The words are back

I’m very glad to share I have been writing again!

I sat down, opened the file, read what I had already written – I’ve done this before with no results – and when I reached the end of the text another line came to my mind, then another, and before I knew it 1000 words were knocked out and my mind was flying. It was bliss. I’ve since added more words, plotted the next couple of chapters, and fleshed out an important character I didn’t yet know very well.

This fed the creativity in my brain for the cosplay costume I am making. I was becoming so stale it was disconcerting and depressing. I can’t express how great it feels to get things moving once more. One thing I did discover is I need to ignore the distractions, specifically a person whose negativity is counterproductive. I shut the door, blast the Netflix or music and get busy writing and sewing. Woo hoo, it’s fun.

I spent four days in the LA area with my sister, Mary, and I think that started the brain cleansing. The laughing we did felt great. A good, long, loud belly laugh does wonders for the perspective. We spent hours at the ocean, we cruised down one canyon and up another listening to great music, singing, and remembering. Went to a wine tasting, had breakfast at Weiler’s-twice-and spent plenty of time with Melissa and Charlie (love kissing that boy.) Got a little too much sun. I felt young, bright, free, and adventurous. It was a perfect respite from the tension that flows from the negative person in my house.

I would have liked to have Chuck along but this was a girls trip. Next time!

The nights are cooling off, finally! The days are still too close to hell fire for me, but thank goodness for refrigeration and lots of fans to keep the air moving. My nephew is holding his own in Army basic, hubby is busy with his leather working, my kids are busy productive humans, and life is going on.

“There’s no such thing as too much magic, pixie dust, or fun.”

Cheers!

-N

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A Catalina Party

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus, primarily because I was struggling with inspiration for any kind of writing. The stresses of life hit me like a category five hurricane. Thoughts and ideas were destroyed like 200 mph winds throw around a metal shed, and rip off the roof. The next step in my story plot was washed away from my mind like the storm surge will swipe the surface of the ground away, debris lost to the tides. I have struggled, cried, complained, and spent quiet time in thought. Where can I start? Author Twist Phelan gave me a suggestion, to start with just a paragraph, so that is what I am doing. This is Nancy fighting back, rebuilding the house, pumping out the water, throwing away the ruined furniture, and repainting.

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Last Saturday I held a farewell party for my nephew, Austin, who is leaving for Army basic training. He is actually my great nephew but I never make those distinctions. This party was important to me for a couple of reasons. The first is I was there when Austin was born. I helped his mom be calm through a difficult delivery. I watched as he was helped to take his first breaths, when he made his first cries, and when he peed on his dad.

Austin has always been important to me.

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He has struggled with some poor life choices, let the wrong people influence him, dealt with abuse, and turned the corner to focus on a direction that is healthy, both physically and emotionally. He has found his spiritual voice giving him a strength to release detrimental humans in his life. I am incredibly proud of him.

The party was here at my house, in the “party yard” and was filled with family and friends who came to celebrate this step in his future.

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The music was rocking, the kids were running, the drinks were flowing, the food was plentiful, the ice cream was homemade, and the cake was Army cammo.

Once the sun went down the bonfire was lit and the little ones were entertained by waving sparklers.

Austin represented third and fourth generations at the party – how cool is that! He was able to tease and chase his young cousins. He had cousins present who were older by a decade to as young as a year old. He had friends there who grew up with him. It was perfect.

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I took a moment to share with everyone how proud I was of him and to give him a cheer.

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It was fun. I think he was a bit surprised at the whole thing.

 

He will leave for basic training on October 2nd. But he will stay in our hearts and minds as he serves his country and makes us all proud! dsc0043.jpgSo I leave you with this special picture of Austin and I, and the party.

This is a Catalina AZ party!

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Remembrance

A couple of weeks ago the oldest daughter of long time friends passed away from an aggressive form of adrenal cancer. The speed this disease took her down stunned all of us who knew her. From the day she told us of this diagnosis to the day she passed was months. This sweet woman is gone from here. Her two daughters will never know her touch except in memories and dreams. Her partner will face days of loss and pain as she goes day by day in the normal living of everyday life without the love of her life. How do we remember Shelley?

My young friend touched the lives of many people who needed housing they could afford. Shelley was the person who made the magic happen for these humans in San Antonio. Her fruitful and memorable life was honored by a video of memories from all the lives she touched, and was shown at a celebration of her life. Her loved ones shared photos and videos, stories were shared along with tears, laughter, and love.

I can only hope others will have memory treasures of me to comfort them.

This Saturday my little great nephew will be celebrating one full year of life. This is a big deal for every human. I’m sure all of us have been to those “birthday” parties for a one year old. They are usually parties for the adults since a one year old has no clue what is up. The birthday kid gets a ton of gifts they can’t even open, and have no idea who they are from. The pictures will tell the story to this kid when they are in high school and the parents want to embarrass them. Is this the best way to honor this milestone in age?

Rather than the typical adult get together disguised as a birthday party, there will be a chance for all of the family and friends to bring letters and other things to put in a time capsule, to be given to him on his 18th birthday. An ideal way to celebrate his first year of life by looking forward.

It’s been a thoughtful time for me as I composed my letter for Bodie. Hubby and I decided to write our own letters to him. Writing a letter to an eighteen year old in the future is an interesting project. What do we want him to know? What advice do we give? Who will he be at that age? My letter was two full pages, and Chuck’s was half a page. Both letters were written from the heart and in our own voices. I am curious what he will think when he reads them. Will we be around?

Remembering is hard when it is because of the loss of a loved one. It is hard when it is from a place of pain in the past. Remembering a future that hasn’t happened yet is one of hope and curiosity.

Memories are the video of the mind.

Cheers!

-N

 

Feeling crazy young

I just had the absolute best time. My nephew is painting my house, he’s a pro. Yeah he’s getting paid. Anyway, his daughter, my so extremely cool niece Trinity and her buddy Casey came by. They live just down the road so the girls walked over to ride back with my nephew Kris.

I turned on the music (of course) and I began doing my aunt duty by giving them lessons in wine tasting, mind you no one underage drank anything, but I showed them the finer point of wine tasting. Using a Malibu red blend I demonstrated what to do and what to look for. They took to it like the pros I expected from them. Trinity is related to me, and Casey is her friend so is awesome by association.

We talked, pretending to be grown ups as I described varietals and the best year for red grapes. We made fun of people who drank fruity wines and sweet Rieslings, you know the routine.

It is my duty to help.

Then we went into my office and Trinity saw the books were being packed up and my laptop open. This girl knows me well. We started talking about my writing and what they had happening in their lives. Such cute girls. These are the girls I did the Cupid Shuffle with at my nephews graduation party, but I digress.

I said, “Listen to this song,” and I played Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson, then Try Me by Jason Derulo. Then I played…House Party by Sam Hunt. There was excessive teenage girl squealing and then the three of us proceeded to sing at the top of our lungs and dance like it was a Hollywood dance club! We were laughing and singing and dancing and the years between us were gone.

God that was fun!

I think this needs to happen very often.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

What is family?

I was at a wedding this past weekend.

It was my nephew and his new bride. They are a loving and precious couple and the celebration was exceptional. Everyone’s joy at the joining of this couple was obvious. As is typical now days there were parents and step-parents. Lots of siblings, cousins both full blood, half and step relations. There were lots of those by marriage and intimate long time friends.

As I watched the interaction of all those present, brought together by love for the couple I took the time to observe the attachments. My nephew’s long time best friend was his best man. I have known this young man and remember his connection to my family. There was no difference in the way he was treated and accepted as family. It was the same familial love and attachment that the families showed to all of the others.

Cousins by marriage are the same as cousins born into the family. Aunts and uncles by blood or marriage are drawn in, given the same love and respect. My new niece’s daughter is as much a part of the family as their little son together. She is my niece. No questions.

Everyone made a supreme effort to celebrate the wedding, to honor the marriage and have a great time together. This is probably the one time most of us from both sides of the aisle will be all together and made it important to be united. We did it by laughing, dancing, toasting and enjoying the event.

I am proud of my family-all of them. They are mine and I am theirs.

One side note, my husband really likes fireball shots!

-N