Sunday Yard Sales and Writing

Right now I am sitting on my front porch with my computer open before me. It is pleasant and sunny with a strong breeze blowing the wind chimes. Two tables are set up at the end of my driveway with various items decorating the tops in the hopes of enticing some random person into handing over cash.  This was not my idea.

54514151_10210688318363354_3942095613344088064_oYesterday I went to a small convention in Chattanooga. Even though I was running on only a couple of hours of sleep, I had a good time. I picked up a couple of graphic novels and a nine-tailed plushy of a kitsune in glasses. It was fun. It was Metrotham Con’s inaugural year and I think I just may return for year two if they manage it.

My weekends are usually divided up into a day where I actually go out among the masses and accomplish things like socializing or grocery shopping, and a day where I stay home and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Yesterday was my do things day. Today was supposed to be my stay home and do-nothing-unless-it-involves-a-creative-endeavor day.

Then my mom decided she wanted to have a yard sale. At my house. On a Sunday. At one o’clock in the afternoon. label-2016248_1280

She is having a bad depression day too which isn’t making life any easier. Signs weren’t put up to advertise her impromptu yard sale until 2 o’clock. We haven’t had anyone stop by yet but I am still sitting here waiting. She decided to run home and see if she could convince my dad to come back with her, so now I am temporarily in charge. I put a few of my books on the table with her stuff because, why not?

If she does manage to get my dad to return with her maybe I will cook dinner for all of us or something. I highly suspect that no one will return and in about an hour I will be packing away her yard sale. That is okay too, I guess.

So far this yard sale hasn’t generated any revenue unless you count words. I started a new story and have been fighting formatting for the new poetry book I’ve been trying to get out. I also managed to write this post. If this day had gone the way I planned, I probably would have never changed out of my pajamas and would have stayed inside reading. I consider that a perfectly reasonable way to spend a day off. However, this has maybe turned out better. Sitting out here is rather relaxing and peaceful. Duke

 

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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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A Run of Bad Luck and a New Book

A couple of weeks ago I expressed the wish that the universe not take my post as a challenge. It did. The past week has been rough. My son was down with a stomach virus all week, he gave it to me, and my car died. We both are feeling better but I am still without transportation.

My brother has tried to fix something for me to drive just to get back and forth to work and school, but so far we haven’t had any luck. My mom is spending the night so I can use her car to take Toby to school and then she will drop me off at work later. Thank God for family.

I did manage to get a short book finished in time for Halloween. I’ve been working on it for a few months. If anyone is interested it is available on Amazon.

Historic Horrors:: True Tales Of Real Monsters by [Miller, Tammi A.]

https://www.amazon.com/Historic-Horrors-True-Tales-Monsters-ebook/dp/B07JK9NHMM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1540170091&sr=1-1&keywords=historic+horrors&dpID=41RlU0S4I8L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

My Dad

daddyHappy Birthday today to my awesome father. The man who originally gave me the inspiration to write. Without his example, I wouldn’t have realized how amazing it is to create your own worlds and to put your thoughts down in words. I wouldn’t have known it was possible.

When I was a kid I always saw my father reading in his spare time. We had Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine, Popular Mechanics, and a variety of books scattered here and there. My mother would sometimes get the chance to read, she loved it too but was often too busy with the responsibilities of tending to our family. I watched my father read and knew this was a good thing. I watched my father write and I knew that this was also a good thing. I watched Doctor Who and NOVA late into the night with him and learned about science. I watched the Dark Crystal and The Last Star Fighter and learned about dreams and fiction and possibilities.

I may have been laughed at by my peers when I answered a question in class with outlandish answers, but that was because they hadn’t been taught to look beyond the now. (I still get a bit of satisfaction from the fact that we do sometimes use robots to help clear minefields now. They laughed at me then but I was right in the end.) My dad has been one of the greatest role models of my life. I wouldn’t be who I am without him.

Happy Birthday Daddy! I love you.

Baking Failures and Family Reunions

granny and papaw
Papaw, Granny, and Aunt Dixie

Today was my family reunion. I still feel drained from the interaction. Don’t get me wrong, my family is awesome and I love them, but I am an introvert by nature and being around a lot of people can be fatiguing.

My lack of coffee probably hasn’t helped. I haven’t had a single cup today, by accident not by plan. I woke up early around 4 A.M. for no apparent reason. Unable to go back to sleep, I read a book for a while, then it was time to get up. I had pumpkin bread to make and brownies to bake.

Normally I am good at baking. It is my thing. I usually stress back over the holidays. Today baking was not my thing. I tried. I really did. I also forgot to add one of the key ingredients to the bread, dropped an egg down the sink, splattered brownie batter all over my face, and then mixed the ingredients for the type of brownie I was trying to make in the wrong order; effectively making them look unedible. They actually tasted okay, they just looked bad. And I forgot to grease the pan so they stuck to the bottom and I ended up with brownie crumbs while trying to get them out.

I ended up taking store-bought lemon aid and a big bowl of grapes. I thought it was probably safer for all involved, considering I also absent-mindedly sat an oven mitt down on a hot stove burner and nearly caused a fire. Honestly, I am not usually so bad in the kitchen.

I did get to see many of my cousins and my Aunt Patsy. I have a ton of cousins. Some I haven’t seen in over a decade, others it has been a month or two. I enjoyed getting a chance to visit with them. I wish I could have stayed longer. However, my son decided to brave the reunion as well and quickly used up all of his socializing reserves. (He is high functioning autistic so his reserves run out even faster than mine.) Still, I had a good time. I hope to be able to visit with everyone again next year.

 

My Easter Sunday

tree flowersEaster Sunday was overcast with rays of sun peeking through
the clouds. Blossoms from the Bradford Pear in my yard lay scattered on the ground like a white carpet. It was a nice contrast to the green grass. I would have been lovely with multi-colored eggs scattered about as well.
But we didn’t hunt Easter eggs at my house. Instead we went over to my mom’s for Easter lunch and my eldest scattered Star Wars themed “eggs” in my mom’s flower beds for my youngest to find. We even took the dog. It was nice.

I enjoyed visiting my parents and seeing my brother and his wife. My daughter even got up the nerve to slip behind the steering wheel of our car. We drove up and down the same quarter of a mile road several times and she did very well.

Maybe it doesn’t sound like the most exciting Sunday, but it was well spent enjoying my family and adding to good memories. I would be hard pressed to come up with a better way to spend the time.

Star Wars: A Non-Spoiler Post

My family went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens this weekend. I can easily say a good time was had. My daughter is in that awkward teenaged mode where she is too cool for everything, so she was just like: “That was a good movie.”

My son on the other hand is 11 and he left the theater exclaiming that it was:”The best movie ever!” He also wants to build his own droid and cobble together a soap box racer/x-wing.

(I worry about this because my dad and brother are small engine mechanics and my cousin is our family mad scientist. My dad and my cousin live next door to each other. I bet it would take little prodding for my son to convince them to help him build something that makes me envision broken bones.)

We bought him a Star Wars hoodie from the stand in the theater lobby. He put it on immediately after purchase and didn’t take off even when he went to bed. My brother also bought a hoodie. I haven’t checked with his wife to see if he wore his to bed, but he was adamant with her about not sharing. Sarah, my loving sister-in-law, just rolled her eyes and smiled.

It was thrilling for me to see my child’s eyes light up with joy at something that was such a big part of my own childhood. I watched episodes IV, V, and VI so much growing up, I still know all the words. When they were re-released my friends and I were standing in line, in costume. This weekend my daughter and I continued the costume tradition though we bought our tickets in advance. (She may be too cool to react outwardly to the movie, but she doesn’t pass up an opportunity to wear a costume.)

I think I would like to see it again with my mom and dad. I know they would enjoy it. My dad watched episode IV fourteen times when it originally came out in theaters.

I know there is a lot of hype about the fact that Disney owns the franchise now. Honestly, I am more concerned with the quality of the movie rather than who produces it. If it is bad, it is bad regardless of who paid the money to have it made. The reverse is also true.

Watching The Force Awakens with adult consumer eyes, I can see where certain things are going to be big marketing pushes. However, it was done well enough that it didn’t distract from the enjoyment of the film. I left the theater this weekend with a satisfied feeling and echoes of my youth flitting through my mind.

I look forward to the next one.