Sunday, November 12, 2017

Life is Like a Playground

I have worked at my local elementary school since my son who is now a junior in high school was in first grade.  I wasn't always the librarian, I started out as a playground aide.  The one thing I have noticed over the years is the playground is a microcosm of life.  You get to choose what you want to do, where you want to play, but it's way more fun to be with others than all by yourself.

For example, playing on the teetertotter is much more fun with two people.  There are times in my life when I enjoy doing things by myself.  I love to go to the movies by myself.  I can sit where I want, I don't have to share popcorn, and no one talks to me during the movie.  I love going to my favorite restaurant with my favorite book.  Life however is meant to be lived with others. Some times I like sharing my popcorn.  Being along some of the time is fun, being alone all of the time is not.

There are people who have to make the best of it.  Who through no fault of there own are in fact alone.  Given the choice they would prefer to spend their time with others.  So like the playground they can either find some place of joy and be on the swing set alone, or they can search someone out to play on the teetertotter.  Either way people choose to go where they can find peace.  It is easier if you like who you are.

I enjoy my time alone because even though I am not perfect and I see all my own flaws, I have learned that I like me.  It's not always easy to admit my faults not even to myself, but I've found I can accept myself for who I am.  It's easier to accept others once you're okay with your self.

So like my young friends on the playground, be happy where you are and seek out the friendship of others.

Until next time.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Life is Precious

We all have life experience.  We all learn from our experiences, one thing I have learned from my life's experience is......life is precious. 

Many, many times in the last eight years I have needed the love, advice, and help from my father.  Unfortunately, my father died in 2009.  So I have learned this valuable lesson, never take the one's you love, or the life you have been given for granted. 

How many people were affected by the killing spree in Las Vegas?  How many family members will never be the same.  Whether the victims were killed or injured the loved ones as well as victims lives have been changed forever. 

What is the secret to living life to it's fullest?  I think it is to make everyday count.  Live like you mean it.  My daughter used to have this saying in vinyl on her wall. I loved it.

Dance like no one is watching
Love like you've never been hurt
Sing like no one can hear you
Live like its Heaven on Earth

Don't miss an opportunity to tell those you love, you love them. Don't miss an opportunity to be of service.  Don't miss the opportunity to be true to yourself.  

Until next time. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Utilitarian. What????

I live a very utilitarian life.  No, that is not a religion, it just means my life isn't all that exciting.  The last vacation I went on was a 2 day camping trip a year and a half ago. 

That's not to say my life is boring, okay maybe just a little.  I hear of my friends going on these wonderful European vacations, or trips to the islands.  That would be amazing.  But my life doesn't go that way.  So I look for ways to make my life a little more full. 

 What can I do to make my life more fun?  Well if you've been following me at all you know I have a boatload of hobbies.  I ride my bike, I read a ton of books, I write when I can, I cross stitch. I love to make homemade cards, and quilt.  I know that doesn't even compare to jet setting across the Continent, but we do what we can. 

The upside, and if you know me there is always an upside, I love my jobs.  Okay I love one of my jobs and the other I don't mind.  My life may not be all that exciting, but it's a good life.  I have a home and a family.  I have food on my table, and clothes on my back.  I believe God gives us a life and expects us to live it to the fullest. When I was younger I was blessed to see many things and visit many places.  I've spent a year and a half living and serving others in Ireland.  I have spent time in South Florida and New Orleans visiting family.  I've found myself in Southern California, and for that matter Northern California.  I even went to Hawaii when I was 13.  I have seen some of the world. 

Everyone's life is important.  Every way of life is important.  Living a life wishing things were different is a waste of spirit.  If your life is not what you want, do what you can to change it, pray for help, and hope for the best.  A life without hope is a hard existence at best.  Hope can bring you joy, peace and love. 

So always look for the upside.

Until next time. 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Love/Hate

Has there ever been anything in your life you have a love/hate relationship with?  I mean something you know is a good thing, but whatever it is will cause some serious introspection and then cause you to create some plan of action?  Man that situation drives  me crazy.  

I think I am overall a good person.  I have many faults and too many times I fall short of my own expectations.  I have tried throughout my life to measure up to other people's expectations.  It has only been in the last few years I have come to realize how futile that is.  

I remember more than once when I was young hearing, "You have potential, you should be doing more."  Or, "You know you could get better grades if only you would apply yourself."  But "Why can't you be more like your sister?" was always my favorite.  My parents weren't bad people, they did the best with what they knew.  My childhood wasn't all bad, I was never physically or sexually abused.  Some of my friends parents believed in the adage "Spare the rod, spoil the child."  I was spanked as a child when I misbehaved, but never beaten.   I don't think as parents we try to make our children's lives miserable.  I know I could have been and still could be a better parent.  I didn't do everything right.  I hope I'm better at it than my parents and I hope my children are better at it than I am.  

So much of our lives are spent comparing ourselves to others.  And not always in mentally healthy ways.  I think it's human nature to want to better ourselves.  I just hope we do it in constructive ways.  I can sometimes still hear the echos of my parents "encouragement" in my ears.  It causes that love/hate thing I was talking about earlier.  It drives me to better myself but it also causes huge amounts of guilt to weigh me down if I don't live up to my expectations.  Don't get me wrong it helps me to get through difficult situations, my drive to not give up, or give in.  But it does cause extreme amounts of self loathing when I don't get it right.  See what I mean love/hate.  

I have wonderful friends who tell me not to be so hard on myself.  Who lift me up when I get down.  They help me to use more uplifting self talk.  But in the end it all comes down to how I feel about myself.  It's taken many years of "talking myself off the ledge" so to speak.  I know what it feels like to sink into debilitating depression.  I know what if feels like to claw my way back.  The process is never easy.  Trying to find a balance in bettering yourself and beating yourself up is tricky.    

My best advice is try seeing yourself as God sees you.  He loves us infinitely more than we can ever love ourselves.  He always wants the best for us.  More importantly He is infinitely more forgiving.  

Until next time.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

What a Girl Wants

What is it that makes a woman's heart beat faster, makes her palms sweaty and her knees buckle?  Why is it women love to read romance novels? I have been asking these questions a lot.  I am working on my fourth novel and I am stumped as to why the heroine in the novel would want to be involved with the hero. 

There are as many different types of hero's as there are novelists.  Should the hero be open and happy, or closed off and brooding?  Should he be strong and silent?  Or should he be some kind of combination of all of those things?   The truth is, it's difficult to write the best man for the job.  Women are by nature emotionally complicated.  So what ever mood readers are in that's the kind of man she wants to see in the book.  I think one of my favorite authors said it best.  We don't want the perfect man we just want the one that is perfect for us. 

So let's see if I can find the perfect man for my new heroine.  He has to be kind, loving, giving, caring, understanding, forgiving, strong, and physically attractive.  Should he have blonde, brown, or black hair?  His eyes should be brown, blue, hazel, green, or some combination.  He definitely needs to be tall and broad shouldered this much I know.  So no problem right?

What a girl wants?

Until next time.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Time Out!!!!

This time of year for me gets out of control time wise. School starts up again, which for most mom's means life starts to slow down.  But I have a son in high school who is in Marching Band, which means this is band competition season.  His competitions go all over the state in a 150 mile radius.  I try to make it to as many as I can. Plus it's no secret I work two part time jobs, in addition to doing all of the other things I do to destress.

The job I love the most is being an elementary school librarian, I love it.  I get to open my kids minds to new books and help them to love reading as much as I do.  It's the best job, especially for a book-a-holic like me.  My other job is working in a bookstore.  I know, I know, between the library thing, the reading, the writing, and the bookstore, it's clear I need a 12 step program.  I am a book-a-holic.

Book wise, this time of year gets crazy for me not only because, well, I do work retail coming up to the holiday season, for me that means Christmas.  But all my favorite authors come out with new novels the last half of the year, and I've always got my mind churning on plot lines.  Even though I rarely have free moments to write them down.  Plus for the first two months of the school year I am traveling to watch band competitions.

I was so excited yesterday to have a rare free Saturday afternoon. It was the perfect afternoon  I got off work at 3:30 and band didn't start until 6:00 so I had some time to ride my bike. YAY!!!! The weather was perfect for cycling.  Slight breeze, temps in the 60's, the sun was shining, ahhhhh heaven.  So after a brief nap I geared up and went into the garage to get my bike.  I always do a pre-ride check so I know everything is working right.  I found my front tire was flat.  It's not unusual to find bike tires have lost air from sitting.  So I got out my pump and pumped up my front tire.  I needed my sunglasses and to put on my bike shoes.  After all of that, I was so ready.  It was going to be a great ride.  I got back out to my bike and realized my tire was flat again. AUGH!

My ride was cancelled and I was bummed.  Not only could I not ride my bike, I have to wait until Thursday to fix it.  Spring and Fall are my favorite times of the year to ride.  Because the weather is perfect, the colors are gorgeous, and I can be one with nature!!  Riding helps relax me and it clears my mind of all of the junk I stew over.  I can still enjoy the weather but it's just not as fun.

Upside, my husband did some dishes while I was at work, and even though I couldn't go riding, I got to kick my feet up and do some cross stitching before having to fix dinner and go to the band thing.  Which by the way I truly enjoy.  Watching my kids do their thing is a definitely parent perk!!!

So take a time out and do something you enjoy!!!!!

Until next time.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Giving Props Where They're Due

You know my daughter has been upset because of my books.  Not because they are taking up too much of my time.  Or because she thinks they aren't worth reading.  It's because she's not in them.  There is no one in it with her name, no one exactly like her.  In fact none of my heroine's have her looks.  She once said she wanted my heroine to look like her so she could be on the front cover.

My daughter is not only drop dead gorgeous, she's very athletic, and very tall....well I guess that one is relative.  Almost everyone is taller than me.  She is also very outgoing, my very own social butterfly.  She is very sure of herself, and out spoken.  All of these things can be a bit intimidating.   She would make a great book heroine.

The one thing she has yet to comprehend, she is in all of my books.  She is the best part of any of the heroines.  I just haven't used her 1st name. But their strength, love for life, and their ability to stand up for themselves and their friends is pure Jordan!!!!

In Explosive Chemistry, Jarrett, Courtney, Rob, Trent, and the rest of the college students at ASU were based on Jordan's roommates, and her circle of friends. 

I haven't used her first name in any of my books but here middle name is Elise, which is where I got Ellie's name for When Embers Ignite.  At the end of the book Trace calls Ellie by her full name which is Elise Isabella,  so technically she is in that one.

So I will say thank you to my daughter Jordan for being the inspiration for all of my heroines.  You truly are a remarkable woman.

Until next time.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Paying it Forward

What is it we can do to find true happiness and joy in this ever turbulent world.  I learned some interesting truths this evening I would like to pass on to you.  Or in other words I'm paying it forward.

To develop new and lasting relationships we need to focus on five things.
1- Be Honorable- When you do something you know to be wrong, make it right
2-Be Articulate- We need to let people know where we stand, but we need to say it in uplifting and wholesome ways
3- Be Different- Anyone can follow the crowd, stand for something of substance and value.
4- Be Distinct- If you see a need, find a way to fill that need in a way unique to you. 
5- Be Happy- Truly happy people are optimistic.  

I see a lack of civility in the world today.  People seem to be looking out only for themselves, and then wonder why their relationships in business and their personal lives fail.  Let's look at each of these subjects and see if we can't improve our lives. 

Be Honorable- stop passing the buck.  When something goes wrong, or we make a choice that harms another person.  Make it right.  Take responsibility for your actions, and find a way to change. 

Be Articulate- I have watched the language we use in our daily lives dwindle down to nothing more than a string of vulgar words. I wonder what happened to having a debate of ideas without name calling and swearing.  

Be Different- I remember in high school my classmates would follow what ever fashion trend the popular kids would wear just because everyone else did.  Be true to who you are.  It's okay to be different.  It's okay to stand up for yourself.  

Be Distinct- Find out what you can do and do it well.  Its okay to do something uniquely you.  Make the decision to live life with your own flair.  People will remember who you are because you lived your life unlike anyone else. 

Be Happy- Happiness is a choice.  The world all around you can be falling apart and nothing may go your way, but you will always have the choice to act or be acted upon.  Life will not always turn out the way you planned.   You can choose to embrace something new and exciting or constantly lament
how much life isn't fair.  There are certainly people who suffer from debilitating anxiety or depression.  That's not what I am talking about.  Having a bad day can be turned around with a change in attitude.  Wake up every morning and make a conscious choice to be happy.

Until next time.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

You've Got Potential, Kid!

This week I was able to get a glimpse of my son's potential.  It kind of got me thinking.  I wonder if I have lived up to my true potential.  My life is far from winding down.  I still have many things I wish to do.  But I just wonder what my late father would say about what my life has turned out to be.  I do know right from wrong.  I try to show kindness to others.  I try to be a good parent, although I don't always succeed.  I try to be a good wife and friend.  But to actually live up to your potential what would that be like.

I think this journey we call life is about a lot of things.  I think we are born into this life to make a difference. No matter how small. I also think this life is about going through trials, to be tested to see what we can make of our own lives.  I think we are here to be a help to others, to help them find their way.  I know many people have come into my life and have left their mark there.  I only hope I can dot the same for them.

I also happen to believe this life is all about finding and fulfilling our potential.  The road is not meant to be easy, nor is it meant to be traveled alone.  I believe that is why we are blessed to have a family. Traveling is always more fun when there is someone else along for the ride.  Someone who gets you, who can see past all of the yucky stuff and love you anyway.

So have I reached my potential, probably not but. I'm hoping to find some friends and fun along the way.

Until next time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

EXTRA, EXTRA Read all about it!!!

It's here, it's finally here!!!!

Explosive Chemistry is available in soft cover!!!!!!  As of this morning all three of my novels are available in both kindle and soft cover.

I can't actually believe I am a published author.  It's a dream come true form me.  I am still working on the fourth book in this collection.  I have at least two more planned but they are spin offs and not technically part of the collection.

Please visit my author page at amazon.com  Just type in Sharon Landis and you will find me.

Until next time.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Oh What a Relief It Is!

You know that feeling when you've been working on a project and it comes to a close.  You've given it your all, and done your job to the best of you ability.   Well that's the feeling I am experiencing today.


My copyright for my third novel Explosive Chemistry has finally come through.  The proofs for it paper back release has been sent for review, and in 24 hours will be available for purchase through Amazon.com.

WooHoo!!!!!!

It feels like a long time coming in actuality almost a year.  It's initial kindle release was November of last year.  Ten months later it's physical copy is being published.

The idea of Explosive Chemistry came about when my oldest child started college.  The setting of ASU was chosen because it is the nations leading recruiting school for the MLB. Eric is headed for great things playing in the National League.  His friends are based on a few of the men my daughter encountered during her freshman and sophomore years in college

 Hannah's science major came from my youngest child's love for all things science and the insatiable desire he has to watch things blow up.  Hannah is a feisty red head who hails from a Irish\Italian roots.  I based her lineage on my oldest brother-in-law who is a proud Irish\Italian.    

I would love for you to get to know my characters for yourself.  Enjoy the read.

Until next time.



Saturday, September 2, 2017

When Worlds Collide

My latest project is called When Worlds Collide.  This will certainly be a labor of love.  I started the manuscript in January and got a huge start on it.  Four chapters in two days.  For me that is  amazing. My mind was racing my fingers were flying.  I got a skeletal story together.  Then went back and added all of the fun details.  I loved the story it seemed I would get the story done by the end of the summer.  But something happened to me while writing this story that has never happened before.

My novels are character driven which means, my characters are basically in charge and I'm just along for the ride.  What happened was Sam, he is one of the main characters in this story.  I found out I didn't know him.  Most of my characters are based on people I know or have attributes of people I know.  Sam was a complete stranger to me.  He is not based on anyone I know.  His attributes are unknown to me.

Luckily for me I went to a "Meet the Author" night.  It was a night well spent with my favorite author. She spoke about herself and her writing for a couple of hours.  I learned many things from her that will hopefully make me a better author.

I love that I can keep learning and growing, that I can become a better person. I'm still working on my manuscript.  I am still thinking of my characters, but I am working smarter not just harder.  Lots of research and asking lots of questions, getting to know my characters.  This book may take a little longer for me to get to you, but it will be a better read.

I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

It's In His Kiss

"When the ball in Times Square dropped into place, everyone in the room shared a New Year's kiss with their dates.  Trace took Ellie in his arms and looked into her eyes.  Then his gaze dropped to her lips.  Ellie's breathing picked up and her mouth began to water.  This was the moment she had waited for.  She slowly slid her arms from their resting place on Trace's chest, to his shoulders, and then around his neck.  She tangled her fingers in his hair.  Trace slowly bent his head toward Ellie's, his lips parted and she met him half way.  Their first kiss started slowly. Trace did not want to rush this, he wanted to savor every moment.  Ellie pulled back for a moment and licked her lips. She wanted this to be perfect.  Then parting her own lips, she kissed him with all the fervor she could find.  The kiss intensified and Ellie was lost."

I am an avid reader.  I read all different kinds of books.  It always amazes me how writers can get so much thought out of a simple kiss, or a look.  Whether its passion, or playfulness, terror or sorrow, the emotions always plays across, or in, or deeply in, or at the back of, someone's eyes.

In my reading I also find the depth of passion, or anger, or nervousness, can be felt through a kiss.  I laugh to myself when I  think about the looks or kisses expressed in these books, what that would look like in real life.  Can you really see terror in someones eyes.  Can you feel the passion they have for you in their kiss?  Maybe you can and maybe you can't, I don't know.

I also happen to be an author.  My genre is murder mystery/romance.  The above excerpt is from my second novel - When Embers Ignite.  It's a simple first kiss between the two main characters.  When I first started writing  a number of years ago, I had to block out a kiss, so my readers could feel like a part of the story.  I remember how difficult it was imagining the female's side of the kiss.  It was nearly impossible to try and figure out my male leads part.  I asked my husband for help, he declined. So I had to figure it out on my own.  Toughest thing I have ever had to write.

So when you experience your own love scene with your significant other, while all of these other things are passing through your mind during the kiss, give a little thought to how you might right that scene.

Until next time.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

No I don't mean Christmas, for many parents the Target commercial is spot on!  It's the time of year when we send our children back to school.  My son informed me he wants hints on going back to school.  I could give you advice on what to wear the first day of school, or what to buy for school supplies.  But I want to go another way.

How can I help you with your back to school preparation?

1. Confidence:  It's a big bad world out there.  Children and adults for that matter need to have a firm foundation. What does that mean? That means you need to make sure your family knows they are loved.  Love is the basis for healthy self confidence.

2. Status doesn't matter:  If a person has self confidence then status or the need to have all the "right" clothing, hanging with all the "right" people, or doing all the "cool" things won't be important.

3. Be yourself:  Trying to be someone your not, is exhausting.  To have a great experience at school being your authentic self is the only way to make it through.  You will find friends with your same interests, you will be happy going to school everyday.  There will always be someone out there who will want to make you feel bad about yourself.  If you are true to who you are that won't matter.

4. Be mindful of others:  Be on the look out for people who feel inferior, who feel they don't have friends to hang with.  Being kind will never be a wrong choice. Be helpful and uplifting to those around you.  You will never be sorry for being a true friend.

5. Not everyone is going to be nice to you: It is a sad fact of life.  There will always be school bullies or people who for no good reason will look down on you. Who will treat you like you are no better than a bug to be squashed.  If you have authentic friends and are kind to others, you will find you are not alone and there is safety and strength in numbers.

6. Be prayerful:  I know this one sounds kind of strange especially if you don't think of yourself as a spiritual person.  But having God in your corner will never be a bad idea.


Until next time



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Am I Good Enough

All my life I have always wanted to be good enough.  A good enough daughter, friend, girlfriend, wife, and mother.  What makes us good enough?  Is it measured by what others think of us?  Do we measure ourselves by the accomplishments of others?

Comparing ourselves with an external measuring stick is a false comparison.  We can never compare ourselves to others and get a good reading.  The only person we should be compare ourselves to is us.
I read an article recently about a man who had been in his pediatric residency. Here is part of his story.

Through a series of tender mercies as a young doctor coming out of medical school, I was accepted for pediatric residency training in a high-powered, competitive program. When I met the other interns, I felt like the least intelligent and least prepared of all. I thought there was no way I could measure up to the rest of the group.
Early in our third month, I was sitting in the nurse’s station in the hospital late one night, alternately sobbing to myself and falling asleep as I tried to write the admission orders for a small boy with pneumonia. I had never felt so discouraged in my life. I didn’t have any idea how to treat pneumonia in a 10-year-old. I began to wonder what I was doing there.
Just at that moment, one of the senior residents put his hand on my shoulder. He asked me how I was doing, and I poured out my frustrations and fears. His response changed my life. He told me how proud he and all of the other senior residents were of me and how they felt like I was going to be an excellent doctor. In short, he believed in me at a time when I didn’t even believe in myself.
Like this young doctor we often may feel inadequate or not good enough. We see our own failings so much clearer than our successes.  We constantly compare our private selves to others public selves. 
Often others close to us can see us with a more objective eye.  But only look to those around you as they give you confidence and constructively help you to improve.  Don't listen to those who will tear you down.  You will do that enough on your own.  Most importantly give yourself a break.  If you are doing your best and you know if you are, know that you will make mistakes, but just keep at it. 
Am I good enough?  I have no idea, but I do know if I keep trying it will always be a step in the right direction.   
Until next time.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Hard Work and Great Rewards

Ever since I was a kid I was taught to work hard.  When I was a kid my rewards didn't seem that great.  Basically I worked hard so I wouldn't get in trouble.  My dad was a stickler for doing what you were asked or told to do.  In a word responsibility.  Growing up doing farm chores we didn't get a whole lot of down time.  There was always something to do.  That's not to say there wasn't time for fun, it was there for you after your chores were done.  When you're a kid and don't want to do chores it takes a long time to get them done.  So rewards seemed short on coming, but only because I didn't get things done in a timely manner.

Fast forward to being an adult, here I am.  I have my own home, and family.  My kids are almost grown and don't need a lot from me, unless they're short on funds.  So my time is more or less my own.  I still have responsibilities but they are of my own doing.  My rewards are also my own. Thanks to my upbringing I actually do enjoy working in my yard and taking care of my home.  I enjoy cooking for my family.  I can't say I love doing dishes or cleaning toilets, but you have to take the bad with the good, right?

This week I get to do some landscaping and make a quiet garden spot just for me.  It will take a ton of hard work, but in the end the reward will be worth it.  I already have the roses in place and some of the anchor plants so I will need to add a couple of beds, a seating area and some comfy chairs with a small table for water or snacks, a pathway complete with paving stones, and some grass to soften everything up.  It will be a place for me to settle in to writing my latest project or reading a great book.

I have another huge project to finish before the snow flies.  My garden spot has been over run by weeds and voles.  It isn't a pretty sight and will take much more had work and time.  It won't be totally ready to produce fruit and vegetables until spring.  But next year I will be able to grow my own organic fruits and vegetables.

Life is full of great rewards, if only you're willing to put in the hard work to receive them.

Until next time.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Who Has Time for Toxicity?????

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where others around you seem to be emotionally toxic? You know the ones I mean, the people who, when you talk to them they never have anything good or happy to say.  Those who regardless of how life is treating them, have to just be sad and mopey all the time. Life never holds joy for them.  I have been inspired the last three weeks by a woman of incredible courage, faith, and love.

This particular woman happens to be the birth mother of my daughter.  The weekend of the Forth of July she and her family decided to spend some time on a lake with jet ski's. At some point in the day they needed to gas up and get back to the dock.  The jet ski wouldn't start.  Her husband was trying to get it started and opened up the battery compartment to see what was wrong.  Gasoline fumes were in the compartment and when he tried to start it, the fumes were ignited by a spark and he got burned not only on his face, arms and upper body, but also burned his throat and lungs.  He has been in the hospital burn unit for three weeks with his wife by his side.

Instead of asking "Why is this happening to us? or Life is too hard I just can't do this, or Why does God hate me?" She is full of faith for the future, knowing her husband is in God's hands.  She updates everyone on Facebook and reminds us what is really important.

This woman is a shining example of a faithful, righteous, loving daughter of God.  I say it again, she is incredible.

Her situation could lead her to have a toxic attitude, but instead she is uplifting to those of us who can only pray for them.

Thank you Tiffany, for who you are.

Until next time.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Exercise....What's the Point???

When I was a kid a wise man told me I needed to keep my body "Young, clean, and full of vitality."  I was sixteen, of course, yeah I get that.  Now I'm a little older, I think man I wish I would have followed that advice.  I exercise now, I bike a lot, I use a Fitbit and try to get in my 10,000 steps everyday. I have a gym membership.  But I haven't always done that.

I was in my twenties it was easy to stay physically fit. I used to go to the gym with friends, and afterward we'd stop by the local ice cream place and get a large shake.  It was reward for a job well done.  What's wrong with that.  Well, nothing except as my metabolism slowed down, I kept eating the shakes.  What??  Yeah not my best choice.  I was married in my late twenties and my life style changed somewhat as did my metabolism. I started to self medicate with my favorite comfort food, carbohydrates.  

In my late thirties I became a mom.  Even though I was chasing after my children I was still self medicating with food. Every seven years our bodies change.  As we get older, our bodies start to slow down and if we don't change our eating, our lifestyle and our exercise routines we will not keep our bodies full of vitality.

I have seen in my own family what happens when someone doesn't stay active.  When we don't eat appropriately and get some sort of exercise, our life can get out of balance.  Our bodies should be considered a gift from God.  It is the only thing besides our free will that is truly our own.  I feel so much better when I exercise.  My personal form of exercise is cycling.  For me, it is not only physically uplifting, but it also helps me focus my thoughts.  

If I go to the gym, it helps me in my work, and with my gardening.   If we keep our minds and our bodies clean and healthy, the better we feel.  The better I feel the more I can accomplish.

Stay healthy
Until next time.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

What Can I Do for You??

I'm at an age where some of my time is spent as a caregiver.  Either to a parent, a spouse, or a friend. I am part of what is called a sandwich generation.  Which means I am a caregiver for a parent while still taking care of children in my home.   At times I am also a caregiver to my husband.  No grandchildren yet, although some of my friends have them.  Is there enough of me to go around?  Probably not.  Will I stop trying to be helpful?  Probably not.  So how can I take care of everyone else and myself as well.  It's  a tall order and one that is exhausting.

A therapist once told me women make the worst caregivers.  Why? Because they will take care of everyone else before themselves.  We do this as mom's as well.  We're hard wired that way.  So ladies here are some things I learned along the way.

You need to set aside some time at least once a month for yourself.  When my children were smaller I used to have what I called a mom's day out.  Once a month I would invite a fellow mom to take what some may call a ladies day.  It doesn't have to be all day long, but that certainly is a possibility.  It could be time shopping, or having lunch.  This could be the same for a caregiver of older people.

Don't give up your hobbies, or develop new ones.  Unfortunately for me I have too many hobbies. One of the things we do as women, is give up our hobbies.  My mother who is now 87 lost my father when she was 79.  She was very spry for a 79 year old, but she gave up her hobbies somewhere around 69 or 70 and became totally dependent on my father for everything, she even gave up driving before it was necessary.  As a result, when my father died, she was totally lost.

Eat right, exercise, and get plenty of rest.  In order to take care of others you need to be healthy yourself.  You know when I was a new mother, people used to say sleep when the baby sleeps. Ha! that never works, if you do that, nothing else gets done either.  Even though I have to admit, I did sneak a nap more than once.  Doing all of these everyday is difficult when you are caring for others. Be creative, take a walk, snack on fruit, sneak a nap during TV time.

It's alright to be selfish once in awhile.  Move yourself  higher up on your own list of priorities.

Until next time.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Sharing the Wisdom of a Friend

Every week when I post I try to share what I have been going through or feeling.  This week one of my Facebook friends shared this post. Since my week has been up and down I decided to pass this along. I think it is full of wisdom and definitely worth sharing.  If you notice at the bottom she said I could.  So here goes.


"Over the years, I've had many discussions with our daughters about people and relationships. I've tried to teach them what they should look for in a partner and what kind of partner they should be. I hope we have taught them by example as well. I found myself putting together a list the other night of the most important lessons I've learned. I'm sharing them here, so they are always here and will come up in my memories every year. Thanks FB.✌🏻
1.) Sometimes you have to give up on people. Not because you don't care, but because they don't. Don't run after people who don't want you. You'll always be running.
2.) DO NOT speak poorly of your past partners to your new one. It's very easy to do and very common, but it only reflects poorly on you. You once loved that person, or at least deeply liked them. Remember that. Choose the higher ground. You won't ever regret it.
3.) If you know something in your gut, trust it. Don't dismiss red flags. They are red for a reason.
4.) Nurture your relationships with friends. Especially when you've got a partner in your life. Friends are important. If your friends aren't accepting of your partner, ask yourself why. Listen carefully to the answers and do some thinking. It may be the partner that needs rethinking, but it might be the friend.
5.) If you wake up thinking of someone and you go to bed thinking of someone.....that just might be someone worth fighting for, worth keeping, even if it's sometimes hard. It's worth it. Listen to your heart, it knows.
6.) It's never too late to try again. Even if it doesn't workout in the way you hoped, you can walk away knowing you gave it everything you had and not full of regret. Don't leave unfinished business. Those doubts can eat you alive and will affect every relationship you have in the future.
7.) Talk to your partner. Admit when you're wrong. Tell them when you have a problem with them. But also, tell them what they're doing right. Meaningful communication is the most important thing in any relationship. If you don't talk to each other AND listen, you'll never survive.
8.) If you are being stupid, mean, or petty and you know it, STOP it! It doesn't have to be nasty. It's not a contest on who can hurt who the most. In that sort of contest, no one is a winner.
9.) When things get rough, and they will, reflect on the good times; the moments, the laughing, the romantic surprises, the singing, the dancing, and the late night talks. Do you really want to live your life without that person in it?
10.) Say goodnight, and good morning. Say, I love you and I appreciate you. Ask yourself every day how you can make your partners life better.
11.) As T-Swizzle so aptly put it, this ain't a fairy tale and you're not a princess. Live right now. Be forgiving. Don't overlook all that you actually have for something that isn't real. Movies and books aren't real. People are.
12.) Don't let past hurts keep you from loving with your whole heart. Hearts are actually pretty resilient. Don't hold back. Give your all. At the very least you learn from every experience you go through. You never know what's around that corner, so turn it.
13.) People will show you who they are if you give them the chance. Pay attention.
14.) Dream about your future. Make big plans. Always know there's more than one way to get from here to there. If one road ends, take a new one. Always keep your final destination in mind.
15.) You teach people how to treat you. Don't be a doormat. Don't be a wall. You are neither.
Feel free to share! The post is public."

--Melony Pulley

Until next time

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Over My Head and Out of My Mind


Have you ever felt like your looking at a tsunami and all you have to help you is one of those styrofoam life preservers.  Well that's my life right now.  Everyday it's something else.  Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.  You take two steps forward and then five steps back.  It overtakes your whole life. But it's okay life is just like that sometimes.  

So how do you dig yourself out of a big mess.  You sit down an look at it logically.  You talk to the experts in the field to see if they can help, then you get on your knees and pray.

It really isn't important what trials I am currently experiencing.  It doesn't matter what the outcome of my predicament.  What matters is how I get myself through it.  Hiding from the problem isn't the answer.  Even though at times it's the only way to stay sane.

I want to get on with my book, I want to get on with my summer projects, I want to be able to feel good about life.  So somehow I need to find my way through.

Wish me luck

Until next time.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!

It's time to celebrate all the wonderful father's in our lives.  Men can be such a great influence in the lives of the people they love.  My dad was my rock.  My soft place to land.  He wasn't perfect but he was the perfect father for me.  He loved and supported me, he helped me understand responsibility and he guided me on my journey to discover righteousness and love.

Growing up on a farm we didn't do a lot of vacationing.  Okay let's get real, my family went on one family vacation during my whole life.  When you have live stock it's not like you can have a neighbor come over and feed the cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys, geese, etc.  So we stayed pretty close to home. I lived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, so we spent weekend afternoon's up the canyon having picnics, and roasting marshmallows.  We had lots of chores at home but when Dad was home he was always out there with us.

He was a strict father but he never laid a hand on me.  His discipline was more like, "Shar, I expected more of you than this."  He made sure we always fulfilled our responsibilities.  My father worked for the government for many years, so he wasn't at home to work the fields and pick the fruit.  He left that for us.  He led by example, I don't think I ever saw him take a sick day.  He was a very hard worker who always provided for his family.

After I grew up and my dad retired he spent more time at home and he became one of my best friends.  He helped me shape my life and helped make me the woman I am today.   The Lord was always important to my father and he raised me to make righteous choices, and stay close to God.

My father passed away almost eight years ago.  I will always love my dad and I miss him everyday.

To all those wonderful men in our lives Happy Father's Day!
Until next time.  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Tough Week

This has been a tough week.  I had such lovely plans for the summer.  I wanted to finish writing my latest novel, spend some time in my garden, add some landscaping to my yard, and so many more things.  This first week of summer vacation from school, I'm a librarian at my local elementary school, was supposed to be a great kick off.  Unfortunately it hasn't been great, in fact its been just the opposite.  I won't go into why, just know it's far from what I expected.

I'm not normally a half glass empty kind of gal, but this week has kicked my butt.  I suppose everyone has those times in their lives when everything seems to go against them.  This has been building for awhile now and it's just come to a head.  I'm hoping for better things but not expecting the best.


Until next time.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Getting Back To Nature

Whew!!!!  I rode my bicycle 70 miles yesterday.  I am not a spring chicken anymore, but I gave it my best shot!!!!  I wanted to go for a full 100 but decided at 58 miles I was done.  I think its important to set goals and try like heck to achieve them.  I also think its important to know your limitations.  One of the most important things I noticed yesterday was that nature is a marvel and a wonder.

This ride was in a town that I have been through before.  To get there I have to go through a canyon, one I have traveled many times.  There are man made structures that once were businesses that have fallen into rubble.  Some new houses have go in, many things in that canyon have changed, but the cool thing about nature is, it's always there.

I love being on my bike riding outside much more than riding in the gym.  It just makes me feel alive. Yesterday after my ride I was very tired, I was physically exhausted.  But I enjoyed the ride despite my exhaustion.

There are many things that build us up, make us feel, bring us joy.  Our job is to find that one thing that will elevate our souls.

Until next time.
 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

It's My Birthday!!!

My Birthday is coming up this week.  "What do you want for your birthday mom?"  That is the question I will get the day before.  The only problem is I don't really know.  When you get to be my age presents don't mean as much as they used to.  I have a friend who told me her daughter was going to give her memories for her birthday.  What a great idea.  I want memories for my birthday.  I'm not talking about a photo album, which would be cool too.  I'm talking about going out and doing something fun, or crazy, or out of the ordinary.  That sounds like fun.  

I'm trying to bring my life back into some kind of balance.  Part of that is learning to have fun again. As adults, sometimes I think we forget how to have fun.  If you have been following me for very long you will know that I was raised in a home with a mother who was the queen of guilt and a father who was the king of responsibility.  Yeah, how much fun was my childhood.  Actually it wasn't all bad, but wanting to please my parents, especially my father, has led me to be driven by responsibility.  So I have been seeking out ways to have fun.

Making memories doesn't mean spending a lot of money.  You'd think at this time in my life I wouldn't need to be so tight, but unfortunately I do.  So I'm going to look for ways to make my birthday fun, memorable, and inexpensive this year.  One thing I know I'm going to look forward to this week is cycling in the Little Red, a bike ride for cancer awareness.  This year I'm going to be crazy and go for the full 100 miles.  And yes, the answer is, I am crazy.  9 hours in my own head!!  Augh!  As a result next weeks blog will probably be late in coming.  Riding that long really zaps my energy.  But it will be fun!!!!

Until next time.
 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Living Your Life Out Of Balance

Life for me has been pretty hectic lately.  It seems I'm always torn in twenty different directions.  I have noticed, that for me, this is overwhelming.  Many people live for a life like that.  I am not one of those.  I feel like I'm constantly putting out fires.  Yuck, not a pleasant thing at all.

Then I sit back  and wonder how much of this is my fault.  A lot most likely.  When I first got married a hundred years ago.  I didn't have hobbies.  I just worked and took care of my home and husband.  I was one of those women I shake my head at now and think, no don't do that.  Let him help you, don't lose sight of your self.  That's just what I did.  Everything was for home and family nothing I did was for me.  A friend set me straight in the old days.  My husband was going to school full time, I was supporting us.  I was busy working 40 hours a week and then coming home and being the dutiful house wife.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Why oh why did I not ask him to help.  Oh yeah I forgot I married Ward Cleaver. For those of you who don't know who that is, think 1950's family dynamic. Except I was working full time.  Anyway, I was busy taking care of everything except me and my friend took me aside and said while he's away doing school stuff get a hobby.  I learned to cross stitch.  Something I still enjoy doing while watching TV.  Then over the years I picked up other hobbies.

Now here I am with older children who don't need me as much, two jobs (part time) still working 40 hours a week while trying to fit in a list of hobbies a mile long, take care of my husband, my house, trying to help my daughter heal her broken heart, help my son navigate his way thorough high school, dating, working, and life.  I have to say my son is very good to his mom.  He treats me like a queen and loves me no matter what.

So here I am after 30 years of marriage still trying to find my balance.
I wish I knew the answer.  All I know is if I give up my hobbies, I'll go crazy.  I'm trying to find peace in an ever hectic world.  I'm afraid if I slow down I'll get run over.  So where can I turn for peace.  I can only think of one place.  I'll find peace in my faith.  Turning to the Lord for help is my only option.  I keep telling my children that.  Just breathe and pray, life will get easier.

Until next time

Saturday, May 13, 2017

It's A Mom Thing!

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!  To all those who are an influence for good in the lives of children everywhere mothers day is for you!  I used to detest Mother's Day.  You see I couldn't have children for the first thirteen years of my marriage.  So after the first ten years we adopted our oldest child. For the first few years of being childless I was okay.  I wanted children but I was willing to wait.  After the ups and downs of the roller coaster ride of infertility I was so done with Mother's Day.  People would say well meaning but stupid things trying to comfort me.  I just stopped going to church, or talking to anyone on that day.  It was just too hard.  After welcoming our daughter into our home it was easier, then after welcoming our son into our home I thought this Mother's Day stuff was pretty good.  Then being a mom became a little more difficult the teenage years hit. I'd go to church and listen to children and husbands say how wonderful their moms and wives were.  Then the day became hard again.

In true mom fashion guilt became my friend, I wasn't like other mom's.  I didn't do all the right things. Then I told myself to just stop!  Stop thinking so negatively.  Start thinking of all good I could do.  I could be an influence for good in my own way.  Life would be as good as I made it.

Now I love to celebrate Mother's Day, but on my terms.  I decided I don't need a lot of things, I just need my little family around me, like Saturday this weekend we went to a movie together. Sunday we will go to church as a family, have dinner as a family, visit my mother as a family, and then having a family game night.

Every mom is different so every mom will want something unique to her.  So if you're a mom, celebrate the way that makes you happy.  If you're helping a mom to celebrate, do what she wants.

One last thought.  I was childless for long enough to know that being a mom isn't just biological, it's being an influence for good in someone's life,  Showing a maternal kind of love to nieces, nephews, children of friends, younger brothers and sisters.  In short anyone who needs a little maternal love, needs you. So Happy Mother's Day to one and all.

Until next week.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Love Is In the Air


Love is everywhere.  It's on the radio, it's on every television show, it's all over the internet. At least what people want us to think is love.  I read romance novels, clean romance novels.  I sell them at the book store I work at.  I even write romance novels.  So what is it about love?  It can make us soar to the skies if its true and makes us happy, but it also has the power to bring to our lowest low.

When we first fall in love life is blissful, we are walking on cloud nine.  I'm sure it has something to do with endorphin's.  We know nothing can keep us from eternal happiness.  If that love is given a chance to blossom and grow we find ourselves in a different kind of deeper more satisfying kind of love.  Its more grounded and we are able to cope with life's ups and downs.  The long we are together the stronger our love can become.  We can face the trials of love because of the bond we share.  I happen to believe if a man and woman are in love marriage is the next step.  There are those who disagree with me on the whole marriage thing.  There are people who disagree with me on the man and woman thing.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  That is not what this weeks blog is about.

In my current writing project I'm dealing with love the second time around.  If you have read any of my books, first of all thank you.  If you have not here's a little background.  My novels are written about a family who has lost their mother from a car accident.  How they grow up live their lives and try to mend their hearts after the loss of the center of their family.  Oh and there is always a bit of murder on the side.  I have written the first three stories about the children in this family.  Dad's story is more difficult to write.  He and his wife were soul mates and are actually inspired my one of my best friends and her husband.  She died of cancer a few years ago and husband was left to pick up the pieces of his family's life.  They had two children who were teenagers at the time.

The difficulty in writing this book is I am still married to the man I fell in love with thirty years ago and trying to find out how to write this character is proving a little difficult.  I think it makes for a more interesting and full character, but it is harder to get my mind around his feelings.

With all the counterfeit love, and lust and just plain sex out there it's hard to find the real thing.  I hope we can all tap into find the real lasting eternal kind of love.

Until next week

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Politics and Social Media

There are many things I don't understand in this world. Why people pay $100 for a hair cut.  Why someone would buy something just because it's on sale even though they don't need it.  Why people believe everything they read in a supermarket tabloid.  Those same people who say the National Inquirer is nothing but fiction believe everything they read on Facebook.

I have been on Facebook for a number of years.  I first started my account of Facebook to keep in touch with my family who is spread from one side of the country to another.  I love watching their individual family's grow.  Then I loved keeping in touch with my friends that I haven't seen in years. Catching up with what's been going on in their lives.

Recently, I've noticed that politics and social injustice has taken over.  In fact friends old and new have been caught up on the political rhetoric that news agencies have blasted their airways with. Funny thing is no matter what news agency it is only tells one side of the story and it isn't even necessarily true.

Human nature is an interesting thing.  We find something we agree with and we tell everyone we know about it.  Or we find something we disagree with and shout about it from the roof tops.  Thing is with social media our rooftops just got a lot bigger.  Some people are social activists who then take it one step further and hit the streets with it.  We have clashes in the streets, people rioting and looting, and protesting leaving everything in a worse state than when they came.  Then all of this hits social media and friendships are lost, understanding has gone out the window and everyone yelling at everyone else right from the privacy of their own home.

It is easy to get caught up in an argument with someone but we forget forty other people can read it. Then they chime in and now its gone viral and there is no taking anything back.  Once it hits the airwaves it out there.  We teach our children to be careful what the post, but we need to take some of our own advice.  You can disagree and be kind.  It's called diplomacy.

Until next week.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

What Inspirers You


There are many writers I adore.  Many books I will buy just because of the person who wrote it.  I call these my auto-buy authors. How ever the first authors I fell in love with are actually dead now.  The first is Dame Agatha Christie, and the second is JRR Tolkien.  They have totally different writing styles and different genre's.  But the way they tell a story is remarkable.  One of the things I like most about a story is that you can't put it down.  Luckily for me most of the books I read lately can be read in one night.  It may take me three or four hours but I never want to put it down.

The characters I love have such depth.  If they are written correctly they come off the page alive and the story seems like real life.  JK Rowling, like JRR Tolkien has the ability to create a whole world something that is out of the ordinary.  Her back stories alone filled boxes and boxes, which is why her characters are three dimensional.  Doing research is always a must as a writer.  Becoming so involved with the characters is what brings them to life.  I remember reading somewhere that Harry Potter was so real to JK Rowling that she actually thought she saw him on a train.  

To have the ability to create such an environment has always been my goal.  To invite readers to become part of the story.  I do research, and pick people's brains.  I swear if Homeland Security ever looked into my internet searches, I'd be put on a watch list.  I have researched fire jumping, bomb making, drug addiction, firearms, and spontaneous combustion.  I have only written one book that was set in a place I have first hand knowledge of.  I've even researched the best surfing spots along the southern California coastline.  Which I have come to understand is a very closely guarded secret.  But even with all of my research I have to say my writing has a long way to go before people say, "I just can't put it down."

I hope when people read my books they are transported to another place.  That what I have written will bring a little bit of joy into their lives, that they can forget about the world for even a little bit. Then I'll consider myself a successful writer.


If you've never read one of my books head to amazon.com and looked up Sharon Lnndis and you will find what makes me happy.  So check it out and let me know what you think.  Book four update: I'm still working on it.  It's going to be so much fun writing it.  

Until next week       

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Child Protection

When our children are small, we as parents want to protect them from everything.  As they grow their experiences, physical, emotional and mental also grow.  Your children need this growth.  But as parents we want to continue to protect them from everything we perceive as harmful in anyway. Some of these things are from their own decisions, some are because of the actions of others, some are because life just happens.  The only way for our children to grow is to learn to deal with all of life's crap is to go through this stuff.  The only thing we can do is try to guide them through the mine field.

The older they get the tougher the experience.  Even as a parent of adult children your instinct is to protect them from hurt, anxiety, and grief.  It is heartbreaking to stand by and just hold their hand, knowing how hard life can be.

In my younger years I too had to go through the difficulties of life.  And even though I've been through some tough stuff, I can offer advice and counsel but it still won't ease the pain of heartbreak. I know my children will be better stronger adults with the ability to help others after having to deal with crap.  But being a bystander is just plain painful.

I hope we can all find some peace through the trials of life.

Until next week.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

We Interrupt This Program......

Yesterday we had a storm blow in dump rain and snow and leave.  Well one of the side effects is that we lost our internet connection.  Aaauuuggghhh whatever shall we do?  Man I don't know.  I couldn't write my blog, I couldn't check my social networks, my son could game all afternoon or stream his all time favorite show Dr. Who on Amazon.  Life was over as we know it.

I did have time to do some yard work between storms, worked on a cross stitch I have been trying to finish, I even worked on a puzzle and baked chocolate chip cookies.  We did have television, but no Netflix, so we weren't totally with out entertainment, but it got me thinking.  What was life like for me before the internet.  Let's face it I could have done all of the things I did today even without the internet and probably would have anyway.  But my son, he is totally into his gaming.  He does do other things, he is very helpful around the house, he helps me cook dinner, he even helped with yard work yesterday. Which he would have done anyway.   But having to give up Dr. Who was traumatizing.  I also was trying to find plants for my landscaping that need replacing. In order to do that I would actually have to get up and go outside to the local Home Depot.  Who wants to do that in the rain?

What did I learn from this experience?  Life without the internet is livable, and it was nice to not have to interrupt my sons viewing to talk to him.  There is just the three of us now.  My husband wasn't feeling well so his life wasn't interrupted other than he couldn't really look things up on his phone for work without using all of his data.  My son does spend a lot of his free time on the computer, mostly watching Youtube and does some online gaming with friends.  But yesterday he spent some time reading with is not too unusual for him, but Dr. Who, that was a hardship.  As for me I probably spend too much time on social networks anyway.  I could give some of that time up for something more productive.

I hope this week if you cut back on social networking this is one of the things you read.

Until next time

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Project Management

So far this year I have been enjoying projects.  Since January, I have started my forth book, I have painted my sons bedroom, I have dejunked and moved my "craft room", and turned it into a guest room.  I have decorated the guestroom in such a way my son lovingly calls it the "Spring Room".  All the way along I have been working on my book and a cross stitch.  I look forward to finishing my "Grotto" this spring and get a huge start on my garden in the next few weeks.  It seems like I am always working on something.

I finally got a day off the other day and I decided I needed to get some work done around my house. This work is necessary and needed.  My dishes had stacked up in the sink, and my floors were full of dog hair.  Dusting always needs to be done.  So much work, I made my list of things to do and got right to work.  About mid day I stopped and asked myself, "Why is it on my day off I'm doing laundry, dishes, and basic housework, but I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything?"

I have held a job since I was sixteen.  Even when my children were small and needed a me at home, I worked doing data entry on my home computer.  Because of my husband's chosen profession it has been required I bring in an income.  I have always worked, even though all I have wanted to do my entire married life is be a stay at home mom.  A kept woman if you will.

Now I don't mean to ruffle any feminist feathers, I know we as women are as various and unique as the stars in the sky.  There are as many different ways of being successful women as there are women.
I'm not trying to speak for anyone but myself.  Thinking back on my thoughts of Tuesday this week, I realized that any service for my home and family no matter how mundane is an accomplishment.
There are so many projects in life to do.  Some more intense and difficult than others but all are important.

I hope you will feel that sweet sense of accomplishment no matter what you do this week.

Until next time.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sitting At The Big Kids Table

By today's standards the family I grew up with is large.  Back in the day it was just an average size family.  I am the youngest of six children.  My parents had a tradition of family dinners for holidays and special occasions.  As our family grew with grandchildren the family table got a little crowded.  So being the youngest child and only eight years older than my oldest nephew I along with my sister just older than me were relegated to the kids table.  I always felt like I was missing out on something really cool.  The big kids table got all the action.  They got the food when it was hot, they got all the condiments first.  They got to be in on all the gossip.  While we, on the little kids table got to babysit.  As soon as the grandchildren were old enough to feed themselves (getting a spoon somewhere in the vicinity of their mouths.) They joined our table.

Unfortunately for me as the number of grandchildren grew there was less room at the little kids table for my older sister.  So she got bumped up to the big kids table and I was still sitting at the little kids table well into my teenage years.

After growing up this way, my experience at the holiday dinner table started to spill into my everyday life.  I always felt I was never good enough.  I was never included with the "cool kids" at school, I never got picked first for anything we did on the playground or on the sports field.  I was never great friends with the really popular kids in high school.  It felt like I was sitting at the little kids table my whole life.  Man I hated the way that felt.

When I was in my mid twenties, I was more confident, I liked myself more, I went out of my way to be kind to others.  I finally started to figure things out.  At least I think I did.  It was then I realized the big kids table wasn't all that great.  I liked being able to be myself and not try to impress anyone.  Now looking back at my family's holiday dining experience I realize I kind of liked being at the little kids table even when I was in my late teen and early twenties, I actually preferred sitting there.  It was much more fun, the people I was sitting with liked me for who I was.  I have great nieces and nephews, they are some of my best friends.  I have discovered being cool is as much a state of mind as anything else.

Being myself and enjoying the company of those around me is what it's all about.  If people who feel they are better than me or above me, or have no use for me don't like me, I'm am totally okay with that.  Who wants to be with snobby people anyway.  Life's much more fun when you like who you really are.

Until next week.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Waxing Philosophical

I went on a twenty mile bicycle ride this morning.  If you're a serious cyclist that is a drop in the bucket.  For me, it was my first twenty miler this season.  This morning I didn't take my head phones so I had a couple of hours to myself to think.  I discovered some things.  First, I need more seat time, because part of me still really hurts when I sit down.  Second, I need to get serious about leg work in the gym if I want to go fifteen mph.  Aside from the obvious physical need for improvement my mind went to the philosophical.

When I first started out the wind was blowing and I was riding into a head wind up a slight slope.  It wasn't extremely difficult just enough to make me work a little bit.  My favorite place to ride is a bike trail about six miles from my home so, I include that mileage in my ride.  Once I get down there it winds through a dedicated wetlands.  I am surrounded by the sounds of nature.  The birds in the the trees and on the river.  The breeze softly blowing through the trees.  It's very peaceful.  The ride itself has flat spots, hills, and bridges, There's even a park along the way.

I decided our trip through life is kind of like my bike ride this morning. Life doesn't have to be difficult but it isn't always easy either.  Like the first part of my ride, life is usually not something that's to difficult to handle.  You have to work a little bit, but you can still make it through.  There is a steep hill on my ride, I have to work hard to get up with out stopping and walking.  Just like this, in our lives there are hills that you have to work hard at to get over.  Once you crest the hill you have a short period of time where you don't have to work at all to get down.  But if you find your hill is taking a long time to crest, you may have to stop and take stock in what you are doing in your life to cause you to be up against this hill.  Once you have looked at your life and maybe changed your course to help you get past this hill, or you have to get off the bike and walk to get to the top.  If you look back you might be able to see where you went wrong.  So when you come up against it again it will be easier for you.

Our way through this life will have some uphill climbs and some straightaways. but if you prepare and strengthen your muscles you will be ready to face what ever challenges come your way.

Until next week.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

What Time Is It?

It's that time of year again.  Time to turn our clocks ahead one hour.  We can honestly say "Where did the time go".  I don't understand all of the reasons we fiddle with time every year.  I know there are a lot of people who don't like doing this.  They also have a list of reasons why it's not a great idea, but bottom line for me is, I love the long summer nights.  Taking walks in the summer evenings, working in my garden first thing in the morning.  I guess the major reason I like daylight savings time is because it means it's spring.  I love the spring and the warmer temps.  I even love spring cleaning. The smell of freshly mown grass, and spring rains.  When I was kid growing up on a farm, it was the season all the new baby animals were born.  

For me it's the season of rebirth, the chance to change things up.  To make your life different, for the better.  I love planting my garden and pruning my fruit trees.  I love breathing in the cool air.  So even though I have one less hour a day, which for me is a big deal, I can't wait.  

So make the most of the time we have, lighten someone else's load and walk outside and breathe in the freshness of spring.  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Is It Enough

Recently my daughter tagged me in a facebook post about exhausted moms.  I love her for being there to lift me up and tell me I'm doing a good job as a mom.  Sometimes I think we as women think to little of our selves.  We try everyday to do what we can for whomever we can and wonder if it is enough.

It's amazing to have people in our corner who, like my daughter, remind us we are doing a great job. We need to give ourselves a break.  What would we say to our children friends and loved ones who were constantly tearing themselves down.  We would tell them to stop being negative, that they are wonderful people, they need to give themselves a pat on the back for working so hard.  Look at all their achievements and be proud of a job well done.  Why do we not give ourselves the same pep-talk?

So ladies, lets remember who had a hand in raising such wonderful children, who supports such wonderful men, and who gives their all to everything in their lives!   YOU are doing great, you are a wonderful example of love, kindness and sharing!

Keep up the good work and have an outstanding week!  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hobbits Make Me Smile

Memories are funny things.  Any thing could trigger a memory.  Like whenever I smell cucumber melon lotion I think of Hobbits, and it makes me smile.  Why is that you might ask?  The first time I saw Lord of the Rings in the theater I was wearing cucumber melon lotion.  When I smell fresh cut lumber I think of when my husband and I were first married.  He did a lot of wood working, in fact his major in college was teaching shop.  And unfortunately whenever I smell hia karate after shave I think of my first boyfriend, who by the way was a jerk!  I don't like that smell.

There was a funny thing that happened when I was on a mission for my church, one of the young men I served with wore Polo, quite heavily.  Then after I served my mission, I came home, and got married, my husband and I got a dog.  We took him to the groomers and when they finished grooming him they sprayed him with doggie cologne and you guessed it, it was Polo.  So every time we picked him up it reminded me of my friend.

Smell is the most powerful memory trigger.  It can transport you anywhere.  Every time I smell a coal fire I think of Ireland.  Every time I smell burning hair I think of the time I almost lost my own hair to a gas bar-b-que.  Whenever I smell Old Spice I think of my dad.

Food smells are the best.  Baking bread reminds me of my mom, Popcorn reminds me of the movie theater.  Fresh grown vegetables remind me of my childhood, and raspberry jam reminds me of my grandmother.  

I can hardly wait until I can open my windows and smell spring. The smell of freshly mowed grass and the smell of fire burning the irrigation ditches.  So many things to look forward to.

Have a great week.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Help I've Fallen........

You know that commercial on television for Life Alert that has an elderly woman on the floor who is unable to get her self off the floor?  I have seen it and mocked it many times.  Well this week it became a reality for my family.  My mother will be 87 years old this year.  She has always been a spry octogenarian.  She has always been healthy.  When she was younger in her sixties she walked five miles every day.  Now she's older, she's cut back to just a mile everyday.  My dad passed away about seven years ago and she still lives on her own.  She is stubborn and says she doesn't need any help and refuses to use the life alert chain my sister purchased for her.  Well this week she slipped in the bathroom and hit her head on the vanity.  She required stitches and had many bumps and bruises.

You would think this experience would prove to her the need to wear her life alert chain but no she still refuses.  "I'm not that old." she said. Well tomorrow I am going to visit with her and I am going to let her know the time has come.  Now I don't always have the best track record when it comes to getting my mom to do things.  But I will try and convince her just the same.

This incident has brought into sharp focus for me the need to visit my mom more frequently.  From the time my twenty year old daughter was a week old until the time of my dad's passing seven years ago, I went to my parents house once a week with my children.  After his passing I went down twice a week for a couple of years.  Then I picked up my second job and was unable to visit that often because my schedule.

How often I wonder do we use over scheduling and stuff get in the way of family time.  Now my mother and I haven't always been on the best of terms, and visiting hasn't always been pleasant.  But now I have had a wake up call I will try and schedule a visit with her more often.  Once a month can't kill me right?
 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wasted Time


I have been burning the candle at both ends for a very long time.  In addition to my normal busy, I have been making list after list of home projects that need to be done.  When will it ever stop.  I need to have at least five more hours in everyday and at least eight days to the week.  My house is now about 24 years old and lots of things need to be fixed.  I am learning how to do many new and different things.  I do this out of necessity but also because I want my brain to keep working.  I don't want to slow down.  But having said all that if I keep this up I am going to burn myself out.  

We need to listen to our bodies, they will tell us what they need.  Like the other day I had an actual day off and I didn't do much of anything.  I mean I did the basic bare minimum of house cleaning.  But other than that I worked on nothing.  At the end of the day I felt like I had wasted my time all day.  Looking back I realize my body and my brain were telling me I needed to slow down for a minute, or a whole day.  

Just because we have down time does not mean it's wasted.  I think the trick is to balance the down time and the time we need to be up and running.  I have also realized burning the candle at both ends only leads to a tired body and brain.  

Until next time, stay busy but take time to breathe every day.

Have a good week.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Why Me????

Why do we have trials? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why me? If there is a God in Heaven why does he let bad things happen?  How many times have you heard people ask these questions and so many more like them.

I have this theory.  Everyone is who is born into this world is given what a friend of mine calls their own box of Hell.  You see I believe we are on this earth to experience life.  To go through trials to grow and learn.  When you see your private self and compare that with everyone's public self, you will always come out on the short end.  Everyone will always have a better life.  I imagine there are people of my acquaintance who see my public self and think hmmm her life is okay.  She always seems happy and upbeat.  She has her stuff together.  I can tell you now my stuff is anything but together.  I'm not always happy and upbeat.  But that's not what I put out there for the public to see.

I have my own box of Hell, everyone does.  Everyone's is different.  It's custom made just for them.  You see my theory is the trial is not what's in the box, the trial is how we get through to box.  There is no doubt in my mind we have also been given the ability to get through our trials.  We are not left to face them alone, if we chose to have help, help will be there.  In the form of friends or a shoulder to cry on. We can rely on the Lord, and I do heavily.  He will always be there for us.  He will not take our trials away but he will make us stronger so we can face them.

Now I am not saying the way will be easy.  I think it is anything but easy.  If it were easy we would never grow, never become better.  So to answer my first questions We have trials to make us stronger, we are never left alone. Why me?  Why NOT me?  We must each face our own box and try to make it through.  Luckily, I am here for you and you are here for me.  We cannot take on someone else's trials but we can be a giving, loving, helpful, and forgiving support.    

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Life Is Short

"Life is short
Break the rules,
Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly,
Love truly,
Laugh uncontrollably,
And never regret anything that makes you smile."

This quote is attributed to Mark Twain.  When I came across it, it was only a partial quote.  When I first read this in it's entirety, I didn't know if I really liked it.  After mulling it over for awhile, I realized. I kind of did. Now I'm not advocating breaking the rules or never regretting your actions. What this quote reminds me to do, is live life to its fullest.

What does that mean exactly?  To me living life to it's fullest is making sure everyday is filled with meaningful experiences.  Learning what you can from experiences placed before us.  It means to be looking for places to grow and expand your mind and keeping our bodies healthy and vital.

I think sometimes we get caught up in the mundane of everyday living and forget there is a whole world out there to explore.  I don't just mean physically.  We need to stretch our minds as well as our bodies.  You can explore the world through many means but most of us don't take the time to do any of it.

If you know me you know I believe in Heaven and Hell I believe in God and I believe in Satan.  I know for every good thing there is on this good earth there is opposition.  For every good thing on the internet the are perverse and evil things.  Expanding our minds, being well versed in scripture, whatever scripture you read is always a good thing.

Looking at my quote above Life is short, forgiving quickly, is always a good thing. Kissing slowly is a very good thing, Loving truly and laughing uncontrollably makes life worth living.  I also believe laughter everyday will bring joy and happiness to your world.  Look for good things to fill your life, try and make the lives of others more joyful.

Have a good week.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

So Many Things So Little Time

This is been such a hectic, but good week.  On Monday I took myself on a writers retreat.  Three days by myself to do nothing but writing and research.  It was very successful.  I wrote four chapters in one day.  Now, that may not seem like a lot to some people but to me it was amazing.  The ideas just flowed.  This new book is going to be a so much fun to write.  New people new places and of course murder with a little romance on the side.

Then two days at work for thirteen hours per day, then to finish up the week I painted my sons room with help from him.  I seem to always have a project or two going on.  I know I'm crazy but it seems to keep me sane.  Next week it's back to the gym for me to start training for my 100 mile bike ride in June.  How will I fit every thing in.

I feel like if I slow down then I will stop completely.  How much is too much?  When do you know it's time to give some things up?   I refuse to grow old.  So I will keep doing what I love, maybe just a little bit slower!
 
Have a great week

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It's Finally Happening!

Well this is it.  On Monday I go on my very own writers retreat and start book number 4.

There is no name, there is only the very beginning of a plot line, but I found my inspiration.  That is everything.  You would think, this being my fourth book, that this would get easier.  Well for me it does not.  Writing for me is as difficult now as it was four years ago when I started down this road.  But it is also one of the rewarding things I've ever done.  There are many people who contribute to my novels.  Most of them don't even know.    Many people want to know why I have to go away to write.  The answer is focus.  At home I have too many distractions.  House cleaning, laundry, work, work, work.  The needs of my family will always come first.  Then there are the dogs.

When I go away I can sequester myself and have nothing but quiet and my own thoughts.  Last time I did this I wrote 4 chapters in 3 days.  I know for some authors that's nothing.  For me that's miraculous.

So on Monday I will get started on the last phase of the Mended Hearts Collection.  I have the hero, Sam,  his heroine almost has a name.  Her back story has been stewing in the back of my mind for over a year.  She will finally come to fruition.  So wish me luck and I will try to get this started and we will see how it will play out.

Have a good week.  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sick, Sick, Sick

Have you ever had one of those years?  Okay maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.  It just seems like it's been forever.  I don't normally get sick, for longer than about 12 hours.  This winter I have been sick a lot.  This week is no different.  But unfortunately I don't get any down time.  Why is it as a wife and mother I don't get to be down when I'm sick.  I am trying to find an upside but nothing is coming to me.  Perhaps if I slept for about 10 hours straight.  Then again maybe not.  I will try to more inspiring next week.  I'm going to bed.