In 2018, I completely downsized from a 5-bedroom, 3000 sq. ft. home and multi-income property to 200 sq. ft. of living space. This space once was part of a small efficiency apartment and our family business office, then converted to a one-room school room during my children’s homeschooling years and later became my art studio. Now, it is the home of my daughter and son-in-law’s ice cream shop “17 Scoops”.
For 2 years, this little space was my co-housing/co-living “Gma (Grandma) Pod, that I shared with my daughter and her family. As a baby boomer and grandma, I was able to spend more time creating in my art studio, writing my blog, traveling for fun and less time working on the road as a travel nurse.
I shared some living area necessities like a basement bathroom, laundry area, and running water but I also had my own entrance and lived independently.
I enjoyed the companionship and security of their presence while spending more time with my two grandsons.
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Once upon a time, as a travel nurse I spent a lot of time being a tourist and living out of Rubbermaid containers 8-10 months out of the year. I was always in search of amazing regional food, local & cultural activities and making new friends. However, living this “Rock Star” existence would soon take a turn that I, nor the World would ever think would happen in our lifetime.
When I was traveling, not only did I try to immerse myself in the region, culture, art and cuisine of the local area but I spent a fair amount of time advancing my skills as a baker taking classes that were significant to the locale. Then the real joy was re-creating and sharing my new artisan experiences and skills with co-workers, family and friends. Food has a unique language all its own and it provides a common ground that people can enjoy and relate to.
I would drag my hand-written recipes in two robin egg colored index card boxes with me on the road everywhere. “Oh, what are those, you say? I’ll explain later”… but it’s something that us “old broads” used before Pinterest, Tasty and All Recipes came along. Staying healthy and fit as a travel nurse was challenging but the real challenge was when you’re constantly fighting menopausal changes, genetics and the burning desire to eat every damn sweet thing available in a 25-100-mile radius. Under Recipe Box you will find healthy recipes and some that are bad as hell for the waste-line and for that reason I will rate them (Very Good, Good, and Oh shit, Hide the Scale!).
In 2018, I completely embarked on a minimalist lifestyle and took a six-month unpaid sabbatical from Travel nursing to relearn self-care along with a lil’ sprinkle of fairy dust called “self-love” and rekindled my passions for baking, writing and art.
Then, the “Vid” storm arrived…”sigh“…all bets were off. I returned to nursing, in a near-by town to fight the fight. I worked 50-plus hour work weeks with exhaustion, depression and a bit of PTSD. I struggled with the decisions of others, I cried with families and patients, and I was angered with the insanity that daily unfolded in American and the World. I stayed away from family to keep them safe and my scrubs became my fatigues, as I fought an enemy I could not see. I ate a lot of donated pizza and gained 20 pounds.
Fast forward 2 years later, the Spring of 2022. I decided to take another sabbatical from my nursing career to heal my body and soul. My final take away from all the death and sad human experiences of the last 2 years only cemented my already known knowledge that I needed to focus more on my passions and talents. After a few weeks of licking my war wounds, boredom set in. I immediately sprung into action; started my home-bakery Thunder Moon Bakery and my passion for life returned. I am slowly healing with healthier ways to deal with the physical and psychological stressors that I encountered working in the healthcare environment for almost 20 years and moving towards doing my dream.
Meanwhile, I will be dusting off the cobwebs on all the big white binders and assorted notebooks on my desk and revisit my writings. I will share some of the shenanigans rolling around in my head; humoring the thought that I have a small ounce of writing talent. My Grandma’s, Gma pronounced ( Jee- ma) was intrumental in teaching me, to live my dreams no matter what others “think“, “feel” or “want” me to do. Maybe writing a book is in the near future, who knows?
“Sometimes, when I’m driving down the highway with thousands of miles between destinations, I can still picture her next to me in that huge, hard top 1959 Ford, as she drove us to the lake cottage. All the windows down, and her hair tightly wrapped in a colorful scarf all “Hollywood Style”, eyebrows painted on, barely visible above her eye glasses. She turns and smiles at me, her “baker hands” tightly gripping the wheel as we flew down the highway while the sweet smell of freshly mowed hay fields filled the swirling air around us“.
It’s the simple pleasure of the journey; no matter how long the road may be to your destination. We all have our own path and those we meet along the way ultimately help shape our final destination.
Do Your Dream! What ever that may be.
I hope you enjoy my Blog about My Travel, My Life, My Art, My Food. I will have a lot of pretty cool pictures, fun and heartwarming stories, self-discovery tips, and recipes you can try. So, as long as it takes you to drink your morning coffee, eat your lunch, sneak precious quiet time during the kid’s or hubby’s nap-time, trying to stay calm while waiting in line at the DMV or just killing time on the shitter. I will be here.
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