I Had a Bad Day

I had a bad day. Sounds like a song title, doesn’t it? And it wasn’t even a Monday because Rainy Days and Mondays Get Me Down. (If you’re old enough, you totally got that.)
Everyone has bad days, right?


In the winter, when the sky remains gray and weeps cold tears, I have bad days more frequently.
Lately, some people and situations are causing drama for my husband. The man is unflappable, and since he has to deal with me, he deserves a free pass.
I was staring blankly at my iPad after watching an encouraging video. It was so uplifting that I was in tears. The best kind, right?
I heard the distinct sound of my cat playing with something. Her claws scrabbled across our laminate flooring.
When I looked down, this is what I saw:

Where, oh where, have you been little circle?

I started laughing.
About now, it would be normal for you to think I’d snapped, lost my mind. Why would a crocheted circle make a woman laugh?
Because it was the same circle my husband and I had searched for a few days before. We turned over the furniture and crawled under the beds. Our search left no cranny uninspected.
My husband snarled as he knelt in front of the stove and refrigerator with a flashlight, “You cats better not be laughing at me.”
They looked so innocent. But they had the last laugh. I crocheted a replacement part and assembled the granny square lap-ghan.
“As soon as I finish this, they’ll bring out that circle from whereever they hid it.” My husband was convinced I never made it.
Now, back to my bad day.

After my laughter and a few moments of prayer, I went to work.
I didn’t even cry when I opened the email from a small publisher. They requested the full manuscript of a young adult fantasy I’ve been trying to sell for over a year.
The email informed me they liked the premise and the world-building, but my characters were indistinct and unrelatable.
I have a Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream bar for just such a moment.
But thanks to my conniving felines, I didn’t even need it.
What makes you have a bad day? What sort of things can turn it into a good day?

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.
Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.
Already read one or more? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. Those reviews are the same as the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.

What Makes a Woman Old?

I had a landmark birthday recently. And I totally expected to feel old. Which made me start to wonder: what does that even mean?

Old is a state of mind they say.

You’re only as old as you feel.

Don’t think of age as a number.

You’ve heard all the platitudes and sayings. But they are only words.

Wrong Thinking

I like Mark Twain. He had killer wit.

mindoverage-marktrwain

And in this case, I totally agree with him. Age, like enduring the pain in boot camp, is all about mind over matter.

As my birthday neared, I kept dreading the big five-zero.

But why?

Would I really be decrepit on my birthday when I was totally able-bodied the day before it?

In fact, since I was 23 and got my first gray hair (I thank my firstborn for this), I’ve had an interesting idea about age and getting old.

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Speaking of Which

While we’re on the subject of my firstborn, today is his birthday.

That’s right. Twenty-six years ago a cute little boy interrupted all the plans that went before him.

Because having kids does more than reshape your figure. And your finances. And your sleep schedule.

Suddenly the young couple becomes a young family. And family trumps all other things.

It’s hard to claim the age of 39 (which I found to be a perfect point in my life) when you’re standing beside a tall, handsome nearly-30-year-old to whom you gave birth.

Uh, yeah. I was still in middle school when I had him.

Not. (And even the thought of that is more terrifying than watching a scary movie marathon.)

My Body Has Other Ideas

The problem with this mind over matter thinking? Sometimes a body refuses to cooperate.

I’m not talking about those phantom aches and pains.

Imagine: You sit on the examining table and glance over at the ultrasound screen. Your name and date of birth are in bright characters at the top.

A neon sign blares “AGE: 50”

This test is in preparation for your first ever surgery the next week.

“Wow. You made it fifty years without ever needing anesthesia.” I didn’t imagine the hint of awe in the admission nurse’s voice.

Could someone stop reminding me of my age?

And my body—which refuses to act like the 30-year-old vessel I imagine– should be the engine of that train.

Let me say that when you’re recovering from a “minor procedure” you feel every second of your actual age. No matter what you claim, the 50-year-old cells don’t repair things at the rapid rate of 30-year-old ones.

Now back to the question posed in the title of this post. A woman is as old as the calendar says minus a decade or two if she’s taken care of her body.

Most people don’t look closely at the crow’s feet around my eyes or the brown spots on my jaw. They see the wide, white smile and twinkling eyes.

Those are the characteristics of someone whose age isn’t on her mind. She’s too busy living life to worry about some arbitrary number.

Ladies, the only thing that can make a woman old is her declaration that she is old.

What do you think makes a woman (or a man) old?

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.

Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.

Already read one or more? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. That’s like the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.


		

Happy Birthday to The Man

Happy birthday to the man…

Born June 27, 1965
Born June 27, 1965
  • of the hour
  • I’m married to
  • of my dreams
  • who puts up with me day after day
  • who proposed to me 29 years ago and married me 28 years ago
  • who is the best father my boys could have
  • who I’m glad to grow old with
  • who spoils me
  • I love…still…after all this time
  • who looks at me with awestruck eyes
  • who loves me…still…after living with me for nearly three decades

Okay, the man’s a saint! I admit it. I’m the one who calls him “Mr. Wonderful” after all.

Back in 1982 when two cute seniors flirted with me the day before school started, I never would have imagined one of them would be my husband. And it wasn’t the one I dated first, either.

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This is a man who stood beside me through the births of two sons (well, there were those few moments he was nearly passing out, but I hardly remember that).

After the birth of son #1
After the birth of son #1

This is the man who taught our sons to shoot hoops, ride a bike and drive a car.

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Yes, he’s an amazing father. My boys are blessed.

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He spoils me with great trips

Caribbean 2016
Caribbean 2016

And I let him spoil himself with Mustang convertibles

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He has a sense of adventure that parallels mine

Ziplining 2016
Ziplining 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not to mention a sense of humor

Thanksgiving 2012 -085

And didn’t he help me make handsome children?

Now we’re blessed with daughters, and our family is complete.

Thad & Kacy Wedding 2016 - 0627

Happy birthday, Mr. Wonderful. I’m glad you let me talk you into dating me and then trick you into marrying me. I hope I make you half as happy as you’ve made me.

Here’s to another 50-some years, right?

 

Pet Follies

Yeah, this is a cat's life
Yeah, this is a cat’s life

Sometimes, I really just need to laugh. As much as I enjoy reading blog posts with thought-provoking information, there are days when that feels “ho-hum” because my brain is tired of processing facts.

Last week, I chuckled while reading two uproariously funny posts. In fact, you may have heard a hoot of laughter when this blogger told her cat and mouse story. I’m talking about Kristen Lamb and you can read the cat post here.

Usually I read blogs at lunch or after dinner. That Thursday, I saw the notification while I was eating breakfast, so I clicked on my WordPress app and began to devour it. (WARNING: don’t drink hot coffee while reading this.)

It made me think of my own cat stories. People understand that I prefer the company of my cat(s) over most other forms of company. I’ve already informed my husband that I will become a “cat lady” if he ever decides to precede me in death.

His response, “At least I’ll already be dead.” Well, if that’s what you want *stares daggers into his back.*

The cat we had when we were first married thought he was a supreme hunter. In fact, he was a house cat for the first two years of his life, and we had him declawed because it was more affordable than new furniture.

Without claws, this cat could climb trees and catch mice and birds. He even jumped on the back of the neighbor’s dog, riding it for a few seconds until he was sure it was leaving our property.

Back in the “leave the garage door ajar” days of cat care, we came home to the scene of an epic battle. Feathers floated in the air as the electric opener rolled back “door number one.”

My cats are awesome. They bring presents and leave them on the doormat. They don’t bring them in the house or put them in my bed. I praise them loudly and give them scratches under the chin when they bring a mouse or bird for me.

One morning, we were out working in the yard. I stepped out of the side door and saw my cat had something in his mouth. It was larger than a mouse, but it was black and furry.

It was a bat. I convinced him to drop it and proceeded to lean over and study it, wondering how he caught a bat in the morning. Don’t they only come out at night?

“Honey, look, Stache caught a bat!”

I lean in closer. The bat springs from its faint into my face.

Of course, I screamed and dodged, screamed and covered my head, and screamed. (Did I mention there was plenty of screaming? I’m not much of a screamer, but this was an exception.)

The cat ran away when the bat was moving, too. Yep. Of course, it could have been the blood-curdling screams that sent him crawling under the deck. I choose to believe it was the terrifying bat.

What did my husband do? Laugh. Of course, he patted my shoulder and said, “It’s gone” or some inane drivel meant to stop my hysteria. He thinks the bat flew into the side of the house and fell to the ground, stunned. The cat picked it up from there.

Note to self: a bat flying at your face is scarier than a hairy, eight-legged arachnid crawling on the bathroom counter.

What sort of funny pet stories do you have? If you got even a little chuckle from my story, I’d love to know about it.