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Today I am reminded that a friendship is a friendship. It doesn’t matter if it is a “virtual” or real life friendship. The emotions and the attachments are the same. And when my friends hurt, I hurt.

I have a friend that I met online around 2006 on a site called Gather. Her moniker there was The Little Fluffy Cat. She was one of the most supportive, loving, friendly, and welcoming people I have ever met. Later, she and her family came to the Portland area on vacation and I got to spend a few hours with them. There was instant recognition and the feelings were as if we had always known each other in the real world.

She’s a very private person. Her name is Lydia. Last week, she allowed her sister to post on her Facebook page about her health issues. She had kept everything secret. If I understand it correctly, she has a problem with the “connectors” in the cerebellum, or blood vessels in the brain. Her sister told of how Lydia has been in the hospital since July when she underwent a couple of surgical procedures to solve the problem but then developed other complications which have caused some loss of brain function, mimicking a stroke but has not actually had a stroke. She has not been home since July, except for being allowed to go home for a weekend here and there. During the last weekend that she spent at home (Christmas weekend), she caught a cold which made her main health issues worse. Since then, she has become gravely ill and had to be resuscitated a few days ago then put into a medically induced coma. The doctors are out of options. They are stalling and hoping that they can solve some of the minor problems which might alleviate the major ones. She has asked her friends for prayers and a miracle because she’s not ready to die. She’s 57 years old. She has a 17 year old son and one that is 14.

My heart aches for her and her family. I have been praying for her. We used to say that one day we would get together and have a slumber party complete with pjs and talking/giggling all night. I want that chance for us to have that long sisterly talk. I want her to see her sons grow. I want her to hold her grandchildren in her arms. I want her to grow old with her husband who loves her so much and has not left her side in months. I want her to recover and live a long and happy life.

If you are a praying person, please hold Lydia up in prayer. Send her positive vibes…healing thoughts…anything that might help.

 

 

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  1. The look on Spencer’s face when he brought me the bottle of bubble solution. It was a big smile. He knew his Nana would not say “no.” He loves bubbles. I blow them and he chases them and smashes them.
  2. Another huge smile on Spencer’s face when he realized that he could put his hand in the candy bowl and pull out a candy at each store where we trick-or-treated. He usually has to wait to be handed one but this time he could actually walk right up and stick his hand in the bowl and take what he wanted. He was all full of two-year-old-smiles.
  3. “Don’t take Nana home. I want to keep Nana forever. Please don’t take her home.” That was Anderson (5 years old) on Halloween.
  4. Being included in the plan to move to Omaha and buy a house. And another smile when I found that they were looking only at listings for houses that have a separate apartment or Nanny unit on the property so that I could have my own space. I didn’t even ask and that’s what they are planning.
  5. The cat finally figured out that if she stays at my feet, she can sleep in my room with me. If she comes up to my chest or face, she gets kicked out of the room and I shut the door. She seems to accept that now.  Yay. Finally!
  6. A little boy playing peek-a-boo in line at the grocery store. I think he must have been about three.
  7. Making my NaNoWriMo word count for the first two days of the month!
  8. After about ten tries, I am one step closer to making the NanoPoblano graphic show up on my sidebar. It’s still not working but I am a little bit closer than I was yesterday. Maybe tomorrow.
  9. Finding a blog that will help me with my NaNoWriMo project research.  Yay! I won’t be going into this project totally blind.

There were other smiles but these are the ones that stand out at the moment. I’m tired. I’ve been either writing, researching, or with the boys since 7 am and it is now after midnight. So for today…that’s all she wrote!

nanopoblano2015light

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I Forgot…Then Remembered

Well, it’s after 10 at night and I just realized that I didn’t post today.  It has been that kind of a weekend.  First exhaustion from a late night of babysitting and too many piggy back rides.  Then I had a guest blog post to write for Tuesday over at Part Time Monster.  And two lessons and assignments for the copy editing class.  Then I had to find my research for another guest blog post…research from years ago that is on my hard drive, but when I went to look, I realized that my monitor isn’t working.  So I can’t look for the research until I get another monitor tomorrow, hopefully.

Yup, that kind of a day.  So here I am trying to decide if I want to chill out and watch a movie or go to bed and read for awhile.  Probably, by the time I decide, it will be too late to do either.

Anyway, I guess I came up with a post!

The sky tonight!

The sky tonight!

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Trent over at Trent’s Worls (the blog) invited his readers to participate in a challenge called the 777 Challenge. The idea is to turn to page 7 in your current work in progress, go down 7 lines and copy the next 7 sentences. And although he chose not to tag other bloggers, that’s part of the challenge, to tag 7 bloggers. I won’t do that either. I’ll just let anyone that wants to participate do so.

The excerpt below is from my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel with a working title of Whole Pieces. The character in this piece, Pati, is a housekeeper turned friend turned care giver. She has known the family for so long that she is a part of the family.

The family would start arriving later that afternoon. Mia was driving up from Los Angeles and should be the first one in. Pati loved Mia; thoughts of Mia always made Pati happy. She had seen her grow from a young lady to the still youthful middle aged woman she was now. She had watched her prepare for her wedding and later she had helped her after each of her two children were born. And when the unthinkable had torn Mia apart, Pati had been there to witness the tears. Pati felt like Mia was her own daughter and there were many times she wished Mia had been born to her.

So now, if any of you feels like taking on this challenge, please do.

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I guess I’m supposed to have some kind of graphic here but I haven’t downloaded it and after the weekend I had, I am not going to bother. I’m just going to get this up so I can go about my business.

For April, I will be joining the A to Z Blogging Challenge during which Mondays thru Saturdays will have a post beginning with a specified letter of the alphabet. Some people pick a theme. So about two months ago, when I signed up for the challenge, I began to think about a Road Trip theme. I came up with the title and subject for each post, except the letter X. However, the road trips I was thinking of were numerous and involved different people and went off to different places, including repeat destinations. I decided it would be too confusing because the A story might be about a trip that comes after the letter J and the Z story might be about a trip that comes after the letter C. It would be too confusing.

So I decided to go with my original idea, which I haven’t told you about yet. Once upon a time, when I first started this blog, I wrote a lot of short memoir pieces. I really enjoyed writing those and I think my readers enjoyed reading them. So for April, each day of the month, except Sundays, I will be blogging my way from the letter A to the letter Z via short memoir pieces.

I normally don’t write my posts ahead of time but because of some recent health issues, I think I’m going to try to write at least two or three ahead, just in case I get to a day when I just can’t write.

I’m looking forward to getting back to the roots of this blog!

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Do you plan things out or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

That’s the question that has been going around some blog circles that I am in. Last month I participated in 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion (#1000Speak). It was a9th huge group of bloggers planning to publish a blog post on some aspect of compassion all on the same day, February 20. I would say that the majority of the bloggers planned out their post and began writing it way in advance, some of them finishing weeks before the posting date. Not me. About a week before the date, I decided on what I was going to write and I found myself writing it the night before. In fact, I finished it about 35 minutes before midnight on the 19th so I waited for midnight and posted in right away. This month there is another challenge going on. It won’t happen until April but people are preparing for it now. In fact, I’ve read some bloggers who say that they started planning for this year’s April event last October! Wow! That’s some dedication. The event is the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. If you take a look at my sidebar, you’ll see the badge for it. The challenge is more of a challenge than the #1000Speak event. Those that accept the challenge attempt to post every day in April (except Sundays). But that’s not all. The real part of the challenge is that you have to post a topic that begins with the letter of the day, hence the A to Z, as there are 26 letters in the alphabet and 26 blogging days in April when you leave out the Sundays. That’s a challenge. What some bloggers do to make it even more difficult is that they decide on a theme for their April A to Z posts. So let’s say someone decides on a travel theme: they would have to post something related to travel beginning with the letter A on April 1, B on April 2, C on April 3, etc. Now that’s a lot more challenging and I can understand that people need to plan and prepare but since last October?! That part I don’t get.

Me? I’m a pantser. If I have something due at noon on Friday, you can pretty much bet that I will be finishing it up around 10 that morning. For the April A to Z challenge, I have my theme which I’m not yet sharing and I have a list of A to Z with all the topics filled in, save the letter X. Some days I have five or six things penciled in because I don’t really know what I will feel like writing but at least I have some ideas. The X eludes me at the moment, though. I suppose I can resort to something that begins with (E)x but I am trying not to. However, as far as the actual posts, I’m not planning on writing them until a day or two before I need to post them. I’m just not a planner. In anything, really. In fact, when I sit down to write my blog posts, I’m not sure where they’re going to go. Like yesterday’s post on Journalism…that started out to be something entirely different. It was going to be a list of questions about me that I would answer. I typed in a title of 5 W’s and then journalism popped into my head and off I went. It worked well. And I still have that list of questions about myself that I’m supposed to answer that I will save for a future post.

How about you? Are you a planner or a pantser? Or somewhere in between?

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First my one negative: When I got out to the car to go babysit my grandsons yesterday morning, my front passenger tire was completely flat. I took out my compressor and hooked it up but it didn’t get any power to it so I couldn’t inflate my tire. I still have to figure out why it didn’t go on. It’s fairly new, only used it twice.

One positive: Luckily, my daughter lives within walking distance from me so I walked over so she wouldn’t be late to work. The boys were up early so I got them up and got them dressed and we walked back to my house with my daughter’s compressor in hand

Second positive: I was able to quickly inflate the tire to the right pressure with a little time to spare before I had to take my grandson to pre school. So we were saved having to wait for auto club and so far, the pressure is holding in the tire so I may be spared having to get a new tire. I’ll go get it checked tomorrow, though, just so it doesn’t happen again!

What about you? Can you name one negative thing and two positives to balance it out?

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I have been reading lots and lots of blogs over the past three months and I keep coming up with blogs that aren’t very Reader friendly or sometimes even inconsiderate…not that the blogger is doing these things intentionally. I think they just aren’t aware of it.

One thing that would help, and I realize it isn’t possible on all blogging platforms especialy if you have a free blog, is changing the font. I have to increase the view size in my No Squint plugin to about 150% in order to be able to view the font without serious eye strain. I know some blogs have a variable font size where the Reader can pick the font size. I love those blogs but I think it’s probably a feature available only on pay blogs. However, if there is anything you can do to improve the size or the crispness of the font, that would help your Readers.

Another thing that would help is to keep in mind that your Followers probably follow a lot of other blogs. When I follow a blog, I read every single post as soon as I am notified of the post. Each day I spend upwards of three hours reading and commenting on blogs. So, when a blog I follow post five, six, seven, or more times in one day, that’s a bit much, especially when a lot of them are just reports of what the Blogger is doing at the moment or is about to do. Some Bloggers seem to run to publish a post every hour to report on every detail of their lives. Too much. And often too much information, too! Be considerate of your Readers’ time or you may lose those Readers.

And that brings me to commenting. Why would you make your Readers jump through hoops to comment on your post? First I have to enter all of my identifying information, then I have to prove I’m not a robot, then I have to post my comment and then I have to preview it before it publishes and then it will finally publish. It often takes me longer to comment than it does to read the post and by then, I’ve lost interest in commenting. Then there are a couple of blogging platforms that make you join their platform before you can comment. Not going to happen with me.

I often tweet the urls of blogs I enjoy so that others can visit them, too. However, if there is no Share button available or if it is there but not configured, then I have to copy the url, open Twitter, paste the url, type in any hashtags I want to add, type in a comment, then post. Takes too long. I’m not doing it and you are missing out on shares and visits. So get that Share Button up on your blog and get it configured so that all Readers have to do is hit the button and share it!

These are the top things bugging me about reading blogs today. There are others but these made it to the top of the list today. It may not apply to all of you, in fact I know it doesn’t apply to most of my Followers. However, when you have just spent the last three hours reading, commenting, and sharing blogs, these things are really aggravating and they keep me from coming back to your blog!

To those of you who are nice to your Readers by not being guilty of any of these pet peeves, thank you, thank you, thank you!

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coffee2

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I really want to go back to bed. The pillow and blankets are calling me and it’s really tough not to listen to them today. I’ll put it off for a while though. I want to get a little caught up with blogging. I need to read a lot of blogs that I didn’t have time to visit during the latter part of the week. But I look forward to a nap in a couple of hours.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today is my 120th day of a streak of writing at least one post for this blog! That’s the longest I’ve ever gone. I’ve done 60 days but this is twice that many! Yay me! It’s funny because I started out in October to try to revive the blog as I had not posted in over a year and a half. That month I managed to post 9 times. I had wanted to post at least 20 times. So then for November I signed up for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and blogged every day then did it again in December. January rolled around and I kept on blogging and before I knew it, it was February. At the beginning of the month I told myself it was okay to miss a day as the blogging habit had been established and it would be easy to miss a day and jump back in. However, on the two or three days that I almost didn’t post because of lack of energy, illness, or busy-ness, it drove me crazy and I ended up posting anyway. So I guess the blogging habit has really taken hold! Let’s see if I can make it through March!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my grandson turns 5 next Saturday so this week will be spent helping my daughter with all of the stuff that has to get done for the party…Lego party. Anderson is already asking if his birthday is “tomorrow”. So I think later today we will make him a countdown so he knows. He loved advent calendars this year so I may make him a mini one for his birthday. We’ll see what I can come up with.

I would also tell you that Monday is Read Across America Day and also Dr. Seuss’ birthday. When I was teaching, I planned an entire day of reading for my class. We did nothing but read. We covered all the academic subjects but through reading. I also invited adults to come read to the kids. We had a couple of parents join us and we had the Principal and two of the Teacher Specialists as well. The kids loved it. I miss those days and I’m thinking that next year, when Anderson is in Kindergarten, I will see if I can help the school plan some events and readings for the day.

And speaking of kindergarten, we just found out that this school district is changing to a six hour kindergarten in September! So instead of being in school for just a half day, Anderson will be gone for the whole day and the bus will pick him up and drop him off…no having to drive him over and back. Times they are a changin’.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge this year for the first time. I have a theme and have managed to list each post. However, I still need a post for the letters U and X. I’ll think of something. I’ll let you know the theme in a couple of weeks. I think it will be a fun one. There’s another blog event I want to participate in but I’m afraid it might be biting off more than I can chew so I’m not sure yet. It’s the Great Villain Blogathon. I have my villain picked out but I haven’t committed to it yet. We’ll see how I feel about it in a day or two. This Monday I will also be posting my second monthly “Introducing” post in which I introduce my readers to an indie writer. So I hope you stop by and take a look at that post.

So how has your week gone? What is on the schedule for you in the coming week? In March? Are you a planner that has it all scheduled out way in advance or a “pantser” that flies by the seat of their pants, often typing the last word two seconds before the last minute? I’m kind of like the second one but I’m finding that I am changing a bit and planning things out more. Old age does strange things to us! 🙂

Thank you for stopping by. I’ll come around to visit all the blogs on the linky over the weekend. And I’m not sure if coffee will be Saturday or Sunday next week because of the big birthday party but it will happen, one day or the other. See you then!

If We Were Having Coffee is a weekly blog share and link up hosted by Part-Time Monster. You can join in the fun too! Just write your post and link it up at part time monster.

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The-House-on-Mango-Street-picture
“Your abuelito is dead, Papa says early one morning in my room. Esta muerto, and then as if he just heard the news himself, crumples like a coat and cries, my brave Papa cries. I have never seen my Papa cry and I don’t know what to do.”

This meme is from Freda’s Voice. Grab a book and give it a go!
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

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