Animals, anxiety, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, Exercise, family, Friends, Gardening, Guitar, Learning, Life, Love, Motorcycles, Nature, Photography, Reading, retail, Riding, Thinking, Writing

Finding a Balance. Finding Me.

Another morning… We have company so I am overly self-conscious about how much noise I am making. I guess it is an excuse to write and read. I don’t really feel like doing either. I slept in since I don’t have to be to work until noon. I feel like I should’ve gotten up at my normal time. But what would it have accomplished? I would still get the same amount done and make the same comment that I should’ve gotten up earlier.

I am struggling to find a balance of some kind. There are things that I want to do/start but don’t. Yoga is a good example. My mind wonders when I am going to squeeze it in on workdays. There is my writing. This is the only consistent writing I am doing right now. My journaling is sporadic, and my novel has stalled out. My gardens… I am doing pretty well on all things considered. But I still have to get those raised gardens done and my rock garden cleaned out. And the backyard mowed. Stella still has no harness and our walks have become fewer and fewer. My motorcycle needs to be ridden. I need to keep pushing with my guitar. There is keeping in contact with friends and family (I suck at it, but I try).

I bust tail at work and do my best to get things done around the house and for us when I am home. It just feels like there is so much! I have thought about a schedule like Mondays I do this and Tuesdays that. But with my schedule I have to fit things in when I have time. So I don’t know what to do.

I also find myself saying that I will do things for others and then drop the ball. I have the best intentions but I either don’t have the time or… don’t have the time it seems. I can’t pare back anymore. Next week is my last week off from the paper. It will be good to be back. If they still want me. We’ll see. I will shoot out an email once I post this. I should wrap this up. No rain is in the forecast so I may put my hammock swing back up. And Stella needs a walk. Even if it is just on our property.

Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, anxiety, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Friends, Gardening, Holiday, Learning, Life, Love, Motorcycles, Nature, Photography, retail, Riding, Thinking, Travel, Writing

Dreaming of….

My little Pitty is snuggled up on the love seat behind me. I can hear some birds twittering outside by the bird feeder. It is still grey out. I think Spring wants to come but isn’t sure. This week we are supposed to get around 50F (10C) so I am hoping that a lot of this snow goes. It has been awhile since I felt like this but I could really use a ride on my motorcycle right now. I need to blow the cobwebs out of my head. I need to be in the moment. And I miss my motorcycle.

My plants are already in Spring. My green pepper is getting bigger. I have the stem gently clipped to a stick so it doesn’t break. I am trying to keep an eye on it. My cucumbers…. OMG! They are going crazy! The little blossom I had last night has opened and I swear the rest of the plant has grown visibly. I will share photos of both. I am itching to get into my gardens this year. I do need to see if anyone has a small Roto Tiller that I can borrow. And I think what I will end up doing is surrounding the raised gardens with maybe a foot of chicken wire. I’ll see how that does with keeping critters out. If need be I will make a chicken wire top to pull over to keep everything safe.

Chris has been checking out the online info for our convention. Things are finally coming together. There is more info on the guests and events that will be happening. I plan on taking a little bit of time today to see what is what and make some plans. I am very excited to see what they are putting together! I think it will be an amazing time!

I have also discovered that my body is not fond of being at a register. I had a good day at work and I was very social. I did a lot more physical stuff than normal (hefting a LOT of heavy food stuffs, leaning and stretching, etc). I am hoping that things are just sore but I can feel a bit that is not just sore. So I will try to take things easy today.

This time change has really thrown me off. I was up an hour late (I’m not sure how long my internal clock will take to change over… normally I don’t need to set an alarm but I will be just for safety’s sake). I am shocked to look at the clock on my laptop and find that it is almost 11:30am. Not the 10:30am I expect to see. I feel like I have wasted my morning.

That being said I found a few new blogs to follow and I am making an effort to comment on your posts. I am excited to find new people to read. I think the two that I started following today are all about gardening. They shared some very good ideas that I hope to implement in my gardens once I get things going out there.

I guess I should get going so I can start things around here. I have the day off but I still have a meeting tonight. I may or may not take Stella. If I do I will bring the spare set of keys and lock her in the car while it is running so she stays warm. We’ll see. I may not. Anyway thanks for reading and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, anxiety, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Learning, Life, Love, Medical, Motorcycles, Nature, Photography, Reading, retail, Riding, Thinking, Travel, Writing

What’s This?! A Day Off?

As busy as I was at work yesterday I managed to get my April Fool’s article written for the paper. I am very proud of it too! One of our local “phenomenon” is the Dogman. The Dogman is essentially a weredog. It has been part of our local legends up here (and Wisconsin as well) for forever. I even put myself and Stella into it! So today’s writing goals are to get that piece put into the laptop and sent, write the article for last night’s meeting written and sent, get this written and also do a guest blog. And of course work on my novel.

Mom and Dad have been going through rough patches the past few days. I have felt guilty because I could not do anything more than messaged them. I am tempted to try to contact them both today but if I do that then I get nothing done that I need to and my day off is completely gone. I also have company coming later this evening so there is a time issue as well. Sunday is Mom’s birthday and I don’t know if she will even want to get together at this point. Dad and I talked via email a bit and he has organized his assisted suicide for when the time comes. (All this dropped yesterday. Mom’s day was going so bad she finally said she wasn’t going to message anymore that night. And she was having a BAD day yesterday.) So I need a bit of a break from that as well. I do get out early tomorrow (I am 6:30am til 2pm manager) so maybe I will plan to talk to each of them then. I will have to talk to Mom regardless to figure out what we are doing Sunday.

Stella has been going from sunny spot to sunny spot this morning. She is ready for Spring. I am too. It is supposed to get to 50F (10C) on Sunday so I am hoping for a lot of snow melt. All of it would be nice but I am trying to be practical. This year I am itching to get my motorcycle out. I didn’t ride last year due to my back problems. I am a bit angry with myself because I haven’t worked on the Pearl at all but honestly it has been too cold out. So once it warms up I will try pulling her apart, getting her cleaned up and running again. It is nice to have two motorcycles so I can still ride while I work on the other.

If I am going to get my guest post done I need to wrap this up. I did get some interesting photos yesterday. I thought someone was walking through our back 40 and I was going to have to go out and say something. It turns out there was someone (several as it turns out). Deer. I took a few photos with my long lens so we’ll see how they turned out. I hope you all have an amazing day! Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, anxiety, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Learning, Life, Love, Nature, Reading, retail, Riding, Tattoos, Thinking, Writing

The Serious Writer (?)

I find myself looking to push my writing in new directions this morning. To expand what I am doing here as well as off of here. I am bouncing back and forth between the two articles (I keep wanting to call them essays because that is really what they are) and I have come up with an idea for my April Fool’s article for the paper. I want to keep going on my novel but since I picked up the two essays that has been put on a back burner. I have a deadline for the essays but not the novel.

But there is a voice in my head cautioning me not to do too much. If I get myself stressed over it all then my brain will lock up and no amount of persuasion will get my muse to poke her head out. I am trying to do a little bit on everything each day. I really should just focus on one essay at a time but if I get stuck on one then I hop over to the other. Which is good but I worry that I should stick with the problem and try to work through it instead of bouncing to the other. Another question in my head is…. well let me give you the basic point of the essays. It is Women in Horror Month and I am writing articles on both Shirley Jackson and Anne Rice. The goal is to… explain why they are such influences on other writers. So my question is do I just focus on their writing or bring in their personal life? I have been bringing in their personal lives because it has had a direct effect on their writing. My problem is that I get so angry when I read about Shirley Jackson and what she went through her whole life. But the flip side is would her writing have been the same if she hadn’t been abused like that? She even asks that in one of her essays. Anne Rice overcame so much in her life that could very well have destroyed her. Shirley survived but at what cost? See? That is another problem I have. I am mixing the two in my head comparing them. I need to keep them separate. Another vote to write one then the other.

Aside from my writing Chris and I spent a nice day together. We went to brunch at Pearl’s (a Cajun restaurant in Elk Rapids) and then came home to chill for the afternoon. Stella got lots of playtime between the two of us. So it was a win/win. It would’ve been nice to be out of the house for longer but neither of us could think of any place we really wanted to go. Once things warm up it will be easier to get out of the house. We can just take the bikes out for a ride and be content to barbeque outside when we get home. Right now it is cold and there is snow and neither of us really wants to do anything. Which is why I am clinging to my writing. (Another concern is that I won’t have as much time once it warms up because there will be so much else to do. Yes I am over thinking everything this morning.)

I need to talk to both of my parents today. I also have to make sure I am in bed early. I am manager/gas tomorrow morning. I might wait and only talk to one or the other. Our conversations tend to be hours long. Next week is my busy week. I have two meetings, our anniversary and I am getting Essie’s tattoo. I am going to give my post it note of days off to my manager tomorrow. That way I am covered. I essentially need two full days off with all that. I will probably work both jobs two days.

I need to wrap this up as I have been going on for a bit. Thanks for helping me work through some stuff. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, anxiety, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Food, Learning, Life, Love, Medical, Motorcycles, Nature, Photography, retail, Riding, the World, Thinking, Travel, Writing

The Frozen Fly

Last night at work was long. Tonight will be even longer I fear. We keep trying to tell the owner that we don’t need to stay open as late as we do. No one comes in so he is wasting money. But we shall see. He saw things first hand a few weeks ago. Hopefully he doesn’t forget.

Things have gotten dark here since Essie’s passing. That we are in the doldrums of winter here does not help. It’s not like we could take the motorcycles out for the afternoon and just ride. There is nothing to do. Being stuck in the house just brings things in to focus more as to what has been lost. Many of our old haunts in Traverse City are closing. Many places require you to dress now (good luck when tourist season gets here and everyone is in shorts) or are carry out only. Or just too many people.

Depression this time of year is a hard thing to deal with. I know sometimes for me it turns to anger. I can’t just call into work and say, “Hey! Got a case of the blues today so I won’t be in. Oh and I need to use a sick day.” With minimal staff and even more minimal managers it won’t be happening. And I don’t know what to do to help others in the same boat. Especially when I am going through similar experiences at the same time. I have no life preserver to throw because I am holding tight to it myself.

So here I sit putting words on the screen. I don’t know what else to do. Time is passing so quickly. (Even though I complain of work going slow.) It has already been a week since Essie has been gone. Even photography has its limits. It’s the same cold snow day after day. It hasn’t moved. It’s the same naked trees. There are only so many ways to capture the same thing. But I try to put a unique spin on it. Sometimes.

There is a dead fly that has been frozen to the screen. I feel a bit like that fly at the moment. I need to free myself so that I can take care of loved ones as well as work. I guess I should wrap this up and get it posted. Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Animals, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Friends, Holiday, Learning, Life, Love, Music, Nature, Photography, Reading, retail, Riding, the World, Thinking, Writing

It Looks A Lot Like… Anything But Christmas

Merry Christmas to those that celebrate it! The morning is grey and dark but there is no snow! So we have grey, brown and green as our color palate for today. And I am ok with that. There are no plans other than just hanging out and doing whatever. Chris and I will exchange our books later today. Since he wants digital copies of everything I am just going to have him pick them out and I will buy them right on his device (purchasing digital copies for someone else on your device is a pain in the tush). The girls have a big box of treats to choose from although I don’t think that Essie will eat any. She’s not feeling good again. Stella got sick in the wee hours this morning. I about broke my neck trying to get across the bedroom and get her out the door (gem that she is she was already at the door trying not to get sick in the house). But Stella ate breakfast whereas Essie did not.

Work was either busy or dead no in-between. We closed at 6pm but I have no idea how late they ended up staying open. Sometimes it is difficult to stem the flow of the last-minute shoppers. I got some lovely chocolate treats from one of my regulars and then another yummy chocolate raspberry champagne truffle bar from a coworker. I will be snacking on those later today!

Since I have two days in a row off I will be able to make more of an effort toward various goals I have for myself. I will just divide up the tasks over both days instead of trying to cram it all into one day. Today I will go through my media on here and atleast clear out enough to get a few photos posted on today’s blog. I think I might also watch some of my educational DVDs. Oh yeah, we are going to pull out our acoustic guitars at one point so we can learn “Everlong” by the FooFighters. I LOVE the acoustic version and I asked Chris if he would teach me (I thought he knew it already). Surprise! He doesn’t know it but he wants to learn it together. This will be the first time we have played together. I have to admit that I am a bit intimidated. He is a much better player than I am. He will pick it up quickly whereas I will plod along trying to get the fingering and strumming right. I have forgotten so much from class!

I think I will try to call both of my parents today. It will just be a question of when. I can’t tell you how excited I am over no snow today! I know that a lot of people are disappointed… but I am not one of them. In all honesty we could even go out for a Christmas ride on the bikes…. we’ll see. Maybe we can slate that for tomorrow. Ok, I am going to clean out my media to make room for some photos I want to share with you. I hope you all have an amazing day! Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, anxiety, Automotive, Books, Creativity, Emotions, family, Learning, Life, Love, Motorcycles, Movies, Nature, Photography, Reading, retail, Riding, the World, Thinking, Writing

Head Examined

Bah humbug. It has dawned dark and white. What really worries me is that under the white stuff is a very thick layer of ice. Several inches worth. And I was also hoping that it would turn to rain so that Chris could go for a birthday ride on his motorcycle before putting her up for the winter. Instead, it is just cold and blah. Atleast it was beautiful for his party. I am very grateful for that.

I had hoped to get Chris one more gift but with my smaller paycheck this week it won’t be possible. I also need to fill up Angus. Thankfully we are doing 20¢ off a gallon today at work so I think at one point I will drive in and gas up. That should keep me for a few weeks even with trips to Elk Rapids for meetings. I am so grateful to live close to work! Not only don’t I go through near as much gas as I used to but I get gas discounts! (I would get the gas discounts anyway because it is a text message thing not an employee thing but I wouldn’t know what it really was unless I was there on a regular basis.)

I am a bit disappointed in myself. I did nothing yesterday. I didn’t even watch the movies I had lined up for the day. I keep telling myself that it is ok. I needed a day of nothing but still…. I am hoping to get some writing time in today. This was the only writing I did yesterday. I am dragging my feet because I don’t like where the story is going. It makes sense but it is not what I wanted the story to become. But I fear that is where it is going to go. So instead of working on that I have been losing myself in my “cozy” mysteries. Namely the Jacquline Kirby ones by Elizabeth Peters. Kirby has long been a hero of mine. Reading her escapades always makes me feel better, stronger. So I am going through the last in the series. Nevermind that I have a borrowed book as well as research books that I need to be reading. And several review-if-I-want-to books on my Kindle.

I keep hoping that I will…. want to write? No, that’s not what I mean. Hmmm. Find the courage to write? Closer but still not quite it. You see if I don’t write in the morning then I don’t feel that I can. Once the household is up and awake for the day my momentum just stops when it comes to writing. Right now I feel energized and ready to go. I can also get a second wind at night. Usually after dark but if I am involved in family time the I try to hold off. (It is a catch 22. I don’t have a lot of family time so when I do I tend to just focus on that. But I so want to get to my writing.) And once I finish this I will find lots of things to do before I pick up my pen. Usually enough to get me to when Chris wakes up and then I am angry at myself for wasting my own time. Here’s the kicker…. if I actually do sit down and write then when he gets up I am very pleased with myself. So why do I sabotage myself?

I see that I am going to have to step up my bird feeder game. There are so many birds out there after this first ice/snow of the season. I think I will start putting suet out as well. It is hard during the summer months because it tends to melt (even if it is frozen when I put it out). So I try to save it for the colder ones. I think I have two in the freezer right now. I may put them out later.

Ok, I need to wrap this up. I got a bunch of photos as the day progressed yesterday. The dark brooding skies offset the colors in the trees beautifully! I hope you like them! Thanks for reading and commenting! Stay safe!

Aging, anxiety, Creativity, dreams, Emotions, family, Friends, Gardening, Holiday, Learning, Life, Love, Motorcycles, Nature, Photography, retail, Riding, Thinking, Writing

A New Month And The Same Me

I never did get back to writing this yesterday. I got called into work early so it was a 10 hour day. And I am feeling it. Having that time off to relax by back etc. was very much needed but now when I jump right back into it…. oof. Be that as it may, today is the first day of OCTOBER! I am super stoked because this means horror movies ALL month!!!! (My husband would argue that this is no different than any other month but that is not the point.😁 ) It is the one time of the year that all my Halloween decorations seem normal to everyone else. I can also start using my Halloween Countdown Calendar!

The colors are starting to change here. Many trees it is not a gradual change but it is very bright and very fast. The color does stay for a good long while but the change is quick this year. I haven’t really taken many photos of that because it has been a gradual start to the trees changing. Most of them are still green. But you go the next day and there are splashes of red. And that is the other thing… red seems to be the color this year. Normally there is yellow and orange. I will see if I can detect anything around here over the next few days.

As I am writing this I am listening to a sportbike make it’s way down Valley Road. It brings a big smile to my face but a few tears too. I haven’t had my bike out all year. Not once. Nor have I put a wrench to fix up my other one. I feel guilty. I miss riding. I’ve thought about may be riding to work but a. my back is usually ready to give out by the end of my shift and b. living out here in the boonies there is no lighting for most of my drive home. My night vision is slowly deteriorating as I get older so I don’t feel too confident at night. So there I am feeling sorry for myself. Oh and there is a c. That is that there is no good place to park the bike at work. With all the new construction going on and customers parking where we are supposed to there is no place for my motorcycle that I would feel confident leaving it. Call me over protective but we have had motorcycles backed over before in broad daylight. It makes me angry just remembering it.

I don’t know if anyone remembers me saying that I had planted some chamomile seeds in a little Halloween jar a little bit ago. But I did and I have my first sprout! I am so excited!!! This is chamomile from the UK. It was a gift from my penpal there. I did a few seeds in the jar and am saving the rest for the Spring gardens. Times like this I wish she and I communicated online so I could send her a photo but that defeats the purpose of having a penpal. And my printer is just black ink so I can’t send her a photo that way. Although if I do it right it could be a pretty cool black and white shot. An idea I will play with.

I see that I have gone on for a bit. I should wrap this up and get it posted. Sorry for missing everyone yesterday. I did try to read twice as many of your posts to catch up. It worked…. mostly. Lol. Anyway thanks for reading and stay safe! Oh and HAPPY OCTOBER!!!!!

Aging, Animals, anxiety, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Gardening, Guitar, Learning, Life, Love, Motorcycles, Nature, Photography, Reading, retail, Riding, the World, Thinking, Writing

A Shaker Full of Everything

This morning is darkening with the impending rain. We had bits of sun here and there when we got up. Now a darkness falls upon the land. The earthy richness of the blueberry coffee I got for the Keurig is a very welcome flavor and warmth this morning. It’s not cold this morning but since we sleep with the AC on it takes me awhile to warm up in the morning.

Today is a manager day so that means I probably won’t get out until 10-10:30pm. Which would be ok but I am back at 9am tomorrow. But that means the girls and I can play more tomorrow.

I am contemplating doing a book review once a week. The one I posted last night seemed to go over really well. If I do it it will be the same thing as yesterday. I would have it as well as a regular post. Let me know what you folks think. Also let me know what genres you would be interested in. I have a wide selection here at the house so it shouldn’t be hard to do requests. Maybe call it the Wednesday Review (unless someone has a clever name they would like to suggest). Nothing concrete just getting a feel for things.

This morning I feel like my body is betraying me. I could barely get out of bed and it has been hard to move. Everything is stiff and painful. But I need to make the best of it. The girls are very understanding and don’t snatch their toys as often when I go to take them. And when we play tug-of-war they don’t pull near as hard as they could.

I did about 20 minutes on my novel last night before bed. I worked on my main character. So if I can keep that up I will be happy. My goal is 30 minutes to an hour a day on my novel. With my schedule (especially next month) all over the place I want to do small time frames so I will actually do it.

I was going to try to take my motorcycle out the other day and I couldn’t stand and keep the bike balanced, even as light as it is. So I just left it plugged in the charger. It is very frustrating. I haven’t ridden once this year. Many of you are going to ask why don’t I just sell the bike. Because I am determined to still ride.

Ok, I see that I have gone on a bit more than normal. We lost a great bassist yesterday and my mind is still processing that. We got to see the band with my Mom in concert a few years ago. It was a great time! Dusty Hill of ZZ Top will always be remembered.❤ And with that dear friends I will wrap this up. Stay safe and as always thanks for reading!

Books, dreams, Emotions, family, Friends, History, Learning, Life, Love, Motorcycles, Photography, Racing, Riding, Sports, the World, Thinking, Travel, Writing

Motorcycle Book Review

   I don’t think that Alicia meant to be hero when she put together this book but in the end she is as much a hero as any of the other women represented in this book.  As a rider who is on again/off again on her motorcycle due to both physical ailments and anxieties of my own making buying this book has been the best money spent in a long time.  It rekindled the passion that lay buried beneath fear and anxiety to burn hot enough to break through to the surface like a Holy Grail.

   She lovingly recounts the lives and passions of role models new and old.  Many of the women I recognize as they are some of my own personal heroes.  I even found a few new ones to admire from like Lois Price who has been all over the world on solo riding tours (even places like Iran and Africa) as well as being an amazing author.  Then there is Mary McGee who was ground breaking in getting women into motorsports.  She has even been inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame!

   I also found more women to learn from.  New examples of a passionate life and a love for motorcycles.  Women who show us that women really can do anything.  They can ride, race, take solo tours around the world, set world records and even be mechanics and motorcycle designers.

   This is a perfect gift for someone- anyone- you love who thinks they can’t do it.  These women have beat the odds.  Better still this is the perfect gift for yourself.  Women to learn from.  Women that can show you your own inner strength and passion.

Find your inspiration.