Catch Up

I hate playing catch-up. That’s what happens to me after every trip, even if it is a single day. Since I’m one of those who doesn’t like change, I’m disoriented. Not so surprising for those who know me well.

But I needed this trip to Cozumel. I needed to get away to a magical place where I didn’t have to do more than eat, sleep, and play. I needed to be surrounded by people who love me, who make me laugh, who understand me. I needed to see new things, old things, and to dive.

Have my emotional batteries been recharged? Yes, and no. I come back to chaos, disorder, and that damn catch-up! 



My Best of 2010

Remember a week or two ago, I asked you to start thinking about your best list for 2010. A couple of our overachievers already posted some of theirs, but for the rest of the slugs, like me, today’s the day I’m expecting — even pleading for — your lists. Give me inspiration, some new things to read/see/listen to. Broaden my horizons.

My own list — not comprehensive by any means because, let’s face it, my memory is as faulty as the electrical cord my pupper, Jack, once chewed through. Still, here are some of the highlights for me:

— Watching “Shrek” 57 times. (When our grandson comes to spend the day with us, he walks into the house, grins and says, “I need frozen Snickers, Diet Dr. Pepper in MY glass and Shrek.”)

— A late-winter retreat with Slut Meg to a cabin in the southeastern Oklahoma woods and an early spring getaway to Casa del Sol B&B over by Turner Falls, OK. Wonderful, productive times that recharged me exactly the way I needed.

— Total knee replacement. I’ve had osteoarthritis in both knees since I was a teenager, and the right one was so broke-down that we tossed it out and put in a new one. Rehab’s tougher — and more ongoing (four months down, about eight to go!) — than I expected, but hey, I’ve got a new knee, and this pain WILL go away!!

— Kindle. I bought it thinking it would come in handy during all the hours of physical therapy. I’ve read A TON since then!! Some of my favorites: Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary, Silent on the Moor and Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn; Invisible, In Plain Sight, On the Run and Stranded, the Ivy Malone books, by Lorena McCourtney; Somewhere Along the Way by Jodi Thomas; and The Native Star by M. K. Hobson. Now I’m loving The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

— Cozumel!! I hadn’t been out of the country except to Calgary and Tijuana. Loved loved LOVED it, even if I did have cane in hand and ice packs at the ready. The sun, the ocean, the people, the laziness, the rest, the companions . . . I wanna go back!

The worst of 2010: my pupper, Jack, died in June. We got him as a puppy when he’d been hit by a car and needed hourly care. He attached himself to me right away, sitting nearby, sleeping against my legs, going to the office with me every day. He was a German shepherd/Jack Russell terrier and a little guy, no more than 50 pounds, but he (and everyone else) thought he was a 900-pound gorilla. We had 12 wonderful years with him,, and it broke our hearts to lose him, but he’ll always be with us in memory and in love.

So tell me — especially you guys who read but never comment (please, please, pretty please) — what was good in your 2010?

Wishin’ & Hopin’

Plannin’ and dreamin’

Tis the season. . .

My mind is anywhere but Christmas, although I got the lights up, house as decorated as I’m gonna this year. What I really want is a warm sandy beach with free beverage service, excellent company, and a few dives. Any other diversions will be just fine too. So…I thought I’d leave y’all with a few of my favorite pictures.


Cozumel Trip 10.30-11.4.09 071 What captured your attention first in this picture?

The water? The clouds? The island? The sky? Or the marvelous display of color?

I took this photo between dives 2 and 3 while off Cozumel because of the amazing study in blue. I have to admit that the camera doesn’t do justice as compared to the eye.

Our perception of the world colors our stories as much as nature paints the picture. A negative spin could be that rain is imminent, the underwater world becomes dull, you will be cold riding in an open boat. Or perhaps you notice how far away land is. I choose the positive outlook. The rain washes the salt water off my skin, the water will feel so much warmer once I descend back into the ocean, the rain won’t last long so the colors underwater will once again become vibrant.

And when the rain has passed, once more blue skies return as do rainbows.

Cozumel Trip 10.30-11.4.09 020What is your perception?

From Bad Comes Good

I’m writing this ahead of time because I will be in Cozumel–barring any unforseen occurrence. This trip has been postponed for over two years, so no hating or whining because I’m gone. And that’s part of why I titled it this way.

It’s raining here at Twisted Creek, and the DH has called periodically to make sure that our road hasn’t flooded yet. Our pasture turned into a lake, which is all right–up to a point. This weekend our neighbor’s pond overflowed and flooded our shop. Fortunately all the engines and major car parts are off the cement. And our offices flooded, but only minor. No carpet to ruin. The good to come out of this is that DH will finally hire someone to come out to dig a drainage ditch on the neighbor’s side to divert the water, AND get the drain cut in our driveway.

From the book signing, I learned how important finding the right audience to show case my work. This means that I will forgo other signings unless there is a strong romance presence. I fully understand that I might not sell a book there either, but what I write won’t be called trash either. I will be excited to attend regional conferences where book signings are offered. If books don’t sell, I will have a chance to learn more about my craft, plus network with others who enjoy what I write.

What good lessons have you learned recently? (You will have to give me a few days to send replies–I will be thinking of y’all while I’m sunning on the beach!)