Updates and Finding My Peace During Chaos

Hey readers!

Sorry I haven’t been on here in awhile to talk to you guys. I am currently working on a new Novella in which I don’t yet have a release date for (you guys it’s coming soon, very soon). Managing life, kids, family and two businesses has been a challenge. I usually had tried to stop using my blog as a diary of sorts. But, how else would y’all get to know me? So here’s the scoop on what’s been going on lately with me…

Working to get on the Kidney Transplant list…sound simple right?

Far from it…My husband changed jobs and which means a change in insurance. New insurance requires me to go to a different transplant center at a different hospital and since the last time I did the testing was 2 years ago, I am having to repeat everything…all over again. Everything meaning an extensive blood test where they take 28 vials of blood from you to run every test under the sun. Then I had to have a heart stress test, which I must say was not fun and I felt totally crappy afterward. A chest x-ray, soooo many MRI’s then a pelvic scan and I’m sure I’m missing something, but you get the gist of things. So this because of scheduling I am booked out with appointments until July of this year. On top of my Son’s doctor appointments, my regular Kidney doc appointments and labs monthly I’ve been pretty busy.

Luckily here in Kansas City, Missouri it’s been pretty warm. It was a rainy patch there for awhile that prevented me from getting outside which I loooove to do in the Spring. We moved into the house we’re in now last Spring and it has some beautiful flowers in front planted by the previous owner, and various other plants. So I took to gardening last year. I used to garden with my Grandmother a lot when I was younger. She had two beautiful flower gardens in front of her house, and at the curb of her front yard that I would help her with and a vegetable garden in the back yard. I plan to do the same this year at our house since we have a small area in our backyard where I could grow things as well.

Another thing is just gaining focus with so much going on….my MIL moved in with us temporarily last week after he house had been water damaged. If any of you have ever experienced being a super introvert and having to have to take someone in…you pry get me so I’ll leave that one alone for now.

Just all in all, I try to go inside myself and go in my office to focus on creating as best I can with all this craziness and distractions. It’s important when life gets cray cray to try and find your little peace as best as possible so you don’t loose your ish.

I’ll check back in with you guys and maybe I’ll have another story coming up here shortly. Until next time…

Flash Fiction Friday

Church.

I started to take the coat off, but was curious. I walked down a corridor that lead to two beautiful double mahogany doors with golden handles. Inside I could already hear music and someone speaking. Another older gentleman in a black suit stood on the other side of the door. He looked out the little 6 x 4 glass window panel and flashed 5 fingers. I looked around and there was a little family in back of be waiting also. A mother, a father and a little boy and girl.

The music stopped and I could see through the window everyone bow they head. I dropped mine as well. I listen intently for a few minutes until I heard, “Amen”. The the usher opened one side of door and let us walk in. A large room full of several pews a long isle led down to platform with a large mahogany podium in the middle and two smaller ones on each side. Back behind the pulpit a large choir stand. I just stood there. I heard a slight sound. “Pssst,” I heard from the middle isle. I glanced over and a woman, turned around in her seat motioning for me to come her way. I walked a head a few pews and entered the isle. I sat down, grabbing the sides of the coat as if I were cold.

“Sis, what took you so long?” the woman whispered. I shook my head. She whispered, “well you know Sista Smith still mad on account of what you said to her a couple Sundays ago.” I wasn’t sure how to respond. She just sat and stared at me. Then she tapped me on the leg.

“Well, I don’t know why she mad,” I whispered back. What on earth have I gotten in the middle of.

“Well why don’t you take that beautiful coat off of yours, they got it hot in here this morning for a change,” she said.

I didn’t want to take it off just yet. I wanted find out what I, well, the owner of this coat Sista Taylor said to Sista Smith.

I elbowed her a little, just to grab her attention. I leaned in as much as I could, “You mind tellin’ me what it is I said to Sista Smith,” I said as politely as I knew how. She glanced over with a look of confusion.

She begin to scribble something on the program that was sitting on top of her bible in her lap. “You know you told her that she could have Deacon Taylor, because he was a no good, low down you know what and she was too.”

I read the message over, twice. Seemed like Sista Taylor was a church lady, but she was in the midst of a mess. I shimmied my shoulders. I was done with this little movie. Maybe it was a good and bad thing she had gone on. Just as I was taking off the coat, the room started to shake and my head that terrible vibration again and there I was. Back in my bedroom. I closed my eyes and laid back on my bed for a minute and stared at the ceiling fan. I think I’m done with Estate Sales for a while.

The End.

I hope you enjoyed this little series. Let me know in the comments what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Flash Fiction Part 3

If I try to tell someone what happened, they would never believe it. I picked up the other coat and examined it. I stroked it feeling it’s softness again. I wanted to try this one on also, but I was scared. I stood there for a moment. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. I slipped the fur coat on and again the room began to shift, my head began to vibrate something horrible forcing me to close my eyes.

When I open my eyes I was standing outside of a brick building that looked familiar. A cold breeze wipes across my face causing me to grip my coat closed. Although the sun is shining it is a cold day. I feel something on my head. I reach up and feel fur on top my head as well. A fur hat maybe? I look down and I am dressed in a beautiful black and white knee length dress, with sling back patent leather kitten heals to match. I walk through the parking lot filled with cars and around the corner to the entrance of the building. I glance across the street to see a street sign that reads 14th and Truman Road. In the glass door I look to see a middle aged woman dressed with a brown fur hat, her hair done up in a bun and a fur coat on. I stop and move my hand back and forth. Is this me? I run my hand across her face. An older gentleman dressed in a black suit with a pin on his lapel comes to the door and opens it.

“Good morning Sista Taylor, ha you been?” he says. I squint my eyes and raise my eye brow. I shake the hand he has extended and stroll into the lobby of the place. I look around and I see a picture of Jesus on the cross ahead of me. To my right a big cement stair case leading to an upstairs, in front of me a dining hall of some sort. A small room to the left with padded benches with books on it.

“A church! What am I doing here?”

Flash Fiction Friday Part 2

When I got home, I stashed my other estate sale finds in my office. I tossed the two coats across my bed and went in the kitchen to make lunch. I kept ruminating over the things I had seen in the house that I hadn’t purchased. The gorgeous Victorian style lamps, the over the top “church lady” hats with feathers and sequins all around. Bread, turkey, mayo, lettuce. I grabbed my plate and walked down the corridor to my bedroom. I put down the sandwich. I forgot to even try the coats on before I bought them. I slipped the coat on in the mirror.

I reached for the waist length brown leather jacket and slipped it on. Just then the room started to shift. My head started to vibrate something horrible. I closed my eyes and sat down on the bed. I opened my eyes and I was in a room that looked very familiar. I looked down and saw burgundy carpet. I got up for the bed and almost fell. I was higher off the ground than expected. I got up and looked around. I was in the bedroom of the house I just came from! A beautifully 70’s style decorated room with pink drapery on the windows and a canopy bed sat in front of me. I closed my eyes and blinked once again.

“How in the,” I said.

I scooted backwards across the floor and looked in disbelief. I patted the coat and slipping my arm out of it at once. My head started to vibrate again, I close my eyes from the stabbing pain. I open my eyes and I am once again standing in my own bedroom at my apartment. I throw the jacket on to the bed.

My eyes got big. “What in hell was that,” I said.

Until next week…

Flash Fiction Friday Vol.1

The Secret Travelers Coat By Nicole Alicia

Walking up to the massive two story brick house, I am filled with excitement. I had previewed the estate sale online before I drove 30 minutes halfway across the city. She was a “church lady”, a woman of God. I could read who a person was and their style before I even stepped into the house. As I walked up the weed filled concrete path leading to the house, a rot iron screen door was propped open greeting me. A man who was obviously with the company putting on the estate sale stood at the door .

“Hello, everything is half price today,” he said.

“Cool, thanks,” I replied.

I look around the drab looking house. It most certainly reflected the outside. You could tell the house had been sitting for sometime. Beaten down what used to be brown shag carpet gave a pathway to what looked like a sitting room. If it weren’t for the door to the house being propped open, the smell of must would have slapped me in the face at the door. Upon walking a few steps further, an elaborate display of jewelry, broaches, pins, necklaces and such. She was a real stylish lady as well.

Draped across a French provincial style, cream colored couch with arm chair to match, an mink stole. A fancy lady, I thought to myself. I turned right and headed toward the kitchen. Nearly wiped out of dishes except for a few scripture plaques on the wall and a gold plated Jesus on the cross hung on the wall. I turned the corner and there was a small closet full of coats. I browsed through them quickly. A pretty, waist length brown leather jacket stood out. I pulled it out and looked at it, looking for any flaws. Then further down the line, I saw a burnt orange color petty coat. I looked at the tag 8/10 on both. Just my size!

I browsed around the house, going in one room and then up stairs. This house seemed to go on forever. I made my way to the front to check out. I handed the guy the two coats and couple other odds and ends I found. “That will be $45.25,” he replied.

“Wow, great!”

“You enjoy those coats, I hear that they are really something special,” he patted them before he handed them to me. He gave me a wink.

He raised both his eye brows as if surprised.

As I hurried off to my car across the street, I looked left and then right. No one coming. Just as I reached to grab the car door handle, WHOOSH! A car came zooming down the giant hill. I stood there shook for a moment. It was time to head home for sure.

To be continued next week…

Let me know what you think so far in the comments.

Until next time…

A Day In The Life Of A Writer

I won’t be before you long today (ain’t that what the pastor says LOL), I just thought I’d share a bit with you today. Let you in on my life. Now I might do a Vlog on my YouTube Channel later to go with this, but for now I’ll just do a blog.

So as I was sharing with you guys and gals a few weeks ago, I have been blogging now for about 11 years or so. I’ve been writing stories probably since 2nd grade that I can remember. I just published my first novel in 2017. I had taken a brief break from blogging last year due to health reasons and just getting my life together. Although this stupid pandemic is still going on, we tried to get back to some normalcy before the “Omarion” hit late last year, but anyways.

I start planning my week with a notebook and writing a basic list. I then will assign dates and use my paper planner to jot down what days I will complete these tasks.

But here’s a little how my days go….

7am -wake up, gather thine self after 10 hours of being on this dialysis machine

My night time hook-up aka my life line 🙂

My husband gets our son up before he goes to work help him with his morning routine and get him breakfast, so that all Mommy (me) has to do is do his hair and prepare his backpack for the day. So babe if you’re reading this Thank YOU again!

8:15 ish– I rush my son off to school and sometimes grab breakfast on the way back home.

9:15 ish– I get to writing. I am currently working on a new novella that I plan to have out Fall ’22. My goal is to write 500 words a day. I’ve been working on this project since August, so yeah I’m almost finished. If I have any appointments, I try to schedule them for the morning time so that I can get those out the way and still have time to work. Coffee is needed!

My little office space

11 ish– Look at what else I have on my planner to do for my online shops Dear Alice Co. & 99th and Lydia.

1pm ish– I try to fix me some lunch or DoorDash it (because yes I’m lazy). I’m very basic. I love a good turkey sandwich!

2 pm– Try to wrap up what I’m doing, maybe throw some dishes in the dishwasher or tidy up the living room a bit before I have to go get my son from school. If I get to the pick-up line early I may make necessary phone calls or sit and chit chat with my Dad or hubby.

4 pm– Start helping with homework.

6pm-Dinner with the fam

7pm– Start prepping for next day, lay out clothes for son and myself. Prep my dialysis machine for the night.

8pm– Try to be in bed. I read before I go to sleep, the phone and TV keep me up.

That’s usually it. I stay up until 10pm watching a TV show lately “Women of The Movement” and then there’s a documentary part that comes on after the show. On the weekend, I stay up playing video games and such as well.

As you can see nothing too exciting. I try to practice self-care and occasionally go get my nails and hair done when I have sometime. I really miss going to the local coffee shops to write and browsing around town, but until this Corona thing improves, I’ll be kind of staying at home.

What’s a typical day look like for you?

Until next time…

What I’m Reading Lately

It’s the beginning of a new year, so I like to start over fresh with a new reading list. Last year was a bit challenging and I didn’t get to read very many books. I was sick for the first three months of 2021 and then we decided to sell our house and move during the crazy housing market boom last year. I found very little time to myself and most of it was a blur. So at the end of 2021, when things sort of calmed down, I said lemme get back to what I love. So let’s get into it…

Prayer journal for women: 52 week scripture, devotional and guided prayer journal

Prayer Journal

I am very spiritual and my walk with the Lord is so important to me. I try to practice praying on the regular and talking to God is a must. Plus, I love journaling! So I got this Prayer journal to kind of help facilitate that. Since Covid hit in March 2020, I have not been back to church yet. I still attend online service on Sundays and I am doing my best to try to stay connected you know? Here’s what it looks like on the inside…

Inside of Prayer journal

Harlem Shuffle By Colson Whitehead

Gotta keep a good fiction novel going at all times. This is the latest one from Colson Whitehead. He has I think 3 other books. I read his other novel “Underground Railroad” which was good so I decided to get his latest one. I am about 9 chapters in already and found it to be a pretty good read. I even got the audiobook on Audible so when I am too busy to actually sit down and read it, I can continue the story.

This year I will… By Tiffany Louise

This year I will…

Now honestly, I did get this one at the beginning of 2021 and just really didn’t get to use it. It’s along the line of a journal as well. It kind of has writing prompts to help you discover and plan what you want to do for the year. I like books that help me really sit down and plan my thoughts, if that makes any sense. I’ll definitely be using this one this year as I get back into writing and doing my shops on Etsy. It’s always good to see your thoughts on paper.

Scene & Structure By Jack Bickham

This book I don’t remember who recommended it, but it was one of the writers I follow I think on one of these social media platforms. I am currently working on my next work of fiction (a novella or novel, not sure which yet) and thought this might be a good reference book. As a writer, we can always use direction or a slight refresher course.

Bible in 52 Weeks By Dr. Kimberly D. Moore

the Bible in 52 weeks

Here’s another one I got to help with my spiritual walk. I really wanted to delve more into the word this year. Again, I have so many ventures planned, but without God where would I be? So this takes you straight through the Bible and kind of gives you some insight and encouragement along the way. I have never read straight through the Bible before from start to finish, so this should be an interesting journey.

Life Interrupted By Pricilla Shirer

I got this book from my mom for Christmas. It definitely sounds like a book I need! It says navigating the unexpected. Well, I think that sums up my life here in the last 5 years, LOL. I can’t wait to dive into this one. I have listened to several of her sermons on YouTube before. She’s phenomenal when it comes to preaching the word of God!

The Self-Care Planner By Meera Lester

Self-care is always important

I picked this one up at 5 and below off their book table. I, like most busy moms some time struggle with self-care. I am improving on self-care again by going to get my hair and nails done again at the bare minimum. Also what had been laid to the way side, again with this nasty Corona virus hitting and me not having to get out and go anywhere, I became very lazy with my hair and such. So this one helps me stay on track with that.

inside of self-care planner

All the other books mostly came from Amazon, except the one my mom got me from Pricilla Shirer that one came from Thrift Books online.

So as you can see, I’ve got books on deck for at least the first quarter of this year. Depending on how much I stay on track with reading consistently, I might have another book list for you by Spring. Y’all take care and let me know what you think in the comments!

Until next time…

Life On Dialysis

Having not written in sometime, the perfectionist in me said to wait until January 1st, 2022 to do a fresh start. Last year started off very rocky for me. It started with a short stay at the hospital for about a week, with a respiratory infection (or so doctors say). From there 2021 was just a whirlwind honey, so I’ll post about that later but lets get into todays post!

I am a pretty private person. Unlike some others, I don’t believe in sharing a great deal of my life online. However, I have chosen to start sharing my journey through Kidney failure (ESRD or End Stage Renal Disease) and Chronic Kidney Disease.

In the beginning…2020

At the beginning of 2020, I was told that my kidney function had declined to about 12%. This meant that I was becoming very sick from the toxins that had built up in my blood. My kidneys were no longer able to do their job and as a result my body would eventually start shutting down. My nephrologist (kidney doc) had educated me on the different types of dialysis, and had me decide which type of dialysis I wanted to do so that we could act fast.

There are two types of dialysis treatments. Hemodialysis is where you normally go to a clinic to receive treatments, three to four times a week. Hemo for short, can be done at home with training as well, but it involves inserting a huge needle into what’s called a fistula. I didn’t want to fool with needles myself if I didn’t have to, so I chose what is called Peritoneal Dialysis.

Dialysate bags that I use nightly

I am able to my treatments at home, with a machine that I hook up to every night for 10 hours. It fills me with a dialysate (a solution that look like saline), the solution sits in my abdomen for about an hour and a half then the machine drains the fluid out of my body, releasing all the bad toxins and fluids that my kidneys are no longer able to remove on their own. It drains the fluid off 6 times during the night. It’s pretty much painless, although I do get abdominal cramps from time to time but nothing too painful.

So in short yes, 2020 sucked a** for so many reasons. My 2020 sucked in so many different ways. It was the year I had to have surgery to have a catheter inserted in my body for me to start dialysis. Covid came and locked everything down and it was just the beginning of this horrific nightmare called a Pandemic.

Daily Life

Aside from being hooked up to a machine from approximately 8:30pm to 6:30am every night, life on dialysis is just that. In the beginning it was hard to tackle the feelings of hopelessness, trying to get over the fact of “why me”, dealing with constant appointments the discomfort and pain. I think sometimes it is easier to deal with a health problem if you know what caused it, such as heredity or a doctor can tell you well m’am this was caused by you doing x,y,z. However in my case I haven’t had that satisfaction. Until 2016, I wasn’t aware I had any serious health issues. I had always gone to the doctor for regular check ups and all of that. But here I am now.

Often times when you have Chronic Kidney Disease it can leave you feeling fatigued, sick to your stomach, which causes you not to have an appetite, which causes weight loss, because of the toxins not being cleared from your body properly. On dialysis, I can say that I have felt better for the most part. I have energy on a regular, my appetite came back. It took me awhile to gain weight back, but I am doing it slowly.

Another thing with doing at home dialysis is you have to have some where to store your monthly supply of fluids and your other supplies. I won’t bore you and go into immense detail, but my supply closet looks something like this…

My supply closet…the second and third shelves are usually filled with dialysate bags I use 2 nightly. The very bottom row are cassettes or tubes that go to the dialysis machine I use.

I use 2 bags per night, so for my monthly shipment I get anywhere from 25- 30 boxes in one monthly delivery. So yes, home dialysis does require space and a clean area to do your treatment.

My monthly supply

I also had to go through 2 weeks of training where they show you how to do your nightly treatment and what to do in the event that you loose power and have to do what’s called a manual exchange (we won’t even get into that). You would think it’s as simple as just plugging into a machine, which I wish it was that simple but no there’s a whole process you have to go through to make sure you don’t get any infections.

Although, I’ve been on dialysis for almost two years now, I still am not used to all this. It’s a constant roller coaster.

The monthly appointments, labs, etc. Oh but did I mention another kicker…you can’t go swimming in a regular public swimming pool with chlorine because of the possibility of contracting an infection.

Yeah, so as you probably see it’s so much to this Kidney failure stuff. I am working on finding a Living Donor so that I can have a transplant soon. Click here for more info.

I could go on, but that’s just a snap shot of my life on dialysis. If you’d like to find out more about my experiences and a bit about how I found out I had Kidney failure be sure to read my previous blog post “Why I empathize with Chadwick.

Until next Friday…

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