How was yours? Mine was definitely the least stressed out holiday I can remember hosting. My locally based son and daughter helped with the cooking and shared the day with us. My grandson travelled over the river and through the woods to see his great grandmother with his Dad. And my out of town son and daughter dutifully phoned home while celebrating with friends.
I had lift off of my magic turkey timer three minutes before the scheduled oven timing was to end. I then found a pair of turkey lifters in my gadget drawer. That made my professional mom stock soar higher than a balloon in the Macy’s Parade. I was quickly brought back to earth by Gravy 1, CBD 0. It was not dark or flavorful enough. Oh well, I’ve accomplished other culinary feats and the stuffing was superlative.
After dinner we went to share pie with my family of origin gathered at my sister’s. We played a warm up round of Catch Phrase. One by one the adults migrated into other corners of the house and in their place were my teen and twenty something nieces and nephews. My first reaction was to press my napkin to my lips and quickly excuse myself, but I decided to hang a bit and visit.
They grew weary of not understanding certain phrases on the screen of the ticking game (New York Minute) and switched to 5 Second Rule. After modifying the rules a bit we had a rollicking good time. Two of my nephews started their first jobs and they were making me howl with stories of surly holiday customers. It was delightful getting their perspective on fraudulent coupon use and the complete failure to prepare these kids before throwing them into stores to deal with the general public..
More later but I have to rest,
There are no limits to the ways you can part with your hard earned money these days, but the last few weeks have been exceptional. For crying out loud, I bought what equates to an Easy Bake Oven for my CPAP accessories. Yes, I did.
A few weeks ago, I felt a very minor sore throat coming on and quickly deduced it was the CPAP’s fault. I keep it clean but that machine got thrown right under the bus as the culprit. The solution: a machine for the machine. I can wipe down my mask then bake away the rest of the germs by giving it a bath in light. Not to say I’m skeptical, but I haven’t recycled the shipping materials yet.
On the opposite side of the coin is the value I receive from being in both a dedicated writer’s group and a book club. My book club is based in the neighborhood where I raised my kids. I’ve moved twice but since I still reside in the same city, I’m grandmothered back in. We meet once a month and there are a few of us who have been in the club over twenty-five years. Every now and again the discussions veer off course but that kind of continuity is remarkable.
The other group keeping me afloat is my writer’s group. We met in an online class (thank you @MaryCarrollMoore). Six women take on each other’s writing samples from their book-in-progress. We share joys and frustrations as well as brunch once a month. They are invaluable for feedback since we finally made it out of the early American Band Stand responses. “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.” Isn’t exactly helpful, I don’t think.
Both these groups require only time and talent, not treasure. I highly recommend joining or starting a group for a host of reasons.
A friend of mine, Lisa, uses that as her signature sign off. I think of her every time I hear it. It’s also what I’ve been trying to do these past few nights I haven’t posted. I’m attempting to learn mindfulness, watch my sleep hygiene, keep up with unread email, read more, write more and not stress out about any of the above.
I’m actually trying to cram a lot more into my twenty-four hour allotment these days but I glaze over at other people’s idea of stress so I won’t go there. I promised my husband I wouldn’t stay up too late but I want to tell you about some fun things I’ve done lately.
I participated in a webinar writing class today. When I figure out how to do it correctly, I will credit the instructor as I think she is super fab. The class was limited to seven attendees and we all got individualized instruction on a different part of our book’s structure.
In order to participate, I picked up a microphone for my computer. I already had a pair of headphones. Imagine my joy, sitting at my kitchen table, when my headphones said, “unmute” and my name was on the screen. Yes, I had water at the ready because my lips went dry and my voice was clacking louder than a freight train. But it was fun!
The microphone comes with a tripod to elevate it. I’ve been messing around with GarageBand on my MacBook. I have no delusions of singing or even playing musical instruments but voice recordings, hmmm. I’ve heard podcasts are the new blogs, but I’m not ready to abandon the written word quite yet. It is at once intimidating and exhilarating to imagine what long- forgotten dreams this granny could live out in her fuzzy purple bathrobe.
In keeping with my promise to get more sleep, I’ll sign off.
Until next time,
I figured out where my contact page is. Please put the word contact in the search bar if you want to communicate with me. If I put the word in quotes apparently the computer gets the idea I’m trying to code. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you search, my contact page appears and you can figure out the rest.
I got some feedback about my first post from aforementioned children. The support continues, which is well received. But I started a blog while whining about my unfinished book. The two seem incompatible: one a parasite and the other an unwilling host.
Actually, writing is relaxing. I put enormous energy into twisting my story into a fictionalized memoir, a true life novel, and a plain ordinary novel. I will not divulge how long I’ve spent on the project exactly because it has morphed many times. Each time I started the clock over, set new deadlines made more promises. But still no book arrived.
I’m pretty sure it’s because any of those books I would have published wouldn’t have captured what I wanted to say. It wasn’t simply the book that wasn’t ready, it absolutely was me.
Timing is everything. I named one of my characters Al Hamilton decades ago. I was staring at my toaster and inspiration struck. I went to the library and looked up the relatively obscure early American figure. I wanted to see what I could work into the story. Maybe he was bullied in school about being on the $10 bill. I guess Lin Manuel was a tad quicker off the draw than I was.
It’s okay, though. The universe works in mysterious ways. Now it may be my Instant Pot that creates a new bit of genius. I’m willing to give it a try.
I knew this would be time consuming, but geez. Being a newb at things like web design feels like walking through a tar pit. My dear readers should be able to contact me now without gnashing of teeth. Or maybe there’s more work to be done with that page. I’m going to rest now in order to get up early and VOTE. I suggest you do the same.
Yes, It’s me and it’s not a Christmas letter. I’ve wanted to do this for so long my copy of “Blogging for Dummies” is now outdated. Rather than read about it for a few more years, I’m choosing to dive in to the abyss and see what happens. One of my children called me a broken record recently. After I stopped crying, I realized she was right. I’ve had a book on the back burner for an extended period of time. I’ve told many people, including my daughter, of this seemingly mythical book and this coming year is put up or shut up.
Another child of mine told me to finish the book before I start something like a blog. She is a pragmatist and knows her mother’s penchant for diversions well. I wanted to explore this form of expression and maybe the side hustle will get me writing on a more regular basis. It’s really tough trying to get all of your ya-ya’s out in an annual holiday missive.
Yet another child called me the other day. “Mom, about your book. Do you know you’ve been talking about it my entire life? It’s time.” Out of the mouths of babes and all that, I said. This babe is thirty.
I called my oldest child, excited at the prospect of finally finishing the book. “That’s great, Mom! I’m happy for you.” It’s our thing. We say it every year. His support is unwavering and steadfast.
Finally, there’s my longtime husband. He never knew about the fine print in the vows under “in sickness and in health” that reads, “even if your spouse is obsessed with the idea of writing a book.” When I’m finally finished, I will give him the breathless news and he’ll respond, “Good for you. Now, what’s for dinner?”
More to come. I don’t know how often but I will visit this space again.