Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Discoveries from the Chersterfield

March 24, 2013

My husband actually called the couch a chesterfield this week and he hasn’t even been watching Downton Abbey.  I believe it was a Canadian flashback for him.  I remember my Canadian grandparents using that term for the sofa, but not my husband!

Meanwhile, back on the chesterfield, I have made several life altering discoveries.

1.  Healing takes time.  Time allows you to think and write and read, all activities that tend to get brushed to the sidelines during a busy schedule.  I have missed writing.  I need to carve out some time to express myself with written words.  It brings me joy…. and I like joy.  It’s one of my favorite things, but not exactly in a brown paper package tied up with string. (Name that movie song.)

2.  My daughter and my niece hand picked lovely yellow and purple wildflowers, placed them in jars and brought them to my coffee table that holds everything I could possibly use while on the couch.  I have spent long moments watching little bugs crawl all over the sunny blooms.  A bit of wildlife right here in the living room.

3.  Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. (Name that artist.)  My front yard blooms are in their glory mode and I have spent time each day sunning myself next to their colorful display: royal blue lobelia, cadmium snap dragons and pansies, hot pink, pale pink, variegated and snow white Sweet Williams, four shades of purples in pansies, violets and violas, and a salmon pink geranium that has yet to open its glowy blooms for my pleasure.  Vitamin D is a glorious bonus.  My nature journal is calling to me to capture the array of colors.

4.  I am the sole individual who wipes out the microwave.  Sad but true.  Come on over and have a looksie at a week’s worth of blown up food bits.

5.  Ringo the wiener dog eats orange foamy earplugs.  Disgusting.

6.  I truly am a night owl.  Even on narcotics, my best hours are from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.  However, this was aided by a total of six hours of napping today.

I pray you are blessed with a full night of restful sleep while I am uninterrupted on the chesterfield.

Looky Here….

October 11, 2012

Two blogs in a row.  Remarkable, I know.

Wee morning hour reading is brought on by…

My lack of tiredness and inability to get shut eye.

The snoring giant yonder lies…

I climb out of bed with heartfelt sighs.

Not because of the noise am I still awake.

Too many thoughts in this brain to take.

There’s a sleeping bag zipper to be repaired,

Highlights needed to not be gray haired.

Pounds to be lost, and scriptures studied.

Meals to be thought up from a mind too muddied.

Stories in my soul crying out to be written.

Waiting hands, orphans and hearts to be smitten.

The darkness prevents watercolor escape.

Gresham ended tonight closing the drape.

Not often is my night’s journey cut short.

Even lesser is poetry used for sport.

Prayers for all my readers near and afar.

May God bless you and free you from this memoir.

300,000 TODAY!

March 6, 2012

Yes, in the next hour or so, the hits on this humble blog, My Sister’s Jar, will surpass 300,000.  The number is astounding to me.  Let me give you some back history… several years ago (I just tried to figure out what year it was, but I’m 45 and can’t remember things like that… sigh) I attended a writer’s conference in New Mexico where there were several seminars one could take in.  I perused the list and chose several… the ones I recollect include: contract negotiations, writing the perfect proposal, selling your wares to publishers, adding humor to your writing and narrowing down your pitch to elevator length.  Distinctly I remember reading one particular description that caused me to guffaw and roll my eyes.  Ready?  It was simply titled “Blogging”.  My thoughts at that time included, but were not limited to the following: Who would spend all that time writing for invisible people?  Who would read some random person’s ramblings? How do people even find “online journals” to read? And WHY would anybody care what a stranger is writing? What is the purpose of blogging? And so on. And so on.  That was during my PBL (pre-blog life).

Upon my arrival home from the conference, my husband and I met with a couple whose lives are engrossed with computers and programming and podcasts and tweeting and a whole bunch of other techy stuff I do not understand.  BUT, he explained blogging to me… and I didn’t stick in one little toe to test the water… I did a cannonball into the deep end of the internet writing swimming hole. 

Those questions I asked myself earlier about blogging have not all been answered.  I still do not understand exactly where 797 people come from in a single day who read my blog.  It is inspiring to me, and quite humbling, to be frank.  I often ask my husband, “Who are these people?” When someone comments, I get a little hint as to who they are… where they are from… how they stumbled upon My Sister’s Jar.  But those are precious and few.

My prayer is that people will be inspired by stopping here to live life to the fullest and possibly take a jump into some of my favorite topics: family, marriage, laughter, writing, adoption, homeschooling, being a Christ follower, raising boys, sewing, traveling, gardening, losing weight, traditions, America the Beautiful, saving money, and being a mom.

I’ll wrap up this bit of blogging hysteria with a meek and awe inspired THANK YOU, to my dear readers who keep coming back to read.  It’s for YOU, invisible friend, that I keep rambling on (and it is cheaper than therapy for me!)  XOXO

Crazy Busy

February 16, 2012

I’m a slacking blogger at the moment because the rest of my life keeps getting in the way.  What in the world?  I thought I had my plates all spinning simultaneously, but alas, a few new plates were added.  If I were an octopus, this might be possible.  Thankfully, the busyness is temporary.  I’m off to Vegas tomorrow for a quick seminar and drive back.  Then Saturday I’m off to Tucson for a women’s tea with the Southern Arizona homeschoolers.  Rock on!  Those are my peeps!

Needless to say, between figuring out what to do with my kids, packing, post-adoption visit, sleeping, judging a speech meet and forgetting my parent’s anniversary, I haven’t had time to sit straight and think.  The unthinkable has also occurred (obviously since I didn’t have time to think!)… I haven’t read for pleasure in over 2 months.  Sad, I know.  A weekend retreat is coming in a couple of weeks and I can unwind and refocus then…. and sit and do nothing for four days.  Just in time, I borrowed the Tim Hawkins Roadshow DVD for that trip!  Can’t wait.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Happy Centennial Birthday, Arizona!  Happy Ground Hog’s Day!  and an upcoming Happy President’s Day!

Another Book in the Making

October 30, 2011

Years ago I was wide awake one fine morning at 2:00 a.m.  There was a book idea running amuck in my mind.  It was causing me to lose precious sleeping hours, so I succumbed.  Climbing out of bed, finding my journal and making my way to the bathroom I was determined to write down every blinkin’ thought, so I could get some much-needed rest.  Quietly I closed the door and flicked on the light.  After eye-adjustment-to-the-brightness time elapsed, I indeed jotted down every blinkin’ thought…. and there were 60 of them, much to my blurry-eyed surprise.  Each one a story pertaining to my life of weight loss, gain, loss, gain, loss, gain… and God.  That night I named the book Squeezing Laughter into a Leotard: Devotions for Above Average Women, and then I crept back to bed in the dark of the night and slept like a baby.

Three years ago I wrote a blog mentioning this book-to-be:  https://mysistersjar.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/wrapped-up-in-elvis/  During those three years, I had a part-time job filling out adoption paperwork and getting fingerprinted.  So no progress has been made as of yet.  I think only one of the stories is actually written down in black and white.  And once again, I’m in the great battle of food/appetite control.  The PERFECT time to write about the frustrations that chubby people face day in and day out.  REAL stories that women can relate to….. like falling off the wagon with rice krispy treats and not wanting to step on the scale tomorrow morning.

Currently, I’m down 54 pounds since April.   That sounds all great, yet I have 46 to go…. and I got slapped around by Snap, Crackle and Pop tonight, so I’m not feeling real successful at the moment.  Through the past six months, I’ve been able to identify my trigger points that cause me to eat foods that are permissible for me, but not beneficial.  Here’s the short list:

  1. When I’m sick
  2. When I’m alone
  3. When I’m mad
  4. When I’m on the phone
  5. THAT time of the month
  6. When I smell peanut butter 
  7. Before an adoption home visit
  8. When I see clutter
  9. Seeing Green Corn Tamales on a menu
  10. When I’m on a long vacation
  11. After a friend has died
  12. After a homeschool graduation
  13. After cooking a meal
  14. When I should be in bed
  15. At birthday parties
  16. When visions of sugar plums dance in my head

Like I said, that is the SHORT list.  Thanks for humoring me and reading to the end.  Hahahaha. 

Tomorrow is another day to live victoriously with my choices and my new and improved health!

Updated Blog Links… FOR YOU!

June 5, 2010

Sorry, the arrow is pointing in the wrong direction.

Tonight I went through my terribly outdated and inaccurate blog links.  Good grief.  Positively archaic.  Ok, well, I went through my web Favorites too… and added all the blogs I read regularly (and non-regularly) to the list. There are some talented writers out there in cyberland that could spark your interest in anything from blogging (duh!), to writing, to homeschooling, to photography, to parenting, to sewing, etc., etc.  Bloggers need to stick together and spread the word when we find other bloggers worthy of mention… and I’ve not been holding up my end of the deal lately.  For that I apologize, but I have rectified the situation… dramatically. 

For your convenience, dear reader, I also commented on the links so you don’t go blindly to a site wondering why in the world I linked them.  There are short descriptions so if you never want to hear another word about any of the topics near and dear to my heart, you can skip them in other people’s blogs.  he he he.  BUT, take my word for it, there is a plethora of quality information at your fingertips right over there in the right margin.  Really. 

In October 2007 I went to a writer’s conference in New Mexico and was introduced to the wierd world of writers.  Seriously, there are some over-the-top people who should really calm down a bit about their book ideas.  Anyway, that is another topic for another time…. W A Y in the future…. when I’m completely out of ideas for blogging and there are no more question slips in My Sister’s Jar.  Anyway, there were several workshops on blogging… to which I rolled my eyes and guffawed with gusto.  Gracious me.  Who wants to write and write and write… and pour out your heart on the web…. for people you don’t even know… and won’t ever know?  Stupid.  That’s what I thought of bloggers.

What transformed my blogging worldview, you ask?  I met with a gentleman when I was searching for a website designer.  He suggested I look at blogging in addition to a website.  I’m glad I did.  It is therapeutic when you are waiting for an adoptive child for years and years and you find others who are waiting with you.   And still others who have their precious children… and it gives you hope.  There are also totally inspirational homeschooling moms who are not burned out and frustrated… and still coming up with great ideas and finding quality literature and sharing it on blogs.  Awesome!  It’s been two years and four months since I began My Sister’s Jar… and it still brings me pleasure to write and write and write and pour my heart out on the web for people I don’t even know and won’t ever know.  :o)  It’s that old-dog-new-trick thing again coming to bite me in the behind.  I pray to inspire even a few!  To what, you ask?  Whatever they need!  Encouragement to read every day, laugh every day, and be kind to your kids and your husband….. every day.

Here’s to blogging.  Hurrah… hurrah…. hurrah! (I’m holding my water bottle up high!)

Sweet Victory! (well, at least sweet progress!)

February 27, 2009

marriage-chart-002

See?!  It worked!  I took a two day sabbatical from MSJ and cranked on my stories for my book.  (Laughing in the Midst of Marriage: Finding Joy in Being a Wife) I was so “in the groove” after Wed. night hockey writing time (wasn’t that phrased positively?!?) that I got back out of bed at midnight and wrote two more stories while the family sawed logs. 

Just so you know, I’m a highly visual learner.  I have to SEE progress…. on charts and graphs and calendars.  I’ve made all three for this book.  So I made a chart of all of the devotionals I’m writing, divided into the four wedding vows: Better or Worse, Rich or Poor, Sickness and Health, and Love and Cherish.  (I’m not doing “til death do us part….. those stories cannot be shared in this lifetime.)  Each story has  five columns to check off before I consider it “done” and they are: written (duh), moral, Bible verses, edited and moved to final document. 

I’m sure this is scintillating information for all of you, so I will continue.  I’m shooting for 56 stories and 27 have made it through to the final document so far.  I’m one shy of half way, baby.  This is good news, considering that I was only able to work on it six of the 18 time slots I scheduled.  The problem there was the SuperCon super hero dance deal.  It wiped out a week of work time for me.  (I’m still feeling the pull in my hip flexor muscles, BTW.) But I’m back in the saddle and quite focussed for a change.

chart-003

See?!?  I’m a bit on the anal side, as well as visual.  I gave myself 20 two hour work slots for Feb.  The pink circles are progress.  Notice how Wednesday night hockey practice has been my saving grace this month?  I never thought I’d be happy to sit at hockey practice.  Ever.  But I am.  Just so you are aware of my progress, there are 57 two hour slots before the deadline.  If I got one story done EACH time, it’s clear sailing.  I just passed the 17th time slot and there are 27 stories completed.  As you can well imagine, I’m breathing easier than I was a week ago.  I was a tad nervous last week.

It did dawn on me last night that I never discussed how many stories the publisher is expecting.  Perhaps I should give them a jingle.  Stay tuned…. every other day or so…. for YOUR insider information on the writing progess of Laughing/Marriage right here at MSJ.

?# 18 from My Sister’s Jar – The Next Decade

August 21, 2008

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Egads.  I’ll be 52.  That’s just after old age sets in.  Wow.  Don’t worry, that won’t be me… I can’t play the accordion.  :o)  Whenever I look to the future I figure out how old my kids will be…. 25, 22, 20 and Zaza in her upper teens.  Wow again.  Larisa could be married and Aus and Keeve in college or on NHL teams, as they’ll tell you.  Well, thanks to Zaza I’ll still be homeschooling.  (For those new to MSJ, Zaza is the nickname for our daughter we are adopting from Colombia… any day now.) 

I hope to have AT LEAST two more books published by then, one on marriage and one on the joy of weighing yourself daily.  I’ve got them inside of me…. I simply need the time to get them out.  I also see myself speaking to more women as my time will be somewhat more flexible with most of the kids out of the house.  That’s so sad.  Gone.  I think I need to go find them and hug their necks right now.

I hope that Rick’s schedule will be far more loose by the year 2018 and we can do homeschool high school with Zaza traveling the world.  (Oh, the joys of the baby of the house, eh, Christy?!)  I also secretly hope to either have a summer home where it isn’t 120 degrees or to be completely moved to somewhere else with four seasons and a winter home here in Phoenix.  So I guess I’m trying to say that I DON’T see myself as full time resident in Phoenix in 10 years.

This was short and sweet. 

www.LindaCrosby.com  BAGS -> www.bagsforzaza.blogspot.com

June THIRTIETH….

June 30, 2008

Today is the half-way mark for 2008….  makes me sit and wonder how I’m doing in 2008… and WHAT I’m doing…. and what I’m NOT doing. 

A song came on the car radio this morning that talked about “It’s not who you are.  It’s not what you’ve done.  It’s how you lived.”  After a moment of contemplation, I pronounced, “I don’t agree with that.”  My daughter, always up for a good debate, said, “I do.”  We went back and forth about if what you are doing IS how you are living.  Does how YOU live only include yourself?  Does what you’re doing include others?  We both tried on each other’s side of the argument for size…  we never came to a conclusion, but I still don’t agree with the lyrics.

I was anticipating 2008 like I’ve never anticipated any year previously.  That being said, I was never pregnant over a New Years…. that I was aware of.  So babies don’t count here.  I always anticipated new children with great joy.  But this year began with a bang as my parents celebrated 50 years of matrimonial bliss and took me and my siblings (and spouses) on an eight day cruise.  We have never gone anywhere for more than four hours together without our nine children.  It was fabulous.  Words don’t describe how relaxed we were.

Next, my first solo writing project was published.  Wow.  I still can’t believe it sometimes.  I survived my first book signings…. but not without nightmares.  (For graphic nightmare details, please see: https://mysistersjar.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/pre-book-signing-nightmare/ ) Which reminds me, I need to send the next proposal for Laughing in the Midst of Marriage.  Truck loads of material for this book are stored in my memory banks.  You may have read several of the stories on this blog already…. so you know what I mean.  (golf carts, acupuncture, photo radar tickets….)

And our adoption of Zaza…. is still pending.  We started the journey in Nov. 2006 and so I’ve passed through two new years with the anticipation of gathering our new girl in our arms.  But it seemed closer as 2008 arrived.  We pray every night that God’s will be done in the timing of bringing her home, but I always add…. “and please make it soon!” 

Never would I have imagined sewing bags and bags and bags to help bring Zaza home.  Thanks again, Jennie, for this amazing idea as well as the fortitude to execute it brilliantly!  I’m rather enjoying the sewing journey.  With every bag I make, I have a new favorite.  Tonight’s bag almost didn’t hit the auction block.  I love it.  But I can always make another like it… or different to become my new favorite.  Here it is “Ten Thousand Charms”: (the green is lime… not sage.)

Five new bags go up for auction each Monday… for five days at www.bagsforzaza.blogspot.com. Please help bring Zaza home and check it out.  Tell others.  Link the site.  Make posters and put them up at work.  Buy one and show it to every stranger you meet.  :o)  Thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

And not to forget blogging.  I didn’t know what it was in 2007, so I’ve come a long way, baby.

www.LindaCrosby.com 

My Darling Daughter, Larisa

April 7, 2008

Lala

When I gave birth to Larisa (rhymes with Teresa), I expected to have fun dressing her in ribbons, ruffles and curls.  However, I didn’t expect the ribbons, ruffles and curls to be over so quickly.  Larisa spends a half hour every day straightening her hair (no curls), and dressing in t-shirts and jeans…. with man-made holes in them (no ruffles or ribbons.)  Sigh.  I guess I did the same thing at 14, but my mom still had my little sister to dress up and make froofy.

As our children grow, we can only hope and pray that they will reach their God-given potential.  Larisa has surprised us more than once with her writing.  In 2006 we were studying the American Revolution and Larisa chose to write a report on John Hancock.  She researched and wrote for a week before handing in her assignment.  I read it and I was shocked.  Her writing ability took a 10 year leap into the future and I was reading work that was light years ahead of her age.  It was a blinkin’ homeschool report and she included suspense, dialogue, detailed description and drama.  I told RIck that night that I wanted to read something to him.  I read the first page of her report and he said, “That was great, Linda.  What did you write that for?” 

“I didn’t write it.  Larisa did.”

It shocked him as well. He did a doubletake and said, “Read it again.”

With the advancement of my darling daughter’s writing, I encouraged her to enter a story to be published and included in a biography series for middle-schoolers.  We both entered stories… and Larisa’s was chosen…. mine was not.  That shocked me too.  I was at a crossroads between elation for my girl…. and disappointment for myself.  She did well not to rub it in, although my husband kept snickering the rest of the night.  She will be 14 when her first work is published and she is paid for her creative words.  I was 38.

Larisa has been begging for a cell phone for a while.  I don’t see the point because we are always together.  She was trying a logical approach and sassily asked how old I was when I got my first cell phone, trying to prove that she should have one at the same time.  I replied, somewhat sarcastically, “Thirty-seven!”  I may not be able to stay ahead of her in writing, but I’m still in charge of the cell phone acquisition age.

I’ll let you know when her work is available later in the summer.  :o)