Waiting

For the Just Jot It January challenge.  Today’s prompt, Memento, comes from Tara at Daisy Smiley Face.

 

My day will come, I know it.

I’ve been here so long,

waiting patiently.

She used to hold me lovingly,

touch me with great care.

Those days long past were mostly good,

but there were also tears.

Can’t have one without the other, it seems.

She will come back to me.

Her favorite momento,

I wait for her to want me,

to need me,

to get lost in the memories that I hold.

 

 

The house that 2018 built

You don’t know how many times I have thought that I should just quit this blog.  It has been an embarrassingly long time since my last post. As the months roll by, it gets harder and harder to motivate myself to create new content. Easier to just give up, right? Kind of like exercising… but I’m trying to get back to that, too.

The new year is always a good time to evaluate and prioritize with fresh eyes and renewed spirit. I can’t promise 2019 will be any different than 2018, but for at least today I feel like I have a clean slate.

I’m not sure exactly where the wheels came off last year in terms of my blog. I think life just gets busy. My head gets cluttered, my anxiety increases. One of my daughters started high school in the fall. Man, did that blow up my schedule. Marching band ensured that we had no free weekends between mid-August and the beginning of November. She had her first Homecoming which required dress and shoe shopping and a very busy day of (between band duties at parade/game and transformation for the dance). My younger daughter started middle school last fall. Much like with the older, it has been an adjustment. I’m not sure why 5th grade is the seventh circle of hell, but it 100% is. The school, the teachers, the kids, the hormones, the attitude – sucky, all of it.

We also cut our cable last spring, becoming one of those streaming-only households. For the most part, I love it. However, I think it is bad for my writing. Before, with live tv, I would just turn it off when there was nothing on. Now, between netflix, hulu, and amazon prime, there is always something on. More content than I can probably watch in my lifetime. I have discovered more tv series and movies and have binged, binged, binged. Eight seasons of Shameless? Yes! Eight seasons of Weeds? Absolutely! Rewatch Schitt’s Creek for the umpteenth time? Bring it on! I’ve also abandoned radio and switched to podcasts during my (long) commute. With radio, I could daydream and build plots and characters in my mind. The podcasts keep me focused and engaged. Again, bad for my writing but wonderful for my entertainment (and makes me hate my commute much less). I have 60 podcasts on rotation, but my favorites are Lore, The Moth, My Favorite Murder, This Podcast Will Kill You, and Pod Save America.

Basically everything brewed into a perfect storm that obliterated my already-shaky writing routine. I doubt I can reduce my podcasts, but I vow to work on my netflix addiction. Oh, and I have to teach my daughter to drive. She gets her permit in 7 weeks. I’m planning a ski trip in 6 weeks. It is girl scout cookie season. This is why I make no promises for this blog.

Best wishes and warmest regards for 2019 (seriously, if you haven’t seen Schitt’s creek, you really should). Hope to see you soon.

I’ll leave you with my #topnine #bestnineof 2018

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Up All Night

 

Did you know that if you go without sleep long enough that you could hallucinate?

I actually did already know that before this weekend. Having two children, I have went through the newborn phase (and the sleeplessness that comes with it) twice. When my second daughter was a baby, I hallucinated so much that I thought my house was haunted. Being that my daughters are 14 and 9, though, those hazy days are far behind me. I’m also much older. My old bones love sleep, crave it even. I can’t tolerate sleep deprivation like I used to.

This past Friday night, I took my daughters and a group of friends to an overnight lock-in at a local university recreation center. I had twelve girls total ranging in age from 8 to 14 ( I know, I promise I’m not crazy). It was an awesome time with an agenda that included swimming, crafts, zumba, basketball, volleyball, soccer, racquetball, wall-climbing, movies, and a self defense class. There was no enforced “lights out” (though there was a “quiet room” for those that wanted to get some rest – and I use the term “quiet” pretty loosely) so the girls were allowed to have free reign of the place all night. We ate pizza at 11pm and we had doughnuts at 4am. Check out time was 6am.

Some of our girls did lay down and rest for a couple of hours. Several of the girls (my two included) stayed up all night. I stayed up as well, since I was responsible for these girls. Not one wink of sleep was had.

The hardest hours were between 2am and 4am. It was hard to concentrate and my brain felt “buzzy.” I had to wander the gym to keep myself awake. The sugar infusion at 4am helped quite a bit. Of course, at 6am I had to drive home and the cold air gave me a jolt. Due to unfortunate scheduling, we had another event Saturday morning until 2pm. So, all told, I was awake about 36 hours straight. I woke up here and there between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, each time confused and disoriented. I would see and hear things that I would promptly forget when I awoke again. I had no idea what was reality and what my addled brain had invented. That time has been sucked into the abyss of “the lost hours.”

Sadly, I had more to contend with than just exhaustion. It turns out that kids can really wind themselves up for such an event, but they eventually come crashing down. Hard. And their over-tiredness turns them into cranky monsters. They were difficult (at best) Saturday and Sunday and my well of patience was bone dry. Let’s just say it’s a good thing they are cute.

By Sunday afternoon/evening, we all felt more human. They turned back into normal children and my senses/memory became more reliable. Here in the bright light of Monday afternoon, my brain synapses are firing like it never happened. Though that doesn’t mean that I will be signing up for another all-nighter anytime soon.

 

photo by Unsplash

The Lost Branches

I hit enter and watched the little leaves pop onto my screen.

I did the DNA testing to learn about my ancestry. Just out of curiosity, really. Now I was staring at several names – not-that-distant relatives – that I had never heard of.

The next day, grandma held the printout in her weathered hands. A scowl crossed her face as she scanned the names. I waited eagerly to hear the stories that I could see dancing through her mind.

“Ah, yes,” she muttered. “That’s Beulah and her kin.”

“And…?” I prodded.

“Sometimes the family tree just needs some pruning,” she spat.

 

100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Let’s Think Positive!

Reasons why my day is going better than a trip to the dentist (AKA Let’s think positive!)…

Sunshine after days of gray and gloom. It’s still cold, though..

A relatively quiet work day so far after being stupid busy yesterday

Taco Tuesday

I’m making friends with my new-to-me car. It’s my husband’s car. I’ve started driving it in an effort to save money on my costly commute. It’s a hybrid. A Honda CRZ to be exact. It’s a bit like driving a tic tac box but it is red and zippy.

I have plans tonight and will conveniently miss the State of the Union address. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t watch that trainwreck even if my calendar was as empty as Trump’s brain. But at least I have a legitimate excuse to not tune in.

My plans tonight involve High School Information night for incoming freshmen. Yes, my almost-14-year-old daughter will be in high school in the fall. There will be registration packets and loads of information about curriculum, grading, graduation requirements, scholarships, transcripts, summer school, standardized testing, etc. Doesn’t that sound like fun?! I’ve already received her fall marching band schedule which has thrown a gigantic wrench into my weekend free time (what free time?) in September and October. And I just know I’m going to get roped into the Band Parents Association. I don’t think I’m ready for any of this. Wait… I think I feel a cavity coming on…

 

Written for Daily Prompt

Work in Progress

This is the wonderful business opportunity? You can’t be serious.” Arms crossed, Maria wrinkled her nose in disgust at the dilapidated building.

“I know she needs some TLC…,” Mike began, mind reeling with potential.

“Our car can fit through the gaping hole in the wall! And that terrace is a death trap!”

Mike used his charm. “I was in rough shape when you found me. You took a chance and that turned out okay, right?”

Her eyes softened. “I guess,” she joked, “but you’re still a work in progress.”

Mike patted the wall and whispered, “Let’s get you fixed up.”

 

Word count: 100

PHOTO CREDIT: Sandra Crook

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

If We Were Having Coffee… 1/7/18

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Forgive me dear readers and coffee friends, for I have sinned… it has been two months since my last blog post and three months since my last coffee share…

I have really missed you all! I’ve been taking a little break. It has been partly due to being busy. I mean, I’m always busy. We’re all busy, right? The holidays are a gigantic time suck. The break has also been partly self-imposed. Sometimes I just need the time and space to figuratively clean house and reevaluate things. I’m really glad to join you for coffee so that we can catch up.

Our family had a great Thanksgiving holiday. My brother-in-law and his wife and kids came to visit from South Carolina. It is always nice to spend time with them. Brother-in-law did some work around the house (my front door, refrigerator ice/water dispenser, and dishwasher are now in working order!). He also made some amazing food (he has culinary school training). Our kids also got to spend time together. All of my kids’ cousins live in South Carolina, so cousin time is limited and therefore very precious.

Our Christmas and New Year’s holidays were perfect: quiet, laid-back, and spent with close family. My kids got their wish-lists (mostly) filled and I was able to rest and relax. I think I overindulged on food a bit and now I need to get back on track with my exercise regimen (or, you know, establish an exercise regimen. Let’s be honest).

I was able to finish my board recertification the last week of November… a whole month early! I am now good for 5 years.

For my daily commute, I have immersed myself in the world of podcasts. I am obsessed with The Moth, which has re-ignited my love for storytelling.

Easter is three months away and Cadbury mini-eggs have hit the shelves. That means that I have already purchased (and eaten) some. I’m not sure my waistline can stand 3+ months of this chocolately goodness, but I am enjoying them! In other news, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in a little over 5 weeks. I can’t wait for spring!

NFL fans, how are playoffs going for you? Is your team still in it?

Off to read and catch up on everyone’s posts…

Grab a cup, pull up a chair and join us! Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli. This week’s linkup is here.

#DSFWeeklyRewind… 11/5/17

#DSFWeeklyRewind

Another week has flown by and it’s been a busy one!

*Monster Mash* Tuesday was Halloween. Typical Halloween fun was had… the girls dressed up and we went trick-or-treating as a family (well, hubby and I would stand on the sidewalks as the girls would run to the door to get candy). It was cooler than it’s been in recent years but it was bearable. We came home and each girl examined and organized her loot. One house gave out full size candy bars so that was the hit of the night. I also exercised my parental right to take a “candy tax.”

*Hallelujah* (cue angels singing)… I had a productive week. I got my office packed. I finished my second presentation in a week. I have no more scheduled right now (which makes me very happy). I got started on my CEU’s that are due at the end of December. I still have a long way to go on those but I started… and that first step is often the hardest, right? I even got a little Christmas shopping started Saturday night. I am on a roll!

This week I am thankful for the beauty of nature. By this point in November, our colorful trees are often starting to fade. However, October was so warm that our colors were a bit dull last month. In the last week or so, we got some rain and our temperatures finally cooled off. Way off. And the colors of the leaves have really popped. The colors are sharper and brighter. It is late in the season but it is a nice view all the same. I am lucky that on my daily drive I see a lot of bright yellows and fiery oranges and reds.

Have a great week, everyone!

Join us at #DSFWeeklyRewind. This is a way for us to connect and rewind through our week (our “playlist,” if you will), reflect, and express gratitude. Connect with others at this week’s linkup. Everyone is welcome!

#DSFWeeklyRewind… 10/29/17

#DSFWeeklyRewind

How can it almost be November?? Where has this year gone? We are dangerously close to Christmas and *gasp* 2018! Let’s rewind the week…

I’ve been freaking out all week about the quick passage of time because my board certification expires 12/31. We have to renew every 5 years. I need to make up a boatload of CEU’s to recertify by 12/31. This means that I need to go online and pay an arm and a leg to download educational content, read and take quizzes, and earn said boatload of CEU’s. As usual, I have procrastinated. Also, I don’t exactly have piles of spare time laying around to devote to this.

Work this week has been surprisingly good. I caught up on my patient letters and I had a *very* productive day Friday packing my office. I actually got all of my drawers and storage cabinets packed. Friday, 11/3, is our last day in the office and all I will have to do that day is pack my desk. I am feeling a huge weight lifted regarding the office move.

Last weekend, I took a trip with the hubby and the kids to a mall in the city. We had a great time, of course. In the car, we were listening to playlists on spotify… mostly the kids’ pop music. Then hubby wanted to hear Stairway to Heaven. Then we fell down the rabbit hole and started playing the Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. We ended with a variety of hair band stuff. Hubby and I were singing – loudly – and recalling great memories. We were transported to younger days and easier times. Music, sometimes, is magic.

My podcast obsession this week has been Lore (by Aaron Mahnke). Between my morning and afternoon commute, I get to binge about 6-7 episodes a day. If you love creepy stories and want to learn more about the historical events behind today’s folklore, check out Lore. It does not disappoint.

Friday night I did a food drive with the girl scouts. The girls dress in their Halloween costumes and go to local grocery stores to “trick or treat” for customers to donate food items. We also get a lot of people that just give us cash. We donate everything to the local food pantries. We do this every year and it is a wonderful program. I emphasize teaching the girls service to others and giving back to the community. Now, you put a large group of young girls together and add Halloween costumes and things get… chaotic. They have so much energy. And enthusiasm. I love it even if it is a bit… tiring.

This week I am thankful for time. Time with my family to just be goofy and enjoy life. Time in my car alone (even though I curse my commute often) to listen to music/stories that fill my brain and reenergize my soul. Time with my kids, molding and shaping them into good people who will grow up and do amazing things in this world. I know their young years will go lightening fast, I have to enjoy the time while I have it.

Join us at #DSFWeeklyRewind. This is a way for us to connect and rewind through our week (our “playlist,” if you will), reflect, and express gratitude. Connect with others at this week’s linkup. Everyone is welcome!