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Fifteen Years and Counting

Husband and I have been married fifteen years today!  I get to go through life with my perfect partner and my best friend.  I don't know how I got so lucky.  Here's to a lot more years, Husband!  I love you!
I'm standing at that in-between place, the one where you've made a decision and now you have to wait until everything takes effect and the planets align and what you decided to do actually happens.  

This is a scary place.

Waiting...I'm not good at waiting.  I'm good at doing.  I make a decision and I act on it.  Sitting still makes me edgy.  Waiting on others so I can move forward with my plans turns me into a frenetic mass of nervous, cranky energy.  Those last few weeks of pregnancy were hell, and not because I was the size of Pluto, but because I was done.  Ready. To.  Move on.  I kind of feel sorry for Husband and the Kiddos when I start querying.  I will not be a bundle of happy feel-good feelings. 

(OK, the planetary dimensions of my tummy contributed to the hellish-quality of late pregnancy, but the waiting was worse.)

I've wanted something for a while now, something big and scary and life-changing.  Doing it will introduce change and chaos at a moment when we reached a comfortable level of security in our lives.  And that is partly why I want to do it now.  With extra stability from one direction, I feel better about stepping out on a limb in another.  There are many reasons to do this and one really, really big reason not to.  Really big.  Huge.  Big enough that I couldn't make this decision on my own.  

I want this, so I talked to Husband.  I told him all the reasons why and the reason why not and my fears and worries.  I cried even though I tried so hard to not.  He drove in quiet for a few blocks.  (We drive to and from work together, so most discussions happen in the car.)  I blew my nose and waited.  And panicked, and regretted saying anything, and tried not to show how nervous I was.  And then, since he is amazing, he said things like what good is security if I'm not happy.  He also said something about how he's used to me inviting chaos into our life, but we'll ignore that comment and focus on what he said after that, which was that it's worth a little chaos to be with me.  (Yeah, I cried again.)

So I decided to do it and have taken the first steps.  I can't go into details, yet, but hear I sit, staring at something scary and exciting, and I'm going crazy.  I'm second-guessing myself and plotting out what-ifs and disaster scenarios. *headdesk*  

But I'm still doing it.  Keep your fingers crossed for me. 
I grokked this from Gail Carriger's blog for your enjoyment.   
You're welcome.

random thoughts and cake pops

1) I'm very close to actually completing my to-do list today. Hooray!

2) I celebrated this accomplishment with the purchase of a cake pop.

3) The little coffee shop where I get ice water every day is staffed with the loveliest people. They gave me two cake pops today for the price of one (the last two). They are the yummiest! Chocolate cake and cream cheese icing. Bite sized!

4) I should save the second cake pop for Husband.

5) I'm not sure the second cake pop will last until I see Husband at the end of the day. It sits on my desk TORMENTING me.

6) I just realized I haven't posted since February. I'm clearly missing the point of this whole "blogging regularly" thing.

7) Since I am now blogging, I should reward myself with a cake pop!

8) No, that would be bad. I should save it for Husband.

9) I'm having a moral dilemma over a cake pop. *headdesk* HELP!

Need a BOLO for the Winter Warlock.

Bob the Snowball wonders when winter is going to show up.  Being Frosty's hip cool-cat cousin, he returns with the first snow of the new year and jams with us for a few days, usually around Mardi Gras.  (The rest of the year he's got a gig at this penguin dive bar in Antarctica.  Bob plays a smokin' trombone and guitar.  Those long, stick arms aren't just for show, you know.  Sure, it's challenging, but so is being a giant snowball in the southeastern US.)

We had hopes earlier this week when the thermostat dropped for a couple of days, but alas, naught came of it but a grey and drizzling rain.  Still I'm ever optimistic.  Husband, being the more pessimistic cynical realistic of us, doubts.  I reminded him that fairies die when you don't believe and only sincerity brings the Great Pumpkin to your pumpkin patch, (That sounded a lot less dirty in my head.), but he remains skeptical.  

My fingers are crossed (though it is difficult to type this way) that Bob will get to stop by for a chat and maybe some hot cocoa.  I have this great recipe I've been perfecting. 

It's cold and flu season.  I work on a college campus.  With students.  Who often sit in my office.  

Some days I'm glad to have a monster of a desk.

I've been fighting germs with lots of Vitamin C and hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes (my office is practically a sterile environment, folks), but there must have been a breech in my defenses.  I suspect Husband and the cold he had last week.  I'd interrogate him with the dreaded squinty-eyed glare, but my eyes are pretty bleary at this point and a bleary-eyed glare just doesn't have the same impact.  Do those tissues have lotion?  Could you pass the box, please?  Thanks.

Yes, I have fallen to the microscopic invaders.  My life has been reduced to sniffles and coughs and shivers and a huge puddle of gratitude for the person who figured out how to put lotion in tissues.  You are a God/Goddess, Lotion Tissue Inventor.   

And then, because a cold wasn't enough, today my stomach revolted against me and food and the Whole. Wide. World.  bleh.  Even chocolate sounds unappetizing.  

But Monday waits for no woman or virus so I'm now shivering away at my desk and daydreaming of leaving early.  Which won't happen because we are short staffed today.  sigh.  Tonight I will console myself with Return of the Jedi and ramen.  Mmm, noodle soup. 

On the plus side, I found that earring I lost a few weeks ago on the floor in my office.  It's not much, but hey, gotta take your happiness where you can, right?

I was excavating cleaning out desk drawers at work* and between the stacks of blank Rolodex cards, mountain of red pencil stubs**, and what had to be nearly two rolls of loose pennies***, I discovered a secret cache of 3.5 inch floppy discs.  After deciphering the faded scribbled labels I determined them to be backups from my predecessor's time in this chair. 

(Well, not this chair because I bought this chair to replace her old desk chair with the cracked bottom that scratched my leg every time I swiveled to the right because it was killing my back.)****  

The devil's creation.  There were about 30 of them stored in one of those floppy disc holders.I spent the next two hours checking the data on the discs (Yes, my computer has a 3.5 inch drive.  I work for the state, ok?), reformatting the discs to erase them, and then destroying them.  MUWHAHAHAHA!  Take that, you little plastic squares of DOOM!

Ahem, excuse me.  Got a little carried away.  But oh, how I despise floppy discs.  I can't tell you the number of times I would write a paper in my dorm room, save it to a floppy disc, head to the computer lab to print my paper, only to get an error saying not only was my paper not there but there was no floppy disc inserted in the drive.  Grrr.  Then I would trudge back to my room (through the snow, up hill both ways!) and repeat the process only to have the same thing happen again.  Double grrrrr.

Inside a floppy discCatharsis is tearing open those little plastic cases and tossing them away. One. At. A. Time. 

I'm sure there's a moral in here somewhere, probably some insightful insight into the writing process, too.  Undoubtedly something more uplifting than "Die, Floppy!  Die!"  However I'm too lazy busy to work it out now.  Feel free to extrapolate a moral as you see fit.  Leave it in the comments.  I'd love to read them.  Also, please leave cake.  


~~~
*  My predecessor left behind a lot of stuff in the desk drawers.  Yes, I'm just now getting around to cleaning it out.  She also left two cardboard boxes of papers that I finally filed this past summer.  Shut up.  There was nothing important in there.  I ended up recycling most of it.  

**  I don't know why my predecessor had so many red pencil stubs.  In five years I have never used a red pencil once in my job.  Am I not doing some duty that no one knew about and so never told me?

***  Seriously.  They are now in a little bowl on my desk.  There were also assorted coins from various countries.  Why?  Could my desk be a portal to other lands and far off places?  How do I access the portal?  I need one of those guns.  Maybe there is cake.   
 
****  (That sentence makes perfect sense to me.)  There's also a filing cabinet I'm afraid to open because the drawers fall out on my toes when I do.  I'm still not sure what all is in that filing cabinet, probably the secret to life and eternal youth, but it certainly isn't anything necessary to do my job so I'm not too worried about it.  I'm more concerned about why this person filled her office with crappy, broken furniture.  Maybe the portal gun is in there!  And this is her clever plan to keep it safe!  Security is confidence that you have broken the thief's toes.  

I'm back!  And dear dog, did I miss ya'll.  (Though apparently I also missed another DDoS attack for which I'm glad.)  I haven't read a blog in three weeks, which is a prelude to me saying if I missed something you think I should know about, please send me a heads-up.  

Florida was gorgeous.  There was some withdrawal after a couple of days.  I searched for Wi-Fi at the condo, but no luck.  Then there were solitary walks up and down the beach with seabirds and waves and water every shade of emerald and sapphire.  The cleansing bite of salt in the air and the shift of sand under my feet.  The pat-pat of other walkers and runners passing by with shared smiles and quiet greetings.  How simple life was for that blessed week.  Reality came back with the glorious noisy chaos of Christmas and family.  It was exhausting and joyful.  Luckily I spent last week at home with the Husband and Kiddos getting back to normal.

I have many more memories, but I think that is what I will always remember about this Christmas--the nearly empty beach, the light, the waves, the peace.  

I'd love to read what ya'll did over the holidays!  Please share a memory or moment from your holidays--past or present. 

Getting Ready

I'm going on vacation next week.
WOW. Let me say that again. I'm going on vacation. To the beach. In a week!  

(Dear Potential Thieves Scoping My House for Valuables:  First, Valuables?  HA!  Good luck with that.  Second, Husband and a VERY BIG DOG WHO BARKS AND GROWLS AND THINKS YOU ARE A TASTY TREAT* will be in the house.  No lie.)
Just me and sand and sea and towels and a journal and my favorite pen and a laptop and two of my favorite women in the world who understand that vacations have no schedules and fruity drinks with little paper umbrellas are perfectly appropriate breakfast food.  (They are FRUITY drinks.  They are good for you.)  How much do I love my MIL (who invited me to go with her)?  Oh. So. Much.

My suitcase is mostly packed and I'm marking things off the trip to-do list each day.  I even bought a new swimsuit for the trip.  I have a day job to-do list I need to finish, too.  I have a list of things to take with me.  So. Many. Lists.  I would be lost without my lists.  I live by lists and often tell my kids (and staff) if it isn't written down (or emailed to me) I don't know about it. 

Ironically, I have trouble using lists when writing.  Writing tends to be spontaneous for me, especially that initial draft.  I don't know the end (or not more than a vague idea) and sometimes I don't know what will happen in the next scene.  One scene leads to the next and the story unfolds before my eyes.  I love that feeling!  

Do you plan your stories out or not? 

Well, back to the to-do lists!  

~~~~
*  I lied.  There is no spoon dog.  But I'm not sure a 20-year-old analog TV and 15-year-old stereo with a picky volume knob are worth prison.  There might be some pretzels in the pantry, except my teenage sons probably ate them.  So basically, there is no reason to stop by my house, not even for snacks.  Also, I wasn't lying about Husband being there.  

Wait, tomorrow's December?

How, in the name of all that is holy, can November be over?!  Seriously, it was Halloween, like yesterday, and today I look at the calendar and suddenly I'm behind on my Christmas shopping, have a week and a half to prepare for my vacation and Christmas traveling, and to send out the Christmas cards which I bought last year and are now buried somewhere in my office (I hope).

*Kermit flail*

What happened to November? Let's see...
  1. I had to give up coffee. *weeps*  (stupid acidy stomach)
  2. My Day Jobbe desk was (is) buried in paper, and so help me I WILL clear it before my vacation.  *shakes fists*  
  3. I started two new stories instead of finishing revisions on the current story.  (Oops, but shiny new stories!)  *I have the Most Patient Crit Partner Ever*
  4. My MIL gave me some low-acid coffee, and I can have morning coffee again. *cheers*  
  5. I gained 10 pounds. (GAH!)  
  6. This morning I started the Couch to 5K Running Program.  *cheers*  (I can't keep calling it baby weight with my youngest turning 10 in a couple of weeks. Also, I'm soooo out of shape.)
I...I guess that's where November went. On the plus side, I bought some Christmas presents today. Books make awesome presents and I love picking out books for others. Bonus, they are always the right size and rarely need to be returned.

Honest. Those books aren't for me. They are gifts for my loved ones. 

Really!  

Ok, one is for me. But I will share it!  *hides*

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