Lucille Ball Moment # 246

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Yesterday evening while Dave crossed the street to speak with a neighbor, I finished my nightly routine by putting my jammies on, arranging my pillows and climbing into bed with my iPad for some Netflix watching. Lily, always happy to join me at bedtime, perched herself on the dresser and washed her pristine white fur. I rested the iPad at an unfortunate angle on Dave’s pillow (wherein lies yet ANOTHER tale, but that’s for another time), but even more unfortunately, the head of the bed was about 2inches from the wall.

Predictably, the iPad slid off the pillow only to rest between the wall and the mattress.

For someone of normal size and with knees lacking arthritis, this would not pose a problem.

I reached between the wall and mattress, and my fingertips just brushed the errant iPad.

Thinking I could reach it better from a different angle, I gingerly abandoned the bed and, avoiding putting pressure on my aforementioned painful knees, rested on my side on the floor between the bed and my dresser.

Alas, the iPad was even further from my grasp.

Sitting up, I could not hoist myself to my feet without putting pressure on my knees, and with Dave nowhere near earshot with only Lily observing me from the dresser with a curious look on her face, I decided my best option was to scoot out of the bedroom, into the hallway and to the landing until I got to the stairway. Afterwhich, I would pull myself up from the banister.

With all the grace and poise of sea lion, I proceeded to do just that.

Not knowing when Dave would return (and he hadn’t taken his phone with him), I wrote on a sticky note, I Need Help, and added a smiley face just so he’d know it wasn’t a serious “call 911” type of matter. Then I place the sticky note on the front door above the knob so he’d be sure to see it when he returned.

But he stayed away longer than expected, so I decided to try once again to reach the unobtainable iPad. So I clambered up to the bedroom, and carefully laid myself prone on the mattress.

SUCCESS!

My fingertips made precarious purchase on the wayward iPad, and I was able to retrieve it after all!

Of course now the Post-It note was moot, so I once again descended the stairs and removed the distress note from the door.

A few moments later while sitting up in bed with the iPad securely in hand, I heard Dave return.

After 34 years, he’s used to my frequent Lucille Ball Moments, and in his sweet, low-key way, just smiled and shook his head after I told him about this latest incident.

So the lesson I learned here was; make sure the mattress is as close to the wall as possible, but keep in mind that should I find myself in a similar situation ever again, I can get myself out of it with no assistance.

And next time Dave leaves the house, make sure he takes his damn phone!

I’m a RHS Queen!

As they say, I did a thing.

After being a Red Hat Society Member for over a year, I paid the extra $19/year and became a Queen. Not only that, I’m creating my own Chapter!

Why?

Well, I joined a chapter last year, but was disappointed to learn that our Queen let her Queenship lapse and the chapter wasn’t an official one. I was told nobody else in the “chapter” was a paying Red Hat member and it was suggested that the presently-defunct’s Queen shouldn’t have to pay her own dues but that the members should reimburse her for it. My question was Why? I’ve paid for MY membership.

So I am bidding that unofficial chapter adieu and have created Willie’s Red Hat Women. And can you guess who our official Mascot is?!

I only applied for my chapter yesterday so I’m waiting for it to become official so I have established a private Facebook group. We have 3 members already!

Although I am an author, I’m not promoting The Puritan Chronicles on my RHS page; that’s what my author page is for. However, Willie’s Women will promote reading and book discussion, as well as friendship. With Willie for our Mascot, this chapter will also promote positive body image. And FRIENDSHIP! And LAUGHTER!

I’m so excited about this and just BRIMMING with ideas for my new chapter!

This is the brightest, cheeriest development of 2020 for me!

Meet Health Expert Tricia Silverman!

If you’re looking to improve your overall health and wellbeing, Tricia Silverman has you covered! Read on to learn about this knowledgeable author!

  1. Congratulations on the release of Healthy Dividends: Investments in Nutrition, Movement, and Healthy Habits that Pay Off   last October.  What makes your dietary advice stand out from similar publications?

Thank you so much! Rather than have one approach to wellness, my book is a buffet of options and ideas for people to consider, and then to embrace the ones that resonate with them. I see people as wellness puzzles. Everyone is unique, and to feel their best, we need to figure out if they are missing any pieces. For example, when people are looking to lose weight, one person may be eating too much junk food, while another may be consuming too much alcohol. Someone else may be eating too much healthy food, and  just need to work on portion control. In the book I share many stories that serve to inspire people, and get them looking at their health from different perspectives.

2.Can you define NuTricia’s Way of Eating?

A NuTricia’s Way of Eating is a balanced style of eating that promotes foods and nutrients needed to feel your best physically and mentally. After looking at the government recommendations for healthy eating in the US and Canada, I also researched how people eat in cultures of longevity, where people live long healthful lives, and came up with my own healthy eating icon called the NuTricia’s Plate. The plate is a helpful representation of what to put on your plate at meals. Half of the plate is vegetables, one quarter protein rich foods, and one quarter whole grains or starchy vegetables like potatoes. Additionally, having three different fruits a day, along with healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, avocadoes, nuts and seeds, can boost your immune system, and contribute to healthy skin, amongst numerous other health benefits.

A NuTricia’s Way of Eating also encompasses eating foods closest to their source, such as choosing oranges rather than orange juice, and doing your best to eliminate food additives and preservatives, and highly-processed foods. This is also known as a “clean” way of eating. Be wary of food ingredients on the food label that have names you don’t recognize, or can’t pronounce. I have a mantra: “If you can’t read it, don’t eat it.”

3. Which contributes more to poor health in America; poor diet or sedentary lifestyle?

I would have to say it’s definitely a combination of the two, and the two feed into each other. If you have a poor diet, you may feel sluggish and more sedentary. If you are more sedentary, you may be eating at the computer, while reading, or watching tv, and this can lead to poor food choices and overeating. Exercise or as I like to call it, movement, can help to give you energy. And some movement is better than no movement. Moving your body can enhance your executive functioning, strengthening your brain power, which can fuel better nutritional choices, and the decision to move your body again. If someone is sedentary I ask them to make just a 5 or 10 minute commitment to take a walk, or get on a treadmill, so they can get into that movement pattern, without feeling they have to give up a lot of time. It sets the stage for a good habit to form, and they can keep adding time to their walks. Small commitments lead to huge gains in wellness over time. I call this, “Breaking the Ice on Your Exercise.” Once you break the ice, it’s easier to do these healthy habits again, and for a longer time. A jumpstart is all that’s needed. And a 5 minute walk today can be that jumpstart.

4. Can we expect more books to follow Healthy Dividends?

For sure! I am working on a course, first, based on Healthy Dividends. I have a lot more to say, as each day goes by I am learning new things, meeting new people with interesting stories, and discovering more about myself and my clients. I am open to suggestions for the next book because my mission is to help people, and I want all of my books to make a difference.

The Mascot, the Icon and the Aspiration

Although at times it can be scary contemplating the future (especially in this post-Covid world), I am buoyed by 3 aspects of my own personality, represented by 3 very differing archetypes.

DAFFY DUCK

Childhood Saturday mornings were spent staring and the test pattern in its shades of gray until 6am when cartoons came on. Always a fan of Looney Tunes, Daffy was a favorite character. After hitting adulthood, I embraced Daffy as my personal mascot, reminding me to be silly and never take myself (or anyone or anything) too seriously.

VENUS of WILLENDORF

I’ve blogged about my beloved icon before so I won’t repeat myself here, other than to reiterate that this paleolithic masterpiece speaks deeply to my soul, teaching me to find beauty in my own aging, plus-sized body as well as in the bodies of others who don’t fit the social standards of physical perfection.

KWAN YIN

This Buddhist bodhisattva of Compassion is imbibed with a gentleness I aspire to. While Willie represents Mother Earth and abundance, Kwan Yin is more ethereal. She’s the image of serenity and benevolence I aspire to.

So those are my Big Three. I’ve adorned myself with jewelry, clothing and tattoos of each one. Their likenesses can be found all over our house. It makes me happy to look at them, and reminds me that despite all that’s wrong in this world, I can always find solace and in my archetypal support system.

Meet Horror Novelist Liz Butcher!

If you’re a fan of horror, give  Liz Butcher a try! Read below to learn more about this Australian author.


1. You have a BA in Psychology. How does that help you delve into the darker corners of the human psyche?

 

It certainly helps with both developing the characters and understanding what motivates them. Knowledge of the human psyche helps with storytelling overall, in that an understanding of the human condition can help you create scenes that draw the reader in by triggering their emotions—whether it’s fear, hope, sadness, longing…

 

2. After Dark is a compilation of several short stories. What did you enjoy most about writing them? 

Mastering the short story was a wonderful learning curve for me, and I’d recommend them to any writer starting out. I’d already started writing Fates’ Fury but lacked the confidence in my writing skills to move it forward. I’d joined Writing.com and found their writing prompts and competitions a great motivator. Then a writing friend sent me a submission call for an anthology and when my short was accepted I was thrilled! Several short stories appeared in anthologies which I found was an awesome way to build a portfolio of writing. Writing short stories also hones your word skills and teaches you how to express the most out of a few words. Especially drabbles (exactly 100 words)!

3. Fates’ Fury was just released this past September and already has some very good reviews. Where did you get the inspiration for this chilling read?

 

The idea for Fates’ Fury bounced around in my head for a couple of months before I put pen to paper. I’d written nothing in years, yet this story was forming in my mind, just begging to come out. I started it in 2012, when there was a lot of talk of the Mayan Calendar and the end of the world, and I questioned whether we deserved to be here, and if that right was questioned, how could we, as a race, argue our case? So, that’s when I came up with the concept of the Fates wanting to eradicate mankind, and the ancient gods joining forces with mortals for both self-preservation, but also to help them save themselves. At the crux of the story is a powerful friendship, a love for family (whether it’s by blood or chosen) and a love for life that motivates the major characters to keep fighting even when faced with impossible truths and endless losses. 

 

4. Do you have a current work in progress you can tell us about?

I have a few! My next book, LeRoux Manor, releases on September 1st and is a YA horror story about a teenage girl forced to move to the other side of the world when her father inherits the old family estate. From the moment she arrives, strange things start to happen and when she digs into the family history—and the mysterious death of her ancestor over a century ago—she unlocks a haunting past she can’t escape from.

My next book, Never, Never, is in the final stages of editing and is a retelling of Peter Pan. It’s set in present day, and Wendy Darling is a detective haunted by her abduction by the inhuman entity she only knows by the name of Pan, when she was fifteen years old. When a local girl disappears in almost the exact manner that Wendy had, she fears her nightmares are coming true and Pan has returned. She’s determined to find the girl before it’s too late—whatever the cost.

I’m also working on a series of novella’s centered ona complete mess of a woman named Luna Zimmer, and her best friend, Freddy Fisher as they travel around Australia investigating paranormal phenomenon in their converted double-decker bus. There’s more to Luna than meets-the-eye as she explores the realm of the dead to uncover the truth about the death of her family.

 

 

 

 

If a little’s good, a lot’s better

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Less is More.

That’s a valid concept and very true in countless situations. Unless, like me, you subscribe to the oposing adage, If a little’s good, a lot’s better.

One evening, over 30 years ago, I decided to burn the remnants of a Pumpkin Spice candle ( a Yankee candle, contained in a glass jar complete with a lid). I love to burn that scent in Autumn.

Sitting in my living room with our first kitten, Mocha, for my only company, it occurred to me that I had about a tablespoon of pumpkin spice seasoning in the cupboard that was probably expired. I got the brilliant idea that if I sprinkled a little of it into the candle, it would enhance the candle’s fragrance.

So I did.

I returned to my chair and read or crocheted ( don’t remember exactly) when I thought to myself, there’s such a little bit left of that pumpkin pie spice I might as well add it to the candle.

So I did.

Returning again to my chair and resuming my evening pastime, I enjoyed the fortified scent of the candle, content and peaceful, just me and my kitten.

Eventually, sweet little kitten Mocha stopped wrestling with her toy and sat in front of the end table upon which burned the candle. I glanced at the candle just in time to see a mini conflagration burst from the confines of the glass jar.

PHFFMP!

Luckily, the candle’s lid was right next to the candle, and I quickly slapped it on, smothering the flames.

Mocha looked from the extinguished candle to me and blinked, seemingly unimpressed.

I still to this day struggle with the ” if a little’s good, a lot’s better” mindset, but I’m learning (slowly) to appreciate moderation.

I don’t always practice it, but I appreciate it.

Now excuse me while I plug in my scented wax burner.

No more open flames for me!