Great News!

I’ve been inspired (and supported by my Daily Horoscope app telling me the time is good for an endeavor I have come back to) to start seriously writing again. I really feel this is what I’m meant to do so I need to get busy getting my words out there.

The other day I was searching for online calls for submissions and found several that may be a good fit. Some are paid and some are exposure only, but regardless I’m able to share my writing and get serious about making writing my career.

So now for the good news….one site features nonfiction by midlife writers. Five stories are selected each week for a contest and the winner gets a cash prize. Even though I am barely eligible to write for this site, I submitted a story and was selected for a contest in a few weeks! :)

When I get the link I’ll share it, and then you can show me the love and Like my story on Facebook and leave a comment. The most likes wins.

Someday maybe you’ll say, I read her first blog before she was famous. :)

Magic Couch Ends Sibling Wars!

Being an only child, I have been asked at least a million times whether I missed having a sibling. I always said, “I don’t know, I guess not.” I figured why would I miss having to share toys and always having someone around to get on my nerves?

But then when my mother passed away, I did miss having a sibling since I had no one to help with the decisions I had to make, and no one who fully understood my loss.

But when I look at Peanut and Bird’s relationship, sometimes I am glad I didn’t have a sibling. I can’t figure it out most times. With hormones about to explode it’s more of a love/hate for Peanut and a love/annoy for Bird. And then it changes when one is sick. It’s almost like an extreme panic sets in.

Yesterday Peanut was complaining about everything that Bird did and said and then he started acting obnoxious on purpose to annoy her, and as usual it brought the statement that we should have had a girl instead of the most annoying creature on the Earth. Sorry I didn’t consider her needs and wants when I became pregnant.

But then he started having a belly ache during dinner and suddenly Peanut changed her attitude. The more he said it hurt the more she worried. She kept telling us he needs to go to the doctor and wouldn’t be soothed by us saying it’s not so serious to need that yet.

So then suddenly she had a belly ache! So they both went to the same couch to lay down and started playing a game on her iPod. The couch must be magical because it wasn’t long before both belly aches were forgotten and Peanut was once again complaining about how annoying he is and she can’t stand him and why couldn’t she have a sister that she would love and care about!

Nope, still not really missing having a sibling, though I wonder if I could use the magic couch to help other families and how much I could charge to create sibling harmony.

10 More Minutes

I was sitting on the porch trying to read and suddenly was inspired to write. I haven’t been in a good place lately so this inspiration came as a nice surprise. Another surprise was that what so easily came out was a short fictionalized story based on my always telling my children that I would love to have just 10 more minutes with my Angel Mom. I’m planning to submit it for publishing after I revise it a little more, so please let me know what you think and if you would read more similar stories.

I should just move on. What difference does it make what it looks like now? I haven’t lived there for nearly 20 years, of course things will be different. None of them knew her and didn’t care that each room held different memories and had different ways of making her happy. I just wanted to be inside again, to be nosy mostly, but to also just be near her again and remember her.

My hand must have hovered too close to the doorbell of my childhood house because the door opened. As I stepped through the door and looked in the floor to ceiling mirror that I always imagined was a passageway to another place, I saw the house I remembered shimmering under the house that had been changed since the day my mother left me.

As I called out to the newest owner, wondering how the door opened but now no one was near me, I saw my mother reflected in the mirror.

I thought it was just a memory since I was in our old house but then she hugged me. Immediately I began to cry because it had been 15 years since she was able to hug me and I missed that so much.

“Shhhh, it’s ok. We don’t have much time,” she said as if seeing and hugging your long deceased mother and knowing it wasn’t a dream happened to everyone every day.

“Look what they did to our house! Remember my bookshelf wall and all the hundreds of books I had? And my “quilting/sitting room?”

As I answered I felt that I must be dreaming since I was talking to her as if she had never left me and I was not questioning the impossibility of this being real. “Of course I remember, I thought it made the room seem cozy and I tried to read a lot of them. It seemed like millions when I had to go through them for the auction though!”

The wall that had once been a glorious escape for both of us and separated our family room from the quilting room had been torn down to make another bedroom.

Next we went to my old bedroom, that now had a huge walk-in closet where the door leading from my room to my mother’s bedroom once was. I had spent hours between the doors imagining I was in an elevator going to my penthouse with my celebrity friends.

Suddenly we were in the attic. “Did you know I used to sneak up here and explore when you were at work? I liked to look at all my old school papers.”

“Of course I did. I used to always say mothers always know everything but you didn’t listen!”

Suddenly I remembered she said we didn’t have much time and a flurry of questions came as I began to cry again. “Mom, why do I always dream of you here? Why did you have to go so soon? Did I do everything right? Are you proud of the woman I’ve become? Do you watch over your grandchildren?”

Again she soothed me and said, “I was allowed to be in physical form for 10 more minutes because you needed to know I am always with you. Things will change but you don’t need material things like this old house to stay the same to remember me, or to feel my love for you. I love you but can’t answer any more questions now.”

As she kissed me I found myself on the front porch again, but this time an older woman was looking at me strangely as she held the door partly open.

“Hi. I lived here long ago, and just wanted to tell you this house has a lot of character and I hope you make many happy memories here like my family did.”

As I walked away from the woman who was still staring at me like I was crazy, I noticed a quilted pillow on the porch swing and thought Mom would have liked that pillow.

I’m Still Alive

Life in the Office has been bad lately, to put it mildly. Unfortunately it has also sapped my energy and made me so unhappy I couldn’t even write, or I felt that it would help me to write but no one would want to read it. But then not writing made me even more unhappy.

So what changed? It was something as simple as a 6 item to-do list that broke my funk. I used to write down a few things that I wanted to work on the next day. I didn’t have to finish them, but if I worked on them for at least a half hour then they get crossed off the list. I haven’t been able to do this lately because I plan my day and then I get pulled away from my tasks to do other tasks that are someone else’s high priority so I haven’t been bothering to plan.

But today my boss was away so I planned what I wanted to do…just 6 things: 2 deadlines and 4 tasks that were just regular database/email maintenance things. And I crossed ALL 6 things off my list! It doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but it was so nice to have full control again and motivation to do these tasks that I haven’t been able to get to, for as long as I wanted to and actually feel like I accomplished something. I don’t remember when I last crossed off my entire list. I needed to feel that sense of accomplishment. As little as the tasks were, they were all mine on my schedule! :)

Tomorrow will be back to normal, but I’m not going to let the Office take all my joy anymore. I’ll just make shorter to-do lists, that still counts as writing if they’re on paper right? :)

More Peanut Logic

I’ve written before about Peanut’s logic and my inability to understand her way of thinking. It seems to be getting worse as the stress of my office life increases.

Speaking of the office, Peanut loves going to work with me and folding brochures or sorting promotional items or whatever other mundane task I can come up with. I keep asking if she would rather play her iPod and she firmly tells me she’s fine. People wandering by joke about if her payment is something from the vending machine or the nearby frozen yogurt store. Today she wanted the free hot chocolate from the kitchen as her payment.

Yes, hot chocolate. It’s 82 degrees with about 700 humidity. And she wants HOT. CHOCOLATE.

I look at her funny and say, “You know it’s really hot today right?”

She got that face and tone that tells me I’m the stupidest person on the planet and says, “I put it in the freezer and we’re in air conditioning.”

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Oh. Okay. I guess that makes sense. If you’re 12. At least I didn’t have to pay for it.

That’s Why Making the Bed is Easy

Peanut and Bird do not like to change their sheets and would keep them on for 100 years if they could. Too bad they would make it in the Guiness Book of World Records but wouldn’t be alive to know it!

Unfortunately they are both in a phase where they hang on every word Mr. G says and ignore me so I have to tell him to tell them to do something! So today Mr. G said they would not be allowed to play Wii until after they changed their sheets. After a little protesting Peanut did hers, but Bird has been wandering around and complaining because you know that makes things do themselves, and much quicker than if he would just do what he was told to do when he was told to do it.

Bird: No thank you I don’t want to change my sheets.

Me: I don’t recall asking if you wanted to change them. You need to change them.

Bird: I’m only 8. Plus it’s 7:30 now, I usually start at 12 it takes me all day.

Me: You are old enough to change your sheets. Someone can help you tuck them in and it does not take all day, even if you have a really big bed.

Bird: You’re treating me like I’m 20. Besides, you don’t have any stuffies on your bed so it’s way easier for you to make your bed!

Never thought of it like that, I guess he has a point there. But he still has to change them.

Finally Summer Vacation

Back in January and February in the midst of the never ending PA snow, I thought all the extra days we were piling up would take us to July before the kids got out of school! But somehow with shortened long weekends and the built-in makeup days, we ended school on Friday June 6, which was only 2 days later than originally scheduled!

So we’re 2 days in….and I’ve already heard “I’m bored” and “There’s nothing to do” about 100 times. Of course all the friends are away so that makes life even more boring. Um….hello! you can sleep, watch tv, sleep, play, or sleep! Sounds pretty busy and fun to me! But apparently my idea of fun does not meet theirs, so it will be a long summer I think! Wonder if anyone would notice if I sent Peanut to work for me and I stayed home and enjoyed her summer vacation?