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Author Archives: Carrie Talbott

I Got Laid Off, He Got The Rona: 5 Things We Did to Recover

After a rough July and August, I put all my hope in the September basket that life would mellow out. But in the first week of the new month, I got laid off from my job and our oldest son got you-know-what.

When he first came home from an afternoon of swimming, eating too much, and throwing a football in 112˚ weather, we assumed his sick feeling was heat stroke. Or food poisoning. Or both.

I mean, I might’ve uttered a nervous whisper that sounded something like, “That you, Rona?” But I mostly blamed it on the pulled pork and Hawaiian potato chips. 

The next day his energy plummeted and he felt “off,” so his boss ordered him to get a COVID test. Seemed unnecessary to me, but they were paying, so….

For a mere 150 smackers, our mall has a drive-though station where they swab your brain and get results in an hour.

Forty-five minutes later, his phone buzzed and his eyes bugged. “Whoa. It’s positive.”

“Very funny,” I said.

“No, really. Look.”

He flipped his phone and I read the only word that mattered: Positive.

Yowza. In the next 12 seconds, approximately 73 things flashed through my frontal lobe. 

  • Should he leave the room?
  • Should I sanitize the room?
  • I hugged him this morning. And last night. And the day before that. Could the germs have been on his shirt? Did I accidentally suck them in?
  • Where’s he gonna sleep?
  • Did we all use the same spoon to scoop dinner?
  • He and his brother high-fived. Twice. Did they wash before and after? 
  • How many people have we come in contact with in the past week?
  • Should I tell everyone, or just our families?
  • Will people think we were careless?
  • How are the rest of us going to avoid this?
  • Do we really have to quarantine for 14 days, or is 10 okay?
  • How many Lysol wipes do we have?
  • Is he gonna end up on a ventilator?

And on and on I went. It wasn’t panic-mode… more like concerned-mode. My personality encompasses ‘doing’ and ‘helping,’ so of course I kicked it into gear and came up with a plan. My people looked thrilled. 

Here are the top five things we did to banish the bug:

1. We Kept Him Out of the Kitchen

No cooking, touching the sink faucet, opening the fridge, pouring water, nada. I am a huge proponent of teaching kids to fend for themselves, but suddenly I felt happy to serve him. 

We trust our dishwasher, but I didn’t want her to have to deal with Rona too, so I dished his food on paper plates and he used plastic silverware at every meal. And then he tossed everything straight into the trash.

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2. We Hammered the Vitamins

When I told a friend I made a vitamin spreadsheet to keep myself organized, her husband clapped back, “Don’t leave me off of the vitamin spreadsheet train – soooo jealous!” 

Poor guy. He must not have enough charts and checklists in his life. 

ANY-who… here’s what we all started taking, morning and night: Quercetin, Bromelain, Vitamin C (tons), Zinc and Vitamin D.

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3. Oils: I Diffused, He Absorbed

It’s okay if you’re still not sure about these wondrous drops; I was a skeptic too. But years ago I stuck a prescription in a drawer and wiped out a double ear infection with oils, which surprised and delighted me, and I never looked back.

So when my son said he didn’t feel good on day one, I started diffusing immune-booster blends. And when his lungs felt tight on day three, he rubbed eucalyptus all over his chest. That’s the day he lost his taste and smell too. That’s also the day I accidentally let my mind go to some dark places, but that’s a different post.

The moment he realized he lost his taste of everything… even spicy curry!

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4. We Prayed

Whether or not you believe in the power of prayer, putting your trust in God is an act of faith. Even though we get nervous about potential outcomes, we have faith He hears us and wants what’s best for us. 

So we prayed–constantly. At breakfast, at dinner, before bed, and throughout the day. 

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5. We Ate Outside

Warm SoCal weather begs for outdoor eating anyway, but I felt passionate about not sharing a small indoor table anymore. So we moved our dinner party to the back patio and sat far apart. “Pick a chair,” I said. “That’s yours for two weeks.”

Our conversations vacillated between pointless, weird, meaningful, and inappropriate. But our time outside extended beyond eat and run because… well… we couldn’t go anywhere. So we lingered. 

Ten days later we all emerged symptom-free and ready to hug the patient again. 

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Clockin’ Out

As for my layoff, I didn’t see it coming. But obviously God did. I was offered another position (demotion) and a pay cut (significant), but decided it wasn’t a good move for me or my family. Friends sent encouraging texts, and a small group even dropped off flowers, but I still had to fight feelings of failure and rejection.

Here are the top five things I did to banish the layoff blues:

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1. I Left with My Chin Up

In the midst of complicated situations, it’s easy to play the what-if game, question God, and whine about all the things I can’t control.

But I knew I gave 100% to my job, so I walked out with zero regrets. Habitat for Humanity was a great place to work, and I learned quite a bit about myself and the housing industry. I didn’t understand why God closed that door (remember my Praying for Closed Doors post?), but I’m learning to be okay with not knowing. 

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2. I Filed for Unemployment

The Employment Development Department hasn’t had the best reputation since March, but I found the whole process to be slick. Not as slick as a polished marble floor covered in coconut oil, but still. 

Sign up, wait two weeks, claim the days you didn’t work and bam—money on a card, ready to go. 

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3. I Beefed Up My LinkedIn Account

I’ve never been a huge fan of networking on this platform just for the heck of it, but when it came time to look for a job, I felt grateful for the pile of connections from writing and editing.

Some of the job titles I’m finding though? They make me wanna apply just for the funny of it:

  • Meat Order Writer for Whole Foods (That’s not the kind of writer I meant.)
  • Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (Huh?)
  • Visual Arts Instructor at The Salvation Army (So like, decorating with junk?)
  • Truck Driver in West Texas: must be willing to relocate (Ya think?)

Can’t I just declutter and organize people’s homes while writing and editing their manuscripts? Is there a category for that? #goals

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4. I Sell Quality Junk Online

Between Levi’s, video games, scrapbooking supplies, Legos, wetsuits, an agriculture scale, fall decor, snow chains, and books, there’s something for everyone. Even though I’m not making millions on Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp, I’m finding enough success to never do another garage sale. Ever.

And I’ve only had two rejections from the apps! They said my son’s bow and arrows are weapons… and the fluffy fanny pack with a moose head on the front? They think it’s a live animal. So that’s exciting. 

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5. I Pray for His Timing 

When I only had a couple decades under my belt, I intellectually knew about God’s grace, timing, and plan. But now that I possess a couple more decades, I know about such phenomenons because I’ve lived them. 

So when I feel discouragement creeping in, I rest in the fact that God knows exactly what I need and when. If it’s true He’s never late and rarely early, that leaves “on time” as His claim to fame.

What about you? Have you lost your job? Battled Rona? Had your fanny pack deemed illegal? Join me as I research, rest and stand ready.

Honestly, I’m not interested in truck driving, but I guess I can write meat orders if that’s truly where God wants me. 

#grassfed

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Optimists and Their Kryptonite: Why Blowing Sunshine Doesn’t Always Work

Just because I normally see my kombucha bottle as half full doesn’t mean I don’t get sad when it’s empty.  A large portion of optimists I know tend to be funny, super friendly, or both. One friend said she’s the funniest on social media when she’s depressed or going through muck.  Another posts closeup pics… Continue Reading

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Goin’ to the Marketplace to OfferUp Stuff: Tips for Selling Good Junk Online

“How much for this?” “Ten dollars. It’s real silver.” “Will you take two?” Garage sale offers like this always made me want to blurt, “Two what? Two goats? Two crates of eggs? Two dozen avocados? No. I said ten. Not ten shillings, not ten pesos, ten dollars.” “How about five?” And ‘round and ‘round we’d… Continue Reading

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Fun Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Besides the fact that Mother’s Day is definitely not canceled this year, most moms I know need a little boost. From more cooking and creativity to more discipline and boredom busters, quarantine fatigue is real, y’all.  But just because our great-grandmas might have wanted rose perfume and lace aprons doesn’t mean we do. Fun gifts… Continue Reading

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Mexican Manna: Do You Know What You Need?

In case you’re considering launching a cross-cultural ministry, organic enterprise or local venture, here are two things I wish someone would have told me before our family took off for the great unknown.  Buckle up—they’re both extremely complex and ridiculously basic: Humans will disappoint you.God will provide for you. On some level, I already knew… Continue Reading

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Boring Testimonies: No Drama Necessary

My second boyfriend acted like a goody-two-shoes, but mostly wasn’t. My third boyfriend had a long scar on his face. I never asked why. My fifth boyfriend lived in a group home and wasn’t that into… talking.  My sixth got kicked out of school, but I don’t remember why. My husband tells stories of his… Continue Reading

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Dear Gray Hairs: Stop Yer Moanin’

Nothin’ like receiving a personalized letter from my healthcare provider to make me feel cared for.  And geriatric.  Dear Carrie,The recent x-ray of your neck shows degenerative disease. Arthritis, also called osteoarthritis, is a breakdown of the cartilage that cushions your joints. How can you care for yourself at home? Use a cane, crutch, walker, or… Continue Reading

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Favorite Books & Music of 2019

Don’t you just love a good list that you don’t have to come up with yourself? I’ve compiled my favorites for ya, fat-free and full of flavor, so all you have to do is click the pics and join me. Great books are the gifts that keep on giving through this new month, year and… Continue Reading

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It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Chaos: 4 Ways I Fight the Christmas Crazy

If you’re anything like me, you would rather not be found sitting in a corner on Christmas morning, sucking on candy cane plastic and rocking to the beat of Santa Baby. I know if I run at the normal American pace though, I’ll be up wrapping gifts till three in the morning and sliding into… Continue Reading

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Thanksgiving Hacks to Keep You Grateful. And Sane.

Just like these funky pumpkins I found in Santa Cruz, I’ve got some funky goodies for ya. No boring twine and brine ideas here. I dug deeper, scoured the sites and compiled a list to make your turkey day a tad easier. Some of these items I own, some I’m buying, and some I’m loving from… Continue Reading

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