Happy Labor Day!

I’m crawling out from the rock I’ve been under for the past, well, for all of 2013. LOL.

Just this past week I turned in my book, Pleasing the Pirate, to my editor and wow, I feel like a 335 page book has been lifted from my shoulders.

I really have no more words left in me right now and considering it’s Labor Day weekend I’m sure you all are standing around the grill enjoying summer’s last gasp. So today I will leave you with some Labor Day trivia.

Have a fun day!!!

-Sharon

-The first Labor Day parade to be held in the USA was on September 5, 1882 in New York City

-Grover Cleveland was the US President who signed the bill making it a national holiday

-Peter McGuire – founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America–is credited with first proposing the idea of Labor Day as a national holiday in 1882

-There are 155.7 million people age 16 years and older in the country’s labor force as of May 2013 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

LaborDaySign

My Motto for 2013

Expect ImperfectionI had an ah-ha moment the other day while reading a blog post on a weight loss site I’m on.

Expect imperfection.

It really hit me what that really meant. For some it might mean settling for less, but not for me.

When I expect perfection from myself, I inevitably fail. No one is perfect.

No. One.

So why should we expect it from ourselves? Why do we think we’re so awesome that we don’t make mistakes?

I haven’t blogged about this at all, but in 2012 I lost 22 pounds. I’ve lost weight before. 70 pounds ten years ago. Most of it found me again. When I decided to lose it this time, I promised myself many things.

-I wasn’t going to beat myself up when I fell off the wagon.

-I wasn’t going to quit when I fell off the wagon because I WAS going to fall off the wagon. Many times.

-I wasn’t going to let it stop me.

-I also wasn’t going to stop eating the foods I loved–I just wasn’t going to eat them all the time.

In other words, expect imperfection.

It worked for me and my weight loss. I’m at 23 pounds lost, hoping to lose four more so I’ll finally have a healthy BMI and a “normal” weight. No. Let me rephrase that. I’m not hoping to, I WILL lose four more pounds.

But then I started thinking about this motto, “expect imperfection”, in other aspects of my life. More specifically, in my writing.

As I writer, I expect perfection from myself. On the first draft. How silly is that? But what if I started expecting IMperfection on that first draft? What if I was, if not happy, content, with what I wrote the first time around?

What a freeing concept. And what a weight that’s been lifted from my shoulders, both literally and figuratively.

So my new motto for 2013: Expect imperfection.

Birthdays, Bars and Bathrooms

The other day a friend of mine celebrated her birthday by inviting a bunch of her closest friends to a bar she likes to frequent. I went because I like my friend a lot. The bar, not so much. Even in my heyday (read: college days), I wasn’t into the bar scene. At least not the meat market bar scene.

I like me a quiet bar where I can converse with the bartender and nurse a drink (okay, Diet Coke) all night long.

This was not that sort of place.

This was a meat market.

I was out of my element.

So around midnightish I had to make a trip to the little girl’s room. I enter and there, standing in front of the mirror, putting on her lipstick, is a Snookie wanna-be. Blonde. But a wanna-be nonetheless.

Okay. To each his own.

She looks at me and says, “I washed my hands. You weren’t in here when I did, but I did wash my hands.”

Umm. Okay? Good for you? I’m grateful? What does one say to that? I just smile and go into my stall. Blonde Snookie keeps telling me she washed her hands.

Another girl exits her particular stall and Blonde Snookie squeals. “Oh my GAWD, I LOVE your hair! It’s FAB!”

Fab?

“Um. Thanks,” says the poor other girl who is now cornered by Blonde Snookie. I can hear her washing her hands then she asks Blonde Snookie, “Where do I dry my hands?”

“Oh on that THING over THERE. That THING hanging on the WALL.”

I quickly wash my own hands and side step out of there sending up a silent prayer for the poor girl still cornered by Blonde Snookie.

Yeah. Not my thing.

The House of Germs

drugs_flu_treatmentThe Cullen family has been hit hard by the flu. Normally we sail through the flu season with nary a sniffle nor sneeze but this year is different. I’ve heard that this strain of flu has been particularly bad throughout the country.

Fever. Chills. Cough. Ugh.

Yesterday my son was diagnosed with pneumonia. His flu progressed that quickly. Of course this is the kid who rarely gets sick but when he does, watch out! He doesn’t get a cold, he gets pneumonia. He doesn’t get strep throat, he gets mono.

So all of my plans to write are gone beneath the blanket I’ve been huddled under for two days. Sniffles. Cough. Oh, yeah. Fun times.

People keep asking if we got the flu shot. Nope. Never had before, didn’t feel a need to now. I’m of the opinion that it’s best to use my body’s own immune system to protect itself. Will I get a flu shot next year? Probably not, but I might for my son who can’t seem to get an ordinary cold.

What about you? Do you get a flu shot every year?

 

To Card or Not To Card

4169-merry-christmas-rudolphI send out Christmas cards every year and look forward to it. For close friends I take a picture of my kids at the pumpkin farm and get it made into a cute card. I’ve done this for twelve years. This year’s card had two pictures. One of my kids in 2000 when I first started the tradition and one of my kids now with the shot recreated. So darn cute.

However, I’ve noticed that as the years go by I get less and less cards in return. I don’t think it’s because I’ve been naughty and have been taken off my friend’s cards list. At least they tell me that’s not the reason.

The reason is because they’re too darn busy with everything else going on over the holiday.

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail and will proudly display each and every one. I love seeing pictures of everyone’s kids and I even love reading the cheesy Christmas letters.

This not sending cards thing makes me sad.

What about you? Do you still send Christmas cards?

Cyber Shopping vs Store Shopping

Over the past several years I’ve slowly become a cyber-shopper. There is nothing easier than sitting on the couch, in your jammies, scrolling through websites and hitting the buy button. Nothing, I tell you.

However, I will only cyber-shop if there is no shipping and handling or if the product I’m looking for can’t be purchased in a nearby store. If its something I can easily pick up close by, then I won’t waste my money on shipping and handling.

Yesterday my husband and I went Christmas shopping and while it was fun, it was tiring. I got hungry. I got thirsty. My feet hurt. I had to wait in line. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

We picked up quite a few presents and then I came home and finished off my list while sitting on my couch watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Yeah, I’m hooked.

What about you? Do you prefer cyber shopping or store shopping?

 

 

Christmas is Coming!

So you know how I know Christmas is coming? Because all of the Christmas cartoons are on. We probably have all of them on DVD but there’s something about watching it on TV that makes it special. Maybe because when I was growing up we didn’t have VCRs or DVD players and we actually had to wait until it was on TV.

I remember being so excited about Christmas that I couldn’t STAND it. I thought Christmas would NEVER get here.

The other night we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shrek the Halls. I’ve never seen Shrek the Halls before but am definitely adding it to my favorite Christmas show list.

So ‘fess up. What’s your favorite Christmas cartoon?

 

Hostess Cupcakes

I’ve been following the Hostess news closely. Some are saying there are more important things to discuss and we should get over it, some are sad.

I fall into the sad category because I feel as if Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s and their famous chocolate cupcakes with the white swirls are an American Icon.

And because the chocolate cupcakes hold a special meaning to me.

Every year since my 18th birthday my husband buys me a Hostess chocolate cupcake, puts a candle in it and sings me happy birthday. It’s a tradition. Now we’re not sure what we’re going to do. It seems wrong to use a different brand’s cupcake and yet we don’t want to do away with the tradition. Even back in the day he was a romantic at heart and I treasure those memories. Now my kids look forward to my cupcake birthday celebration.

What fond memories do you have of Hostess treats? What’s your favorite?

 

 

The In Between

I finished writing my book and sent it to my editor. In the meantime I finished reading the book I’d been waiting two years to read (Ken Follett’s Winter of the World–950+ pages). Now I’m in the In Between.

That place where I’m not yet ready to start writing the next book and I’m still involved in the lives of the people in the book I was reading and am not ready to give them up.

I’m not sure what to do with myself in the In Between. I”m a little lost because I always either have a book to read or a book to write and I’m usually torn between the two.

So I’m doing strange things, like dusting, and painting my nails, and cleaning the kitchen.

This In Between thing needs to end soon before my family gets used to a clean house.

What do you do when you find yourself with some spare time?

Fall Colors

This is my backyard and what I look at when I write. Does it give me inspiration? Sometimes. If I’m stuck I stare out the door at those trees. In the summer they’re lush and green and it seems like the backyard is much closer than it really is. In the spring I love watching the smaller trees bud before the bigger ones and in the winter with snow on the ground it looks like a winter wonderland. But this is when I like to look at it the most. It’s like liquid gold when the sun shines through the trees. Right now the back door is open and a warm, fall-ish breeze is floating in, the smell of autumn circling through the room.

This time of year never lasts long enough for me. Just a few short weeks and the spectacle of color gives way to harsh, bare branches. But I always have next fall to look forward to.

What do you love most about fall?