In true DIVA fashion, which was coincidentally the song she made her Grand Entrance on!
It started out rocky and I wasn't sure she had a good time, but the note she wrote me as a thank you when it was all over literally made me cry. More pictures and the event as it went down can be seen here.
Christmas seemed to go by so fast, as I was still tired from the party just merely a week before...
|All four of "my" babies! Its tradition!|
...but that didn't stop me from having the best time bringing in 2011! On the Detroit Princess with my beautiful sissy by my side,
|Isn't she lovely?|
We closed down the dance floor (literally).
A long awaited and much anticipated life change happened on March 7, 2011 when I got my first real FULL TIME position with Wayne State University, after having worked there over 13 years. I never realized how much it meant to me until I finally had it. The money didn't change, but the benefit package was truly immeasurable. I was able to go back to school for FREE, get my dental work done and have a real head to toe health assessment, which I so desperately needed. I came out completely healthy, a surprising feat considering I'm "obese" by everyone else's standard, but it eased my mind about all the diseases I had feared might take over my body, at least for now.
My main goal in 2011 was to move from my grandma's house and I did that on May 16, 2011. My apartment is so much more beautiful than I ever imagined my house would be. While its not exactly what I had planned, its just what I needed. My favorite room has become the one which houses my "comfy corner" better known as the corner of my living room where the sectional meets the wall between it and the kitchen. When the kids are in their rooms and its quiet and serene, I turn on my lighted table, light my scented candles and enjoy my time alone, sometimes doing nothing at all...
Summer was fun especially since most of it was spent getting my HOME in order, all commencing with the housewarming party I called "Wanda's Wonderful Welcoming"!
|The food was a big HIT!|
My sister made the party the best it could be and it wouldn't have been the same without her influence. From the games we played, to just being there to support me and making sure everyone had a great time... I love you (((((Peachey))))).
My 36th birthday was spent with the greatest supervisor there ever was, her name is Darran, but I call her guardian angel. I've written about her before, but this past year showed me just how truly blessed I am to have her in my life. We went to a local place, halfway between the office and my home called Traffic Jam or as us locals call it TJ's! It's been featured on Food Network's "Diner's Drive Ins and Dives" and they have the absolute best sweet potato fries that not even I can replicate. We had a good time laughing about nothing much in particular. I love her just as I would any member of my family and I'm glad I got to spend my special day with her.
My first Thanksgiving in my new home, and I decided at the last minute to cook what I originally thought would be a small dinner. I made mini potato gratins, roast with potatoes and carrots, macaroni and cheese, greens, baked sweet potatoes, corn, turkey breast, stuffing, and some cranberry sauce (with my own little orange touch) on the side! Dessert was a homemade apple pie, decorated with butterfly cutouts. It tasted much better than it looked.
|Yeah that's MY pretty plate|
After I got the meats started in the slow cookers, Rajanee and I went to Thanksgiving Day parade, which is right around the corner from our house now. She had never been and I hadn't gone since I was a kid. It was a very nice day and we both enjoyed it very much. I did get freaked out by this...
|It looks soooo much creepier from the front|
I kept teasing her about the horses which she can't stand and even tagged her in all their pics on Facebook. She didn't like that too much.
You know that job I mentioned being so happy to get earlier? The one that Darran herself helped me get... Well it almost got taken away from me in a most unfair fashion. The University had been doing some cutbacks, someone in another department was having their position dissolved and according to union rules, she has the opportunity to "bump into" mine because I have less seniority. A week of worry and uncertainty of what would happen had my mind in whirl. I kept thinking about all the things I stood to lose, including a cash credit that I receive for living in Midtown Detroit, which is all dependent on be being a full time employee. At the ninth hour, one day before the new lady was supposed to start and one half hour before the end of the work day, I got a call from HR saying she wasn't coming. It was like a weight had been lifted from my entire being. I even started singing (to myself) "No stress, no stress, no stress, just kicked it to the left, left, left" and all was well again.
Then all the kids grew up around me, my niece turned 14, which we celebrated by going to Michigan's Adventure where I got a sunburn, a sore throat and the greatest time I had in a long time.
|Yeah Snoopy was feelin' on my booooty!|
Raja, (oh how she hates when I call her that), now 17, is not my little girl anymore, all sophisticated and even has a boyfriend and I'm so not ready.
Look at her NOW...
|YES those are 5 inch heels!|
Its Christmas again!
The best gift given and received was the bracelets I bought for my sister whose always been there for me through the thickest and the thinnest times in both of our lives.
There were many surprises to be had, some good, some bad, but the funniest moment was when I tricked Raja into thinking she had an android tablet, which was really a Justin Bieber CD wrapped in a tablet box! I can't get enough of this video...
She actually did get an Ipad 2 from her brother, so it wasn't a total trick, just a little delayed gratification.
|Look at that :-)|
I had the absolute dullest New Years Eve ever! I was alone, bored, and didn't even manage to stay up til midnight. New Years day turned out to be a bit better, it ended with me cooking again, because that's what I do. My ex lover, best friend, turned lover (again) definitely made me realize that THIS would be a better year.
On December 17, 2011, I became an AVON independent sales representative again. I love this company so much, the products and the people. Its been a slow go as I haven't sold to anyone but myself as of yet, but I promised that I would step it up and re-implement some of my old selling strategies to bring in some new as well as regain my old customers. It will be hard as it is difficult to let someone back in who let you down once before, but I know I can do it.
After the holidays, my much anticipated and greatly needed vacation was over. I got some rest, and also made some very productive life changes. Not even a week after being back at work, my job was threatened again. This time I didn't come out of it so clean. It was like a punch to the gut that got twisted along the way. Loyal I am to my job and my department, so I reached way down deep inside me and mustered up the strength to come in and teach the person taking my job how to do it. I really don't know how I did it, but I did. For two weeks I stayed, and for two weeks I prayed, that somehow, some way, a miracle would come. No such luck this time. I left my job that I didn't even have for one year, uncertain of what the rest would bring.
After work on that last Friday evening, Darran wanted to take me to dinner, so I went. What else did I have to do really? We went to a little known Chinese/Japanese restaurant, also located in Midtown Detroit, called Shangri-La. I had no idea what I was about to experience, but once we got there, all of our favorite students were there waiting to give me a night I will not soon forget. They gave me (and Raja) gifts, along with a huge card that they had all signed. It truly made me feel special and everything I do totally worthwhile. It felt so good to be loved and even greater knowing they would miss me in the office. I don't know how Darran kept the secret from me, but I am so glad she did.
In the back of my mind, I still can't help thinking about all I lost without having my job. I worked so hard and it feels so good to finally be in my own home, it will be so much harder to handle if I have to let it go. Being a full time employee had many hidden benefits like being a part of the Live Midtown program which basically pays me to live in the community. Without this quarterly payment, my rent is significantly higher, which without a steady income is almost impossible for me to pay. I've been trying not to think about it, hoping it will work itself out, all while making sure I don't lose my mind being that I am a total control freak and can't leave anything to chance.
A blessing came from a most unlikely source...my MOM! I kinda didn't want her to know about my situation, but once I told Grandma, it was inevitable. I had the best day with her than I had in a long time. We went shopping for a few household things, then she treated me to lunch. When I got home, I realized she had given me the most beautiful card inside a gorgeous bible cover. They are now both sitting on my table.
If you're still reading by this time, I'd first like to say Thank You! One more ray of hope is on my horizon in the form of an interview on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. I don't know if I will consider the position, but I feel like I at least owe it to myself to take the meeting. Please say a prayer for me that if nothing else, I don't make a complete fool of myself with whatever questions they may ask me.
My Goals for 2012 are...
Get my license and buy a car
Get my finances in order
Buy a new wardrobe, including shoes
Take at least one real vacation and not think about anything but relaxation
Pick a graduate program and stick to it
Try at least two new recipes every month
Make some money selling AVON
Get my "baby" back
Prove to myself that not everything has to be planned
Let go and let God is a phrase that was very hard for me to come to terms with, I did and then lost it again. I'm fighting very hard (with myself) to get it back.