Friday, April 28, 2017

The Sound of Breaking Glass

There is one sound that I do not like to hear. This is despite the fact that there was a song out by David Bowie called Breaking Glass, and a parody of that song called I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass by Nick Lowe, as well as a movie out called Breaking Glass starring Hazel O'Connor. All are British and the only one that I am vaguely familiar with is the Nick Lowe tune.

This came to my mind when I was putting clean dishes away from the dishwasher the other night. I opened a cabinet door and a glass Pyrex bowl from up above came flying out off of the shelf as if it had the wings of Pegasus. There was no time to catch it. This is also what I do when a volleyball is coming towards me. I duck to avoid being hit. It is called survival, which is probably the main reason that I am the last one picked for a team. Therefore; the shockingly loud crash of breaking glass on the cold, cruel tile floor for some reason brought the tune of Nick Lowe's song to my mind.

I can only tell you that this 3 quart bowl shattered into a kajillion pieces. Possibly there were three large pieces about one inch by two inches. The rest were shards of glass and splinters of glass. This required quick reaction time from my husband and I due to the fact that our 6 month old Golden Doodle was very close by. I, at least had shoes on, my husband did not, so I grabbed Davis, our puppy, by his collar to lead him away from the glass and to my husband for safe keeping. He needed to be held and kept away while I started clean up process. The clean up procedures were actually an easier task than trying to keep a very curious puppy entertained.

Some of the glass flew over 8 - 10 feet from where it originally had fallen. My mind went into overdrive, thinking about what I remembered reading on how to clean up shattered glass. I started with a broom and dustpan. I was hearing the words of, "NEVER, use a vacuum cleaner for glass pick up. It will ruin the vacuum cleaner and also have the effect of shooting out pieces of glass from the roller which will cause an even bigger problem." 

Of course, this happened after the sun went down so we were working with only the kitchen and breakfast room lights, some under the cabinet lights, plus the dining room lights. What we needed was a powerful search light; the kind they use in movies to stake out criminals hiding. 100 watt bulbs here and there just did not seem bright enough in my opinion.

Thinking that I had swept up most of it, I took a turn with entertaining Davis, so that another pair of eyes could come in and look to see whatever I had missed. Steve found plenty more. It is amazing how it hides until you are looking at it from a different angle. Somehow, he managed to get a small cut on his hand, so we now were cleaning blood up off the floor, along with the glass. Steve asked me to please go and get a plaster (band aid in American vocabulary) for his cut in order to stop the flow of blood. This did remind me of another tip I had read for cleaning up little pieces of glass. Simply wet paper towels folded over a few times to go across the floor checking for shards and slivers of glass. Where and why this information was popping into my mind is beyond me. Just as why was the tune of this song about loving the sound of breaking glass in my head now?

A flashlight, or torch, as my dear British husband calls it, was in order. He asked me to get the torch and shine it slowly around so that we could both use our eyes to find anything shiny. A puppy who scarfs down anything on the floor would not be safe if even one little splinter of glass got in his mouth. We each took two turns at searching for glass. Definitely, not how we had planned on spending that hour of time after dinner. Definitely, the ONLY way to spend our time in order to be sure that this precious puppy was safe in his home.   

The special effects that you hear in the song of I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass were playing over and over in my head as well as the lyrics of "Deep into the night, I love the sound of its condition flying all around." Yes, indeed. Flying all around! All I can say is I loved when this whole ordeal was over. No, I do not love the sound of breaking glass!

I will share something with you that I don't share with everyone. There is a part of me that I know has some bits of OCD symptoms. Truly, I was not 100% happy until the next morning came with bright sunshine shining through the windows and I could check one last time for broken glass. Then I could happily sing, Let It Go.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Who Knew?

When I sit down and actually think about it, who knew that in 2017 we would be where we are with the technology available to us. I am going to take you back to 1986 when my son was in the first grade. His school had jumped on the computer bandwagon with the Commodore 64 series and gave the teachers and staff a training course of how to send messages, as well as sending in the attendance and lunch counts, all computerized.

It was all new. As far as many of the older teachers, it was mad science and they hoped it would go away soon. They were even fearful of it. It was at that time that my son shared with his teacher of how to accomplish what she needed to do. He was fascinated by computers and we had the very same computer at home. She gave him the job of taking care of what needed to be sent via the computer. I wish that she were around today to know that he graduated summa cum laude from Tulane with degrees in Computer Science and Computer Technology. Yes, I am very proud of him. 

What is quite comical is that throughout the years, he would find out that as computers became used more and more in the schools, that I was the one that the grade levels or the school, designated as the "go-to" person for help on the computer. Actually, that let him know just how low the skills of others were if I was considered and named the actual expert. He was not putting me down. It was the truth, however, I at least went to the workshop trainings and tried my best to learn and I took very good notes. Usually, if you showed me and let me do it hands on, I could learn it and show others. Many of the others did not care to learn it. Did they think it was just going away?

In fact, no, it did not go away, as we all are aware. Technology just keeps getting into every aspect of our lives. Usually for the better. One does need to be careful and have the ability to shut down when it is time. When I see people walking with their heads bowed down looking on their hand-held phones, as they trip through parking lots, as well as almost being hit by cars, I am amazed. Look around in a restaurant and just see how many are not carrying on conversations with their dinner partner because they are too busy with their smart phones. Not very smart, if you ask me.  

One thing is for sure. I do love my Google. It is instant information right before you can say, "Jack Rabbit!" One must be careful to be sure that the information is correct. Just because it is on the Internet, does not make it factual, contrary to many people who buy into this concept. It is quite handy to check out a score of a favorite team or settle a discussion about how old Paul McCartney is or who was the artist of a particular song. This kind of information is usually standard. 

With the Apple watch, FitBit or one of the dozens of other fitness devices, you can have your steps counted, the intensity of your workout, your sleep times and patterns, your calories in and out and good golly, Ms. Molly, even your moods and mindfulness. All computerized just for your knowledge on how to become healthier. 

So much technology is not a bad thing. Just being aware of when and how to use it to your advantage is what we all need to work on. Think of it this way. Technology supposedly can cause cancer and it can also help in curing cancer. It is not a case of is it good or bad, more of a case of how you choose to use it. 

Be wise! In my own opinion, it is a case of moderation. Isn't that what most things are about? I have met parents that let their toddlers have no time on the computer or IPad/tablet, etc.  As well as those who use it as a total babysitter. Neither is a wise thing to do. That child who has never been exposed to technology with hands on learning will be so far behind his classmates that I worry about his self-confidence. All of tests and many skills are completed on the computer. Likewise, if a child is on the internet constantly, he will not have socialization skills or develop other interests such as sports or the arts. MODERATION - key word. I will end in this quote which I feel sums it up quite nicely. "Everything in moderation, including moderation." 
Oscar Wilde


Friday, April 21, 2017

Get Lucky?

There are those of us that look out at others who have had wonderful things happen to them in their lives. I have had this thought on my mind for a while now and finally, after coming to my own conclusions, I must say that for me, I do not believe it is luck. In fact, I do not believe in luck period! There is a reason that someone was in the right place at the right time for something good to happen. Who knows? Maybe the stars above were in alignment for their numbers to come up for the PowerBall jackpot.

When it comes down to being successful in what you want out of life, it is also a belief of mine that successful people are not smarter than the average person. One does not need a genius IQ to become successful. What they do need to be able to get from A to Z is the trick of how to get there. How do they do that? They set and achieve their own specific goals.

I have always said that there is a method to the madness of getting to where you want to be in life. It is important for parents to teach their children how to accomplish this early in life. It then becomes second nature to them, without struggling through the twists and turns of life. They are able to walk toward their goal with a plan in place.

First of all, I set a big goal. It is important though, to remember that wishes are NOT goals. Goals that do not have a plan are just dreams, not that dreams are a bad thing. Just keep in mind that if you just go with the flow and set your sights on nothing in particular, then that is what you will get; nothing in particular. Set yourself a lofty goal that may even be 3 - 5 years out but step by step you can get there. How?

I have learned there must be a clear path on how to get there. Breaking up that large goal to smaller ones will be my stepping stones to my large goal of being a published author. It is a wispy dream to say I will be going on circuits around the country for book signings and interviews from all the books that I write. Bringing it down to a specific goal such as I will write the novel that has been in my head and get it published within 3 years is the smart way to accomplish what I want now in life.

My short term goals are critical steps that will help to get me there. I will be able to experience little successes along the way. Breaking it down to some blog writing on the side in order to help me find my writing voice, reading other materials to keep me fresh and up to date, as well as networking with other writers are all little goals that I have. I keep the SMART goal framework in mind when setting it all up for myself. They are specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and timely goals.

It used to bother me when others would ask if I have finished my novel, some asked even after a month of my retirement. Now they are not asking as often and I am able to continually work on it at my pace with my short term goals. Plus, I feel even more confident that my long term goal will be met. It will not be luck. It will be hard work and so well worth it. It is what I have always wanted to do. 

It is my dream that will be converted into my reality.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Three Simple Rules

There are rules for this and rules for that. Rules are everywhere. There was a song in the 70's about, "Signs, signs, everywhere are signs, saying do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?" If there are too many signs with rules it most definitely will take a toll on us. 

Too many rules can take one over the edge. Of course, there are basic rules, really they are more laws, than rules, to avoid being arrested and charged with a crime. Everyone has to obey laws or else they put themselves out there for a possible jail term or fine.

For now, I am talking just basic rules to live by. My nature was to follow what I thought were 'the rules' unless they really went against what I believed to be right. This did not happen too often. In college, when I learned that boys had no curfews and girls had them? My thought process asked, "And this is fair because, why?" So, of course, I had to join in a "sit in" to get this ancient rule changed.

Since high school and college days, I have learned that there are basically only three rules to live by. My very intelligent husband had learned this long before I had. He was the one who taught me the saying, "We are adults. There are no rules." Putting this in the right context is important. 

I am talking Three Simple Rules In Life to make it work for you in this world without losing your sanity. Let me list them and speak my own beliefs about them. You can agree or disagree and please be sure to leave a comment, either way.

  • If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it!  This is so true. You can speak of what you want. You can dream it. It takes a doer to make it happen. Go for the gusto, to speak! It is not going to just magically appear before you and happen. If it does, then please come to see me and tell me how. I want my novel to become a best seller so I know that I must first write it from the beginning to the end. That is how I will go after what I want, in this case. 
  • If you do not ask, the answer will always be no. This is a very basic rule. If you want something, then you must ask for it. If you remain silent, then you are going to never know if it could have been yours or not. For me, this rule falls in the negotiating that one must carry on in life. Such as when I am ready to be published. I will keep asking and not give up. 
  • If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place. Really, I do not want to step on anyone's toes. Some people love where they are. They don't feel the need to step forward and move on and that is wonderful for them. To tell you the truth, thank goodness for those people who are in jobs that they love getting up for each and every day; so there is no need for them to step forward and move on to the next level. I would be willing to bet though, that they do some level of moving along with the flow of their job. An example would be technology in their jobs. All of us must know some basic computer skills in order to function in 2017. For me, when I retired, actually long before that actual day, I knew that I would be stepping up to my next career as a writer.
There are plenty of people, such as myself, who have always needed to step forward and move on. Not so much because I was unhappy, more that I craved to try something new. While in the field of education, I requested to be changed to different grades for the sheer excitement of 'change.' Even trying out different administrative positions kept me energized and loving my job and what I did. I was lucky enough to be able to try things out in three different states that showed me there really was a difference in education based on where you lived in the U.S.A.
By the way, one of my heroes, is Dr. Suess. This man was a genius as far as I am concerned. Yes, of course, he wrote great books for children, of which many fit right in for adults to understand and read between the lines. A great example is, Oh the Places You'll Go. I am mentioning this great man because of the fact that in my files that I keep on writing I have Five Lessons in Life from Dr. Seuss. Each of his lessons fit perfectly into one or more of the Three Simple Rules of Life. Instead of merging them in above with the three rules, I decided to just post them right here for you to see for yourself.
I will leave you to ponder on the three rules of life and how Dr. Seuss has the lessons on how they fit in our lives. Really, it is all I need to remember in order to have a happy, healthy and positive life. We all have only ourselves to rely on so I know that I want to make good choices for myself. These rules and lessons help to steer me in the direction that I wish to go.

One more tiny, little thing...I am going for a beach home, listening to the waves as I write my novels; just following the three simple rules and lesson number 3 from Dr. Seuss.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Day Off!

Happy Easter to All... Enjoy the time with your family and friends. A day off for this blogger, after all, I work for myself and can give me the day off  -  I will return on Monday with a spectacular blog!  xx

Monday, April 10, 2017


Somehow, I know that I am not the only person who has favorite words. There are plenty of other nerds like me, if that is what you want to call this syndrome. Actually, I have one that stands out way above all of the rest. It is serendipity. I like the way it sounds, I like what it makes me feel, I like the way it rolls off my tongue. It makes me happy.

When I came across an app on my IPhone that was called "Happify" it made me smile.  It stirred up my curiosity quite a bit, so of course, I checked it out. It has several different ones to choose from. Mainly it takes you on a journey to help you find more ways to become happified. In order to do that, the negativity must be shoved out of the way so that everything positive can come in to your mindset. 

There are so many days that just friendly reminders is all that I need to get on track and not fall off. I have had some people ask me why is this so important to me. I can definitely speak to my needs and it may hit home for some of you reading this. I know that negative emotions affect my moods. It does so by closing my mind off which forces me to not be able to think outside of the box.

In everything that I have read there are the good old standbys on staying positive such as cheer up, smile more, always look on the bright side of life!  HA! If you have seen the play Spamalot, then you may even know that cliche as a song. Now it is in my head and probably will be for the rest of the day.

For me? I need more specific methods. In an article by Jeffrey Lau, as well as searching with Google, I found some that I will share with you and have worked for me. 

  • Savor each moment. It really is the little things. For example, my dear husband put up bird feeders outside my window where my study is. I adore taking a moment of time away from writing in order to watch the cardinals at the safflower seed bird feeder, as well as the soon arriving hummingbirds. Find something that lifts your spirits - a vase of fresh flowers on your desk?
  • Thank those who matter. Most definitely I thanked Steve for putting the feeder out in just the right spot as well as keeping the feeders full of seed and helping me with the sugar water. Also, we order quite a bit on line so daily I watch our postal worker deliver our mail out at the mailbox and then get out of his mail truck and walk up to the house with packages. One day I surprised him by giving him a little thank you card with a small gift card enclosed. Find others who need a thank you.
  • Remember your momma telling you to sit straight or walk tall. Your posture does matter in helping your thoughts stay on the positive side of life. Sit or walk with hunched shoulders and head down?Then I feel like I am portraying to the world hopelessness, even when that is the last thing on my mind. So I not only am bringing myself down, I feel as if anyone that I come in contact with would feel negative vibes.
  • I carry a lucky stone, coin or momento in my pocket and when I feel the need it is what I hold and touch which helps me turn my thoughts around. I suppose that this could be related to a toddler and their favorite blankie. It is a security release. Because I rarely have on something with pockets, I keep it in my wallet or out on my desk. I will let you in on one of my secrets. Sometimes, it helps when I have writer's block. Close my eyes, hold my momento or even just touch it and outline it with my fingertip. Whatever works.
  • My IPhone is on charge and silent at night. If I open it first thing, most of the time the local news clips pop up. Rarely is it positive news. Is this how I want my day to begin? No way. I have found a way to bypass that and move on to a much more positive start to my day. A positive mantra for focus and just a brief meditation to clear out the spider webs. I feel as if it empowers me to be in total control of my day. That is a bit of an overstatement. There will be things that I can't control, however, I will be able to control my responses. This is a time that I celebrate my small wins each day. Talk about a boost of confidence! There actually is a scientific reason for this. It is the way that the human brain is wired. Any accomplishment that we acknowledge is then activated which releases a chemical called dopamine that is associated to the feeling of pride and achievement. It is a motivation that continually makes loops within us mentally and in turn we then become more likely to be successful.
The Happify application takes you on journeys that keeps you on the happy side of life. It asks specific questions and guides you through specifics that may help you.

One last thing that I must share. The singer-songwriter, Pharrell Williams, had a hit song called, Happy. When this song comes on or if I chose it on my playlist, how can I not feel happy? It makes me want to get up and dance, not to mention sing along at the top of my lungs. 

 "Happiness is the truth!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Doggie Day Care

Not having a dog in our lives for quite a number of years, my husband and I now have become owners of the cutest, smartest puppy in the world. Just ask us. We will be happy to share all of the qualities and traits that he exhibits. Davis is quite extraordinary. It is very hard to imagine our lives without him in it. 

We know why we put off having a dog in our lives before now. We had no time to give of ourselves to a dog. Both of us see plenty of dog owners who have taken on the responsibility of a dog and the poor dog suffers from lack of interaction with his owner.

Dogs need exercised, mental stimulation, as well as watered, fed, and groomed. As a dog owner, we knew that the hours that we worked did not allow for what a dog needed. There are some ways around that problem, such as crate training. If we had known someone that we trusted to come in to our home at least twice during the day to walk, talk and water/feed our dog, that would have worked. Another method, which in my own opinion is just cruel to use, is to have one room gated off for a pet room. The floor is okay if there happened to be an accident, however, newspaper training is taught for the potty. The dog has his toys him. All alone! If you are lucky enough to only work eight hours and you live close by then your Fido will only be alone for 9 hours with no interaction. Of course, you could have a companion dog, so at least they would have one another.

Let's remember, that most dogs are highly social and love to please their owners. As puppies, they actually experience separation anxiety. First of all, they were just taken from their mother and siblings. They need all the interaction that you can give them. In order to do this, we had one of two acceptable choices in our opinion. We wait until one of us is working from our home so that our dog has someone with him, or we use Doggie Day Care.

Doggie Day Care has grown by leaps and bounds. Some people sign their dogs up and pay weekly or monthly fees, just as they would for Child Day Care. If it is a good Day Care, then I suppose it works out in that the dog is not alone. However, I would feel left out of our dog's life. We would come home around 6 P.M., pick up our dog, rush to get dinner made, play and talk to our dog, eat our dinner and have perhaps a couple of hours before it is bedtime and the day starts over again. 

This may be acceptable for some people. No judgment calls from me if it works for you. We just knew that this was not the kind of life that we envisioned for ourselves once we became dog owners. I think that for us, we wanted to be more of a part of our dog's every day life.

We feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be the proud owners of Davis, our Goldendoodle, and he keeps us laughing most of the time. The question that comes to my mind is have you ever noticed how easily puppies make humans smile, yet all they do is wag their tails and fall over? It is so true!

Socialization is a big part of raising a dog. Davis has received this on his walks when meeting up with other dogs, as well as at Obedience Class. We now have been lucky enough to actually try Doggie Day Care. It all started with our backyard needing some landscape work done. This meant that Davis could not go out and take care of his business. The Veterinary Clinic where we take him has a Day Care and have been begging me to please sign him up for a day. He is much loved there and can put on a show with his prancing and cuteness. This was the perfect opportunity.

Little did I know that there is paperwork to fill out to be allowed in Doggie Day Care.  I was feeling like registration day for my child to be enrolled in school. Davis did not have to go through the Evaluation day because he had been through all of the Puppy Package at this clinic. The whole staff knew him and of his personality. When I dropped him off the staff went over the curriculum for the day. This is all planned out to keep the dogs busy, active, loved and given lots of attention. He kissed me goodbye and happily went off to play. 

He received a checklist on what he did during his time away from us and whether it was something to work on or something already mastered. Sort of like a doggie report card. This made me smile. Especially since he had good marks on his card.

Most definitely, Davis will not be signed up to attend Doggie Day Care too frequently, but what a great option for when we have an all day events to attend and need to have a safe and fun place for him to go.

Davis has really expanded our world and through him, our experiences with other people and other dogs. He is really quite magical because he has opened our eyes with wonderful new possibilities.

Thanks to a marvelous lover of goldendoodles and someone who takes the breeding of them very seriously, who have such a loving and healthy puppy. Goldendoodles by Kim's Design! 


Monday, April 3, 2017

How Did I Get From There To Here?

It occurred to me that I write my blog twice a week and I am very excited that the blog site that I use allows me to see how many reads I get daily. It also tells me that people from many different countries read on my blog page and that my readership continues to grow. 

What I have not done is to write from a place called "there" to my current destination of "here," in other words, the journey of me becoming a creative writer. You can breathe a sigh of relief. No way would I take you back into my whole life story. There would be quite a bit of hysterical laughing going on, as well as big yawns from what some would say,  "Boring!"

Let me just summarize a bit for you. I had a fairly typical childhood, graduated from college with a Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision plus a few marriages 'there and here.' Which now brings my life up to a very happy marriage of fifteen years with a charming Brit. We have two sons and two daughters between us who came together as brothers and sisters beautifully. As we all know, you can't just make that happen. They either like one another or not. We are delighted about that.

With that little background about me, I will add that I finally retired early from the field of education. You must understand though, that one does not just proclaim out of the blue that he or she is going to be a writer. Being a writer and loving to write is part of a writer's heart and soul. It is something that I have always loved doing. In fact, I have journals dating way back. Since I never give my age, we won't get into just how far back, but I will share that when I was a child, one of my favorite gifts for Christmas or my December birthday was a brand new diary. I could write whatever I wanted to write. Diary/Journal or whatever it is that you want to call it, most definitely it is a form of creative writing. Never did I need a prompt as I have always written from my point of view as to what I observed or was feeling. 

If you have read any of my previous blogs, you will note that they are on a variety of topics. With Steve and I becoming the owners of a beautiful black Goldendoodle puppy, he has been the topic a few times lately. Other topics can be things such as what I witness first hand on a grocery store trip or out in public. People watching is a must for creative writers. Life is full of novelties, just open your eyes to what is going on around you. 

While still working full time in the school system, I wrote a journal daily there about each day. Never did I have a meeting without my journal to document what was said. It became my notes which I relied heavily on as my 'get out of jail free card' when parents, teachers, students or even administrators above my level wanted to remember the meeting in a different manner than what really happened. It did come to my mind that if I put these notes together, I would have a best seller about the daily life in a public school. Most people would not even believe things that take place daily.

At one stage I decided that I could write a very sweet children's book. I finished the actual book in no time. What I did next was to send it off to publishers with my cover letter. I researched all of the who, what, when and where of children's publishers and managed to get rejection letter one after the other. All form written, of course, and I was prepared for that. 

One day a different letter came to me. This company was interested in publishing my book about Ollie the Octopus IF I was willing to make one little change. This company now catered their books to children who had gay parents and they wanted me to change Ollie and his newly found friend as gay. I would have been fine with writing a new book catering to this lifestyle. I have no problem at all with it. Ollie, though had become my imaginary friend and all of his traits and his life in the ocean without any one wanting to be his friend had become etched on my heart. He pulled at my heart string when he gathered the courage to finally meet up with Olivia. They were meant for each other and I had to have a happy ever after ending with the two of them swimming happily together hand in hand in hand in hand in hand in hand in hand and in hand. When a writer becomes that tangled up in the lives of imaginary characters, someone can't expect them to rewrite the story to fit their needs, even if it meant being published. 

While the drama of Ollie and Olivia going on, something else was happening in my life. I had bought a house with my Mother, my daughter had graduated from college and the three of us were living together. Three generations of strong-willed single females living in the same house. Think about what could happen in that situation. When I went to work and conveyed some of the stories, true real life stories, I had friends in stitches laughing. Some were telling me that this is the story to write about. 

With my journal writing, of course most everything that was happening was already documented, at least the things that I thought were noteworthy. As I started to put things together, I saw a novel. My imagination went wild. Plenty of writers are able to write while they continue with their day jobs, however, I was not one of them. My hours were way too long and I definitely did not function without sleep. So just taking notes in my journals helped keep me grounded, on target and ready for take off when the time came.

The blogging idea came from my marketing adviser. How lucky can one be in that I am married to an expert in the marketing and branding field. He is a rather good writer himself and has his own plans after his retirement on writing and consulting. For me, he has helped me and continues to help me find my writing voice. The one that reaches out to readers who enjoy books in my genre. 

As you can see, getting from there to here was not specifically planned out. Some things just have to happen and you have to let them happen. Embrace the unknown and let life surprise you. For me, it is to have the big picture drawn out and let the little details rain down like hearts, with me catching them and placing them where they belong to help make that surprise happen.