Posts Tagged ‘writing’


Thankfulness 2014: Week 3

November 29, 2014

Nov. 15 Today, I am thankful for today. Please go and hug your loved ones and tell them you appreciate them. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.

Nov. 16 I am thankful for my mom. Our relationship has always been rocky but that is probably because we are so much alike. But no matter what she will be there for me. I am thankful for every day with her; each one is a gift.

Nov. 17 I am thankful for finding the energy to get through today. Never knowing what I am up for makes it so hard sometimes to commit to the many things I want to and have to do. No, the laundry didn’t get done but I worked and trained and took some scouts shopping. That’s enough for me even if tomorrow I need a nap.

Nov. 18 I am thankful for my troop of Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassador. And all the support of their families. What a crazy and entertaining night! Never a dull moment and at least the meal was successful. It was a bittersweet moment with one family noticeably absent. Love all my girls: [names removed to protect the innocent and not so innocent] … watching you become amazing young women. Thank you, JSB, T, and the Chief for making tonight happen too!

Nov.19 I am thankful that the Chief is doing something to make sure we are leaving a legacy of responsible stewardship. We are already doing many things right but we are working on others. Plus there may be hope for our spoiled children yet! “Date night” was to Dave Ramsey‘s Legacy presentation. Oh and I am thankful we heard together which one of us should be making the budget. As my mom says, “Three guesses who and the first two don’t count.”

Nov. 20 Today I am thankful Christmas music… I am currently burning mix CDs for the car and have come to the conclusion I have way too much Christmas music. On my 7th CD and I’m thinking it is going to total between 18-20 CDs. Nah, you can’t have too much Christmas music. I do love our local station that turns into the Christmas station Thanksgiving Day but it seems they play only the same 20 song. I want variety. Lots of it. My latest acquisition? Darius Rucker‘s Home for the Holidays and Harry Connick Jr‘s 2008 What a Night. Probably my 3rd or 4th Christmas album by him and well, you can never have too much HCJr either.

Seriously too much. 23 CDs. And I almost forgot to mix in Straight No Chaser. (I’ve been told I need to get Michael Buble and Pentatonix. Any other suggestions out there?)

Nov. 21 I am thankful to all the teachers who taught me the basics of the English language. It amazes me how much I have forgotten but actually use every day and take for granted. Seriously, how could a person with an English degree blank on common suffixes? (It is a little more complicated than that but embarrassing nonetheless.) Not necessarily “use it or lose it” but I can’t always explain why I use it. LOL Humbling to say the least.

And yes, my post on Romantic Christmas Songs is still my number 1 post of all time with 687 views. Don’t forget to check out Part 2 and my 2013 review of Trace Atkins and the Robertsons.


Writing Workshop: Oct. 2

October 2, 2014

2.) What were you blogging about last year at this time? How have things changed?

One year ago today… I was writing about the closing of USMMA. I was preparing for and ran in my first 5K at a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. I gave my opinion about the Captain Phillips movie. I had a snarky Friday about my overwhelming schedule. And I ended the month writing about being replaced as favorite daughter-in-law.

USMMA has reopened and their football season has gone uninterrupted this year. Too bad we lost the Secretary’s Cup game to the Coasties. Oh well.

I just ran a 5k today in preparation for this year’s Making Strides. My time was about the same. It was brutal. What today showed me is that even if I am not feeling my best (real achy today) I can still bang out 3.1 miles and not give up. I have to run 5K on Monday and then taper down till the race on the 12th. P.S. If you’d like to sponsor me, send me a message and I’ll tell you which team to make a donation to.

I still haven’t seen Captain Phillips but on the flight to Hawai’i the Chief watched it. I preferred to watch Winter’s Tale and another movie I can’t name off the top of my head.

My schedule is just as overwhelming and even more so as I am now subbing twice a week if possible. It is taking some adjusting to both personally and as a family. At least we don’t have the added issues of a crazy team mom or a lousy school team experience to compound things. I just hope I can make it to Nov. 15th without a nervous break down. Nov. 15th is my first no-activity weekend since Aug. 30th. I am sleeping in. Sleeping in and having pancakes.

Being replaced hasn’t been so bad. My BIL finally popped the question and the Girlfriend is now the Fiance. She went with us to Hawai’i. She and I shared a cold. We enjoy the company of the other. In fact, as we were saying good-bye at the airport, I said to her, “You’ve survived two trips and a cold with us.” She replied, “And I still like you!” I gave a knowing grin, “You’re one of my favorite people.” “You’re one of mine too.” (Yes, Mama Kat, I probably do need to write that post about traveling with 13 family members…)

We’ve decided to be bad together–I’m ticking off my MIL by not having a party for the Chief and instead arranged to go on a double date with the BIL and Fiance and she is ticking of the FIL because said double date is to go see Spamalot without the in-laws even though the FIL hinted that they might would like to go. I may be in extra hot water because the Chief has not been to see his mother yet. He’s been home 12 days now… this never happens. But the Fiance and I both get points for insisting that the FIL does not have to go down on Friday night to the time share to just turn around the following morning to pick up the MIL and the Fiance’s mother… we’re big girls and can check ourselves in. Turns out all the elder people were relieved that we “thinking of them and coming up with a solution.” Unfortunately the Chief will be missing the frightening festivities because he has to go to training out of the country and will be gone 9 days. šŸ˜¦

So much has changed and yet so much hasn’t.

If you’d like to know more about Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop, click on the trophy over there…

Writing Prompts for Oct. 2nd.

1.) September 29th is National Coffee day. How do you like your cup?
2.) What were you blogging about last year at this time? How have things changed?
3.) Your most favorite (or lease favorite) fall fashion trends.
4.) Throwback time! Share an old photo and tell us about it.
5.) List your top favorite things about Fall.


Writing Workshop: First Time on My Own

September 11, 2014

I don’t want this blog to die. It’s not that I haven’t been writing… I journaled and I journaled this summer in Hawai’i and at camp. (And we had a discussion about how journals are private, not meant for public consumption.) And I’ve been answering a few random posts on the Merchant Marine Wives Facebook group page … I am so verbose. Some of my answers are way too long.

It’s not like I don’t have things to write about… come on, Hawai’i was amazing and I have another great Personal reflection on my time at camp. Our oldest just entered high school and is in an accelerated program–that decision alone was nerve-wracking but I am so stinking proud of her. My PsA is doing great but I am dealing with bouts of depression–a reality I am loath to admit and while I’m working on it, I think I’m keeping my thoughts close to my heart rather than put down on here.

But I don’t want this blog to die. At some point I think I’d like to tell the MMW FB group that I have this blog. That would really blow my anonymity … not to mention at least two of the Chief’s coworkers (one directly under him) are on the page and we have all “introduced” ourselves. Maybe that is the conflict that is keeping me from writing … and writer’s block … and self-censorship … and a little bit of passive-aggressive hostility.

So I had the thought that maybe I should go back to my early beginnings and do a Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop post. Interestingly enough I feel I can take #3 and relate it to the merchant marine life.

3.) Write about what it was like to live on your own for the first time.

My story is not a typical story. I was 21 years old… two weeks shy of my 22nd birthday. I was a newly wed. I found myself the owner of a 3-bedroom 1,600 square foot home, a burgundy Mercury Sable, a purebred lhasa apso, and I had power of attorney to manage another piece of real estate. I didn’t know too many 21 year olds in my position. The Chief (then a lowly 3rd) was shipping out for the first time.

I had never lived on my own. Not really. I remember sitting in the car, on a cold day (remember we were married on the Blizzard of ’96 and much of the world around us was still snow-bound) either just before we went to closing or right after, and just kind of stared in awe at the chief as he began calling the phone company and the electric company and whatever else utilities you needed to call to have service connected to our new home, in our name. I guess I just kind of thought all of that was automatic. It never would have occurred to me you had to call to set those things up… every year I was at school you just walked in, picked up your phone and it was all done for you.

I’ve always said I got to grow up with the biggest safety net underneath me.

It could have been worse. There are some wives who either run home to live with their moms the entire time their mariner is away or live across the street from their parents or in-laws. We at least lived 10 minutes away from both sets and only because I worked in the city.

It was about three days after he left and I totaled his car. Not my finest moment and not my last accident. I had no real way of contacting him. I was at the mercy of his port schedule. My father had given me strict advice not to call him with the news. So I waited for the Chief to call me but it was the first thing out of my mouth.

And his first words: Are you okay? What car do you want to get now?

This is not to say that over the years he hasn’t nostalgically sigh about how much he misses “that car.” To be honest, I miss it too.

I had to deal with the insurance and a court date (his dad took me and advised me to plead “no contest” even though I had gotten out of the car and took responsibility when it wasn’t exactly clear that I was 100% responsible). I had to keep on top of bills and house maintenance. I had to deal with the lhasa’s psychotic behavior at being left alone 10 hours a day instead of going over to my MILs … I did finally call them and said “come get this dog or so help me … Oh my GOD! there are bloody paw prints on the doors! Come over NOW!!!”

And I got a puppy, with the Chief’s knowledge but not waiting till he got home. Never again. Never, ever again. The tiny adorable thing was a holy terror at 6 weeks old–yup, puppy milled and sent to the animal shelter too young and filled with worms. Chewbacca, or Chewie more appropriately, chewed everything and even got herself stuck behind the washer and gnawed little holes in the drain hose … a fact we didn’t discover until two days later when the Chief got home and ran a load of laundry and flooded the entire floor.

It was the silence that seemed to get to me the most. Although for most of my time at college I did have a room to myself, there were other people on the floor and the noises of communal living. I would walk through the house turning on lights and radios. I would stay awake till exhaustion hit because I didn’t like the empty bedroom. I’m not as bad now but even after the girls go to bed I don’t like the quiet of the house those first few nights.

Living so close to family was an issue. My mother wanted me to check in–seriously? I lived 3 hours away and only called once a week but I had to check in after work every day? Not going to happen. It got worse as the year wore on. Now in all fairness, I did have a trusted observer tell me that half the year I acted like I wasn’t married (my new-found relationships with my in-laws was going so well that I was like a daughter, not a daughter-in-law) and the other half I played at being married. At their church most people still assume I am their daughter even though my parents attend there as well. (A fact that if my mother were honest with herself and others, irks her to no end.)

I have had to deal with many household crises over the years… how many heat pumps does a person have to replace? The Chief was here for one hot water heater and I just took care of the last one… I was more prepared to handle all the utilities when we moved to this house–the Chief was at sea and I had an amazing realtor who held my hand the whole time and gave me a great check list.

Oh, this all reminds me that I need to get the car in for an inspection.

The Prompts:
1.) September is National Apple Month, create a blog post inspired by apples.
2.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: goals.
3.) Write about what it was like to live on your own for the first time.
4.) You won an award for at some point in your lifeā€¦what was it for?
5.) List activities that keep your kids busy on rainy days.

Click on Mama Kat’s Trophy in my side board to join in on the fun.


When do you cut bait?

January 23, 2014

I was on the computer for a long time yesterday. It has been a while. I noticed I’ve only posted twice this month and I haven’t read up on many of the blogs I follow.

It got me thinking. Are all the links on my page current? What about in my Internet Explorer favorites bar?

I was surprised by the number of inactive or missing blog pages altogether. Most of the blogs I had bookmarked seemed to have stopped blogging in 2012 or within the last four months.

Naturally the missing blogs I deleted. The ones that stopped in 2012 I also deleted. But what about a blogger who seemed to randomly stop in August or September or maybe even as late as October of 2013. Holidays can be brutal so who can blame someone for taking a break. I took one.

I take breaks quite frequently. But I seem to manage 3 or 4 posts a month even on my slowest months.

I have followers that I know are just spammers. I wish I could clean that list up too (hey, WordPress–how about it? Can you let us freeloaders decide who we allow to follow us or not?) It makes for inaccurate statistics and I really don’t want help with building up my readership or being just a number to some joker!

So when do you decide to cut bait on a fellow blogger who seems to have dropped off the face of the world? Some I would love to know if they’re okay and what is new in their lives. Should I keep their link indefinitely just in case they pop back up into bloggy land? Do you?

What about blogs that were for a specific purpose, like say a semester abroad or a mission trip? No new posts will be forthcoming.

I was on the computer for a long time. It was refreshing to hit delete, delete. I wish those bloggers well. Perhaps their blog served its purpose and they have moved on. I hope those that had issue specific blogs (health, etc.) did not take a turn for the worst.

And if I’m not posting the kinds of things to keep you interested, I won’t mind the unfollow (hint, hint, spammers!).

Feel free to post comments–I want to know what you think.


UPDATE: YES! Not 1 minute after publishing this post I received a “follow” from a guy who wants to show me how to make income blogging. With no way to contact him directly I decided to leave a comment. After gagging over all the “Thanks for the follow, man!” and “Great stuff! Look forward to getting more tips” I respectfully asked him to unfollow me if he had no other interest in my blog other than to generate more traffic and businessĀ for himself. My comment is waiting for moderation. I’ll let you know what the response is. Disgusting!!!

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