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Monday, January 30, 2017

A New Year and....Things are Still the Same...Crazy

Where to begin....

I don't know. I'm feeling overwhelmed by the world, by life at the moment, thus my neglecting my blog. I just haven't had it in me. You should read the stuff I've written lately...blech! But I read a quote recently by some famous, published author who said just write...no matter what it is, or how bad it is...just write to get your creative juices flowing, so...in an effort to "just write," anyone reading this gets a new blog post!

We had a crazy holiday season here, which is wonderful, but...crazy, so I haven't written anything new or of substance since late November. I am still submitting things I've worked on this past year, and sticking to last year's New Year's resolution of submitting SOMETHING once a month. Two things got picked up for publication in 2016, so that's 22% acceptance rate (b/c I only submitted once a month starting in March, so that's out of 9 months, not 12 for anyone doing the quick math...) My husband, who works in the insurance industry, said for every 10 quotes they make, they write 3.5 new pieces of business, and that's 35%, so it helped to look at my rejections with a business frame of mind instead of my usual, creative, sensitive one. I have two submissions pending at the moment.

Our daughter came home from her first year in college, and stayed for 5 weeks over Christmas break! That was wonderful! I really miss her. We had a nice Christmas. Then....

the day after Christmas, my 76-year old mother was out doing errands when she slipped on black ice in a mall parking lot and sustained a traumatic brain injury. We've never experienced anything like this in our family, so we were rocked, to say the least. She was in the ICU then in an acute rehab facility, so that meant my siblings and I and our spouses had to pull together and take care of our dad, who's 75 and whose memory is quickly fading. He's an insulin dependent diabetic, who needs constant watching. As I'm a former nurse, I did most of the hands-on care for my dad, which meant no time for writing and creativity. I was zapped emotionally and psychically, and had little time to myself. When I did have time to myself, I was usually in a supine position on a couch somewhere. I'm happy (and grateful!!) to report my mom has done tremendously well. She's 95% back to her old self. We feel so blessed. She's back home, and able to care for my dad again, so things in that realm are basically back to normal. From what I've heard and read about TBI, we fall into the extremely blessed category. And don't tell me prayer doesn't work. When this happened, I put out a call for prayers on my Facebook page and hundreds of people responded. I know all of our prayers helped mom recover as quickly as she did. My family and I are overcome with gratitude.

We also received some bad news about our 12-year old PBGV, Divot, one of the loves of my life.

He was diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma in November. He has tumors in his bladder and his prostate. Because he's 12, and because chemo would have been hard on him and only given us another 12 months at the most, we've decided to just keep him comfortable with pain meds and NSAIDs (drugs like Advil and Aleve). He's doing well so far. You wouldn't know he's sick unless we told you. He also went and tore his right ACL in one of his hind legs, so he's hobbling around here, which makes things more pathetic, but he's doing ok overall. The vet says we have 6-7 months more with him, so we're trying to enjoy every moment, not that we haven't already enjoyed every moment these past 12 years. Still...it's devastating to lose a pet, who's really a member of the family. He's my sweet baby boy, and a big presence in our home. We will really feel his absence when it comes.

And then...to top it all off...we have this crazy political situation here in the United States. Even though Trump was elected this past November, we've been dealing with the fatalism for 18 months. It feels like the negativity and pushback has ramped up even more since he was inaugurated 10 days ago. He has enacted two executive orders that have really upset people--the one to build his wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and now this travel ban on those coming into the U.S. from seven Muslim-dominated countries. When I log on to Facebook, I'm inundated with all of my friends' and family's political opinions. It's too much. Too much negative news, too many politically-laden FB posts...I can't take it anymore. I can't get away from it. I respect everyone's take on things--because I feel there are good and bad points on both sides. My husband and I decided the truth and the "right" things to do are wedged in the middle of all the political rhetoric somewhere, but seriously...I miss the days of logging on to Facebook and just seeing pictures of my nieces and nephews, and my long-distance relatives; pictures and videos of funny cats and dogs; funny memes and quotes. I made this meme, and put it on my FB page this morning:

I did this instead of "unfriending" my most vehement friends and family. I didn't want to hurt or offend anyone, and I imagined people coming back at me, saying I should just quit FB if I don't like what I see (which I may do in the end...). I hope some people get it...but I've been around long enough to know that most people don't. Especially those who are most fanatic about something. Oh well.

On a lighter note...I caved and got my first ever Brazilian wax this past month. That was quite an experience, and one I might lampoon in an essay. Not sure where I'd submit such an article. Maybe there's a professional waxers journal somewhere...there's a journal for everything else, so who knows?

(I wish my experience had been this pretty....)

I guess some creative juices are flowing now that I've unleashed my frustrations in cyberspace. It's 11 a.m. here on the east coast, and I haven't showered or started my laundry. My hair is piled on top of my head, in a greasy bun, but I guess I should stay in my pjs and work on a short story. Or love on Divot. And pray no one comes to my front door.

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