Feeds:
Posts
Comments

mountainsNext week will find me in unfamiliar territory.  Am I taking on a new hobby? Planning a trip to a first time destination? Signing up for ballroom dancing?  Nope…none of those.  I am going to have one week without any children at home.  My oldest is in college, of course, as you already know.  But my youngest will be going on a class trip to camp several states away, in a little corner of paradise in the mountains.  She is excited, yet nervous at the same time.  She’s never been away from home for that many days at one time. And she will not be allowed to take her iPhone (a terrifying thought for her!).  But mostly she is excited.

Her mom (that would be me!), on the other hand, hates the thought of her being that far out of reach for so long.  She and I are nearly inseparable, and I’ll miss her so much.  And yet….it has occurred to me that for the first time in eleven years I will have a week’s worth of evenings all to myself.  I’m just now beginning to consider how to fill up my time.  The mind boggles at the possibilities!

It goes without saying that I’ll spend part of that time working on my next manuscript.  And I will probably hang out with Kate Patrick, my closest sidekick, at least a couple of nights.  I’ll have a chance to read new books that have been on my wish list.  And I’m sure I’ll spend a lot of time thinking, “I wonder what she’s doing right now.”  But I am challenging myself to do something out of the box, something unexpected.  I have no idea yet what that will be, but I’m open to suggestions.

She will be full of stories to tell when she gets back home.  Hopefully I’ll have a few to share with her, too!

fallWell, technically it starts tomorrow.  But it’s close enough.  I love the fall season. It’s a chance to relax and enjoy life at a slower pace before the holiday madness begins.

We’ll finally get a break from the high humidity and heat, even if we do have to sacrifice an hour or two of daylight in the evening.  Football is back in full swing. The fair comes to town. There are lots of movie premieres to look forward to. And my family starts planning the annual Halloween party.

And one of the best ways to relax in the cooler weather is sitting on the patio with a big mug of coffee while reading a good book.

Any recommendations?       coffee book

UPDATE: New Book!

UPDATE:  A Calculated Risk had its release day September 16, 2014!!

It is now available for purchase.  Thanks to everyone who supported me during the writing process, and to those who have already gotten their copy.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-calculated-risk-joan-chandler/1120357308?ean=2940150314450

http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=942

*****************************************************************************************************************

Some exciting news!  I have signed with Secret Cravings Publishing for my next book, A Calculated Risk. I have just finished the second round of edits, so it’s moving along quickly now.  My release date is scheduled for some time in September, if all goes well. I will be sharing more about this in the coming weeks. ACalculatedRisk_Draft

  Dawne’ Dominique has done a beautiful job with my cover.  I love it!!

Two f-words have become huge in my life over the last year.  Football and Facebook.

old TV

Growing up, my father would watch any football game that was on television. Didn’t matter what teams were playing.  He knew them all and he had a favorite that he was pulling for in every matchup.  It didn’t make sense to me, as a little girl.  I’d think, “But we live in Georgia.  Why are you pulling for the Dallas Cowboys?”  I knew nothing about the game and didn’t understand how the path to the playoffs worked and that there was a method to the madness if you wanted to see your team in the Super Bowl.

nfl

By the time I was in college, I’d figured it out.  I pledged allegiance to the 49’ers and the Saints.  And when they faced each other, I had to cheer for the Saints (I’m a southern girl, after all).

A funny thing happened, though, and over time I cared less about pro football, but got totally absorbed in college football.  I  became a fan of one certain team, and would watch every game.  I kept up with the rankings every week and kept my fingers crossed that we’d end up in the national championship game.

football map

Then, strangely, this past season got much bigger for me.  I started following not only my own favorite team, but I followed all the others as well.  I started becoming just like my dad…watching football because there was a game on, regardless of the team.  I’d watch to see who was defeating whom, and how much of a threat would they be when we played them later in the season.  And it extended not just beyond my favorite team, but even beyond our own conference.  I watched Ohio State, FSU, Oklahoma, Duke, Notre Dame, Stanford, Oregon, Clemson (well, you get the idea). I kept up with how, if this team loses it helps our ranking go up, and if that team wins it will hurt our ranking.  I’d go to work on Monday mornings and chat with all the guys about the miracle plays we’d seen, or how this team crumbled, or that player got hurt, or there was a new rising star on another team.

So it is safe to say that football has a bigger role in my life than ever before.

And as this past season progressed, I found myself spending more and more time on the second F-word I am writing about today.  Facebook.  Oh, I’m neglectful about posting things to it myself.  I rarely update my status or post photos about anything.    But I’ve gotten somewhat obsessive about reading what other people post during games.  You can learn a lot about your friends by looking at their written  sentiments.  Some people who seem so demure are absolutely evil when it comes to putting down the opposing team.  Some, who have every right to take cheap shots, will never stoop that low and find something positive to say about both teams.  Others – my favorites- inject humor in their posts and come up with some of the funniest plays on words or catch phrases.  Yeah, they might still take a cheap shot (maybe even against my favorite team), but it’s so witty and clever you find yourself laughing with them rather than getting irked.

Phew!  I guess it’s good that the college ball season and bowl games are almost over.  Only a couple more days and I’ll no longer be chained to my favorite easy chair in front of the television.  I need to use those hours to go to the gym to tackle my own new year’s resolution.

See, even I can make a pun once in a while.  :)

 

Happy New Year!

Wow!  Hard to believe it’s 2014 now.  I wonder how many weeks it will take before I stop writing 2013 on all my checks and other documents??

2014

This is the time of year we all typically make new year’s resolutions.  My friend, Kate Patrick, told me yesterday that she’s taking a new approach and not making any for 2014.  I will have to check in with her later today to see if she is sticking to that or if she’s changed her mind and set a few goals for herself after all.

I am still contemplating what mine will be.  It’s a yearlong commitment, so I can’t enter into it too hastily. I have till midnight to decide, right?  :)

I do know that I am looking forward to this new year, however.  I have a good feeling about it, and think some nice surprises could be in store for me and my family.

I hope it brings lots of great things your way, too.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

fireworks

It’s almost a new year, and there is much to look forward to in 2014.  But before the stroke of midnight tomorrow, I have been reflecting on the blessings of 2013.

2013

The biggest surprise has to do with my father.  We’ve had him for a full year, and last Christmas we were all expecting him to have only a matter of weeks left.  But the fact he made it to another Christmas isn’t what has surprised us all so much.  It’s the fact that his quality of life is so much better!  My grandfather was a Pentecostal minister.  I grew up hearing stories of real miracles.  I know that doctors are just God’s instruments, and that He ultimately decides the number of our days.  But to see my father off of oxygen, not using a walker any more, and actually planning a short trip to the hunting camp (where he’ll relax in the cabin – not in the woods :)  ) is truly amazing.  The disease is still present, but he is enjoying his days, and I am so thankful.

IMG_1632

 

I’ve got a new hobby this year, and I’m loving it.  “Hobby” isn’t the right word, but it’s as good as any, I suppose.  I’ve discovered the world of horseback riding!  No, I’m not taking lessons.  But my daughter started them at the end of summer and I go out with her every week.  The stables where she takes lessons are so picturesque.  The two story barn is gorgeous.  The acres and acres of pasture are vibrant green, with white fences around them and beautiful pink and red flowers planted everywhere.  The horses are so beautiful and strong.  After a tough week at work, I can’t tell you how cathartic it is to sit under a tree for a few hours and watch the horses and their riders as I take in the fresh air and the sounds of birds chirping, and the clip-clop of hooves.  It renews me every time.

My son continues to excel at his college experience.  He has made friends that I know will be lifelong ones, and he’s really gotten focused on what he has to do over the next three semesters until graduation.  He has a fresh excitement as he is already getting job offers once he earns his degree.  It’s surreal to watch his ease around “big wigs” that he’s crossed paths with, and to see him parlay those encounters into job offers is something I know I’d NEVER have been able to do at that age.  But he’s smart and charming and interesting, and it’s genuine – not put on.  I’m looking forward to finding out what the future holds for him.  I think the sky’s the limit.

Despite a real rocky end to 2012, by the close of 2013 my extended family has made amends and seems as close as ever.  Or almost anyway.  I’ll settle for almost.  I missed the ones who pulled away a year ago, and am grateful they have come to terms with the things that were bothering them and that they’ve been able to move forward and put it in the past.

Work is still stressful, but the last few months have seemed better.  I don’t know if they are actually better or if I’ve just gotten better at letting the little things slide.  But whatever the reason, I’ve had a better time of it on the job lately, and that’s something I am very thankful for!

job

My mom turned 80 this year, and she is still so in love with life.  She is active, has a huge circle of friends, and is the glue that keeps our family together.  We all love her so much, and we rely on her to be our listening post, shoulder to cry on, keeper of all secrets (what happens on Berwyn stays on Berwyn!!), and prayer warrior.  Oh yeah, and to make the dressing on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day (nobody does it better).

I could go on and on.  It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong in life and miss all  the things that are right.  But once you stop to actually think about the good stuff, you can quickly realize you’ve got it way better than most.  At least I do.  I am blessed. And I know it.

 

 

 

windy day

I’m going through withdrawals.  Due to high winds in the area where I live , my satellite dish has shifted just a smidge.  Most channels still come in clear as ever, but a few of the HD channels no longer pick up.  Normally I wouldn’t care about missing a few channels.  With my choice of over 300 other options, there should be plenty of alternatives.

There is one problem though…This is the Christmas season, and the Hallmark Channel is one of the ones I can no longer tune into. And I lost the signal prior to Thanksgiving.   All those lovely holiday romance made-for-TV movies, and I haven’t been able to see a single one!!!  Last year, this became my addiction.  I would record them so I didn’t have to miss any of them, then delete them only to make room for another week’s worth.  This past summer, there was a brief “Christmas in July” sort of thing going on with Hallmark, and they replayed several of my favorites.  I watched them all again.  But now, as the season revs up to high gear, I’ve  watched nary a one.  It’s scandalous!

working out

I’ve been forced to look for distractions, to keep my mind off the lovely stories I’m missing out on.  For one, I have actually started going back to the gym.  This development had the potential to provide a very nice boost right here at the end of the year to help me reach a personal improvement goal I’d set back in January.  However, it was totally offset by the fact I’ve also had time to start my holiday baking.  And with baking comes the requisite taste-testing.  Totally counteracts the time spent at Planet Fitness!!

baking

I’ve also killed time by doing my Christmas shopping.  I’m WAY ahead of schedule on that, with nearly all of it already completed now.

I’ve spent more time with family, fixing meals to share with some of my older relatives who don’t get out as much.  What nice visits we’ve had when I’d show up unannounced with a foil wrapped plate of food to drop off.

Oh, yeah, and as of Friday night, there is the second offering from The Hobbit trilogy.  Kate Patrick and I made sure to go on opening night, and it did not disappoint!  Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner provided a generous amount of eye candy to keep us in a festive mood.

Smaug

My husband has been promising to get up on the roof and reposition the satellite for me.  Hmmm, I’m having a lot of fun with these other diversions.  Maybe I’ll tell him to hold off for a few more days.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 77 other followers

%d bloggers like this: