Tag Archives: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: I should be packing

So I think you guys might know by now, but Monday I leave for a two week trip to France.  As of today I have yet to do any real packing, which is a surprise considering how obsessive I am about this kind of thing normally, but this trip is different in a lot of ways.  So, here are thirteen things I need to do or pack before I leave – on Monday.

  1. Call my bank and let them know that when Money is being withdrawn in another country, it’s okay.  I haven’t been pick-pocketed.
  2. Call my insurance company to double-check the procedure for using my insurance in another country.
  3. Making a photocopy of all my important documents.  Making multiple copies so I can leave them in my luggage and with my father.
  4. Dig out my suitcase from the depths of my closet.
  5. Buy the books I want to read while on the plane and waiting for all the cycling stuff to happen.
  6. Get batteries, specifically the lithium ones because apparently you can’t take the others on the flight we’re taking.
  7. Charge all my electronics.
  8. Pack clothes.
  9. Don’t forget things like socks and things with sleeves since it’s going to be colder in France than in Texas.
  10. Adapters so I can charge things in Europe.
  11. Do more figuring out of what I want to see.
  12. Decide if we’re going to London or not and make reservations.
  13. Clean the apartment.
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Thursday Thirteen: Pen Monkey Stuff

I don’t talk about writing often because I’m no guru or know-it-all when it comes to being a pen monkey.  So I thought it would be fun to list thirteen things that help me write, ways that I find time to write or whatever.  Just so long as it’s writing related.

  1. Writing sprints.  I’m incredibly easy to distract so being able to log into the writechat.net for a good challenge or tune into the #wordmongering sessions every hour, on the hour is a good focus tool for me.
  2. Excel sheet.  I keep a spread sheet with my daily numbers plotted out on it.  I can track my productivity and evaluate my performance.  There are always X factors going on that are non-writing related that impact the out put but I can figure those into the evaluation process at least.
  3. OneNote.  This one little program keeps everything organized as far as research and outlines and character ‘stuff’.
  4. DropBox.  I work on several machines.  Being able to open the most up-to-date version of the file on any of them is awesome.
  5. Candles.  Don’t ask me why, but I write best with a candle flickering in my periphrial vision.
  6. Angela James’ self editing class.  The things I learned in that class have made me a better writer.  No one can fix my spelling, but she at least made my grammar better.
  7. Being single.  I don’t have distractions of a spouce or kids.  I’m single and I can set my own writing hours and schedule outside of work.
  8. Supportive co-workers.  I don’t blog or talk about work on principal, but my co-workers are all very excited and supportive of my writing.
  9. #writersdatenight.  Having friends who are writers is a little neurotic, but awesome.  They understand the things that pop out of my mouth and encourage me unlike any other.
  10. NaNoWriMo.  Some people hate this month long focused writing time.  I loved it and it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get writing again.  Also, I met some of my closest friends via NaNoWriMo.
  11. Dr Pepper.  Need something to work towards.  Set a goal, achieve it, get a Dr Pepper!
  12. Research material.  AKA, my excuse to sit back with a good book and read.
  13. Some days nothing is more important than penning the story.  Even sleep.  We won’t talk about the nights I’ve spent writing instead of sleeping or how awful the next work day was.

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Thursday Thirteen: Goodbye Mamaw

Chances are if you’ve glanced at my blog or twitter over the last few weeks you’re aware that my Mamaw (Dad’s Mom) had a stroke and was Care Flighted to the hospital where she’s been in a mostly catatonic state for over two weeks.  I’m writing this post in anticipation of the end.

Through this experience my Dad has had to make some very tough decisions, he’s been through a lot of circumstances I would never wish on a child taking care of their parent.  I’m proud that he’s my dad.

Monday he was agonizing over a decision that had to be made.  Alone with her in the hospital room he took her hand knowing that she probably wasn’t conscious enough to know what he was saying or why she squeezed his hand.  The decision has been that squeezing our hands is a reflex.  She knows we’re there even if she doesn’t know what we’re saying.  The decision was a tough one and he knew it needed to be made but man should never have to play God, and he would have to do that with his mother’s life.

Unexpectedly she opened her eyes, appearing more aware of her surroundings than she has been.  Dad, after the initial shock wore off, began telling her of her condition.  That she’d had a stroke, she’d been in the hospital for two weeks and she wouldn’t be getting better.  He told her he had to make a tough choice and he wanted to know if it was okay.

“Momma, if you can understand what I’m saying, blink once.”

She blinked.

“Momma, do you want us to keep you on life support?  If yes, blink twice.”

She didn’t blink.

“Momma, do you want us to take the other option?  Blink three times.”

She blinked three, slow times.

“Momma, if we do this you’re going to die.  They’re giving you forty-eight hours.”

She squeezed his hand and closed her eyes.

To some extent this is a dramatization.  I’m not sharing the intimate details or the tough questions he had to ask, but in a lot of ways my dad is the strongest man I know.

So today here are thirteen things I’m grateful my Mamaw taught me, things she gave me and why I’m going to miss her.

  1. She taught me how to embroider.  I suck at it, but she showed me not to be afraid of a needle and thread.  Today I can sew just about anything.
  2. I’ll never again eat an over salted piece of burned meat and have to smile and say it’s good while ignoring the New Year’s hangover.
  3. When her husband died and she set up house at the back of our property, she became my chauffer.  There are countless things I would never have been able to do if she hadn’t been able to take me.
  4. Of my family members she was the one who understood why I wanted to go to Bible College.
  5. She always had faith in me.
  6. Some days my Mamaw really surprised me, like the day she flipped off a guy cutting her off and told him to shove it.  I snorted laughing so hard.
  7. My Christmas presents will be a lot more straightforward.  I won’t be getting recycled items from her closet any more.
  8. Mamaw was never too busy to take a moment and include me.
  9. Pecan bars.  She made them every Thanksgiving.  We’ll never have them again.  It was the one thing she made that she never burned and always tasted fantastic.
  10. I’ve been a kid with two grandmothers for most of my life.  Now I only have one.
  11. She alwasy gave my dad something to worry about or annoy him with something.
  12. There isn’t anyone else in my family to ask me hard, religious and spiritual questions.
  13. She gave me my daddy.

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Thursday Thirteen: Make Me A Girl

Growing up, I wasn’t the girly girl. I liked being a girl, because in the crowd of boys at the rodeo it made me different and they treated me special. Even cowboys as kids are a special breed. I didn’t get my Bachelorette of Style until I met a very fabulous man who taught me a lot about being female. There’s something funny about a man teaching a woman about being feminine. So today’s post is thirteen things is a tribute to him because I want to share thirteen beauty product, tips and tricks that I use – daily.

  1. Don’t be shy about waxing, plucking or shaving it. If whatever your ‘it’ is has too much forestation, do something about it. You’ll feel better neatly groomed than if you try to hide or minimize your ‘it’. My it? My upper lip. I tip my waxing tech well.
  2. Eyebrows make a statement. Hopefully yours says something positive. Some women are born with amazing eyebrows that need little to no grooming. I am not one of those people. I plucked for years and years, and finally got waxed and it’s one of two fashion up keeping costs I won’t give up.
  3. Your skin is everywhere. Literally. Pick up after yourself. We’ve all had dandruff, or dry, flaky skin. I keep a roller on my desk at work for days like this.
  4. Skin care. Following the above idea, taking care of my skin was something I didn’t do until I was in my 20’s. I didn’t know I should exfoliate or moisturize. Now it’s one of my routines. I exfoliate with an organics face scrub and I use day and night moisturizers and eye cream.
  5. Something luxurious is a necessary. Some people love pedicures or manicures, maybe a massage. The salon I go to for my hair has a fantastic facial package. My face has never felt smoother, nor have I ever been so relaxed as when I splurged for what I thought would be a one-time facial.
  6. Don’t limit your style. Everyone has a style, even if it’s only jeans and a t-shirt, you have a personal style.  But don’t stick to that. Just because you’re wearing a name tag that says My Name is Sidney doesn’t mean you’re limited to those letters. Pick something in a daring shade, a cut you aren’t 100% confident about or something that is or isn’t trendy. You’ll feel that special something else when you wear it.
  7. Footwear shouldn’t be forced. Comfort is a big deal for me. If something isn’t comfortable for me I’m not going to wear it. I don’t care how fantastic the heel is or how wow the print, I won’t wear it. I love heels, they do wonderful things for my calves, but I won’t bleed to wear a heel.
  8. Sometimes His really is better than Hers. I use men’s razors. I know that women’s razors are supposed to be specifically made for us, with a close shave – but the best shave I’ve ever had was from a men’s cheapie disposable razor.
  9. Find your POP. Everyone’s style has a pop element. Be it blingy jewelry, a flower or jeweled head piece, or a body bag sized purse – there’s some funky twist that we all love. And it’s usually ‘you’ specific. For me, I like a lot of pop. My challenge is selecting the pop items.
  10. Edit yourself. Hard on the heels of the ‘pop’, know when you have too much. We’ve all seen the teenager with a hundred bazillion necklaces, tons of belts, chunky shoes and clothes that scream at us. It’s too much of too many statements. Know what you want to say about yourself, and underline that with your clothes. Don’t scream it.
  11. Artistry is subjective. I encourage everyone to go get their make-up done professionally once or twice. The first time you’re going to be so wide eyed and amazed at all the different products and all the stuff that will be put on your face. A second time you’ll be able to understand what’s going on. Another reason I suggest going more than once, you might not like the results the first time. Different people style different ways and playing with colors and combinations is allowed. Make-up is an art.
  12. Take the whole picture into consideration. Have a good, full length mirror. You are your own worst critic, and being able to
    evaluate how you look, see how fantastic you are, that’s pretty important. I fail on this one. I really need a new mirror because mine is rather pitiful.
  13.  Somedays, you need to let yourself go. This is a hard one for me to do. Make-up was my shield, it was a mask that made me feel
    able to handle being around people and feel confident. Don’t just let yourself be all natural on a day you’re at home, go out al natural sometimes, because you’re fabulous if you’re made up, and when you’re not.

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