One step at a time

Have you ever had one of those months from hell? Well, in some ways that’s what this entire summer has felt like at times for me. And it’s not anything in particular either. Just a lot of little things adding up to make sure I can’t seem to get done the things that I want to get done.

But I keep trying. 😉

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I can identify with the fish

I surely can. Wink

Funny Animal Gifs - Animal Gifs: Fish Laser Chase
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Because that’s the way my life’s been this last week or so. Seems like every time I take two steps forward, I end up two steps back. Or something else distracts me.

Oooo, see the pretty light over there. Let’s go follow it. Oops

But it’s not all bad. Actually, none of it’s really bad, just, you know, normal life stuff, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, when I started posting again at the first of the year, I committed to getting something up at least once a week and I still feel that way. Life, however, has other ideas so I’m attempting to adapt the game plan somewhat. Put it this way, I literally have lists of ideas to write about as well as boxes and boxes of books to go through (which is a post all on its own) but very little time to devote to sorting it all out.

My biggest issue at the moment is that I’ve started a class that meets twice a week and it’s unclear how much time it’s going involve. Once I know a little more about that, I’ll have some idea what my routine will be going forward.

I guess I’ve never been the type of person that deals well with having their schedule disrupted – even when they’re the one that makes the change. So, I suppose the purpose of this post is an FYI to expect a lot more smaller fly-by posts as I have the time but also to know that my immediate goal is still to do longer weekly posts as much as possible because I simply like doing them.

I think it’s more a matter of finding balance and, no, that’s not at all being philosophical. I’m actually being rather mundanely practical and realistic in both a figurative and literal way at the same time. I’ve always had problems with my neck and shoulders but in the last few years it’s gotten much worse, so I can’t spend as much time at the computer as I used to, at least in long stretches without paying a price. Heck, I can’t even stay in one position as long as I used to so I’ve had to learn (relearn?) a lot of things.

And that as much as anything else was what taking last year off from posting here was about. So there’s a lot I have and want to share but I’m still feeling my way on how exactly to do it and stay healthy at the same time.

Life is always interesting, isn’t it?

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It’s a dog’s life ;-)

Okay, here’s the deal. I was going to post something thoroughly insightful today but that didn’t pan out. No, seriously, I was but I’ve been feeling like crap for the last two days. Nothing specific, just yuck. If I didn’t know better I’d swear it was the weather, which has actually been rather great but I think that’s a big part of the problem. It’s like we’re already having spring when we should still be having winter and my sinuses are acting up like it’s the middle of summer. I hate feeling this way because I can’t concentrate at all and certainly not on writing posts when I’d rather be outside instead of inside where I’m hot one minute then cold the next.

That’s when I’m not feeling like burying my head under the bed the rest of the time. Oye.

So, anyway, while I was debating about whether to cobble something together from some notes I had on hand that probably wouldn’t make any sense considering the mental state I’m in at the moment or do a kind of look back at the last month or so to see how things have gone with my new game plan – neither of which idea I was all that enthusiastic about – I ran across an article about the Golden Collar Awards that made me smile and I said to heck with it, that’s part of my game plan, too:

We think these awards are long overdue. Dogs have been making movies better from the beginning. We just hope that with this added attention, maybe the dogs will start getting the credit, and credits, they deserve. See a list of our favorite movie dogs and their incredible performances below.

via In Honor of the Golden Collar Awards, It’s the 10 Best Movie Dogs Ever.

You know, it’s true. And that’s a great list, although I’m kinda surprised Lassie wasn’t on it.. Anyone know if there’s ever been a list compiled of the best TV dogs?

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Does it make me smile?

vase of pansiesA few days before Christmas, the strap on my handbag broke and I decided to treat myself to a last minute Christmas present so I stopped by J C Penney with my daughter. I’ve always liked their selection because most of them are organizer bags, they come in a wide range of sizes and materials, are well-made and durable plus there are usually reasonable sales at certain times, namely Christmas, Easter or the beginning of the school year. Anyway, I ended up with an organizer handbag.

Purple, because it made me smile.

Okay, to be truthful, the label calls it eggplant, which I suppose is a deep, dark almost grayish purple, but it still makes me grin every time I look at it. Now, I could’ve gotten one of the other, much more conventional neutral colors available and been perfectly fine but I’m at a point in my life where I’ve realized something important. Why be simply okay when I can smile? Particularly since I’m going to be using the blasted thing umpteen-zillion times a day?

Some things that make me smile besides the color purple:

  • Yellow
  • Butterflies
  • Pansies and violets
  • Unusual baskets
  • Decorative tins and other odd boxes
  • Landscapes
  • Vintage comic book art
  • Games that engage my mind as well as my imagination
  • Authors that I feel comfortable enough with to seek out their hopefully large back lists
  • Books, movies and TV shows that I want to enjoy again and again

As I slowly explore these and other things that make me smile, it’s my intention to post regularly on Wednesday at High Noon (Central). Why High Noon? Because it makes me smile, of course, and, heck, it works for me, not too early, not too late. Other posts that come up in-between will probably go into a queue and appear irregularly every few days. If at all.

So, just curious, what makes you smile?

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Taking the time to listen – to myself

Sometime last year I realized how tired I was of endlessly discussing romance novels online.

Yeah, there I said it.

Okay, to be fair, it wasn’t so much talking about them altogether as the repetitive way we romance fans tend to beat some topics surrounding them to death at times. That may or may not sound like a strange, rather contradictory thing to say, but it’s a true one, nonetheless. Then again, I also considered that maybe it had more to do with personal perspective than actual topic repetition. What I mean is simply this, as both a longtime reader of romances and someone who has been online talking about them for almost two decades, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I needed a tad bit more than simply a short, quick break from the “fandom” – and it is a fandom, no matter what some choose to think.

To put it bluntly, I gave myself permission to back off and explore the rest of my life, both reading and non.

It was very liberating to discover that even though I wasn’t constantly reading romances, I was still finding romance themes in just about everything I watched or played or did, which in turn gave me the freedom to squirrel that knowledge away like acorns for the long coming winter, literally and figuratively. 😀

So, long story short, does any of the above mean that I’m done yakking about romance novels?

Are you people freaking nuts?

I have a house full of the things. What else am I going to talk about?

Heh.

Well, in truth, that is the real question that I started pondering this last year. If I don’t talk about romance novels on this site, what the heck am I going to talk about? What do I feel comfortable talking about? Because there are both some major and minor choices available but did I want to use this site for them. It took me a while but I finally came to terms with the fact that I’ve always felt like I was holding back the rest of my “self” whenever I talked about romances online and in particular on my own site. So why had I even started it in the first place? I made myself answer some hard questions and discovered some interesting answers. One was that I was always attempting to do things the way everyone else was doing them even when I thought I wasn’t. That set me back but also made me reevaluate something major. Seems like I needed to take this time to figure out that there are more sides to my “reading” than romances and that what I truly needed to do was to talk about them and a whole lot more besides. Let my true self go, as it were.

To be perfectly honest, romance novels aren’t the only books crowding me out of house and home. 😉

OTOH, the thing is the concept of Romance (notice the capital R) is threaded through most of my interests in one way or another. Now chew on that one before we get back to it in greater detail in coming weeks. 😀 I’ve also always been curious about how so many things besides The Relationship are crammed into romances and so many other novels that never get talked about, too.

And I’m not talking about that sex thing either. Another thing to chew on.

There’s more to life than books. OTOH, there’s a lot to learn about life from books.

This could be an interesting year.

Oh, and before I forget it – Happy New Year. 😀

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Meet my new bestest friend, sort of

Bruno
Isn't he a handsome fella? 25 lbs. of explosive energy and lovable lap dog if you let him get away with it.

He’s the newest addition to our family, a smallish-sized pit bull mix we fondly call Bruno. (More on the significance of the name in a bit.) It’s possible he may be a future guest contributor to the blog if all goes well. Hey, he likes a good yarn, particularly if they’re action-oriented but he also has a soft spot for the mushy stuff, too, so we’re a good match. ;-).

Here’s the thing, last year, we lost not one, but three long-time pets, two cats and a dog, all from old age. We still had two cats in the house both in their prime, so we weren’t actively looking for a dog but we do live on a farm. We’re used to having a dog around and it was time, I think. Plus, I’d already decided that in the event I did get a dog in the future it would be a short-haired terrier type.

I just wasn’t expecting it to be anything like a pit bull. Good thing I watch the Dog Whisperer religiously. 😉

This is Max, Mark's cat, who's still deciding just how much he wants to do with the dog, at least inside the house. Notice the door behind him? Winter, spring, summer, fall, always at the door.

Anyway, Bruno showed up as a stray on our doorstep early in the month of December and after searching around to see if he belonged to anyone in the area, we allowed ourselves to fall in love with him the rest of the way. He is an absolute sweetheart, let me tell you. He gets along with – reads submits to – the cats, Max and Raven, who I’ll be introducing separately in their own posts, and generally keeps us all on our toes.

The best thing as far as I’m concerned is that he’s active enough that he gets me out to exercise him but still has his down times. Seems like he’s either on or off. Full steam ahead or asleep on the couch or bed. Reminds me a lot of my father in that. He would go hard for days, weeks even, on on end when working on a project and then you wouldn’t see him for days while he slept it off.

Some people are just like that but I’ve always had to pace myself.

Does Bruno look a little nervous? He should be, that shadow behind him is my female cat, Raven, sitting on her throne on the bed. As long as he's a loyal subject, he's fine, though. ;-)

Which brings me to the name Bruno. When he showed up on our doorstep, my ex-husband was just arriving for a visit and the dog practically walked in the door with him. Enthusiastically. At first, we actually thought he’d brought the dog because in the job he does he sometimes finds strays and will leave them with us until he can find them homes. So it’s not like we haven’t seen plenty of dogs over the years and not gotten attached to them. But the minute  the ex started checking this one out, he looked him the eyes and said “Well, hello, Bruno.”

I literally wailed, “Kent!?! How could you!”

Why? Because Bruno is my deceased father’s old nickname. I seriously wanted to smack the man right upside the head then and there. And almost did. Talk about unfair tactics and he knew it, partly because he knew what type of dog I was looking for and partly because he knew what the name meant. 😉

But, you know, as much as we tried not to use that name the first week or so, it fit the dang dog’s personality, all the way around. And not all for sentimental reasons either. He’s quite the character all on his own as I’ll share more about as time goes on.

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I think I’m back but we’ll see ;-)

I was going to post about this yesterday but for some reason my Internet connection was the absolute pits. I have a satellite connection and sometimes even when the connection says it’s okay, it just isn’t. Or maybe it was the Internet in general that was off. Whatever, yesterday it was funky as all get out. Some pages would load fast and others wouldn’t even half load. I couldn’t even get to my website admin pages so I finally just gave up.

Anyway, back to the point of this post, for the last few weeks, blogging has been on the back burner big time. Long story short, first I was sick or rather the walking injured. Then I was dealing with something going on in my son’s life. Nothing serious just time consuming. Then this last week, my mother had gall bladder surgery in another state which kept me distracted big time since I couldn’t be there. Thankfully, it wasn’t major surgery and she came through it with flying colors but first she had to have an exploratory procedure earlier in the week and then some scans and all this I was getting second hand, long distance from my sister.

See, I could’ve distracted myself and blogged while all this was going on, but for once, I just wasn’t in the mood to do it. Oddly enough I did get some reading done. Both some new books I just picked up and some old ones I haven’t looked at in a while. I’ve also been thinking about some things that I may bring up in the near future. So, it’s not a complete waste. Back in a few. 😉

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