The Flu from Hell and Finding Happiness Again

December is a crazy month for most people. The myriads of parties, school functions, travel hassles, and shopping trips collide with; visiting relatives, birthdays, and anniversaries which compete with; bored kids, menu planning, holiday fun, preparing at least one elaborate meal, and if you’re a football fanatic, cheering on your favorite football team as they fight for a playoff spot. There’s so much to do most of this paragraph is one long sentence.

And the whirlwind of activity isn’t over.

New Year’s celebrations demand your attention. The kids beg to stay up until midnight. You pray you can stay awake that late. Once the clock strikes midnight you toast the new year, followed by comforting your fur babies when the inevitable fireworks (giant bangs and thundering booms) begin. Before you can take a breath everyone wants to know what your resolutions are, which means you have to frantically come up with a few or explain why you don’t make them anymore.

Then January flies in with bad weather, football playoff parties, Christmas gift returns, and the hope that things will calm down soon.

Black Ice

photo credit: Albany crash via photopin (license)
photo credit: Albany crash via photopin (license)

A couple of days before Thanksgiving it was as if I’d run over a patch of black ice and lost control. Continue reading “The Flu from Hell and Finding Happiness Again”

Wake Up!

For almost a decade I woke up at four a.m. so that I could get to work on time. On the weekends I liked to sleep in. This worked great until I adopted my sweet baby boy, Tyler. Once he got used to waking up at a certain time, I wasn’t allowed to sleep in. Even on weekends he would bop me on the forehead until I woke up. Through narrowly cracked eyes, I glimpsed his smile.

Tyler Watching The World Go By
Watching The World Go By Jillian Pearl Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

Instead of getting upset, I’d drag myself out of bed. With my eyes closed, I’d feed him and make coffee for myself. Once I had poured a cup of coffee he’d tell me it was time to go outside and greet the morning. During the summer he sprawled in his own chair and enjoyed witnessing the world wake up. When it got cold, he wanted to share body heat and snuggle under a heavy blanket.

The following is a post that Tyler dictated for his blog, Tyler’s Tails.

Wake Up! by Tyler

A few years ago Mommy and I lived in an apartment that had a wonderful deck that overlooked a lake. I spent endless hours people and animal watching from my chair. On the weekends, I always made sure I invited Mommy to join me. I liked watching the world wake up with her.

One crisp fall morning, Mommy and I were on the deck cuddling under a big warm quilt. It was so early the stars winked at us. Although, I don’t think Mommy noticed because she kept dozing off and was in danger of spilling her coffee!

A faint sound echoed across the lake. I must have fallen asleep because my ears perked up and my nose began to sniff even before my eyes cracked open. What was that? I wondered, peeking at Mommy. Had she heard it too? Continue reading “Wake Up!”

February Already?

In a few hours January will be history. It always surprises me. Where did the time go? How can another month have come and gone already?

This year I chose the word renew to embody my hopes and dreams for 2014. Did I do anything in January that renewed me? I’m happy to report that, yes, I did.

Cutting Back

I gave up Words With Friends after the first of the year. I played it non-stop for a little over a year and at times had a dozen games going at once. Without realizing it, I was spending hours on the game. I began playing to improve how I thought about words. It worked. The game got easier for me and my average score improved by almost 150 points. So why stop? Because in the last few months I haven’t enjoyed playing and my score had stagnated. It was time for a break.

Getting Organized

Being organized has always been a challenge for me. Last year I seemed to go in streaks. I’d work really hard at organizing and then a few weeks later things would be a mess again. I’d get things back where they belonged and then several days later it’d be a mess again. Obviously, my method wasn’t effective for me. Frustration sent me in search of new ideas. I read several posts discussing organization. While it was a relief to know I wasn’t alone in this struggle, I knew I still needed a way to make it work. Armed with many ideas, I decided to begin with small easily repeatable steps and reminders.

I discovered a handy reminder app on my computer. It puts a reminder on the screen, no matter what I’m doing, that tells me what I need to get done. I put in everything from clean the bathroom to take a bike ride to put clean clothes away. I don’t know about you, but it’s easy washing the dirty clothes and putting them in the dryer, but everything falls apart once they come out of the dryer. Writing about this reminds me that I have a stack of clean towels to put away…BRB.
Continue reading “February Already?”

Seasons Of Change

A few weeks ago,
on a Monday morning . . .

I stood at the window, a coffee cup cradled in my hands, staring at the neighborhood. Things were abnormally quiet for a sunny summer day. The birds chirped happily from the branches of the tree in my front yard and squirrels chased each other around its trunk. Both oblivious to the tension. The neighborhood dogs were silent, a relief from their mournful howling that began last Thursday evening and didn’t stop until 1 a.m. Sunday morning. All the other houses up and down the street felt subdued, only the occasional dark shape of someone looking out a window showed there was life inside the homes.

That Fateful Sunday . . .

The neighborhood woke and discovered it wasn’t a normal lazy weekend morning. I was making a pot of coffee when my mom anxiously called to come look out the window. When I peered out the basement window there were three sheriffs cars, two unmarked cars, a Crime Scene Unit truck, and three Animal Control Vehicles. It wasn’t long before the cops noticed the neighborhood stirring. They strung crime scene tape from the blue house, across the road, up the hill past two houses, back across the street, around a neighbor’s mailbox and then diagonally across their yard back to the blue house. A few minutes after that a fire truck and an ambulance arrived adding to the chaos. A detective went door to door asking if we’d heard or seen anything unusual. He wouldn’t tell us what had happened except to say they had arrested the man who owned the home early Sunday morning. Continue reading “Seasons Of Change”