I don't know about you but when I get busy with a project, the day job, and life in general, I sometimes forget to take care of myself. We all do this from time to time, though some of us may do it a lot more often than we should.
Here are some ideas that may help when you need to recharge or just take some time for yourself.
Wear comfortable clothes.
As soon as I get home from the day job, I change into comfortable clothes. In warm weather, it's usually shorts and an oversized t-shirt. In cold weather, it's some type of leggings or sweatpants and an oversize long sleeved shirt or oversized sweatshirt. Thank goodness for the men's clothing section where I can find the oversized shirts and sweatshirts I like to wear around home.
If you noticed, I said warm weather and cold weather. There have been many a Christmas that I was in shorts and a t-shirt or jeans and t-shirt because the weather was warm instead of cold. And there have been cold fronts in March that had everyone in long sleeves. But that's Texas weather.
Sip a cup of your favorite hot tea or coffee.
I honestly bounce back and forth between coffee and tea, and I drink it either hot or cold depending on my mood or the weather. It's nice to just sit in front of a window, sip my drink and watch the hummingbirds dance around the feeders. At first, we had only one coming to the feeders. Now, we have five. I love watching them.
Read a book.
It's nice to get lost in another world, even if it's only for a few minutes. (Shameless plug here. LOL)
Listen to music.
Classical, jazz, rock and roll, pop music...whatever is your favorite put it on and let it sweep you away.
Take a nap.
Sleep is the biggest problem I have. I just don't get enough. I used to feel guilty about coming home from the day job and taking a fifteen to thirty minute nap. But not anymore. Hours at the day job, and then work at home along with writing full time takes its toll. Most nights I don't get enough sleep. My body will just shut down on me when I get sleep deprived. A good example was last night. I was up alone writing. I woke up two hours later and I had only writing one paragraph. Sleep is essential. If it takes a nap after work to get you through the evening, then that's what you have to do to take care of yourself.
Pick up your favorite take-out instead of cooking.
There are days when so much is going on that I just need a break from cooking. There is nothing wrong with indulging in take-out. I just try not to do it too often.
Drink plenty of water.
I've always heard that if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. That's a scary thought, especially if it's hot outside. I always know when I don't drink enough water because my body tells me. Make sure you drink plenty of water.
I had to do one of the things I really, really hate to do this week. I had to go shopping for jeans. I'm going to be honest with you.
I HATE clothes shopping. Even as a teenager I hated to go clothes shopping.
I'm a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. At the day job, I wear jeans with dressier tops.
I have found myself wearing more t-shirts and athletic bottoms or leggings at home and on the weekends, especially when I curl up to write.
One of the biggest problems I have is that the sizes are not consistent. They are not consistent from store to store, brand to brand, or even different lines inside a brand. And I think jeans are even worse about this. I started with the size I know I wear and it was too big. So I had to grab a size smaller and it fit. Yes, I have lost some weight, but not enough to drop a whole dress size in jeans. The other problem is the waist. I don't need low riders, or mid-waist fits. I'm plus size and they don't work very well on my shape. I don't want jeans that fit below my belly button.
I managed to find three pair of jeans and a pair of crops that fit and have a "classic" waist that comes to just above the belly button. I saved the tags so that I can go on line and order a couple more pairs when I need them. Hopefully the sizes won't have changed.
The weather here in Texas is HOT!
The high today was 103℉. 🌞
Harvesting has started. The maize (sorghum) is being harvested and it's playing havoc with my allergies. It looks like the corn fields are ready to be harvested.
I don't know about you, but I'm so ready for fall and cooler weather. And that gets me to thinking about the things I want to do in the fall.
So here's my Fall Bucket List...
Drink pumpkin spice coffee.
I love pumpkin spice coffee. It's a treat to go to a coffee shop and order one when they start serving it. This year, I really need to find a recipe so I can make it at home.
I love sweaters and flannel shirts. I tend to buy the long or over-sized sweaters, and I have no problem buying them out of the men's section.
Sit around the fire pit.
We actually cook on our fire pit. On cool nights, its nice to be able to sit around it.
Open windows and not need the air conditioner.
Cool fall days is the first chance after summer to open windows and air out the house, or our fifties military housing that we are currently living in.
Make fall recipes.
Stews, chicken and dumplings, casseroles. I use the crock pot a lot for stews. It's nice to come home from the day job and open the door to the wonderful smell of a beef stew with a loaf of warm, buttered bread on the side. An easy dish for fall and winter.
Burn fall scented candles.
I've actually have a couple of fall candles that I'm using up. I went a little crazy last fall and bought a bunch of fall scented candles. So throughout summer, I've had that teasing scent of fall in the house.
Cuddle up under soft blankets.
Normally the soft, cuddly blankets don't come out until fall. Yes, I said normally. Since I've started having cold flashes, the soft blankets are on the bed and in the living room. So I'm already cuddling up with them. The fur babies love them too.
Today I thought I would give you some updates on some of the things that have been going on in my life. So here they are...
I'm still taking some swimming lessons, though they will be coming to an end when I run out of sessions. I did take about a month off from swimming and my aquatics class so that the sockets from the wisdom teeth extraction could heal. I didn't have any stitches. I was probably a little too paranoid about anything getting into the sockets.
I'm still having trouble floating face down. I've made some small steps, but it is something I need to work on. I am definitely more comfortable in the water than I used to be. Using a kickboard and short fins, I do laps in the pool and really enjoy it. When I first started, I wasn't able to even do that.
Even after my lessons end, I will still be in the aquatics class and doing the laps.
Several months ago, I told you that we had to cover the ceiling with plastic because the powers that be decided the roof of the unit we're renting had to be replace. As a result, a lot of things had to be moved, and things were piled onto of stuff. I couldn't even see the top of my desk.
The plastic came down and some things were moved, but I could only see a small portion of my desk. Sorting stuff was moved down on the priority list.
I can now use my office like I should. It is not perfect. I have sorted and tossed some stuff, but I have more that I need to go through as you can see from the piles. The room is smaller than what I had in the house we sold, but I'm making it work.
Yes, I have a Barbie collection. What you see is not all of them. There are more behind the ones you can see.
Stuffed animals are scattered around the shelves.
You can see the piles I still need to work on and reduce even more. I haven't put anything up on the walls. The main wall is the one you see below. The wall to the left has a closet and behind me is a wall of windows. The closet is full of boxes and more boxes are piled under the windows by the closet.
DH bought the desk unit for me a couple of years ago. He found one of the market listings he looks at. It is used, but the desk is large enough to spread notes out and have the laptop going too.
The desk chair likes to go down on its own. Any ideas how to fix it so that it will stay up? It's annoying to be typing and suddenly start sinking until the chair can't go down any more.
New Story and Writing Stuff
Forrest's story is coming along. I've set myself up a due date for the complete draft and I'm working to get it finished by that date.
The past year and a half life has thrown a lot at me that I was expecting or ready for. Selling the house and moving were life changing, but DH's new heart issues was the biggest curve ball and later this year the cardiologist may have place more stents.
I'm not ready to set any dates for publication other than general time frames. I have to see if I can keep the writing pace along with the day job.
I'm working on outlines too. The outline for Phoenix is almost finished.
I'm staying busy. My "To Do" lists are long and stuff does get carried over to the next day. Some of the things on the list are actually my goals for the month. Keeping them in front of me is the best way I could think of to get them done.
Change is inevitable. Sometimes it happens even when we don't want it to happen. And sometimes it happens because we need it to happen.
The last two months, DH was going back and forth with his cardiologist. One of the tests revealed his heart was functioning below normal levels. It was functioning on such a low level that his cardiologist told him no exercise of any kind and definitely no lifting or other such activities until they could figure out what was going on with DH's heart. The cardiologist was worried that DH could have a heart attack at any time. Long story short...DH went into the cath lab and ended up with two more stents to open up arteries/veins that had collapsed. We then had to go back for another test. The good news is that his heart is once again functioning at a normal rate for his heart.
As a result, diet, exercise, the push to lose more weight, as well as making more us time has changed. Neither of us knows what the future holds, but we do know that we don't have the time that we thought we had together, so we have to make the most of what we do have.
I've made some changes to the blog. Hopefully they are changes for the better and will make it easier for you to navigate the site.
I've thought about changing the color, but I'm having trouble picking. Black seems to be my 'go to' color, but some may think it's too macabre, but then Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.
Since Surviving Ivy came out, I've been working on outlines. I have three complete which are for the Durant Brothers series. It will be a three book series and it takes place two years after Surviving Ivy. I've just started writing the first book and this morning finished the first chapter. I've updated the Current Projects section with a place holder cover and a tidbit of information. Sometime in August, I will have a cover reveal and more information about the book.
I'm almost finished with the outline for Phoenix which is book 2 in the Brimstone Heat series. My goal is to finish the outline this weekend.
I need to start a new ideas book. I've thought about taking my Happy Planner (classic) and turn it into an ideas book but I also have a lot of composition books (non-spiral) that I need to use. Almost all of them have pretty designs on the covers. (I have a slight office/school supply addiction.) I use a disc-bound notebook for my current projects and other material and love being able to easily move things around. Decisions. Decisions.
My office is still a disaster area. I've decided that some how I need to purge the stuff I have again. I did this when we sold the house and manage to cut the stuff I had in my office in half. Now, as I look at everything I still have, I realize I need to do another purge.
Joy Anderson is different from the other shifters in Bryant Station. She and her cave bear have died and been reborn more times than she can count.In each life, she has longed for her mate and a family, but lies and her insecurities have kept her running from her mate.
There is only one woman Theo Willis wants and that woman is Joy Anderson. She is his mate, but she has been running from him for centuries and he doesn’t know why.
They need each other, but will that need be enough to bring them together? Will they be able to discover who is behind the lies that has kept them apart?
Excerpt: Joy stared at Theo. Hunger and need swept
through her. Over the years she had gotten really good at avoiding him because
she couldn’t handle the thought of him not wanting her the way she wanted him,
but since he had taken up residence in Bryant Station, she hadn’t been so
lucky. Every time she turned around, Theo was there. She told herself to just
ignore him because he had made a family with someone else, but her body refused
to listen. Her heartbeat sped up until she thought it would pound its way out
of her chest. Her body warmed and it wasn’t because she was blushing with
embarrassment. She wanted him. There was no way around that fact or the fact he
was her mate and the only man sent her desire into overtime with just a look. “How are you doing, Joy?” asked Theo. Joy bit her bottom lip as his deep voice
swept over her leaving a burning desire in its wake. She hated the fact every
shifter in the room, including her brother, could smell the desire and need
radiating from her. Joy plastered a smile on her face. “I’m fine.” She felt her
cheeks grow warm.“I’ll be right back
with a cup of coffee for you, and then I’ll take your orders.” She turned
without waiting for either man to say anything and retreated to the counter. Theo watched Joy walk away. Yup, she was still trying to avoid him, even though she wanted
him as much as he wanted her.
It's actually a pretty morning here in Texas. There's a breeze and the birds are singing, and yes, I hear both of these over the hum of the air conditioner. Turn off the air conditioner and the heat would take over. Summers in Texas, gotta love them. LOL!
DH is outside getting one of his BBQ pits ready. Yes, you read that right. After years of competing in BBQ competitions, he has several pits. I'm lucky. He likes to cook. Today, he's making beef jerky. Last night he prepared the meat and got it to marinating (two new recipes), and today, he's going to smoke the meat. It's a real tough job being his guinea pig.
This is just a start for the Fourth of July...aka...Independence Day in the US. He's planning to BBQ pork ribs and probably a brisket too. I've already been asked to make my "rich" banana pudding, a request not only from family but from some of the friends coming over. I have two different banana puddings that I make. One is just the regular pudding, bananas and vanilla wafers. The other one is a much richer version because of several additions I make to it.
Tomorrow is July 1st.
The year is half over. It's something how fast time flies.
Surviving Ivy came out on June 14. I really enjoyed writing Ivy's story, but now I need to look at the rest of the year and decide what I want to do.
For the last two weeks, I've worked on outlines. I have finished the outlines for a three-book series. Now, I'm working on the outline for Phoenix, book 2 in the Brimstone Heat series. I'm looking through partial outlines and notes for other books, and in some cases. I'm also trying to better organize myself. My office is a complete disaster. I still have boxes that I can't unpack because I don't have any place to put the stuff. I have less bookshelves than I used to have.
What will be the next story I write? I'm not sure. Which story do you want to read next?
Ivy hummed to herself as she waited for the barista to make her drink.
She looked around the room. She was going to miss the place. She hoped Bryant Station had a coffee shop. “If they don’t, I could always open one myself.” She smiled at the thought of opening her own business. Once she was moved and settled into her new home, she would have to look into the possibility of opening her own business.
Change was definitely a good thing.
Now, she just had to find her mate and keep him alive. Buy at:
Summer is definitely here! Where I'm at in Texas is HOT! The current temperature is 98F, but it feels like 102F. The air conditioner is running. Even with the a/c going, I can hear the birds and cicadas singing. Right now, there are dove in the backyard. I live on the backside of the staff housing on what used to be an military base, so my backdoor open up on to a field.
DH put out several bird feeders and over the weeks there has been a variety of birds visiting. Dove, mockingbirds, blue jays, cardinals (mated pair) are just a few. It's interesting to watch them. I've even seen a roadrunner hanging around the area.
There's other wildlife out here too. The trees are home to squirrels, woodpeckers and owls. Coyotes live in the area. I haven't seen them, but I have heard them late at night. It's kind of eerie to sitting up late and to suddenly hear the lonesome howl. I've seen a couple of deer, and DH tells me there is a fox living under the building where he works. Of course, we have the deadlier critters too. Workers have killed several rattlesnakes and copperheads already this summer, and a couple of the snakes were definitely not small either.
Surviving Ivy is live in ebook form at various vendors. Though it took me longer to write, I really enjoyed Ben and Ivy's story. If you have read it, leave a review and let others know about it. On Facebook, I have promos you can share. If you have a blog and want to post a cover, blurb, interview etc. just send me an email.
The paperback version will be available soon. The formatting is not finished, and the cover needs to be done.
I haven't started writing another book yet. Instead, I've been working on outlines. There are several books I want to write--for the series I already have out and for new series. I also have several ideas for series that I want to develop. So far I have two outlines ready and am about halfway through a third one. Ideas are flowing right now, so I'm trying to take advantage of it.
They shouldn’t be mates, but they can’t live without each other.
Ivy Braxton has almost no
magical skills. She is a klutz and has a curvy figure. Her parents ignored her
and deemed her not good enough to be an active member of the Braxton Coven. But
when Ivy starts having nightmares about her mate being killed by a demon, she
is willing to risk everything to protect him, even if he rejects her because
she is a witch.
Ben Anderson never expected
his mate to be a witch. But the curvy little witch is his and he will do
whatever it takes to protect Ivy Braxton from the demon that is after her, even
if he has to give his life in order for her to live.
Book Excerpt: “Are you okay?” The deep,
rich male voice was right next to her ear. “Double hockey sticks!” Ivy
realized she was lying on top of a man. The man who had just saved her from
planting her face into the cement. “You shouldn’t have done that…I mean...thank
you for saving me. But now, I’m squishing you.” She tried to get up but the man
wouldn’t release her. “You have to let go of me so I can get off of you. I
don’t want to hurt you anymore than I already have.” The man chuckled, causing Ivy’s whole body to shake with his. She closed
her eyes and took a deep breath. The sweet scent of peppermint and musky male
odor filled her nose. Desire rippled through her body. She no longer wanted to