Happy Thanksgiving

I am listing to pleasant instrumental music as I sit here. The turkey is in the oven and the pumpkin pie is cooling. In another couple of hours, I will sit down with my children at the table and enjoy the feast.

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My brother should be at my mom’s soon with my sister-in-law and his friend Bud in tow. I love whenever he brings Bud over. Bud is an elderly gentleman in his 90’s. He fought in WWII and often shares his memories of that time as well as how things were when he was growing up. This first-hand look at the past through the eyes of someone who has lived it is always a blessing.

Normally I would have baked a couple of pies and headed over to my mom’s by now too. However, my mother reminded me that kids grow fast. She said that sometimes it is important to slow down and savor these holiday moments while I have them. I am of course welcome to join her, my dad, and the rest. I may even stop by later just to visit but I am also taking her advice.

Often we get caught up in obligation and rushing from one place to the next that we don’t get to enjoy the holiday. We get wound up and stressed out from travel logistics and traffic. This is a time for reflection. It is a time to count your blessings. Yes, it is a time for families to come together as well but love doesn’t care about miles. It is there between people if they live in the same house or in another state. Love stretches great distances.

My love for my family is always there. So while I might not be part of the busy bustle at my mom’s table in person, my heart is there with everyone and it is also here at my home with my children. That’s another thing about love, it can be in multiple places at once. It’s not limited to Thanksgiving dinner.  And that is something to be thankful for.

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Making Mistakes

Recently I was applying a thick coating of antibiotic cream to an abrasion my eldest error-101407_1920achieved from doing something she realized (in retrospect) was a bad idea. It was while listening to her hiss in pain as she attempted to hold still that I was struck with a thought. Kids are a second chance to learn from your own mistakes.

You see, the thing she did was something I easily could have done once upon a time. I have even considered it before. However, by that time I was old enough to think the idea all of the way through and realise what the end result would probably be. She is still at the age of: “I have an idea! Let’s try it.”

Being a parent of really creative children is a joy and a challenge. They come up with some wonderful insights but they also find their fair share of trouble. Sometimes they find that trouble earlier than they are prepared to deal with it. Mostly it is because they simply haven’t learned to think things through. It can be a hard lesson to learn. Some people never learn it.

doctor-1015624_1920Bumps, bruises, scrapes, and embarrassment help encourage us to look ahead to possible outcomes. This is a good thing for self preservation but it can also be a bad thing if you only weigh the negative outcomes. There is a balance that has to be learned. Sometimes it is worth it to take the chance. Sometimes it is not. The important thing is to think about things before you do them.

I would like to say this is a lesson I know well, but that would be a lie. In some things I am good at looking ahead and going “Nope. Bad Idea. Okay, Plan B…” In other things it never occurs to me. (Hence the three novels currently being worked on all at the same time.) Sometimes I see the mud puddle and jump it without look to see what the ground is like on the other side. That is a good way to lose shoes. (I know from experience.)

If my daughter had thought things through she wouldn’t have gotten hurt. It is a lesson she has learned and will not repeat soon. It also reminded me of my own mistakes and the things I learned.

Parents like to repeat: Look Before You Leap. There is a reason. It is cliche but it is ancient silhouette-1082129_1920wisdom we try to pass on. We try to warn our offspring. Often they don’t listen to the warning and end up making their own mistakes anyway, just as we did.

One day they will grow up and pass that phrase on to their own children, who will roll their eyes and make mistakes. It is part of the learning process. However, if the same mistake keeps getting repeated over and over then the lessons aren’t getting through and it may be time for extra guidance. (Unless you are trying to make something. Then those “mistakes” turn into “drafts” or “experiments.”)

Change of Plans

Sometimes life just doesn’t go the way you would like. Okay, most of the time. I had plans this weekend. I was going to carve pumpkins with the kids, take my daughter to a haunted house, and go to the movie theater to check out Crimson Peak.

One of those things happened.

its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown-slateMy son went to bed Thursday with a scratchy throat and woke up Friday with a fever. He was sick all weekend. So instead of carving pumpkins we cuddled in pjs and watched Halloween cartoons. (He is feeling much better now.)

Friday night my daughter went to a friend’s birthday party. She had a blast but didn’t get to sleep over, because on Saturday we had planned to take her to a haunted house. The forecast had called for clear skies on Saturday and rain on Sunday. Mother nature decided to change it up and give us rain Saturday and a drizzle Sunday.

Taking the weather into account, we rescheduled the haunted house for Sunday.  My son was still sick but my mom could came over to keep an eye on him. (And feed him fried chicken at his request.) Unfortunately, when we checked the website we found that the haunted house had been closed down due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

So on Sunday we went to watch Crimson Peak instead. It was a pretty good movie, tom-hiddleston-crimson-peak-postereven if I did have to hold my hand over my daughter’s eyes for certain adult situations. The problem was we really didn’t look into the movie beyond: “Hey, creepy stuff in the preview and Tom Hiddleston.”  

It wasn’t exactly the type of movie we were going for; Gothic Horror rather than just plain old Horror. So while the movie was good for its genre, we should have dug a little deeper to discover what that genre was. If we had, my daughter wouldn’t have been making snide Alice in Wonderland/Loki fanfiction comments throughout the entire movie.

Mondays and Missing Cats

Hello all. What is it about Monday’s? It’s like I wake up with an automatic To-Do list that somehow complied over night. Today is going to be a busy one.

I didn’t do much this weekend but sit around in comfortable clothes and watch Doctor Who. I had some sort of stomach nasty that wouldn’t let me get too far from a toilet without dire consequences. It was kind of nice to have self permission not to do anything. I could have done without the being sick part though.

Panda
Panda

Today I have to play catch up. There is housework to do, writing to get done, and a cat to find. Panda, our black and white cat, hasn’t been home in several days and I am beginning to get worried. Sometimes she will disappear for a day or two after we have done something to offend her, but this is a bit long. Usually these absences will follow a few days of breakfast being served late or us not letting her outside when she wants. She is the queen of the household and knows it.panda

I’m not only worried about Panda but my daughter as well. Technically she is my daughter’s cat. We brought her home from the animal shelter as a kitten, shortly after we moved into our house.

At thirteen, my daughter is all moody teenage girl. Her cat is the one she talks to when things get to be too much, because obviously mom can’t understand. (I was a teenager once too and did the same thing, so I know how this works. Cats can be wonderful confidants and they have the added bonus of being fluffy.)10502233_10201355538529691_2457240744323550533_n

To complicate things, not only does she have the usual teen stuff to deal with, but her father just moved across the country. She has always been a Daddy’s girl. She has always known if she needed him, he was right there and I would take her to see him. Now that is a bit more difficult since he is a couple of thousand miles away. They still skype and stuff but it isn’t the same.  And now her cat is missing.

My daughter does talk to me. It’s not like we have no communication, but talking to her Daddy and talking to her cat is different from talking to mom. Kids have a lot to deal with. So do parents for that matter.

I had more to say but my kids are awake now and I have lost my train of thought. I have to go make breakfast and get my son started on his homeschooling. He is full of energy this morning and is irritating his sister. She is in a good mood and is irritating him back so my house is very loud right now.

I’ll return with cat updates as I have them.

Thick With Sleep

Garfield-Mornings-garfield-172375_312_318Waking up today feels like pulling myself out of a tub of molasses. In a good way. I slept solid last night. I entered so deeply into the realm of dreams that I don’t remember sleeping and I’ve not quite returned to waking.

Yesterday was my son’s 11th birthday. His party was a lot of fun and I got to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It was three hours of happy social interaction but by the time I got home I was done in. Only stubbornness helped me stay awake until a reasonable bedtime. (I would have just given in, but my daughter was out with a friend. I was waiting for her to be brought home.)

catnapAfter weeks of restless sleep and waking feeling like the day before never stopped; this thick with sleep feeling is welcome. It is cool outside which makes hot coffee all the more enjoyable. I don’t know what this Monday will hold but I am greeting it with a sleepy contented smile and a warm cup.

A State of the Author Address

Writer-once-upon-a-time-1024x576I am a bit grumpy this morning. I thought about just rolling over and going back to sleep but I have way too much to do today. Hopefully, coffee will fix it.

It is still dark here so there isn’t much of a view from my window at the moment. So, I am also trying pinterest for a mood booster. Which could be dangerous. There are pretty pictures to look at but pinterest is kind of a Pandora’s Box. You can start by looking at landscapes and fairies, then the next thing you know you are looking at steampunk crocodiles and being attacked by a mountain of plot bunnies.

For once, I need not fear the plot bunny. The short story I was working on has been completed and will probably be available on Amazon by tomorrow. (Blood Relations by Tammi A. Miller) I have started a sequel to it already, though I hadn’t planned to.

I do still have a several actual books I need to be working on. However, I am home schooling my son this year. My writing time has become whenever I can make marks on paper. Short stories seem to be the format my writing is taking to adapt to the current situation.  Modern technology and google documents are a tremendous help with this. I once wrote on my phone while waiting for a public restroom stall to become free.

*Yawn*  I need more coffee. Good luck today my friends. My your writing be creative and you coffee/tea cup be full.

Splintered Thoughts

There are days when I wake up refreshed and sit down at the computer with a smile on my face. Then there are days where I wake up from dreams of being ridiculed for daring to call myself an author. Days where the cat has knocked my glasses off of the night stand and I have an unexplained splinter in my palm. Days where I trudge out of my room on sore feet and step in cat vomit.

Hello Monday. Where is my coffee?

The sun hasn’t been awake long. It is just now kicking off the last of its night blanket. I feel like I have a long list of important things that has to be done today but right now I can’t name a one. I know it is trash day. I will have to roll the cans out to the curb. I haven’t let the dog out yet…I guess the rest will come after I’ve had coffee. Or after the kids wake up.

That is the thing with kids. You can have a whole plan free day and then your kid gets sick or wants to go to a friends house, or needs something and then suddenly the whole day is full.

I also had a post planned for today. It was something informative about writing. I didn’t write it down as I plotted it though, so now it is gone. Replaced with: “How did I get a splinter in my hand? Was it there yesterday and I didn’t notice? Or did I somehow manage to acquire it while I slept? How?”

Questions like that aren’t of interest to anyone else but I know it is going to bug me for the rest of the day.