Thursday, November 22, 2012


Sometimes I think we should have Thanksgiving a couple of times a year. No, it isn't that I have a vendetta against turkeys or enjoy pumpkin pie THAT much. But  . . . the world seems to take a deep breath and focus on what each one of is grateful for, and that is something we could all use way more of, right? (Black Friday, on the other hand, we could use a lot LESS of.)
So, joining in the ranks of those who are taking a moment for what they are grateful for, here are mine. Yeah, they are redundant--mostly the same things I am grateful for every year, but no less sincere.
1. My husband--30 years together and still going strong. Cannot imagine a day without him making me laugh, driving me somewhere, giving me his hat when it's raining, keeping up with the laundry, groping me at night, and making me feel loved every single moment.
2. My kids--all four of them are delightful people who have made the world a better place for being in it. Nicole is far away, but coming home in time for Christmas. I am relieved to say that 7500 miles did nothing to dim our friendship. And these two boys--they are handsome, funny, and amazingly kind.
3. My work--demanding, exasperating, never ending, and yes, I am so grateful for each assignment. I have been hired by so many new companies this year, I lost track. I am often steeped in assignments that are difficult and confusing, and tedious, and challenging . . . but I am still grateful for them. That work allows me to not use an alarm clock, not put on knee hose or (ugh) pantyhose, and to be here when I am needed by the family. It allows me to wear slippers when I want, take a coffee break when I need one, and still earn enough to put food on the table. I officially thank all of the editors and managers who hired me this year--thanks for taking a risk on me.
4. My location--we love, love, love Portland, Oregon. It is a perfect match up for us. We have been here 11 years now and still mention on a regular basis how much we like it here. We have discussed moving . . . Australia came up a number of times, but large creepy crawlies, a higher cost of living, and the cost of air tickets (plus how DOES one ship 10,000 books?) seems a bit prohibitive. :)
5. My life--whether I am heading down the aisle of a Goodwill, writing a letter to a friend I've never met, working on an imminent deadline, sitting in a new coffee shop reading with my leg thrown across Joseph so we are touching, or immersing myself in research for another book, I know that I am one fortunate lady.
That is something to reflect on often---not just once a year. Now, can I have a piece of pie every time I do?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trouble in the Land Down Under

A Down Under update . . . . Nicole's adventure in the Land of Oz has had its ups and downs, for sure. Her stay as a nanny did not, sadly, work out as anyone had hoped and planned, which resulted in her moving out and into Brisbane. There, she is sharing an apartment with a very nice young woman, and has branched out to have several fabulous adventures, including going to a convention and meeting Spike (from "Buffy"). 
However, in the last couple of days we have all come to a sobering realization. Since she is going to have to come back home much sooner than expected, this places her return closer to the holidays. Any guess what happens to ticket prices around Christmas and New Year's? 
Yup. The $1000 she had budgeted for a ticket home is more than doubled unless she waits until February/March. Unfortunately, the money it would cost to wait that long (food, lodging, etc.) is almost as much as she would need for that ticket. 
A dilemma for sure. 
Why not just get a job while she is there, you might ask? Fine question. Australia makes that more than a little challenging. She has to LEAVE the country to change her visit from a visiting one to a working one. This means flying to New Zealand and then staying there one to two weeks while the new visa is processed. Sigh. 
We are spending a lot of time on the phone, IM, Skype and Facebook trying to figure out how to best help her. I'd love to plop a couple of grand into her bank account and make the question moot, but I don't have it right now. A few hundred, sure, but that's it.  And I am frustrated from here as I want her to do all of the adventures she wanted to do, see the sites, take the train trip, and I cannot figure out how to help her do it and still FLY HOME. 
In other parts of my life . . I'm fine. Missing the sun, bought one of those "happy lights" to stave off the depression that lurks at the periphery of my days. Trying to meet deadlines. Loving my husband, and watching my sons grow up so fast that I sometimes don't recognize them when they get up in the morning. 
And mostly worrying about my girl in the Land of Oz and what I can do to help her. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Catchin' Up

Sheeesh. Sorry for the disappearing act. I don't even get money and fame like professional magicians do.

Life continues to kick my butt with work and family. I love my job but I just cannot seem to get caught up. In the last two weeks of October, I kept track and I was offered 19 jobs. Of the 19, I turned down 3, took 14, and two were pending. Since then, both have come through.

I guess that explains why work is kicking my butt.

Family . . . busy boys . and a girl oh, so far away. She has had to make some big decisions about what to do, where to go, and how to spend the rest of her time in Australia and I am hoping great adventure is right around the corner for her. I still get a kick out of talking to her on the phone and hearing those peacocks in the background.

We celebrated our 30th anniversary the day before Halloween. It was a sweet day . . . spent hanging out at Goodwills, going out to eat and working on rearranging the bedroom.

Two broken teeth--not one of my favorite parts of this last few weeks. Dentist on Friday. Sigh. Not a fan of dentists. Currently loving my dad but wishing he had kept his genes for brittle teeth to himself.  I guess if he and mom didn't give me their noses though, I should be quiet and be grateful.

Both boys planning to dye their hair this week. Mom just buys the dye, smiles and gets out of the way. It's hair. It grows back. Pick your battles!

Sorry for this scattershot report. Seems about all I have time for recently. Too many deadlines sitting on my shoulders and nagging me. I've tried to make them shut up, but the more I battle, the louder they get. Mean, just mean.