Sunday, December 27, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 149

Things I am grateful for today

1. We had a nice Christmas and everyone was happy with what they got and the company and it was pleasant.

2. coffee

3. getting some much needed sleep

4. busy nights at work

5. being loved

Sunday, December 20, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 148

Things I am grateful for today

1. new babies. My best friend's son and his wife had their first baby this morning and he is adorable.

2. Having my Christmas shopping completed.

3. We had a good time at his work Christmas party last night.

4. Pretty fingernails that didn't break the bank.

5. 2 whole weeks of not having to use an alarm to make sure Beth is up for school on time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Just Write # 24

I finished another year of O. Henry Prize stories and I must admit, they grow on you after awhile. I have an anthology of the best thriller stories of the year to read after I read Divergent. I think that's going to be my next book but I also have a stack of Toni Morrison books to read so those may be next.

It's a good problem to have: having too much good stuff you want to read. I like those sorts of problems.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 147

Things I am grateful for today

1. Sandpiper

2. warmer temperatures

3. Chris

4. good books

5. getting a decent night's sleep

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Just Write # 23

This is supposed to be a joyous time of year but I'm feeling less than in the optimal holiday spirit. I can't even explain why really except that having a close relative die unexpectedly removed the little holiday spirit that I had managed to obtain.

I haven't decorated and while I had been meaning to do that, I'm going to cut myself some slack because I recognize my limits and this is just beyond that. It will be okay that holiday decorations don't go up minus the wreath on the door. I am giving myself a pass.

I am worth that.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 146

Things I am grateful for today

1. Making it through the memorial service earlier this week for my uncle without breaking down into an emotional wreck.

2. coffee

3. making it to church today

4. sunshine

5. Having time to finish a book

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Just Write # 22

I didn't expect the phone call I received today from my mother to inform me that my uncle had been found dead in his apartment this morning.

Sometimes, life just seems to slap you in the face with its intensity. I was in the process of writing him a letter to mail with his Christmas card and boom! he's gone.

I haven't really processed it at all.

It's too new. Too close.

I'm worried about my mother because she already has a lot going on with herself and now, she'll have this to care of as well because Uncle A.D. is not able to do it and Uncle Ken had no other relatives. No wife, no children. Plus, he was her baby brother and that's got to be really difficult.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 145

Things I am grateful for today

1. extra sleep this morning

2. finishing a book that I didn't think was ever going to end

3. a nice Thanksgiving holiday weekend

4. the sun was shining today

5. having a plan

Friday, November 27, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 62

I spent the day running errands with Elizabeth and we went to lunch. We haven't done that in a really long time so I thought it would be a nice surprise for her. She enjoyed herself. We went to see my parents and to pick up prescriptions and to the grocery store which wasn't really that crowded. I guess that's because everyone else was at a department store.

Thanksgiving dinner yesterday turned out really well. I didn't make a dessert so we bought one for today because I knew we were going to be eating really late yesterday and I didn't see the sense in it. It was a good call because there was a ton of food without dessert.

I've been playing an extraordinary amount of Bingo Blitz lately. It's my guilty pleasure, along with Candy Crush. It's something to do when there is nothing else to do.

I've read so much this month that I'm running out of books to read. The library is closed today or we would have gone there and borrowed some books. I finally (!) downloaded the app that will allow me to check out ebooks from the library. I know. I know. I'm only about 4 years behind. I didn't realize you could borrow ebooks until I accidentally requested a book in that format and got the email telling me how to access it. I learned something new today.

It's going to be a long weekend I do believe. Our best chance to be really busy is on Saturday probably. 

I'm making plans for next year already even though everyone thinks I am a bit crazy because there is still a month of this year left. I can't really plan anything for the rest of this year because everything takes time to put into action and because I know that the upcoming Christmas holiday is going to leave me with little energy to do much of anything beyond go to work, eat, shower, and sleep.

Today is my sister's birthday and I didn't get a chance to talk to her. I think she's mad at me for not picking up Codi for the Thanksgiving holiday. I told her to bring her over if she wanted her to come over but she didn't and I didn't hear a word from her after that.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all of you & your loved ones a day filled with good food, happy thoughts & little drama.

Remember to take out some time for self care & a second sliver of pie.

Love to all.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Just Write # 21

Wading my way through the prize winning O'Henry short stories for 2014 and 2015 and I must admit that if these are the best short stories of all the submissions, the submissions must have been abysmal. Or perhaps I am too much of suspense/mystery girl to appreciate a good short story that wasn't written by Stephen King.

All of the things for Thanksgiving have been procured. I am going to cook on Wednesday and then after I get off work Thursday evening. We aren't having guests this year for Thanksgiving because we plan to not eat until late. I work until 6; Chris works until 8.

.It has been slow here the past few days. I anticipate that slowness to continue until sometime next week probably when all of the snowbirds start heading to Florida. That's always a few weeks of fun.

I'm going back to pages of code now. Maybe I'll lose myself in it and the night will go by faster.

Monday, November 23, 2015

My brain is protesting....

I've spent the last few hours alternating between working and dissecting bits of code and now my brain and my eyes are protesting. I've read the same bits of code so many times now that I'll probably inadvertently dream in code tonight.

There are only a few days until Thanksgiving and I am completely unprepared for the holiday. I'll pull it together in the next couple of days but right now, procrastination city.

I have all of my mama's recipes copied that were in her recipe box. I think it's time to transfer them to index cards and also time to try my hand at some of her creations that I remember from childhood. Not in the recipe box but firmly etched in my brain is the recipe for the bbq pork chops that I loved so much. For years, when I would ask for the recipe, she would simply laugh and change the subject. Not too long ago (about the same time I asked to borrow her recipe box) she finally gave me the recipe. For the record, I know how to make bbq pork chops; it was the sauce that she used as a gravy that always gave me fits until I finally just gave up on it.

I'm looking forward to being off work and decorating for Christmas on Friday. Thanksgiving will be over so Elizabeth won't attempt to murder me in my sleep for ruining a perfectly good holiday.

Time to immerse myself in bits of code again. My eyeballs are grateful for the small reprieve.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

GIST- The Sunday Edition # 144

Things I am grateful for today

1. a slower day at work.

2. my parents

3. Chris

4. blue skies

5. butterflies

Friday, November 20, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 61

I thinned down my bookshelves and have a tote full of books for Amelia, a bag full of books for my mother and several for my sister. I feel lighter which probably seems stupid but isn't stupid at all to me.

Thanksgiving is next week and I am looking forward to cooking (and eating) some really yummy food.

I can't comprehend how some people can keep up with multiple words with friends games. At one point this week, I had 19 games going at the same time and I almost lost my mind.

I finished reading A Fragile World and it seriously irritated me. I still can't figure out why the end happened the way it did and it's going to keep irritating me until I think about it some more. Next up is Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham.

It's been a busy evening which is both good and bad. It's great in that busy is always good but it's bad because I didn't have time to actually eat and I'm about to starve.

PSA: Asking me if we have room at the inn irritates me beyond measure. I'm not sure why but it really does. 

I've pretty much been living on coffee, sprite zero and popcorn here recently. I seriously need to kickstart some good eating habits.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Just Write # 20

My mother called me today to ask me to ask my doctor to schedule me a sleep study to see if I have a sleep apnea since I don't sleep well and since she just discovered that she has one. She also discovered how bad it was for her when she tried to tell her doctor that she didn't think she needed the machine and he told her that she had stopped breathing 129 times during her study. Hearing that is some scary stuff and makes me grateful that God has her in the palm of His hand. Also, that medical science has progressed to the point that something can be done about it.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Today is my mama's birthday.

She is such an incredible person and I'm lucky that I got to have her as my mother.

I got to talk to her today for almost half an hour (which is unheard of these days as she shuns the phone as much as I do)

Here's hoping for many more years of happy birthdays.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 143

     Things I am grateful for today

1. Quiet time with the girls playing catch before we had to leave to take Codi home.

2. copious amounts of coffee

3. words with friends games

4. hershey kisses

5. good books

Saturday, November 14, 2015


We watched The Conjuring last night and Chris laughed at me when the scary parts came on. I'm seriously not amused. (The movie was really good and no, it didn't give me nightmares.)

Friday, November 13, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 60

Took the day off so it wouldn't be super late when I picked up Codi from her mom's house.

We went to the library to get Elizabeth and Codi picked out a library book. I picked up a book I had on hold. I may spend the rest of my evening reading.

There isn't much time left until the holidays and I still don't have certain children's Christmas lists. I guess I'll have to figure it out on my own which won't be too hard really. Anything Walking Dead related for Elizabeth will be a-ok.

I've been on a bit of decluttering spree lately. The next area is my books and yes, I know that it abnormal for me to want to give away books but I have too many and a very limited space in which to place them. There are several that I absolutely will not part with but the rest are fair game.

I am still getting myself out of a blue mood and so I try to remember to practice a bit of self care everyday. It's a work in progress.

My NaNoWriMo writing is going.... um... not as good as I had hoped. I'm hopelessly behind in my word count.

Looking forward to next week because I have three glorious days off in a row.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Just Write # 19

It's interesting to me how things from years past can have an effect on me now, today, when I thought I had worked through all of it.

This past few weeks has shown me that those things may fade but they never truly go away and my current state of blah-ness emphasizes that and drives the point home.

This week, 18 years ago, my mother in law passed away. Also this week, 18 years ago, would have been the week that I had my second child if that pregnancy had remained viable. 

I can't wrap my mind around that. Our second child would be 18 sometime this week (my due date was November 12th). I sometimes wonder what that child would be like if he/she had been given the opportunity to be born and to grow up.

Some people may think it's stupid how my reaction to this time of year is but I finally recognize that I am mourning something that was never to be and there is really nothing I can do about it. Just let it run its course and do it all over again next year.

Monday, November 9, 2015

A hodge podge of things

I was looking for a coat that Elizabeth mentioned she would like to have and almost swallowed my tongue when I found one: for $1,495.00. Apparently, it's inlaid with gold and has diamonds sewn into it. (It's not.) It was, however, made by Burberry which was enough to make me click off the page and refine my search to "affordable." I found a couple of nice ones and bookmarked them to show her so I can ask her which of the two she would like for me to order.

It's been raining all day and that has made for some increased traffic and a lot of bemoaning of the "miserable weather." People have been really sweet this evening though so I am not complaining.

Chris and I got to spend the day together before I had to go to work. We went to WalMart to purchase his bear stamp and then to lunch.

I really need to remember to bring my fan to work tomorrow because they like to turn the heat up to "hot as hell" and leave it that way regardless of whether it's 30 degrees or 90 degrees. I turned it off today and turned on the fan to high cool but it has seriously remained hot in here and I am about to roast. This is why I chose to wear short sleeved uniform shirts. Because everyone else here is cold natured and I am always warm.

I forgot to bring my book with me tonight and I only had like 50 pages left of it. I was irritated when I got here and realized I had left it on the kitchen table. I could definitely have finished it tonight and started another one. I'm reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker and didn't realize that I was going to like it as much as I do. It's an interesting read and has prompted me to go request some of her other stuff from the library.

My fitbit just told me I needed 989 more steps to hit my goal for the day. Time to go walk around for awhile.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 142

Things I am grateful for today

1. Getting up and attending church service with Beth and Codi this morning. I really need to start doing that every Sunday instead of finding excuses to not go.

2. Chris: for making sure I was awake on time and just generally being an all around sweetheart.

3. my mother: for texting me when I got to work today to ask me if I was ok because I didn't seem to be myself today. She's perceptive; I wasn't but I'm getting better.

4. for music: which helps to make gray, gloomy days a bit brighter.

5. for good books to lose myself in when I'm not feeling like facing the world.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Elizabeth and Codi keep me laughing. Between the two of them, there is never a dull moment.

Friday, November 6, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 59

Total word count for NaNoWriMo at this precise time: 9,805 (I decided to scrap my current WIP and just keep going with the hopes that it will turn how I need it to and also recognizing that first drafts are not meant to be perfect and it can be edited in December.)

The amount of rain we have received and are forecasted to receive over the next little while is borderline obnoxious. My back yard is a soggy mess and I don't foresee that changing any time soon.

The fall colors have officially arrived and are as gorgeous as can be. Not gorgeous: the amount of leaves and pine needles that are currently falling off the trees and that will need to be raked in the very near future.

I am almost finished with Lisa Belkin's Show Me A Hero. I know the miniseries came out on HBO just recently but I wanted to read the book before viewing the show and I am glad I decided to read the book first. The book is fascinating and I have been enjoying it tremendously.

The ability to borrow books from a library in any part of the state is one of the things I currently love about my local library. That's how I got Mrs. Belkin's book and also, how I acquired a copy of Jen Hatmaker's book which my local library seems to have the inability to carry.

I still have a gift card to the book store downtown and no, I don't even know who I am that I haven't gone and spent it yet. Normally, I would have been at the bookstore the very next day but I have had this gift for almost a month now and have yet to make it downtown. I like to think I am saving it so when I go to my Christmas shopping, I can use it on a gift for myself. 

I have finally found the set of grown up dishes I would like to purchase. (Now watch them be discontinued before I can manage to save the money to buy the set.)

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


It's hard to do both in the same month but I am trying very hard to do just that.

I'm about 8,000 words in to my writing for NaNoWriMo and I'm tempted to just scrap the whole thing and start again. I know that is the dumbest thing ever to consider doing but I really am. The story isn't going the way I thought it would go and there seems to be no getting it back on track.

Send inspiration.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Just Write # 18

This every weekend thing is starting to wear me down. This weekend was actually a 4 day weekend because there was no school Monday or Tuesday. I think if I didn't have to deal with my sister when I picked Codi up things would be better but every single week it's another litany of pleas for something and I'm just tired.

Chris doesn't have a problem with having Codi over every weekend and Codi and Elizabeth enjoy themselves plus ask me all week long if the weekend visit is going to happen and I want Codi to have a sense of some normalcy so I'll continue to pick her up for the weekend visits and just steel myself to ignore the whinings of the "adults."

I had today off work so we took her home after about 3 because I knew it was supposed to rain and it's dark around 6 now and I didn't want to have to drive in the dark, in the rain.

One day, this too will be better. I know this. It's just hard to convince myself of it right now.

Monday, November 2, 2015


There is nothing quite like knowing that things are wrong but not being able to pull yourself out of it*.

I'm really ready for a brighter set of days.

* a combination of hormones and depression and the time change and just general yuck. It gets better, I know it does. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 141

Things I am grateful for today

1. Nick took the girls trick or treating last night and they had a blast.

2. Codi is staying with us until sometime Tuesday because there is no school tomorrow or Tuesday.

3. Having a bit of a quiet evening. The time change and the rain plus it being Sunday means there are hardly no people moving about.

4. I decided to do NaNoWriMo this month. I have been contemplating it but I officially decided today and signed up.

5. It's officially sweater weather (in the evenings at least)

Friday, October 30, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 58

On Tuesday, I went to Dunn to the scrap yard. They are not nearly as busy as they used to be and the place looks almost deserted. April was there and I was completely surprised by her changed appearance. She has lost a lot of weight but she has the same quick smile and lit up eyes. It was fun to see her and Jason for a few minutes.

Chris took me to dinner Tuesday night because I was having a bad evening and I had the night off. We went to Applebees because it was one of the few things open when we decided to go out (what gives, Fayetteville? People like to eat after 10pm too.) We both agreed that while the food was good, it's not really on our list of places to visit again because it wasn't our kind of place.

Wednesday night was our 2nd date night of the week and we went to... Gander Mountain. That's what we did the for the first part because Chris was looking for something specific. I walked around the store enough (looking lost apparently)that I drew the attention of 2 sales people and security. Seeing as how I had nowhere on me to hide any merchandise, I will assume they were merely curious as to why I was doing laps around the store. The answer was that I was getting my steps in while waiting on my significant other to spend all of our money in their store. At which point they kindly left me alone.

He took me to Shogun Japanese Steakhouse (a place I had never been) and we sat at the hibachi grill and watched the chef throw knives and stuff around while cooking our food. It was really quite an experience and I had a good time.

On our way home Wednesday night, we had a series of serious conversations. They were productive and outlined some things we both hope to get accomplished in the next couple of years. I love this man tremendously and I like that we are on the same page a lot of the time. 

It's supposed to start raining on Sunday and rain all the way into next Thursday. Ask me who isn't amused about this situation? (That would be me.)

I'm still wading my way through the book. I think I may actually finish it before the end of the year. (That's a joke. I'll finish it in the next few days.)

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Just Write # 17

Sometimes, you just have to sink into a soft set of pillows and let the world just go away for awhile.

Sometimes, the soft pillows aren't available but you still need to let the world go away so you decide to remove social media from your phone where the constant barrage of notifications and messages makes your brain hurt.

Sometimes, you have to give yourself permission to unplug for awhile because it's what you need to do to hold onto the thin threads of sanity while you attempt to weave them back together.

Just know: This, too, shall pass.

Monday, October 26, 2015


I removed Facebook and Twitter from my phone. I still check them but not nearly as often now that they aren't my phone that's on my person nearly all the time.

I took all the games off my phone too except for Words With Friends. I like that one enough and it only takes a few minutes to play a word so I left it but all the rest of them have found themselves banished.

You'd be amazed (or maybe not) at the amount of time this has freed up. I should have done this a long time ago.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 140

Things I am grateful for today

1. getting up and actually attending church this morning.

2. being able to host Codi for the weekend

3. Sandpiper for supper

4. coffee

5. cooler weather

Friday, October 23, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 57

Still to be decided: Whether or not to allow our daughter to go on an overnight FFA field trip. She's still undecided as to if she wants to go and I'm still undecided as to if I will let her go. They are going to be well-chaperoned and I have complete faith in her and her ability to act like she has sense; it's the rest of the population not involved in the trip that worries me.

Nick is keeping the car and I am keeping the truck. Now to just get both of them in top condition....

I am still wading through a book that I've been trying to get through for a few days now. It's really good but it's also a bit emotionally disturbing so I have to read for a few days and then put it down and then start again in a day or so. I'm too involved now though to just sit it down for good and not pick it back up.

By the time it's actually time to vote for a president, we are all going to be sick of hearing about every single candidate there is in the field. They really shouldn't be allowed to start campaigning so early.

I have become a fan of podcasts (after not listening to any for a really long time) and I am in need of some new suggestions.

It's been a busy night at work (which is a good thing)

I'm really hoping my mood improves soon because being me right now is not a fun thing.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Just Write # 16

The leaves are starting to change colors: all gorgeous golds and yellows and orange and red.

I was thrilled to discover that one of my favorite trees (a dogwood) was present in my yard during the spring when the flowers bloomed; even more thrilled when I realized it's the same tree that turns deep, deep red in autumn before dropping its leaves.

I have a love of plants but no green thumb. Chris has always planted my flowers for me and then I tend to them. Whomever owned this house before we got it had two green thumbs and a love of flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It makes my plant loving heart happy.

Monday, October 19, 2015

I, simply, don't understand

Up until October/November of last year, my sister had it all together. Even as few months ago as May, she still had it together but made a series of bad choices that compounded to everything falling apart and I just truly don't understand how that happens. I get the mechanics of it but I fail to understand how you can let someone else hold that much power over you and the decisions you make. It makes me furious and also sad because I can't do anything to help her except take Codi on the weekends. And Codi doesn't deserve to be stuck in all of this but her father is as sorry as her mother and she's the innocent bystander caught in the middle.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 139

Things I am grateful for today

1. sunshine

2. cooler weather

3. Codi getting to spend the weekend with us.

4. Finally changing the pharmacy location for where I pick up my medicine. I've been going to Elizabethtown for the past 7 months every month to get them and I finally changed them so I only have to go down the street. Please don't ask what took me so long.

5. good books

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 56

This has been the longest night. We had 3 buses this evening which means every single room in the hotel (minus 4 stayover rooms) was occupied by someone on a tour bus. No other guaranteed arrivals, no walk ins. You would think this would be a good thing (and it is) but it makes for a long, boring night when there is absolutely nothing to do other than answer the phone (which didn't ring all that much for a Friday night.)

I have taken a short break from the Dark Tower series. I have one book left to go but I've put it on hold until after I get a chance to finish Me Before You and Purity.

I am picking Codi up after I get off work tonight and letting her spend the weekend with us. I'll have to take her home before I go to work on Sunday because my sister has no transportation. I figure it will do Codi some good to be somewhere other than Phyllis's house and at least, she'll have Elizabeth for company.

Mr. John came and got the chair today at work to re-cover it. That means I have stood up continuously for the past 8 hours. I don't mind but I will be seriously amused to see Walter's face this evening when he gets to work and realizes the chair is gone.

The FFA group Elizabeth is part of placed third in the county land judging competition. This means they will get to go to the state tournament. The state tournament takes place in November and she is beyond excited about it. (I had to look up land judging to figure out what it was which proves that my 8th grader is more intelligent that me.)

The weather is supposed to turn cooler over the next few days. I am really looking forward to some cooler weather and for my oak tree to start changing colors.

Here's hoping that in the course of the next week, my mood shifts because it's been pretty bad in the last few weeks.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Just Write # 15

I feel just blah. There's no good reason for it; just all of a sudden, the past day or so has found me feeling down. I've done everything I can think to force myself out of it but it's not working.

I think maybe I am thinking too much. I think I need a break.

Monday, October 12, 2015


My empathy may end up being my downfall.

I made a promise to myself, years ago, that if any of my siblings' children ever call me, I will go immediately.

I remember not being extended that courtesy from my own aunts and uncles.

I will always go.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 138

Things I am grateful for today

1. work

2. sleeping in this morning

3. coffee

4. sunshine

5. a busy week ahead

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 175

It's been awhile since I have done one of these although my offline gratitude practice remains on point. In no particular order, here ar...