Dead of Winter

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In my “Closing of the Pool” post, I said I’d look for one thing to love during the dreaded winter season. Well, I found it. The days start getting longer after the winter solstice. It happens slowly but by the end of January we get almost an extra hour of daylight. So that’s it.

After rereading that, I decided I could do better. So I’m going to make a list. Things you can to do to help you while-away the cold winter days. Please feel free to add to it. The only rule is your suggestions have to cost little to nothing.

If you’re a homebody-

1. Light candles throughout the house as soon as evening comes.

2. Read a good book in front of the fireplace or any other cozy spot in the house.

3. Play with your pet/pets. If you don’t have one, go on-line and look at cute puppy/kitten pictures. I highly recommend lovebird sites. They’re the cutest things! Also am a little prejudice…Love you, PJ!

4. When you feel down, make a steaming hot cup of tea, cocoa, flavored coffee.

5. Bake! Fill your home with wonderful smells.

6. Eat those baked goods. Freeze some for the next time you need a winter lift.

7. Background music – Make a playlist that can be played quietly and fill the house with music.

8. Organize one thing. Pick a closet, drawer or cluttered spot. Focus only on that. When you finish, relish in your accomplishment.

9. Look for new recipes. Magazines were always my go-to, but with Pinterest and recipe sites on-line you can have a field day. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, create one. Save all your recipes there.

10. Make grilled cheese and tomato soup. An old favorite!

11. Make sure you have a great pair of slippers. Snuggle in some flannel pajamas.

12. Write or journal or start a blog.

If you’re adventurous and willing to head out in the cold and snow

1. Visit your library. Stay awhile and skim through a pile of books. Pick some out to take home so you can do #2 in the group above.

2. This might also involve a trip to the library but it’s a great idea. Reread a favorite book from childhood.

3. Walk a mile or two at your local mall. No shopping allowed.

4. Visit the closest park. Take in winter nature, even if you do it from the window of your car.

5.  Anything to do with snow. Build a snowman, make a snow angel or just tromp through it.

6. Go outside on a clear night and count the stars.

7. Drink hot chocolate outside.

8. Take a walk under the full moon.

9. Visit the closest lake, river, or pond and take in the winter scene.

10. Go outside and blow bubbles. I read they turn into ice bubbles!

And remember! Feed the birds.

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Painting Projects and Planning Vacations

red-24251_640My husband recently bathing-159587_640said that I’m happiest when I’m planning a painting project and a vacation. He may be right. Sometimes you need a break from the real world. Especially during the boring winter months. Those days are usually endless and gray and boring. Having projects perk them up.

Vacation planning takes you away for just a short time. You can pretend you don’t have deadlines or writer’s block or schedules to follow. A vacation can be anywhere. You don’t have to go far or sit on an exotic beach. The fun is in the planning. And I do like to plan. Ask my family. I’m not a stick-to-a-timetable kind of planner but a general outline is always a good idea.

Painting projects can be big or small. Last year, was major…a whole room. This year’s will be a minor one—just one wall. And I even have the paint.

So as you see, a little planning helps. Whether it’s a do-it-yourself project or a much needed vacation, steal away some time for yourself. Break up the monotony of the day by looking at color samples or destinations on the internet.

I recommend finding a project you like. One that can distract you for awhile and maybe put a smile on your face. One that takes you off-schedule. It might disrupt the house and turn it upside down for awhile. Or it might make you daydream and count the days until your free to do whatever you wish. It doesn’t have to be a painting project. You may not like to travel. Whatever it is, go for it. I wish you the best.

Call me Bellahontas

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I recently took one of those “Which Disney Princess are you?” tests. I know…eye roll. I don’t do those often but when something Disney pops up, it’s hard to resist. I have always loved Disney since I was a little girl.

The test revealed I was part Belle and part Pocahontas. Since I love nature and books are my thing, I’m okay with that. Still, I had to chuckle at the thought. Two polar opposites.

Maybe that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t want to be a daydreaming princess.  Makes you wonder what those fairy tale princesses did in the castle all day. I like to get things done. At least I can picture Belle reading a book or shopping to buy more books to add to her collection. Pocahontas would be planting a garden, feeding the deer and running through the forest for exercise. They’d be doing something.

I couldn’t resist talking about fairy tales in my first book. Katie has just turned sixteen but the little girl inside still sees things through magical eyes. By the end, reality sets in and she realizes everything is not like the fairy tales she read long ago.

We all grow up eventually and see the world in a different way. Maybe that’s why we read…and write…and dream about being fairy tale princesses.

Words I’m Not Allowed to Say

computer-23713_640I was watching the news the other night and found out there are words you’re not allowed to say if you’re over thirty. Since I am over thirty, I paid close attention. The newscaster informed me there would be a list and proceeded to count them down. I’m sure there are more words I’m not supposed to say but this list only had three.

I had to Google the first word, totes, because I had no idea what it meant. Oh, it means totally! Here’s the definition straight from the Urban Dictionary. A shorter more convenient form of the word: totally. This word is most commonly used by teenage girls.

The most obvious advantage of using this word is the time saved. Data collected at a prestigious university found that every syllable spoken takes approximately 0.14 seconds.

Didn’t know it was such a timesaver. I’d put it on my list but…oops, can’t.

The next word (it was really a phrase) that flashed across the television screen was You know, right? I’ve heard that many times, although I never used it myself. Didn’t know it was popular slang for the under thirty crowd. Crossing it off my list right now.

The final word was cray-cray. That one makes my head hurt. I have to admit I heard that come out of a certain reality TV mom’s mouth (mother to many girls with the first initial K) and I cringed when I heard it. That was a fine example of “leave it to the kids”. But hearing it said by anyone drives me a little cray-cray. See, didn’t you just cringe?

So there you have it, the list. Totes. You know, right? And cray-cray. Feel free to pass it along to other thirty plus members of society. If you’re underage (thirty, that is) you can ignore.

Whenever I write, I try to pay attention to words, phrases and sayings. Would she/he really say that? If a character is old, I guess they can get away with anything. I try not to make younger ones use too much slang. It can become outdated in a minute.

I hope this was helpful to the intended audience. That means you, Over-thirties. I know keeping track of the latest trends may make you a little cray-cray. You know, right? But it’s worth keeping up with what’s happening in the world. Don’t you agree?

Totes.