Archive for December, 2007

New Years

Posted in writing on 12/30/2007 by Susan Shay

What does New Years mean to you?

When I was a kid, it meant a party–usually at church or a church member’s house. I remember one NY when Dad had driven home a big truck with an air horn. He gave me permission to blow it at midnight. (He and Mom were going to a party down the street.)

So at midnight, I went out and gave the horn a few short blasts. When he came home, Dad asked why I hadn’t used the horn. “I didn’t want to scare anyone.”

“It’s New Years,” he answered with a grin. “You should have blown them all out of their beds.”

In college, I went with a guy to a New Years celebration in Tulsa. As Bible college students, we didn’t drink and we didn’t dance, so about all we did was have a decent meal and listen to some loud music while everyone around us got drunk and danced like fiends. Then we went home. I don’t even remember a New Years’ kiss.

After we married, DH and I tried going out to eat a few times on NYE, but that’s like the worst night in the entire world to go out. Barring none. The absolute worst!!! So we gave it up after just a time or two.

I hear about people who make reservations six months in advance at big hotels for the celebrations, but I’ve never been one of those.

So what’s to do on New Years these days? WellI cook a fun meal (I’m thinking about having brats this year) and we watch a few movies before going to bed. Usually before midnight.

But I love the new year! It’s a new start. The old is gone. Wiped out. Pfffft! And the new is here, clean as a sheet of new paper.

I belong to a loop that sets goals each week (mostly about writing) and the next week, we report how we’ve done. We also set yearly goals.

Each year, we get a new loop address because, as I said, the old is gone. Both successes and failures. You can’t live forever on an old success. You have to continue to work toward new ones. And in the same manner, you can’t let old failures stop your progress.

Yeah, I know ditching the old loop’s edress and getting a new one is symbolic, but hey. That’s the kind of guy I am. 🙂

The hardest thing on that loop is setting the right kind of goals. Goals must be something I can actually make happen.

For instance, I can’t set a goal to get an agent. I can set a goal to write the best story I can, submit my work to agents, cross my fingers, wear a rabbit’s foot and a four leaf clover, but only the agent can accept my work. I can’t do that.

Right now I’ve set myself a goal of finding a few good articles online about goal setting and time management to share with the loop on New Year’s Day. If they’re based on writing, that’s even better.

Any suggestions where I can look?     

Fed Ex and Me

Posted in writing on 12/29/2007 by Susan Shay

I finally got my 2nd Christmas present from DH last night. The first one was an absolutely wonderful, fantastic, beautiful bracelet. Way more than I expected! But my great DH also had another one for me. A camera I’d been lusting after for a couple of years.

He ordered it, and paid extra to have it expedited so we’d have it at least by Christmas Eve.

The company he bought it from sent it right away. By Federal Express. It went to Memphis, and sat for two days. It did make it to Tulsa by the morning of Christmas Eve. I stayed home from work on Christmas Eve in order to receive it.

It didn’t come.

In fact, it stayed in Tulsa until the day after Christmas Eve, when everyone had gone back to work. When I got home from work on Wednesday, I had a door tag that said, “Will try to deliver on Thursday.”

When I got home from work on Thursday I had another door tag that said, “Will try to deliver on Friday.”

 DH took off work on Friday. Guess what? The camera didn’t come. There was no door tag. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I called Fed Ex and spoke to a very sweet woman. “It was marked undeliverable and is being sent back to the shipper. But it’s still in the warehouse in Tulsa if you’d like to pick it up.”

Yeah, we spent $20 or $30 extra to get to drive to Tulsa and pick it up. Three days late.

With my son’s voice in my head, begging me to be nice, I said okay.

When we finally found the Fed Ex office, which is on the other side of beyond, there were two people working. A man and a woman. I explained what happened to the woman and she looked doubtful. She played with her computer, then said, “It was marked undeliverable.”

I answered, “Hey, your driver’s a liar. He said he’d deliver it on Friday, and he didn’t even try. Now he says it’s undeliverable. It’s not.” Then I went on to tell her about working and how DH had taken the day off to receive it, yada yada.

She took a break or maybe a nap, then talked to the other guy, who’d been listening through the entire thing. The guy said to the woman, “It must have been turned down.”

It was not turned down.”

The man looked as if he were surprised that I’d heard him.

The woman fiddled a bit more, left the room, then came back. I explained to her that I’d spoken to someone on the phone who said the camera was still in Tulsa, and she would put a hold on it so I could pick it up.

“I’ll have to talk to my supervisor.”

I wanted to speak to someone about their hiring practices

The woman finally returned. “I talked to my supervisor, and she’d going to try to find it. She just left.”

I honestly thought the clerk meant she’d talked to the supervisor on the cell phone, because she’d just left. “She left? Where did she go?”  

“Ma’am,” the clerk answered as if I’d just urinated on her foot. “She’s not driving all the way to Minnesota to get the camera. She’s gone to the warehouse.”

I didn’t answer the, uh, woman. Instead, I turned and sat down in a chair next to DH, and stared.  At her. For a long time.

She started getting nervous. “H-how long were yo-you out of town?”

“We weren’t out of town.” I made sure there was no nice in my voice.  “We were at work. Like. I. Said.”

The clerk swallowed hard. Then she asked another question I’d already answered at least twice.

I answered without trying to be pleasant, and stared at her.

Finally another woman came in with my box and never even glanced my way. She had that look on her face that said they’d discussed me while they were both in the other room, and with a roll of her eyes said they’d decided I was too much trouble to bear.

She left without a word to anyone or a glance across the counter.

After proving I was me, I signed my name and was allowed to take my box and leave. As we started for the door, the clerk said, “Have a very happy New Year.”

“I will if I never have to come back here.”

On a happier note, I took Jackie King’s challenge and wrote three pages. Not last night, sadly. It was this morning, but they flowed right out of my fingers.

I’m wondering if my run-in with the clerk might have fed my Jazzy muse?

   

Everything but write.

Posted in writing on 12/27/2007 by Susan Shay

This morning I’ve knitted a cell phone bag, read emails, read blogs, made an I-cord, cooked breakfast.

I even added snow to this blog. Did you notice? (Be patient. It takes a little while to kick in.) I’m not very good at that kind of thing, but someone else on wordpress gave really easy instructions, and I followed them. (Yay, easy!)

Check it out: http://wordpress.com/blog/2007/12/25/let-it-snow/

I’ve done all kinds of things–although none were very useful–except work on MMH, my current WIP. (WIP=Work In Progress)

Why? Good question. I don’t know why. I love the story. Love being able to maul on paper those who give me fits in life. So why didn’t I write?

Because it’s more fun to blog. I get fast responses when I send my stuff to the world immediately.

And I have very few people tell me my blogs aren’t quite perfect. (Maybe just a sister or two.) Lots of people tell me when I have problems with my WIP.

And maybe I’m a little bit lazyGasp! Yep, I admit it. But I get most everything done sooner or later.

As long as I’m blogging, I might as well tell you about yesterday. It snowed all day long. Sometimes the snow was tiny as sand fleas and sometimes the flakes were the size of half dollars, but all the time, it was beautiful coming down.

And it didn’t stick. The roads were wet, but not slick.

The camera my husband ordered for my Christmas present came yesterday. (Only two days late, although he paid extra to get it here on time.) But since there was no one here to sign for it, I didn’t get it. 😦

I guess tonight I’ll drive into Tulsa and pick it up because I won’t be here when they try to deliver it today, either, unless they bring it to my work. And I doubt they’ll do that.

I’m really excited about this camera. It’s a digital, but the lens can be changed. I love having choices, don’t you? And I love taking pictures. The trouble is, with a digital, I don’t always print them out. Even though I have a photo printer (another dh gift from years past) I hesitate to use it. Don’t ask why. Maybe I’m lazy. <G>

I broke out my 2008 purse calendar this morning. I’m determined to get organized this year. Not just my time, but my life.

Now if I can just get Aunt Betty in gear and write, everything will be all right.

Heelies

Posted in writing on 12/26/2007 by Susan Shay

I GOT HEELIES!!!! 

I got super gifts from my family for Christmas! If I told you everything, you’d think I was bragging. 🙂  But this is so cool . . . I got heelies. I told my kids I wanted them, and I got them.

Now I have to figure out how to “do” them. It’s harder than it looks–I tried it for a few moments before we took of for Sister Deb’s yesterday. It’s not easy to stop walking mid-stride and lift your toes off the floor.

Why did I want them? First, because they look like FUN. But the real reason I wanted them was the day I helped cook Thanksgiving dinner at church. Several little old ladies, standing in a group, complained about kids who wear heelies. “These kids had on those dang shoes with wheels in them when I was at the store. Just about ran me down, skating past me.”

“Oh, you poor dear. Did they run you down?”

“No.”

“That’s good. Did that hit you at all?”

“No. But they pert-near did.”

I had to speak up. (At least I didn’t shout, like I wanted to.) “I don’t blame those kids for wearing them. They look like fun to me. I’d love to have a pair.”

I didn’t see it, but I have a feeling the LOLs just rolled their eyes.

But I realized then, I really would like to have them.

Now just keep your fingers crossed that when I fall, I go boi-oi-oing not splat!  

Posted in writing on 12/26/2007 by Susan Shay

Christmas is over.

WOOHOO! 

I wonder if there’s anyone else in the world who finds as much relief from those three words as a mom? No more, “Did I spend the same amount on all the kids?” “Did I get the one thing they wanted most?” “Did I forget anything?”

No more marathon wrapping.

No more cooking food hoping to “make your tongue lap your brains out. ” (Saying passed down from my grandad.)

No more finding a place to stash stuff while the holiday decorations are out.

Just warm, blessed release. The kind that makes you want to lie down and sleep for a week.  Kick up your heels, go out and party. Shout for joy and grin ’til your face rips in two.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas–

Being with nieces and nephews I don’t see for months on end.                                   Spending time with people I see every day but don’t get to really get together with. Telling the most important people in my life, in ways other than words, “I love you.”    

I love laughing my guts out–

While playing dirty Santa and seeing my BIL–a black belt in karate–win Oprah’s book brought by MS.                                                                                                                             MS winning a pink journal while playing Dirty Santa.                                                       Playing a game, and hearing big, tough guys sing “Like a Virgin” in falsetto.                   Going along with my SIL while she gently teases my dad’s wife about the book she got for Christmas.                                                                                                                                  Watching D’sW give as good as she gets.

BB told me before Christmas that DIL wanted to learn to knit. Now that was catnip to a knitter. <G> I had a ball (pun intended) filling her stocking with needles, books, yarn and a gift certificate to an upscale knitting store. And of course, I offered to go yarn shopping with her any time she needed me. (I think a knitting lawyer can only be a good thing. Don’t you?)

Besides, she loved my Christmas stockings. Here’s one last picture, then I’m putting them away until next year.

 smaller-stocking-tops.jpg

                                                                                   

Christmas Remembered.

Posted in writing on 12/26/2007 by Susan Shay

I absolutely loved Christmas when I was a kid. Even as a teenager, I thought it was wonderful. I had a great boyfriend. He went to my church, so I got to see him even on nights when we couldn’t “go out”. He was a good guy, too. You know what I mean? Interested, but not pushy about . . . stuff.

When I was a kid, my grandparents, who lived next door to my parents, always had the family Christmas get together at their house on Christmas Eve. We got so excited because we’d be getting a gift and eating homemade candy and seeing cousins we didn’t get to see all that often. So naturally, as soon as I was dressed, I went to the party.

As soon as I arrived, the phone rang. Grandmother said Mom needed me to come home. When I got home, I found Mom needed me to get one of the little kids dressed. (She had three in a four year period, so it was hard to get them dressed at the same time.) I did what she asked, then scooted back to Grandmother’s. 

About ten minutes later, the phone rang again. This time a cousin answered. Mom needed me to come home. A little irritated, I trudged back home (maybe thirty feet between the two houses.) When I got there, she had me carry over the pies she’d baked.

I hadn’t been back at Grandmother’s long when the phone rang. Again. Grandmother stuck her head in where I was and said, “Your mom needs you to come home.”  

Why couldn’t she think of everything she needed at one time? I wondered. I stormed home, slammed the backdoor and stomped through the kitchen. When I got to the living room door, I stopped and screamed, “WHAT IS IT THIS TIME???”

Then I opened my eyes. There, on the couch, was Mom, chatting with my boyfriend. Gulp. Talk about humiliated.

Mom gave me “that look”, then excused herself to finish getting dressed. My boyfriend never mentioned my display of temper (probably afraid to) but he did give me a beautiful necklace, which I didn’t take off for a long time.  

I learned a big lesson that day:

Always look before you scream so you’ll know who’s in the audience before you make a complete idiot of yourself.

Merry, merry!!!

Posted in writing on 12/25/2007 by Susan Shay

Big deal dinner over, the rest of Christmas to go.

Everyone is still asleep this morning. Not like when my boys were really small. They were up before the dawn, begging to see what Santa brought. After staying up until they were all asleep, it wasn’t easy to pry my eyes open and stagger to the tree.

Now I have to blast them out of bed to open presents.

On Christmas morning the first year I was married, Sister Lisa, who was in her early teens at the time, called my in-laws’ house where we’d spent the night and wanted to know when we were going to get to Mom’s house. I told her it would be a little while. We were just getting out of bed.

She was furious! She told me in no uncertain terms that they weren’t going to wait. She wanted to know what Santa brought ASAP, so they were going open gifts without us!

They didn’t. And she was over being mad by the time we got there so I didn’t have to smack her around. That time, anyway. 🙂

Back to last night. We had a rib roast, twice baked potatoes with shrimp and brandied mushrooms. Yummers! And we all ate too much. Way too much.

Afterward, DIL told us Santa Paws came to visit their house yesterday morning (Santa Paws visits all good dumb animals) and brought OS a Donald Duck DVD. Volume Three. We spent the rest of the night watching DD. Laughing outloud.

And napping.  

Today we’re going to Sister Debbie’s house to have soup and sandwiches and play dirty Santa. It sounds as if every family will be represented except Sister Lisa’s.

I wonder if that’s cosmic punishment for her being mean to me all those years ago? *snort*

LY, Lisa!

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