Today’s Joy

It snowed yesterday, and living where I live, it will all be gone by tomorrow.  Warmer weather had been predicted, at least according to the app on my phone, but it’s too overcast and just darn cold for the snow to melt today.

I remember being thrilled by snow when I was young, and I see that joy in the faces and actions of the children who live around me today. As an adult, however, the fun diminishes. Reality sets in. You become nervous about driving and the heating bill intimidates you. Not to mention when the snow melts, it might freeze over, and all of a sudden there’s ice on the steps.

It got me to wondering, what does bring me joy these days? Is there anything that doesn’t have its dark side for me? I love pecan caramel rolls, but they are chock-full of calories and I have vowed to lose weight.

Pages Of A Book Curved Into A HeartThe first thing (okay, second, after those rolls) that comes immediately to mind is books. A good read still brings me joy, and the only consequence is that the story ends. But even that brings satisfaction. I have always loved reading, and the proof is in my apartment–I have five bookcases full of books, and boxes with more, ready to donate.

But thinking of reading brings me to writing. I love to write and can get lost in the process when I allow myself to. Whether it’s a short blog post or a novel, writing is a pleasure I hope I never lose. I am compelled to write.

mittensformimialpacaAnd I love to knit. There’s double joy in that. I enjoy sitting down with needles and yarn, creating something new and then showing it off to other knitters. Speaking of other knitters, I can go to my local yarn store and simply sit and knit with others, sharing our lives. I guess there’s triple joy in knitting, because I can make hats and mittens for those in need.

Which brings us back to snow. Kids need mittens to play in the snow. So what if winter weather doesn’t bring me joy any more? There’s plenty to replace it, and sometimes, it all ties together.


Image  Credits: Snow © mallinka–stock.adobe.com, Book © bigstockphoto.com

A Messy Home is the Sign of a Good Mom

My mom once said she wished she had spent less time cleaning when my brother, sister and I were growing up and more time hanging out with us. Actually, I don’t know that she said hanging out, but that’s the general idea. I turned her wish around a bit and told my friends who were embarrassed by their lack of meticulous housekeeping that a messy home is the sign of a good mom.

Often their response would be, “tell my husband that.” Oh well. Tell him to pitch in.

But really, I get what my mom was saying. Our home was always clean–save the kids’ rooms–but should that be what we remember most about growing up? I can’t say it’s my strongest memory, but I definitely would have benefited with a little more attention from my mom. And my dad, for that matter.

Still, every parent has regrets and every child–even an adult child–has his or her complaints. I’m leaving the rest alone. I am where I am, I love my parents and I’m too old to dwell on what should have been.

I can’t say I inherited my mom’s penchant for cleanliness. My home is sanitary and presentable, except for the storage room, which I’m still working on. It’s sanitary but hardly presentable. But my apartment  is not as clean as my mom kept things. It could do with a little dusting right now. I don’t remember ever seeing dusty book shelves when I was growing up.

I have no excuse. I only have cats. So I guess I’m going to start working on this storage room again. And to those of you with kids–relax and enjoy your children. The rest will get done.


Image Credit: © New Africa–stock.adobe.com

Happy New Year!

It’s January 1st. Am I supposed to make resolutions?

I think I’ve failed every year when I’ve done this, but there are a few things I’d like to accomplish, so here goes:

Bathroom scale isolateLose 10 pounds. I put this weight on about 3 or 4 years ago, and I’ve been vowing to lose it ever since. It hasn’t happened. But now I’m motivated. Will this motivation last? Probably not. But I’m going to lose the weight anyway.

Vintage VacuumVacuum every Sunday. You laugh, but I have the hardest time doing this. It’s not that I don’t like vacuuming–I don’t mind it at all–it’s that it scares my cats so much, and I feel terrible about that. But it has to be done.

AdobeStock_74229029 [Converted] c RetroClipArtWrite more. I have a novel I’ve been working on, and I have great resources for making it a decent read. In the last year I’ve had some back problems that make it difficult to sit for any length of time,  but those are pretty much resolved. I have a writer’s group that includes several published authors, and I have the means to take that writing class I’ve always wanted to take. So time to dive in.

There are plenty of other things I’d like to accomplish, but this is enough commitment for now. So here goes–2022. It sounds so new. Let’s hope this year we’re healthy, wealthy (relatively, anyway) and wise.


 

Image Credits: Happy New Year© cienpies design–stock.adobe.com; Scale ©roberaten–stock.adobe.com, Vacuuming–©studiostoks–stock.adobe.com, Writer©retroclipart–stock.adobe.com

Merry Christmas to You and Happy Blogging Anniversary to Me!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! Walter, Mimi and I all hope you’re having a blessed day.

Walter and Mimi, two tabby cats, say Merry Christmas as they relax next to their favorite ottoman.
Walter and Mimi say Merry Christmas!

Today is more than just the Christmas holiday for me. It marks seven years that I’ve been blogging. I’ve learned a lot about myself in these past seven years through this blog and the more than 500 posts I’ve written. While I used to be much more consistent about writing regularly–two or three times a week, generally–I’m still growing with the help of my pen and ink (okay, computer).

Many of you have been blogging buddies for years and I appreciate your friendship. Some of you are more recent followers and I’m grateful for you, as well–make new friends and keep the old, right? Blogging is a gift for all of us.

If you’re alone this Christmas day, take heart. So am I and so are millions of others. If you’re with family, I hope your time together is gracious and kind, as well as just plain fun. If this is the first Christmas you’re spending without a loved one, God bless you. I hope unexpected blessings fill your heart.

Wherever you are, whoever you’re with, Merry Christmas!


Image credit: © Pasko Maksim–stock.adobe.com

Woo-hoo! It’s National Chocolate Day

I didn’t plan to celebrate all of these national observances, but this one caught my eye and I feel compelled to honor it. Whether it’s milk chocolate or dark you prefer, today is a day to just smile and give in.  Okay, I don’t want anyone to break their diet on my say-so. But for the rest of you chocolate lovers, go for it.

I’m celebrating a couple of other things as well. I saw my neurosurgeon today and found out that all of those compression fractures that put me in a brace have healed and there are no new fractures to report.

On Monday I start a new job, one that won’t require any lifting, which was what got me in trouble with my back to start with. I’m excited and nervous about this new job, which is natural, I suppose.

So I’m going down to that fancy chocolate shop today to get myself a small something and say, “things are looking up.”

 

 


Image Credit: Box of chocolates © Nitr–stock.adobe.com

It’s National Apple Day–and a few gripes about attempts at healthy eating

I feel I should add some balance to my post about Chocolate Cupcake Day of a few days ago. Today is National Apple Day, and I say for every cupcake we eat, we should chow down two apples. Actually, a healthy diet would probably have us eating an apple a day and a cupcake no more than once a week, but I know myself better than that.

Still, I’d like to eat a healthier diet. It’s difficult when you’re cooking for one, or even two, because few recipes cater to the single eater and you end up with a lot of leftovers. And no appetite for the food by the time you finish eating all of it. I’ve bought a pound of ground beef before and thrown out half of it because two burgers in a row is enough for me.

That’s a distinct waste of food and I’ve sworn I won’t do it again, but right now I’ve got a pound of chicken breasts in my freezer with no plan for how to prepare them. I originally planned to separate them all before freezing and pull them out one by one, but I forgot to do that and now they’re all frozen together.

It’s too easy to rely on frozen pizza or other frozen meals, but those stop tasting good after awhile. Today I ate totally unhealthy food all day long and now I’m paying for it. My stomach aches and my head just feels icky. Yet at the grocery stores in my area, there aren’t any deli options, such as salad or (really wishful thinking here) soup. In fact, there aren’t any delis that I know of in the area.

Yes, there are some restaurants that have relatively healthy food, but they’re some distance from my apartment and expensive to boot. I have a limited budget and eating out is a luxury.

So, sorry about griping. I truly do want to eat healthier food (without denying myself the occasional cupcake), but I struggle with finding such food that fits into my lifestyle.

It’s a dilemma many single people face, this inability to cook for one. If you have any suggestions, I’m open to ideas. In the meantime, let’s all enjoy the single-serving apple!

ripe apples


Image credits: Basket of apples © voren1–stock.adobe.com, Row of apples © cooperr–stock.adobe.com

Celebrate! It’s National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. This is an easy day to celebrate, and as far as I’m concerned, a belated celebration is also legit! So in case you’re reading this post past the actual holiday, I give you permission to eat a chocolate cupcake. Or two, if they’re of the mini-cupcake variety (if you’re like me it’s hard to stop with just two of those, so I’m going to be good and go to the bakery to get just one regular-sized cupcake).

We all need things to celebrate, and today I was looking for a holiday I could easily support. We have a great bakery nearby, and what do you know? They had a special on chocolate cupcakes. So I’m satisfied.

Image credits: Spider cupcakes (below) © azurita–stock.adobe.com, Regular cupcakes (above) © olyina–stock.adobe.com 

Chocolate spider cupcakes for Halloween party

A New Level of Understanding

Eye of the hurricane.

I learned something last night.

It’s one thing to watch a disaster from a distance, in the safety of your own home, when you have no personal stake in what’s happening. It’s another when your 20-year-old nephew has decided to stay in New Orleans and wait out the hurricane.

I watched the Hurricane Ida coverage last night as much as I could, but it was so stressful imagining what my nephew would be going through and not knowing where he was. I have no idea where he stayed, except I know it’s not in the house he now calls home. He’s a student at Tulane and perhaps the university had a place for the students to wait out the storm. At any rate, now he’s safe and home, but communication is difficult and will only get worse. After all, how do you charge up your phone when there’s no power?

No word yet on what Tulane will decide to do. The semester just started. It would be hard to conduct classes with no power, not to mention how the students would take care of themselves without it. The last I heard, it could be weeks or even months before power is restored to New Orleans.

I pray for my nephew and all the people affected by Hurricane Ida. It will never be the same watching hurricane coverage again, for no longer will I be able to separate myself from what is going on. I always believed I had a great deal of empathy for people in those situations, and perhaps I did, but this adds a whole level of understanding.

Image credit: copyright EvgeniyQW–stock.adobe.com

Three-legged Moggy Minty Named National Cat of the Year 2021 — Katzenworld

The post Three-legged Moggy Minty Named National Cat of the Year 2021 appeared first on Katzenworld – Welcome to the world of cats!. A three-legged moggy who helps a six-year-old boy with severe learning difficulties and medical conditions has been named National Cat of the Year 2021. Minty, from Holywell, Wales, beat hundreds of other…

Three-legged Moggy Minty Named National Cat of the Year 2021 — Katzenworld

Vertigo…or something like it

Some of you know I’m in a writing group, and yet another of my fellow writers has published a novel. Nancy Hartney is an incredible writer–she’s already published two short story collections–and this is her debut novel. Read on to learn about it in her own words.

Nancy Hartney

Ever stand on a cliff precipice and look down? Feel the exhilaration and fear?

When I finish a book—be it a collection of short stories or now my debut novel—those feelings take over.

And then, when a publisher selects the book for publication, my thoughts and feelings intensify as the process of editing, revising, formatting, design layout, and cover selection begins.

If You Walk Long Enough, my debut novel, is scheduled for release February 24, 2021.

The title is taken from a conversation between The Cat and Alice in Wonderland. Alice is lost and asks The Cat which way to go. She says she really doesn’t care where she goes, she simply needs to get someplace.

The Cat responds, “You are sure to get someplace if you walk long enough.”

Returning from Vietnam, Reid Holcombe, the main character in the novel, cannot decide what direction to take. Old ghosts…

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Loneliness

Loneliness

Don’t go, she wanted to tell them. I’ll be all alone. No one to fix meals for. No one to hug. No one to love—and I do so love you.

She watched them scamper away, chasing butterflies and grasshoppers. Slowly she closed the door, hoping one of them might run back. But the doorway remained empty.

She brushed her graying hair out of her eyes and blinked back a tear. What to do all day? Nothing but wait.

Nightfall came at last, and she heard them at the door. They’re back, she thought with satisfaction. My kitties are back.


Image Credit: © vlr.comics–stock.adobe.com

Going with the Flow–and the Flow is Easy

Well, the laptop that I told you all was kaput the other day shall henceforth be known as Lazarus, because it has been raised from the dead. Okay, it still dies now and then, so it isn’t as reliable as I’d like and I should probably get a new one. But I need to wait for my tax refund anyway so I’m going with the flow with ol’ Laz here.

Going with the flow seems to be the story of my life these days. I’m living in an apartment I’m not thrilled with because that’s what I can afford. The pandemic has limited my social life (we’re all in that boat, I know). It seems I spend a lot of time at home and that can make me a bit stir crazy.

Still, I remain proactive about some things, which brings us back to the laptop and why I’m likely to get a new one even if Lazarus remains alive. I’m active in my writing group and need a reliable computer to maintain my good standing. Not that anyone would kick me out if my attendance and writing were spotty, but I want to stay active and be a consistent, contributing member.

I’m also proactive about the health of my cats, which can be costly. They each need to have their teeth cleaned, and that’s expensive–but necessary. So I’m saving my pennies and hoping this latest stimulus package goes through so I can get that done soon. Poor babies. They need to go back to the vet (high trauma) and get put under to have their teeth cleaned. 

I’m lucky enough to have a couple of great cats, snugglers both of them, so I want them healthy and happy.

I may not like my apartment and I may be bored quite a bit of the time, but overall, I’m happy with life. Sometimes you have to put up with something for awhile to make way for better things. I’m hoping I can move up in my job sometime soon, although I really like my manager and the group I work with so I’m a bit hesitant to get too proactive there.

So yes, I’m going with the flow on my job–a job with great benefits and respect for its employees, so the flow is easy.

And I’m lucky enough to say right now with my life, the flow is easy.


Image Credit: © Oceloti--stock.adobe.com

Rats…it’s happened again

Some of my longer-term followers may remember the last time my computer went kaput. I got a new laptop then, but time has flown by and my “new” computer has died.

So I’m writing a short post to let all of you know you won’t be hearing much from me for a couple of weeks.

The timing is okay, however, as I’ll be getting enough of a tax refund to afford the laptop I want. Nothing fancy, but definitely more powerful than what I’ve been working with lately.

I still have my phone so I can respond to comments you leave. So for now, thanks for being there for me!


Image Credit: © vladwel–stock.adobe.com

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