Category Archives: Inspiration

In Knots

img_2605My stomach has been in knots for weeks. And will remain in knots for at least another week. Until this crazy election is done and gone and we can all take a deep breath. I hope I can take a deep breath.

In the meantime, between panic attacks and sips of Pinot Grigio*, I want to share this article that I posted to Facebook nearly a year ago.

It’s a good reminder.

To be nice to each other.

To look out for each other.

To take care of yourself.

*Pinot Grigio is certainly not the best way to handle shitty days, but it helps. Friendly cows with crazy tongues at darling orchards help too. 

43

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 4.10.56 PMToday I turn 43. 43? Where the hell did that come from? One day I was in my mid-twenties, the next I was 40. And now this? I am grateful that I can celebrate 43. And I am grateful that I was able to celebrate it by swimming a mile and then playing in the pool outside with my family. My mom told all her pool friends it was my birthday, and the daughter quickly followed it up with “She’s 43!”. Geez. It’s a tough crowd.

But I’m glad to say I decided to come back here. To this space. To some writing. I hope to make some changes here and be here more often. I’m happy when I’m here. And I hope you’re happy when I show up.

So, get outside, hug your family and enjoy.

JJN

Monday Monday

It’s Monday morning. The world thawed out this weekend and I’m pretty sure we even hit 40 degrees. There was a lot of hockey this weekend, a bit of sledding, lots of cooking, a rocking game of bowling and a bit too much wine. photo[2]So between soggy snow pants and a crock pot full of chunky tomato soup, I’d call it a good weekend.

1/52

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I’m joining Erin for a year of 52 weeks.

This week you:

• had so much fun with your classmates at a birthday party

• declared Daddy to be the best fort builder, and spent many an hour building them

• cuddled on your bed with a book and pretzels and “read”

• rode “Fancy” the unicorn around and around and around

• tried to teach Bogey how to use the iPad.. you were very patient

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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And while I’m sick of everyone talking about it, I still have to say, IT’S &&^%$# COLD OUT THERE!. When I’m inside I can almost forget how cold it is out there, until the house “knocks” again and I bolt off the couch. Or when I have to let the dogs out, with the encouraging words, “Be brave, come right back.” Or like this morning when I had to actually make the walk to the garage and sit in a cold-ish car for the 20 minute drive to work. I took husband’s car for the seat warmers, but I don’t think they even warmed up enough by the time I got here. I parked in the center of the parking ramp, between two other cars, hoping to protect the car from the wind of the outside world. I’m safely inside right now, but in a few hours I’ll have to go back out there.

It will be this cold for roughly 48 hours and by this weekend it will be close to above freezing. For many that still sounds cold. But for us folks around here, it means many will be jogging in shorts or sledding in t-shirts. I’ll just be happy to not cough as soon as I get outside.

Stay warm, folks. This, too, shall pass.

2014 Reading List

 

Just a few of the books that I hope to read this year:

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Good Poems for Hard Times*, edited by Garrison Keilor

The Memoir Project*, by Marion Roach Smith

Monument Road, by Charlie Quimby

A Writer’s Time*, by Kenneth Atchity

Ready for Air*, by Kate Hopper

The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage, edited by Caroline M Grant and Lisa Catherine Harper

I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai

* I may have started a few already…

Just Write: Another Showing

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I’ve been missing from this place. Have you noticed? I have. I had major deadlines at work last week, but finally on Thursday things were quiet. Then the weekend hit and there were outings and ice times and hockey games and a showing. Now it’s Monday night and I’m finally able to sit down with myself and write.

Tomorrow we are having yet another showing. I have no idea how many groups have been through our home, but they keep coming. And while we have a contingent offer, we’re still able to show the house in hopes that a stronger offer comes in. Eventually it will. Eventually we’ll be done and we’ll pack and we’ll haul our stuff across town. Yet, we have no idea where that place will be across town. Or when.

It makes it hard to plan ahead. It makes it hard to find a school. It makes it hard to think of anything that’s more than 30 days out. And if you know me you know I like to plan ahead. Yes, even sometimes beyond those 30 days. It makes everything feel like it’s on hold.

Half our stuff is in storage. Photo albums, toys, cake pans, random bits of our lives that we’re missing but don’t realize aren’t here. Most of those things could probably stay in storage forever and we wouldn’t care, but it’s the little things that I miss. My paints, Daughter’s doll house, those cake pans.

And someday we will unpack it. We’ll enter a house that is empty and bare and we’ll gradually make it our own. My easel and paints and sewing machine and supply of paper will find it’s way back to me. Daughter’s doll house and zip car and pipe cleaners will land in her new playroom. Those cake pans and the immersion blender and all those fancy champagne flutes will be unwrapped and lined up neatly. Somewhere. Someday. Somehow.

Meanwhile we wait. We wait.

Falling into Winter

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Before Daughter was born I loved setting my clocks back in the fall. I loved that suddenly I could wake up to the sun rising, rather than heading off to work in the dark. I loved that I got that one extra hour to do whatever I wanted. Usually I would just sleep later, but there were years where I would get up early to read or write or head to the gym. When Daughter was born I didn’t realize just how much the time change can effect a little one. The first year that we set the clocks back daughter was only 6 months old and barely on a schedule. But years since, in both spring and fall, the time change wrecks our schedule. This year was no different.
Saturday night I went out with my teammates after our first game and I stayed out later than I should have, knowing I had “an extra hour.” I asked Husband to put Daughter to bed a little late since we had “an extra hour.” Recently she’s been sleeping in later on the weekends. And when I say later, I mean she’s waking up around 7 or 730. Most mornings we can pull her into our bed and keep her quiet with an iPad. But this morning, this morning that granted me “an extra hour,” she woke up at 5am. FIVE IN THE MORNING! To my internal clock it was 6am. But still, SIX AM? That’s still too early. So this year, I spent “my extra hour” lying in Daughter’s bed telling her it was “still the middle of the night” and “it’s much too early to get up.” And when she told me  she could “see a 7” on the clock I told her that “The clock isn’t right.” and “We need to set it back”.
None of this made sense to her.
It made perfect sense to me.
So when the clock, or my watch, which was already set, read 6:15 I took that opportunity to head back to my own bed with Daughter and I handed her the iPad.
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Beyond Mondo Beyondo: This is in response to a writing prompt from a group of wonderful bloggers I met through Mondo Beyondo. To see what they wrote about “A change in the seasons,” see below”

Just Write: Beyond Mondo Beyondo

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I wrapped up the Mondo Beyondo course I was taking just over a week ago. Or maybe longer. Has it really been two weeks?

And it was actually pretty amazing. I didn’t know what to expect. I had taken online classes before, mostly writing classes, but nothing so “dreamy.” Is that the right term? I just went into it with my eyes and ears and open. And I’m so glad I did.

It was freeing. And it was hard. And I walked away knowing a little more about myself than I did five weeks earlier. I also walked away connected to a new group of strong, powerful, hard-working, fun-loving women.

A few of us are writing each other letters. On paper. With pens. That we’ll actually send in the mail. I got my first letter today (Thanks, Brenna) and it was a joy to read. I can’t wait to sit down with a mug of tea and write to these women.  And to write about the experience.

xoxoxoxo