Monthly Archives: June 2013

Images of the past


Today my little boy turns 17. My son is no longer so little. In fact he towers over me, bending down to give me a hug.

It seems like yesterday that I held his hand as he took his first steps. Now he no longer needs my help as he grows into manhood.

When he was little I let his hair grow into long ringlets. I still have a ringlet from his first haircut. Now his hair touches his shoulders in blonde waves.

I use to play games to get him to eat different foods. Now he tries to get me to eat sushi and seaweed.

I use to read books like Harry Potter to him every night before bed. Now his idea of a good read is Introduction to Legal Theory.

He use to listen to things I said. Now I try to keep up with whatever is his latest interest.

I use to plan and take him on play dates. Now he makes his own calls and grabs a ride with one of his friends to activities.

Underneath all that male testosterone he is still my baby. He starts his senior year in the fall. College is looming over the horizon. So many changes ahead.

For today I will hold onto the images of the past while he eagerly looks ahead. Happy Birthday, Son. Hope each one is better than the last.


The ABC’s

I am trying to take responsibility for my health by entering a weight loss competition. The kick-off offered several exercise demonstrations and booths with healthier eating ideas. While enjoying a delicious low calorie dinner the moderator went over foods we should and shouldn’t eat.  Having all these tools should fire anyone up to get started losing weight.

Considering all the years I’ve wrestled with the pounds, the usual stuff wasn’t going to do the trick. Stronger medicine was needed. The medicine came in the form of a 65-year old ex-football player with a story, an against all odds type story. And boy it was a doozie. This man got a chance for a do over. How many of us would love a chance to do over something in our lives that haunts us?

He was given the golden opportunity to finish out his last year in college football at the age of 59. Unbelievable. I’m 51 and could never physically consider redoing activities of my youth. He did it by staying fit. He became a strength training coach and never stopped working out. We all could do this but life offers too many temptations. Our jobs are sedimentary and exercise; takes effort.

His speech centered around three main ideals. The A.B.C.’s

With the right attitude anything can be achieved. It’s all in how you look at it.

Belief.  We have to believe that what we want can be accomplished. I always think my favorite child hood story,  The Little Train That Could as the epitome of that idea.

Commitment. Without this one the other two are just ideas. To commit to accomplishing a goal is the final step to realizing the goal. That requires looking at the whole picture, all the variables and figuring out how to plug the holes.

Listening to his speech I realized that I was applying some of this to other areas of my life. Something this year has put a fire under my feet. Things I have procrastinated on in the past are getting done. Maybe the wisdom that comes from turning 50 has been the catalyst. So while the fire is hot I’m adding get healthy to my list of to-dos. This time I’d like for it to stick.

Maybe the saying wisdom comes with age has merit. Or maybe I see that time is not as infinite as it use to be. Obviously age is not a deterrent for this man. I came away from his uplifting speech determined to make staying healthy a long-term lifestyle choice.

Check him out-  

So what motivates you to stay healthy?

To choose or not to choose. That is the exercise question.

Walkers' Feet

As I get older, exercise becomes a very important choice to make. Choice being the important word. Knowing what can happen with inactivity I can decide not to get up early to walk before it is too hot. I can choose to hit snooze and watch the scales slowly climb higher.

I can choose to watch what I eat, make healthier food choices. Despite the fact that chocolate cake is composed of milk and eggs and ok for breakfast, at least according to Bill Cosby. Oatmeal with fruit is a better choice.

My friend and I have decide to enter a local lose weight challenge. Hoping that together we can keep enough momentum going to see some progress. We have two months to get a jump start on what will hopefully be a lifetime journey.

To change an attitude takes determination. To stay for the entire hour of exercise takes perseverance. To eat differently when all you really want is a burger takes a different mindset.

It all circles back around to choice. I choose to get healthier for myself and my family. Ultimately I’ll be  happier. I’ll need to remember this as the aches and pains try to slow me down.

I’ve found these links to be useful.
great recipes–


The Packing Frenzy Begins

9-08-3This is my first year to finally attend the RWA national conference. I’ve watched my friends and chapter mates attend year after year. The whole time I just kept saying as soon as I’m in the right place with my writing I’m going.

Right place or not I signed up this year to go to Atlanta.  And even though it is technically 38 days till I leave the packing frenzy has begun. What type of clothes do I wear? Does anything still fit me? How can I downsize my packing?

I’m a stay at home writer/homeschool mom/domestic goddess who normally dresses in yoga pants or this time of year shorts. And yeah sometimes I stay in pj’s all day. I’m at home 90% of the time and except for the poor mailman no one is going to see what I wear.

Now I have to find professional attire that fits and is comfortable. And figure out how to pack it all in a case I can schlep around without pulling a hernia. The girls I travel with  know I normally take more than I need on a trip. Seems like I have forty bags by the time I have my suitcase, a hanging bag, my laptop bag and a purse. Obviously I don’t fly much. The girls manage with far less than me every time.

So I turned to the net for packing help. So many tips on how to pack a bag. Most are on putting everything in one carry-on. The thought of stuffing all my must haves in one bag gives me a headache.
For packing tips:

After learning how to pack lighter I turned to tips from those who have gone before on what to bring. I’m not a dress girl so it will be dress capri’s or light weight slacks. And even though I’m hot natured I’ll bring a cardigan or two in case of a chill.

Past RWA packing advice:

And since I’m lost without my lists here is a great packing list:

So any conference advice on what to wear? Packing tips?

Potted Success

Potted sucess

Potted Success

I love plants but most don’t like me. Buying plants that survive on neglect has been my saving grace. For the big pots on my deck I love Kimberly ferns and Gerber daisies. Both can handle me forgetting to water them till they are drooping in defeat. They plump up quickly grateful for the drink.

In our yard, I only use  hardy plants that grow well on their own. So we have lots of iris’, daylilies, hosta, daffidils. All of these have grown so well that this fall I need to divide all of them.

My desk is in our oversized bedroom where I can look out on our back deck. The large colorful pots clustered there give me something to gaze at when the muse has fled. This year I’m branching out by trying to grow some vegetables. So far I have two cherry tomato plants. We are a small family of three so a few plants will be all we can eat. If those survive I hope to add spinach and zucchini.

I’m also experimenting with reusing what we would normally throw away by growing my romaine lettuce from the ends. Our first one did well but I waited to long before planting it. This time we will sprout 2 or 3 and put them outside.

There is something satisfying about growing plants.

Writing and the Unicycle                         

This year I recommitted myself to working harder on my writing. It has been an uphill struggle every day. But I am determined not to give up.

Determination is what most writers that go on to sell say got them there. I’ve seen it happen with my chapter members. I’ve listened to this same advice from multi-published authors.

But in the last month I have seen it with my own eyes, in my son’s unshakable faith that he could master learning to ride a unicycle. Son is not an athlete. His idea of exercise is seeing how fast he can type. Which is pretty impressive at 150 WPM. I’ve tried to get him to walk with me, jog with friends, or take any kind of lessons to no avail.

Imagine my surprise when he showed me a video of a guy on a unicycle, then said he wanted to do that.  I was both thrilled that he was finally going to be active. But also hesitant to point out the pitfalls ahead. So I smiled and we started the hunt for one in our small town. In a strange coincidence his friend’s father still had his old one and gave it to him.

We brought it home and he started practicing 2 to 3 hours a day. The first week was all about trying to stay on for one wheel turn. In a week he broke the 30-year-old cycle.  I asked him if he was sure he wanted to continue. He just handed me his Christmas money and in two days he had a brand new one.

Everyday he was outside as soon as he finished his studies. I watched, heart aching every time he fell off, cheering when he stayed on. Every milestone was recorded. The first time he made it around the carport, fingertips out for balance. First time down the driveway, arms flaying like a drunken helicopter pilot.

In three weeks, he had gone from I want to do this to accomplishing his goal. Now we just throw it in the car and off to the park. While I walk, he unicycles around all the small kids who think he is very cool. I couldn’t be prouder of him.

I am still determined, even more so now. Just as I cheered my son on, he’ll do the same for me. He comes inside eyes shining in excitement, sweat on his brow, asking me, “Mom have you written today?” Sometimes all a writer needs is to learn to unicycle.

IMG_0375—Previously printed in the Music City Romance Writers Newsletter—

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