Sunday, May 12, 2019

It's Not About the Day

Happy Mother's Day to those of you who have children, wish for children, or are just starting to think about children. And if you are uncomfortable today because you've lost your mom, or you have a strained relationship with your mother, or for any reason really, I'll be your mom. Today and every day.

The greatest gift Drama Girl gave me today was informing me that she'd invited another friend for this Thanksgiving. I'm already excited.

Last Thanksgiving, my kids and their friends flew in from all over the country to my house. I got to be the mom for everyone who needed it. They slept all over the house in beds and couches and air mattresses, they all cooked, arranged flowers, and got board games going. It was a lot of people in my tiny house.

It was the greatest time of my life. One of the many payoffs for raising kids is getting to embrace their friends and being embraced by them in return.

 Happy Mother's Day to you and the family you were born into or the family you have found. It's not about the day, it's about the love.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Writing a Novel

I wrote a book. It's got a beginning, a middle, and an end,  plot, characters, dialogue, emotions. All the stuff that makes a book. I edited it, read it through, smiled and carefully put it in a drawer.

So now that's over. I know that I have the mechanics to actually bring a story to life in long form. But I also know that that first book was a bit of an experiment and  big adventure in learning.

I learned a lot, and I'm well into my next book now, which has a better chance of becoming a real book - or at least having a few other humans reading it.

So don't ask me if you can read my book yet. Believe me, when it's out there I won't shut up about it. You'll probably find a free copy in your mailbox if you know me personally.

Writing is relaxing for me, and I'm enjoying the adventure. Drama Girl teaches writing and has been helping me every step of the way. Seems fair, since I taught her how to do things like ride a bike, use a spoon and for that matter, the English language.  That investment in child-rearing is already paying off.

Tell me about your writing adventures!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Where Are We Now? Part 4

Jungle Boy has never been afraid to leap into things. Like Drama Girl, when it was time for college he selected a small school across the country that had a good program in the field he was interested in.

He marveled at the age of buildings there - California is so young by comparison. He joined the crew team, took an intense class in wine tasting offered by the local culinary school, and met up with Drama Girl in New York city on occasion.

But California and a change of plans called him back. He decided to change schools when he switched his major to electrical engineering and decided to spend some time catching up on all the prerequisites he needs at a community college first.

A month ago he entered a big hackathon in L.A. with some friends from school. 1600 young people from all over the world competed to design, create, and program innovative products. There were prizes from major Silicon Valley companies and even a big grand prize from Nintendo.

Jungle Boy and his team won the grand prize, and each received a Nintendo Switch gaming system.

He's president of the engineering club at his school now, and taking a lot of science and math classes. For fun he throws his surfboard into his little convertible and heads to the beach.

I am, as always, ridiculously proud.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Where Are We Now? Part 3

I'm cheating a little on the updates today while I wait to hear back from the twins about whether it's okay to post about them again. So in the meantime I'll just add a note about the other important members of the family.

The cats made the move to Oregon with me. Before the two-day drive, I did some research on how best to handle it. I found a cat house designed to buckle into the back seat of a car, put a little litter box in there, and hoped for the best. To say the least, they were not amused. These are two cats who declare they are in agony during every 5-minute trip to the vet.
Agony there was. I was informed in no uncertain terms that this was all a bad idea. But after over an hour of very vocal complaints, they both fell asleep for most of the trip.
Now of course, I'm sure that torture is long forgotten and like me, they have adapted to their new home.  There are new windows to sit in, new sun puddles to bask in and best of all, when the kids come to visit the cats get all the attention they could ever want.
Have you ever traveled long-distance with a pet? How did they handle it?

Monday, May 6, 2019

Introducing Prince Naveen

I'm a creature of habit. When the sun shines (a rare treat it seems in Oregon) I like to head outside with a book and read on my chaise lounge. I keep the lounge covered with a plastic cover when I'm not using it.

Imagine my surprise when I went out one day last summer and took off the cover only to find a small frog.

He was just sitting there, minding his own business. I'm not particularly squeamish, so I gently picked him up and put him in the bushes in my garden and went on with reading my book. After, of course, I took a few pictures of him and posted them on facebook.

But then I went out the next day and he was there again, in the same spot. And the next. So I began to play along and take pictures of him and his daily adventures. I named him Prince Naveen after the character in Disney's "Princess and the Frog." This went on throughout most of the summer. When the weather got cool though, he disappeared. I feared the worst, but hoped he was just hibernating.

A few days ago the weather was deliciously warm for the first time all spring and I ventured outside to read, took the cover off the chaise...and there he was.

 Now that I'm back to blogging, I'll go ahead and share some of his adventures here. Here's a picture from our private Cinco de Mayo party yesterday.
When I asked him if he preferred red or green hot sauce he just rolled his eyes like I'm an idiot. Of course he wanted the green for his quesadillas.

I told him I was going to start blogging about him and he told me to say hello to all of you and to assure you that he didn't actually use any of the hot sauce.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Where Are They Now? Part 2

Drama Girl was 11 years old when I started this blog in 2008. We were struggling with the issue of her messy room and celebrating her love of Harry Potter books. My how she's grown!

She's traveled the world - exceeding her goal of 21 countries before her 21st birthday. Better still, she figured out ways to work while she traveled, doing things such as teaching English, so that she managed to pay for almost all of it herself. (Mom says yay!)

She graduated from a college that has a castle just like Hogwarts and finished her degree in three years. (Mom says yay again!) She just got accepted into a fully-funded (Mom is delirious with yays) three-year program to get her MFA in writing. She'll be teaching the next generation and passing on her love of books. Her students will be very lucky.

Everything I could have hoped and dreamed for her is coming true and I couldn't possibly be prouder. Not only is she reaching high and achieving her goals, she has blossomed into a compassionate, fierce, spectacular woman. I'm glad we're friends.

Her room still tends to be pretty messy though.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Where Are We Now? Part 1

*taps mic

"Is this thing on?"

It's been over four years since I said farewell to Lit and Laundry, and more than once I've thought about coming back to visit. It's funny to me that so many people still visit this old blog and find old posts. The magic of the eternal internet.

When I began this blog, I lamented the fact that my life was all laundry and no literature (hence the name). I have now come full circle in my life and I rarely do laundry but read about a book a day. I am in heaven.

The three children I raised have grown and each has become a spectacular adult. More on them later.

The one thing that did not survive the years was my marriage. Divorce after 23 years was traumatic, but I am finding now that it was an incredible gift to me; the chance to start over and pursue many things that marriage and rearing children left by the wayside.

I play the harp again. I've written a novel. I've moved back to Oregon and settled into a lovely little house. My time is my own and I am loving every minute of it.

Here is my kitchen alcove. Why put in another dining table when I can have big squishy purple chairs? Perfect for tea or wine and lots of reading. You can see my kindle on the table. The magnifying light is ready for all my needlework projects. My black cats are still ever-present.

I am older, and have had a cancer scare. Both of my parents have died now, and there is a big hole in my heart that calls itself  "the empty nest."

As they say, along with age comes wisdom. And a whole lot of serenity. And hope. I am happier now than I have been in a very long time. 

So, for  lark, let me dust off this blog and see if it still runs. I doubt any of my old readers are still around, but if you are, please give a shoutout so I can find you.  I miss everybody in the old blog community and I don't expect it to be like it was, but I also think that facebook is loosening it's grip on our attention. Maybe some of us are ready to return to this. 

Wishing you sunny days and tea and cats.

 - Threeundertwo

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