Friday Funnies

My awesome new mug

I have never been an Anglophile or royal watcher. However, I have always loved corgis and appreciated the late Queen’s obvious love for her dogs. I saw this mug in a catalog (one of the many I receive this time of year) and had a complete giggle fit. I was over the moon when Kenn gifted me the mug for my birthday; it makes me smile every time I use it.😊

The Big Six-Oh!

As of 5:10am on Sunday, November 20th, I am officially sixty years old. Wow. How the heck did that happen?😮 Mentally, I’m still around twenty-five. Yes, my sons are in their thirties, but that doesn’t seem to have an impact on my mental age. Aging is one of those things that, until now, hasn’t really impacted me.

Kenn turned sixty in August. One day recently, he stopped and asked “Are you having a hard time with turning sixty?” I had to give the question some thought. The best answer I could come up with was “Maybe a little bit.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not huddled in a darkened room binging on Ding Dongs and baking shows, but turning sixty has been… thought provoking. Kenn said it was a little harder for him too – not necessarily his own age but the realization that our oldest son will be forty in a few short years. (My brain and fingers insist it should be spelled “fourty”.) Oddly enough, it was a similar situation for me in that it wasn’t my own age that was a bit of an eye opener. I’m the baby of my family; my sisters are nine and ten years older. In September of 2021, while we were on our road trip up the East coast, my oldest sister had a stroke. I was shocked to realize that she was only six months shy of turning seventy. Whoa. Before I know it, I’ll be the one turning seventy. (Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, as my Grandmama used to say.)

A couple of months ago, Kenn asked what I wanted to do for my birthday. My answer was immediate: I wanted to take the camper to Amicalola Falls State Park for the weekend. I was long overdue for a soul recharge in the mountains. Being the good hubby that he is, Kenn had gone online and made reservations before we finished our conversation. The trip was wonderful and relaxing, just what I needed. We did a little hiking and a lot of being lazy. We even caught part of a raptor show at the Lodge.

Scirocco the red-tailed hawk
This is what sixty looks like

Due to the temperatures (forties in the day, twenties at night), we weren’t allowed to keep the “city water” connected to the camper full time. Instead, we had to put water in our fresh water tank for use at night. (We have tank heaters to keep the water from freezing.) However, this was when we discovered that something wasn’t working right. Instead of a steady stream of water from the fresh water tank, we only got spits and spurts. In addition to being frustrating, it gave us a problem that we needed to figure out before we take the camper to the Asheville, NC area for New Year’s. Kenn informed me last night that the problem has been resolved. (Yay!) Fortunately, it was something relatively simple; one of the valves was in “winterize” mode. Once he switched the valve, everything started working correctly. Whew!

So, how well are you dealing with aging?

Friday Funnies

I was saddened to learn of the death of Gallagher, an American comedian, on November, 11th. Why am I starting a Friday Funnies post by talking about a death? Because I have a lot of good memories associated with Gallagher, that’s why. And, as a man who made his living making people laugh, I tend to think that is how he would like to be remembered. Gallagher was at the height of his popularity in the 1980s and was probably best known for his “Sledge-O-Matic” routine which involved him smashing watermelons and a myriad of other items with a sledgehammer. Anyone in the front rows of a Gallagher show was guaranteed to get splattered with something.

Kenn and I were both Gallagher fans which is unusual in that there are very few comedians I like. We even went to a Gallagher show at one of the Atlanta amphitheaters back in his heyday. However, since we were in the nosebleed seats we were in zero danger of getting splattered. (This is also amazing in that Kenn does not like crowds so he’s not a fan of concerts, etc. but he easily agreed to go this show.) However, that changed in 2008. By then, Gallagher’s heyday had passed but he was still touring and had a show at a small historical theater the next town over. Of course we were there with bells on and quickly secured front row seats. I was wearing my rain jacket, thoroughly prepared to get splattered.

Me and Gallagher
Almost time to get messy!

However, it got even better! Gallagher gave all of us with November birthdays the opportunity to get on stage with him during the Sledge-O-Matic portion of the show. Needless to say, I took him up on that offer. Y’all, it was so. much. fun! I had chocolate sauce and other schmutz in my hair (and everywhere else) and would have done it again in a heartbeat. Seriously, this is high on my list of Most Fun Things I’ve Done.

A closeup of the Sledge-O-Matic results
The full body view

It took a while to wash off the debris but it was totally worth it. And it’s not just Gallagher shows; I’m also the one who sits in the splash zone at Sea World while Kenn heads for the farthest seat he can find, LOL.

So, are you a “sit in the splash zone” type or would you be with Kenn, watching from a distance?

Soul Searching

Fellow blogger Jessica at Jeweled Again By Jessica has had a couple of posts recently that have really resonated with me. While she’s been struggling to decide if she should continue with her art or throw in the towel, I’ve been struggling to make the same decision about my fiction writing. Writing has always brought me joy – or at least it used to. I’ve spent most of this year trying to decide how I want to proceed and am still no closer to a decision than I was in February.

Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

I fell in love with creative writing in high school and spent years wanting to write stories. However, I didn’t actually start until I was 47 and discovered the world of fan fiction. I wrote several stories based in the world of Mass Effect, my favorite video game series. The positive feedback I received on those stories gave me the courage to begin writing original stories. I decided to write under a pen name, Isabella Norse, since I write romance and worked in IT which is still a male-dominated field. I knew if any of my coworkers were to find out, I’d never hear the end of it and I didn’t want to have to hurt anyone, LOL. The decision to write under a pen name is one of those things that I would change if I could go back in time. I don’t like having to be two people, especially since, as a writer, I’m pretty much expected to be on all of the social media sites and I hate it. Izzy has FB, Twitter, IG, and Pinterest accounts, and even has a separate blog – pretty much all of them inactive. Sigh. It would be easier if I could just be Linda. However, I haven’t figured out the best way to combine me and Izzy into one. Double sigh.

One of my biggest problems has been “finding my tribe”. As best I can tell, this consists of being really good at tooting your own horn on social media. Since I’ve already said that Izzy’s SM accounts are pretty much inactive, it’s a safe bet that I ‘m not good at this. As a matter of fact, it would be safe to say that I completely suck at the marketing portion of writing. The whole “look at me, look at me, look at me” aspect of marketing is completely anathema to me. Triple sigh. Honestly, I don’t care if I’m ever a New York Times Bestselling Author but I would like to have some readers, LOL. (Thanks for reading my stories Jessica!🥰)

I’m a hybrid author which means I’ve self-published a few stories and have others published with a couple of small presses. One of the small presses recently returned the rights to my sweet paranormal romance series; their business took a hit during the pandemic so they are downsizing. I wasn’t the only author published with them impacted. However, my feelings weren’t hurt. I was already planning to ask them for my rights back; my stories just weren’t the best fit with with their imprint and I wanted the ability and freedom to rebrand and advertise my stories as I see fit.

Honestly, I miss writing for the joy of it. Now, even when I’m working on a story I enjoy, part of my mind is wondering if it’s even worth the trouble, if anyone will ever read it. Kenn tells me I should just write for myself and not worry about readers, etc. I wish I could. However, my brain just doesn’t work that way. Quadruple sigh.

I’ve considered stopping my creative writing and just continuing with this blog. I get to interact with people here! However, the thought of completely giving up on my stories has caused more than one panic attack. I guess that, in itself, is an answer. I’ve just got to come up with a way to muzzle the part of me that likes to put a damper on things with its negativity.

Thanks for listening while I vented. It helped and I appreciate each and every one of you!😘

Friday Funnies

Guess who? Yep, it’s Bear! A couple of days ago while I was getting ready for work, he kept running up to me and yelling. Of course, like any good cat owner (or cat owned) I kept asking “What? What’s wrong?” When his meows didn’t get through to me he decided it was necessary to put his words into action. I exited the walk-in closet to find Bear on the highest point in the master bedroom – on top of the jewelry box on top of the dresser – with his nose pointing at the bug on the ceiling. To his great dismay, I made him get down without getting the bug for him. He somehow managed to deal with his heartbreak – mainly by stalking the bug from the floor as it journeyed across the ceiling.

On another note, you also get to see the mess on top of my dresser. I repeatedly clean the dresser and tell myself that I’m not going to cover it with stuff again and yet I always do. Oh, well…