Starting the week off better

Played with the new phone today, adding apps and passwords. Amusing, as I was very tempted to just use it as a phone.

Also downloaded the user manual from the web and read it. Because I’m a nerd. And thought about how it could be better organized. Because I’m a big nerd.

Did some reading and plotting and writing, too.

Words written today: 531
Words written this month: 13,543
Words written 2017: 54,058
Average words/day 2017: 948
Books completed 2017: 1
Pages read: 1 chapter nonfiction, and 2 chapters with daughter
Books read 2017: 2
Exercise reps: 0

Today’s photo inspired by Nicki.

Half the year is past

hosta buds

This year really seems to be flitting by. I wish I had more to show for it. Despite not having completed projects yet, however, I feel more on top of things. My writing feels more solid. I have plans for where I want to go with my career, which was never a high priority before — I tended more to the “spaghetti on the wall” method.

Family life feels more grounded, too. I still have days when I totally lose it with my kids because they interrupt one too many times, but I’m happy to plan time with them. My daughter and I have actually agreed on one hour a day that she gets my attention, to draw or play or whatever, and because I can plan on this, it doesn’t feel like an imposition. There are still things I want to add in, but we’ll see how that goes, little by little.

I’ve managed to actually complete a craft project (I’ll post about it on Sara’s blog), and I’ve got a couple others on tap to start.

In other words, right now, I feel settled. I don’t know if I’m really as on track as it feels like, but I’m definitely making progress and doing all the things that are priorities in my life. (Well, maybe I could spend more time with friends.) For all of this, I’m grateful.

What are you grateful for today?

Rainy Mondays

hosta leaf

Every now and then, I think I should water the yard. I worry about my blueberry plants (now with a dozen berries!) or the petunia that my daughter’s class gave me. And then, this being Pennsylvania, it pours. We’ve been here almost a dozen years, and I still find it weird — will always find it slightly tone-deaf — that people can worry about a drought if it doesn’t rain for two months (usually July and August). Two months does not a drought make. (It does, however, lead to times when it’s not ridiculous of me to wonder whether I should water the plants.)
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Flowers for summer

mixed bouquet

Last week, I didn’t plan on getting much work done, what with it being the last week of school for the kids. Sure enough, I did lunch with my daughter’s class, plus the annual outing with the kids for ice cream. Also did a trip to a library in a neighboring town, plus ran through the car wash because the girl really loves that.

And, of course, different flowers are blooming. Last week marked the end of the peonies for this year, but the rose is blooming, as are the red hot pokers, and the Monarda (bee balm) will be starting soon. Clematis is budding, too. Not expecting anything from the crape myrtles until next month, though. So what do we do with this bounty of blossoms? Well, the girl wanted to take flowers in to her teacher. Hence, the bouquet.

Now we’re back to remembering how to deal with Mom wanting to work with the kids at home. We’ll get it straightened out by the end of the week, I’m sure. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying their enthusiasm.

What are you grateful for this week?

More baby birds!

We went from this:
Robin eggs

to this:
Baby birds!

Most of the time, Mama Robin’s still sitting on top of them, so I was lucky to get this shot this afternoon.

Today, grateful for the turning of the seasons. (Also very happy because of the fun concert at my daughter’s school this afternoon.)

What are you grateful for today?

Bright spots

Spring continues, and the weather doesn’t seem to be sure what it wants to do. It rained most of last this week. This week looks to be mostly sunny, but cooler and much windier. Also, lots more pollen. We’ve moved on to pine pollen predominating, I think.

azalea in bloom

On the other hand, we’re still getting beautiful displays by plants like our azalea bush, and the peonies are starting to bud out, so I’m looking forward to their fragrance soon. (I take extra antihistamines for it. Yes, I’m still and always grateful for all forms of modern medicine!)

The other thing I’m really grateful for today is supportive friends, the ones who encourage me to stretch myself and who are there with words of encouragement if things don’t go as I’d hoped. You know who you are. Thank you!

It’s May, it’s May…

April went fast, didn’t it? Actually, the first third of the year vanished fairly quickly. I know I’ve been doing things (taxes always seem to rob me of early April), but the time always manages to surprise me.

Tonight, my daughter’s Brownies troop (Girl Scouts) are doing a Mother’s Day dinner. We were warned to bring appetites and told “all bets on diets are off 🙂 desserts will be served!” Which, of course, is why I’m posting my blog now, rather than doing it during her meeting while I wait for her (my usual m.o.). So, time with my daughter — first thing I’m grateful for today. Continue reading


group of owl figures

In junior year of high school, we had to keep a writing journal in English class. At a loss of what to write one day, I started off with transcribing what I could remember of a dream where an owl was taking me to another land to help my friends, and when the owl landed, I asked it who it was. It said, “Don’t you know? I’m you.” Eventually, this morphed into an ongoing storyline with all sorts of friends inserted as characters. (And of course, we all had magical powers and could shape-change into specific animals and had fated true loves … *ahem* It was high school.)

Anyway, ever since, I’ve always felt a fondness for owls (which retroactively included the metalwork owl in Clash of the Titans and any other version of Athena’s chosen messenger). My kids discovered this a couple of years ago, so now owls are one of their go-to presents for me. Hence, the collection that lives on my desk and keeps me company as I work.

Today, I’m grateful for ever-present reminders of my kids’ love. What are you grateful for?

Visit from a friend 

Pleasant break from routine this week — my friend Bonnie’s in town for a few days. I haven’t seen her since Boskone last year, although we do chat online more days than not. (Apologies for the blurry photo.)


One of the things we did was to finish up a jigsaw puzzle. (Yes, it’s the same image as the journal I posted about. When my daughter and I saw it at the store, she said I had to get it.)

completed jigsaw puzzle

Still did practical things, though — finished copyediting a civil engineering article, did some work on the (soon to be unveiled) Nebula websites, mailed off all the tax returns (including business tax returns that aren’t due until beginning of May), and took my daughter to her Girl Scouts meeting.

Lots to be grateful for here, from Bonnie’s visit to taxes done. What are you grateful for this week?

Life with kids

Liquid nitrogen and burning ships, that’s life with my kids.
Friday, I helped chaperone a field trip to the local science museum (DaVinci Science Center) for my daughter’s class. She found the demonstration of adding liquid nitrogen to boiling water fascinating. (Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of the resulting cloud.) She and her friends also made slime, experimented with levers, played in a submarine, crawled through a dark tunnel, and learned all sorts of cool and gross facts about animals. I mostly got tired legs, but it was great to see the excitement on their faces. (Of course, my daughter didn’t want to leave at the end of the day.

Then a few times over the weekend (and again tonight), I played a co-op board game with my son. Dead Men Tell No Tales is a very fun game that we haven’t managed to win yet. Our current working hypothesis is that three is the optimal number of players: one each to deal with deckhands, fire, and treasure, but not so many that half the trapdoors are out before anyone even gets a second turn. It sounds complicated, and it is, a little, but it’s a fun challenge where we keep thinking that just a slight modification of our tactics will produce the desired result.

end of a game

So today, I’m grateful for time with my kids. What are you grateful for today?