Time Flies When You’re Having…

Time ClockTime sure does fly when you’re not looking.

When my boys were little and I worked outside of the house, I used to believe that the days and weeks and years passed by quickly because I was so very busy.

I didn’t know any better.

When my boys were teenagers and I continued to work outside of the home, I believed that the days and hours and minutes would slow down once I was no longer helping with homework and playing chauffeur and working so many gosh-darn overtime hours.

I still didn’t know any better.

The year my mom turned 65, I said, “Mom, time is whooshing past. I can’t wait till the boys grow up and life slows back down.”

My mother looked at me with wisdom in her eyes. “If you think it’s fast now, just wait till you’re my age.”

I didn’t believe her.

And yet, now that my boys are grown up and on their own, now that I’ve stepped out of the daily commute rat race and work from home, now that it feels like I’m not rushing here and there 24/7, time continues to pick up pace.

Beautiful SunsetI’ve talked to my boys and they concur. Those childhood and teenage years crawled past with all of the urgency of a snail crossing the road. But we all agree that the moment we turned the corner into adulthood, time shifted into overdrive.

How can that be? Why does it sometimes seem that the hours in a single day drag on endlessly, yet the passage of time from one Christmas to another happens in the blink of an eye? And if time speeds by faster each year, what will it be like at 95 or 100?

Do you know of a way to slow down time? Or is the ever increasing passage of time all hogwash and you recommend I get my head examined?

Thanks for stopping by to talk to me today!

(Time clock photo credit. Beautiful sunset photo credit.)

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

 

 

The Emotional Payoff Of Being A Good Daughter

I love to read emotionally charged stories, with characters who are shredded, then put back together. But I also love to laugh, so over time my own writing has become a blend of these two elements…just like in real life.

Pink flowerOn the Personal Transformation site, the blog post author discusses the importance of having a happy emotional payoff. If you’re interested, check out the post. It’s short. I’ll wait…

Oh good, you’re back.

On Monday, my sister and I took our mom to the knee doctor, and Mom is now on the list for knee surgery. For two years now, we’ve been trying to get her on that list. The good news is, she’s finally on the list. The bad news is, she’s finally on the list.

Confused?

Mom wants the operation, badly. She’s super active, and the knee not only causes her pain, it slows her down. And truthfully, the slowing down part is probably harder on her than the pain.

I want to be a good daughter. In fact, I get a huge emotional payoff when I’ve done something that makes Mom happy. But a very large part of me is afraid for this 98 pound, 85 year old woman. She’s feistier than I am, may even be physically stronger than me (although I think her strength is driven by the sheer determination to win at all costs), and the operation will allow her to be independent far longer than she would be if she didn’t get it.

But to me, she’s weak and old and frail and precious, and I struggle between being the good daughter (supporting her decision to have the operation) or being the bad daughter (convincing her the operation is a baaaaaddddd idea, especially at her age).

Hmmm, now where’s the humor in all this?

Well, you have to know my mom. She is one of the most determined, hard-headed women I know. Which means that once the operation is over, she’ll be pushing to get back to her “normal” self.

But her shoes are atrocious. She inherited them from my dad or her sister or anyone else who has said, “Dora, do you have a use for these? I’m throwing them out…” We can’t get her to wear proper footwear. So I’ve told her that while she’s in the hospital, I’m sending in reinforcements to collect and throw out all of her shoes. She doesn’t believe me, but in July, I’m fully expecting to be shunted to the bad daughter doghouse.

Then there’s the vegetable garden. I’ve warned her that if she plants before she goes into the hospital, it’ll be gone when she gets out, because no way can she resist the urge to play in her garden (and by play, I mean work). Again, she doesn’t believe me, but I’ve decided that part of the emotional payoff of being a good daughter is protecting my mom from her own stubbornness, and protecting her will give me a hugely happy emotional payoff.

And seriously, I’m not really afraid of the bad daughter doghouse. After all, I’m her daughter. Isn’t there a rule that she has to love me, no matter what?

So what are your favorite emotional payoffs in real life or in fiction?

Originally published at Women Unplugged.

Wishing You & Yours A Merry!

Wishing You & Yours A Merry!

For the last two weeks, I’ve been in holiday prep mode, decorating the house and baking my family’s favorite holiday treats. Let’s face it, the rest of the 364 days of the year, the only thing they get is banana loaf, so at this time of year, I tend to go a wee bit overboard.

My mother, like many of my heroines’ mothers, has stepped in to ensure the holiday feast is a success. Two weeks ago, she deemed my holiday turkey wasn’t big enough or fresh enough (okay, I confess, mine has been in the bottom of the freezer since last spring, so she’s probably right). Last week, she appeared at the door with a lovely 20 pound turkey that right this minute is roasting in the oven. (Thanks, Mom…on Boxing Day, I’ll drop off the turkey bones so you can make your delicious turkey soup!)

The family will arrive in a few hours. By then, we’ll have the table set and the rest of the food prepared. And in far less time than it takes to prepare the meal, we’ll all be stuffed and ready for a nap. 🙂

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your support this year. Whether you invested your precious time to read one (or all!) of my books, left a much coveted review on Amazon, Goodreads, or one of the other online retailers, or joined me for a special event like the recent Naughty & Nice Blog Hop, your support means everything.

Whenever I’m faced with a stubborn character or plot, I think of you, my dear readers. Your comments and emails mean so much to me, so please keep them coming.

From my house to yours, I wish each of you a happy and safe holiday season. May 2014 bring you good health and joy.

Coming February 2014, The Marriage Pact,
a Cranberry Cove romantic comedy.

Caught between a wedding and a hard body…

Stay tuned for more details in January 2014!

Winter Wonderland

Last week, our snow melted. I know, weird, huh?

For anyone familiar with winter on the Canadian prairies, you know that once the snow arrives, the cold white flakes stick around till the following spring…which if we’re lucky occurs in late March. And if we’re not so fortunate, it might stick around till late May or early June.

Anyway, back to last week…

First snowfall of 2013

First snowfall of 2013

For two days, the snow melted and it felt like spring. And let me tell you, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—better than being able to walk outside without a toque, mitts, heavy winter coat, and boots.

I spent those two days with a snow shovel in my hands, chipping the ice off the driveway, and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my head. And then the clouds moved back in and it began to snow again.

Now we have another foot or more of the white stuff.

Sure, it’s pretty, especially with the glow of Christmas lights shining through a dusting of newly fallen snow. Or on a frosty, sunny morning when we wake to trees covered in hoar frost and the entire landscape glitters.

But today, as I’m digging out from the latest snowfall, the temperature is dropping, the wind is blowing, and my back is sore. And it somehow feels more like a life sentence than it does a beautiful wonder of nature.

In my next life, I’m putting in a request for Hawaiian parents. 🙂

Before I go, I’d like to wish everyone an early happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be on a little vacation, someplace where there is no snow or snow shovels or toques or mitts. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Do you get snow in your part of the world? What’s your favorite thing about the winter season? And for those of you who have never experienced the beauty of a winter wonderland, if you were to wake up to a fresh snowfall, what’s the first thing you would do?

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

Duck Tales Part II

Mama DuckThis part of my story begins a few days after my original The Ducklings Are Coming post. If you haven’t read that post yet, go do so now. I’ll wait.

♫ ♬ ♪♬ ♫

Oh, you’re back. I was just humming a tune. You probably noticed my musical talents are … shall we say … ear-numbing? 🙂

A few days after I wrote The Ducklings Are Coming post, we heard our son shout for assistance. As we raced outside, he told us that the neighborhood tomcat had disappeared under the front deck dragging Mama Duck by the neck.

The men flew into action. My husband raced for one end of the deck while our son headed for the other end. The pounding of our feet against the floorboards and the sound of our loud voices must have frightened the tomcat into releasing Mama Duck because a few seconds later, the tomcat sprang out from one side of the deck and Mama Duck came flapping out the other end.

My husband raced after the tomcat, while poor Mama Duck took one look at the remaining humans and took flight in the opposite direction.

We took a quick peek through the branches of the juniper at the eggs. There was blood on them, so we knew Mama Duck had been hurt, but the eggs looked intact and unbroken. Provided Mama Duck came back, the ducklits still had a chance.

A while later, DH reappeared. He’d chased the tomcat clear across the yard and halfway across the farmer’s field. But now that the tomcat knew where the nest was, we knew he’d be back.

So we waited, keeping watch for Mama Duck, the return of the tomcat, or for the crows and magpies to discover and destroy the vulnerable eggs. To add to our worries, the temperature dipped to near freezing.

Mama DuckThe next day, we saw Mama Duck down by the pond. She was alive but limping. By mid-afternoon, we saw her walk from the pond toward the house to check on her eggs. If you look really close at the picture on the right, you can see her walking across the lawn.

My story has a bittersweet ending. While the duck eggs didn’t make it, we’re happy to say that Mama Duck recovered from her injuries. For the next week, she recuperated down by the pond, the Mallard duck in attendance. She didn’t fly, but instead walked everywhere. From our viewpoint near the house, it looked like she was searching for a new place to nest.

At first we mourned the loss of the duck eggs, but when we saw the tomcat once again sneaking up on the juniper, we knew the loss of the eggs had been a blessing in disguise. At least Mama Duck was safe … or as safe as Mother Nature would allow.

We currently have another family of ducklings visiting our pond. They appear late in the evening, just before sunset, and spend the night on the duck deck which floats in the middle of the pond.

And we’re keeping an eye out for our Mama Duck with hopes that she will appear in a few weeks with a new batch of ducklits. If  not this year, then maybe the next.

And if you’re looking for something to read, head on over to the Summer Book Crush site where, from June 26th to June 28th, you’ll find “swoon worthy reads to take to the beach” for only $.99.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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