Are You Ready?

No. I’m not. I’m a band mom. My kids played pre-game and half-time at football games. They did not play in the football games! I sat patiently in the bleachers , usually talking to other band parents or reading, until the first half finished. I would periodically check with my husband to find out how much longer he thought the current period would last. If the weather was questionable, I would check my phone repeatedly, hoping for some indication that maybe it would rain (or snow, if it was cold enough). Since I was friends with the band director, there were times that I could be found on the outside of the fence by the field reminding him that it wasn’t good for instruments to be outside in cold, drizzly weather. (He did not appreciate my friendly reminders because like me, he wasn’t a big fan of marching band either.) While I was  a fervid fan of my kids’ performances, sitting on a hard, cold bleacher for hours to strain to locate my kid play in a group of 100 other kids dressed identically and across a football field for fifteen minutes on a Friday night was not my idea of a good time. So you can just imagine my excitement when I found out that ten year old C.J. was going to play football.

football sideline

C.J. has wanted to play football for a few years now and his dream is finally coming true. Although I’m a band mom through and through, I’m happy that he is having the opportunity to do something he loves. This will be his experimental year. It will tell us whether he’s got what it takes or not. He has the drive, passion, and determination. But it will also require him to exercise patience. Lessons already learned include the importance of teamwork and what that means. He knows that he has to participate actively in practices or else the entire team suffers. In a world that seems to go overboard in being politically correct and handing out trophies just for showing up, it’s refreshing to see that these things have no place in football. C.J. is learning to work hard. And he’s learning that not everyone is in the starting lineup and that he might spend some time in reserve.

In the end, whether or not he decides to play again next year, I think this will be a great experience for C.J. And on the bright side, he begins band in two weeks so if I can just make it through football season, there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of band rehearsals and concerts and the joy of those early splats and blares that only a beginning trombone player can produce!

FOWC- Reserve

RDP- Fervid

Hope your week is off to a great start!

-Kat

 

Meanwhile…

bw eyes…while life was busy burying me, I realized that I had an A to Z Challenge to complete. As I tried to claw my way out of this hole, I noticed that there were challenges that seemed to all line up so I could tie things together nicely and almost totally put the lid on them.

As April came to a close, things ramped up with my loved one and all of my time and energy was spent with those matters. Needless to say, this resulted in my U and X of the A to Z Challenge. My life was momentarily and permanently turned UPSIDE DOWN as I experienced the EXIT of one phase of my life and the beginning of another. Still processing and dealing with major changes in my life, I barely had time to catch my breath before I needed to address my eye issues once again.

This time, it was in the form of a surgery to repair problems that have been plaguing both eyes for years. This surgery had been scheduled a few months ago so I knew there was no putting it off. The strain on my eyes over the past years has taken it’s toll. I’m nearing the halfway point now- halfway between the first eye surgery recovery and the prep for the second. Although I know in the end I will be happy that I went through this and amazed at my newfound ability to SEE, right now I’m just kinda bummed out. It’s been a difficult year and being near the halfway point of eye shenanigans has shown me what I can expect for the other half. I am at a point where my vision isn’t awesome if I look out of both eyes at the same time…… so things like reading and writing are a challenge. (Please disregard any errors in this post…..thanks!) Factor in my terror at anything being done to my eyes,  and you might understand why it’s all kind of getting to me. And this is where the Y comes in- YOUR VIEW, which from here is not very clear! As you can see from the lovely glasses that I’ve had to wear for the past week, it’s a good thing I didn’t feel well or else I would have been running all over town showing off those cool shades!! Of course, my driver (because I’ve been under a no-driving restriction) would probably be less than thrilled with my adventures… 

Meanwhile, this post is almost to its breaking point with all the challenges it is covering!

bw ari from the side

Here is Ari- doing her part for Cee’s “from the side” challenge!

A to Z Challenge- U, X, Y

Cee’s Black & White Challenge- From the Side

FOWC- Meanwhile

Stream of Consciousness Saturday- Strain

 

So, what have you been up to lately?

Wishing you a happy week!

-Kat

 

 

Saturday Drop In

If I could be doing anything right now….anything, what would it be? I do think about this in those quiet moments. I would love to sleep but for some reason my brain is not hard-wired to sleep. I’ve always been this way….. I’m not a sleeper. I need to write. Like, I really need to write- the words are swirling around in my head. And they are getting louder and louder. Unfortunately the voices and sounds outside my head are even louder still. Sitting in a beautiful garden reading a book would be pure heaven. I’m sure there are so many cool finds at the thrift stores that I could wander their aisles for hours. I have a kid (okay, he might be 23 years old but he’s still my baby) who I desperately want to visit at his new school. And my little guys aren’t so little anymore. CJ is creeping up on me in height and Beej is creeping up on me in vocabulary skills. I miss my hours, my day-to day- ness with them. I just want to sit at a table with my best friends and talk and talk and talk and then laugh about something completely silly and then talk some more.

I’m bone-weary. It takes every ounce of effort I can muster to make myself move each morning. But something funny happens when I step inside the doors of the facility where my loved one is regaining her strength. I am able to tap into a super secret supply of stored energy and I get through the day. Those other things- those things that I took for granted two months ago…. they just fade away.

And my loved one and I catch up on what’s been going on since I left (sometimes less than 12 hours ago). She tells me the night time happenings and I fill her in on my walk to her room, who I saw, what they were doing. We discuss the day ahead. And we dream about the near future when she’s back home where she belongs and desperately wants to be.

At meal time we arrive early to get prime seating in the dining room. It might be the highlight of our day- seeing what happens next. Since the facility is both assisted living and post-acute care, the residents are an interesting blend. And one of our favorite things to do has always been to people-watch.

When we aren’t hanging out in the dining room, we engage in another of our favorite past-times. I recently dug up past magazine anniversary issues of our favorite long time running television show. We pour over them, asking each other, “Do you remember…?” This activity keeps us entertained for hours. “How old was X-character then?” she might ask. I reach for my phone or iPad and look it up. One question might lead us on an endless number of further questions. And we laugh at how little we remember or just the opposite- how we can recall what a character was wearing when they said something memorable.

Some days others come and visit and/or help out, and I squeeze in other responsibilities. Free time is a distant memory. But those times when we are at lunch or dinner, angling for the best view overlooking the entire dining room, enjoying the antics of our fellow diners or when we are huddled up in my loved one’s room desperately trying to remember when a character who is now in their possible mid 30’s was actually born and shaking our heads at how much times has flown, I don’t need anything more to affirm that I’m right where I should be.

IMG_7472

SoCS- Affirm

Ragtag Daily Prompt- Effort

Fandango’s One Word Challenge- Anything

Have a great weekend!

-Kat

 

A New Look for our Christmas Tree!

beej decorating the treeOne of my favorite traditions is decorating the Christmas tree. Over the years my children and husband have been part of that tradition, sometimes more involved, sometimes not. Okay, so my husband sets up the tree and puts on the lights and he considers his job done. Since the big kids began college and aren’t home until days before the holiday, that leaves me and the little kids to do the job.

As you can imagine, young children and Christmas trees get along almost as well as Christmas trees and cats! Over the years we have adapted our decorating to accommodate the younger members of our family. For the most part, our tree and ornaments have survived. That is, until four year old Beej was old enough to reach the tree.

My mother recently asked me how my tree managed to survive all these years and children until now. I told her that none of those kids were little Beej! beej under the tree

Within an hour of the lights being added to the tree, Beej decided that they needed some minor tweaks. Somehow he ended up wrapped up in the lights himself! I’m sure he couldn’t resist the magical feeling of being surrounded by twinkling lights!

He meticulously placed each ornament so I have to believe that there is some secret four year olds logic to the large number of ornaments hung facing the tree. Maybe there’s something special hiding in the center of the tree? And the big gaping holes where there are no ornaments? Are those branches in trouble? Did they do something to offend Beej? When I point them out, he pointedly ignores the huge empty spots and places a second or third ornament on a nearby occupied branch.

Other ornaments do not receive the honor of making it on to the tree. Or maybe they hold another special distinction because I never know where I’m going to find them!

 

glitter duck ornament

This sparkly duck ended up in the pizza making department after I explained to Beej that although he is a duck, he is covered with glitter so the bath tub is not the place for him! Beej countered with his own logic that the duck did not have wheels, therefore water was the only place for him!! 

Poor Bert looks very lost and confused about he how ended up on the kitchen counter. And this sweet little Muppet found herself abandoned on the chair with an arm broken when Beej fumbled while trying to see if she could stand on her own.

It did not take me long to realize that I had two options- 1. Spend the entire holiday season being the Christmas tree police, or 2. Decorate the tree with unbreakable ornaments and pack away the precious heirlooms.

Knowing how easy it is to make an indelible memory in the mind of four year old, I chose option 2. I would rather have Beej (and any other grandkids to come) remember that I let them truly enjoy the tree, than have my nagging voice ringing through his head for the rest of his life! Thank goodness Target seems to carry an endless selection of $3 kid-friendly ornaments!

And on the plus side, just imagine how precious those older ornaments are going to be to us when we pull them out in a few years, after having them safely tucked away!

Sunday Stills- Traditions

Ragtag Daily Prompt- Fumble

Fandango’s One Word Challenge- Magical

Photo a Day- Start with a C

Happy Holidays!

-Kat

15,000 Words

Yesterday’s word count total was 15,000+ in order to achieve success in winning NaNoWriMo and writing 50,000 words in 30 days. If you are participating, you’re probably already aware of this.

To gain perspective I visited the NaNoWriMo website to take a look at my progress over the years. I won the first two years that I participated, writing over 50,000 words both years. From there on out, it was a pretty bumpy ride- 21,000, 9000, 12,000, 5000, 17,000, and 6000. When I look back over those years, I could see that I definitely allowed outside factors to disrupt my writing. To be successful, I truly believe you need to find a healthy balance, understanding that depending on the story, at some point, this will bleed into the far corners of your life and beyond. During the years that I did not finish, there were many emotional roller coasters factoring into my life. I would tell myself it was understandable that I couldn’t finish, considering the circumstances, and the next year I would begin more determined to finish than the year before.

writing desk

My writing place

A comfortable chair, open surface with enough room for my notes (and snacks!) along with a not- too distracting view are the things that work best for keeping me on task. I did find out just minutes ago that popping in a Phantom of the Opera CD that I’m not familiar with is not a great idea as I kept noticing how different it is than the CD that’s currently stuck in my car CD player. 

 

laptop and glasses

My tools of the trade

Writing 50,000 words in 30 days does require some skill. I’ve written using both the planning and the pantsing methods, mostly plantsing, a morphed combination of the two. Mind you, I am 100% planner in my everyday life, so much so that I tend to drive some people in my life bonkers at times. I’m relieved that my planning obsession does not sneak into my writing. If I was tied to a prepared storyline, I’m sure it would hinder my progress. My characters sometimes take on lives of their own and when they decide to head in a different direction than I had planned, it wouldn’t be fun trying to force them into my preconceived ideas of who they were. 

Of course, today is a new day and I have a new goal to reach so I better get typing. Only three weeks to go!

This post is working overtime for the following challenges-

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Tools

Fandango’s One Word Challenge- Disrupt

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge

Ragtag Daily Prompt- Skill

Happy Weekend!

-Kat