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I smell school in the air

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer. I love the warm weather, the fact I don’t have an alarm clock attached to a tardy bell, no packing lunches, and no homework. That’s right, just because you don’t have to turn it in, you have to make sure your child does it, does it right, and it’s in the backpack the night before. Shew, and I thought those days were behind me. Anyway, there are some things the summer brings that I could do without, though. The “I’m bored” every ten minutes, “what can I eat now?” (even though they ate fifteen minutes ago), “are we going anywhere today? maybe a movie, the mall, anywhere?” Ah yes, the idle hands of time. This I don’t like so much. I’ve been extremely fortunate in the past with a mother-in-law whom we fondly refer to as camp. She is awesome–orchestrates scavenger hunts, themed menus for the week, outdoor games, milkshake days, and trips to the stores. This year, however, she’s become the caregiver for her mother. My children are limited with their time at her house. Heck, she’s limited at the time at her house. She lives with her mom throughout the week and returns to her own on the weekends. So it’s been somewhat of a bummer summer. And I get it, kids don’t have the same things that need to be done as a parent. We’ve taught another one how to cut the grass (a five hour chore on a riding contraption), I’ve assigned another one dish duty every morning, and the two smaller ones hang out, making sure their dirty clothes get in the basket and out from under their beds. But how long can this entertain? Approximately eight minutes. Then there’s the rest of the day to consider. And flopping schedules with your husband so one of you can remain gainfully employed.

Alas, summer is coming to a screeching halt. I smell the paper and wooden pencils as I walk into Target, see the back-to-school advertisements when the television is switched on, and pass all the parked buses, begging for newbies to join the ranks in transporting the crazies to the school back and forth. It’s time to get hunkered down to waking up early, praying we have bread, and wondering what I can make for dinner. (for those weeks I don’t have it magically planned out ahead of time). It’s better this way. The kids are all in places that’s making them think, they’re finally out of the house, and I can get into a schedule. It’s both liberating and frightening to think about. I’m not fond of schedules, but it’s necessary.

I took my two littlest to see Despicable Me 3 yesterday. Yeah, it was as good as you can imagine a rental to be, sitting in a theater that just charged us over $20 for the tickets, $30 for snacks, and a kid kicking my chair and talking the entire show. But I do it out of love. Although I must say, my kiddos didn’t seem particularly thrilled with it. Kind of like they were thinking it was a DVD rental at the Redbox, too. Once you go into the second and third editions of movies, it’s a rental for sure.

But it was nice to get everyone to pitch in and clean the house with me in order to go to the movies! My daughter and husband got to see Spiderman. They raved over it. Ironically I’ll see that in the Redbox. Times are changing, as my second in birth order son skulked to the back of the theater with his girlfriend, and my oldest met up with someone and watched Dunkirk.

Well, that’s all for now. It’s Sunday and the weather is a perfect 70 degrees. I’m going to soak up the last day before Monday begins. We have a dentist appointment and our first home study scheduled for this week. And, I might be doing a little bit of school supply shopping. Open house for my smallest is in 10 days. I can only imagine the teacher is going to demand 20 sticks of glue, 10 notebooks, and 15 boxes of tissues!

Have a great one, everyone!

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Girl Talk

I’m going to the doctor tomorrow…I go about three times a year, and you would think that would be enough to shame me into getting into shape. He’s decent enough. Not that I would date him, but I don’t want him to look on me with pity. “Poor girl, she’s really given up.” I mean I know I’m going–I’ve known it for months in advance, for Pete’s sake. And I remember full well the last time I was there, trying to hide my naked body underneath that piece of paper dress, that I would not, not,not, be that fat, that flabby-armed, that toned-challenged the next time I hopped up on the table. I could see it now…his expression when he looked at me and back at the screen on his little iPad. “Wow, you look so different!” Yeah, not tomorrow, buddy. He has no worry to be shocked. He’ll recognize me without problem. I’m packing up my flab and bringing it on down to the shop. But I’m shooting for next time to be ravishing, though.  🙂

Boobs…really? My back is killing me lately. I walk by storefronts, see my reflection, and I look as if my neck is being dragged by a fifty pound chain. My spine has given up the fight of ever being able to stand up straight for any length of time. After you’ve dated, owned a push-up bra, snagged your guy, fed a child or two, what are they good for? I’m not a Debbie Downer, but really. The only purpose they have after your forties is avoiding catching cancer in them and finding a bra that doesn’t bite down to your shoulder bone. They’re heavy. And in the way. Really. Who can jog normally with this type of vibration and carrying on? (not that I jog and would know this, anyway) The other day a wire worked its way out of the fabric and I felt I’d gone undercover with a microphone snaking its way out of my shirt. (*tap, tap* “is this mic on?”) That was after I jumped at seeing something raise out of my shirt. Of course what if boobs naturally fell off after you were secure with a relationship, fed a child, and whatever. Then something went crazy and you needed them again? You can’t just grow another set.

And leg hair. Really? In what society is leg hair on women considered attractive? Tell me. I can’t tell you how many times I go to wear a skirt and realize I didn’t prune my lower half the night before. Don’t get me started on arm pits. I’ve seen the opposing thought to clean-shaven. It’s not pretty. But boy is it convenient, I bet. How do you like it when you don’t have enough soap lathered and your razor bumps down it like a four wheeler on rough terrain? Then you do it again because you’re certain nothing got cut off?

Enough of that. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow to get rested up for. So much flab…so many ways to reassure myself the next time it will be gone!! Peace out, everyone.  🙂

 

 

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This right here

Add a few more plates, and that’s how I feel! Why yes, I did just get back from vacation. But now I need a vacation to get over the vacation. I feel like since May I’ve been going at warp speed. And it’s only picking up. I’ll recap since I’ve been too lazy to put finger to keypad and keep everyone involved minute by minute.

Boy comes home from college. Hmmm… haven’t had him in awhile. Dynamics change a bit. “Oh, yes we do need to make a couple extra helpings. Silly me, six is no longer the norm.”

Graduation times two for a 5th grader turned middle school, and an 8th grader turned high school. No problem, they’re still locked into public education. No one’s leaving the house. No need to shed tears…they’re locked in my site and in their rooms for a good four plus years. (The guy who turned senior will remain in denial).

Vacation. Or as I like to call it, a different place to hear some different crap. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling 9 hours non-stop behind a steering wheel, only to get out and hear, “Do we have to go to the beach?”         Really?   “Nah, we can just sit around for 7 days and let what little rays entering the windows warm us with delight.” What kid doesn’t like to go to the beach? I used to live on it when I was younger. Then again, I didn’t travel with Nintendos, Xboxes, phones, and smart tablets. Nope, it was just me and my walkman. Which tickles my children to no end to look at my old one. It’s as though I’ve just pulled out a telegraph machine and will perform the morris code as I load a disc.

 

Then there’s the social life of everyone in the house but me. “Sure, you need to be at 3 parties in one week? Not a problem. I can get off early, stay up late, and drive those extra 30 miles completely off track of our home. My pleasure.” Now I see why I got off so easy with no one ever joining sports. Just as I was laughing at other moms, running here and there for practices and games, I’m getting it ten fold in one week with ‘hanging out’ here and there.

Last rant, but certainly not least. My job, which I thought would become more streamline with the use of technology, has actually become more challenging. I’m not speaking of the writing gig I do for complete pleasure…the other one. The one I’m bound to do in exchange for monetary support to engage in purchasing gas to haul said popular children around. Yep, the first couple weeks of getting everything that was beautifully stored in a filing cabinet and onto a network, I managed to get an enlarged lymph node. Right on my neck. Not so fun. Then there’s the shoulder aches. Pretty sure it isn’t coming from swinging a golf club. Completely stress. I can’t wait till things on the network become easier!

And so that’s all to tell at the moment. Next post I’m including pictures–real pictures. Of the outside of my house. I’ve been piddling outside quite a bit. Attending a few Trees Anonymous sessions due to all the trees that seem to be jumping inside my car and traveling home with me. It’s a disease. I’m sure of it. I’m even growing smaller ones inside. Help me now!  

Till next time, have a lovely day. Or night. Depending on when you peruse the internet. Have a great one!

 

 

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Oh my….

What have I done? This is either the expression on my face when I read my reviews, or the expression of my reader’s faces when they arrive at the last page of my book. I apologize if I droned on about it last post, but it’s fresh in my brain, having read another review just now. And I quote…”because it left me feeling like, “wait, what?”        I know, I know, I know. I’ve got a problem. No one should ever read the last page of their book…the one they’ve given good time to, and utter that sentiment.  “Hello, my name is Julieann, and I can’t seem to sneak up on an ending. I just pounce it with all my might, then run away.”  NOT GOOD. NOT GOOD at all. So I read the ending again. Surely the entire population who’ve read and reviewed my book can’t be wrong. (not that a review is ever wrong. it’s subjective, for Pete’s sake) But let’s shed some light…light a candle….throw up a flare. What happened to that ending that has everyone boo hissing it? Well, not really, but in my brain I can hear all the sound effects, therefore the ending must be complete and utter junk. Like I’ve driven everyone to a nice, serene cliff, thrown up pictures of my sweet little heroine, fixed her hair in bows, given her a little cup of splendor to sip upon, then BAM. Thrown her over and yelled out, “To be continued”.

Back to my personal review of the ending… subjective as everything is, I found it to be all right. I’ve could’ve driven slower, talked about the colors in the sky, the broken zipper on her boot and how it grated her nerves, or even talked about last minute memories she was having about a certain someone. But I’m not like that. Well, I’m like that, but maybe not during the final scene. I apologize. With sincerity, wearing my heart on my sleeve. Because everyone wants to read like that, approaching the last page. So I told myself. I’ll change it. I’ll send out a reprint, talk about how fast the car was going, what fresh rain smelled like, how it puddled on the windshield, like memories settling in her mind. But try as I am trying, I sort of like the ending. There’s no bones about it. This is what happened. And for it, I’m stuck. Stuck wanting to please readers…because let’s face it, without the kind souls of these wonderful people, what is my passion worth? But I can’t. For some reason, there is a hard drive issue in my brain. There is no where that I find I can insert such words. So to better the situation…to rectify my grave injustice to the ending of my precious book baby…I’m finishing the second installment with the speed-of-light quickness. Well, not too fast. I don’t want another ending like I had in book one!!!

Help me…I end things without warning!!!!!

 

 

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Where Has All the Happiness Gone?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday. Mine was great. I cooked for everyone–as is the new tradition. I give my mother a much needed break from the muss and fuss. My turkey turned out like crap. And I even woke at the bloody crack of daylight to put it on–sautéing carrots, celery, and onion…gently thrusting some garlic and broth in for good measure. Thrusting? Really? All for it to taste like the rear end of something killed on the side of the road, after cooking for almost 7 hours. (not that I would know literally what that would taste like.) But there was a ham to fall back on. Thanks for bringing it, Barbie!

And then there was the panic of the dessert. The pound cake, upon reading the recipe the morning of, was discovered not to be the one I envisioned. Not really sure what the original vision was… So off to the store I went. And bought items for chocolate cream pies. Nope, never made one in my life. I’m just not a pie person. Luckily they turned out well. Made everyone forget about the lousy turkey!

Then there was the egg hunt. Ah, the traditional go-and-find-the-golden-egg hunt. Has anyone met my youngest son? The one who is certain the entire world is against him? Well needless to say, he wasn’t the one who found the golden egg. Instead it was the 13 year old cousin. In which he desperately hates now. And hates the inventor of said traditional egg hunt. And eggs…and easter baskets, and for all I know the air in which we breathe. My mother, of course, told him to come over to her, and she tucked a golden egg inside his hand. Just to inform anyone who isn’t at my home during the annual egg hunt–the golden egg has a $20 bill inside. And now my youngest is happy. Still not liking the cousin, because well, she cheated finding that egg, but he can go on and never spend that money now. That’s right…he finds a million things to want, but letting go of the dough is a whole other story.

So on to the title of my post. I was just visiting Facebook. Don’t do it, it’s a trap. You can get sucked in quite quickly. The next thing you know, it’s past your bedtime and now you know what everyone’s doing, done, or going to save as a recipe and never make in their life. But you know, they’re sharing it so it saves on their feed. Ok. Anyway, tonight I got so much more than that. I got a play-by-play of an elderly man getting gunned down on Easter day, a video of one of the innocent children dying from the chemical bomb Syria suffered a few weeks ago, and a baby girl left in a locked van while police knocked out a window to get to her. Ahhhhh……. where is all the happy? I’ll gladly take pictures of what Aunt Noreen’s dinner plate looked like tonight. No matter how disgusting that cabbage looked. And cousin Rita’s feet as she takes a crooked picture of her pool water. Enough with the reality. It’s too depressing. I had to scroll faster than ever tonight, just to get the images out of my mind.

Find your happy place, people! Stop polluting the airways with the horrors of reality. Show a shimmer of kindness. Show some little furry animal getting rescued, a baby trying peas for the first time, a flower growing from an abandoned old pot. Whatever. Just please stop posting the bad and ugly signs of our times. That was a bit unlike me, wasn’t it? So demanding. Maybe I’m just tired. Or my wrist is absolutely killing me. I think I have a pinched nerve. Yeah, blame my plea for happiness on the pinched nerve. What’s come over me with all my ranting?

Well, happy thoughts for now. I’m going to ice a wrist. Have a great week!

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If I look hard enough….

4014171-yellow-small-sticky-note-on-an-office-cork-bulletin-board-weekend-happiness-stock-photo…I can see the weekend approaching. I don’t know about anyone else, but this week dragged on and on. Not that I don’t appreciate time and all that stuff, but it really lagged. It all started with last weekend when I was sick. I caught someone’s cold. I couldn’t properly breathe from Saturday until Tuesday evening. I took everything on the market to combat it. Vitamin C in boat loads, Zinc in quantities to feed small villages, Flonase up the wazoo, vitamin B, Mucinex, and Advil in massive amounts. Did it help? Sure. I’m on day six and I feel bunches better. I can now sleep without sitting straight up, and I can keep my mouth closed and let my nose do the job of exchanging oxygen to the lungs. Yay!

So I suppose that’s why the week was long. I suffered through it. And I wasn’t entirely all that busy at work. I was doing down-time things. Like look-at-the-clock things. Making sure the second hand wasn’t stuck or broken. And don’t even ask about dinners. It was a chore to think up something every night. I mean how many things can I possibly cook and make it seem new? Tacos…again, breakfast for dinner, some type of chicken….again, some type of beef…again.

i-hate-it-when-im-waiting-for-mom-to-cook-6293624So tomorrow is Friday!!! Yay. A do-over for the weekend I missed due to hacking, blowing, and sneezing. Jipped out of two days, and now it’s come back around. I can’t wait. I’m spending my Friday changing the oil in my car. I hope it’s an easy wait. Last time I was there I was asked out on a date. Me, can you believe it? I haven’t been asked out for…let me see…22 years? Nah, it couldn’t be that long. No wonder the guy looked at me like I was trying to guess the correct answer for the final Jeopardy round, after he asked me. I just didn’t know what to say. He was asking me out? Did I hear him right? I stammered and finally blurted out that I was busy. Hmm…that didn’t sound right. Busy doing what? Was I serious? Busy being married I quickly added. What a jerk I felt like. Busy being married? I guess my go-to answer in my single days was being busy, but when that didn’t jive with today’s current situation I added something. I apologized to him and let it go as he got called for his car. He shrugged and told me I had a lucky husband. What a nice guy. I’m just hoping he’s not due for an oil change tomorrow. I still feel as if I need to cover up with some dark glasses should our paths ever meet. Busy being married?? Oy.

No other plans scheduled for the following days. Actually I’m going to stop at some sales on the way home and try my best to remove the pumpkins that still loiter at my house. Enough is enough. Aren’t the stores stocking Valentines by now? No, really I’m going to begin decorating with a few wintery things. Not too many. I don’t want to freak out my children. I usually decorate for Christmas during Thanksgiving break. Nevermind that the temperature here tomorrow is going to be 70 degrees. HO-Ho-HO!

Anything else I do is a bonus. I’m trying to concentrate on writing my new book, which I’m avoiding hopelessly with everything else in the world to do. The word document scares me for some reason. It makes me feel I have to focus and that’s the last thing on my mind!! Anyway, have a great weekend my fellow readers! 🙂

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Dear Hallmark,

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I love you…I really do. But…..this weekend was a little too soon to begin the Christmas marathon. It makes me think the holiday is just around the corner, when in fact Halloween is!!! Yes, that’s right. We have yet to take our turn around the ol’neighborhood, dressed up as super heroes and types of food. It was 80 degrees today in my neck of the woods, for goodness sakes. Your movies, although I can watch them till my eyes cross, need to wait just a few more weeks. Until Thanksgiving, at least. That’s when I get the spirit stirring in my bones. Not now while my scarecrow is standing proud on my porch and the mums are smiling in the last warm days the forecast has to offer. I try to think back and remember–did everything move with the speed of light when I was younger? Were we shopping for Valentines on the heels of the New Year? Doing a warm-up to black Friday in the dead heat of July? I wonder…when did we begin to hurry everything up? Unless you’re a thirteen year old girl, counting the days down until you’re sixteen and can drive…aren’t we supposed to be relaxing and taking it all in? Slowing down the aging process…stopping Father Time as best we can–why can’t we start it with the holiday rush? And slow this train down a little. 🙂

Sincerely,

A true-blue fan, who will probably watch even though it feels too soon.

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I am that parent!

boredom598x5681-881x499Do you remember being younger, when all that was offered on television was about 4 channels. And you had to turn the dial on the antennae to pick them up? Am I showing my age? Or were we the only poor family who didn’t have cable? Was cable even offered? Oh, Lordy! Well yes, it happened. We’d set the dial and listen to the rotation of the big thing on top the house. So here’s what was offered most of the day…soap operas from lunch until after 3. Then the horrid news began at 5 and took you through to dinner. First the local news, then the national news. I can still remember the way it felt when my eyes rolled to the back of my head. News again??? What could my dad possibly get out of this one person going on and on and on about things that are so boring it was putting me to sleep. And all my siblings. And there was a moment when I’d catch even my dad dropping off. So why not turn the channel? Why watch the national news and prolong the agony? Didn’t we get tortured enough knowing what happened in our own neck of the woods? What could we do about what was happening nationally? Ahhhh….

Fast forward a few years. Yeah, that’s right. That’s me watching some crappy national news. Am I the remote controller? Not exactly. I’ve married a news watcher. But yeah, that’s me watching it. Understanding it. And it’s not entirely all that bad. As “not bad” as news can be. It’s just amazing how when I was younger, I felt as though my ears would bleed out hearing news anchors go on and on about nonsense. It felt like a most painful white noise. Now it’s coherent. And so I wonder…what do my kids hear when it’s on? At least they can flee to their own television room and watch a vast amount of whatever. Seriously, whatever. Cartoons are on like 5 networks, 24 hours a day. They even have gameshow networks, mystery networks, sports networks….I only got cartoons on Saturday mornings for a few hours. Wow…time has changed. And so have I! 🙂

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So Long, August

september-1August was definitely a challenging month for me. I had exactly two weeks before all the chaos began to take place. And who can rest when all they hear is the constant ticking of the clock…tick, tock…tick, tock.

I had to spend the first part of the month preparing for back to school for everyone, including the preparation of sending my first born off to fend for himself in the throws of college. At a place he’s unaccustomed to, without anyone he knows. It was horrific. Perhaps more for me than him. Yes, I got upset. Who doesn’t? For eighteen years I did everything for that boy. And now I’m lucky if I get a phone call from him every couple of days. Which I’m not complaining. Okay, so I am…but I’m happy he’s not homesick and burning the wires telling me he’s got nothing to do. In fact, he’s more busy with four classes than he was with six at home. He’s become very social. And so I’m most happy for him.

Then came the new classes for everyone else in the family. And new teachers. It’s been quite a learning curve to know who will tolerate what and who won’t let you use the bathroom. Can you believe my 10 year old isn’t allowed to use the bathroom in the afternoon? Hello? By then, all the juices and water fountain trips are beginning to settle in the bladder. So I have to endure the car ride home with him doing a jig in the backseat. I simply advised him, upon being told he can’t use the bathroom, to ask if they still keep an emergency set of pants on hand…and do it in his chair. Is this obnoxious? Un-called for? Probably, but come on. Let the boy go take care of business, for goodness sakes.

So the schedules are now in place and September is upon us. I’m getting in the groove of how it’s going to be for the ending months of the year. And September is the month of the release for “Finding Amy.” I’m so excited about this! I’ve had a couple people read it and gotten really good comments. Squee!! And I’m putting it out there for free, for a limited time…just to get everyone primed for the third release. So please feel free to take advantage of this! And of course, let me know what you think. I love to read reviews. …well, some of them. 🙂

With that said, welcome, September! I’m happy to see you back around.

https://www.instafreebie.com/free/rVURO

 

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Never Ceasing to Surprise Me

shockedI used to begin my days by logging into Yahoo news and reading all the horrific tales of people. I stopped. I had to. I found that for the next couple hours, while the images were still fresh in my head, I couldn’t focus. Or was it that all I did was focus on the bad…the ugly… and the wrong that people did to one another. But just like everything that’s bad, there’s also good. I was reaffirmed with this knowledge this very morning.

Okay, so it snared me. That stupid news blinked up on my screen while I was waiting to check something on the internet. The caption read something like ‘Slender Man Girl’ confesses to insanity. Really? Slender Man. Who could pass up reading this. And the picture of the adolescent was striking my attention too. She looked like three-fourths of the girls I see trailing out of the school when I wait to pick up my daughter from drama practice. She wore glasses, a tee shirt, and had a typical teenage look. Although something was troubling in her eyes. So I clicked to read it. Why oh why would I do that? Now the story will haunt me. Along with another one that snared me yesterday about a slain boy and two coaches. I thought all day about what happened there. The investigation continues on that one. I’ll try not to check up on it. No promises.

Anyway, the girl along with her friend, both 12 years old, invited another little girl to a birthday party then took her to the park the next morning and stabbed her 19 times. And my daughter wonders why I won’t let her go on sleepovers at other parents houses! Ha, read the stories, baby girl. Or don’t. They will scar you for life. Are you for real? I think I was still playing with Barbies at 12. But whatever. I’m pretty sure Barbies are online or something by now. The reason they killed her, the article read, is because they were pledging themselves as proxies for a ficticious character online, called Slender Man. The dude doesn’t even exist! What are people thinking? What is in their warped minds? And how is it that no one else sees the danger before something goes insanely wrong? The little girl lived, by the way. And now the two teens are being charged as adults because their crime was premeditated and violet. Lives, time, and innocence lost.

While my head is still reeling from imagining the poor little 12 year old pulling herself through the park with 19 stab wounds, I come across an amazing story of another tween. This one is on stage, getting ready to perform for the first time in front of hundreds of people–Simon included. She’s on that show the X-Factor, or something or other. Anyway, she says her name is Grace and she’s written a song. Then she continues by strumming her little ukulele and singing about childhood. She sings about being lost. And it was quite innocent. Nothing like some kids sing about on the radio about things I know they know nothing about–like broken hearts and desire. What could they know? They’re fifteen and sixteen? But this little girl was refreshing. She was shy, yet confident. She said she believed in miracles and it would be one if she made it to the next level. I’m happy to report she did!

So there you have it. Three 12 year old children. Two searching for sacrificial kills to please an imaginary internet character, and one rising star, believing in miracles. People will never cease to surprise me. Even young ones.