Life Interrupts

My daughter got a different job.  This entails her moving two states from where she’s currently living and working.  The last few weeks I’ve been involved in  helping her either look for a place to live or getting packed for the move.

I remember when the girls were little and moving was a thing – for a time Ken and I moved every six months.  It was never fun or easy.  I remember getting up early, getting organized and going until the house was somewhat set up.

Now I’ve been down twice now to help her move and I’m exhausted.  Yes I have more health issues which slows me down a lot.  Last weekend Ken and I were there to help her with the majority of her packing.  We worked all day on Saturday.  We got a lot done but less than I would have liked.  I say that but her kitchen was packed – except the things she’ll need through next week.  Her dining room was almost completely packed.

Sunday we got up, worked on more packing.  I didn’t do much.  I feel like I spent more time watching tv than packing.  She sorted and packed while Ken moved stuff and I assembled boxes and did some packing.

I am once again feeling my age as I help her get organized and ready for her move.  I know she appreciates everything I’ve done.  At the same time, I’m done and can’t wait for a free weekend again.

Family Weekend

Friday Ken and I escaped from Wisconsin to go visit our middle daughter in Indiana.  Chicago traffic was slow (as expected) but we got there in fairly good time.  Saturday morning, I got a text message from my Georgia daughters saying they were 30 minutes out.  We knew they were coming but Vicki did not.  They wanted to surprise her for her birthday.

Vicki and I were supposed to be going grocery shopping for her.  However, since her sisters were so almost to her, I stalled.  Vicki looked puzzled when a knock sounded on her door.  She was thrilled to see her sisters.  It was Vicki’s birthday yesterday and we all converged on her for the weekend.

We spent Saturday running around together.  Vicki and I did errands while Virginia and Stephanie showered and slept.  We brought home lunch for all.  After sharing lunch, we went shopping and Ken came with us.  Virginia got to see my new car for the first time.  We wandered and enjoyed shoe and bag shopping.  Ken looked for tennis shoes.

Stephanie took some family pictures.  I can’t wait to see them.  We were insane and had them taken outside.  It was cold but fortunately no snow on the ground so easier walking.  She took all sorts of combinations.  It will be interesting to see how they turn out and the silliness of them.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent talking, spending time together.  It was wonderful to all be in the same room.  Virginia talked about her homework assignment.  Stephanie, Vicki, and I crafted.  Vicki and Stephanie made supper.  We watched football.

I worked on a shawl for Vicki.  I had it started six times before I got an actual pattern which would work.  I ripped out more than I crocheted.  Sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Sunday we got up to wish Vicki “Happy Birthday”.  Stephanie made waffles, eggs, and bacon.  It was delicious!  Ken and I left around 10 central time and got home about 4.  It took a little longer than normal because of bad roads and weather.

It was a fun and exhausting weekend.  The Georgia girls stayed till lunch time with Vicki.  The three of them had a good lunch before Virginia and Stephanie headed for home.  They also made it safely home around 11 eastern last night.


My daughter is coming home tonight.  She called this morning to tell me how many hours it would be before we saw each other.  I love the day we go from it being days (weeks, months) when I’ll see her (or any of my daughters) to hours. 

The excitement is palpable.  Of course it’s December and we’ve been watching the weather hoping for safe driving conditions.  Hopefully the rain they are calling for will be just rain and the temperature will remain high enough to keep it from being icy. 

My nephew just drove home yesterday.  He had a seven hour delay because his truck broke down.  Fortunately, he was able to get it fixed and back on the road but his short five hour drive turned into more like a twelve hour day. 

Friday, we will be doing the video chat Christmas with the girls in Georgia.  It will be our way of  having the whole family together.  We will watch as people open gifts and talk about our holidays.  It will be our unique family time. 

I’m excited to have whatever time I can get with them this week.  I’m sorry the girls couldn’t afford to come home (or get time off to come home).  However, I’m betting they are loving their house and the space they have. 

No Stress Day

Vicki called me last night to chat before she went to bed.  Before she called I was writing, the words were flowing, everything was moving along nicely.  I hung up with her, typed a sentence and my phone rang again.  It was my other two daughters calling to chat.  I asked if they coordinated that with Vicki.  They laughed and denied by I have my suspicions.

It seems like every time I go to the bathroom or am writing they call.  I think they may have hidden cameras in my house.  Well okay – probably not.

Yesterday I got the new Wayfarer book out!  Today it is available on Amazon.  I’ve reviewed the proof and the paperback will be ready in a few days.  I ordered copies so I can have them on hand, donate to the University library, send to my kids.

Last night I worked on another story and am trying to get it wrapped up.  I realized I had three plot lines to complete before I could finalize the book.  Of course I have editing to do after that.  I’m hoping to finish it off in the next week or so but I’ll have to see how writing goes.

I’m going to play with a cover for one of my novels I’m almost done with.  I don’t have one in mind so I’m going to play around with a few ideas.  I am leaning towards simple with my covers.  I find I like them better when they are either a photo someone has taken or a simple cover.

Once I’m done with a few of the writing projects, I plan to work on crocheting.  I’m hoping to get a few of the gifts made while I watch movies or tv today.  It will be interesting to see if the crocheting loosens up my hands a little.  If it does, I may have to go back to crocheting on a weekly basis to keep the arthritis under control in my fingers.

It’s Sunday so I want a nice and easy day without a lot of stress.  Crocheting, writing, tv, movies, all sound like a good plan.  Of course I have a manuscript to edit so maybe that will find a way into my day as well.

Mom Bragging Moment (or several)

Normally I try to keep my kids out of my writing as I want to respect their right to privacy.  There are just some things that I have to share. 

Of all the people in my life, my daughters are the most incredible women I know.  Yes, I know I’m their mom so I’m supposed to say that.  My feelings go beyond the mom thing. 

Where we started, according to a lot of people, we were doomed to fail.  According to statistics, my daughters were supposed to get pregnant and fail in life because I was pregnant at 17.  They haven’t done that. 

My oldest daughter just got another promotion at work.  She works for Wells Fargo and they have a policy about not promoting unless you’ve been in a position for one year.  This makes her second promotion in under eight months.  She has always been a good worker and a dedicated employee. 

My middle daughter has opted to go back to school and work on a second bachelor’s degree.  She already has one in History and Religion.  She will be going for a degree in psychology.  She has settled into her new job in Indiana and is looking for something to occupy her.

My youngest daughter has been very busy.  In June, she got a big promotion which took her a year (nearly) of preparation for their guidelines.  Additionally she just started grad school for forensic drug chemistry.  Her job is demanding so I know it will be a challenge for her to keep up with all the demands on her but I also know she is very capable of managing all of this.

The girls (I can’t help it – I know they are in their late twenties and early thirties but they are still my girls) are strong, self-aware, intelligent, beautiful people.  They are loving, caring, and socially conscious. 

If I needed an example of good people, I have three right there.  I’m very proud of my girls.  They are the best people they can be and have moved forward with their lives as they were meant to.  Congratulations for all the good things going on in my daughters lives.  It couldn’t happen to better people!


For the last week, I’ve been traveling.  Ken and I went to visit all three of our daughters.  We had a wonderful time and enjoyed our family time.  I was very worried about not being able to go with all the problems I’ve had but I checked with the doctor and she said it was okay to travel.

Our southern girls gave us great hospitality and entertainment.  We played games, shopped, went to a movie, and visited an aquarium.  Since we don’t get to visit them often it was wonderful to meet their cats – two of my grand fur babies – Moo Shoo and Gus Gus.  They are adorable, of course.  The girls have a lovely apartment and we had a good visit.

Our midwest girl gave us great care when we showed up on her door tired from driving.  She took care of us, made us food and talked a lot.  We also went to her ortho appointment and her shoulder is on the mend.  We also went shopping and I found the shoes I love at a great price – saved myself about $50.

I was thrilled to come home though.  It has been a long week with driving and visiting and all the activities.  All of my daughters were careful about my foot issues which are doing much better.

As I drove home yesterday, I thought of all these things I need to get done.  I’ve done some of them this morning but my foot will soon drive me back to my recliner.  One last thing I want to work on is updating my todo list I have on the computer.  I have to cross off all the stuff I’ve gotten done and add in all the things that came to my mind when I was driving yesterday.

I wasn’t completely unplugged for the last week.  I did check my home email a few times but it was good to be mostly unplugged.  It was fun to focus on family and let the phone, email, and all the technology go for the week.

At the same time, I’ve been working on the computer this morning and it is like coming back to an old friend.  I’ve gotten a lot done including paying bills, submitting written work to different places, and checking on all my different publishing avenues.  I cleared a couple piles off my desk which is always a good thing.

While I was gone, I crocheted several scarves and slippers.  I enjoyed wandering around in JoAnn with my youngest daughter and Beth.  All of the items I crocheted stayed with my daughters.  My oldest daughter got the scarf she liked and my youngest got slippers she’s been nagging for and several scarves.  My middle got two scarves.

All in all – it has been a really good week.  Tomorrow I return to work and am looking forward to seeing my faculty and student workers.  I’m sure I’ll be stressed with all the emails I have and with catching up but that will pass quickly.

Mother’s Day

My daughters have all contacted me today.  We may be far apart physically but I think we are getting closer every day.  They are the most amazing women I know.  They are strong, compassionate and loving.  I’m very proud of them. 
With my daughters being out of town for Mother’s day, I have the day to do what I please.  This is always a bonus for me.  Yesterday I finished part of a baby gift and started the other part.  Last night, Ken and I helped my nephew move.  Ken did most of it – I drove.  We got home late last night and we both slept later than normal. 
Ken made me breakfast this morning.  It was sweet of him to do it as the girls aren’t here to do little things like that.  Since I’m moving slowly today I don’t know whether I will spend my day crocheting or work on book production.  Right now I’m putzing on the computer and don’t have a lot of energy. 
I turned fifty this year and maybe that is why but I’ve spent a lot of time just looking at my life and reflecting on my accomplishments.  My three biggest would be my daughters.  I’ve managed to raise three incredible women who are responsible members of society.  (yup mom bragging again).  However, they aren’t my only accomplishments. 
Since December, I’ve graduated from college to get my third degree since high school (associates in business, bachelor’s in business, and finally my bachelor’s in English).  I’ve also just published two books and should have a third book out soon.  I’ve managed to maintain my marriage for thirty three years (next month).  It isn’t front page news but I’m proud of who I am and what I’ve accomplished. 
Since I was seventeen, I’ve had people tell me I will fail.  I would accomplish nothing.  Actually in high school, I had a counselor who was very disparaging about my future so it began even earlier.  I go back to my parents though – my dad in particular – made me feel like I could be and do anything I wanted to do.  I may not have taken the path they wanted me to, but I’ve gotten there in the end.  Against naysayers and even against some pretty tough odds, I’ve managed to attain a level of success I think most people felt I would never reach.  More importantly, I like who I am and what I’m doing.  I’m proud of myself and pleased with my work.  At fifty, I finally feel like I’ve come into my own. 
On this mother’s day, I’m grateful for those who have helped me along the way.  Ken, who is more than just my husband, he is my best friend.  He’s learned to give me space when I need it and be there for me when I need him to be.  Virginia, Vicki, and Stephanie, my wonderful and amazing daughters, have encouraged me even while they were growing up.  They give me encouragement and support as I work my way through life.
While my daughters may be far away, they are never far because – as corny as it sounds – they are in my heart.  They are a part of everything I accomplish and everything I do.  

Change of Plans

This weekend my plan was to run errands and work on organizing the paperwork in the office.  It was going to be a quiet weekend spent inside as much as possible out of the frigid weather.  This is not going to happen.
Instead I’ve run some errands but now Ken is packing the van for me to go to Indiana.  Vicki has an appointment she wants me to go to on Monday.  In looking at the weather forecast today will be a better driving day than tomorrow. 
This brings me to what would you do for someone you loved – family or friend – when they are in need.  My daughter – always concerned about me with my – has offered that I not come down but I’ve rebuffed her each time.  Why?  I’m handicapped and it is difficult for me to get around.  I have concerns about getting into her apartment and if something goes wrong while I’m driving being able to get around.  All valid concerns but at the same time – my daughter needs me. 
Because she needs me, I’m going the extra mile to get to her and spend time with her.  Hopefully I won’t encounter any of the difficulties that concern me.  If I do – I’ll deal as I have to.  Mostly, I just want to get to my daughter so I can provide the support she needs.  Worries and concerns don’t really matter because she is more important than the fear that things might be tough. 
It is more important that she have the peace of mind that me being there will bring than the concerns I have over a winter drive possibly being difficult.  I know she and I will care for each other once I’m down there. 

I love that my daughters have gone off to live their lives.  They are doing exactly what I raised them to do – follow their own path.  This is the one drawback – they are far from me and it is harder to offer care and comfort when they are in need.  I do what I can and hope they know I’m there for them.  It is the one aspect of having strong adult daughters that is difficult – they have followed their path far from home and I can’t be there in an instant – except in spirit all the time.

Reasons to Call Your Mother at 2 in the Morning

My daughters call me at all sorts of odd hours.  They know I’m a night owl and am often up until 1 or 2 in the morning.  However, it doesn’t matter if I’m up or not at 2 in the morning when I see my daughters’ phone number I’m going to pick up. 
This last weekend my middle daughter (yup throwing you under the bus) text me at 2:15 am.  The question was “Are you up?”  Very polite and trying to not be intrusive.  However, I’d been asleep but had just gotten back from the bathroom.  My response was “What’s up?”
Now I am old enough to remember that phone calls at 2 am usually meant that something bad was going on because if you called at 2 am you were likely to wake the whole household.  This meant when you called at 2 am you better have something serious going on. 
Here are a few reasons why you should call at 2 am:
  • I’m in Vegas (or other gambling city) and just got ??? married or won a HUGE jackpot
  • I got in a car accident
  • I’m in the hospital
  • My house (apartment or other dwelling or vehicle) blew up
  • You’re my one phone call as I’ve been arrested.  This one comes with a warning though – as I told my girls when they were in high school – they better have been doing something really important because if you make me lose sleep because you were getting in fights or other stupid things – you better pray the police keep you.
  • I’ve just had a baby – this one is not likely with my daughters but you never know… This is category does not mean you can call me when you’ve found a stray critter on the road while driving home and you’ve decided to keep it… that can wait till morning
  • I’m drunk please come get me – however since my kids all live either 5 or 15 hours away from me, I’m probably not their first choice for a designated driver
  • I decided to surprise you and fly in – the cheapest flight arrived just now – please come get me (since their aunt lives about 10 minutes from the airport they would get a faster response from her – maybe)
  • Other disaster type events that I haven’t thought of

Now if you are calling for any other reason at 2 am I suggest you refer to this list because most people – mom’s in particular – have that gut wrenching feeling of oh shit what happened – when the phone rings at 2 in the morning. 
To be fair, my daughter text first and I was awake so not a big deal.  However, just a note – talking about the movies you’ve been watching all night – not on the above list. 
Will I still answer my daughters at 2 am even if it isn’t for one of these reasons?  Yeah, of course.  I will of course be giving them a hard time about it.

Summer Slipping Away

This summer I have a long list of writing projects to get done.  I have not worked on them at all.  I submitted one article for a contest but aside from that nothing.  I need to get focused.  It just seems like there is so much going on I have no time to consider my writing tasks. 

At work, my department is moving.  This week is filled with finishing the packing process and prepping for the movers.  They are coming on Monday to take all of our stuff upstairs.  It may be a bit of a crazy week plus for myself and the student workers.  Of course there are some things that can be packed in my office now and other things that have to wait for the last minute.  The problem is making the judgement call on each item. 

Last weekend I visited Vicki which was great.  I also discovered a less expensive way to travel to visit the other two girls in Georgia – that is SUPER exciting.  The cost savings means instead of going down every other year we may be able to go down every year and possibly more often then that.

This weekend I am hoping to get some of my craft room and office organized.  I have a number of tasks to get done and hopefully can make some good progress.  Hopefully I can work on a system for keeping track of my writing projects – where they are, leads, and so on.  I’ve got ideas in my head but at the same time I haven’t solidified what I want done.  One of the things I want to do this weekend is to sort through all my available yarn and put it into the bins that Ken set up for me (it is a wire crate type set of shelves).  This will make it easier for me to see what I have which will lead to me not buying yarn unless I need it rather than guessing that I might need it.  The crafter in my head is saying you always need more yarn – there can never be enough yarn, but I’m gagging her (or trying to) and being a responsible adult. 

I have a friend coming out to have lunch and chat.  I’m looking forward to her visit as we always have a good time together.  Ken will be off with his brother cutting up wood.  It will be just us girls.  I’m excited for this as I don’t often get time with friends just to hang out. 

Hopefully all of the activities this weekend will be multiple steps towards getting some of these writing projects and tasks done.  My biggest obstacle at this point is my messy office and that will be my focus this weekend.  Then I can hopefully post (somewhere) a list of things to get done and start crossing them off.