Well, hi there, Dear Reader. Yes, it has been a while – all summer it seems. But lots of things have happened since the middle of May, so lets do a little catching up.
To begin with, the computer that I used for the past few years was a laptop I had for work. I knew it was on its last legs and had already received a new computer and transferred all work files, but I was still bringing the old one home to write and post.
Well, it crashed. So I was without a computer for a bit.
Then, I quit my job.
It was a great job and I had it for over 11 years. But the stress in the last 2 years had increased exponentially and it was affecting my health. It was a little like working in a minefield, always anticipating the next explosion. Not good for ones physical or mental health.
So I chose instead to stay at home with my Mom. As you may or may not know, she has been under hospice care since last August. We had two extraordinary women taking care of her while I was at work, but that cost was about the same as my salary. So now, we pay me instead.
The first week in June, we were hosts to much of my family and many friends from all over the country, as well as our dear friends here in the Ozarks, to celebrate my 60th birthday. It was a night of great music, food and drink, fire jugglers and a huge fireworks display that rivaled anything I had ever seen. It was declared a wild rumpus and it was exactly that!
As you know, I love nothing more that having my house filled with the people I love, so this was heaven to me. And I still get a little giddy just thinking about it. One of my dearest friends, Sharon and her husband, stayed the next week and we had a absolutely great time.
One day, we went to Eureka Springs, AR, to shop and have lunch. In one of the shops, we had a very serendipitous meeting with an artist, a lovely woman, who had been a portrait artist on Jackson Square in New Orleans. She asked if any of us wanted our portrait done – and I thought – why not!
As she sketched, I guess it took about 20 minutes, we visited and got to know a little about each other. Then after the portrait was done, she said, “If anything happens to your husband, look me up. I’m bisexual.” I laughed and gave her a big hug. And told her that was one of the nicest propositions I had in a while! I got the biggest kick out of that!
It was a crazy couple of weeks to say the least.
Since then, I have been taking care of Mom full time. It is wonderful to be at home and to be able to care for her and talk to her and laugh with her. We have settled into a routine and so far so good. I am still trying to sort out time away, not only to do errands and grocery shop, but to have time to lunch with friends or go out with Bob. That is still a work in progress.
And one last thing from this crazy summer, I dyed my hair pink. Well, I’m calling it raspberry.
I LOVE it though it is fading rather quickly. Now starting to think about what color to try next – maybe violet or lavender!
As you can tell from the lack of posts, I haven’t been writing much of anything. I have dusted off The Last Really Good Shack posts and have them to someone to edit. I have an outline for a beginning, middle and end for that story, so am making that a priority for the fall. I would love to get a completed manuscript in the hands of a publisher this winter.
And I have my eyes on poetry written the past two years or so – maybe trying to get them into shape for publication.
And I have created a few tiny books of poems – I will be writing a posts about that soon.
So thank you for your continued support of my writing. I appreciate your notes of friendship – it means so much to know that you drop by and still read my poems.
All the best to you and I promise to keep in touch.
A delight to read your work. Happy Birthday!! I’m so glad to find your piece here today. Wonderful photos!! Beautiful indeed.
Thanks, Barbara, thanks for dropping by – I do appreciate your kind words – smiles
Looks like an amazing birthday bash…congrats! I like the raspberry hair color on you…i’ve thought about lavender but haven’t dared…please post another photo if YOU do 🙂 Happy writing!
Thanks, Lynn – I will definitely do another color and of course, share a photo – the color has faded to a funny kinda of strawberry blonde with pink highlights now – still its a fun thing to do – now I’m trying to decide between lavender and electric blue! lol
There are a few places where our stories this year overlap–health issues, dead laptop, quitting the restaurant job and going full time (less money) at the library for my mental and physical health. It’s a stress though, but I still think it was the right decision. Welcome back, Kathleen and hugs to you from across the country. All the best with your mother and all you need to take care of. Please keep taking good care of you too!
Thanks, David – what, you didn’t dye your hair pink lol! I had been popping by your blog on occasion this summer – sorry that I have been incommunicado 🙂 I’m glad that you are still happy with your decision to work at the library. It was a difficult decision for me to leave, but I feel so much better – I just didn’t realize how the job was affecting me.
Hugs back to you, my dear – hope all is well with your family – would love to see a new pic of everyone!
Yes, it’s about time to get all these boys together for a photo again. Maybe we can sneak one in this weekend. And then you can double check the color of my hair. I think the pink mostly faded out by now. 😉
And I do understand about the stress. Leaving the restaurant was the best decision I could make, and I should have done it long ago. Now for this freelance editing thing to get off the ground. Got my first payment from a job, so it’s a start! So glad you were able to make the decision and de-stress.
Lovely post, Kathleen, and many happy returns. Glad you had such a fine celebration. DId the same recently for my 5oth. The best part is having all the special people in you life around you to help celebrate. I wish you much luck with your writing and poetry and look forward to reading more of your posts this coming year. All my best, Melissa
Thank you, Melissa, and happy birthday to you! And that IS absolutely the best part – what is funny is that 3 of my closest friends were here and its the first time they had met – It was great seeing them together. Thank you for your encouraging words- it means so much. K
GOOD JOB!! Can’t wait for the book!
a lovely post, Kathleen – happy belated sixtieth my young friend!
So very happy for you! Happy Belated Birthday too sweet friend. Can’t wait for your book, The Last Really Good Shack. Also will be seeing you in November — whoooohooo!
–one of many Ozark friends, joanie
Thanks, Joanie, my dear – So looking forward to it – you are so sweet to invite me! Hugs!!
I luv ur hair/wish I had guts to do mine, but hv an aide that helps me out n she wld kill me for sure/luv ur site n look forward to ea new day
Oh come on, Wanda – how cool would that be – you with pink hair! You know everyone would get a big kick out of it! I so appreciate your kind words and so happy you enjoy my writing – all by best, my dear! K
So nice to read this catch-up post. Your birthday looks SENSATIONAL.I especially like the strung up lights…….fire throwers too? you guys know how to throw a party. I love the strawberry hair AND the wonderful sketch – the artist is talented. It is wonderful that you are now retired and can have this very special time with your mom, to hang out, laugh and remember all the good times through the years. LOVE that you are getting the Really Good Shack material ready for publication. I will be first in line for a copy, you can count on it. My fave kind of story.
Well, you will definitely be kept up to date with the progress of the Shack stories.
Thanks, my friend!
I have missed you so much! Glad to hear that you are well–and I love the pink hair! So, so sorry I missed the birthday bash! My knee is now healed, so I’m hoping to get up that way before the wedding! I’m really looking forward to you publishing the Shack! I love those writings! Miss you!
The WEDDING – so when is it? Bob still thinks he needs to meet Charlie first – just to make sure LOL Love you and miss you too – let me know when you are headed our way!
So happy to finally see some photos of that infamous birthday bash thrown in your honor! 🙂 Fabulous! and well-deserved!
So many changes and milestones and plans for the future. Very excited about your upcoming projects – can’t wait to see what your talented hand produces in the coming year(s).
All my best, dear! 🙂
Thanks, Sarah – It was quite the wild rumpus! And we will see what the future holds – keep practicing your rabbits – you never know what might show up in your email! 🙂