I cannot think of Labor Day weekend without recalling a bumper sticker I saw years ago: [tweetthis]Love your […]
A tornado touched down in the county where I live. Nobody hurt. The winds and rain knocked down one of our trees. Again, nobody hurt. Even most of the flowers sprang back to life, perhaps stretching in the sun after years in the shade. I swear one of my garden flocks bloomed while Loved-One and I cleaned up the mess. [tweetthis]Summer is full of surprises. [/tweetthis]Of course, top on my list is: Nobody hurt. And in no particular order some other things for which I give thanks:
♥ My editor, Lisa Romeo. You are just the right blend of gentle, clear, and firm. Just the kind of editor I need.
😉 Wheelbarrows. I filled one with sticks from all over other parts of the yard. Who
Whoa! In August I worked really hard. Yard, Garden, Book and blogs. Lots of newspaper articles. So many opportunities started coming my way, I turned every-which-way but forward on some days.
Swimming, bicycling, Chicago Sky basketball, yard work and gardening all took my eye off my goals.
My Progress on Game Plan 2014:
- Get my novel published: I will get editors, a cover designer, and a publisher. I will.
Progress: I am writing and editing and writing. I got more edits on my novel completed. I went back and incorporated all the edits I penciled in on my copy of the manuscript. Remember when I said I read it again, as if I picked it up from the library? I found a lot of mistakes, areas for clarification, and discrepancies. I read a quote about writers never being finished. I’m keeping that in mind.I’m tucked in for the hard work of editing, based on my beta-readers and Lisa Romero. I got some great advice from SheWrites co-founder,KamyWicoff, atBlogHer14.I’m writing down my blogging ideas, too. I had four newspaper articles to write this month. Some people in the community are beginning to recognize and comment on the articles. In a good way. It’s very encouraging.
For a long time, I thought being a dee-jay has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. Upbeat or mellow, she’s putting her voice out there and gets little or no feedback. How do they do it? Sometimes, writing is like that too.
- Knit or crochet yarn stash into hats for charity: I have a lot of yarn stash.
Progress: Acht! No knitting during May or June or July or August. Maybe it’s to darned hot. Plus the outdoors, cookouts, swimming, biking, are calling me. And did I mention there’s a wedding at my house in September.
- Make enough money writing to pay property taxes: Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in 2013.
Progress: Four more newspaper articles for a local paper and a commitment for a website re-make. I got the go-ahead on the website. Evernotes is a good vehicle for feedback. I did a little training to help the director get comfy. Next I will use the old-fashioned way: sit down and talk it out.
- Expand my platform: a key to successful selling of a published book, I’m told.
Progress: Still growing Fastest on Twitter; I just passed 700. In the grand scheme of things: paltry. Still, progress is progress. BlogHer,SheWrites,Instagram, Twitter, FB page; Google+,Pinterest. The biggest number of retweets, likes, and new followers came from this picture of Sasha. Who can explain it? I foresee more tweets of Sasha; and Misha, too.
- Experience Night at the Museum with Two More Grandkids.
Progress: Complete! Yay! Miss K and Mr. L. Mr. L plans to be a paleontologist when he grows up. Miss K has her heart set on fashion design. The two kids were congenial enough, but they never really talked to each other. Really interesting dynamics.
- Travel Route 66 with Loved-One: I plan to get some sponsors and write about out trip.Progress: This goal is post-poned until spring or fall of 2015. Drat! But on the happy side, Wrestler One and his Loved-One will be married in September in my back-yard. What a wonderful goal replacement.
- Volunteer: Last year I tried a women’s shelter. Maybe this year, the food pantry.
Progress: Success with “1st Way Pregnancy.” Volunteering is going so-so. (This shelter mission is “To provide loving assistance, emotional and financial support for women and girls who find themselves in a crisis.” The values of “1st Way Pregnancy” match mine, that is: empower women to make life-affirming choices by offering financial and emotional support. Rather than shaming and coercing with rules and regulations.)
I’m learning a lot about myself. I really like to be in charge; or at least self-directed. It’s humbling to relinquish control, especially when I believe I have improvements to offer.
- Read two book a month: This goal doubles my 2013 rate.
Progress:First, the book I read in July. You know, the one who’s title I forget.
Never Change Elizabeth Berg‘s novel Never Change: a heartwarming novel about a home care nurse who gains a surprise patient, her high school crush. She’s forever felt like an outsider. An observer, rather than someone fully engaged with society. I love the character development in Never Change. Berg was a nurse, so she comes to the story with a whole lot of wisdom about people and just the right dollop of medical information. You will feel touched and inspired by this novel. I promise. (Unless you are not touched by George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life.
Matthew Kelly‘s Rediscover Catholicism. I took a good long time reading and meditating on Kelly’s words. I started it in February, and finished it in August. I tweeted a quote on many days throughout my read. My favorite thought from Kelly: getting closer to God is a way to discover and nourish the best version of myself. That is the main point. The rest supports how that actually comes to pass. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a full faith life. I believe you’ll get some wisdom out of it, Catholic or not. Kelly inspired me to read more faith-based books.
Sue Monk Kidd‘s The Invention of Wings is about two women growing up in the 1800s. Handful is a spirited slave girl, and Sarah is her young owner who hates slavery, but feels no power to do anything about it. The characters are based on real people from that era. The parallel of anti-slavery and feminism is nothing new for me. So, although Kidd’s prose is beautiful. However, if I take the struggles of both characters as those that we wage inside ourselves, I really like the book. I highlighted a lot of phrases and dialog that really spoke to me. A word of caution though: The e-book I purchased included highlights and comments from Oprah. Those were just a distraction. I remained a sucker, and clicked over to everyone anyways. Nope. Nothing to see there.
Here’s a couple of my highlights:
“I have one mind for the master to see. I have another mind for what I know is me.” (Handful)”I’d chosen the regret I could live with best, that’s all. I’d chosen the life I belonged to.” (Sarah)
From past months:
Louis Erdrich, The Round House
Kate Atkinson by Life After Live: A Novel by
Doreen M. McGettigan. Bristol boys Stomp: The Night That Divided a Town
Adela Crandell: A Land of Milk and Honey
Eric Larson: In the Garden of the Beast
Beth Nonte Russell: Forever Lily.
Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana.
Michael Allan Scott: Flight of the Tarantula Hawk – A Lance Underphal Mystery.
Linda Lawrence Hunt: Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America.
Rachel Thompson: Broken Pieces (interviewed)
Guy Kawasaki: APE
Hilary Grossman: Dangled Caret (interviewed)
Candice Millard: Destiny of the Republic.
- Get new carpeting for the lower level: Ugh!
Progress: Not yet. I got to thinking about the wedding, which is an outdoor party, hipster BBQ with games and a picnic. Maybe I’ll just rip the old carpet up and leave a cement floor. That way we can put the food inside. I won’t be embarrassed about the old carpet and I won’t be worried about the new carpet. The bride loved this idea. Loved-One had some reservations. To dissuade me from my plan, he did touch-up cleaning. It does look better. The jury is still out.
- Send St. Patrick’s Day photo cards to friends and family: Progress: Complete. I got great feedback from my Welcome Spring card. Several people thought they just received an invitation to something; they weren’t sure what. They loved the pictures and the surprise out-of-the-blue greeting. I think I’ll do this again next year.
Please hop on over the Alphabet Salad and check out all the other gratitude lists this Monday. I […]
It’s been six months since Duckie’s last surgery; now three years since she began her “My Legs Hurt,” chronic complaint. If you are catching up, here’s Parts 1, 2, and 3.
- Part 1: WWII:Osteomyelitis::Verterans:Duckie (Putting a Healthcare Puzzle Together)
- Part 2: Solving a Heathcare Puzzle
- Part 3: Down the Rabbit Hole and Back
Duckie’s went back to see Dr. Bone. Why? Because Dr. Bone and Dr. Traumbone merged practices. Dr. Bone greats us like long, lost friends. He looks at Duckie’s leg, he has her walk, he takes X-rays. Everything is as good as… Well, everything is good.
Recovery from Osteomyelitis is no picnic. I find out there is no such thing as a cure. Duckie will always be considered infected, to some unknown degree. First, I find that out, then I find out other things. We’re in and out of stories, and around the bush and back. I’m happy I have a sense of humor and some training in problem solving: Asking 5 Whys, Root Cause Analysis, Pareto Charting, Process Mapping.
For those of you just tuning in to Duckie’s story please click this link for Part One, “WII:osteomyelitis as Veterans:Duckie (Putting a Healthcare Puzzle Together)”
A quick aside: Duckie married a mildly mentally impaired man, Mr. Incredible. They live with us until the two of them get annoyed with Loved One and me. They stay with Mr. Incredible’s parents until the same happens over there. Duckie stays with me while she recuperates. Mr. Incredible visits. He needs predictability. Nothing is predictable here.
“Shane got me some great tickets,” Ducky’s eyes almost brimmed with tears, she was so excited.
“What? I didn’t say we could go yet.” Ducky’s face fell.
“I’ll call him back, and tell him never mind.”
“No. It’s okay. I’m just surprised that you acted so quickly. We can go.”
Summertime is time to follow professional basketball. Isn’t basketball over? You say. Oh contraire; The WNBA is in full swing. Ducky loves watching the games on TV. At least once a year, a group of family and friends gets together for dinner and a Chicago Sky Game. This year, I’m determined