Saying No …

IT SEEMED LIKE A LOVELY, SLOW MONTH — really it did. And that’s just how I wanted it, especially with two edits hanging over my head. But … I have a tendency of “filling” my time — without thinking. The only thing I had going this month was my cataract surgery in the middle of the month and my weekly NaNoWriMo group. Now, all of a sudden, my calendar is being populated with art classes at Open Ground Studios … and dinners with friends and families. Oh, yes. And there’s the short story for an anthology I said yes to (but now that I know more details, I may back out). Whaaat was I thinking?

I’m not even sure it has anything to do with saying no … because — at least for the art classes — nobody asked if I wanted to do them … the flyer was just sitting there and I was craving some dedicated creative time. Time specifically set aside for practicing and playing with what I love. I signed up for two classes (photopolymer and watercolour), but now I’m not sure about the timing for the watercolour class — evening classes and I don’t get along that well. I hadn’t realised the times when I signed up for the that class. The other is a daytime class so I’ll have no problem with it. And, I’ll be there anyway. Um, well, all except the first day. That’s the day of my cataract surgery (oopsie) … so, I’ve got a note into the instructor, letting him know — just in case that makes the class a no-go.

Well, I guess it does have to do with saying no after all. Just because there isn’t a physical “other body” to say no to doesn’t mean I can shirk the saying no. Sometimes I’m the one I must say no to. That’s hard. I thought I was getting really good at saying no — but apparently only to others (stifles a guffaw …) — so, I still have some work to do on that.

I was able to say no to an extended family get-together, but needed to say yes to another one … since I was sick for Christmas, I missed two dinner/get-togethers. My daughter (and son-in-law) and I decided to move our annual get-together to a time when I was well. We tried last weekend, but I wasn’t quite up to it. So, this Saturday it is! I’m looking forward to spending time with them … and planning our next dinner (also delayed due to me) to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. She gets to choose the when and where, then we’ll all go and have a lovely time. I love spending time with these two (one of my harder duos to say no to …) — any time!

Trying to keep my calendar underpopulated is going to be a challenge. I can foresee some complications that are likely to arise, but all in all, I think these first three months will stay fairly quiet … and that’s a good thing (and very much needed). Making time, finding time … and preserving those times for whatever is needed — for me, it’s time to be still, refresh and get some things done that have been ignored for a very long time. Saying no can be so freeing (Cheshire grin here …)

Before I sign off, I’d like to wish each of you a Happy New Year. May this year bless you with many serendipitous happenings.


Back at the Keyboard, Finally!

Oh, my. I have been negligent. Not spending time with my business website, not posting blog entries…

I’m sorry. I’ve been a bit absorbed with my young hens (acquired this spring) and loving every minute. But soon…oh, so very soon begins NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  This is the month of Literary Abandon — abandoning everything so that you (anyone that loves writing) can concentrate on just that–write. That is what November means to me. Obviously, I cannot “abandon” my Girls, or my other critters and I certainly will not forsake church–and, oh bother…Thanksgiving falls in that month too, but just about everything else will be put aside. I WILL post excepts (unedited, so please be nice) of my writings from NaNoWriMo.

The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. I’m hoping to reach it this year!!

If you love writing and/or have thought about participating, now Is the time to go to and sign up!  Do yourself a favor and give it a try.

So, here are my official first entries, originally posted on my Facebook business page on the 9th & 11th.  After today, I will post directly to this blog (wonder how close to “daily” I will get)  and my FB Friends will need to follow the link to this blog.

9 Oct 12

My mother tried. It was the 50’s after all, when boys were boys and girls were girls. And she already had two boys. Now, she had a girl. Images of frilly things and girl-time must have danced in her head.

She tried very hard:  Frilly dresses, dolls of all imaginable sizes and shapes.  One doll was as big as I was. Most had eyes that opened and closed, one even wet it’s diaper & could be fed a bottle.  I even had a Barbie doll when they first came out.  I cut it’s hair to match my short, tightly permed hair.  A play house and all the girly goodies that go with it.  Yup.  The life of a girl in the 50s.

But I think my mother grew tired of mending my store-bought clothes. They weren’t made for they way I played. She began sewing her own; frocks that were not quite so frilly for me, with seams reinforced, hoping that they would withstand my rough play. Climbing trees is hard to do in a dress. Always stepping on the hem, tearing it at the waistline.

Even the reinforced seams didn’t work.  And by then, I really didn’t want to be in a dress.  Jeans were in — it was almost time for the Flower Child stage of my life.  Jeans–torn at the knee were really cool.

And playing rough was too.  Well, with four brothers by then, I was a full-blown Tomboy and loving every moment.  Though, I bet the required caring for my baby brother & diaper changes were a last ditch effort by my Mom to instill some sort of “womanhood” in me.  Didn’t work.

Climbing trees, arm wresting, romping through poison oak (and paying for it later), playing Cowboys and Indians (I was never a squaw…always a hunter/gatherer), wanting desperately to go hunting (no, that’s for boys…) with my dad and brothers…(but, I did get to learn how to shoot a rifle) — that is all I ever what I wanted to do.

Rough housing was standard fare at our house.  I could definitely hold my own against my brothers.  One of my brothers still sports, to this day, an ‘L’ shaped scar on his back from the time we were rough housing and while I was on the ground, he lunged at me.  Without thinking, I responded by using my legs to catch and repel him across the room — onto the corner of a table.  Oops.  It took him a little while to catch his breath (I was definitely concerned & promised not to do it again).

I’ve always been strong — thanks to my brothers, I think!  The arm wrestling and climbing certainly helped.  In high school, I signed up for shot put.  Definitely not the average sport for a girl.  I still like to do things — and it continues to surprise men — that requires more strength than is expected of me because of my gender, age and/or perceived physical abilities.

And their response always makes me giggle — oh, now there is a ‘girl’ trait! And finally, after all these years of jeans & tennies, climbing & rough housing, I am finding I am enjoying getting dressed up in frilly things and wearing makeup (occasionally).

Well, guess Mom finally won out.

Hope she’s smiling up there. ♥

11 Oct 12
Daily blogging takes more time than I thought. I certainly have the time, but putting all those little bits together to create enough space in time to sit down, uninterrupted, and pull my thoughts from the space between my ears and up into the Internet is more difficult than I thought.

Same with photographic blogging. I had challenged myself in June to do a “365 photo blog”. That’s one photo a day. Simple, right? Starting it on my trip overseas was a great way to start — plenty of photos, but finding the time to sit down, download the photos onto the computer and then sharing the meager Internet connection with my fellow travelers to upload to my Flickr account proved to be my downfall…and once I got home, I had so many things on my plate…so, I am sorry I have not followed through with it. Perhaps soon, I will be able to resume the photo blog. I promise. I keep my promises — eventually.

Time seems to be an illusive creature for me. Beautiful, fleeting…trying to harness it to work in my favor is a daunting task. I look around me, often wondering how some people are able to accomplish so much even when their “plate” is fuller than mine.

Secretly, I do know why I seem to have such a hard time. I haven’t told anyone, but I’m sure they can see it. It’s that dreaded Procrastination Monster. It hovers menacingly over me constantly. It weighs heavily on my shoulders–no wonder they ache so much. I make mental lists (oh, for those of you that know me personally–this should be a no-no) and begin my tasks, but the list vanishes into thin air, gobbled up by the Monster, even before I have completed the first thing on my list.

So, forgetting the list, I find something to entertain me — presently, that would be socializing with my sweet, sweet Girls…a dozen beautiful young hens (pullets, actually). We talk, my Girls and I, mostly about how they should be giving me more of their scrumptious, brown (and blue) eggs. They happily chatter back to me and amongst themselves, probably giggling at how this Human is demanding something they are not capable of performing quite yet. After all, the youngest is just coming up on 20 weeks and may require a few more weeks of maturing to produce her beautiful fruit. I do get presents of 4-6 eggs a day, but greedily hunger for more. What can one person do with so many eggs?  I eat them — too many, my doctor says. And, well, I do have friends, after all, so now they are getting even more now. Believe it or not, the Girls even get some too!

As we chat, I look around at all the incomplete projects and remember that I had a list going somewhere. I say adieu to the Girls and start searching for the List. Not finding it, I decided to create one on paper. But paper can be misplaced too. That Monster follows me everywhere!

Even when I am trying to run my errands efficiently, I discover I have left some important item needed (the List, perhaps?) at home. So, back I go. Now, I use my cell phone’s memo pad for my lists and I am less likely to misplace it. But still…

All of this takes time. My day is filled with free time, but it is stitching together those bits is the trick. I guess I would make an awful seamstress.