A Season of Learning

I am in a season of learning.

My desire right now is to discover learning opportunities. Webinars, podcasts, you tube videos, ebooks, wherever I spot something I want to know more about I am jumping on it. As I was starting this blog I had at least six tabs open on my laptop with various searches, emails, and a PowerPoint presentation on script reading ready for my perusal. I had my cell phone next to me and a notepad with a mechanical pencil at the ready.

In my home growing up there wasn’t any emphasis on learning. School wasn’t made any kind of priority. I can’t even remember my parents asking if I had homework or making me sit down and do my homework. It seemed if I liked what I was doing that was good enough for them. There were no parent/teacher meetings about my progress, no issue made of my grades, and if my folks wanted to take off for a trip to Texas they thought nothing of taking us out of school to go, and no worry about textbooks or concern about missed assignments while we was gone.

My middle sister had what we know now as a learning disability-ADHD and probably dyslexia. School was a nightmare for her, she was held back in first grade as much for her behavior as her lack of understanding. She had no idea how to be a student. My youngest sister and I were pretty good in school from nothing more than being natural learners. I do wish my parents had put greater emphasis on our school work. It might have been because we were military brats who moved every three years including overseas until my father retired, but I knew of other kids like me who achieved success in school.

Why didn’t they notice I loved writing stories and plays and encourage my talent? Why didn’t they find someone to help me with math when they saw I struggled?

My husband’s experiences were the opposite of mine and fortunately this motivated us to promote the importance of learning and school to our kids. They both went on to college and university.

So now, after years of wishing I had attended college, I am drawn to all sorts of learning. My love for history has directed much of my writing-it’s a joy to do historical research for my stories. I adore books. Geology and meteorology fascinate me and I can have meaningful discussions on these topics. My curiosity is strong and my desire to know more has given me the drive to seek out opportunities. I love challenging my brain, and hope this season is a long one.

Cheers!

-N

 

Morning coffee

Life here in good ole Catalina, Arizona has been pretty crazy.

Good and bad news, both bringing major changes and decisions. I spend a lot of time in my own mind working things out, I get that look on my face humans have when there isn’t a sure fire answer or an obvious direction. I want to know whats next so I can prepare myself.

The bad news, Chuck was laid off. Ugh, stressful and definitely not what I wanted to be dealing with. He is busting his butt at job hunting and networking, he did the unemployment filing which is something he has never done before, never needed to and is working very hard on the house and property so it can be sold.

The house was painted and looks fresh and new, personal items are being packed or put into the yard sale pile. The inside is a mess that’s hard to keep up with. I like things put away, behind cabinets or  stored in the pantry. We are plugging away at this.

The good news, I finished my fiction work and it is now on Amazon for pre-order with a release date of March 31st. I’m really excited to introduce these fictional humans to the world of readers. I like them and I hope others will as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Blame-Whiskey-Nancy-Vaughn-ebook/dp/B01CQ4S8R4/

medicinal-whiskey-rev_1

I’m making time nearly every day to write, either on the blog or the new book I have started. This whole my-husband-is-unemployed  thing will pass but it’s hard on this woman. It’s affecting my sleep and my dreams, but I pray for peace and guidance, confident God sees us and loves us. I guess that’s why it is called faith.

Cheers!

-N

It’s all in how you say it

One thing to be said for being older and married for a while (36 years) is Chuck and I can pretty much tell each other anything. The biggest thing we’ve learned is how to say these things to each other. A kiss and a sexy butt grab will ease any discussion topic. Speaking to each other the way we would want to be spoken to is the best way to approach a topic. I like to tease him, tell him not to yell before I finish talking and touch his face and tell him he has really nice lips.

Sometimes the argument starts one of us will say “lets stop talking before we get really mad.” If we need to have that discussion it is couched in kisses or snuggles and confirming we won’t be defensive and that we will go to those tools learned in many team building strategy training’s we’ve done a jillion times at work. Listen, repeat, confirm. To those he and I have added making out and heavy petting afterward.

It works for us.

I’ve said many times I’m rather a hermit, but times like today it was very hard to say goodbye when Chuck headed back up north this morning. I’m missing him and on my 3rd glass of wine. We did lots of kissing and hugging before he left. Good things to remember while he is away.

He was so busy with stuff around here as we start the prep for selling our place over these last two weeks and I was very proud of him. He was speaking my love language.

I plan to take a page out of my sister Mary’s book and downsize with this move. She had to do three moves in about that many years and she really cleaned house literally, getting rid of the clutter and excess. I’ve been here for 25 years so Chuck and I have a lot of stuff to weed through and sort out. I’m better at letting things go so the house isn’t quite as cluttered but I do have a lot of books, CD’s and DVD’s and my sewing/craft room is pretty busy with lots of things I probably don’t really need.

He was telling me his plan for clearing out his back yard clutter making me very happy. He has a direction for it. It won’t happen super fast, maybe over a couple of months. He’s a really good man.

So I will sit here wishing for a cuddle and being busy with my part of the plan.

Cheers!

-N

Stuff

My husband was here for two weeks as is his routine: work two weeks, home two weeks. Well I realized when he is here the usual things that I do get totally scrambled. I did zero sewing, blogging or writing, I cooked way too much and consequently ate way too much. He flew back to North Dakota this morning and now it’s time to regroup. I love having him here but after two weeks of looking after myself, his always welcome presence, turns things around for me.

It’s all good though.

Millie is really growing. She weighs fifty lbs, is at least three feet tall when sitting and getting her big dog teeth. She’s still got a bit of puppy brain at six months old and easily gets distracted, but for the most part she is doing pretty well. She absolutely loves Chuck and when he is here she is his shadow. Sometimes though she will get into things and he runs her off back to me! That doesn’t last too long before she is back at his heels. She also snores when she sleeps and groans when she stretches-funny!

While Chuck was here the whole scary mess in Paris happened. It was the first time in a long time I actually watched the news on TV. I usually get my news from brief updates online. I hate watching the news channels. I don’t understand people who watch constantly. If I had the news on all day my brain would explode. I kept switching between CNN and Fox to get a more complete picture of the heartbreaking event. After a few hours over a couple of days I had a scary moment so similar to 9/11. Chuck and I were in a public place and I started looking at the crowds moving around me, I was watching their faces and behaviors and felt an insecure panic. I felt unsafe. I held onto Chuck’s hand all the time.

I never got to go to New York to visit the twin towers and I always wanted to. It was a place I wanted to stand on top of and look out on that city. Paris is another place I have always wanted to go and here it seemed I might miss out on it also. I was angry and frustrated by the evil of the actions. I don’t understand killing and injuring people who don’t agree with your ideology to make a point. The terrorists were more than making a point, this was intended to create fear and subordination in others.

We will all bear the scars in our minds and hearts.

With the holidays coming I will be spending them without Chuck. He is working Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. At least I will be able to be with Melissa for those days. I will also get to see Aaron and Chelsea after Christmas. My kids will cheer my heart. There is also Skype for Chuck!!

Now it’s time to hit the pages of my newest literary creation in progress!

-N

 

Let’s laugh

I was just watching a video of a baby laughing. This baby was absolutely cracking up, throwing back his head and laughing hysterically. It made me laugh at the baby and his father who was holding him and laughing just as hard. I couldn’t stop watching it. One aspect that was so interesting was what made this little human laugh so much was his dad putting a pacifier in his mouth and spitting it out! That’s it. The baby thought this was gut-busting hilarious.

Why?

Have you had those moments when the most innocuous things can set you off? For myself, my husband’s reactions to things crack me up. His facial or verbal expressions just set me to laughing. When I laugh really hard I make this weird sort of wheezing sound that seems to make my family start laughing and pretty soon we are literally rolling on the floor laughing. I usually have to make myself stop because my stomach is hurting, but it takes several tries before I can get myself under control.

When a television commercial shows a group of people together there are always the laughing humans. We instinctively know laughing equates a good time. The gorgeous woman is laughing at the handsome man sitting closely in an intimate setting of friends having a meal or a tailgate party.

Yet, I’ve been in a situation where the laughter was at my expense and not fun, at all. The laughter hurt and was a way to make someone look better as they insult something about me.

I’m not one to laugh out loud at comedies. I think it’s because it is designed for that purpose, for laughter at the expense of one of the characters and it’s hard for me to get past that. It is probably the same emotional response that draws me into a good drama – whether a movie, television program or book. I become part of the story, I can feel the emotion of sadness or fear, what ever is the author’s design in writing the tale.

Physically laughter is good for humans. I’ve read many articles that describe the good it does to the human psyche and to human relationships when it encourages camaraderie and companionship. I love being a part of those times.

“What do you call a mushroom that goes in a bar and buys everyone drinks? …a fungi to be with!”

Cheers

-N