Still Miffed But Whatever

As you may recall well over a month ago, I was thoroughly put out with technology. Specifically, the changes made at this here WordPress blog that once allowed me to write at ease but now requires the use of brain cells heretofore relegated to dealing with the once-every-five-years computer glitch.

Pfffft.

To be honest, I thought if I waited a bit, all would be well when I returned. That the mechanics of blogging here would all be miraculously back to just the way I like it, what’s normal for me. But alas, despite my denial strategy, nothing changed and I’m still grappling with my new blogging-at-Wordpress reality.

Come to think of it, the denial strategy is not a very effective tool in the whole Life Toolbox thingie, is it?

Nope, what’s called for is pulling up one’s bootstraps, facing situations head on, chin up, and no crying in baseball (if you’re a Braves fan).

Look! I added a picture where I wanted it!

So let’s just carry on and take a look at what I had to say about feeling lucky, in life and in publishing, over at The Muffin. At the time, I didn’t have any wedding photos from the Big Event, but if I’m lucky, I’ll find a way to add my favorite pic of Oldest Junior Hall and his Princess Bride. I’d also like to add that, fortunately, it’s been nearly a month now, and all the wedding guests have been quite well, thank you. So happily, we dodged making the 11 o’clock Atlanta Covid News.

While I was waiting and quarantining myself, I turned to some creepy mystery reading because it is my favorite spooky month, after all. I read a Victorian period mystery that was in first person present tense (*shivers*) and I had plenty to say about that, too, over at the Muffin.

I did not say the name of the novel, however, and I’m sure you’re thinking what’s so creepy about a Victorian period mystery (unless you’re thinking of Jack the Ripper and the White Chapel murders and then you’d be a clever one, wouldn’t you)? AND though the Ripper came up, sprinkled here and there, that was not the main creep factor in this novel. It was all about hanging, which was a pretty ghastly and common means of dealing with the criminal element in the 1800s. And there is a LOT more to hanging than just throwing a noose around a neck. So if you’re up for a bit of grisly, and you think you’d like to give first person present reading a whack, take a look at The Hangman’s Secret.

And so that’s about it for October. I sincerely hope that when next we meet, I’ll be well and truly used to blogging here. A little tolerance and kindness would be nice, too, because however it goes in just a week, some people are still going to be miffed. For us all, then, I offer a few words that always make me feel better:

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have OVERCOME the world.” (John 16:33)

Pondering Ash Wednesday

altar-arches-architecture-art-632628In a world that’s beyond fast-paced, where news is instant and everyone is hyper-connected, when change is not just daily but moment-by-moment, I crave constancy. There’s a certain peace that comes with routine, with the assurance that some things will not change, not at their core, at least. I think that’s why I like Ash Wednesday so much.

From when I was just a little kid in a scratchy school uniform to this evening when I go to Mass, I know what’s going to happen. The familiar scent of the ashes, the church decked in purple, the same dirge-like music…it’s all there, just the same. And it’s comforting, these rituals; makes me feel like, despite all the crises in the church, there is hope and strength in these traditions that bind us together in faith and love.

So I like my Catholic traditions, even if some of ’em have fallen by the wayside over the years. Like giving up something for Lent. Holy Sister Mary Joseph, I used to give up something every year, even before I knew why. Mostly, it was chocolate back then, which made Easter morning baskets all the sweeter.

But as the years progressed, I’ve quit most of the easy vices to give up, or I don’t indulge enough to make giving ’em up meaningful. Now I’m left with the tougher ones on that Seven Deadly Sins list. Like pride, avarice, envy, sloth… for cryin’ out loud, how do you give up pride? And if I gave up sloth, does that mean I’d have to give up my naps? I LOVE MY NAPS.

I pondered this problem in my latest post over at The Muffin in “Giving Up to Get More.”And though it’s about how we can give up certain bad habits to become better writers, they’re bad habits that affect us in more ways than writing. They’re the kind of bad habits that keep us from becoming the best version of ourselves, whether that’s a writer or a mom or a salesperson.

So I’m giving up my Debbie Downer habit this Lent (according to Youngest Junior Hall, I start first thing in the morning by reading out all the bad news from the paper. I also read the wacky news and Dear Abby but fine, I’ll keep the latest on the coronavirus to myself).

I was about to say it’s not going to be easy but see? There’s that negativism cropping up already and I haven’t even gotten my ashes yet. Pray for me, y’all, it’s going to be a long Lent!

 

Being Thankful For the Weird That Is Me

autumn-mott-rodeheaver-SPd9CSoWCkY-unsplashI will be the first to say that I can do some pretty weird things. BUT they are weird things with a purpose.

Like the iron plant hanger with the hook on the end that I was waving about in the driveway? It was the perfect length to reach the gutters and the hook easily could sweep the leaves right out and onto my head.

I mean, sure, I could’ve paid my gutter cleaner guy, but I have a LOT of trees and I like to wait until the entire roof is covered with dead leaves and pine needles before I bring in the guy who spends fifteen minutes with a leaf blower. So to any of the neighbors driving by, I was not engaged in a New Age ritual leaf dance; I was saving money.

And I had a perfectly good reason for wearing two fitness trackers, and I would have been perfectly happy to explain the purpose to Youngest Junior Hall but he took one look at my arm and then held up his hand to stop me. “I don’t want to know,” he said.

Fine. But if you want to know–because it’s actually quite interesting–then you’ll need to zip over to The Muffin to read “Being Thankful For What Counts.”

I have lots to be thankful for, and having a creative mind that comes up with solutions (albeit weird ones) is easily in my Top Ten. I hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving, and if you’d like to share something from your Top Ten list for which you’re grateful, I know we’d love to celebrate with you!

Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver on Unsplash