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10/93: Heart

Amazing Print from Etsy seller Forgotten Pages.
Amazing Print from Etsy seller Forgotten Pages.

I saw my heart today. Sort of. I saw it through an ultrasound; an echocardiogram.

Two weeks ago by OBGYN told me I had a heart murmur. I panicked. I saw a cardiologist who immediately asked, “Who heard a murmur?” When I told him he tried to hide his smile and said I didn’t have even a hint of a murmur.

Have you seen your heart on a screen? It’s not the simple “Badump, Badump, Badump” that you expect. What I could see and hear was a “Badump-wo-dump, Badump-wo-dump.” I was sure there was a murmur. I was sure it was serious. I was sure I’d be facing surgery.

The technician said very little, except that I shouldn’t expect an urgent call with bad news.

Two hours later I missed a call from a Nurse. He told me my heart was normal.

No murmur.

Nada.

Just more material to write about, I guess.

 

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9/93: Rainbows

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“Mom? Have you ever seen a REAL rainbow?”

“Sure, baby. But they’re pretty rare.”

“And did you see it from the ground, through the sky and back to the ground.”

“Mostly just in the sky, kiddo.”

“And did you see the honey at the end of it?”

The honey?

What happened to the pot of gold?

“Well, no. I didn’t see the pot of honey. Is that what’s at the end of it?”

“Yeah. At the end. On the ground.”

Wow, Honey?

“Do you think we’ll see a rainbow today, Mommy?”

“I hope so, kiddo.”

 

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8/93: Strawberries

It’s strawberry season here in Minnesota right now. And there’s nothing quite like local, juicy, deep red berries. I found a pint at the Hopkins Farmers Market this morning and brought them home for daughter. She ate every last one of them. I’m glad I snuck a few on the drive home.

These strawberries reminded me of a Saturday morning two or three summers ago when daughter woke up entirely too early. I tried to get her to sleep or at least be quiet so husband could sleep in, but nothing worked. So at 63o in the morning, we crossed the river and hit the local Farmer’s Market. She ate an entire pint of strawberries while I sipped my tea, grateful for the moment.

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7/93: The Hard Stuff

So, you know all those hard things that you want to write about but find too difficult to put on the page? The loses, the disappointments, the heartbreaks? Well, any writer does. Even non-writers do.

That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m writing for 93 straight days. To get to those. To put them on the page. To share them with at least myself, even if nobody but my Mom reads this (Hi, Mom!).

That’s what Natalie was saying in that quote. It’s that crap that I’m scared to death to write. But it’s coming.

Soon.

 

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6/93: Eating Well

“I’m not on a diet, I’m eating Healthy.”

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I just spent two weeks doing a “Reset.” Basically it meant I didn’t eat Gluten, Dairy or Sugar. Or at least I tried to not eat Gluten, Dairy or Sugar. The Gluten was pretty easy, the Dairy was a breeze, even the Sugar was pretty easy. Except that Wine is classified as a Sugar. Oops. I guess I snuck in some sugar.

Overall I felt great. I actually didn’t feel horrible going into it, but for a couple years I’ve been curious to see how my body would respond to eating this way. I love good bread. And I love good cheese. And, well, I love good (or bad) wine. But during those first seven days I felt good. I felt lighter and healthy. When I cut out grains for four days I still felt good, but I was really hungry. Then I was supposed to eat just fruits and vegetables (soups, smoothies, etc) for two days. I made it one. And then I caved. Gluten-free bread never tasted so good.

Since I finished, I’ve done what I could to avoid Gluten. The only dairy I’ve consumed has been in the form of cheese, because, well, how can you skip a good cheese? And Sugar? Sugar is not a problem. But wine is so good.

Will I continue this “diet?” I think there will be moments of control and moments of real-life. It’s just nice to know that if I have a bagel at lunch I can expect to be sleepy. But if I have a salad and lean protein, or quinoa with a sweet potato, the afternoon will breeze be. Also – Almonds are my new best friend. Seriously.

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5/93: Write what disturbs you

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I have a penpal. We met online and we send each other actual letters. On paper. With stamps. And it’s lovely. We are not Facebook friends, nor do we send each other emails. We both love dogs, we both have one daughter, we both love to write. That is enough. The last letter I received was full of sweet words about our Bogey, a list of her hopes and dreams and a small slip of paper that fluttered to the ground when I opened the envelope. It said exactly what I needed to hear. Exactly:

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4/93: Morning

The morning didn’t sneak up on me. It didn’t creep. It was there all along as the sky lightened and the alarm clock read 5:00. The puppy stirred, nuzzled my arm that hung off the side of the bed. Husband pulled himself up, she followed him outside. I rolled over. Saw the clock: 5:30. Time to run. Contacts, toothbrush, running shorts, socks, tank top, shoes, watch, earbuds. Outside the birds greeted me, a dove scampered out of my way. One foot went in front of the other. Down the block, around the bend, back up the hill and 3 miles later, home. Not far, not fast, but accomplished.

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3/93: On Writing

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Now that I have a (sort-of) substantial commute, I started listening to books and podcasts in the car. I’ve started with Steven King’s On Writing. I am not a fan of his books, but I am of fan of his writing. Man, that man can write! And while his narration is a bit crude, it’s honest and exactly what I need to hear if I’m ever going to become a “good” writer.

I can’t quote him because I’m driving when I hear his words, but a few things that have stuck with me through the traffic:

• When you go to your desk to write, your whole self needs to show up.

• Skip the Adverbs. And he’s right. When you realize that they’re just making your work weak, you’ll know to get rid of them.

• The first draft is for yourself; the second draft is for others. Isn’t that freeing?

• You don’t need to listen to another song on the radio or watch another brainless sitcom (unless it’s Anthony Bourdain and he’s in Thailand or Paris (my excerpt), instead pick up a book, listen to a book or just start writing your own!

I’m nearing the end and I’ll miss my commutes with Mr. King, but I’m taking his advice. I’m going to keep writing!

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2/93: Azzura

The second day of summer and we have a new mouth to feed. No, not the stinkin’ snapping turtle that we gently evicted, but this sweet face.

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Her name is Azzura and we adopted her yesterday. She was found as a stray in Missouri and has been in a foster home for just over two months. I have no idea how someone didn’t snatch her up before we had our chance. And while she joined our family much sooner than we thought she would, she’s blending in quite nicely. Don’t you think?

Today was the second day of 93:93. I hope to write pieces that will become part of a larger project, but today I have a puppy to play with. See you tomorrow. 

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93/93: Summer Edition

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A turtle showed up on our front walk last night. She was off to the side, but on a part of the path that Marc and I had both walked on recently. Me, fifteen minutes earlier; He, just moments before.

She might have been a snapping turtle. She might not have been. Regardless of the title, she snapped at the broom he held in his hands. And she snapped at the piece of wood he used to coax her into the garbage can.

He walked her through the back yard and into the brush pile that borders the wetland at the back of our property. Until two days ago it was just that, a wetland full of tall grasses, deer and coyotes, and apparently turtles. Now it’s a legitimate swamp or pond – pick your term.

So, turtles, deer, hummingbirds… they’re all pointing to one thing. That summer is here. And today, it finally is. And it is here, today, on June 21, 2014, the first day of summer, that I’m declaring that I’m a Writer.

There. I said it.

I’m a Writer.

And to prove it, I’m going to write every day of this damn summer.

93 days.

93 words.

(I sure hope there’s more than 93 words at least some of the time.)

I hope to share most of them here.

Because that will hold me accountable.

But I’m not going to make myself crazy.

And I’m not going to poke a large snapping turtle with a broom and force her into a garbage can and carry her to the back yard.

Because that’s just plain scary.