Category Archives: Reflection

School Locker Nightmares

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????While my husband and I were out to dinner last night, we were talking about our grandkids. The two oldest will be in middle school this fall. Yikes!!! Where did the time go? I was telling Al how one of the girls, Alli, is excited about going to middle school, while the other one, Ella, is rather afraid to go.

Ella has brought this up several times, and I’ve tried to reassure her that all the kids going to 6th grade will be new to middle school. She won’t be the only one, and the teachers will be there to help them every step of the way.

A few weeks ago she brought it up again. Again, I tried to reassure her until she said this: “But we’ll have lockers, with locks and combinations we have to memorize. Oh, man. No reassurance from me there as flashbacks of losing my combination raced through my mind. My breath caught, my palms got damp, and my heart raced. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

My husband laughed when I told him about the nightmares I still have where I can’t find my locker, I’ve lost my lock and my combination, and the school secretary was no help whatsoever. The reason he laughed – he has the same nightmares.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????These dreams rank up there with knowing I did my homework, but not remembering where I put it. Or not being able to find my classroom when I need to class for a big test. (This last one is from college.)

Since then I’ve talked to a few others who have the same dreams. Is this universal? Then I wondered if my younger brother has nightmares, not only of losing his combination, but being locked in his locker by the bigger, upper class men when he was a freshman.

And, what did I dream about last night after our discussion? High school. Lockers. Combinations.

What about you? What nightmares do you have about school?

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Do You Ever Have Days Like This?

Yesterday I had great intentions of editing “Never With a Rich Man,” a romantic mystery I’ve been working on for the past few months. With Christmas presents put away, family gone, messes cleaned up, and not ready to do laundry, I realized I had nearly an entire day to devote to writing. I ran down the basement steps in anticipation.

What greeted me this morning - including cup of tea from yesterday.

What greeted me this morning – including cup of tea from yesterday.

Then I walked into my office, sat at my desk and looked at the mess. One of my children and her husband had slept in the room over Christmas, and in preparation for their stay, I’d gathered up papers, bills, books, etc. and put them in a (not so neat) pile. I stared at the pile. The pile stared back.

Well, I for sure had to get rid of those papers before I could work—right?

No, wait. I got some new books for Christmas. I certainly need to get them put in my Xcel program—right?

No, wait. 2015 is almost here. I must decide which books to read through in my hundreds of books and organize them—right?

No, wait. Why don’t I get rid of the many research books I’ve had for decades and haven’t looked at. Good idea—right?

No, wait. At the bottom of the pile of the above mentioned papers are articles I’ve read and decided I HAD to keep for future reference. These demand my attention–right?

So. . .here is what I did. All of the above, jumping from one thing to the next. I figured if I’d hurry, I could still get some writing done. I really don’t have ADD, but sometimes I wonder.

Books into Xcel – check.
Stacks of books to be read in 2015 put upstairs in my bedside bookshelf – check.
Sorted through research books and set them aside to donate to the local library – check.

Went through those articles and. . . Wait. What are those stack of papers on my four-tiered rack on the table behind me? Could those be. . .yep, more articles and other papers.

Geez, I might as well go through those and organize them. And as long as I’m at it. . . let’s not forget all the articles I had in folders in my file cabinet.

Binders and stack of papers still be put in binders.

Binders and stack of papers still to be put in binders.

There went the rest of my day. I sorted, tossed (some articles were from the late 90s), and set up binders to organize them all. I still have to put some of the articles in the binders, but it was a start. I have a huge garbage bag for the shredder at work.

When I went to bed last night I thought, “Now tomorrow I can go down to my nice clean office and edit.” I must have been dreaming because, guess what? To my dismay my desk was still a mess with miscellaneous junk I don’t know what to do with, there are binders everywhere, I’m doing laundry and have to pay bills.

I have only three hours to finish before the football game starts. Can I do it? Why certainly I can.

No, wait. I have to fix a seam in my granddaughter’s pajamas.
No, wait. The Christmas CDs need to be put away.
No, wait. I need to get rid of the papers from when I was head of my writers’ group.

Some of the Christmas CDs.

Some of the Christmas CDs.


No, wait. Is that the dryer?
No, wait. . .
Ah heck. I’ll edit tomorrow!!!!!

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A Grandmother’s Emotional Day

flower-heart-shape-valentine-card-design-element-37283156I was going go blog about something totally different this week, but something happened yesterday that I wanted to talk about. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I love, love, love being a grandmother. I love everything about it and have often said it’s God’s reward for raising our own children.

My two kids were good kids. They didn’t get into trouble – that I know of, anyway. They did chores, got good grades, had jobs in high school and have grown into responsible adults. That’s not to say we didn’t have our issues once in a while. My daughter and I butted heads a few times. My mother thought it was funny, and now I can laugh when she butts heads with her daughters.

Even though I loved being a mother, being a grandparent is different. We see our grandchildren with different eyes. We watch our children struggle with their own children and smile. Been there, done that. In most grandparents’ eyes, their grandchildren can do no wrong. They are the smartest, cutest, most creative and athletic, best behaved (usually) creatures on the face of the earth.

I know some young parents whose own parents refuse to be part of their grandchildren’s lives. Oh, how I feel sorry for them. One man told me he didn’t want to be a grandparent. He said, ” I don’t want to be a grandfather. It means you’re getting old.” My response: “You’re getting old anyway, you might as well enjoy it.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Anyway, my oldest granddaughter is ten. When she was one, I started sitting two days a week. Not only did it help my daughter and her husband financially, but it gave me the opportunity to be part of hers and the future little ones’ lives. For nine years I’ve taken her and her two siblings to library class, gymnastics, swimming, piano lessons, t-ball, soccer, picked them up from daycare or school when they were sick and took them to four-year-old kindergarten. The kindergarten program, which was part of the city school system, was held at their daycare. So for nine years, I’ve come to know the owner, manager and many of the teachers. Over the years, instead of daycare, we always said the kids were going to school.

graduation-4379698Last week, my youngest grandson graduated from 4-year-old kindergarten. It was cute and fun, short and sweet. I thought I would cry knowing this would be the last one, but I didn’t. But I didn’t count on how I would feel taking him to school yesterday. Because of the snow days this year, he had to go a few extra days. As I drove him to school, I realized this was the last time I would enter that building with a little one attached to my hand, watching him grow and develop until he no longer needed the security of my hand. It would probably be the last time I would see the staff. I couldn’t believe how emotional I became.

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Then, I couldn’t believe it when I cried as I left the building. Shirley, the manager gave me a hug. It wasn’t any easier when I picked him up after school and left the building and everyone said goodbye. I cried when a mother I became friends with gave me a hug.

It isn’t any easier today as I write this. It’s really bothering me that this part of my life as a grandmother is over. In the fall all three of them will be in school all day. I’m sure I’ll cry when I walk away from the building with just the dog on the leash.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

All I have to do is get through a summer of swimming lessons, t-ball, gymnastics, soccer, school lessons (we keep up with learning during the summer), bike rides, hikes, camping, piano lessons, and anything else we can come up with. I won’t think about the fall. I won’t think about how fast they are growing up. Much.

I will simply think about how blessed I am to be part of their lives.

Until the next time.

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Catching Up

On this cold, rainy (at least it’s not snow) April 24th, I realized it’s been a bit since I’ve blogged. So what better way to spend my birthday than catching up with friends.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. Tax season is FINALLY over and life has sort of returned to normal. The piles on my desk are diminishing, Al and I get to spend more time together (yay!), and the grandkids came to visit.

Coloring Easter eggs.

Coloring Easter eggs.

We still had some snow for the Easter egg hunt.

We still had some snow for the Easter egg hunt.

IMG_8670I’ve been able to put out some of the summer yard items that have been hiding in the garage since late last September. Sleds, snow boots, snow pants, etc. have been put away. I hope it’s not too early. We also went on our first hike of the season.

The oldest grandchild loved walking and running through the ditches - and she was the one who didn't want to go for a walk.

The oldest grandchild loved walking and running through the ditches – and she was the one who didn’t want to go for a walk.

She loved the culvert, too.

She loved the culvert, too.

I’m still coming to grips with working with two publishers under two different names. Two blogs, two Twitter accounts, two FB pages and promoting two different books is quite a challenge. Sometimes I forget to check one or the other. I’m anticipating “Riding for Love” being released in paperback soon. I was promised it would be ready for the Romantic Times Convention in mid-May. I’m getting excited to actually hold the book in my hands. I’m sure a few tears will be shed.

I’m finding it’s fun handing out my new swag. Everyone, so far, has seemed to like it. It’s easier promoting myself when I have something to give out. It’s easier to say, “Hey, look what I got in the mail” and talk about what I do, than, “Hey, guess what? I’m a published author.” Swag

The illustrators for my two children’s books are making progress – or so I’m told. I don’t have anything new to post, but when I do, I’ll share.

The Romantic Times Convention is coming soon and I’m gearing up for it. Like last year, I’ll be blogging daily about the experience. It’s in New Orleans, so it should be fun – lots of parties. I still have to find a mask, boa, and dig out SUMMER clothes, because I understand it is warm in other parts of the country. My friend, Beth and I are gathering items to put in our basket for the drawings.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Things are falling into place for us Soul Mate Authors who are putting on a program for readers at the convention. Our event is: “Paranormal Activity: The Magic of New Orleans.” We’re having palm readers, Tarot Card readers, psychics, games and bags of swag. I hope to have pictures from this event. I still have to plan my costume – without spending too much money.

So, that’s it in a nutshell. I plan to get back to my weekly blogging. In a week or so I’m hoping to share something new I’m going to try on my blog – something I hope you’ll enjoy. Now to get back to writing.

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Swag for the Romantic Times Convention

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since the last Romantic Times Convention and almost a year since Riding for Love was released at the convention. What a year! Yet here I am, starting to prepare for this exciting week.

Several of us Soul Mate Authors are holding a Reader Appreciation Activity. One of the many things we’re doing is preparing 100 goody bags for the first 100 participants. The bags will hold CDs of our books and swag from the authors. If you don’t know what Swag is, it’s all that “stuff” people bring home from conventions, fairs, open houses, etc.

Choosing Swag, for me anyway, was nerve-racking. I’ve come home from the convention with more pens than I’ll ever use in a lifetime, bookmarks, rulers, lip balm, hand lotion, candy, gum, and so on. When I started thinking about what I wanted for my swag, I decided I didn’t want anything that people would eat, put on their lips or take home and throw away. Once something is used up, the author’s information is gone.

I asked the gals from my writers’ group, people at work, and friends what they thought. When I picked out a few items and gave the choices to people, the decision was unanimous. The letter openers finally arrived yesterday.

Swag

Before I attended my first RT Convention, I had this image of sedate lovers of romance casually going through books, looking over tables of goodies, removing only those items they wanted to take home. Instead, lines for events form long before the event starts. Readers, writers and librarians swarm to tables grabbing what they can, shoving them in their bags. I’ve seen many women lugging their over-full bags down hallways, their faces showing their exhaustion. I must say I’m no better when it comes to free books – and we get a lot of them. I understand the bags we get this year will have wheels. Yay!

So, it’ll be interesting to see how fast our 100 bags disappear and whether we’ll get stampeded in the process.

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Filed under Reading, Reflection, Romance, Soul Mate Authors, Uncategorized, Writer's Conventions/Conferences