Guess who’s back…

Hello ya’ll!

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been absent for about six weeks around these parts.  (What!  You didn’t notice!?!?!  In the word so Stephanie Tanner…How Rude!)

Well my absence wasn’t particularly planned, and I don’t really have a sellable excuse for it expect, I wasn’t feeling it.

I started this blog a few years ago, because, inside of me, lies this incessant need to write and express myself.  I needed an outlet for that and my personal journal was no longer cutting it.  I’m about to reveal something personal about myself that I don’t tell many people, but I have this dream to one day be a writer.  Because my degree has nothing to do with writing or English, I’ve always felt like a phony saying I wanted to write and be expressive.  So, I started this blog as a way to release those inner feelings.  I’ve purposely never given my blog a particular direction.  I didn’t want to pigeon-hole myself.  If I wanted to tell a funny story about my kids, then a self-deprecating tale about myself, followed by the raw emotions of my mom beating cancer, I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t.  And because of that, my blog because a miss-mash of ramblings from my life.

Then about six weeks ago, the ramblings stopped.  Like I said, I can’t pin point one particular thing that was blocking me.  If I could have, I probably could have broken through sooner.  There were the usually end-of-the-year blahs, holiday build up and let down blahs, cold winter day blahs, work stress blahs, identity theft blahs, adults acting like juveniles blahs, family health stress blahs, realizing I’ve entered the sandwich generation blahs, etc.  Over this time, I’ve had a number of ideas or issues pop up that tempted me to run for the keyboard, but, before I could motivate myself to open the Mac, the feeling dissipated and the blahs won out.

Maybe if I had a definite direction for my blog, I might have blown the dust off sooner.  Who knows.

I know that one thing that kept me away was ‘the pressure.’  The pressure of phrasing what I was thinking in a witty or thoughtful enough way.  The pressure of writing a post that others would enjoy.  The pressure of racking up likes and views.  The pressure of not saying something the wrong way and offending others.  Slowly, bit-by-bit, I let this imagined pressure limit me from saying anything at all….and I stopped writing completely.

Well no more.

From now on, for the new year, I’m going back to my roots.  I’m just going to write.  Whatever I feel, whenever the mood catches me.

We all have different opinions, beliefs, feelings, and ideas.  I can love you, care for you, respect you, accept you, tolerate you and value your opinion, but still not agree with you.  And that’s all ok.

Some might like it, some might not, and that’s ok as well.  I’m no longer concerned with how many likes I get or how many views I generate.  I just need to write again.  For my own personal sanity, I need to let all these emotions, feelings, and words out.

Disconnected

Have you every said to yourself, “Self.  I wish I had sometime to myself.  Extend periods of quiet where I just get to unplug and not be bugged by anyone or anything!”

Be careful what you wish for….

Guess what happens when torrential rains and 70+ mph straight line winds blow through on a quiet morning?  This happens.

photo copy 6

And this.

photo copy 7

I do believe that those two pieces of the pole should still be connected.

And if your extra, super-duper lucky, like myself, you not only lose power but your cable/internet/phone line rides out the storm here.

photo copy 9

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that in order for my house to have access to the outside world, that still needs to be connected to the pole.

Oh well, I will use this time to get all those little things done that I’m always saying I am going to do but never get around to doing.

Clean up downed tree branches – check

Pull weeds in garden – check

Water yard –  Hahahaha

Do laundry – Oops, can’t 🙂

Vacuum – No can do

Clean the Oven – Yeah right, like I’d do that anyway!

I know.  I can read that book I checked out from the library.

This is awesome.  I’m sitting on the couch in the middle of the day reading!

The house is so quiet.  Maybe too quiet.  Stop it.  Get back to the book.

This book is boring.  I know.  I’ll just pop online and find something interesting to download.

Crap, No I won’t.

This quiet is just so….. quiet.  I mean I think it’s screaming QUIET at me.

Is this really what I’m always nagging about wanting?

This sucks.

So I did what any reasonable adult would do.

I packed up all my beloved, useless electronics and drove to Panera where, for the price of a soda, we enjoyed lights, air conditioning, internet and unlimited refills.

I may have overstayed my welcome, but I left with more than $3.57 worth of soda in our bloated bellies, a newly downloaded Kristin Hannah read, and enough stockpiled ‘juice’ to keep my screens glowing at home, hopefully.

 

Technically it has been 30 minutes, but…..

I’m mean and evil.  I make my kids read for 30 minutes a day.  I know, I know… how horrible of me!  I want my kids to be able to read well, comprehend what they read, and focus on something other than a screen for a half hour.  Call me crazy!

My daughter jumps right in.  She sits somewhere with a book in front of her face for thirty minutes.  I don’t always know if she is really reading or daydreaming, but she looks like she is, so it works for me.

My son, on the other hand, well, here’s how he spends his thirty minutes.

Minutes 1 and 2 – Looking for the book he was reading at the last reading time.

Minutes 3 and 4 – Flipping through the book, looking at pictures, claiming he is looking for where he left off.

Minute 5 – Me nagging him about using a book mark and to start reading already.

Minutes 6, 7, and 8 – Appears to be reading, may actually be reading, I don’t know.

Minutes 9 and 10 – Staring that the wall with the book in front of his face, not reading, but not having yet figured out how to fake that he is.

Minute 11 – Call the dog to him

Minute 12 and 13 – Throwing the ball and squeaking the dog’s toy.

Minute 14 – Second lecture from me about reading the darn book already.

Minutes 15 and 16 – Again appears to be actually reading the book.

Minute 17 – Stretching

Minutes 18 and 19 – Burying face in the couch.

Minute 20 – Hearing third lecture about reading.

Minute 21 – Reading, fake reading, whatever.

Minute 22 – Announces that he is done!  Beginning of the back and forth argument between him and I about when he started and when thirty minutes from that time would be.  Who taught this boy to read a clock?  What…nevermind.

Minutes 23 and 24 – Flipping through book, while bouncing legs and humming.  The book’s in his hand but I’m preeeetttty sure he’s not reading.

Minute 25 – Walks to bathroom, loudly announcing, “I’m going to the bathroom!!”

Minutes 26 – 29 – In bathroom

Minute 30 – Exits bathroom.  Looks at the clock. Smiles.  Looks at me, “The big hand’s on the 8 now, I’m done!”

Time from the big hand being on the 2 til the big hand is on the 8 – 30 minutes

Time Trystan actually spent reading – Maybe 7 minutes

Can’t wait to do this again tomorrow!

Judging a book by its cover

I went to the happiest place on earth this morning.  No, not Disney.  Barnes and Noble.  I love Barnes and Noble, heck, I love all bookstores.  I love the idea of all of those different stories and characters just waiting to be discovered.

I tend to read the same types of books over and over again.  Fiction, novels, chic lit.  My favorite author is Jodi Picoult, but I have recently discovered Kristin Hannah, and her stories are winning out.  Everytime I enter a bookstore, I try to challenge myself to try a different type of book.  Why always fiction?  Why couldn’t I fall in love with a good suspense novel or an interesting biography?

When I enter the store, I let myself be lead by curiosity.  Instead of going to the same old areas, I wander aimlessly, being pulled by what catches my eye, hence, judging a book by its cover.

I know, I know, you are NOT supposed to judge a book by its cover, but that is exactly what I do.  Admit it, we all do.  How else are you supposed to find new authors, new genres, new reads you never thought you’d enjoy.  The cover catches you, speaks to you, tempting you to pick it up and take a risk.

I mean really, I don’t usually read history books, but it cover almost got me to!

Now, since I don’t always want to drop $15 on a new book or new author if I’m not sure I’ll like them, I’ve started taking pictures of the covers or making notes on my notepad of titles to check out from the library or try a sample of on an ereader before I bite the bullet and buy it.  (I know.  It feels like cheating on the bookstore, that I’m just using them for all the foreplay and getting my fix somewhere else, but hey, I’m cheap sometimes.  I will assure you that when I find an author I love, I will buy those books in a heartbeat, so it all evens out!)

It’s a good thing I do, because sometimes, all the best reviews can still lead to disappointing book.  Case in point.

I saw this book reviewed in a magazine and then read the cover at the bookstore.  I still wasn’t convinced, so I checked it out at the library.  Snoozeville!  I couldn’t get through chapter two.  Total savings: $15.

Today I found the followed possibilities….

Anyone have any advice on any of them?  The last entry, The Weird Sisters, looked the most promising.  Actually, I almost bought it, but I restrained myself.

And then there are some covers that win out no matter what….

Happy Reading!