Since my brain is going a mile a minute, I figured I'd just dump all the bits & pieces off here & let you all sort through them. :) Hence the subject, "Mind Goulash".
*This randomness is brought to you by Folgers. I quit drinking coffee a few weeks ago & had a cup this morning. Needless to say....HYPER!!!*
My most prevalent thought at the moment is preparation for this weekend. My husband, born a couple decades too late, is a HUGE Beach Boys fan. He's seen them perform in their various incantations, but never has he seen all surviving members perform together on one stage. So when they reunited for a 50th anniversary tour & booked a show just a little over 2 hours away, he bought tickets the day they went on sale to the public. This Saturday, he will realize a life-long dream & it will be very awesome. Since the concert is in the same town that my Dad lives in, my Dad had the idea to make it a weekend trip to celebrate his last chemo treatment. (His last treatment starts on Wednesday the 18th & ends Friday the 20th.) My sister will be in town, also, so Dad will have all 3 of his kids together for a whole weekend. This hasn't happened in YEARS. Also, we're supposed to be meeting Dad's girlfriend's 3 sons & spending some time w/ them. Considering that my sister & I absolutely ADORE Dad's girlfriend, I'm very excited to meet her kids. I don't want to jinx anything, but I really, really, really love Annmarie & want so much for her & my Dad to last for a very long time. I'm also nervous. I want her sons to like us b/c the little girl in me is ridiculously excited about the prospect of 3 big brothers. Yes, I'm getting ahead of myself here, but that's just how I roll. (Pictures/blog post to follow on Sunday or Monday.)
The next thing weighing heavily on my mind is not nearly as happy a thought. My maternal Grandma hasn't been well lately & it seems her dementia has gotten a bit worse. Watching the progression of symptoms brings back so many memories of when Granny first told me she had Alzheimer's. The emotions are as raw as ever & it's very hard to see someone you love so much going through something so awful. While my Granny really molded me as a person, my Grandma Wolf was there to take care of us kids when our mom decided she couldn't do it. We were constantly being dropped off & actually lived w/ Grandma & Grandpa Wolf off-and-on several times in our lives. Homelessness was never a real threat to us b/c Grandma always took us in. It was a huge burden on her after raising her own 12 children, but she never complained in front of us about it. She kept us safe & well-fed & I can never express my gratitude for what she did. I love my Grandma so much & it kills me to see her ailing. I want so desperately to spare her the indignity that comes w/ dementia. She seems mostly alright now, but it happens so quickly that I'm all too aware of what to expect & it's rough! And I feel my heart breaking all over again.
On a COMPLETELY different topic, I've got a few exciting volunteering opportunities coming up. Of course I'm still going to the book exchange, but I'll be spending a little more time down there in the next couple weeks or so b/c they're moving to a new location & there is a lot to do to get all those books moved. The sales portion of the operation, which is what keeps the bills paid, is growing quite a bit, so it's a challenge to keep up with it all. At the same time, I love being a part of it. It's such a good feeling to volunteer. To give your time & energy to something that you receive no compensation for. Doing something simply b/c you WANT to. In addition to that, I'll be taking photos at a local event for Mobility Unlimited, a non-profit that was founded by the owner of the company I work for. I heard about the event on craigslist & decided I'd throw my name in there as a volunteer to see if I could be of service. As it turns out, they need someone to take pictures & while I'm nowhere near talented in the ways of REAL photography, I can hold my own when it comes to simple stuff. This opportunity really excites me b/c I get to mix my love of taking pictures & my love of volunteerism. My photos will be featured on their website & fb page, which is kind of cool, if you ask me.
Speaking of photos, I also threw an offer out on The Traveling Red Dress fb page offering my photo-taking services to anyone in my area who finds themselves having a red dress moment. While on the fb page, I scanned through the photos posted to see if there were any red dresses in my size. I want a red dress moment. Scratch that. I NEED a red dress moment. Badly. Despite losing 14 lbs, my self-esteem is shit. It always has been, but it seems worse right now than it has been in a long time. The dress I fell in love with is currently in Australia & I'm not even sure if it's available or if the owner will ship it to me. At first I wasn't going to ask for it at all. I hate asking for anything, even something being readily offered on the internet for free, but I finally talked myself into asking. I'm just waiting on a reply now. I keep thinking about how I want to utilize my time w/ whatever red dress I find in my possession. I know I want a photo shoot. Not your average one, but a REAL one. I want someone to do my makeup (b/c I suck at doing it myself; hence why I don't wear any 98% of the time). I want someone to do my hair. All of these things require me to depend on the kindness of other people, which is something I don't do easily. I certainly can't afford to pay a real photographer or makeup artist or hairstylist. So the doubter in me is wondering if I'll really even get to enjoy my red dress moment when it comes. Which is what the whole movement is about. It's about stifling the voice in your head that criticizes you & allow yourself to be happy & feel beautiful. It's freedom from the negativity, even if just briefly. It's an amazing thing & I can't wait to be a part of it. Rest assured, if/when I get my chance to join in, I will post about it on here. Because we all know I can't shut up about anything.
I suppose those are the main things floating around in my brain. There may be more, but the rest of it has sort of blocked out a lot of other thoughts. I have a ton of housework to get done today so that everything is in order for our weekend out of town. Ahh, there comes the excitement again! :)