Rambling to a Tee #SOCS

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “T, tea, tee.” Theme your post around “tea” or “tee,” or find a word that starts with “T” and talk about that. Bonus points if you manage to incorporate all three. Enjoy!

(Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing is just writing – little to no planning, and no editing – so, please excuse an glaring grammatical errors or other nonsense in today’s post.)

 

A nice cup of terrific tea suits me to a tee. There. All done. Can I have my bonus points now? Do we get even more bonus points if we use all three in the same sentence?

Let’s just get this part out of the way and get to writing – because I have no idea where I’d even want to go with these prompts. I know its stream of consciousness writing and we’re supposed to do this with minimal planning. But still, it seems like I should have some sort of idea of even a vague destination.

I’ve got nada.

I really shouldn’t even be doing this particular post. My list of all the things I need to complete this weekend far exceeds what I’ll probably end up getting done. My weekly newsletter – that’s not too bad. It doesn’t take much time. The workbook I need to complete for a four week class that starts Tuesday…well, that’s the top priority, but it seems I’ve hit a wall of resistance with this one. I don’t even know why. The class was my idea. I proposed it and a library accepted it. Why should I be resisting one of my own ideas? Then there’s the Good Old Days submission I’m working on. The deadline is here and I’ve only got the story roughly started. I have three Chicken Soup for the Soul pieces I’m working on. I’m determined to get another acceptance from them. This goal is turning out to be more challenging. I think I’ve sent them nine or ten (possibly more??) submissions in the past two years and am hearing crickets.

What else is on the list?

Oh yes. I need to be working on a handout for a library presentation that’s coming up in two weeks. I have a week to add to a short story that I want to take to my writer’s group for critique. I need to set up a sale on my web page for an offer that another author and I are working on. And…

Yet, here I am writing this. But I haven’t participated with Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday for too long and that’s something I was enjoying. (Along with her One-Liner Wednesday which I missed the last week or two too.)

Why do I do this?

Do you do it too? Take on too many commitments? Load up your schedule with more tasks than you can humanly complete? Do we think we’re Wonder Woman (or Super Man) and can accomplish it all?

writing-923882__340I sense a larger problem here. Is it procrastination? Trying to keep from being bored? Trying to make up for lost time, thinking I can magically achieve ‘it all’ now? Is it turning 60 and realizing that I’m far, far from where I wanted to be at this age? I think I need to dig deeper on this one – some meditation and journaling seems in order. But…two more items to add to the daily list.

Oh my, I feel like I’m spinning in circles and not accomplishing any purpose here. See what happens when there’s no plan and no structure? This wandering missive is nothing I’d take to my writer’s group – that’s for sure! (Plus they’d be sure to point out the many clichés used today!)

So I think I’ll wrap up this babbling, incoherent post – go make myself a cup of tea, toast myself for crossing one item off of Saturday’s to-do list, and celebrate that despite the deadlines and the list that is never complete, a writing life suits me to a tee.

Do I get extra brownie points for using the prompts twice? Even if they don’t really relate to the post? And…can I spend these points anywhere? Can I cash them in for a really cool prize? (But hey, even if the bonus points aren’t redeemable, I just added 700 words to my monthly word count, and that’s a prize in itself. Right?)

Banishing the Curmudgeon

Banishing the Curmudgeon

boy running

A small boy that lives down the street did something tonight that vats of lotion and vials of extra-potency vitamins haven’t been able to do. He banished a curmudgeon. One minute it was there, residing inside my body. The next…*POOF*…vanished!

Today had been a long day. It was only an eight hour work day, but I had to drive to three different stores to get those hours – on a day that hit 104°. At home I discovered that I’d forgotten to take anything out of the freezer for dinner and I simply didn’t feel like messing with anything in the kitchen anyway. So my better half (probably in the interest of their own safety!) offered to have something delivered.

That was a wonderful solution. Except, we’ve been having internet connection problems since a storm had rolled through north Texas a week ago. It’s almost been like the old dial-up days, when and if we were graced with being able to get a connection. After almost 30 minutes of in-and-out service, trying to see different restaurant menu options that we could have delivered, we finally decided that I’d just drive to Taco Bell a mile away and get it.

I finally left the house, at almost 8 p.m. and on top of being tired and cranky – now I was hungry, too.

I got in the car and saw that a slew of neighborhood children were riding bicycles up and down the street. In a pack from side to side. The youngest, who looked to be about five-years old, was quite a bit on the wobbly side.

Grumbling to myself, I backed out slowly and very carefully. By now the little hoodlums were about two houses down. They’re really not hoodlums. They’re all too young for that. It’s just that I was feeling old and crotchety at the moment. I’ve only just turned sixty a month ago, but I felt like I was the old codger at the end of the block, out in the front yard waving their cane at all the boisterous neighborhood children.

Down the street I drove, about ten miles per hour, if that. I drove exceptionally slowly so that if any of them fell, or decided to dash across in front of me, I’d be able to stop.

Yep. I was feeling old right. And, did I mention the cranky part?

All the children were on bicycles except one. One little barefoot boy, probably six or seven years old, took off running along the side of the street, as if he was racing me. At the slow pace I drove, he just about beat me. It was neck and neck. He raced along and I poked along (still worried about him making a sudden jog in front of me).

He sped along as fast as his little legs could go for about the length of two houses. Then suddenly he stopped, looked up, threw me the sweetest grin, and waved.

Poof. The elderly, cranky old lady who had been inhabiting my body vanished in an instant. A grin and a wave from a sweet, innocent child that I don’t even know removed about fifty years from my life and I was suddenly a carefree ten-year-old racing a friend down the street.

All those creams and lotions that tote their claims about removing years? All those extra-strength, high potency vitamins that promise youth and vitality? They’re all worthless. I discovered that none of them work as well as one young grin.

I’m looking forward to another race tomorrow. You can tell by the grin on my own face, even if it’s lined with a few more wrinkles than my young friend’s face is.

C’Mon Guys…I’m a 60-year old Woman

C’Mon Guys…I’m a 60-year old Woman

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Huff and puff, huff and puff. Pant – pant – pant. Sweat. Wipe brow. Huff and puff some more.

In case you couldn’t tell – that’s me mowing the yard.

I haven’t been in charge of the lawns until last spring. I was the one in charge of flower bed, gardens, and the ‘pretty’ garden work. I didn’t mow. Until the mowing rider went out three years ago. Getting a way to get the mower in to the repair shop just wasn’t working, so two years ago we paid a lawn service to mow the front yard every other week when they were mowing our neighbor’s yard. The price was right. Since they were already here, they only charged us $20. Overall, since we only need to mow about six months of the year, it was just over $200. And they did a magnificent job. They flew in with their fancy equipment, mowed and weed edged and were done in about 15 minutes. If they lagged.

But, the back yard was a disaster with almost waist high grass all summer.

Last spring, I decided to change the yard maintenance process. I’d picked up a few extra store hours and was going to have a slightly larger check. So I decided to use the extra funds and buy an inexpensive push mower. For a little less than we’d paid the lawn mowing company the year before, I could mow all year – front and back.

And, I’d benefit from a little extra cardio-workout. All without having to pay for a gym membership.

Did I mention we have a half acre?

Adding in this extra task wasn’t bad. The first time out it took me two mornings and over four hours of mowing because the young spring grass had leaped almost overnight to calf high growth. But once it was cut down, it was easy to maintain. One morning I’ll cut the front, which usually takes a little over an hour. The next morning I’ll cut the back, which takes a bit longer, about an hour and a half. I get a good workout at least four days a month and am excited about feeling physically healthy and stronger from this new way to commune with nature.

This spring, going into the second year of use from the new push mower, the front yard portion of my mowing changed a little bit. We now have two new renters on each side of us. And even though two men, younger than myself, are mowing, they seem to have a difficult time telling where the property line is between our properties.

I first noticed it on the property to the west of us. He’d mowed first, but left a swath about a foot and a half wide on his side of the grass unmowed. No big deal. I just made two or three extra passes with the mower and got his portion of the unmowed grass done with ours.

Two weeks later – the same thing.

Next time too. This gentleman really doesn’t seem to pay very close attention to where our two back fences divide the property.

Then the summer heat hit.

On these days where the Texas heat is easily into the 90’s and often hits the 100-degree mark, I definitely don’t mow in the afternoon. I save it for a morning I’m home during the week, or for the weekend. And now it takes a little longer, because I have to break the task into two. I’ll mow half and by then I’m huffing and puffing so hard – yes, the cardio part of the activity is definitely working – so for my own health and safety, I stop and take a break. I’ll down some water, sit in the shade and let the heart rate calm down a tad. As much as I enjoy it, I don’t intend on stroking out in the process either.

A week after my 60th birthday, I went out to mow the front. The house on the west mowed about two feet short of the property line — again. And now the house on the east had joined in. They were easily three feet – if not four – short of coming up to where the property line was.

It’s hot. Even in the morning. I’m barely going to be able to get my own portion of the yard done. And these two younger men – both with riding mowers to boot – are expecting me to mow wider and catch what they didn’t?

I stood out in the front ranting to myself. C’Mon guys! What in the world are you thinking? You’re both younger. You both have riding mowers. And you’re expecting me – a SIXTY-YEAR OLD woman to cut some of your grass too? Really?

And then I burst into laughter myself. Because I realized that as much as I have been dreading turning this un-magical number 60, as soon as I needed to pull out the ‘60-years old card’ for my benefit, I sure did!

So you know what I did?

I mowed our portion of lawn. I left the unmowed patches on their portion of lawns uncut.

And you know what?

It worked.

The next time they cut their grass up to the property lines. I don’t know if it was because they’d realized they’d been slacking, or if they’d caught a glimpse of a slightly hysterical slightly older woman out front laughing uncontrollably.

Maybe this getting older isn’t so bad after all.

I’m learning to find more humor in my own actions and reactions. I’m learning to see benefits in the inevitable ageing process. And I’m also learning that sometimes we need to set boundaries with others – which is beneficial in itself – no matter the age.

Grandma Jones’ Kitchen

Vintage Daze

Two weeks ago I visited my dad in northwest Arkansas for a late Father’s Day celebration. My sister was there too and we had the chance to spend a day and drive around the Harrison/Bergman/Myrtle area in search of family history. We wanted to see the train trestle that Papa Goss, our great-grandfather, helped build in the 1930’s. Although we didn’t know enough of the area that we could get close to the Bergman area where Grandma Jones grew up (and Papa had his still in the holler), we still felt close to her as we drove the hills that she was born in a hundred years ago.

IMG_2241[1]We stopped at York Cemetery where great-grandma Goss (Mary Iona Logan Goss) is buried, alongside Grandma’s little brother (Thomas Claude) that died a week before his first birthday, before Grandma Jones was born. According to the family tales, everyone was out working…

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One Liner Wednesday

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Sharing a thought for One Liner Wednesday:

positive thoughtIt’s fun and easy to participate with One Liner Wednesday. Check out how here.

Adding Joy #MLSTL

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At the beginning of 2018 I wrote these words about choosing three words for 2018 – Authentic, Action, and Joyful.

As I sat scrolling through my emails, I read an email about a lady that switched from choosing one word to focus on in the new year – to three words, as recommended by Chris Brogan.

What a great idea! For several years I’ve read of people choosing one word. But with my Gemini spirit trying to travel in a multitude of directions, choosing just one never seemed to quite fit what my goals were for the year. If many different writing and career goals weren’t enough, when you add in the additional layers of mind-body-spirit that I’d like to improve, I never found one word to do the whole job.

I like the three word idea. The three words I’m choosing on for 2018 are ‘Authentic‘, ‘Action‘, and ‘Joyful.’ These three words will encompass my goals for the year, both in business and in my personal life.

Here we are starting July and the year is half way over. Each day I see these three words that are on a Post-It note on my monitor. Yet…I don’t really ‘see’ these word each day. Do you have the same problem – once something is in a place for a bit, you never really see it? Oh, a few times a week I notice it, but usually it become invisible for most of the time I spend in front of the computer screen.

As we’re halfway through the year, I ponder about how well I’ve incorporated these three words into my life so far in 2018. I’m happy with authentic. I think that a majority of my decisions and actions have been authentic with the true person I am. I’m happy with action. I’ve made some huge strides this year towards the goals I’ve set for myself. Joyful? Now on that one I’m not as pleased with my progress. The past two month especially, have been crazy and frantic as I’ve made steps towards where I want to be in life with this turning of the meter going to 60. Yet joyful has been painfully absent from too many of my days.

Luckily there’s still half a year ahead of us. Now I need to make a conscious effort to incorporate more joy into every day.

Have you ever had a ‘word of the year?’ Were you able to consistently incorporate it into you daily life? What was the words you’ve chosen?

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