If We Were Having Coffee… 3/26/17

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Welcome! I’m so glad we could meet for coffee this week. I missed you last time. My apologies, life gets overwhelming at times. Come on in and have a seat. We’ve had some rainy, dreary weather this weekend. The temperatures have been moderate, though, so you can choose a hot or a cold beverage… whatever you’d like.

Since this is virtual and you can’t actually see my humble abode, I will tell you that we got a new front door. You would have to know what my old door looked like in order to realize why I am so excited. It was old and in bad shape. I’ve been wanting to replace it since we moved in. Now I have a brand new, modern beautiful door. It took my husband and my dad an entire weekend to install it. It has a glass panel so it lets in more light, a fact that I am still getting used to.

We’ve been quiet busy here with school and work and scouts. We spent most of the day yesterday peddling girl scout cookies. We did well but unfortunately still have some left. The end of the season is near, so we need to sell them so that we can get our full profit.

We have a busy April coming up. (sidenote: how in the everloving hell is it almost April?!!) We are planning a trip to South Carolina for Easter to visit family. We also have two other overnight trips for scouts in April. Our weekends are booked. On the one hand, I love being busy. We have some wonderful experiences planned for my girls. When I am busy, I feel productive. I feel alive. On the other hand, the packed schedule can become overwhelming. As an introvert, I need a lot of downtime that is quiet, peaceful and restful. Things can feel chaotic when I don’t get that time.

Operation Reduce the Sugar has been going surprisingly well. No more soda, I am drinking water 100% at work. I also drink water mostly at home, though I have had a little juice here and there. My work lunches have been healthier as well with more fresh fruits. My weakness is candy and cookies. We got rid of the candy in the house. If it’s not here I can’t eat it, right? The cookies are a different story but I have cut down on them. Confession: I did buy a bag of Cadbury mini eggs at the store last week in a moment of weakness. They are still on my nightstand unopened. That is willpower, friends. My rationalization is that they are seasonal (I can only get them for a short time) and 100% deprivation usually doesn’t work. Moderation is the key, right? As long as I don’t scarf down the entire bag in three days it is okay, right?

I did a little writing this week. I submitted a piece for Friday Fictioneers. Check out Isolated.

So, catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

Isolated

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I once had a family. Once. Those years were full of love and joy. I have been sad and empty since they left.

The beings with me now are different. Cold, despondent, detached. They use me but they couldn’t care less about me. I’m just a shell.

When others come around, I try to make a good impression. It’s hard, though. I’m getting old and I’ve fallen into disrepair. The cold ones don’t take care of me. They also don’t like to share, scaring away anyone who shows an interest in me.

They’ve ran off four realtors this week alone.

 

Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll

This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

If We Were Having Coffee… 3/12/17

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Welcome! Come on in out of the cold. Yes, our erratic weather has struck again. After some very warm spring-like days, we have hit low temperatures yet again (but luckily avoided the snow). Hopefully this will be the last bit of winter. We can enjoy some warm beverages today.

My house is quiet this morning. We have a bonus kid today (older daughter had a sleepover last night) so the kids are occupying each other. They were up quite late last night, though, so I am tired today. Add in daylight saving time (I loathe spring forward!) and it is a recipe for zombie-level fatigue today. The Walking Dead is on tonight so maybe that is perfect.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been an uneventful week. Uneventful is actually good. Work and school made the week pass quickly. There have been two promising changes at work. First, someone has been assigned to help me call out screening results, relieving me of some of my overwhelming workload. Second, we may have an interested candidate for the other counseling position. Yes, the counseling position that we have been recruiting for for a year and a half. I really hope she takes the job because it would help me immensely. Fingers crossed.

If we were having coffee, I would also update you on the Kitty Chronicles. Precious, the new cat, has become quite the lovebug. She is so sweet. The cats are getting along better, there have been fewer scuffles. More and more, they can be near each other with no problems. Things are not perfect, but the house is much more peaceful.

I have also made the decision to try to quit sugar. You give me that look. I know, I understand. My sugar addiction is like a level 100 critical. I am not saying it will be easy. I am going to cut out soda (goodbye daily Mountain Dew) and my beloved high-fructose-corn syrup-laden Hawaiian punch (it deeply pains me to type that). I will drink more water. I will eat better. I went to the store last night and bought fresh fruits and nuts. I will cut out the candy (this may be the hardest part). I will exercise. These healthy changes will hopefully help me to look and feel better.

I wrote a flash fiction piece for Friday Fictioneers! It has been so long since I participated. Please check it out here.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

Yellow Death

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Day One: Sore throat, malaise

Day Two: Fever, vomiting

Day Three: Headache, muscle weakness

Day Four: Severe dehydration

Day Five: Delirious, organ failure

Most people were dead by day six. Doctor Steven Ford was on day four.

The Yellow Death – named for the beautiful, colorful insect that he engineered to carry the virus – moved swiftly and mercilessly. He had performed his job well… but he made just one mistake.

In his final lucid moments, he wondered where he went wrong. His one regret? Not the covert meetings nor the dirty money. It was not making sure that he wasn’t resistant to the antidote.

 

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Photo credit: Shaktiki Sharma

It has been a long time since I participated in Friday Fictioneers! Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 

If We Were Having Coffee… 3/5/17

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Welcome! I am so happy for our coffee date this week. Come on in and grab a cup of your favorite beverage. You can even have some left over birthday cake or some of the kit kats that my kids got me for my birthday.

It has been a long and stressful week here. We had a devastating tornado blow through on Tuesday and left a path of destruction in its wake. My family and my home are all fine, thank goodness. Many in my town were not as lucky and lost everything. This is a small community, so we all know these families well. There was also one fatality. The cleanup and relief efforts continue day by day and will take a while. Local businesses have stepped in to help and the outpouring of donations from locals and surrounding areas has been inspiring. This area has really come together to support those who were affected. While seeing the wreckage and debris (in person as well as all over the news and on facebook) has been depressing, seeing a small community rise up and take care of its own has been heartwarming.

On a lighter note, Friday was my birthday. I took the day off work and spent it with my kids (who were out of school due to the tornado damage) and my mom. While I am old enough to not really revel in turning a year older, I always appreciate time with loved ones.

I am so glad you came today. I have had tunnel vision this week, the tornado and aftermath have dominated my time and thoughts. Let’s talk about you. Tell me everything about your week. Catch me up!

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 2/26/17

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Hello coffee friends! Come on in out of the cold. After a stretch of springlike weather, Mother Nature has decided that it is still winter. It is not terribly cold, but much colder than it has been lately. We will definitely be having our beverages inside today, perhaps in front of the fireplace.

Two things happened in my household this week: my older daughter turned 13 and girl scout cookies arrived. It is hard for me to believe that I officially have a teenager. How can that be? Time goes so fast. It seems like just a short time ago that she was born. I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that she will be driving in 3 years and graduating high school in 5 years.  Her birthday was on Wednesday and so we didn’t do much celebrating that day since we had school and work. We had a small party for her yesterday with cake, ice cream and presents. I wrote a post for her this week (breaking my long streak of only writing Coffee Share posts) which you can find here.

Cookies arrived on Tuesday. This is a busy and tiring day every year. The truck unloaded pallets of cases of cookies for our entire service unit. We then sorted the cases into individual troops’ orders. Then the leaders sorted their own troops’ cases into individual girls’ orders. Then we waited for parents to come and pick up. I have two troops so it is double the fun. I was very sore the next two days with aching leg and arm muscles. We have lots of deliveries still to make and I have three orders that I need to ship. We have two cookie booths in March. Fun times.

Am I the only one who feels like the weekend coffee share rolls around quickly? Every week I tell myself that I will write a couple of posts during the week and I inevitably run out of time. Like I said, I did get one extra post done this week. *sigh* I really want to do better. If only there were more hours in the day.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

To My Daughter on her Thirteenth Birthday

You changed my life on a snowy February night in Cleveland, Ohio.

After a precipitous labor and emergency delivery, I spent the first five minutes of your life praying. I begged God to let you live as the neonatal team resuscitated you. When you stabilized, a kind nurse wrapped you up and brought you to my bedside so that I could see you before they whisked you away for surveillance. With china-doll features and eyelashes that touched your cheeks, you were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.

I flew by the seat of my pants in those early months, following my instincts (and always second guessing myself) and always in haze of sleep deprivation. The toddler and preschool years were a different challenge as you grew into a headstrong and defiant child. While you were a sweet and kind-hearted soul, you were also fiercely independent. You taught me to pick my battles, balancing between helicoptering and giving you the space you needed to learn and grow.

When you started school, you blossomed academically and socially. You are smart and have always excelled with high grades. That makes me proud. Kind, gentle and accepting, you were always a child that teachers would pair with a child who needed a friend. That makes me even prouder. You have even navigated the perils of middle school with grace. So far. I worry, of course. I am waiting for the first broken heart or the first betrayal by a friend – seemingly inevitable pitfalls of the early teen years.

So here you are… an official teenager. You may be a bit too fond of your phone and your tablet but you are a pretty amazing kid. You are polite and respectful. You love animals and they are drawn to you. You are good with children. You have a servant’s heart. You love the service projects that we do in scouts and you joyfully give your time and talents to others. You are a gifted musician, though I wish I could convince you to put your heart into it. While you have many interests, you have yet to find something that lights a fire in your soul. I pity anyone who tries to stand in your way once you do find that something.

You are not perfect. You need to be kinder to your sister. I know she’s a bit younger than you and sometimes you find her annoying. But she’s your sister. She will always be your sister and I hope that someday she will be your best friend. She balances you and I wish that you would appreciate what she brings to the table. You can also be hard on yourself. I understand that. Believe me, you come by that honestly. My advice is to loosen the reigns and learn to let some things go –  the things you can’t control. Spinning your wheels with stress and anxiety only hurts you. It has taken me a long time to learn that and I expect that it will be the same for you.

My dear daughter, happy 13th birthday. I love you more than you will ever know. You have brought immeasurable joy into my life. I am proud of the young lady that you have become and I am excited to see what the future holds for you. You are my heart. Always.

 

If We Were Having Coffee… 2/19/17

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Thanks so much for being patient with my tardiness. I planned to meet you for coffee this morning… but my morning got derailed (as often happens). After that, I just didn’t have the time or mental energy to meet. I’m sorry. No, I don’t want to talk about it. I even thought about skipping our date altogether BUT I didn’t want to miss the first week in our new digs. Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for taking over the hosting duties.

It has been a decent week here. We have had amazing weather for February with sun and warm temps. I had a day off work which is always nice. My day off was a busy one but a busy day at home is a million times better than a busy day at work, wouldn’t you agree? My accountant also finished our tax return and we don’t owe the government money. Win. We will get a refund and be able to pay off some bills. Double win. I had parent teacher conferences this week and I never, ever tire of hearing how great my kids are. After a dismal start to my day, my Sunday turned out okay. I spent lots of time with my kids and watched the Walking Dead.

I am still trying to herd cats. Literally. There is still tension among Gracie and Charlie and the new cat, Precious. They have their good moments, though so we are making progress. Then hissing and swatting starts and we take a step back. Stay tuned.

I have only eaten one bag of Cadbury mini eggs since last Sunday. I know that may not sound like much of an accomplishment. Trust me, it is.

Spring training is officially underway. Pitchers and catchers reported by Valentine’s Day and the rest of the squad came several days later. Opening day is right around the corner.

I have some planning to do this week as my daughter’s birthday is Wednesday. My older daughter will be 13. I can’t believe that I will be the parent of a teenager.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee? Stop in and chat with the other weekend coffee share posters here.

 

photo credit: Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee… 2/11/17

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Happy weekend, coffee friends! It has been another week of oscillating weather, like we are on Mother Nature’s giant teeter totter.We had a couple of days below freezing and then today we hit 70 degrees. So this week, we may need a cooler beverage and we can even enjoy it outside.

The big news in my household this week is we have a new family member: Precious. Yes, another cat. Precious is 13 years old and belonged to my husband’s client who passed away last year. Since the death of her owner, Precious has been shuffled around to a couple of homes and none were a good fit. We already have two cats so the quality of our fit is still questionable. We are still in the transition phase so it is too early to tell. We have her in a sanctuary room and we are gradually introducing her. Now we have Gracie the original (almost 5 years old), Charlie the stray we took in last year (10 months old) and Precious the newcomer. With three cats, I think I have officially hit crazy cat lady status. Updates and photos to follow at future coffee dates.

In lesser news, I fell off the Cadbury mini-egg wagon. Not only did I fall, the wagon backed up and ran over me a few times. Not pretty.

I am ecstatic about The Walking Dead returning Sunday night. It is my favorite show and the only show that I have to watch live as it airs rather than watching it days later off the dvr. That also means that The Talking Dead is back which is much needed therapy after watching TWD episode. Also back will be texting with my TWD buddies during commercials.

I realize that it has been a while since I’ve posted anything here but Weekend Coffee Share and I feel like I need to make some changes. I can say I don’t have time but that’s really just an excuse. If I can find time to binge watch Dance Moms then I can find time to write and post. Reassessment, prioritization and organization – those are the key words for this week.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if were were having coffee?

Thanks to Diana at Part-time monster for hosting this weekly coffee chat! Join in by posting your own coffee post with the tag #weekendcoffeeshare and check out the other coffee share participants here.

If We Were Having Coffee on Super Bowl Sunday

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Happy Sunday! Super Bowl Sunday is here! While I am just as excited about the snacks and the commercials as I am about the game, I do hope the New England Patriots go down in flames. Fingers crossed.

I spent the day shopping yesterday – not one of my favorite activities – for clothes for my almost-13-year-old daughter. She has her induction ceremony for the Junior National Honor Society on Monday night and dress clothes are required. She doesn’t like dress clothes and until yesterday didn’t own any that fit. She is picky about clothes and hard to fit (tall and bony skinny) so I knew it would be a challenge. We actually found a nice pair of black dress pants right off the bat. First store! They fit well, looked nice… I couldn’t believe my  luck. I thought, “well this may be easy! We just have to find a nice dress top to match and we’re done. This won’t take long.” Turns out I was delusional because finding that top was harder than I imagined. Again, she’s picky and it was hard to find something that I deemed age-appropriate (that didn’t look like it was for a 7 year-old or for a 17 year-old). Six stores later, we finally found a winner. I’m pleased with what we bought and she will look great. It was nice to spend some girl time with her and her sister and I found them a few other clothing items as well.

I also fell of the wagon and bought Cadbury mini eggs (damn you, Target!). Two bags. I actually exercised amazing restraint because I wanted to buy more. I haven’t opened them yet but they are taunting me. It’s a matter of time.

We’re in for some roller coaster weather this week. We should hit 70 degrees in a couple of days which will bring some severe storms because well, it’s not supposed to be 70 degrees in the Midwest in February. Then of course it will be back below freezing soon after. It keeps us on our toes (and in a state of aggravated allergies).

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Diana at Part-time monster for hosting this weekly coffee chat! Join in by posting your own coffee post with the tag #weekendcoffeeshare and check out the other coffee share participants here.