Caught In Transition: Scattered and Splattered

I’m usually a mess. Scattered and splattered and easily brought down. I used to blame it on my creative nature. After all, I’m an artist. I wholeheartedly embrace the insanity gene I inherited from some long-dead ancestor. I mean, how else can I account for those voices whispering in my head?

But I’m in transition now, working to separate THOSE voices from MY voices.

Scattered & SplatteredIf I allow it, MY voices loudly berate me because the dust bunnies are on the rampage and the fridge is empty…again. And listen, the roads will be icy tomorrow and I might have to leave my house and navigate ice covered streets better made for skates. And gosh, wouldn’t it be fun to head somewhere warm—sans computer—and lie on a beach and listen to the waves crash against the shoreline? Maybe spend the winter chilling with a bottle of sunblock in my hand instead of a snow shovel?

However, with a deadline fast approaching, my life and my thoughts must revolve around the keyboard, and the voices that whisper their story in my ear. So when MY loud voice intrudes, and I get caught up in thoughts of tasks undone, past regrets, and unlikely-to-ever-occur fears, I take a deep breath, release it, and remember…all that exists is this moment, this day…and I unsplatter and get back to the business of completing this book.

Scattered & SplatteredIt doesn’t matter our age, whether we work inside or outside the home, whether we have children or not, whether those children are at the diaper stage, or full grown and on their own.

Life is too short to focus on past regrets or future fears. There’s only enough time today for…well, the moments that make up today.

So tell me…do you celebrate each moment as it happens? Or do the voices in your head demand you spend time on past regrets and future fears and everything in-between? Please tell me in the comments below what you plan to do in the moments after you leave this page. And then tell me whether or not you’ll intentionally and deliberately block out the disruptive voices so you can immerse yourself in the joy of each moment.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas-Tree-2014The Christmas tree is up, the house decorated with Santas, and last weekend I baked till I dropped. 🙂

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost at the end of another year. And now, after all of the mini family emergencies that seemed to consume 2014, I’m excited for 2015.

The current WIP is almost done. Yes, this time for real! The oldest son gave me a deadline of December 23…or he threatened to take away my much loved MacBook Air for an entire month. Gosh, without my computer I might have to resort to clearing the dust bunnies out of the house!

Needless to say, I’ve been madly typing away on the book, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ll have the ALMOST final draft done by the 23rd…although he says we’ll discuss the consequences of not quite meeting the deadline. When he comes home on the 25th, I may have to pad lock the notebook to my ankle.

Christmas-Santa-2014Hey, it’s all okay and I’m looking forward to starting a new story by the end of January. You see, the other night after supper, I sat down to choose my Word-of-the-Year (something I learned from my amazing life coach, Christine Kane) and PROLIFIC is 2015’s word. One of the questions on the Word-of-the-Year worksheet requires me to list 10 things that this word will help me create or manifest or attract. And at the top of my list was “I will have created strategies to stimulate ideas”.

And boom-bang, the next morning I woke up with an amazing story idea…or at least the opening chapter, which is usually what my Muses give me to work with, right before they dump me and tell me to go figure out the rest of the book by myself. 🙂

So until 2015, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. Happy reading!

How I Lost 10 Pounds On My Summer Vacation & A New Cookbook

I’m back and so glad to be here. It’s been an incredibly busy summer that started out with us packing and moving the in-laws from their apartment into a senior’s facility. They didn’t need to do much downsizing because the spaces were comparable in size, but their move inspired me to continue to clean out the accumulation of “stuff” that one collects over the years.

Fragile-packing-boxAs we packed—and packed and packed—I kept thinking that I don’t want to put my boys through this. Better to get stuff sorted and recycled and discarded BEFORE it’s time to downsize.

There’s also the fact that the older we get, the harder it is to make changes in our life. At 95 and 86, my in-laws were resistant to the move. They didn’t want to leave their apartment. They didn’t want to part with anything. My father-in-law kept packing and unpacking and repacking the same box, until we’d finally sneak it out of his room when his back was turned, tape it closed, and move it to the pile of boxes so he’d be done with it.

Except when we’d arrive the next day, he’d have opened all of the boxes in his search to find the one we took from him.

On the day before the actual move, I was packing up the last of the kitchen items. When I thought I was finished, I double-checked each cupboard and drawer to ensure that I hadn’t missed anything. Then I opened up the dishwasher…and it was full of dirty dishes that my mother-in-law had been storing there until the move.

My DH says that the look on my face was priceless, a mixture of stunned disbelief and barely contained annoyance. Before a few choice words could escape, I sealed my mouth shut, unloaded the dishwasher, and proceeded to wash and dry all of the dishes so I could pack them away for the movers.

The packing ordeal lasted three whole weeks. Three weeks of hot, humid weather. Three weeks of sorting and packing, unpacking and repacking. Three weeks of digging deep and discovering more patience than both my DH and I thought we ever had.

Thankfully, it’s long over now and the in-laws are still adjusting to their new place. On the day my in-laws moved, my mother went in for her knee operation, which I’ll tell you all about next time. 🙂

Bake-Love-Write-coverDuring my in-laws move, I lost 10 pounds, a nice bonus considering I’d been trying to lose those 10 pounds for about 10 years. But now I’m sure I’ll gain those 10 pounds back this winter because of the BAKE, LOVE, WRITE Cookbook: 105 authors share their favorite recipes and advice on love and writing.

You should check it out. Maybe buy copies to give to your friends and relatives as gifts. My Banana Nut Bread is in the book along with a pile of mouth-watering recipes that will make you want to spend time in your kitchen. And then, of course, there’s the advice on love and writing that each author shared.

When was the last time you packed up and moved yourself or someone else? Did you love it as much as I did? Or are you looking forward to the next move?

(Special Note: This post first appeared on the Women Unplugged blog.)

When It Rains, It Pours

No, this has nothing to do with the weather, although this summer we’re getting our fair share of rain. No, this post is about family and life and how easily serenity erupts into chaos.

For the last few months, I’ve been peacefully writing away, working on 3 upcoming romantic comedies, until last month when our youngest son injured his back.

The farm where I grew up.

The farm where I grew up.

Shortly before the injury, he’d made an offer of purchase on a farm with a possession date of August 15, which gave him lots of time to pack and prepare. Then he hurt his back, and while chaos erupted with doctor appointments, etc, we knew he would need extra help moving, painting, repairs, etc. So we set aside the month of August to help him out.

The farm where I grew up (not the farm my son bought).

Then my in-laws received a call from a senior’s facility. My father-in-law is 95, my mother-in-law is 86, and since 2012 they have rejected 5 apartments in this facility. With a little extra prodding and pushing, they finally made the decision to move in. It’s a good place. They’ll have round-the-clock assistance if needed, and basically everything else like cooking and housekeeping and laundry is taken care of for them.

I think I want to move there too…

With a possession date of August 1, we started to pack up their household, thankful that they would be settled before our son’s move.

But then my mother got booked in for her knee operation. Date: August 7th. Okay, with good planning, we could have the in-laws moved and settled by then. Except my mother-in-law kept procrastinating about calling the movers. I guess she thought that if she ignored it long enough, they wouldn’t have to move.

Needless to say, by the time I said that I would call the movers, the earliest date I could get was August 7th.

While my husband goes one way that day, I’ll be going another. In the meantime, we’re packing boxes for my in-laws, running my mom to last minute doctor, hair, etc appointments, and helping our son get ready for his move.

That old saying “when it rains, it pours” is true. So this may be my last post until mid-September. I’m just saying, if I’m missing in action, you’ll know where I am.

Now tell me, what fun things do you have planned for your summer holiday/vacation? Please share. I want to hear all about the fun things you all are doing! 🙂

Originally published at Women Unplugged.

 

He Said, She Said: The Temperature Wars

Have you ever had a disagreement with your significant other over the temperature in the house? Whether you’re female or male, the answer is probably yes.

He Said, She Said

For years, my husband has been after me to install air-conditioning in the house. For years, I’ve resisted because I love to open the windows in the summer and let the natural breeze cool the house.

But last month, I finally gave in, and we now have a monstrosity of a unit outside our back door. And that’s when the temperature wars began…

He Said: (comes home from work, sweaty and hot) “It’s roasting in here. Why isn’t the air-conditioning on?”

She Said: (wearing t-shirt and sweats, and after a day inside, non-sweaty and cool) “It is. Give it a little while and you’ll adjust.”

He Said: (checking the temperature on the thermostat) “What’s the point of having air-conditioning if you’re going to keep it this hot? What a waste of money.”

She Said: (trying to be understanding) “If it’s set any lower, it’s too cold downstairs.”

He Said: “The temperature down there is only 20C (68F). How can that be too cold?”

She Said: (just the tiniest annoyed) “Trust me, it is.”

Ten minutes later, there’s a significant temperature change in the house. Upon checking the thermostat, she discovers the temperature has been lowered.

She Said: (pulling on a sweatshirt) “22 (71F) is too cold.”

He Said: “How can it be too cold? In the winter 22 is warm.”

air-conditioner

One hour later, she’s sitting in the downstairs family room reading, covered with a blanket. It’s so cold, she has to get a tissue because her nose is running. She heads upstairs to the dining room where he’s playing Solitaire on his PC…

She Said: (grumpy as all get out) “It’s freezing down there. It’s freezing up here, too. The air-conditioner has been running for a solid hour without stopping.”

He Said: (bundled up in a warm sweater) “How do you know? You can’t hear it inside the house.”

She Said: (seething) “The furnace room is right across from me. I can hear it run and it’s not clicking off.”

He Said: “Not possible.”

She Said: (stomping away, heading back downstairs to the good book she’s reading) “I’m not stupid, you know. Go sit in the family room for a while and you’ll see what I mean. It’s so cold, I’m ready to haul out my winter jacket.”

He Said: (actually, he just ignores her, which pisses her off to no end, and makes her regret installing the stupid air-conditioner)

Finally, she goes outside to warm up, but because it’s still hot enough to fry eggs on the pavement, she’s soon all sweaty. She gives up and heads inside, grabs a second blanket and hauls it downstairs…

Two hours later, he comes down to the family room…

He Said: (hands in pockets, looking smug and righteously right) “It’s nice down here.”

Then he goes back upstairs.

At bedtime, the air-conditioner gets turned off. The windows upstairs stay closed because, you know, you’re not supposed to open the windows when you have air-conditioning.

The residual heat from the day is trapped inside the house and the temperature in the bedroom climbs. Despite the fan above the bed, it keeps getting hotter, until she finally heads outside to cool off…or maybe just cool down.

She Said: “Stupid air-conditioner. Stupid men. One of them has to go.”

Do you have He Said, She Said moments in your household, too? If so, I’d love to hear about them!

Originally published at Women Unplugged.

 

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