Monday, July 6, 2020

Weekly Update: Monday again?

For whatever reason, I lost track of what day it was and could have sworn that today was Sunday. Turns out that I was wrong...ahh well...I guess that's what happens when your daily routine is so...routine.

I don't really have any grand updates for today. Work is going well. I have 4 books on my desk right now. I'll finish one of them tomorrow. I'm really glad that people are coming to me with their work. I love what I do, even when it's hard for my brain to do it. It's also allowed for me to have a bit more financial freedom. I've been able to keep gas in my car and even splurge by going out for breakfast once in a while. This past weekend it allowed me to buy 9 books from a series that I love and have wanted to own since I was a child. When the owner offered to sell them to me at below what she could get, I wanted to hug her.

Next week, my book comes out and I have to admit that I'm nervous. What if nobody buys it? I so hope that people buy it. I put so much of myself into it. It means so much to me as a writer and as a mom. I've already said I'll have the next book out by December, but it's going to drag me down if this one doesn't sell. I'm not expecting best seller, but I have a dream of selling 100 copies. The ebook is available on pre-order now. I need to remember to order the author copies that I want to give to my illustrator and a few other people. I wish I could give one to Rob, but he's still not talking to me. It still hurts, a year later, that I lost my best friend. I think of him constantly. All I can do though is keep moving forward the best that I can.

Speaking of moving forward, the kickstarter is edging closer to funded. It still has a long ways to go and I'm nervous that it won't fund. Nick takes it so personally when they don't. I need to come up with some creative ways to spread the word and hopefully get some more eyes on it. I'm not really good at that sort of thing, but I do need to try. Tristan and the gang are like my own characters. I've been with them so long and their story deserves to be told. I already pledged so I hope others do too.

All of this promoting, combined with the weather, and who knows what else still has me totally exhausted. I sleep for at least 12 hours and then often take a 3 hour nap. It's frustrating and I wish I knew why I was bone tired all the dang time. I have no energy for anything. There's lots to do but I'm just not doing it. I'm forcing myself to do a podcast here in a bit to try to promote some more. Did I mention that I'm not good at promoting? I do it because Nick doesn't do podcasts and neither does Veronica so far as I can tell. I somehow became the mouthpiece for the group. Plus, nobody else is promoting my book so someone has to do it.

I guess that's it for this week. I did notice that the number of folks reading here has dropped and that makes me the tiniest bit sad but I'm so thankful to those of you who come back week after week to check in with me and see what's up. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time and take care of yourselves.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Weekly Update: So Tired

I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't know if it's depression or what.  All I do is sleep. Like last night I went to bed around midnight and finally dragged myself out of bed at 1:30pm. I'm writing this 45 minutes later and all I want to do is lay down and go back to sleep. I don't feel particularly down but this is where I am.

I guess I am a little bit overwhelmed. I've reached another stage of everything is breaking. My kitchen floor has dangerous soft spots that we've blocked off with boxes so people don't step there. My couch has developed a hole that sucks the cushion right in. If that's not enough, yesterday, at some point, the front fell off of the air conditioner in my bedroom and snapped off one of the knobs. Now, don't get me wrong, none of these are to the dire stage and they can be handled. It's just a lot to happen all at once, I guess.

Have I mentioned that I'm tired? Ugh. It's actually really annoying. There are things that need doing and I just don't have the energy to even attempt them. Starting today, I'm going to make sure that I'm in bed by midnight. Maybe having a set bedtime will help me regulate things. I honestly don't know.

Being this tired is affecting everything, like writing this post. I have no idea really what to write because all I can think is how I want to just lay down and nap. It's crazy. I know that my body does not require this much sleep. I can only guess that it's some kind of depression because when Roger was here I didn't have this much trouble staying awake. Sure, I was tired, but not to the point of being zombie like.

I guess I'm going to give up on writing this post. Nothing major has happened within the last week except us launching our Kickstarter for the last part of Awakenings. That for sure has added to my feeling of being overwhelmed. My own book comes out in about two weeks and I'm not promoting it at all because I'm promoting the KS. I wish Nick hadn't chosen to overlap them. A small part of me is upset with him because he knew my release date and went ahead. No use dwelling on it though. It is what it is and hopefully we'll fund soon so I can stop thinking about both at the same time.

For now though...I'm going to go post about the Kickstarter and how awesome of a book it is. (It really is.) Take care of you and each other.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Weekly Update: The Evening Edition

Well, it's Monday again. They seem to come so fast. I swear it was just Monday a day or so ago and here it is again. Things are better. I wouldn't say 100% but it only feels half weird to smile now. That's progress. I'm doing well enough that I can work again which is a relief. It was terrible to look at a manuscript and suddenly feel as if I had no idea what I was doing. I ended up going over one book twice and was horrified by the number of things I'd missed when things were at their worst. Now, I'm back on top with that and I've been blessed to have a number of projects come in. I'm currently booked until the end of the month which is super exciting.

My house, on the other hand, is not top of the world. When things were bad, I let things slide. It's amazing how far things can slide in as short of a time as just a couple of weeks. Roger will be here on Wednesday so I'm going to have him take out some trash that I've put together and get the can out to the road for Thursday's pick up. That should help some. I haven't seen him in a couple of weeks so it will be nice to have him here. Plus, the weather isn't supposed to be atrocious so he won't melt in his bedroom. If it gets bad, I'll give him my room with the a/c unit and sleep on the couch.

As for his brother, he's still working a lot of hours. He also just registered for his first college class. I'm nervous about it, but I know he'll work hard. Today he also started physical therapy. For those that don't know, he has cerebral palsy and it affects his muscles and tendons quite a bit. He's gotten really tight and has weakness in certain areas. Since today was his first appointment, he asked me to go with him to fill out/explain the paperwork for him. He wanted to make sure they'd be able to read it. The appointment was mostly an assessment and he was sent home with stretches to do each day. I really hope that it helps him. I want him to have things as easy as he possibly can. Starting the first week of July, he'll be going twice a week.

I guess that just leaves me. I have a few books that I want to get started on this week. I'd also like to get at least one room whipped back into shape. I'm co-hosting a show on YouTube tomorrow night. I also need to grocery shop and there's been a request for me to do a "State of the Walmart" address after. My book comes out in a few weeks so I need to promote that. Nick is launching a new kickstarter for Awakenings this week so I'll be promoting that too. And my favorite thing? My new drawers for Lego sorting should be here tomorrow so I can finish sorting out the Lego that I bought over the weekend at a garage sale.

Other than that? A shower would be nice....and trying to forget that my uncle's funeral is tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Weekly Update: Numb

Have you ever seen those commercials for Bipolar medication where they talk about how bipolar depression is different? That it can leave a person feeling numb? That's where I've spent most of the past week. Absolutely numb. I don't seem to feel joy, sadness, anything. I've either slept or laid on the couch watching tv. I've not been on social media...and the only ones to notice? My kids. Both have texted or called to see what's up. Nobody else has reached out. If I were feeling anything, that would bother me.

On Friday, I found out that my uncle died. The one that I actually liked until he broke his word to me. I know I should feel something, but I don't. Even if I could, I'd have mixed feelings. The one thing that broke through the numb was the anxiety of attending his funeral. I won't be going. I might send flowers. After all, I'm not a heartless bitch. Not that I owe any of them anything. I don't.

Have you ever wanted to smile but it felt wrong or unnatural? I'm dealing with that too. I watched react videos last night and I'd have these little tugs of smiles but they were mere flashes. They felt uncomfortable.

On top of everything, I ran out of grocery money two weeks ago. That's what I get for shopping like a normal person and not someone poor as hell. I managed to stretch things out until the end of the week but since then I've been eating one meal a day and mostly because I make myself go and pick something up. Subways 2 for 1 subs have come in handy. I'm spending money I shouldn't but it's that or starve. The grocery store is 15 miles away and I need gas in my car. Again, I feel like I should feel something about this...worry...something...but I don't. It's just four more days until I have grocery funds again. I had 3 oreos (found a package in my car that I forgot I bought for the boys) and some water for breakfast.

I should work today. I made a to do list yesterday, but the reality is that there's not much point. I'd end up redoing it all anyway. Honestly, just turning on my laptop felt like a big deal today. I don't really want to be behind it. I want to just lay down again. If my bladder didn't insist, I don't know that I'd get out of bed. I guess it's good that I have no desire to wet the bed...I care about that much.

Sleep is hard at night. My brain relives every bad thing that it can think of. They don't hurt...because I'm numb, but it's hard to sleep. The past couple of nights it's been how the three men that I've loved most in my life all moved on and are with other women. They're all happy. I'd think about the happy times and then the moments when they'd betrayed me. It's an ugly place inside my head. Maybe that's why I then sleep during the day...often until 4pm or later. I'm protecting myself from myself.

Anyway, I wish I had better things to say, but the reality is that I'm not sure why I'm writing this other than to force some normalcy into my world. Everything became just too much and I feel wrapped up in cotton wool...perhaps just trying to block out the outside world.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Weekly Update: Better

I can't believe that it's Monday again. I look back over the past week and it seems like nothing happened...maybe that's what's caused the days to blend together. Maybe I should rephrase that. So much has been happening in the US and around the world. Not much has happened in my personal sphere.

I don't really want to get into the country's events. I'll just say that they've horrified me and overwhelmed me. I can't wrap my brain or my heart around what I'm seeing. I don't understand how anyone could treat others with less than dignity and respect. Even living in the middle of nowhere, it's affected me and those around me. My children see it happening and are equally horrified. I have to explain to my special needs son what's happening in a way that he can understand. It's a scary time and I encourage you to stand up, be heard, but also, please be as safe as you possibly can.

As for personally? Let's see...last Tuesday Ben and I went to see his orthotist who repaired his afos for him. So, after probably four to five months, he's back wearing those. He starts physical therapy later this month and I truly hope that it helps him. His muscles have tightened up and he really needs for them to loosen up some.

Wow...was my week really that dead? I worked on a new client's book. It was tougher than usual because the humidity and everything going on was just sucking the focus out of me. The village decided to replace all the drain pipes on my block so that was fun. For a couple of days I had an 8' trench in front of my house and across my driveway. Today they were out packing down the dirt and it's so dry that I honestly went outside concerned that something was on fire. Turns out it was just the dust clouds.

Oh! Something good...I did an interview yesterday and while I have no idea how many people were tuned in, I had a good time and plan to do another one next month just 9 days before my book releases. Speaking of that, in August, I might have an in-store reading/signing. Someone that I know is opening a pop culture collectible store front and he'd like me to come out. I'm a bit concerned with the up front costs involved (table covering, books, print outs, crayons, etc) but I have to dive in at some point and take advantage of every opportunity that comes along. My goal is to do library readings, check into bookstores in the area, and eventually start doing conventions. I have friends who want to table near me which will be fun...of course, none of them are local. Still, what better reason to travel then to spend time with friends and sell a few books along the way?

I guess that's it, guys. I know that this wasn't an exciting update, but it really was a dull yet overwhelming week. The highlight (other than the interview) was taking an afternoon and doing nothing more than building Lego. I could spend a lot of days doing that...

So, for now, take care of yourselves and each other. Stand up for the good and don't tolerate the bad. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and be safe....

Monday, June 1, 2020

Weekly Update: Rollercoaster Ride

My god, what a week this past week has been. What a mess our country is. I'm not going to get into all of that because my god, how do you begin to unwrap that? Other than...stop being assholes, people. We all have a right to be who we are and what we are. That's that. Let's try to unwrap my week...

I spent a lot of last week trying not to melt in the humidity that comes with summer around here. Yep, I know, it was/is still spring, but it didn't feel like it. It felt like we just plain skipped over spring. Wearing a mask was miserable, but I did it anyway. Also, I'm happy to report that my almost panic attacks while wearing the mask have lessened. Maybe it's like some sort of forced therapy. Either way, I'd rather wear it than not.

The big news from this past week was that I received the proof copy of my book. I've never been so excited/nervous at the same time, I don't think. Opening it was like ...Christmas morning. I was nervous that it'd be a mess, but it was beautiful. All of the images were in the right spot and look amazing. My friend, Eric, did such an amazing job with them. I actually did a livestream of me opening the package and showing it off. That was fun. Quite a few people popped in and everyone seems to be really excited for me. I hope they're that excited for the book too.

Bonus for the week was that Ben was able to spend the weekend here. We were mostly lazy, but I did get more of my studio done and tackled some of a new client's project. I also got my plants into planters. I didn't buy a lot this year simply because finances won't allow it and Walmart is pretty slim pickings. Still, I have 3 tomato plants (one might not make it. It's pretty sad looking.), a planter with some flowers in it, 2 types of thyme and a sage plant. I may try to dig out the flower bed along the side of the house and see about planting some tulips or something there in the fall. All of the beds are a total disaster and half of my tire planters have trees in them now. I'm not sure what to do about that. It'll probably require hiring a professional to come and take them out. Ick.

Now, on the downside for the week...Well, y'all know what's happened and I won't rehash it. I will say though that it has my anxiety spiking really high. It's hard to sleep because my brain gets in a loop of what ifs. Last night I didn't sleep worth anything and then was woken up around 7:30am because they were working on something out in front of my house. I have no idea what. They're going to be digging up the drain pipe and clearing it out, but I'm in the middle of the block so it makes no sense to start there. Either way, they were loud enough that I didn't get to go back to sleep when I badly needed it. Just have to keep on pressing on, I guess.

Roger will be here soon and I'd like to be about done with work when he gets here, so time for me to sign off for now! If, on the off chance, you'd like to check out my book, there's a pre-order for the ebook up on Amazon now. That and the print version will release on July 14th (which happens to be my anniversary).

As always, talk to me if you need an ear...mine are available...

Monday, May 25, 2020

Weekly Update: Steamy

Holy crow, y'all! We got a whole bunch of rain and now it's hot and steamy. It's too dang early for this! We skipped over Spring and jumped right into summer and I'm not a happy girl. My house is old, has like no insulation and no air conditioning. I've already got our two fans running (our other fans broke) and I'm typing this in the dark. Have I mentioned that I'm not a fan of hot, sticky days?

Let's move on to something happier, eh? I had my live reading (via Facebook live) on Thursday evening and while it wasn't a huge turn out (6 consistent, a few others popped in and out), I think that it went really well. I had a couple of people ask when the book is being released and someone said that they thought that I should narrate children's books. That's a pretty nice compliment. So, I'm happy with it. Relieved that I never have to do a "first" one of those! There's a decent chance that I'll do one more live reading before the book is released, but I haven't totally decided when and what story.

Speaking of live readings though, I've tentatively set up my first in store reading for later this summer. Someone that I know is opening a collectibles shop and wants to do monthly events and is interested in me coming in and reading to local kids. I'd also bring along coloring sheets and crayons for the kids. I think it would be fun so I'm hesitantly looking forward to that.

Let's see...what else? I haven't made a decision regarding the job that I was approached with. I can't see a single reason not to take it, other's not clicking with me. Maybe it's because I want to focus more on writing my own books (and blurbs). My editing business is also doing well right now so I don't want to take away from my clients. I'm still thinking on it though so we'll see what happens.

I do think that I have decided to take on the show on Indie Volt. I'm not quite sure who my guests will be or what the show will be, but it's a good way to get my name out there more. It's something to keep contemplating at least.

Things are okay here. We're all healthy and right now, that's a big deal. I had some drama yesterday with someone who took advantage of my being a helper. I've learned my lesson with him though and he won't be getting any more free work/consultations from me again. It's disappointing when people reveal themselves to be total asses, but they're out there and I happened to trip over one.

As for this week, it's a keep on keeping on kind of week. I have to take Ben to the orthopedist tomorrow and other than that, I'm home and working. I've got books to do for clients and that studio isn't going to finish itself. I also have to go to the post office to mail out some comics and Lego minifigs to folks who lost things in the recent floods. I hope that they bring smiles to people's faces. I'm happy to help in any small way that I can.

Now I think I'm going to make some lunch (something cold!) and then continue working. I think I'll also have to convince my cat that the fan isn't for him and he has to share...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Bonus Post: Freaking Out

Guys, I don't know if it's the caffeine talking or what, but I'm spazzing a bit tonight. As some of you know, I have my very first book (Tales From the Toy Store) coming out this summer. I'm very close to having it completed. I'm just waiting for the illustrator to finish the cover and write up his bio. Then, I insert those and send it off to Amazon where it will be published. After I go over a proof copy, it will be ready for print.

All this is great and exciting...except when it becomes an anxiety fueled "fun fest."  I'm being reminded that comic/geek podcasts won't want me on as guests because what I'm "selling" isn't their audience. This means stepping out of the industry that I've been hiding on the fringes off and trying to find podcasts that are interested in supporting children's authors. I'm sure it's as simple as doing some research, but I'm freaking out about it. The podcasts I could do now are done by friends, people I'm comfortable with.

I'm going into a spiral of oh god, what if I can't find an audience for this book? What if nobody buys it? What if I'm a total failure?

Then, as if that's not enough, tonight I was offered a video podcast of my own if I want it. I could make it about whatever I wanted but it was suggested that I do one where I bring on indie novelists. Create my own space to talk about this kind of thing. I could do it...I could fit it into my schedule...I know a few people I could have on as guests, but what do we talk about? My interviews have always been silly in nature and done in a matter of minutes. Could I somehow take that concept and make it a popular show segment? I don't know.

Did I mention that I was approached by someone about taking a job this summer writing blurbs for other people's books? This is something I profoundly am not good at...okay, I'm mediocre at it, I just like to think I suck. I was assured though that they would train me to write them in the style that they use. It's not as if I can't learn. It's not as if I couldn't use the money. My business is doing okay, but I'm always looking for new projects and new clients for during the quiet times.

So much feels as if it's flying at me all at once and while none of it is bad, it's a bit overwhelming and I don't know what to do. I'm frozen from making decisions or progress. I really don't like when I get this way. I'm sure that y'all understand. It's also bedtime but because I'm wound up, I won't sleep.

Anyway, tomorrow is the next big day for my book. I'm going to be doing a live reading of the first story that I wrote for the book. It also happens to be the first story in the book. I'm worried that nobody will be there. How can I raise excitement if nobody listens? See what I mean? Spiral. I can't let myself do this. I need to pull it together and make some decisions. I need to find my way through this.

I need for this book to do well. I'm not looking for NYT best seller. I'm looking for sells more than 50 copies. 100 copies would be a dream come true. It would be proving to myself that I could do this. It would be proving to me that I really am a writer and a good one. I want to write for the rest of my life and it starts with this book.

Deep breathes...I can get through this and tomorrow will be a new days to start making new steps, right?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Weekly Update: Rain, Rain, Go Away

Whew! It's been raining and raining and raining. My neighborhood is flooded. My yard never floods and the side yard is standing water. Luckily, we don't have a functional basement (we have a Michigan basement) so nothing is damaged here, but I'm seeing posts from folks saying they've lost entire comic collections and such. Ugh! I'm sending some of mine to one of those folks...he lost something like a few thousand comics. I'm not sure mine will help, but if he doesn't want them, I won't be upset if he finds a new home for them.

Speaking of new homes, my external hard drive didn't arrive on time (what does these days?) so instead of backing up files, etc, I started tackling my studio..known around here as "the wall". Holy crow, I feel as if I may never finish. I've spent probably a good twelve hours in there already and it's nowhere close to done. This is what happens when you never properly set up a room and then let it become the junk room. I've hauled out 2 bags of trash, multiple broken cardboard boxes, and have 3 boxes of things set aside for Goodwill. On top of that, I have an entire tote filled with scrapbooking supplies/books that I'd like to sell. Did I mention that I'm nowhere close to done yet? It's insane how much I shoved into one room. Still, I'm determined to make it a functional space again so all I can do is keep going whenever I have the chance.

It can be overwhelming though. I know that when I was in there over the weekend, I'd get one little section done and then just look around, stuck. My youngest was trying to encourage me by telling me that I was doing a good job, but then would get completely frustrated with me when I'd say thank you, but there's still.... I can't say that I blame him. He doesn't understand what it's like to get that overwhelmed (thank goodness). Hopefully, by the time he comes back over again (no idea when that will be), the room will be much more progressed (or done) and we can just enjoy the space. If nothing else, I now have a space where I can sit my laptop to work. In fact, at some point this week, I'll be taking my old laptop in there, attaching the external drive and let it sit there and run backups so that I can move things to my new laptop.

That's one of about a billion things that I have to get done this week. I seriously have a to do list that spans an entire sheet of paper and I keep thinking of other things that I need to add to it. So far, I've gone to the post office to pick up a package. That's it. So, I suppose that I ought to wrap up this post so that I can see what's next. At least I won't be able to complain that I'm bored, right?

Now, don't think I forgot...I want to know how all of you are doing. Are you hanging in there still? Struggling? You're not alone. I have my good days and my bad days, but on every day, I'm happy to listen.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Weekly Update: Not Much New

Here we go...Monday again. This is week...umm...9? that we've been on stay home, stay safe. Honestly, I've totally lost track. The days blend into each other when you're pretty much doing the same thing every day. Last week was pretty much get up, eat breakfast, play Animal Crossing for a few minutes and then spend the next few hours working on a book for a client. This week will be the same except swap out book for graphic novel. I'm happy to still be working, and routine can be good, but I'm ready to mix it up a bit. How I have no idea.

Roger has been here and it's been nice. He's helped me with a few things around the house but mostly it's just been nice to be around another person. He goes back to his dad's house on Thursday (his little brother's birthday) and I don't know when he'll be back. His stepmother has decided to start charging him rent and he's in the process of looking for a job. Once he starts working, it'll be harder for him to get over here. I'm still hoping for a weekend or a couple of days with all three boys so we can do the barn clean out. It's a project that I just can't do on my own.

Speaking of projects, last week I had my cover reveal for my book. I got a lot of support which was really exciting. I'm hoping that when I launch it, a lot of people pick it up for their kids. It's not about the money, but more about seeing my "baby" out there in the world. I'm just waiting for Eric to finish the cover and to send me his bio. Once I have those, I can upload it and get a proof copy to make sure I didn't mess anything up. I suspect something will be wonky, but no way of knowing until I make those steps.

So like this post says, not much new. I did a bit on the house, not much, but it's still forward momentum. There's still a ton to do so I suspect you'll be hearing about that for a while. My hope is that the weather is nice next week and I can tackle my front porch. I'll be inventorying those tubs to hopefully get them gone and doing some planting, I think. I also have that wheeled cart to assemble. It's sitting out there stacked in pieces. Not exactly useful. I also need to hack away at the bushes and trees that have outgrown their spaces. Actually, I wish I could remove the trees. They don't belong there, but I have no way of doing that so I just keep cutting the branches off. It doesn't do a lot of good, but makes me feel like I'm trying.

And I guess that's it for this week...not the most thrilling update, huh? Maybe next week I'll have more fun things to tell you about. For now though, stay safe, wear your masks, wash your hands, and hang in there. We'll get through this, but we can't get lazy about it.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Weekly Update: A Day Early...

It's only Sunday, but it turns out that this coming week is going to be a week of put my head down and work, work, work. I didn't want to not post so here I am a day early.

Not much has changed from last week to this. Not surprising, eh? I mean, we're all in the same boat. Honestly, I'm okay with riding this out for the most part. I'd rather be inconvenienced and have some down days than watch those that I love die. I really believe that we're opening too early and bad things are going to happen. I've ordered masks to take the next step in our protection and we're just hanging in there.

Speaking of, Ben and Roger have been here this weekend. Other than the occasional brotherly bickering, it's been really nice. We've tackled a few small projects which has helped. One of them was cleaning out the deep freeze. Ick. It got turned off at some point so it was a bit of a chore to get it cleaned out. I'm still waiting for some of the ice to thaw so that I can wipe it out. Once I've done that, I'll list it on local sales sites to see if anyone is interested. I think that Roger and I can move it out onto the front porch. I'm only going to ask $50 for it so hopefully it sells quickly. It never hurts to have that extra little bit of cash in your pocket. I also have a flute that I'm going to sell for $75. It doesn't take up much space but it really should be being used, not just collecting dust around here.

The living room is finally feeling like a living room. I have to tidy the bookshelves, clear one more space and then attempt to figure out how to store all of the books/comics that I still need to read for reviews. I'm so far behind that there's quite the stack. I also need to mail out some books that people purchased for me and perhaps just list boxes of books on freecycle or local groups. I need to clear out what I know is going. We took 2 bags and a box out to the barn yesterday that will go to Goodwill once they open again. I got tired of looking at them in the house.

For Mother's Day, I've asked the three boys for a workday so that maybe we can tackle the barn. It's full of just stuff. Some can go, but quite a bit just needs to be organized into bins so that we can find things when we need them. It might be tough to coordinate a day where none of them are working, but I'm hopeful that we can finally tackle that project. It's a big one.

So, fingers crossed that things sell and that things can get done. It's so much easier to get through this time when I feel as if I'm being productive. I'm still missing people tons, but that's just going to have to be what it is. It's not worth the risk right now to mingle and there's no way I can travel to see "the man" right now. I'll just have to keep the course with cleaning, my work, and keeping in touch with folks the best I can.

How are all of you doing? Are you hanging in there? Let me know!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Weekly Update: Another Day at Home

Just when I think I'm handling all of this well, something happens that reminds me that I'm more sensitive right now to certain things than I might be otherwise. Yesterday, I popped into a friend's livestream. Nothing exciting there, right? Well, this is a friend who I'd been trying to have a one on one video chat with for a few days and he was always too busy to do it. Then, when I joked in the chat that I had been hoping to have that chat with him, he pointed out (to everyone) that this was a chat and it didn't always have to be about one on one and I was selfish. Now, he was joking. I knew he was joking, but it still hurt enough that I was in tears. I knew I was being sensitive and yet, maybe, at the same time, he was being insensitive. He talked about how if anyone needed something just like what I'd asked for, just to let him know. How come then he wasn't making it happen for me? I dunno. I don't want to dwell too much on it. It's probably best to just move on. Still though, it did show me that I'm lonelier than I realized and missing human connection.

I haven't seen "the man" since August and with everything that's going on, there's no knowing when we'll see each other again. With the stress of everything, he's gone quieter than usual and that's wearing a bit on me too. I'm not upset with him, just missing him tons. Our anniversary is coming up in July and it's looking less and less like we'll spend it together. I want us to be safe but man, this sucks.

One thing that doesn't suck are my kids. This weekend, at least for one night, I'll have them both here. It's so tough with everyone's schedule, but Roger will be finished with exams and Ben has a four day weekend off from work. I'll be picking Ben up on Thursday and then Roger on Saturday. I don't know if Dillon will come. I thought he was going to fit in with our family, but he doesn't seem to have much interest. That's his choice but I had hoped for something different.

So, I'll have the kids and that's something I'm looking forward to. I want to do a bit more house tidying before they get here. I'm really proud of what I have done, but I need to go back to former rooms and do maintenance. I don't know if I'll get much past there because I've had quite a few client jobs come in and I need to focus on those. I'm really thankful that I'm still working. So many folks aren't. Still, another stimulus isn't something I'd say no to. Money disappears quickly when you're feeding more than just yourself.

Now, that's a lot of paragraphs about me. How are all of you doing? Are you hanging in there? What good has happened for you during all of this? Please don't hesitate to leave a comment or reach out. After all, we're all in this together.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Weekly Update: Shopping, Grass, and Life

Sometimes the hardest thing about these posts is figuring out what to call them. Today I went with what's happening in my day. It started out with going to Walmart to pick up groceries. Nothing exciting there. People were doing pretty well with their social distancing and most people were wearing masks. I wasn't because the ones that I ordered won't be here until Thursday. I promise I'm not taking any of this lightly. It's just that I can only do what I can do.

After shopping, I picked up some lunch and came home. Woo. Talk about an exciting day, eh? Why the grass in the title? Mostly because mine badly needs to be mowed and it can't be. I can't mow and we're not allowed to hire lawn services right now. I totally get it, but man, my lawn is looking a bit jungle like already and it's not even the end of April. I don't want a lift of the restrictions too quickly though. Nobody needs a big spike of sickness and death.

Speaking of death, the man that I considered my best friend for ten years had to put his dog to sleep today and for some reason, I'm feeling a bit numb over the entire thing. I met the dog once and she was a grand pup. We got along famously. I think it's that I watched him replace humans with the dog. She was his best friend. She saved him. He couldn't live without her. It always worried me a little bit. Then, he got a girlfriend and even she posted today that the dog had his whole heart. A piece of me is jealous because she (the girlfriend) replaced me in his life. He no longer needed me. Part of that is due to how I reacted to the news that he was seeing someone seriously. It meant he'd broken a huge promise to me and I kinda lost it. His way of dealing with things is to just not deal with them so I got put onto a shelf. I've been there for a good six months or more at this point and it sucks. I miss him desperately, but all attempts at reaching out to him have been ignored. I haven't been able to figure out how to move on. He broke my heart and I know that today his is broken too. I know that I should feel bad for him, but I'm numb to it...perhaps as a way to protect myself because I know that if I reached out to him again and he ignored me, that it'd hurt me all over again. Deep down though, I mourn along with him. I mourn for the loss of his friendship and I mourn for the loss of something that the truly loved without exception.

Deep breath, right? Let's think about something happier. I've been thinking about starting some seeds. I have a lot of seeds, pots, and three unused bags of garden soil. Seems like a good time to start looking at new life, right? I just have to decide if I want to do flowers, veggies, or a mix of the two. I think I have seeds for both. It'd help clean off my messy front porch and as things come up, it'd cheer up the space.

Speaking of cheering up spaces, I've been working more on the house. The bathroom is looking good. It just needs a couple touches and I've gotten through half of the living room. Sadly, my Dyson died, but Ben had gotten me a new vacuum (for use upstairs) for Christmas, so I'm not totally out a vacuum and this little Bissell is doing a great job. My goal is to finish the living room before Roger comes back in two weeks. Seeing the clean space has really helped keep my spirits up. My one big issue is not having enough room for books. I have a ton of books. The other problem is that there's nowhere to really store the things that I'm going to be getting rid of. I think once I get the freezer emptied and either moved out to the barn or sold, maybe I can stack the bags there. At least it's outside the regular living space. Eventually things will open up again and I can load up the car and drop it all off. No using things being closed as an excuse for living in a less than happy place. I'm taking today off while Ben and I catch up on some tv off the dvr. Tomorrow out next section of living room!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Weekly Update: New Laptop

Happy Monday, everyone! We made it through another week. Not a lot new here except for the device I'm tapping away on this morning. After dealing with a slower than slow and often not responding laptop, I took the income from two projects and bought myself a brand new laptop. It's an Acer Aspire and so far, so good. I'm sure I'll find things that I haven't thought to install on it but so far, I'm just enjoying the speed that I can get things done.

Let's far as house cleaning goes, I have two small areas in the bathroom to do. I had missed them when I created my to do list. I also have a few things to do in the laundry room. I've been waiting for the trash company to bring me a new trash can which they still haven't done. I'm tired of putting it off and since Roger is here with me this week, I can have him haul the bags out to the curb. It's not ideal, but it'll be done.

Next on the house cleaning list is the living room. It's a total tip. The biggest problem is books. There are so many books in this room and nowhere to put them. I can't put them anywhere else in the house because the shelves are all full. I know I should/could purge some of them, but that doesn't help much because the library is closed so I can't put them on the free shelf. Someone suggested stocking the little free libraries but we don't have one here in the village. I could put them in a box on the front porch and just say free...but I'm not in love with the idea of people wandering up to the house. I guess this is something still to brainstorm.

Other than that, not much has been happening. Well, we did move Roger out of his dorm on Friday. By we, I mean me, his girlfriend, and him. His dad and stepmom couldn't be bothered to help. Oh well, it gave me more time with them which is nice. Plus, it's one of those things that he'll remember. I've tried telling his dad about those moments, but his dad doesn't feel like it matters. Ahh well. His loss.

So, all in all, things are going okay here. My spirits are good today which is nice because I was down there for a bit. It's always easier when I'm not here alone. I know a lot of you are feeling that right now. It sucks. This whole thing is taking its toll on all of us. Hang in there though. It won't last forever and we'll come out of this stronger than ever. I believe in us, even on the rough days.

Until next week...

Monday, April 6, 2020

Weekly Update: Migraine (Ouch!)

Hi, all! I don't know how long this post is going to be. I woke up this morning with a migraine which is putting everything that I had planned for today on hold. Have to take care of myself though, right? That and if I don't take some downtime, it'll just get worse and that is certainly something that I can live without.

So, how are all of you doing? Tired of being on lockdown? Sick of every video game that you own? Can't concentrate on reading? Yeah, I get that. A friend of mine and I just went back to playing Everquest 2 and I'm so glad that he decided to. It gives me something to do and some social time with him because we chat as we play. I hope it holds his interest for a while because it's really helping me get through this time.

I have been trying to read, but man, it's just hard to hold focus like that. It's good for me though. As a writer, I feel like I should be supporting other writers. I just started a book called When the Stars Fade. The prologue was pretty good so hopefully the book is too. I do love the title. I have a tough time creating titles. I wonder how many other people do too...

Speaking of doing what others are doing, I've also been cleaning my house. I think I mentioned that last week. So far, I've worked on the laundry room and the bathroom. This week is all about finishing those two rooms and maintaining them. Maintaining seems really hard for me sometimes, but I'm enjoying the freshness of those spaces and would like to keep them that way.

The toughest part is not being able to get rid of stuff that I want to donate. Nothing is open for donations so the bags keep building up inside of my house which doesn't help anything. Heck, I can't even return my cans and bottles to the store. It's frustrating because each of those trash bags is taking up valuable real estate inside of my house. Maybe if I can get more clearing done, I can find a place to stash the bags until all of this is over. It's an idea anyway.

I'm going to look over my list and see if I can't find a couple of low key cleaning things on it to try to tackle today, but I want you to know that I'm here and you can reach out to me any time. We're all in this together.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Weekly Update: Anxiety isn't ruling

Hey, all! It's Monday again! We've all made it through another week of quarantine/lockdown. I'm not going to lie, each week adds a bit more anxiety to my life. I have to go to the store tomorrow and I need to go to one of the larger towns around here and I know that they're "infection rate" is something like 6 times what it is in the county where I live. I don't have masks, gloves, or even antibacterial wipes/gel. It actually has me anxious, but it needs to be done. Once it's done, I'll be back in "hibernation" or at least another week.

I am working off of a daily to do list. Starting last week, on Monday, I've created a daily to do list with five items on it. They range from deep cleaning in the house to project work for clients. The cleaning focuses on a specific room in the house. Last week was the laundry room and it went pretty well. The room isn't done, but it's a lot nicer than it was before. I have plans to empty out the freezer and then sell it for about $50-75. We don't use it. It just takes up space and electricity. Someone else might as well use it. If I had more than Roger here this week, I'd try to get that done and the freezer moved out to the barn until things settle down some. I'm eager to get that space back. But, that's a no go for the moment.

Instead, I'm turning my attention towards the bathroom. It's been ages since it's had a really good deep cleaning. Now that I've cleared some space in my bedroom, I'm going to have Roger take the laundry basket upstairs which will let me move the air conditioner to where that was sitting and out of the way. It should be a lot easier room to do since it's so much smaller so I feel less stressed out about my list(s) than I did when I got to looking at the list I made for myself next week.

I don't know if this kind of thing will help anyone else, but it gives me something else to focus on when my anxiety starts to skyrocket. I can go and do something that I have control over. Sometimes that's all we can do; focus on what we can control. We can control things like washing our hands and keeping our distance from others. I know that it's tough. I'm naturally home most of the time but being told that I can't go out and just do things has made it tough for me.

Please though, be smart, be safe. I don't want to hear about anyone that I know dying from this. The sooner we cooperate and behave ourselves, the sooner this will all be over. I know that we'll make it through this, even though it's incredibly hard right now. Hang in there, my friends and as always, reach out to me if you need someone to talk to.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Weekly (Monthly) Update: Holy Wow...

Gah! Just when I think life is balancing out, there's a global pandemic. I handled the first week or so well. Roger was here and we were finding our new normal. I suppose maybe I ought to back up. Roger, for those who don't know, is my youngest and a college student at Michigan State. The school decided to go to online courses and to send as many students home as possible. For 24 hours, I had Ben and Dylan here. Then, they went to my ex-husband's house and I picked up Roger from college. I really like having him here. At the end of a week though, he decided to go over to his dad's as well with the plan of coming back here in a week.

Well, as of today, that plan is on hold. The governor issued a stay home order. We're allowed to go out to get groceries and things like that, but otherwise, we're to stay put for the next three weeks. You'd think that wouldn't phase me because I normally spend stretches of time like that alone, but it's made me anxious as all get out. I can feel a depression hovering around me. I just want to nap all day. I know I'm not the only one feeling like this.

So, what's a girl to do? Well, I made a list of 5 tasks to get done every day. I decided to tackle my laundry room. It's not in a bad shape, but it could use a bit of a face lift. The litter boxes need changing, shelves need to be wiped down...little things like that. I've broken them down over the week. Next week, I'll make a similar list but the room of focus will be the bathroom. That room needs a good scrub down. Since we're in this situation for three weeks, I'll have to decide which room will come after that. Maybe the living room...or I'll start working my way into "the wall" (aka my studio). I haven't decided yet. Thinking that far ahead freaks me out a bit. One day at a time right now.

Will my list work? It's hard to say but it gives me a focus. I also have client work which once I get started doing holds my attention for as long as I work on it. I guess I need to try to make life as normal as possible right now. One day at a time, one minute at a time, whatever it takes. I'll be doing livestreams on Facebook once a week, I think. Just something to connect with other people. None of us are alone in any of this and it's important for us to remember this.

Take care of yourselves and each other. Stay home. The sooner we all do this, the sooner we can all get together for a huge social dinner...or something...

Much love to everyone out there.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Weekly Update: Chaos

Holy crow, guys...this week has been crazy. Actually, the past 5 days or so. It started on Friday when I stopped at the mailbox to pick up the mail and discovered a notice from the county about past taxes being due and language such as foreclosure and forfeitsure. Since I rent, this sent me into a tizzy. Of course, it was Friday night and Monday was President's Day so nobody could be reached until this morning. Thankfully, the owners had also received a notification and are paying off the bill. They assured me that they won't sell the house out from under me and I can have it for at least a couple more years if I'd like. That's a huge relief. I can focus on downsizing and dehoarding instead of worrying.

As if that wasn't stressful enough though, last night Ben had a basketball game about an hour away. While we were there, it started snowing and by the time I left to head home, the roads were horrible. I was white knuckle driving the entire way home. A chunk of the trip is on the freeway and while we were going slow for the freeway (about 45mph), that didn't stop me from sliding right off when I tapped my break because the person in front of me slowed down. I got lucky. I didn't hit one of the drop offs or a guard rail. I managed to come to a stop just onto the grass and after a few very deep breathes and a small pep talk, I pulled back onto the road. I've rarely been so happy to see my driveway and hear the gps say welcome home in my life.

I could use a few days of low key. It's a busy week though with attending basketball games with Ben and then him, Dylan, and I are driving to South Bend on Saturday to watch Roger perform at Notre Dame with his jazz orchestra. It should be fun, but teenagers can be seriously challenging at times. I'm hoping this isn't one of those times...heh...

Once I get back, it's a bit more basketball while trying to prep to attend C2E2 in Chicago at the end of the week. I have a packing list and I'm slowly trying to collect things up, but it's going to be a hectic week of trying to get the usual things done and prep work. It's been a number of years since I attended this huge event, and I know that my body isn't ready for it, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. It's much easier to network if I leave the house sometimes.

In news of other note, I've upped my medication to a full dosage from the half dose that I've been on for the past six months or so. It was time and I think that it's only due to that increase that I haven't had a complete meltdown over everything. In fact, I've stayed relatively calm (for me anyway) and not spiraled. I'll take it.

Now, I'm off to build a small Lego cat as a reward for writing my posts and being a good girl. Have a great week!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Weekly Update: Making Plans

I started having some eye strain issues last week so I decided it'd be a grand time to take a bit of a screen break. It's totally my fault. I forgot that I ought to be wearing my glasses. Naughty me. But, the time offline was far from wasted. I grabbed a notebook and started making goals for 2020. These aren't New Year's resolutions. They're projects/goals that I'd like to accomplish and I broke each one down into "bite sized" pieces. They range from the house to business to personal. In fact, I'm still working on it when I get a few minutes here and there. Having it has given me a life line so to speak. When I'm anxious and don't know what to do, I have a plan right there in front of me.

Other than that, it's been fairly quiet around here. Ben had his first Special Olympics basketball tournament on Saturday which was fun. His team came in 3rd in their division. He scored twice and was great on defense. I'm super proud of him.

Roger turned 19 today. I can't believe that I'm mom to a 19 year old and a 20 year old. It doesn't seem possible but there they are proving me wrong.

Wow, this post feels really disjointed. I'm getting a headache which I think is causing it. So, for now, I'm going to sign off, make some tacos and then get ready to go take Ben to practice. Y'all have a great week!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Weekly Update: 95%

I'm back! I'm not 100%, but I'd put me at about 95%. I'm finally able to get through the day without having to take a nap. My body would like me to take one, but I'm not having to do it. My cough was gone, but yesterday I had to go out and do some shoveling and clearing off the car. Since then, I've been coughing some again...deep coughs. I hope it's not a sign that something is coming back. Fingers crossed!

On other fronts, I've started working on making sure that I'm taking my medicine every night. I have missed 4 days this month but I'm not beating myself up over it. I'll get back into the routine. I may move my pills up to my bedroom so they're "in my face" at bedtime. I haven't quite decided yet.

The kids are all doing well. Ben is doing Special Olympics basketball and has his first tournament this coming Saturday. Roger had a concert last night and it went really well. Dylan...well, I mostly hear about girls from him. I hope he's applying himself that much to his studies. He's impatient to get to the advanced courses and think the early ones are a waste of time.

I know this is a super short update, but I'm kind of blank as to what to write about today. So, for now...have a grand week and I'll see you soon!

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