Paperwork and other tortures!

We spent a week in Georgia with the two daughters down there.  The whole family was together and we enjoyed our time.  My youngest daughter got her tonsils out which was the reason for the visit.  She’s recovering.

It was an adventure driving back through a snow storm in Illinois.  We went from making great time to adding three hours to our trip.  By the time we got home, we were all exhausted.

While we were in Georgia, I got to snuggle with all my grand fur babies.  Even Penny who is super shy and nervous came out and got a snuggle with me.  All four cats spent time sleeping on me but Moo spent a lot of time on my legs.  They are all sweet (and mischievous) kittens.

I got most of the crocheting done I wanted to for them.  I didn’t not finish their dresser scarves as working with thread hurts my hands.  I’ll have to limit the amount of time I work with it.  I’ve got Virginia’s about a third of the way done.  I think I’ll put hers and Stephanie’s into a bag and use that as my crochet group project to work on until they are done.  I’ll make progress but will limit the amount of time I’m working with the smaller thread.

Joann’s new store opened yesterday.  It is nice in that there are automatic doors wider aisles, and even a scooter available.  The yarn section wasn’t much bigger which is a little disappointing but they have more crafting stuff.  It will be interesting to see how the store goes forward.

This week for work has been interesting.  It took me two days to get caught up but I’m in a good place and ready to enter schedule this next week.

We’ve had some lousy luck with household things.  Our washer died so we had to order a new one.  Hopefully it arrives tomorrow – I don’t really want to go to the laundromat with all our clothes.  Ken’s truck had to have some major work done.  All of these things cost money of course.  So I’m working on juggling a lot.

Since Ken’s truck is in the shop and I was caught up at work, I stayed home today so he could drive my car to work.  I’ve been working on bills, budget, book sales and other business stuff.  I have a list – when don’t I?  I’m making progress.  I’ve still got mom’s stuff to do so that will be next.

Tomorrow will be errands, grocery shopping, and a variety of other things.  I’m hoping Sunday will be a quiet day I can spend crocheting.


We had a wonderful vacation visiting our daughters.  It was great to have the family together in one space and just be together.  You can’t replace those odd moments when you get a giggle for one of “dad’s” jokes or that late night conversation because the house is quiet or that moment when dad walks with one of the girls around her land.

The girls’ house is perfect for them.  I can see how they will settle in, make it theirs, and create a home for themselves.  It is a hard house for me to get around in but I’m not there daily.  They’ve been in there six months and it is really starting to come together.

While on vacation, I finished Virginia’s afghan.  It turned out beautifully.  I believe she likes it.  I am fairly certain she hasn’t allowed it out of her room since she got it.  I don’t think she’s even sharing it with her sister, though she was willing to share with Gus Gus.

I also finished a scarf for her out of the same material.  The purse I had started for Vicki got done and left with Stephanie to put a lining in it.  When we got back to Vicki’s I was able to make two bib’s for her to give to her co-worker whose wife is pregnant.

While we were down there, we went to the aquarium again.  It is sort of expensive but I LOVE going there.  There are a couple of rooms I can sit in and just watch the fish forever.  It was one of my favorite parts of the visit.

I got a video of the yellow jellyfish and it is amazing.  I love watching it.  I could have stood and watched them for much longer but there were so many people at the window.  The color contrast between the blue and yellow just is gorgeous.

The big tank had whale sharks in it.  The one shown in the picture was somewhere over twenty feet long.  We were there at feeding time and got some incredible pictures.  We all just sat together in this room and watched.  The fish are mesmerizing.  When we go back, I think I want to go again.  I know it is crazy as we’ve been twice now but I just can’t get enough of it.

We are back home and I spent the weekend doing very little.  I read a lot and crocheted a little.  Ken and I watched tv programs and movies.  It was a very mellow weekend which we needed after all the travelling.  Now we are back to the routine of our life.  It was great to get the break, see the girls, see their new house.  It’s also great to be home and settle back into our routine.

Fall Equinox

September 23 is the fall equinox this year. Fall is a time of harvesting, finishing up projects and completing goals.

I had several goals this year. One of which was to go visit the girls in Georgia. We did that and had a wonderful vacation. It was great to get away for a week and see all three girls. I’m hoping we can do something similar next year.

For writing, I had specific goals. Some of these I’ve met and exceeded and others I’ve totally not met. One of my goals was to submit work / articles each month. I was hoping to do at least three but so far I’ve only done sporadic submissions.

Another goal was to get one or two books published. I’ve now gotten seven books published. I seem to have exceeded this goal by quite a bit. I’ve got two more books in the wings which I’m hoping to get out there in the next three months.

Going into winter and heading to the winter solstice becomes a time to reflect on what I’ve done right and wrong this year, how I need to change to improve, what I need to leave alone and just keep the same. By winter solstice, I’ll be looking at what my new goals will be and what I want for the next year.

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I always feel energized and love the season. The colors, the crisp fall air, and the slowing from summer craziness (and before the holiday craziness). For me it is a happy time of enjoying the beauty of the season.

They’re Here!!

We got the girls from the airport last night.  It was so hot and so busy there I didn’t get out to give them a hug but I’ll get plenty while they are here.  Stephanie is off early to visit her friends in Ripon. 

Last night Ken even got out of bed to talk to the girls for a while.  We chatted with the five of us.  Stephanie likes her afghan but says it is too warm.  Virginia on the other hand likes it because it is warm.  I’m glad they like it and it will get used. 
After everyone went to bed I got in some more writing.  I’m working my way through a chapter and hope to finish it today but that depends on how much down time I get from visiting people and activities.  I’m probably going to get minimal writing time while the girls are here.  That is okay though because the girls are here!!! 
It is unbearably hot outside still.  We are again in the triple digits today.  Virginia and Stephanie are used to it but it knocks me on my bum.  When I went out yesterday I felt like I’d walked into a wall.  My glasses steam up when I go outside.  That is a sign that I shouldn’t be going out as far as I’m concerned.  Hopefully by Sunday it will cool off enough to be tolerable but I’m not holding my breath. 
Virginia is still sleeping so I’m going to work on writing until she is up and about.  Then we will see what mischief we get into.

Five More Work Days!!

Five more days!  Yet another countdown for me, I have five more work days to get through and then I will have off until the 15th.  This is very exciting for a number of reasons.  Vacation is always good.  Holiday pay is always good.  The two girls coming from Georgia is wonderful.  Time off is great.

One of my goals for this next vacation is to not set the alarm clock for at least two days.  I’ll probably do that at the beginning of the vacation because as I get closer to going back to work I have to work back into my normal routine. 
Fourth of July we will probably spend getting ready for the girls’ visit.  Then they come on the 5thand will be here until the 10th.  After that I’ll be in vacation mode.  This means I hope that I’ll be writing a lot.  My goal is to get several chapters done in my one novel.  I also want to start editing the first book. 
In addition to the writing, I would like to pull out my list of publishers and work on doing some submissions.  I haven’t done any in a while.  I have two articles ready for one publication and hope to meet the deadline on them.  After that I need to update my work list spreadsheet and clear out my emails of the rejections.  Then I have to look at my spreadsheet to see what old submissions I have that I haven’t gotten a response on. 
Hopefully in the cleaning and getting ready portion of the vacation I’ll have time to clean my office a bit so it is more organized and less chaotic.  If I get that done it makes it much easier to do the submissions.


This was a weekend of surprises for some people.  Virginia and Stephanie flew home from Georgia to surprise Vicki for her birthday.  We also planned to surprise mom because she didn’t get to see them the last time they were home.  The girls got a fabulous deal on the tickets and it all went smoothly.  Mom knew once they hit the airport for pick up that one of the girls was coming in but not both of them. 
Vicki on the other hand knew something was up.  There were just too many factors sticking out – like extra food bought, questions about what she was going to do and so on.  What can I say – we just aren’t good at keeping secrets. 
Saturday morning the girls show up and mom was surprised to see both of them.  Vicki wasn’t surprised but was very pleased.  We had a great time with a few family members and friends who stopped by but mostly it has been just our core family hanging out and doing stuff.  There has definitely been little sleep, lots of laughter, and just a joy in being together. 

Unfortunately it is another quick visit and tomorrow is our last day together.  I’ve gotten quiet time with both girls which is nice so we can have mom / daughter conversation.  This has been a great bonus for me just before the craziness of my semester starts and I’ve loved every moment of it.


We had a great time visiting the girls.  Their new apartment is beautiful and fairly spacious.  It definitely fits the girls and their needs.  Just having the washer/dryer in the apartment is a huge convenience and bonus for them. 

We went to the zoo.  We also hung out at their pool one day.  I’m sure the southerners all thought we were crazy but some of us got in the pool and played.  It was mostly warm enough.  When the breeze picked up it was very chilly. 
Spending time with the girls and just being together was the best part of the weekend.  We played games, watched football (YUCK), picked on each other.  It was a good weekend. 
Now someone needs to invent the transporter so we can get to these locations in less time.  The fourteen plus hour drive was tiring to say the least.  On the way back was the worst because we were already tired from being so busy.  I did all the driving (partly because of my own stubbornness).  At the last gas stop I had a hard time standing because my knees were so sore.  Fortunately, I only took a day or so to recover.
Now we are back and trying to get back into the groove of every-day life.  I feel like I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation but my desk is already so far behind there is no way I’d ever catch up if I took off again. 

Busy… very busy

It was definitely a busy weekend.  I got almost everything crossed off my list.  I did get all the homework done I wanted to as well getting most of my forms set up for the new business.
Stone Editing is officially started.  I have no idea whether I will get any customers or work but all I can do is put it out there and do my best.  Now we will see. 
I have one or two smaller things to set up and get done but mostly I’m happy with where I’m at for the business and for homework.  I even got two dvds watched.  The one series can now go back to the library.
Vicki got me two poetry books by Mary Oliver.  I’m going to hopefully have time tomorrow to read them during my lunch hour. 
You’d think with all that I got done I’d be done with lists but I’m not because now I’m turning to the other list which is getting ready for the trip to Georgia!!!!  I cannot wait to see Gin and Stephanie.  I cannot wait to see their new apartment.  I’m hoping it will be a really good time and we get some quality family time in. 
It’s been a good weekend all in all.  It could be that I had a balanced weekend for a change.  Now if only I could discover the secret to complete balance on a daily basis… stop laughing – it could happen…


The girls are back in Georgia with their 50+ degrees for temperature and much milder weather.  Wisconsin got hit last night with a snow storm which includes snow, rain, and crappy roads.  I look out my window and see cruddy weather.  Yet I’m not discouraged by it.  It is just weather and if we wait a bit, it will change. 
The gray, gloomy day makes me want to curl up in front of the fireplace with my laptop and complete quiet.  I’d love to be working on my story and ignoring the world.  This time of year though the world seems to think we should all gather and celebrate.  The weather seems to be saying hibernate but society demands we gather.
Today is the shortest day of the year.  It is meant to be a time of letting go.  Winter allows the world (at least in the northern regions) to rest from the growing season.  It also allows us to rest.  In our ever moving and constantly busy lives we rarely take time for ourselves.  This is the time of year to do it.  The weather certainly seems to be encouraging us to snuggle in for the duration.
Darkness, physical darkness, dominates this day.  When most people look at darkness they attach a negative label to it.  Darkness to them represents evil.   To me though, darkness represents time to reflect on what is within me.  It is a quiet peaceful time meant to hear that inner voice.  To let those deeper questions surface so they can be examined and maybe an answer found. 
For some people this is the time when they catch up on sleep, snuggle in to do nothing, go skiing or snowboarding.  For me it is a time of reflection on where I am now, where I want to be next year, what I’ve accomplished, what I want to accomplish. 
The older I get the more I appreciate these quiet times, the time to let go of the expectations of others so I can focus on my own expectations.  It may sound selfish but now instead of putting my family’s needs and desires first, I am looking at my own.  It is my turn to be first in my own life and work towards my dreams. 
It’s funny how dreams are.  I know that there are people out there who want to do big things. I don’t necessarily.  I want to tell good stories.  I want my daughters to be happy.  I want to lead a quiet fulfilled life.  Not big dreams but definitely worthwhile…
Happy Solstice…