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Everybody needs a little romance–and a transition

In August, my husband of 30 years surprised me.  He’s this Type A, Rock of Gibraltar personality who’d been at the same job for 25 years.  He’d been talking retirement and I’d been slightly panicking.  Having a husband home all the time would take some getting used to.

He talked about April 2013, and that gave me some time to prepare.  In my heart of hearts, I didn’t think he’d actually do it.   Although he’s been at the same job for 25 years, we’re still relatively young and this economy had us both worried.

But the main reason I didn’t want him home all the time was a selfish one. I’m a writer.  During daylight hours, the house is mine.

Most writers don’t sit in a chair, where inspiration flows into their fingertips.  When I want to brainstorm, or I get stuck, I jump up from the chair, pick up the phone, and call someone like blog partner Cynthia D’Alba.  I literally take up the first floor of my house to do this.  I walk out of my office, into the den, walk through the kitchen, into the living room then traverse that same area again and again until I get a plot point figured out.

That’s such a freeing process for me.  And that process didn’t include walking out of my office, to find a man on the couch with the television blaring, wondering, what in the heck is she doing?

Even so, I had plenty of time to prepare, right?  He’d said April 2013.  My budget-minded husband studied his Excel spreadsheets with a specific dollar amount in mind and he was like the proverbial racehorse winding down for the homestretch.

Wrong.  I forgot to calculate into all his preparedness the amount of stress he was under.  In August, when I was at RWA National, he out-and-out quit his job.  The stress he’d just released fell onto my shoulders in a big, thick thud!

There’s a happily ever after to this story—he’s well-respected at work and his bosses wouldn’t accept his resignation.  They offered him a sabbatical and a new position when he returns in January.  It’s also given us a chance to layout some guidelines for when both of us are home full time.  I explained my crazy little writing process and he laughed. The last place he planned to be after 25 years was sitting on a couch and watching TV.

He obviously meant it.  So far, he’s gone to Arizona to hike the Grand Canyon, climbed Pikes Peak, he went elk hunting with buddies; every morning he gets up and either runs or bicycles for a good part of the day.

In a week, after hiring a house sitter, we’re heading to Fort Worth to see our son and his new wife, and then to Las Cruces for a couple of weeks.

I think I might actually be sad when he has to go back to work in January.  I’m blessed I guess to have a man who appreciates that I take up a lot of room as a writer 😉 And I admit it’s been rather fun having him home as he’s not underfoot all the time.  Guess along with everybody needing a little romance—everybody now and then needs a transition.

What do you think?  Ever reached a point where you’ve said enough is enough?

Happy Friday, all.


What Was He Thinking?

Here’s more proof that men and women are just wired different. LOL
 (This picture has little to do with my post, but says more than a thousand words ever could.)

It all started last week.  We haven’t seen rain for quite some time around here and most of the state of Texas is under a severe drought warning.  There are lots of issues that arise due to this lack of water.  The most common being brush fires.  With the high winds these fires spread fast and furious.  Not good. 

But something else happens that even I wasn’t aware of.  Until last week.  Critters of all shapes and sizes start looking for places to find water.  The ponds are drying up.  The ditches are cracking.  So what better place to find water than were water runs abundantly on a daily basis? 

Your house.  Yep.  I’m not talking about the soft and cute little critters like rabbits or even pesky squirrels though.  I’m talking about the slithery scaly kind.  

Last week my oldest daughter came home from school exhausted and decided to take a short nap before dinner.  Not too long afterward, she starts screaming at the top of her lungs.  For “Mom” of course.  I bolt up the stairs to her room.  Halfway there, I hear the reason for her panic.  “Snake!  There’s a snake in my room!”  

My heart stops.  Surely not.  I remember a story on the local news about this, but I’m still in denial.  I turn the corner and look into her darkened room.  My attention flicks to the center of her floor where she has something caught in the bright light of a flashlight. It’s a snake all right.  And not one of those little grass snakes either.  It’s big enough to be mistaken for one of my son’s rubber toy snakes, except for one thing.  This one is moving.  Right toward her bed!  And my daughter is in it! 

I switch on the light and it stops.  I know I’ve got seconds to figure out how to trap the darn thing or it will be under the bed and we’ll never find it.  And she’ll never step foot inside the room again.  I wouldn’t blame her one bit either. 

In a moment of panic, I yell at my husband to bring me something to take care of the snake.  I can tell by his tone he doesn’t believe me or thinks it’s small enough not to be concerned about.  Are you serious?  It’s in the house!  Anyway, he yells back he’ll get the shovel.  

Shovel?  Does he really think he can kill the snake in the house?  I inform him that the shovel isn’t an option and to hurry before it gets away.  In the mean time, I have run to the bathroom, grabbed a huge bath towel, thrown it over the snake, pounced on it and am now holding it down on the ground.  Finally, I hear his heavy footsteps on the stairs.  Finally we’re going to have something to get this critter out of here. 

He steps through the doorway.  I look up.  And my jaw drops.  This man, whom I love dearly is totally clueless and out of his hunting element apparently.  He’s brought me a freaking broom!  What am I supposed to do with it?  Sweep the snake out of the room, down the stairs and then out the back door?  Really?  A broom? 

After several seconds of disbelief, I collected my thoughts and laughter.  Then, together we manage to wrap the snake up in the towel for hubby to scoop up.  My son, who brought in a steak knife for the job, (shaking my head on that one as well) heads up the relocation party and runs to open the back door for us.  It took all five of us, squealing and yelling, with bouts of nervous laughter to get that poor snake back outside where it belongs. 

All I can say is “IT BETTER RAIN SOON!”  I don’t think I can take this excitement again.  🙂  

Have you ever had one of these moments?  You know, when you suddenly realized just how different men and women really are.

Don’t Forget to Zigzag!

With the New Year approaching at lightening speed, I’ve heard a lot of great New Year resolutions over the past few days.  From taking belly dancing classes to eating better to sky diving, everyone has the best intentions to stay on track and make better decisions and cross off some of those bucket list items  in 2011. 

The best one I’ve come across so far had to do with dreams, goals, focus and life.  We all know writing is hard work, a lot more than I ever expected when I first started.  And it’s very easy to get caught up in the chaos and miss out on the special memories we can never get back with our family and friends.  It takes dedication, discipline, determination and a great deal of time to get those words down on the page.   But we must remember to stop and enjoy the moments along the way or we’ll look back one day on that straight and intensely focused path and wonder why the heck our kids don’t visit or why we don’t have friends to share a few laughs with.   

Relationships are one of the most important parts of life.  Our kids won’t be little forever, our loved ones won’t be with us forever, and let’s face it friends come and go along the way whether we like it or not.   What will stay with us for a lifetime are the memories.  

Juggling life’s everyday routine with my career is a tough struggle.  But hearing a friend’s New Year’s resolution to work in a few zigzag moments where she takes a detour from her busy schedule to create a special memory really hit home.   I can make time to watch the sunrise with my hubby, have lunch with a good friend, call and talk to my parents, gaze at the stars with my kids or just play a game and still have plenty of time to write.  I guess it all boils down to organization.  I know I feel better when I can look back over the day and see what all I’ve accomplished.  And nothing feels better than closing my eyes at night and remembering that laugh or conversation I shared with someone special. 

So I bet you can guess that organization and zigzags are at the top of my New Year’s resolution list.  It might take me a little longer to reach my goals, but oh what great memories and interesting stories I’ll have to share when I “do” get there. 

What about you? Do you zigzag?  What tops your list for 2011?

Cold Enough?

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any colder here in my part of Texas, a cold artic front decided to let me know how wrong I was.  I will never again complain about it being too cold.  I believe Saturday got down to 19 degrees.  My heater has been running none stop for the past week and I still can’t get warm.  Even with two space heaters pumping out extra heat right at my feet.  My fingers and toes seem to suffer the most.  You have no idea how brutal typing this blog post has been.  I type a few sentences and then stop to warm my fingers and get the circulation moving again.  I tried wearing gloves, but it doesn’t work.  The keys are too close together and I end up with stuff I can’t even read. LOL

 But I’m not the one who’s had it rough these past few days.  Poor hubby has gotten the bad end of the stick several times this weekend.  Wrap your pipes!  That is what the news has been saying everyday.  Most of our neighbors did just that.  Well at least they wrapped the faucets.  They failed to consider their water sprinkler system though. 

9:00 Saturday morning I hear a weird noise outside our bathroom window.  It didn’t sound like water running, but I could hear water dripping.  I immediately dropped what I was doing and headed outside afraid of what I’d find.  It appeared that our next door neighbor had a new water feature and it was visible over the 6 foot privacy fence we share.  Yeap.  Their pipe burst and it was gushing upward into the air like one of those pretty fountains you see in the park.  But it wasn’t all that pretty with all the mud and gallons of water running down the sidewalk and into the street. 

Hubby got completely soaked trying to turn it off.  Oh that water was cold.  I don’t know this from first hand experience, but the look on his face spoke a gazillion words.  Before the day ended he had to do the same thing for three other neighbors.  The darn things were popping like fire crackers.  I guess the water in the pipes froze and cracked the tubbing and then when the sun came out and started warming things up a bit, well all heck broke loose.   

So if you have a sprinkler system beware. 

 Live and learn.  That’s what we do around here with the crazy weather.  Mother Nature makes sure we never have a dull moment and never have a chance to figure her out.  I just wish she’d send some of that fluffy white stuff along with the freezing temperatures.  That seems only fair don’t you think?

Did you really just ask that?

I’ve been waiting for this friday so I could post this story. The husband, alas, has not been quite so eager, though, silly man, I don’t believe he thought I was serious in my warning that this was going on the blog. Let me lay out the setting for you….

It’s evening time. A young woman has managed to shave her legs, lotion up so she’s soft and even blow dried her hair. All of those are something to brag about in themselves, but she did more. She dug in that not often opened lingerie drawer. Oh, yes. She did. She had lost a few pounds and was anxious to see if any of her, ahem…slinkier items from her pre-baby days fit. To her delight, the first item she withdrew fit her curves as it should. It was black, with a bit of gold trim on the cups, mostly see-thru and not much else to the whole thing.

Pleasantly surprised at how well she looked, she stretched out atop the bed and waited for her dear husband to see the fruits of her on going time spent working out. Shapely legs were coming back. Trim arms. Then if you look close and squint, even a line or two which will soon be the makings of an in-shape stomach. She was proud.

Her husband had cut off the water in the bathroom from his shower and would be entering soon. Her nerves were beginning to shake. Maybe she should have waited? Another two weeks and she would have looked even more like that young thing that he married. But she remained. The door creaked open. Husband looked at her and smiled, dispelling any worries.

She returned his smile with a coy one of her own and waited for him to come to her.

He stops, glances up, and asks, “I need you to wash me some socks tomorrow.”

Oh, yes, he did indeed ask me wash him some socks. You can be sure my mouth was hanging more than yours currently. He then began back-peddling, as men do to try and spin what stupid thing just erupted from his mouth. He threw out the excuse of–“If I didn’t ask, I’d forget and then be without any socks!”

All I’m thinking at this point is there–well, “no he didn’t.” was high on the list, but more so thinking of the drawer full of sock options he had for a desperate time. Hunting socks. Thinner socks. Too thick socks. A bit picky, that husband of mine.

I begin chastising him for asking me such a thing in my condition. He then has the nerve to say, “You’re making me feel bad.” Yeah. I made him feel bad. Never mind that he looked at me trying my best and what does he think of? Socks. Freaking Socks. I will never again be able to open that special drawer of items again without wondering if he needs any of his socks washed. I do apologize if any of you suffer the same fate.

Ever had a moment that someone will never let you live down? Or perhaps you’ve been the victim of a thoughtless tongue? At the very least–let the husband know what a terrible thing he did to me! Lay it on thick, prod his guilt pocket in his brain with a hot poker. I think I deserve a gift instead of a mumbled, “I’m sorry.” What do you think? And hey, while we’re at, suggestions for gifts as I have a very good nudging in my belly that Husband will be popping in for a read.

Keri Ford

It Makes Me Laugh.

I’m so easily entertained. Hubs finds this funny and will laugh his tail off watching me laugh at something. Current funny thing at the moment? A commercial. (Beware, there is sound)

What do you think? And what tickles your funny bone?

Love, soft as an easy chair

Don’t forget! This is Darn, Why Couldn’t That Have Been Me? Week! highlander-series1
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(My mom always loved that Streisand song. It seemed a good choice as background music for my post. )

Okay, I’m going to just fess up. I’ve got nothing. I mean this whole “Darn, I wish that had been me” thing has been on my mind for days. And…I’ve got nothing.

So I’m going to tell you a love story. (Go ahead. Start humming the song)

There once was  girl (we’ll call her “Amy”) who was a shy 13 year old girl just getting into boys. One day she went with her  mother to a 13 year old baseball All-star game where there were lots of cute sweaty boys looking somewhat interesting in their tight baseball pants. Amy plunked down in her lawn chair  and propped her feet on the fence, trying to look halfway cool. She noticed a new pitcher coming into the game and watched the boy wind up and throw a wild pitch.

The ball rolled right to her feet. The catcher hurried over and grabbed the ball. Just as he rose, his green eyes met hers. Amy literally flinched as she caught and held his gaze for a scant second. The boy turned around and she read the back of his jersey. It read “Talley.”

Huh. Amy had heard of this boy, but had never seen him. He was cute.  So she was happy to find the boy seated in her 8th grade English class when school started that fall. She was instantly smitten. She hung on his every word, followed him with her eyes as he laughed with the older girls, and doodled his name on countless pieces of paper.

One day, finally after countless attempts, Amy captured this boy’s attention. Then she got her first kiss from him. She rounded second base with him as they watched Friday the 13th. She went to her senior prom with him. She finally went all the way with him in the back of his Chevy Blazer. 🙂

Today, Amy sometimes wonders what it might have been like to kiss another boy or nurse a broken heart.  But most of the time she’s happy to have not known the embrace of another. Because Amy fell in love when she was just thirteen and never fell out of it. She’s never thought, “Darn, I wish that was me,” because she has lived her fairytale for 23 years. Even if her prince sometimes seems more like a toad.

Okay, you can stop humming “Evergreen” now 🙂 

Care to share why you are glad you don’t have to “wish that had been me.”?

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