A Time for Thanks

Thanksgiving is two days away for those celebrating in the United States, and I’m salivating at the prospects of pumpkin pie, turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, ambrosia and rolls, pumpkin pie and, well, you get the gist. For me, I love to plop down onto the sofa, stuffed to the gills with good food rumbling inside of my belly and surrounded by my loved ones watching my most anticipated event of the season… The AKC Dog Show, of course!

Yes, my love of dogs goes beyond borders, kingdoms and realms. They put a pep to my step and bring out the ooey gooey talking, lovey dovey heart of a child the second I lay eyes on my pup. *sigh* She’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a dog, and she never lets me down. Always devoted to my mundane habits of tap, tap, tapping away at the keyboards or midnight kitchen jaunts stealing yet another glass of water after my foggy mind attempted to write down a concept ripped from my dreams. Yep, she jumps to attention, her velvety soft ears pointed in my direction, and her gaze giving me the once over just to make certain I’m safe. I melt in those pools of soft chocolate, and I thank my lucky stars for the gift that she is.

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Of course, I’m grateful for my kids, too. Oh, yeah! My kids rule the roost in this family of complete and normal dysfunction. *wink* We’re no less dysfunctional than the rest, this I know, but we excel in our failed attempts at hitting the laundry basket or keeping all the peas on the plate. Sure, some land on the floor and get stomped and smashed to smithereens, trailed through the house in a final blaze of glory, while the pup even turns her nose up at it before plopping down on her half of the couch in a huff. “Silly humans,” she must think as she refuses eye contact for the next five minutes in hopes of shaming we mere mortals into tossing her a salmon flavored treat, down on our knees, begging for her forgiveness.

And I digress. Family. Right. You know, we’re all family if you think about it. My dog is as much a part of this family as the humans. That’s what I love most about my spouse, children and pup. If someone is ill, another fixes meals or picks up the laundry or simply sits by our sides binge watching Netflix or HuluPlus, sympathizing and caring in the best way we know how. We have our ups and downs, but our family is strong and have weathered many a storm. To this I am THANKFUL. GRATEFUL. BLESSED.

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So, while many are posting days of ‘Thanks’ during the month of November, I’m there with ya, shouting to the world how wonderful these people (Canines, too!) are by my side, but it’s no different than the other 11 months out of the year. I choose to live each day with a grateful heart regardless of the month.

One final word of ‘Thanks’ goes out to all my family near and far. Merriam-Webster lists “Family” as “a group of people who are related to each other,” or “a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head,” but I beg to differ. My family constitutes those in my household but extends to those special friends in my life that are neither ancestrally related or by marriage. My family circle is blessed this Thanksgiving with wonderful family and friends living in Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Michigan, Colorado, California, and Australia and is enriched by those I’ve met through writing from the UK, Norway, India, France, Germany, Canada, Japan and the list goes on and on. There’s lots to be grateful for, and I wish all my family and fellow #NaNoWriMo writers a wonderful end to November.

Best of luck, happy eating, and, of course, happy reading/writing!

KD

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Writing in a Hailstorm

Good Day to everyone! After what feels like a lengthy absence, I’ve hit the ivory of my keyboard to write again. A hailstorm pelted my life for the last couple of weeks, but I’m up and running again for what will surely be an extraordinary next couple of months. Time to catch up on all things written;-)

While the last couple of months have been filled with illness, it has also been a refreshing breeze. Not allowed to read or be on a computer, I’ve had ample opportunity to observe life and disconnect from the internet which has been spectacular. Creative minds never cease, and it is to this trait that I laud for my sanity with a ban on electronics.

Okay, I’ll admit, at first I panicked. What? No electronics, you say??? Are you nuts? I’m a WRITER, but these quickly diffused once the lurching and knotting of my stomach lessened and my mind unfroze. This would be a time of opportunity; not for sitting on the couch with a gallon of ice cream and a box of Kleenex. Pride, barely intact, I propped my chin up on a pillow and plastered a smile on my face, resolving to see this as a springboard and not a road bump.

The next steps fell in trickles then downpours once the first one took shape. As most would agree, sleep was in order. Lots and lots of sleep was achieved. If sleep were an Olympic event, I’d have a shiny gold medal right now. Next, hydration. Contrary to popular belief, wine is not for hydration. I know, a shock to me, too! So, I settled for my next favorite beverage: water. It sounds bland, but I spiffed it up with lemon juice and reveled in the fact that I was tripling my vitamin C intake. The pharmacist in me was doing backflips, I can assure you;-)

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Info on Vitamin C found at NIH.gov

After the sleep and hydration came…meditation. Yep, you heard it from the lion’s mouth. I’ve never been one to incorporate meditation in any kind of way into my daily life, but without the crutches of entertainment/stress relief coming from the internet or TV, I had a ton of time on my hands. Being a “Type A” personality when it comes to certain venues in life, I needed a stress reliever. What was I to do?

I remember in college taking a relaxation/meditation class for one of my general education requirements. At the time, it was an inconvenience, but let me just say that it came to the rescue in my time of crisis. Albeit approximately twenty years later, give or take a few years, I have been extraordinarily grateful.

As a side note, I’ve been told to practice yoga, and while I’m sure it helps others, each person is different. Having arthritis, lots of the positions have ended up hurting my joints rather than helping, and that’s okay. I think I’m more of a Tai Chi kind of person anyway.

Back on track, the meditation was word focused, and I have to say that as absurd as it sounds, the word “relax” helped me to…well, you know…relax. Silently repeating “Re” on the inward breaths and “lax” while I breathed out helped the contorted mass of muscles in my neck, shoulders, lower back, etc… I couldn’t believe it! After ten minutes, I opened my eyes and felt like a bowl of Jello. Decidedly better than a ball of wire, I immediately determined to meditate prior to every writing session. It clears the mind and lets the fountain of words flow onto paper.

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Photo via Tribunist.com

Once my symptoms cleared a bit, I admit, I binged on Netflix. Well, sort of. I can only watch a couple of shows before I have to turn it off. Drat you seizures! BUT, it was the rocket to my mood that I needed. All I’m saying is if you haven’t seen the show Superstore, you’re missing out.

The remnants of illness linger, but I’m ready to gradually increase my workload over the next couple of weeks. It’s phenomenal to be back on the computer, hacking away at the keys. Hopefully, the rest of the year will be smooth sailing. Of course, I’ll look like a walking Halloween sign for the remainder of Fall and Winter seasons as I must wear a mask, but I’ll have plenty of hilarious tales to tell you with all the stares and encounters I get upon my journeys out into the world.

So, until then, read lots, eat well, and write often!

Happy reading,

KD