Nobody thinks it will happen to them

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Winter is upon us and, as luck would have it, I was very ill-prepared for the sudden onset of about two feet of snow.  Our friends to the south of us in the Buffalo area got it much worse than we did and I hope everyone is safe and warm preparing for the clean up after that terrible lake-effect snow that was dumped on your world.

The flurry of flurries made me realize how far behind I am with following my prep list for the “festive” season.  My summer tires are currently doing a remarkable job getting me to and from work and my golf clubs are still using the valuable space in my trunk that should now be reserved for my winter safety kit.

Those kits are rarely seen in vehicles but, if you were one of the people trapped on the Interstate during the storm that pounded Buffalo, are a very welcome use of space when you are stranded in bad weather.

Having a safety kit in your car is such a simple way to help prevent what could be a terrifying experience.  It is so easy to collect the necessities and have it in your trunk, just in case.  Good things to keep on hand are:  candles and a metal container to hold them, matches or lighter, snack food like nuts, trail mix or energy bars, a blanket, a change of clothes and footwear, flares, a flashlight, a whistle, kitty litter or a bag of sand (I keep strips of carpet to put under my tires – they are awesome!) and bottled water (using plastic bottles that do not crack).

safety kit

These items should be there as well as your usual items like jumper cables, spare tire, windshield washer fluid and small shovel.

Please be safe this winter.  It only takes a trip to the Dollar Store and a few minutes of your time, but it could save a life, maybe even yours!

 

The art of procrastination

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procrastination

I am not usually one to procrastinate.  I like to take the bull by the horns and just get things done.  But more and more lately, I am putting things into piles and some of those piles are collecting a great amount of proverbial dust.

The piles of tasks that I am pushing to the side are things nobody can see because they are in my head.  But I seem to have a found a wonderful corner of my mind that has a giant rug and all of those things I want to be doing have been swept under that giant Persian beauty!

It’s unlike me to be this unmotivated.  I’m not going to be in that deadline-induced panic but I am going to be disappointed if I don’t lift up that rug soon and deal with what is hiding under there!  I guess I’m going to have to buy some steel-toed boots and give myself a good, swift kick in the ass.  (another of my mom’s great sayings)

What do you do to get yourself back in the saddle?

 

Would I hit the button and turn the chair for MY voice?

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Lately I have been going back through past blog posts and reacquainting myself with some of the words I have thrown out into the eternal abyss known as the Internet.   After spending time digesting my previous musings, I have come to a great awareness about the novel I am attempting to finish.  Unless I just keep writing the damned thing and stop editing as much as I’m writing, I’m never going to finish the book in this lifetime!

From two years ago, when I began this blogging journey, to now, my writing voice has changed.  That same voice that was so timid in the beginning has grown and evolved into someone different.  It has gone through that rite of passage to be comfortable in its own timbre.

Looking back on some of my earlier posts, I am so tempted to edit and repost some of those phrases and paragraphs but I would be doing myself a grave injustice.  I would be denying who I was when I wrote those posts and not allowing myself to accept the voice I had when I began.  The same holds true for those chapters of my novel that were written from that less experienced recess of my brain.  While the characters will evolve with my determination to finish the book, those first chapters speak volumes about the beginning of their journey as the cast and my journey as a writer and their director.

chair on the voice

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I’m glad my voice is different now.   It sounds more experienced.  It is comfortable being heard by others.  It has a more believable quality to it because it has faith in its ramblings.  If I were a judge in that chair, I would hit the button to see what my voice has to say next!

 

My “get-up-and-go” got up and went

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The subject line of this post was always one of my favorites of my mom’s strange sayings.  Whenever she was feeling under the weather or she was just exhausted she would pull out this beauty so we knew her true state of mind.

Yesterday and today I really empathized with this statement and its underlying feeling.  I feel like I have lost my mojo.  I’m sure it is nothing more than a case of the November blahs but getting out of bed the last two mornings has been a struggle.  The bleak grey landscape and bare branches hold no promise of those sunny, warm days that are a thing of the past.  I may regret typing this next string of words but I really can’t wait for the ground to be blanketed with snow.  That is a bold statement taunting the God of weather since this was the view from my living room last winter!

trapped

At least that fresh fallen snow is beautiful to look at and, if nothing else, it makes my dog extremely happy which, in turn, makes me happy.

In the interim, if anyone has seen my “get-up-and-go” could you please send it home to me?  It’s time to kick November’s arse and I could use the back-up!

I’m loading the arsenal and preparing for Defcon Two

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It seems I may have taken the fortitude of the Red Squirrel completely for granted when waging my war on the furry little bastards.

I entered the battle with the most humane of intentions.  I brought home a live-trap so I could capture and relocate the hairy little mercenaries that have been seeking asylum in the walls and ceilings of my home.  With my dog and I at sentinel posts, we have been rendered helpless and can only try to figure out how the bristly little vermin have been able to extricate themselves from their metal incarceration -twice! – and re-enter the sanctity of our home.

squirrel

I have not yet reached the moment when I clench my fists, indignantly throw my hands into the air and scream, “This means war!”.   I am certainly bordering on enough sleep loss and misguided rage to window shop in the hunting section of the local Home Hardware.

I have warned my co-workers – if I come in to work on Monday with traces of black dye under my eyes and remnants of any camouflage, things did not go well on the weekend.  I can only hope if I reach Defcon One that I am a little more adept in the woods than Elmer Fudd!

“Shhh. Be vewy, vewy quiet.”

 

I’m dancing like nobody is watching (and ignoring the looks of disapproval)

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I started my blogging journey in August of 2012.  I had no real direction, I had no real premise for the project I was about to launch and I had NO idea what large, creaking door had just opened into my imagination.

Since that first string of awkward words I have found a rhythm.  I have found a group of friends with like minds who share the same disease linked to sleep deprivation that I have come to love and understand.  I have found a community of people who love writing, who feed on words and language and who encourage me to feed that literary wolf who hides in sheep’s clothing.  I have found my home away from home.

Today marks another milestone in my blogging journey.   Today my number of followers increased to:

2000

That is such a big deal for me and I just want to thank each and every one of your for your support and encouragement!  I guess it’s time to get writing that next blog post.

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The 6 p’s of success – and no, I haven’t had too much water

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A few months ago, a dear friend and I were having a glass of wine and a conversation about our school experiences.  It took us a while to remember that far back, but we both agreed that we had some professors and educators who really stuck out on the maps of our scholastic journeys.

I wrote an earlier post about my most memorable teacher.  He led my Grade 6 class with great enthusiasm and really encouraged us to think outside of the box.  Nothing was ever wrong when it came to imagination, hence my love for writing.  (If only he had held that same belief when it came to History class and those red x’s on my tests!)

My friend told me about one of his professor’s who had a deep impact on him in a very short time.  It was early in my friend’s law school days when this teacher introduced the syllabus of the curriculum they would be following by writing six capital P’s across the chalkboard with spaces in between each letter.  A baffled class of students who wanted to be recognized for their genius all muttered amongst themselves, trying to be the first to solve the great riddle on the board.

The teacher assured them that this first lesson would be neither covered in the course outline, nor appear on any final exams.  As the relieved crowd fell silent in anticipation, the professor proceeded to tell the eager group of future litigators what great importance these letters would have on their career as an attorney, or any career for that matter.   The teacher filled in each word as the group watched, not saying a word.  When each word had been completed, this is the phrase that spanned the front of the classroom:

“Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor performance”

Blank Chalkboard

That string of words struck a deep chord within many of those students.  Those 6 p’s were vigorously scribbled into notebooks, on the back of ironically unprepared hands unable to find their notebooks and etched permanently in the minds of those students hungry to succeed.  My friend was one of those hungry students, and succeed he did.

All these years later, sitting in a local restaurant having a glass of wine, my friend still remembered that lesson and what an impact it had on him.   I only hope his instructor knew what an impression he had on those students and that he potentially created an entire generation of people who make their p’s a priority.