Welcome New Readers, Blog Hoppers and Old Friends!

(Sorry about the graininess – I recorded it on the wrong setting. Duh!)

hop Don’t have time to watch the video? No problem! I’ll put it in bullets for you. 🙂

*~* Been blogging since 2005

*~* I am a proud Christian

*~* I am opinionated, but fair

*~* I graduated from college in ’03 with a degree in professional writing.

*~* I also post helpful parenting information: like my Summer Fun posts geared toward helping parents keep their kids busy/entertained during the summer months.

*~* Been happily married for 19 years

*~* Mother of two teenage boys, ages 16 and 14.

*~* Though I blog about my family, I don’t classify myself as a mommy blogger.

*~* I also write and post samples of my fiction here as well as on my fiction blog.

*~* I’m also part of a creative writing blog which consists of five other writers.

*~* My day job is a web designer. I specialize in schools. (Does your child’s school need a website or an updated website? Contact me! I’m super easy to work with!)

*~* I live in southwest Missouri, so if you’re in my area, PLEASE holler!

Thank you for stopping by. See you at THE HOP!

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Through My Eyes

Lately, I’ve Been Feeling …

Lately, I’ve been feeling …

… edgy. Bored. Claustrophobic. I get like this sometimes. I live most of my days in my house, alone. Quiet. Silent. Yes, the boys are here, but they are busy doing their own thing. They get annoyed when I look over their shoulder. They get annoyed with my presence.

Lately, I’ve been feeling …

… unmotivated. I KNOW the bathrooms need a good cleaning. I KNOW the crap on my kitchen floor could entertain four toddlers for several hours. I KNOW I need to fill out applications and get the ball rolling on a new job. But … I simply can’t summon the energy to get in there and DO it.

Lately, I’ve been feeling …

… old. My body is constantly changing. And though my digestive problems seem to have finally ironed out (Amen!), I was convinced I wasn’t going to have a period this month. I’m late. I’m never late. My cycle has been 26 days apart from the beginning of my entrance to womanhood. I’ve had months where I had two periods, but never months where I missed one entirely. I knew I wasn’t pregnant, we have taken very deliberate precautions to insure that wouldn’t happen. So I had convinced myself that I was perimenopause — that “THE CHANGE” was beginning to happen. Only today … my period showed up. My feelings are somewhere between relieved and disappointed. I’m ready to cross the perimenopause threshold; I take comfort in the fact that I can SEE the threshold.

Lately, I’ve been feeling …

… uneasy. I need to make an appointment with my OB/GYN. I haven’t had a pap smear in … wow … years. But I’m uneasy because I know that I will not only be chastised for waiting so long, I will be forced to schedule a breast exam because I am 43. And my girls only like to be squeezed and touched by one man — and he’s not a doctor. I am a big baby when it comes to my female parts.

Lately, I’ve been feeling …

… jealous. Even though I have no desire to go to a blogging conference, I feel left out and sad when I read about all of the good times others are having. It’s stupid, really, I KNOW me. I KNOW that I would be uncomfortable and miserable the whole time there because I’m simply not a sociable person. I don’t make small talk because I prefer to put some meat on my words. And yet … I’m surprised that I’m considering, perhaps, just maybe, going next year. I’ve found some local bloggers through Twitter and if I can befriend them, and talk them into going next year, then I think I would go. I’m always braver when I have someone holding my hand.

Lately, I’ve been feeling …

… impatient. I’m determined to make another cruise happen for us next year, but aside from the money issue (which is another reason I want/need to get a job so I can pay for the damn thing), we’re having a time conflict. Jazz will *have to take a summer class next year. Dude will **have to get a summer job. Jazz has an intense week of band camp in August (this is an annual thing and happens every second week in August). July looks like the ONLY time we might be able to go. But Kevin says July is the ONLY month he can’t go — too many mid-year reports and audits. Did I mention I’m determined to make this work?

Lately, I’ve been feeling …

… torn. I love to give things away. LOVE. IT. But it costs money, which I pay out of my pocket. And money WILL be getting tight. But I don’t want to stop the giveaways because I see it as doing my small part to give back to the community. And giving is always a good thing. We’ve always given in the past, even when we probably shouldn’t have. But God has ALWAYS blessed us as a result. So I will continue to give any way I can. Giving things away makes me very happy. I want to hang on to that happiness.

Lately, I’ve been feeling …

… uninspired. And I’m pretty sure it’s largely due to the fact that I haven’t been reading as much as I used to. When I don’t read, I don’t write. I get most of my inspiration from reading others. My reading habits have changed largely because I’ve been distracted with Twitter and the blogs in my Google Reader. From this point on, I will make more time for reading and will not check my Reader or hop on Twitter until AFTER I’ve gotten some writing done — whether that’s a blog post or a story.

*Jazz has signed up for Jazz band this year. Since it’s a semester class, this will put him one class behind his peers. In order for him to graduate with his peers, he’ll need to take a summer class to stay caught up.

**Dude needs to grow up. I was working at 16; Kevin was working at 16. Next summer, Dude will be 17. We feel it’s very important for him to get out into society and start learning some real-life lessons. It’s time.

Prompt Fiction

Fiction: The Party’s Over

This was originally published June 8, 2007

You can find a ton of writing prompts at Write Anything.

Writing prompt: Write a story/poem about fatherhood with a doctor as the main character and a mug as the key object. Set your story/poem in a garden.


“Why is this nasty thing sitting in front of me?” Dr. Mike Samuels stared at the misshapen, yellow and purple polka-dotted mug on his expensive fifty-dollar place mat.

“Would you keep your voice down?” Mike’s wife, Lori, glanced anxiously around the garden to see if anyone heard him.

“No, seriously. What is it doing here?”

Lori sighed and looked over her shoulder. Their six-year old daughter was happily chatting away with her friends at the kiddie table. “Shyla made that for you for Father’s Day.”

“Okay. But why do I have to use it now? In front of the entire hospital board?”

Lori spoke slowly between gritted teeth and attempted to keep her voice light and cheery. “Because, your daughter wanted to surprise you. And you wouldn’t want to disappoint your daughter AGAIN, now would you?”

“I have no problem with that.”

Lori’s eyes narrowed and she glared at him. “You’re a prick, you know that?” She had a plastic smile pasted on her face and by the tone of her voice, a neighboring diner would never guess at the hostility seeping from her every pore.

“I’m not using this mug, Lori. It’s ugly and disgusting.”

“Sort of like our marriage,” she replied and instantly changed her entire demeanor as Mike’s boss appeared behind her husband.

“Lovely party, Lori. You always throw the best garden shindigs.” He issued a low-rumbling chuckle.

“Why thank you, George. I do try.” Her smile was warm and friendly; her eyes sparkled with tension.

George clapped Mike on the back. “So, old man. Are you ready for …” He paused and both Mike and Lori looked up at him. “What is that?” He nodded his salt-and-pepper hair toward the mug.

“Oh … that,” Mike began.

Lori interrupted brightly. “Shyla made that for him for Father’s day at school. She worked very hard on it.” She gave her husband a warning look.

George chuckled. “Ah, I remember those days. It seems like another lifetime ago I was forced to drink out of leaky clay mugs and pretend it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.”

Mike scowled. Lori chuckled.

“Actually,” Mike began.

“Shyla’s teacher said she worked on this mug for hours. She said she was so excited that she could hardly paint the flowers …”

“Is that what those are?” Mike asked incredulously. He dropped his head and peered at the mug more closely.

Lori kicked him under the table but kept her facial expression sunny and pleasant.

George laughed and again slapped Mike on the back. “I’d suggest a napkin, old boy, or you’ll most likely end up with a wet lap from the leaks.”

They both snickered as he moved off to talk to the people at the next table.

Mike’s smile immediately dropped as soon as his boss’ back was turned. “I’m not using this mug, Lori. It’s embarrassing.”

She wrung the expensive linen napkin with her hands and without looking at him, muttered under her breath, “Mike Samuels, you will use that mug and you will pretend to like it. I’m sick and tired of the way you shrug our daughter, and this whole fatherhood thing off.” She took a deep breath, blinked back the tears and waved cheerfully at Shyla. “You don’t pay attention to her, you don’t act like a father at all. You’re so wrapped up in your career …”

Mike bristled. “A career that buys you expensive linen napkins, I might add …”

She continued as if he hadn’t spoken, “ … that you never have time for us anymore. And when you’re here, you’re not here because you’re too tired to give us the time of day. Well you know what? I’ve had it. I’m not going to continue to walk on pins and needles around you anymore. I’m tired of drying Shyla’s tears because of your inattention.” She released a shaky breath, “When this party is over, so is our marriage.”