Blog

Ready, Set, Go!

Tomorrow is February 1st!!! Here in Michigan, this is the day many will celebrate our restaurants and bars re-opening!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Michigan, like so many other States, has been on “lock down” for the last few months, Governor Whitmer has received much backlash over this order, many calling on her to be recalled. Coming from someone that has recovered from Covid, I can appreciate her trying to keep us Michiganders safe.

Of course there will be stipulations to the opening of the restaurants: everyone has to wear a mask, no more than 25% capacity and no more than 6 people to a table. Yes it will be in “inconvenience” for some people, but the fact that we get to go out and dine with our friends and family again is worth the sacrifice. Not sure whether or not I will be joining in the dining experience this week, but I will glad that restaurant workers and owners can return to making a living.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

So again, if those of you in Ohio, Indiana or any other surrounding State, hear a thunderous roar coming from Michigan, you know why! We are excited that we will finally be able to dine in and eat baskets of bread!

Love and Peace💖

Kim

Covid Can Kick Rocks!

We can all agree that 2020 was a trying year for all, without rehashing the year, let’s all release a collective sigh of relief that’s it over! 2021 can only up from here!

I was a rule follower when it came to safety in 2020, I wore my masks, washed my hands, used plenty of hand sanitizer, and made sure to social distance….but on December 16, 2020 all of my hard work went out of the window. I had started experiencing a temperature of 102 degrees; the previous week I had accomplished my 2020 goal of riding 600 miles on my bike, plus t was a busy work week, I thought it was a slight case of the flu. Long story short, I tested positive for #COVID19.

By nature, I’m a pretty laid back personality, the diagnosis itself didn’t worry me. I have no past medicali history (other than slight obesity) and I’m fairly active, so when I was told to quarantine for 10 days, no problem, I got this! Let me back up by saying I’m a newlywed, so my husband and I had to quarantine away from each other, but again, no problem. The 1st few days at home were spent fighting a fever and chills, nothing worked to break the fever, then came the cough and shortness of breath! I had already had a talk with myself that if I felt the symptoms were too bad to manage at home, it would time to go to ER! That time finally came on Christmas Eve.

I woke up Christmas Eve coughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath no matter how hard I tried; again, I’m a laid back personality, but I had to admit I was getting worried. Even though I was having a crisis, I wanted to make sure my husband and daughter were ok and didn’t panic, so I reassured them that I was ok just wanted to go to ER to be safe. I even called the 911 myself (taking control of the situation as always). Once I was rushed away by the ambulance, I could allow myself to take in the potential gravity of the situation.

I was admitted to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, MI (http://www.hurleymedicalcenter.com) Hurley is the local premier Trauma Center and also has a unit dedicated to COVID patients like myself. I felt more than comfortable doing to Hurley for my care. Once in ER, I was assessed and the plan was to immediately start me on the COVID medication #Remdesivir, I was hopeful that this medication was going to treat whatever this virus is in my system. Over the course of my 6 day hospital stay, I was given 5 treatments of #Remdesivir and was also give #COVIDantibodies from another COVID survivor to help boost my system. I was also given a steroid to help with my breathing along with oxygen. I started off on 6 liters of oxygen, I am currently on 2 liters….progress!

A few pics from my hospital experience, clearly I didn’t get the brows done before my admission….priorities!

When they say COVID-19 attacks your respiratory system, it is not an exaggeration! Now that I am home, I still get winded with everyday tasks like walking the 10 feet from my bedroom to the bathroom; I carry my new BFF, my oxygen tank throughout the house. Hopefully I will won’t have my BFF too much longer.

I really want to emphasize the importance of knowing “when to say when”. When to leave the comforts of your home after your COVID diagnosis, yes recovering at home under quarantine for a few days is a common practice, but there are those times when you have to let ER and trained medical staff take over. In my experience, have the COVID medications immediately started upon my admission was a matter of life and death. I know there are many fears when it comes to being in the hospital, especially no visitors. I was ok not having visitors when it came down to saving my life vs seeing my family in person. Thank God I was able to communicate with them via phone daily. I know they were praying for me, that’s all that matter.

I had a few conversations with some of the Physicians and Nurses, those suffering from COVID waiting too long to come into the hospital is the number one issue they see, by the time a lot are admitted, it’s often too late. So if the person reading this is home fighting COVID or has a loved one that’s currently fighting, please know “when to say when”.

Peace and Love,

Kim

New Year, New Outlook!

Ringing in the New Year!

So here we are again, thanking the good Lord for letting me see not only another day and year, but decade! I’ve tried to think back on the last 10 years of my life, there’s been so many events, good and bad.

After experiencing negative life events, it’s so easy to only focus on the negative things and not appreciate the positive things in our lives. I will admit that I have been guilty of this. I’ve always been the one to “see the brighter side” in negative situations, but after the deaths of several family members within a 4 year period, I’ve noticed the  cheerleader in me hasn’t been so cheerful!

Recently, while out shopping with my daughter, I noticed this cute little planner at Five Below (how can you not love this store?!) for $5.

Positivity Planner                                 planner page

The title alone is what made me curious as to how can this book help someone be positive? Then I saw the 3rd page of the planner, and there it is, the master plan….Start each day with a positive thought. Doing something so simple can have a huge impact on our lives.

I truly believe what you put out in the atmosphere will come back to you; if you’re always negative, negative things will continue happen to you and vice versa.

I think at times we all need a little “push” in helping us remain positive, so I purchased the planner. Having a guide that will, on a weekly basis, encourage me to write down goals and think about what I’m grateful for. More importantly, it will help me be the positive person I strive to be.

inside planner

So as the 1st day of the new year and decade comes to an end, I plan to write in my Positivity Planner and remember to be thankful for the little things.

Peace

 

Back on the Blogging Bandwagon!

So here I am back blogging after a 9 month break! I don’t have a real reason as to why I’ve been away so long. It’s funny how time flies when you’re a procrastinator.

My 2019 New Years resolution WAS to commit to my blog throughout the whole year…well I last a whole 3 months! 2020 will be better I promise!

I’ve done a few exciting things since I last blogged in March 2019, here’s a quick run down so you will be all caught up! Go back and check out my other blogs in case you’ve missed them!

April 2019-Traveled to Milwaukee for a Sorority conference!

regional picture
Me with my lovely Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Sisters!

May 2016– Participated in the Crim Fit 5 mile bike ride! Finished even in the rain.

62653544_10219106952763404_2627860136441413632_n
We did it!

August 2019– Took a tour of the lovely murals located around Flint, MI.

graffiti pic

Downtown Flint, MI

October 2019-Participated in the Breast Cancer walk (Flint, MI).

breast cancer pic
    Supporting Breast Cancer survivors, those currently in the fight and their families.

November 2019-Birthday Month and traveled to N’awlins!

kim bday
Happy 49th Birthday to me! SO grateful to see another year!

new orleans (2)
My mini me Julia and I in New Orleans

December 2019-Celebrating my friends!

stephanie (2)
Celebrating our friend Stephanie, now Dr. Stephanie!

diva christmas (2)
Celebrating Christmas with my friends aka The Divas!

 

Whew….So as you can see, I’ve done a lot of great things this year, and the year isn’t even over yet!

I’m excited to see what 2020 will bring, this is the boost I need to motivate me to blog more in the New Year!

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Hanukkah!

 

March “Fatness”!!

bright close up color colorful

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yes you read that right!!

March is that time of year where sport fans around the world celebrate and bet on their favorite basketball teams, this month I vow to celebrate and bet on myself….health wise! March will be the kickoff for what’s to come for the rest of the year!

We are 3 months into this new year, and the one resolution I set for myself every year, losing weight, had started to once again become a distant memory. It’s so easy to set weight loss/health eating resolutions, but it’s very hard sticking to them!

photo of woman eating pizza
Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Working out isn’t my problem, I work out weekly with a great group of people, lead by a great instructor, shout out to Marquita at Harambee Wellness,  https://harambeewellness.com! Even when we want to cry and quit…oh wait, maybe that’s just me, we still encourage each other to complete the workout!

harambee group.jpg

The gang after our Valentine’s Day workout-2019

studio.jpg

Where all the magic happens, I Am My Billboard Fitness Studio in Burton, MI. 

I owe it to myself and my daughters to be the best me I can be (I know, so cliché), but as I get closer to the BIG 5-0,I’m starting to realize it even more important to put myself first.

So once again, I jump back on the workout/healthy eating wagon, this time making a conscious effort to stick to my plan so next year I can brag and post about the March “Flatness” in all my trouble areas!  Won’t you join me on this adventure?

What are some personal health goals you want to work on this year? Let’s discuss in the comments!

What’s Your Vision?

alphabet creativity cube letter
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve been thinking on what things to add to my vision board this year: weight loss? improve finances? travel more? All the things I vow to change every year!

I’ve made vision boards in the past, but I’ve never really paid attention to them after creating them and hanging them in my room, nor have I acknowledged when a “vision” on my board turned into a reality. This year will be different…..

Not sure what a Vision Board is? Check the link below….

https://chopra.com/articles/vision-board-101-how-to-use-this-manifestation-tool

This year I will be very specific with my “visions”, I’m a big believer in getting back what you put out in the universe, I wonder if that includes my dream Range Rover?!

Have you ever created a vision board? If so, what things on your board became a reality?

If you have never created a vision board, I challenge you create one, what can it hurt? Grab your friends and turn it into a vision board party! Another excuse to drink wine!

What is something you really want to see happen in your life? New job? new car? new love? Visualize it on your board and watch what happens!

Need ideas? Head over to the mecca of creative ideas:
https://www.pinterest.com

I would love to hear your vision board ideas! Tell us about the things on your vision boards have become a reality! Comment below and share your story!

balance business cobblestone conceptual
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Be Like Mike? No, I Wanna be Like Jeff!

jeff

Allow me to introduce this young man, this is Jeffrey Wilson, Jeff as he was known to the world. Jeff was my only sibling, I was 14 years older, so in many ways I was like his second mom.

Jeff was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2016, we had recently lost our mom to a stroke and other ailments in 2015, so to hear that Jeff was diagnosed with Cancer was a big shock to our system. Jeff was terrified! There he was, a young 31 year old single guy with his whole life in front of him, I immediately jumped into big sister mode.

I had to be his protector since our mom, whom he was extremely close with, was no longer here. As an adult, Jeff was always the anxious sibling, a big contrast to my cool, laid back personality. Jeff would worry himself crazy about the smallest thing, it would drive me crazy, but after telling him to “chill out” I don’t know how many times, he finally would. Now here we are, dealing with a situation that I couldn’t easily tell him just “chill out”. The Doctors told him that this particular Cancer was treatable and that he would be fine. He was extremely nervous to start chemo/radiation, but after a few weeks, he began to handle it with his electric smile and usual corny jokes.

jeff chemo
Hurley Genesys Cancer Institute, Flint, MI

He completed chemo and radiation and received the great news in April 2017 that he was in remission! Whew! What a relief, now he can go back to working with kids at the local schools, something he really enjoyed. Jeff LOVED working with kids, and boy did they love him, maybe it was because he was still a big kid himself? To protect him from germs due to his weak immune system, he couldn’t return to the classroom while undergoing treatment, that hurt Jeffrey more than the Cancer diagnosis did.

jeff 1
Jeff entertaining many of the kids he’s worked with.

So just when life was back to normal, the back pain started……

Jeff suffered from back pain for a few weeks before finally going to the Doctor, once he finally went, the news was disappointing….the Cancer had returned in his lower back. Here we go again! In our minds, he’ll do chemo and radiation again and be fine. Somewhere along the line, discussion was had that this time, the situation didn’t look too good. Still in Big Sister mode, I tried to assure Jeff that he would be fine when it was becoming more evident everyday, he no longer believed he would.

Eventually on February 28, 2018, he lost his fight with Cancer, or won the battle depending on how you want to look at it.

To say the world lost an angel would be an understatement, Jeff had the biggest heart. Jeff would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need, I know it sounds cliche, but it was so true about Jeff.

Jeff would collect toys for kids that he knew (and didn’t know), he donated clothes, provide rides home or anywhere anyone needed to go, he was a HUGE wrestling fan, so he would have Wrestlemania watch parties for kids who wouldn’t normally get that experience. He donated food, money and whatever else anyone needed. I would get upset sometime because I felt he was being taken advantage of, but now I know that was his ministry. He always did it with a smile and without complaints, he truly had a calling for helping others.

After Jeffrey’s passing, I was overwhelmed with all the stories on Facebook, hundreds of people talking about how Jeff  helped them in some way, recalling a funny story where he said or did something silly (which happened a lot), or expressing how sad they were to hear the news.

I think often how, for me to be the big sister, I have learned so much from my little brother, he has shown me how to be a better person. So yes the slogan goes “I Wanna be Like Mike” but I, and I encourage you, to wanna “Be Like Jeff”.

How can you be like Jeff? Do an random act of kindness, if you know of a family or kid in need, donate something from your heart, say a kind word to someone who may need it….there are many ways to “Be Like Jeff”.

I still wear my Big Sister badge proudly, Jeff is gone, but definitely not forgotten!

dailey teachers
Teachers at Dailey Head Start (Mt. Morris, MI) with school supplies donated in Jeff’s memory.

 

You Tried What?!!

Praying I don’t fall!

Perfecting my Curling stance!

Curling! Yes you heard me right, I tried #curling!

I had the opportunity to participate in a #cultureshock activity with a local organization, Communities First, Inc. They plan different activities throughout the year, usually activities you wouldn’t normally do. This is a great way to try something you may have been curious about, but have never had the opportunity.

I think we can all agree that #curling isn’t something that was on my radar.

We arrived at the Midland Curling Club where the instuctors were very patient with our group of novices, 25 of us that is.

I think we all assumed it couldn’t be that hard….Boy were we wrong! This sport is all about balance and lower body strength, if you don’t have either one, you’re in trouble!

Needless to say, after falling a few times, I was able to finally release the rock (the round object you slide down the ice), one good time without falling. I would have never thought this would be a fun sport to try, now that I have, I would certainly do it again!

What’s an activity you have been curious about but never tried? I would love to hear about it!

Step outside of the box and try something new!

Have a great week!

(Sorry if you received a “fake” email about this post I’m still learning!)

#newadventure #olympiccurling #cultureshock

 

Happy New Year!

Greetings….Allow me to introduce myself! I’m Kim, a single mom of 2 daughters (20 and 18 years old), and a recent empty nester! For the 1st time in 20 years, I don’t have to be a mom taxi, referee, drill sergeant or secretary (well sometimes I’m still the occasional proof reader).

I used to say I couldn’t WAIT to be an empty nester, being a single mom for 20 years has been hectic and hard, now that the time is here….crickets! Like most new empty nesters, I’ve asked my self over and over, “what I will do with myself with all this free time?” FREE TIME?! What is that?! Something I’m certainly not used to!

I do have a day job, so that keeps me busy during the day, but my evenings, which use to consist of driving to games/practices, homework and whipping up meals, are suddenly a lot slower. As much as being a busy mom is exhausting, it’s easy to miss the hectic pace.

Can a mom over 40 (50 is fastly approaching) start a blog? What will I discuss? Who will find it interesting? Questions I’ve asked myself and I’m sure has caused me to delay starting this process. I think I’m a pretty interesting person! I know I’m a cool mom, so why not! Why not show other single moms (and single dads), or any person who due to a life change, may not be sure what the next step is or may want to reinvent their life? If I can do it, they can too!

Over the years, my daughters and I have enjoyed road trips whenever time/finances allowed, when I was a little girl, my family would travel to visit family in Alabama every summer….so the love of travel has always been there. I’m also an avid social media user, yes like most teenagers, my daughters have blocked me from their social media pages (lol), but hey! I have my own friends, so who needs them!

Hmm….I love to travel, I love social media, let’s not forget Mother Natures gift of gray hair (hence the nickname Silver Fox). So why not combine all of the above?

Welcome to Adventures of the Silver Fox! Thank you for joining me in this new chapter in my life!

Enjoy the ride!

Who said single parents can’t raise great kids?

I think we can all agree that one of the most rewarding and at the same time, exhausting jobs is being a parent. It’s hard for a 2 parent household, but it can be especially hard for a single parent.

I was raised by a single mom and I’ve been a single mom for 20 years, it wasn’t my choice, but hey things happen. I’ve had great support from family and friends over the years, they have helped shape my mini me’s into the young ladies they are today.

When I was younger I would always say “If I ever have kids, I want a son”. I only had one sibling growing up, my brother Jeffrey, I was 14 years older, so he was kind of like my son. When I was in middle and high school, I took him everywhere with me, so a boy is what I was used to.

How does the saying go? If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans?

I didn’t get a son, but I have 2 daughters that I wouldn’t trade for the world! It’s amazing how fast time has gone, I remember them as these two little beings that my mom and I would always dress alike. Even though they are two years apart, it was so easy just to buy 2 of everything, even to this day people think they are twins. They look alike, but would rather drop dead than dress alike!

Both of my girls, like myself, have graduated from high school and are both currently enrolled in college. One is a junior (at my alma mater, THE Grambling State University) and the other a freshman, that’s something I’m very proud of! My goal in life has been to be half the mother to them that my mom was to me! As an adult, I appreciate all the ways she nurtured and motivated me, I can now pass that on to my girls.

Single parents, give yourself a pat on the back, whatever accomplishment(s) your children have made, it’s all because of you! If you are a parent that is having a hard time raising your kid(s) on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Trust me, I know how hard it is to realize that sometimes we can’t do it all and may need help from family/friends, don’t be too prideful to ask.

What better way for me to embarrass my children than talking about them and posting their picture in a blog….Yesssssss!

My girls supporting each other at their graduations (L) 2018 and (R) 2016.