Feeding Our Souls

While staying at a charming bed and breakfast this weekend, the owner and I got to talking about the work-work-work mentality so prevalent in the U.S. Originally from the U.K., she went from working tolerable hours, with five weeks vacation, to typical 70-hour work weeks when she transferred to the U.S. – and just two weeks vacation. She said in Europe, people work hard, but they understand the value of time off and recharging one’s batteries. Working in the software industry, she was surprised by the differences she encountered here – and while away from it now for nearly 15…

The Best-laid Plans

I had a planned vacation day today, one which initially I thought would be a beach day. Seeing how the weather was not supposed to be favorable, rain off and on throughout the day, I decided to do something I seldom do: plan a day at home to actually accomplish some well-overdue household tasks. It…

As My Daughter Turns 30

30 years ago today, ten days overdue, I wondered if my soon-to-be-born baby would ever arrive. I wasn’t feeling great, but had been told by an OB/Gyn standing in for my own doctor that day that I most likely had a stomach bug. “No, I had similar symptoms when I went into labor with my…

Looking for Motivation Today

For many, many years, my life revolved around the needs of a family of six. With four children, the youngest to oldest a little over a 10 years apart, there was a lot of parenting, a lot of mothering in those years – and still is, although quite different in those needs. In fact, there…

Finding Time for Appreciation

When life is extraordinarily busy, there’s nothing more pleasurable than having a day unfold without an alarm, without a rush out the door and some time to tidy up the house – to be able to just sit and relax a while. Somehow, even if there’s a few things that must be done and a…

Fourteen Years Gone

My father passed away fourteen years ago today, and it strikes me that he has now been gone more than a quarter of my life. Something about that is beyond bizarre to me, and yet his influence is felt every single day. I feel him in my attitude, the way I talk, and the manner…

Outnumbered: Five to One

I often arrive home from work and realize that I’ve spent a good half hour dealing with pet-related necessities before even I’ve even given anything else a thought. Or stayed up extra late because I hadn’t been home much that day and felt that it hadn’t been fair to the dogs if I went to…

The Peacefulness of Gently Falling Snow

We’ve had a lot of snow lately. That’s a bit of an understatement really. We’ve had more than a lot of snow in the past week or so – and it’s snowing out now. I looked outside a while ago and thought, “Hmm, is it snowing or simply wind blowing it off the roof?” Within…

Nailing the Back-up Move

I’m sometimes of the misguided impression that I have some decent skills in backing my car up. Now that I have a smaller vehicle and feel somewhat smug at times in my ability to parallel park in tight city spots, I believe that this translates into being able to back up straight or adequately gauge…

Undecking the Halls

Many feel a distinct sadness when Christmas ends and it’s time to start storing away the holiday decorations for yet another year. I don’t. Christmas, as much as I love it, begins to feel like much too much – and I love the tradition, the beautiful Christmas tree and decorations, and most of all, the…