Dogs, Life, Writing

A Quick Few Words

Not feeling too good this morning.  Dinner did not agree with me.  But I still need to write this, even if it is short.  It is a brisk -12F here.  The sad part is it was colder last night.  I hope the animals around here were ok.  The birds are all up and chirping so they are good.  I don’t if any animals took shelter in the unfinished garage or not.

I am waiting on my editor to call about my article.  I think once I talk to her I will curl up with the dogs and a book.  Maybe get some more sleep.  I hope I feel better tomorrow.  I have a meeting I am covering at 10am.  My husband blew the brake line on his truck Friday so anything I have to do I need to make sure I am back before he leaves for work so he can take my car.  Mom has offered to drive me to interviews if needed.

Ok.  This is all I can muster today.  I will see everyone tomorrow!  Cheers!


Dogs, Emotions, Learning, Life, Thinking, Writing

Feeling Frozen

I have to say I didn’t miss the anxiety attacks while I was job hunting.  I am getting some nibbles about hiring me and my anxiety kicks in big time if I let myself think about it.  I hate that.  Can’t enjoy a new adventure.  I just freak out.

Today is the last day of my guitar class.  I have learned things but I haven’t… if that makes sense.  I can play random chords and notes but we never even learned a song.  If we learned a song I’d feel some level of accomplishment.  I’d have something to show all of a piece instead of piecemeal.

Geez I guess I’m crabby today.  So much change is happening and I’m not ready for it.  It is a nasty cold out.  Our “high” is supposed to be 1 degree Fahrenheit, low -20.  I don’t even know if my car will start in the morning!  If push comes to shove I think I can accomplish everything over the phone.  Assuming they don’t cut it off.

I hate feeling lost.  I checked and we are at a brisk -4 degrees Fahrenheit right now.  We’ve got faucets dripping so pipes don’t freeze.  The dogs were in and out to go potty this morning.  It is cold enough that I believe we will use the coats Gramma made.  I wish we had boots for them.  Today has been a lot of three paws walks through the yard from frozen paws.

I guess I ought to get off of here and get my article handed in.  Then I will hear tomorrow morning if any changes need to be made.  Stay warm my friends!


Dogs, family, Life

My World Through Bleary Eyes (But the Sun Is Out)

This morning I am tapped out. I have no idea what to write.  It isn’t helping that my laptop is going all goofy on me.  I type, nothing shows and then all at once all the letters show up, hopefully in the right order.  We slept in today since Chris has the day off.  But we also stayed up a lot later.

I got a lot done by the time Chris go up yesterday morning so I let myself slack a bit the rest of the day.  I wrote my article, practiced my guitar, made some phone calls, did laundry and dishes.  The kids and I played a lot too.  They even got their nails trimmed.  Not a lot but some.  Moose is a nut.  I trim Essie’s nails first because she will let me get all her nails with minimal fussing.  She gets her treat.  Moose is all but pushing her out of the way to get his trimmed to get that treat.  Normally we can’t get him to sit still to trim his nails.  Even if my husband tries to hold him he turns to liquid and oozes out of his arms.  But yesterday he sat very nicely and let me have a paw.  So I compromised and got some of his longer nails while he was willing.  He was so proud of himself and wanted that treat!  Then Stella wanted in on the action.  She’d never gotten her nails trimmed here.  So I was able to take care of everyone (Dante really didn’t need it but I trimmed a nail so Moose saw that everyone had to do it to get a treat) and that set a good mood for everyone for the day.  Everyone promptly went outside for zoomies.

I am very proud of my kids.  With all the changes lately they have been rockstars.  The mornings I had to leave the house they stayed quiet as I asked them too and they have just been so adaptable with everything.  Having a bigger yard to run in has made a huge difference.  More to explore and fertilize.  I have gotten down as much of the old fencing as I could but what is left has frozen to the ground so it will have to wait until Spring.  That will be the hard part when I finally get back to work (that and leaving the kids).  once Spring gets here there is so much that needs to be done in the front and backyard.  The front yard will be torn up from all the vehicles parking there.  At any rate I am really looking forward to all the work and outside time this will take.

I will leave you with a few pictures of the kids.  Cheers!


family, Life

Long Distance Caring

I was exhausted by the time bed rolled around last night.  I went to the event for the article I am writing but by the time I had gotten home Dad had texted me in quite a state.  Very emotional, everything was going wrong, too much to do, couldn’t find paperwork and phone numbers needed.  Four hours later, between his husband and I we got things back on track.

It can be hard trying to care for someone long distance.  Dad used to live down in Detroit so I had a 5 hour drive.  But I could get there.  Now he lives in Montreal so it is impossible for me to get up there to see him.  Every time I try to get a trip together something happens and I can’t go.  So I do my counseling via FaceTime, Skype, email or texting.

What do you do for a loved one you cannot physically be there for?  What has helped you (and them) feel the love and support over the distance?

The sad thing is one gets so used to doing it remotely that even those living closer to you that you can make your way to you don’t.  Not because you don’t care but because doing it remotely is what you do.  And life helps by giving money issues and timing issues so that you can’t travel and be there.

But I do my best to be there as much as I can.  Sometimes I have things going on that no one else knows about.  There are times that I cannot handle my problems and those of others.  So I will step away and be silent.

Now I think I will get a fresh cup of coffee and curl up with a book for a bit.  With any luck I will fall back asleep.  Cheers!

Creativity, Emotions, family, Learning, Life, Thinking, Writing

My Paper Trail or How Words Built Me Up

They were impressed enough at my interview yesterday that I am attending a seminar and writing an article on it for the paper.  This is very exciting and I am looking forward to showing them what I can do.  The last paper I wrote for was the college paper.  I dug out a few issues and tried to remember the articles.  I remember a few of them.  My other publications I remember better, mostly my book reviews, times I wrote to my favorite magazines and they published my letter and my one big article in the Northern Express (this is a Traverse City paper that is for locals and tourists alike on what to do locally as well as what is going on here and in the world).

I’m proud of my work.  I do my best to keep copies of everything.  And what I don’t have Mom does.  I think the first time I was published was in the parish paper at school.  I was in 2nd grade.  Sister Katherine had us write an essay on something.  Not only did she read it out loud to the class (funny thing is I thought it was pretty good, then I slowly realized that I recognized the words) but she said she submitted it to the parish paper so everyone could read it.

I think one of my proudest moments was when I handed in a story that I’d written on the back of the bus on the way into school that morning.  Worst case of procrastination I ever had.  The story was due that day.  We were supposed to have three drafts (two at the very least) and the final draft was supposed to be pristine.  Mine was none of those things.  But my teacher not only read my story a loud to the class (and again I didn’t recognize my own work… why is that?) but I got an A+ with a wonderful little paragraph praising my work and recommending that I watch Mystery! on PBS (this was a staple for Mom, Grams and I to watch whenever we could before my teacher’s suggestion).  I still have that story in my files.

Two hours before I need to leave.  I’d better make sure my micro recorder works and that I have all the stuff I will need to cover the event.  Have a great day!

Creativity, Emotions, Learning, Life, Writing

Off to the Paper I Go

It is a bitterly cold morning here.  I am clock watching as I need to make a phone call around 9am to my editor to set up a time to meet.  Yes indeed my friends!  You heard correctly!  I have an editor!  I did a blind call yesterday about a writing job advertised in the local paper.  After talking to the editor for a few minutes she has given me the job!

It is a pretty small piece and probably will be a bit boring but that is ok.  I will be working for a newspaper.  My official duties will be to attend and record various local government events for the paper.  My first gig is with the Planning Commission on the 22nd at 10am.  Before then I need to set up a time to meet and talk to the editor face to face.  She sounds like a nice person, overworked but nice.  She was impressed when I told her that I had worked for the college paper.  I think that is what tipped the scales in my favor.

I am very excited to start this project.  I have all my tools of the trade.  Numerous pens, small pads of paper and my microcassette recorder.  I just need to charge a few sets of batteries for my microcassette recorder so I have extras if they run low during the meeting.  I think she was impressed that I did not poo poo the fact that the meeting would be boring.  I told her that I wanted to be a reporter and I knew I had to start somewhere.  (Or am I supposed to say journalist?  Is reporter too old fashioned?)

I also need to pull together a few clips from past articles I’ve written.  She did not ask for these but as a professional courtesy it is the right thing to do.  She is pretty much hiring me sight unseen.  Hopefully the roads won’t be too bad if she wants to meet today.  The plow trucks have been out doing their things off and on for a few hours.  I pulled together a bunch of outfits to wear as well as makeup to put on last night.  I honestly don’t know what to wear.  It is a local paper so I’m sure they are pretty casual (it sounds like they do most of the work themselves, right down to distribution) but I want to make a good first impression so no jeans.  But I don’t want to come across as cocky or overdress sooooo I’m not sure.  I pulled a bunch of things together.  I’ll do a fashion show for the dogs and see what to wear.

I’ll have more news tomorrow no doubt.  I will stop here before this post gets too big.  Cheers!

Creativity, Emotions, Learning, Life, Thinking, Writing

Walking the Beach Looking for Shells

All the dogs but one are nothing but a pile of blankets this morning.  Dante is stretched out on the floor at my feet.  Yesterday was a writing and reading day.  I watched one episode of Inspector Lewis and some Ralphie May with Chris.  The rest of the time I was either reading or writing.  I’m pretty proud of that.  Today… today I’m not sure what I’ll accomplish.  I need to watch videos for my classes, practice guitar and make puppy treats.  Those were on my list yesterday but got bumped to today.

I find myself feeling rather empty.  It seems to just keep getting colder out.  The snow never seems to go away (and stay away).  It has been a few days since we’ve had any sunshine.  No work on the garage since before Christmas.  It is hard to stay positive some times.

I turn more and more to books to try to escape.  I play with the kids.  I clean the house (or atleast  keep chores caught up).  I stare into space.

I miss the sound of the ocean.  I miss the sun.  I miss being warm.  I miss being outside.  All we seem to want to do is sleep.  Wake us when Spring gets here!

I’m trying to find myself.  Some days I do.  Some days I’m pretty sure the crazy person should just be locked up.  It’s a lot like walking along the beach looking for shells.  Some are broken, some are whole, some have beautiful colors, some are dull from being rubbed continually with the sand, some are simple shapes, some are complex swirls and whorls built on one another, some are new, some are old.  Rather reminds me of the small book Mom got me years ago by Anne Marrow Lindbergh Gift From the Sea.  Which in turn reminds me of Joan Anderson’s A Year By the Sea.  I may pull both these out and reread them.  It has been quite a while since I read either one, even though they hold a place of love in the bookcase beside the bed.

Maybe yesterday was the beginning of inner exploration.  Maybe that is what this week is meant to be.  I will look along my beach then.  I will look for my shells, past and present, broken and whole.  Maybe I can hear the sea.

Books, Creativity, Emotions, Life, Thinking, Writing

Creating Me

This morning is a struggle.  I am not a morning person so the fact that it is still dark helps.  Morning is best for me to get my creative stuff done in private and quietly.  With Chris working nights I just get up at 7am with the dogs, fed them and let them out then I settle in front of the laptop for a few hours to get my writing done.

As I try to focus and type I fight not to pick up the phone to add a phone number from a friend to my contacts list that I forgot to do last night.  Then there are emails to be scanned.  Then …..  You get the point.  This is a morning that I have hope to do some  decent writing but my mind is just spinning its wheels.  I take another swig of coffee and stare at the screen and keyboard alternately.

Reading Natalie Goldberg’s The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Lifer with Language has helped me a lot.  It was one of those books you pick up and read a little bit then you’d put it down and sort of forget you had it but find it again and start reading it from the beginning because it had been long enough that you’d forgotten what you had already read.  But I’m glad a found it again because it helped a lot.  Her books usually do.  I was lucky enough to meet her years ago when she came to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a book signing.  Mom got me her first book, Writing Down the Bones when I first started getting serious about writing.  That was many years ago.

I find myself asking what kind of writing do I want to do?  Just blogging?  Book reviews?  Articles?  Stories?  Novels?  I have written in all these forms but I cannot find one that I am completely happy with.  I still feel something missing.  So I paw through my multitude of books on writing and creativity to see if anything is what I need right now.  I feel on the cusp of something.  Hopefully something wonderful.

Emotions, Learning, Life, Thinking

Cutting the Bad to Make Way For the Good

I will be positive.  I will be positive.  I will be positive.  My machine is going wonky on me today.  It won’t type even though I have pushed keys, will change sites randomly while I’m reading, that sort of thing.  I did a big thing (for me) yesterday.  I cut my hair in front.  I have bangs again.  I’m sure my husband will be thrilled.  I swore I’d never do it again but the ends were fried almost all the way up so I made a big gulp and cut to the healthy hair.  Thus bangs.  I almost did the rest but I chickened out.  Bangs are enough right now.  And it’s too cold for short hair.  I had to go out to get Essie’s frisbee because she took it all the way to the back of the yard and her paws were too frozen to go get it to come in.  (I make them come in with the toy they took out.  No toy you don’t come in until you go get it.)

I’m wondering if cutting my hair was such a good idea.  I keep my hair long.   My one feminine vanity.  I prefer all the same length because then I can just pull it all back.  Easier under my motorcycle helmet too.  Bangs can be itchy and manage to tickle my forehead annoyingly.  But things need to start changing with me.  I need to start stepping out of my comfort zone.  I’m hoping doing this now will help me move forward for riding season.  Baby steps.  Little bits of courage moving forward.

If I can change my hair drastically then I can do that in other aspects of my life.  The interesting thing about hair is that you cannot go back once you cut it.  I need more of that.  I need more choices that I cannot go back on, only forward.  I WILL move forward.  No more looking in the rear view mirror.  The past isn’t changing.  Pausing to remember the past is one thing.  But spending too much time looking at what was and missing what you had (or thought you had) needs to stop.  If you aren’t learning from it don’t focus on it.

Move forward.  I can do this. So can you.

Emotions, family, Friends, Life, Thinking

Missing: Me

I am exhausted so I’m not sure how well this will go.  The dream I remember from just before I woke up I had to go back into a store and get my stuff out of a locker.  The one thing missing was my purse.  Anyone who knows me knows that I hate purses and do not carry them unless I absolutely have to.  But I think the meaning for me was I lost my identity, who I am.  I remember needing my id for the evening’s festivities.  I am losing me.

So where is this elusive being going?  Or hiding?  I have a feeling that I am slowly uncovering her but something happens and I fall back into my old ways and cover her up again.  Fortunately the dirt around her is loose so even if I cover her back up I have a good chance of uncovering her at one point.  I don’t think I have managed to completely rebury her with no hope of escape.

To be honest I think this is why I am so bad at staying in touch with family and friends.  I am trying to find me and make a fresh start.  So I push everyone away from my past.  Not the right thing to do but there it is.  It just seems to be built in.  I get enough of my own issues so I will drift away from others and their problems.  I am trying to fix myself (or find myself…?).

That is my insight for the day.  I am falling asleep as I try to type this.  I may add more later or just wait until tomorrow.  Cheers!

agriculture backyard close up day
Photo by Lukas on