Category Archives: Creative Writing

Setting Goals for 2016

happy new year

I’ll be linking these up on Thursday at Mama Kat’s as New Year’s Resolutions, but after four years of college during which nursing diagnoses and care plans were drilled into my head I am completely incapable of making something so vague as a “resolution”. I set long-term and short-term measurable goals with specific time limitations and lists of actions to assist me in achieving them. Then I evaluate my progress along the way and adjust my goals and actions accordingly. Yes, that’s how nurses think. But we have the best stories, so hang out with us anyway 😉 Oh, and we also compartmentalized our lives as if they were different organ systems, all working independently but potentially spreading dysfunction from one to another. So my spiritual goals will be separate from my financial or relationship goals, but I know it’s all going to end up in the same bucket . . . so to speak.

 ~~~1 ~~~

Officially join the parish church I’ve been attending for years. If Michael doesn’t want to I will join on my own. I’m fairly sure John doesn’t want to, since he currently considers himself a Pastafarian. I’ve been putting it off because tithing in our current financial situation would mean giving up electricity or water, and I just can’t see that happening. But another of my goals may help in that area.

 ~~~2 ~~~

I want to keep losing weight and eating healthy. I’ve felt so much better in general after my gastric band surgery and my postop diet changes, and I’ve lost about sixty pounds so far even without aerobic exercise.

 ~~~3 ~~~

I would like to improve my flexibility, though, so I’m going to do daily stretches and very short walks when my neck and back pain allow. If our transportation situation (one-car family) and financial situation improve I’d love to go back to water aerobics. It’s the only aerobic exercise I can do without rapidly escalating pain, and I really have missed it.

 ~~~4 ~~~

I’m going to share EHT with new people every single day. Some days it just might be a telemarketer or the drive-thru pharmacy tech, but it’s a life-changing product. Go see Concussion with Will Smith and then tell me you don’t want something to activate the tau proteins in your brain!

 ~~~5 ~~~

I want to write daily, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. My goal is to publish a novel in 2016, and I have a few that are partially finished, so that may not be an unreasonable goal!

 ~~~6 ~~~

John will be a Senior in High School in the Fall of 2016, so I need to help him prepare for college. He’s taking EHT to help him focus, so hopefully he can bring up his GPA and do well on the ACT. Then we need to start narrowing down the in-state schools that offer what he wants and scheduling visits. At least I’m not brand-new to this one. Wish me luck!

We Get to Keep Our Home!!


— 1 —

Let’s get the bad news out of the way. I always prefer to get the bad news first. John didn’t pass his driver’s test on the first try. He ran a stop sign.  He was so mad at himself, because he’d already aced parallel parking and all the other stuff. He’ll try again later this month. I was probably nearly as mad because I’d taken time to do hair and makeup (something I never do) in preparation for renewing my driver’s license. Their computers were down.   So I took my spare time to chat about Nerium EHT with the gentleman on my left and Jamberry with the glittery-nailed woman to my right. I may go back Monday. Until the computers come up they’re a captive audience.

— 2 —

Also, I got a counterfeit check in the mail this week. A woman emailed me and wanted to place a $200 Jamberry order and pay by check. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, so I politely told her that once her check cleared I’d place the order. As our email and text correspondence continued her English deteriorated rapidly and she repeatedly belabored the point that she was a Christian, hoped she could trust me with her money, was praying that my business practices were ethical, etc. Of course the check, when it arrived, was counterfeit. I left her/him a voicemail to that effect and blocked both the email address and the phone number. That really didn’t put me in the holiday spirit.

— 3 —

On a lighter note, I did get to call my mom and tell her I’d ordered something to wear that was too small to fit her. Since my mom is a size zero and my gastric band surgery was in August she was stunned nearly speechless. Then I told her it was a hairclip. I bought it on Black Friday online and can’t wait to get it. It’s sized by the circumference of your ponytail, and I wear the next size up from an infant. My hair is long, but baby-fine. Any but the smallest clips or elastics fall out. I’ll post all about it when it arrives!

— 4 —

Speaking of hair, did I mention I actually made an effort with mine (OK, ten minutes worth, but it’s more than I usually do!) and put on makeup, since I’m due to get my driver’s license renewed. Of course when I showed up the computers were down. So I sat and made conversation with a couple of strangers for a few minutes before heading out. Never underestimate what you can learn from strangers. It’s one of the many things I miss from nursing: meeting new people and hearing their stories.

— 5 —

We’ve found a show to watch as a family. . . Fargo. Yes, that’s our kind of family entertainment. The only problem is we’ve started responding to each other’s questions with, “Yaah.” Hopefully that’s temporary.

— 6 —

The Small Business Holiday Bazaar is still going on! If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. All the participants are small business owners who would truly appreciate your patronage this holiday season, and I’ve made sure we have gifts for everyone (men, women, and children) in every category (something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read). I’ll be posting about Nerium on the 7th, but here’s a heads-up: If you want a spot in one of the fastest-growing international businesses, with job security and time freedom. . . for half the price it will cost you in January – contact me. It’s a small leap of faith that could change your entire life. It certainly has mine! And that small investment can easily be earned back within a month and them deducted as a business expense on your 2015 taxes. It’s kind of a no-brainer.

— 7 —

Biggest and best news for last: After dead silence since when we applied in April we have been approved for a three-month trial starting January 1 for a loan modification. On Real Housewives of Orange County these things are easy and casual, but we’ve been expecting every single day to see a “For Sale at Auction” sign planted in our front yard. I’ve made it a point to check just before our 17yo gets home from school every day just so he doesn’t find out we’re soon to be homeless from a sign. I didn’t decorate for Halloween or Thanksgiving, but I’m gonna decorate for Christmas, because we’ll be here to enjoy it as a family! It may be frozen pizza and dollar store gifts, but that’s OK. We’ll be HOME!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Book Review: Alex the Fey Series

Usually it’s hard for me to pick a book to review, because my tastes are so varied. I’ll read anything if it’s well-read. No genre is off-limits. I found Claudia Hall Christian’s series a long time ago, and I probably read the first book because it was free. I was so hooked I immediately bought the whole rest of the series. I’ve probably read it four times now. It’s a fast-paced read that always gives me strength. It’s a thriller, but the threads that tie all the characters and plotlines together are love, family, and true friendship. Every time I read it I feel a little stronger. And when I read it this last time I got a surprise – there were two more books in the series since I’d last read it! It was like Christmas morning! When my favorite authors release a new book I’m like a honey-badger. Nothing is coming between me and that book until it’s done! And the latest two are just as good as all her previous ones. This is the first one, the one to start with. It does help to read them in order, because there are a lot of characters and it’s easy to get them confused if you don’t know their backstory.

It’s still free! I happened to look at the date I first downloaded it when I went to Amazon to get the link. It was January 28, 2011. That was about a week after my HR director called my home number and didn’t get an answer, so she called my cell phone while I was in Kroger with my son to tell me if I didn’t show up for work at 4:30 a.m. the next day I would no longer have a job. I knew it was coming, I knew my FMLA was up, but my pain hadn’t improved at all with the two neurosurgeries I’d had within a month. But I’ll never forget how cheerful she sounded, as if she was truly enjoying ending my employment with a company I’d worked for the past twenty years; and that she couldn’t be compassionate enough to wait and try me at home again fifteen minutes later so I’d have some privacy. I’d gone out to get milk, and brought my son to lift it because I couldn’t. I couldn’t return to work because of pain. Where would I be, out for a run? So I’m glad I found the character Alex Hargreaves to remind me that things can always be worse, and that it’s important to know who your friends are and to keep them close.

Drop by Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop if you have time on Thanksgiving. You’ll always find great posts there!

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