Monday, February 23, 2015

Winter is never going to end…

In October everyone is excited to pull out the jackets and hoodies.  They start talking about bonfires and Halloween.  Then it’s the holiday season with turkey and a red suited fat man.  Everyone wants a white Christmas.  They complain if there isn’t snow.  They love the winter and all it brings.  The snowmen, and the ice skating, the snow ball fights and the angels.  The warm toasty fires and nights spent at home celebrating with family. 

Not me.  I hate winter.  I don’t say that lightly.  I Hate winter, which a capital H! 

I see the leaves on the trees begin to change and I get sad.  I mean actually sad, on the inside.  Then they fall to the ground in heaps and piles, which I have to rake and bag and cart away by the truck load.  The garden freezes over and the sweet potatoes are dug up.  That is the last of the fresh produce I will get for months and months.  The grass and then the windows on the car begin to frost over in the mornings, which means I will have to go out to start it early to warm up. The snow and the ice arrive with a vengeance in Ohio and it stays and stays. 

The days are dark and grey.  The nights are blustery and cold.  The wind is brutal.  It weasels its way under coats and sweaters and bites at the skin.  Eyes water and noses run and the winter is still ever present.  It’s January and the snow comes in droves of white.  Ice crusts over everything including power lines and walkways.  I have been in boots for months.  I miss my pretty peep-toe heels, my wedges and my espadrilles, even my flip-flops. Everything is dead, brown and grey. 

February has arrived and the ice has taken me as a casualty time and time again as I slip, slide, and fall my way through the days and days of winter.  My skin is itchy and dry no matter how much moisture I rub into it.  Snow comes again and again and again.  It’s pushed into piles as high as the house and some higher than that.  Salt granules find there way inside my shoes and my car and my home.  Everywhere I turn I find the sharp little crystals from hell as they stab into my cold feet and toes. 

March is almost here.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but I don’t see it yet.  I’m melancholy today with the cold and the winter that is never going to let go of us.  I need the warmth of the sun.  I miss it terribly. 

Come on spring, where are you?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Reading to my Children

I read to my babies.  I read to them, all the time.  It didn’t matter if they were two months old or ten years old.  I read to them.  I was chatting with a new mom the other day.  Her baby was the cutest little girl of about four months old.  I asked her if she was reading to her?  She told me no, that there wasn’t a point at that age as they didn’t understand.

Now, I am not, or at least I try not to be, that person that believes they know everything about everything.  I have learned a lot of thing, but I don’t believe that I know everything, or that I have learned everything.  I learn new things every single day.  However, in this instance, I decided to share what I had learned about reading to babies.   

1.  Babies may not understand the words in the beginning, but they understand the tone you are using.  They hear you.   They listen. 

2.  Babies can see.  Whether unfocused or not, they can see the colors and the shapes.  They can see the words, even if they don’t understand them.  They learn from every single moment of the day. 

3.  Reading time is a time to cuddle and bond and enjoy a quiet moment together.  It’s a chance to sit on mom or dad’s lap and soak in the warmth and the love. 

4.  This one I think is very important.  It’s one that I realized early and put to good use as soon as I could.  Reading is a moment to sit still.  It’s a moment of learning how to sit and be quiet, and be silent for a period of time.  It’s a time to listen.  This is a moment in a parent’s life where you can teach a necessary social manner to a little one, in an easy pain free way that also has an element of enjoyment.  Those children at the restaurants that are running around like wild animals, they may be entertaining for a moment, but in reality, they need to be taught how to sit and good.  Those children in church that the harassed mother has to take out of the service, because they can’t sit quietly, haven’t learned the lesson yet.  It can all start with a simple moment of reading time.  I know it sounds silly, but teaching a child how to sit still and quiet while another is talking will be invaluable to the child.  No it doesn’t start easy.  Babies don’t understand.  You aren’t going to be reading for hours on end and torturing the child to be still for that long.  But starting at a board book that takes a moment or two and progressing through to long and longer periods, will slowly and surely teach more than just reading to a child. 

So, there you have it.  I read to my babies.  As long as they would tolerate it, I would read to them.  My youngest (teenager) would probably love for me to still do it, but with her dance schedule, there simply isn’t time with the books she likes to read.  I do read most of the books that she reads in order for us to talk about them and discuss, but sadly, I don’t physically read to her anymore.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Big Game

Hello people of the blog.  Last week I was noticeably absent.  The tiny dancer and myself were down with the stomach flu from hell.  It would not go away.  It was like the flu only centered in the tummy area.  You’d feel a little better and talk yourself into eating something, and WHAM down you’d go again.  I really wasn’t certain we were going to make it.  We did, after about 6 days.  It really lasted last long. 

As I was so sick last week I didn’t work on anything writing’wise.  I didn’t even read.  I tried, but it was like getting motion sick trying to read.  No thanks.  So, The Full Moon Rises is not done as I really wanted it to be.  I will do my best to catch back up this week and get it finished.

So what do I have on my mind?  The big game of course!

1.  Half-Time:  I’m not a Katy Perry fan. I don’t NOT like her and there a few songs I enjoy but that’s about it.  Now, that being said, when she came out at Half Time riding that giant mechanical lion, I was stupefied.  That was the most fantastic thing I have seen in a long while. I loved it.  I want one!  Seriously, did you see it?  All in all her show was very entertaining.  I was impressed.  I wanted more Lenny, but who didn’t?  Sorry Missy Elliot, you were not exciting and did you actually even sing?  Come on now.  The stage was very cool with its effects and lights and movement.  Yes, I really enjoyed it.  I am shocked, but I did.  Katy Perry, well done. 

2.  Commercials:  As usual, some were good, some were bad, some were stupid, and some annoyed me.  The good:  The Budweiser Ponies and Puppy.  Yes, proof positive I am a girl.  I enjoyed the Dove daddy commercial, until the very last second when I realized it was for Dove Men.  I was not expecting that.  It was Hallmark’esq and then DOVE…weird.  The Viagra/Fiat commercial I felt was stupid and a bit TMI.  The Nationwide one, why?  Yes, it made a point, but why?  Do we always have to make things morbid?  I think after that commercial I stopped watching them.  It ruined it for me.  They are supposed to be fun and silly and you bring in the death of children?  Yeah, didn’t need to see that.  Someone always has to ruin the fun, thanks Nationwide.

3.  The Game:  The whole point of the night.  I tried to read and watched some of the game. Most of the game was well done.  A few bum moments.  A few bad plays.  I’m not a fan of either team, we’re a Pittsburg household, however, I was rooting for the Patriots, because I think the Seahawks are bad sportsman.  Ha!  That sounds funny considering “deflatgate”.  Regardless, I find them to be Ugly people.  I don’t mean by looks either, I mean on the inside.  Not all of them, obviously, but a good handful of them and that tends to ruin the whole team for me.  Then the very last 20 seconds of the game, the Seahawks proved my stance by swinging and throwing punches due to their own stupidity.  Served them right for loosing.  Show some class boys.  Maybe you can win one. 

Today I am working hard on re-re-re-editing Full Moon Rises.  Then I will be making changes and finishing it up to send out to beta readers.  Hopefully, I can get it submitted in the next week or so.  I’ll keep you posted. 

Have a great week!