Spending Time Up In My (Freelance) Business

I just realized that I haven’t posted on this blog since April! Years ago, I coined the word “blazy” to describe a former coworker. She would always claim to be “so busy!” but she was really just lazy. That is a good description of me these past few months. I have time to do all I want and need to do, but somehow, I just don’t get around to some things – like keeping up with this blog.

Until I get those creative juices flowing again, I thought I’d show a glimpse of what I do in my “real” life. Continue reading

A Surprise Out My Window

Cardinal

They say that seeing a cardinal signifies a visit from someone who has passed.

I find that capturing them on film is difficult. No matter how I hold my breath and try not to move, they seem to vanish into thin air. Much like hanging on to the image of a loved one when you see them in a dream, or hear their voice in your head.

I am not a good photographer, but occasionally I can surprise one, capturing the image before it flees.

Today, I am thinking of two people who departed our world last week.

An old friend I hadn’t seen in years – gone too soon – taken by cancer. And a dear friend’s father who lived a long, full 86-year life.

Perhaps the cardinal’s skittishness is a reminder to appreciate those we love while they are here. Before we know it, they too may take flight, leaving only memories of their vibrancy.

~Written in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Surprise.

Aspiring Not to Aspirate

I’m not generally a hypochondriac, but as I’ve gotten older, I have my share of moments when what’s going on in my body scares me. It’s like staying in a haunted house. Every creak, every sensation makes me stop in my tracks and listen. It could just be the old house settling on its foundation. Then again, it could be something malevolent intent on doing me in. Ah, the joys of aging!

Knowing me, however, my demise is more likely to come from doing something really stupid.

Last Thursday night, Mr. Maid and I were eating dinner. It was one of my ordinary weeknight menus of spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread.

easy spaghetti

In defiance to all rules of etiquette, I was chewing a big mouthful of pasta while simultaneously trying to talk. I can’t remember what I was saying, but it was making me also start to laugh. The combination of chewing, swallowing, talking, and laughing was apparently a little more multitasking than my brain and body could handle. As the phrase goes, my food went “down the wrong pipe.” Continue reading

Hemorrhoidal Tendencies: The Driving Edition, Volume 2

Welcome! You’ve stumbled upon Hemorrhoidal Tendencies, the occasional feature of my blog where I complain about the things in this world that are a pain in the ass.

In my first entry in Hemorrhoidal Tendencies I discussed some driving pet peeves. Every time I get behind the wheel, I realize I’ve only scratched the surface. Here are a few more things about driving (or more accurately, my fellow drivers) that can make me want to turn a pleasant Sunday drive into a scene from Death Race 2000.

You’re Not Fooling Anyone

Even the most conscientious drivers among us are guilty of breaking a driving laws on occasion. Is there really anyone out there who never goes over the speed limit? Or failed to signal a turn when no one is around? I didn’t think so.

One source of driving guilt that is probably most common is distracted driving. I myself have been known to grab a burger on my way out of town to eat while tooling down the interstate at 75 miles an hour. But over the years I have seen people put on mascara, shave, clean their ears with cotton swabs (yuck,) apply nail polish, and – I kid you not – read a textbook by the glow of the dome light. Continue reading

And God Said “Thou Shalt Eat Thine Casserole Without Complaint”

picky-eater

Today is the first Friday of Lent. Catholics and other religions mark the 40 days before Easter (actually 46, but Sundays aren’t included) with various forms of atonement and self-denial. The rules have relaxed considerably with time. When my parents were children the devout were still into some serious fasting, whereas during my childhood, things centered mostly on not eating meat on Fridays. Thankfully, children are no longer terrified that they’ll spend eternity in hell for a beef jerky.

I was raised Catholic, but I no longer practice. Some things, however, have remained etched in my psyche. If I were to pop into a Catholic mass, muscle memory would take over and I could recite my lines perfectly. And, to this day, I feel guilty if I eat meat on Fridays during Lent. Continue reading

Love Stinks!

I’ve been happily married for almost 17 years to my best friend.

Until I met my husband, however, my love life was mostly comprised of angst, uncertainty, and disappointment. This was particularly true during my college days.

For as long as I could remember, I was either chasing boys who had no interest in me, or running away from boys who liked me. Unrequited love was my thing – whether I was on the giving or receiving end.

Then I met my first serious steady boyfriend in college. He was a definite improvement on the numskulls I usually fell for, but he went to a school a few hours away. Long distance romance can be hard enough as it is, but this was 1983: pre-cell phone and pre-internet, and thus pre-email. Long distance phone calls were expensive, so people actually wrote letters and sent them snail mail! We would right each other once or twice a week, call once in a while and visit each other when we could.

While I was single, I dreaded Valentine’s Day. I lived in an all girl’s dorm, and at about 10 am, the flowers and packages would start to arrive at the front desk. Continue reading

Hemorrhoidal Tendencies: The Driving Edition

I’m happy to report that I am too mild-mannered to entertain any homicidal tendencies. I do, however, have a lot of pet peeves. Thus, several years ago I coined the term “Hemorrhoidal Tendencies,” which I first referred to in my post “Catch My Phrase.” These are the everyday things that have a tendency to be a pain in the ass (or arse, for my more polite friends across the pond.)

Since I now work from home, I no longer have the luxury of kvetching and kibitzing with my coworkers about the mundane things that drive one crazy, so I’ve been toying with creating a somewhat regular feature here on the blog.

So, without further ado, I give you my first installment of

Hemorrhoidal Tendencies: The Driving Edition Continue reading