesome gift for the special people in our lives, I wanted to share a few gifts that we all should remember to give each day of the year. These gifts are all free and won’t cost you a dime out of pocket. The only thing these gifts require is a heart.

So, just in case you don’t have the money to spread a lot of Christmas cheer. I’m sure these next 8 gifts will fit the bill for their cost is far more precious than anything you can buy out of a store, as a matter of fact their all PRICELESS!

Check below and see which one you would like to give to someone this month, next month or years to come for all of these gifts can be used every single day.

 

 

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#1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING:
But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response, just listening.

 #2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION:
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family,friends, spouses or etc.

 #3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER . . .
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.” Laughter is the best medicine, it heals in ways you can only imagine.

#4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE:
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life. While buying a card is nice, actually making one or writing a note is better. It let’s the person know that you actually took out time to care.

#5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT:  A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day. The smallest of words hold the most value. 

#6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR:
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind for someone else outside of yourself.

#7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE:
There are times when we want nothing better, than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

#8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION:
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You or How are you doing today?, sometimes people just need a smile or happy face to let them know, it’s going to be okay.

Well that’s it, sometimes the smallest things/gestures are the ones that are never forgotten, people will lose a gift or even forget what was given to them but making someone’s day; is a feeling that will last a lifetime……Because (see below)

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!