After coffee and breakfast, contemplating the day, I rubbed my chin. Caught between my finger and thumb was . . . A RANDOM CHIN HAIR!!!!!!!!! Menopause!

A thin scrawny chin hair that I hadn’t seen in the mirror (I have to start wearing glasses and using that 10x mirror) reflection in the four months this thing had grown. (Basing on its length and the estimation of a half an inch a month growth.) I let go in my panic and stroked my chin again to be sure it wasn’t just my imagination.

Nope. This time when I caught it tenderly between thumb and forefinger, I could pull my chin skin out from bone. EEK! It is real!

I am proud of my containment. I didn’t screech nor scream. Sadly, social media has gotten to me and I reached for my phone to take a close up picture of this new aging phenomenon. Before I could get a snapshot, the little wisp broke. Thankfully there is still enough collagen in my chin that the skin snapped back in place. Thankful for small mercies.

My husband is now in charge of unwanted hair growth on my face. His response? “It’s like checking you for ticks, got it.” Imagine the sound of a male parental voice exasperated at what else a mischievous child has yet again gotten into, rather than any sexy southern drawl.

Thanks for reading!



Artists And Art

Ever viewed the show Abstract? I hadn’t until recently. Only two shows thus far, but the second hit me like a ton of bricks.

It was all about shoes. Athletic shoes. Tinker Hatfield. I came away with a couple of quotes. No, you have to go watch it on your own and find your own takeaway quote.

Still reading the Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore and finished some regional (to me) authors of the midwest. A couple recently finished- a Maggie Adams and an Amy Hale. (Check them out on Amazon.)

As much as the need to actually sit down to write, there is also the need for encouragement. No one works exactly like anyone else. Honor your own method. That is still a bugger for me at times, like this spring.

Spring is upon us.

The improved weather and sunshine aren’t conducive to sitting in front of a screen or at a drawing table. My mind is drifting to finding ways to work outside for the couple of months before the real heat of summer sets in.

Knowing that other writers have mastered how to craft their stories and manage their time is both encouraging and discouraging at the same time. I know that life has gotten in their way at times, yet they have not let it stop them. They just adjusted and got back to it, otherwise their work wouldn’t be available to read today.

Once upon a time I was comfortable with my writing style, but then I got all caught up in improving and just got completely lost in all the advice. As a writing instructor told me, just write.

There is a lot of advice out there, some is very good, some is questionable and some is scam. Be careful dear writers. Weigh the advice carefully and consider the source. Research! It pays off. And above all stay true to your voice.

Ego Be Damned

So, another thing I did this fall was take an online writing course. I was very challenged and outside my comfort zone. Through the course there were discussion questions, these were divided into two groups.

The first group was where I thought I belonged — beginners, first time writers. I participated in some discussions there. The second group’s questions intrigued me more, they were questions for seasoned, experienced writers. A group I didn’t identify with at all, but am now considering.

I have, after all, published my writing in one blog form or the other since about 2003. I have self published one book, and am included in an anthology as well. I am not a novice anymore. Maybe, I am now an intermediate?

One of the questions in the last week of the course discussed art, specifically the art of writing, touching upon this idea of validation of a writer’s work. Something new to me, not just regarding confidence but ego-wise; not only am I a writer, but my work is art.

Knock me over with a feather! I am getting there.

I am behind my schedule of what I should have published and where I should be as a writer. My dream plan path is off track. It is going to take some work and dedication to get back on. The one key element is that I have to have respect for my work.

Respecting my own work, more than anyone else’s opinion, matters most.

I think that struggling to not only create, but follow the path that is my own journey is one many others struggle to follow as well.

As I look forward to next year, I am thinking what will the focus be for 2017? If 2016 was all about seeing possibility, what will my priority of perspective next year?

Fall Cleaning

A long time ago, when my children were little, instead of major “Spring Cleaning,” I chose to do all the major annual cleaning in the Fall. This ritual ensured the house was clean and ready for the holidays. Holiday decorating, unannounced family visits, as well as planned get togethers were so much easier to maneuver through with a good cleaning under the belt, so to speak.

This yearly thorough cleaning idea came from reading the Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. Two sisters who created a card file cleaning system that worked well for me and my family back in the day. Now I have come around full circle to looking for a copy of that original book.

This is the first year in a long time, I reverted back to that former routine. We have filled the trash bin now for several weeks while downsizing to a home where only grandchildren visit occasionally and our offspring are now adults. I am enjoying this pared down lifestyle and realized that cleaning still boggles my brain, especially when I could be writing!

The old stand mixer began leaving metal flakes from the gears in my dough several years ago, but now that we found a replacement, I can make some holiday cookies this year. I think the garbage guys that have been picking up my castoffs and overstuffed garbage deserve some treats for their assistance.

It is easier to get into the holiday spirit when the house looks good and no drastic cleaning has to occur. Just unbox and sort through the decorations, set them up and turn ‘em on. Maybe next year, if we do a really good job this year, when the hubs is cleaning out gutters he can be enticed to hang some Christmas lights at the same time? Of course that would mean they would be up there until Spring, when he cleans them out again, but I am just fine with that.

Summer Priorities

Priorities at the beginning of Summer
Catchup on Sleep
Lose Weight
Train for 10K, Half, and Tri
Finish one if not both picture books
Finish YA rough draft

What got accomplished?
Caught up sleep.

The best of summer came in the form of perspective. This was not limited to work (story writing) but how to work as well. Seeking outside opinions and observations can be productive, but knowing/learning how to filter and find information that helps rather than hurts is a struggle.

Another positive outcome has been the Hubs learning how to make homemade icing. Hubs is The Breakfast King. Making cupcakes to satisfy our collective sweet tooth, he can do; homemade icing had not been successful.

After some discussion about details, I pointed out that with baking, the importance is to accurately measure. The Hubs is a little of this and that kind of cook. The icing he made this summer was yummy and just right. He was so proud.

That was it. I caught up on sleep and my husband learned how to make homemade cake icing. Pretty good summer.

Pain Sucks

Specifically healing pain sucks.

I am aware that pain wears a person down. Constant, interfering with good sleep. Aware. Been that.

Had a clue? Not really, not until my arm broke. My endurance is be limited. Sleep is slowly becoming deeper and longer, so that I am starting to dream again and feel refreshed.

Both pain and lack of sleep haven’t been constant companions and my empathy to those who have had to make that acquaintance. They are truly awesome people who struggle and to conquer these obstacles in order have a full and active life.

Just about when I think I have had all I can take, with a little extra rest, the next week’s progress is made. I am very thankful for improvement and wish that for everyone.

Broken Possibility

Miserable, exhausted and more often than not this week in pain. Thats what it is like with a broken limb. (Can I get an amen?)

While I am in a very grumpy mood, without further listing the reasons why, I am in the middle of a mindful year focus of possibility. This focus has great potential at becoming a lifelong mantra.

My broken arm has brought new perspective. The possibility of restored health and range of motion may require accepting some limitation, and slow progress.

That last sentence was hypocritical. I have no patience. I have to do the physical therapy to get the range of motion. That takes time up and I already decided earlier this year I was behind on everything. Accepting that my expectations are skewed, is way harder than doing the exercises that will get me closer to restoration of my arm and hand. Typing and writing are awkward and tiring.

Sorry, twenty one pilots, your song Ride has proven to be the background music this summer for me. Taking my time, something I haven’t done enough of (see the previous admittance about not having patience). This broken arm has definitely made me take time, realize the pace I was trying to achieve doesn’t work for me.

Learning at this age to take time and enjoy my life, the process, the path and the journey. Answering my own questions. Living and not thinking (planning) so much. Being in the moment.

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